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Demo Results: AC40, iM88, iM78, others

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was out at Loveland Pass on Saturday for Christy Sports demo days. I had lots of "All Mountain" that I wanted to demo. This is actually the first time I've ever demoed skis and I wasn't quite sure exactly what to look for. I don't know how to give a scientific review of the skis I tried, but I'll tell you how they felt to me and you can take that for what it's worth. I also would appreciate any advice on other skis to try or which of these I might consider purchasing.

- Head iM78, iM88: I really like Head skis on paper, and also liked the Head ski rep so I really wanted to like these skis. I'm not sure if it's my style, what I consider fun or the early season man-made snow, but I felt bored on the both the iM78 and iM88. They felt smooth and fairly damp and handled speed fine. No problems with them, just kind of boring.

- Volkl AC40: This ski was the only one of the day that felt really exciting. Exciting in a way that made me pay attention and want to get better. I think this ski may be too much for my skill level, but it was thrilling to ride. I talked to some veteran skiers on the lift about what level of ski to get, and they advised to get something that "kind of freaks you out." Said I would learn to be a better skier and that it would last longer. If they are right then I'm leaning towards the AC40. It freaked me out a bit, but it was anything but boring.

I also tried the K2 Seth Vicious and the Volkl Gotama. I don't think I want skis that fat at this time.

At the end of the day I wasn't set on any of the skis, I think part of that is that my frame of reference isn't very big. Also, I don't really know how good a skier I am. I like to go fast, I enjoy trees want to enjoy powder and I don't usually have any problems with black diamonds. I'm 6' and 165 lbs. Will ski primarily in CO with occasional visits to UT.

Do I need to try more skis (if so, any recommendations)? Should I go with the AC40s? What about the Heads? They felt boring, but they were easier than the AC40 to ski and maybe as I get better they won't feel boring.

Any suggestions or comments are welcome, thanks!
post #2 of 11
Some times it takes time to really get a ski dialed in. It an take up to a week or so some times. Some times more especially if you are playing around with moving bindings and adjusting other things. But if you liked one particular ski, You should make it easy on your self and trust your own experiences. I think I ski better on a ski that I am fully dialed in on and comfortable on rather than one that I am not so comfortable on that just happens to be more optimal for the conditions.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poindexter View Post
I was out at Loveland Pass on Saturday for Christy Sports demo days. I had lots of "All Mountain" that I wanted to demo. This is actually the first time I've ever demoed skis and I wasn't quite sure exactly what to look for. I don't know how to give a scientific review of the skis I tried, but I'll tell you how they felt to me and you can take that for what it's worth. I also would appreciate any advice on other skis to try or which of these I might consider purchasing.

- Head iM78, iM88: I really like Head skis on paper, and also liked the Head ski rep so I really wanted to like these skis. I'm not sure if it's my style, what I consider fun or the early season man-made snow, but I felt bored on the both the iM78 and iM88. They felt smooth and fairly damp and handled speed fine. No problems with them, just kind of boring.

- Volkl AC40: This ski was the only one of the day that felt really exciting. Exciting in a way that made me pay attention and want to get better. I think this ski may be too much for my skill level, but it was thrilling to ride. I talked to some veteran skiers on the lift about what level of ski to get, and they advised to get something that "kind of freaks you out." Said I would learn to be a better skier and that it would last longer. If they are right then I'm leaning towards the AC40. It freaked me out a bit, but it was anything but boring.

I also tried the K2 Seth Vicious and the Volkl Gotama. I don't think I want skis that fat at this time.

At the end of the day I wasn't set on any of the skis, I think part of that is that my frame of reference isn't very big. Also, I don't really know how good a skier I am. I like to go fast, I enjoy trees want to enjoy powder and I don't usually have any problems with black diamonds. I'm 6' and 165 lbs. Will ski primarily in CO with occasional visits to UT.

Do I need to try more skis (if so, any recommendations)? Should I go with the AC40s? What about the Heads? They felt boring, but they were easier than the AC40 to ski and maybe as I get better they won't feel boring.

