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Volkl AC3 (30) or AC4 (40)?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey everybody!

I am originally from Montreal so grew up skiing in the East. I now find myself living in Vancouver and enjoying the mountains! I am 31, 6'1" and 250lbs. I consider myself to be quite an advanced skier who likes varying terrain - everything from groomed runs to bumps to lovely powder. I guess you'd say I am a true all mountain skier.

Last winter I found myself in the position of looking for new skis and demoed a bunch that were simply too soft and lost edges easily. Being a big guy I seem to need a lot of torsional strength in my skis. Anyway, I demoed a pair of AC4's in 170cm and loved them. They may not have been as quick in the bumps as I would have liked, but they were a fantastic all rounder. The demo guy told me that If I liked the AC4's then I should try the AC3's - but at the time he had none. Sadly the season ended and I couldn't find either an AC3 or 4 in 170cm to try let alone buy.

The question I have is how will the AC3's compare to the AC4's I tried? I have now come across a pair of AC3's in 170 for a good price and don't have the luxury of trying them so I am hesitant. How different are they?

Anyone have experience comparing these two models?

Thanks a million everyone!
post #2 of 18
I own a shop but admit I don't sell Volkl (Stockli, VIST, Head and Scott) however have some familiarity as I skied Volkl for years before starting the store. I have many customers that come to me for balancing of Volkls so also hear what they say.

I checked the Volkl site and really the skis are very similar other than dimensions. Which is what many manufacturers do now. The radius is very close when comparing matching lengths. Their intention was to make a ski that carved well in short tight turns with a waist wide enough to work well in varied snow. Go with either one and pick according to how much time you will be in pow. AC4 if you can pick your days certainly.

I ski on the other side of the Rockies from you, but in similar situation in that we don't get tons of snow at Louise for instance but on the back side there is little sun and lots of cold so the snow never sets up. It is consistently few to several inches of soft stuff on top of packed. We sell skis with similar dimensions to 3 and 4 and you will like either in your situation. Personally I would probably go with 4.

I think if you look at binding position it will be fairly far back compared to some quicker skis. If you can experiment with moving it forward (possibly up to 4 cm) it will cure your complaints in bumps
post #3 of 18
I've skied both when they were 3 and 4, liked the 4 a bunch better. The 3 feels like a wide cross ski, eats up ice and needs speed. Pretty much frontside - not great in soft snow or tight places. The 4 in 170 is a fat carver - quick in bumps and trees, pretty good in chop or moderate soft, still kills the ice on the frontside, can run as fast as the 3 in 170 but doesn't need to, if you get the difference. Only drawback for me was that in deeper soft, it can want to find the bottom; not a floater because of its stiff shovel.

All that said, I'm unclear why you want a 170. At your size, the 177 is barely long enough for you. I demoed both 170 and 177, actually preferred the 177 (I'm 163 lbs 6'), better in chop and soft although it wasn't as quick in tight places (more of a GS feel, but as good in bumps as a 176 B3 for comparison). For you, it'd be perfect in bumps, flex at a lot lower speeds than it did for me.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input guys - I really appreciate it!

Sounds like the 4 (aka 40 now) is the way to go. As for why 170 - well, to be honest it's what I tried and I liked it. Realistically I should demo it and the 177's back to back and see the difference. Lou's comments about binding placement is certainly interesting! I hadn't even considered that as being a concern. It may be that for me and my ... u'hem... "girth"... I should be looking at a 177 with a binding placement further forward. The longer ski would probably be more suited to me, but the binding position might help to quicken up the feel of the ski - especially in the bumps!

Does anyone have any experience with these ski's back East? I know I will be using them for a few weekends a year in the East, so I am wondering how they will work. It obviously wont be a Make-it or Break-it thing - but just curious.

Thanks again - I'm learning a lot!
post #5 of 18
AC40, you won't regret it.
post #6 of 18
I have skied both at Whistler in all sorts of conditions from pow through to frozen crud. AC4 great all rounder - you could ski that shorter length at your height but not when combined with your weight. Definitely 177cm. I am 6'2", 200 lbs and ski Stockli).

I skied the AC3 which was slower to turn and initially felt more stable. The AC4 needed more input but was more capable and turned a lot better. It was just as stable and the slight wander on cat tracks is a function of the wide shovel rather than any instability in the ski.

The AC4 performed better all round though. Better in bumps (not great), good in trees, good in everything. I agree that due to the stiffness it can dive a bit in deep powder. I did not feel that it was too wide underfoot although one could feel that a carving ski <72mm was definitely quicker underfoot. I spent most of my time on it and only switched to an Im88 only really deep powder days. I really loved the Volkl (AC4 or All star) until I met Lou and he sold me a pair of Stocklis (the beginning of an expensive love affair).

A good indicator that the AC4 is a good allrounder is that it is quite popular here at Treble Cone where there is more off piste than on and a great variety of challenging terrain. The AC40 is also widely skied but AC4 owners (even the gear pigs) have not bothered to upgrade to the AC40.

I think that you would really enjoy the ski in 177cm. Perfect for Whistler or a quick drive across the North Shore after work.
post #7 of 18
I demoed both on two occasions at Whistler and liked them both. My personal ski(s) is(are) Dynastar 8k or 8.8k, and I found that while the Volkl was not quite as instantly responsive, it was very smooth - no chatter when the Dynastar would, but almost as quick- nice combo.

The AC30 was definatly a groomer type ski, but the 40 was a no-brainer for powder or crud.

Can't go wrong with either, but for Whistler I'd go AC40.

170cm sounds small for you though. I'm 5:80, 175, and 170 is good for me.
post #8 of 18
If you enjoyed the 4 don't even bother with the three...it'll be a step down. 170 is wayyy too short for you. I ski the AC4 170 and I'm 155 lbs., 5'10". Great all-around ski IMHO.
post #9 of 18
I bought AC4s in 170, and now wish I'd bought 180. Go long.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the comments and advice! I've learned a lot and it's always nice to have a consensus among knowledgeable individuals!

Now - all I need to do is demo some 177's...... is it snowing yet?
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok, I just came across a pair of used AC-4's in 177cm. They have about 20 days on them and are described as being in great shape. What would you consider to be a fair price?

Thanks!
post #12 of 18
[quote=SixPlusSeven;764551]Hey everybody!

I am originally from Montreal so grew up skiing in the East. I now find myself living in Vancouver and enjoying the mountains! I am 31, 6'1" and 250lbs. I consider myself to be quite an advanced skier who likes varying terrain - everything from groomed runs to bumps to lovely powder. I guess you'd say I am a true all mountain skier.

nothing personal but skiing on 170 beeing your size is a joke
I'm 6'1 188 lbs and own AC40 since feb (!) 2007. tried them in kicking horse, jackson and termas chillan.

my daughters (5'9 around 130 lbs) both ski 176, AC4

my skis are 184 only cause could not get 191 (those will be avaible in scant number DURING the season).

so 170 is definitely to short, would not provide you enough floatation in deep snow.......

AC3 for you? forget it: not enough rigidity for 250 lbs agressive skier

changing position of the binding??? how????? in AC40 this is impossible (thanks god you don't sell volkl's)

even if you could change the center of the bindings I'd not recommend it (maybe 1cm no more if you HAVE to).

and bindings:make sure you get markers which go up to 14 DIN...............

anyway : avolkl is a volkl and nothing compares
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kubagr View Post

anyway : avolkl is a volkl and nothing compares
You need to get out more.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
You need to get out more.
would be preferable to focus on the topic.........
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wont take it personally - I'm a big boy.
The reason I was on 170's was really for two reasons, the first and foremost being that it was all they had as a demo. The reason that I didn't really question it was because I have been used to the super shaped skis being really short. As I have come to learn, the trend now is for wider under foot and a bit longer.

Wouldn't 12 Din be enough for the bindings? I haven't seen the Ac4 (or 40's) with a 14 on them. Then again I haven't really looked that hard.

So, any opinions on what I should pay for a pair of used (approx 20 days) AC4's?

Thanks again!
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SixPlusSeven View Post
Wont take it personally - I'm a big boy.
The reason I was on 170's was really for two reasons, the first and foremost being that it was all they had as a demo. The reason that I didn't really question it was because I have been used to the super shaped skis being really short. As I have come to learn, the trend now is for wider under foot and a bit longer.

Wouldn't 12 Din be enough for the bindings? I haven't seen the Ac4 (or 40's) with a 14 on them. Then again I haven't really looked that hard.

So, any opinions on what I should pay for a pair of used (approx 20 days) AC4's?

Thanks again!
I can send you a photo of my AC40 with 14.... that's an option and you you shoud realy look for it

shorter skis are for groomers: you are buing AC40 to have the best of two worlds: excellent powder/crud/slash ski (however there are some better fatties which are useless on groomers) ) and ski which goes fast on groomers, even ice without hesitation and on high speed without fluttering.
AC40 is one of the few realy universal skis on the market

as for price?? you can;t get a lot of them on sale unless you found AC4.....
post #17 of 18
I was lucky enough to ski both the Volkl AC3 and AC4 back to back over two days at Telluride in February. FWIW, my take is that the AC3 is a well damped ski, great for high speed cruising on the firm corduroy, and playing around on the groomers all day. The AC4 is a stiffer feeling, more lively ski which can power through all conditions.

The AC4 is one of those skis which will reward strong skiers, and definitely the better one-ski quiver. I was looking for a second ski for relaxing groomed runs, and the AC3 fits that bill better. The Volkl Mantra is my ski for powder and crud busting.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman View Post
I was lucky enough to ski both the Volkl AC3 and AC4 back to back over two days at Telluride in February. FWIW, my take is that the AC3 is a well damped ski, great for high speed cruising on the firm corduroy, and playing around on the groomers all day. The AC4 is a stiffer feeling, more lively ski which can power through all conditions.

The AC4 is one of those skis which will reward strong skiers, and definitely the better one-ski quiver. I was looking for a second ski for relaxing groomed runs, and the AC3 fits that bill better. The Volkl Mantra is my ski for powder and crud busting.

nice ste, congrat!!!!
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