Any suggestions or comments are welcome, thanks!
I've skied my ac40 since end of feb: at the beginning they felt sorta to easy to turn......... but the more i use them the more i love them...........
post #4 of 11
If this was primarily groomers, on manmade snow, and was your 1st day of the year, I would hold off on making many judgements. If you typically ski manmade groomers, then it might be OK, but if you like to go off-piste, ski bumps, crud, ect, then you will need a better demo session. With your example specifically, I loved the AC40 when I first skied it 2 years ago (the 2007 model) on groomers. It was exciting, energetic, and very powerful for a wider ski. But, I also like to ski bumps and crud, and found the ski to be a real handful in those conditions. The same things that made it such a fun ride on piste made it tough for me in the conditions I often ski. The same was true of my Magfire 14 for me: great hardpack and groomer ski at ridiculous speeds, but a handful off-piste, especially at my weight. I ski the iM78 precisely because it is fairly damp, stable, verstaile turn radius, and not a handful in bumps or crud, unlike the others mentioned. The AC40 is surely more fun on the groomers than the iM88 (almost like a race ski, with energy and great edge hold), whereas the iM88 has complete stability in the crud, is smooth and damp while retaining power underfoot, which is ideal for a crud ski. The AC40 doesn't exhibit those characteristics off-piste, which makes it a less than ideal choice for so-called 3-D conditions.

I would wait and ski it when more terrain is open, and preferrably when new snow has fallen. I think that will give you a better idea of what skis work in what type of condition.

More skis to try:

Elan Magfire 12
Nordica Nitrous or Mach 3
Fischer Cool Heat
X-Wing Sandstorm

Good luck in your search!
post #5 of 11
dawgcatching: Could you tell me a bit more about the iM78. I really like the idea of a midfat with that kind of sidecut, and I want to use it with telemark bindings. My concern is that they might be a bit too stiff? I currently have a pair of Rossi B2s - how do they compare? I have other skis for the deep stuff, so these will be my groomer/bump/everything but powder skis. I'm 6'2" - about 165, and I was thinking about the 183s.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorSkier View Post
dawgcatching: Could you tell me a bit more about the iM78. I really like the idea of a midfat with that kind of sidecut, and I want to use it with telemark bindings. My concern is that they might be a bit too stiff? I currently have a pair of Rossi B2s - how do they compare? I have other skis for the deep stuff, so these will be my groomer/bump/everything but powder skis. I'm 6'2" - about 165, and I was thinking about the 183s.
I don't have much time on the B2's, but have spent some time on the 2007 B3. I would imagine that the B3 is fairly similiar in feel to the B2, only with different dimensions. I can say that these skis have a totally different feel. The B3 for me was really damp, smooth, and didn't have any power. It was quite forgiving, but for me, felt fairly limp and unexciting. Unexciting can be okay with an off-piste ski, but this one took it to the extreme. I am not a big fan of really damp skis in particular (Rossi, K2 come to mind, and a lesser extent Salomon and Dynastar) and this was a great example of a damp, smooth, French ski. The iM78 is much more powerful underfoot, and I think a little more demanding, but not by much. It isn't overly energetic, but has a damp yet very muscular feel that gives you a race-ski feel that will give energy back when driven hard, but isn't overly energetic or nervous off-piste. It holds really well on hard snow, as I skied it last spring on morning boilerplate (I didn't try the B3 here, but the Rossi just didn't feel as laterally stiff, so I doubt it would be as good on ice). I could hold the same arcs as a fellow Bear on a pair of Fischer WC SC's without a problem. I found the iM78 to be quite forgiving and easy to ski anywhere on the mountain, including bumps, which is fairly unusual for such a powerful-feeling ski underfoot. It doesn't have some of the energy of a few of the other models, but maybe is more versatile. I wouldn't say the iM78 is overly stiff: the flex is middle of the road, but lateral stiffness is toward the upper end, so it does engage rather powerfully. The feel isn't unlike the Nordica all-mountain product, although higher performance than the second-tier skis (Nitrous, Afterburner) but not as stiff as the top skis (Top Fuel, Jet Fuel).

Regarding Tele: I don't know the specifics of choosing length. Most people your size are skiing either the 177 or 183 for alpine, and if you are choosing groomers, at your weight, the shorter length may be better. I ski the 171 at 5 foot 9, 155lbs, and it is all the length I need for any condition save for really deep snow. The guy at the shop who is about 6foot1, 190 skis the 177, so you could probably be on either the 177 or 183. I bet you wouldn't out-ski the 177 as a groomer ski, as typically people your height are on 175-180cm groomer skis these days for Alpine. Do people usually ski tele boards longer?
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
If this was primarily groomers, on manmade snow, and was your 1st day of the year, I would hold off on making many judgements. If you typically ski manmade groomers, then it might be OK, but if you like to go off-piste, ski bumps, crud, ect, then you will need a better demo session. With your example specifically, I loved the AC40 when I first skied it 2 years ago (the 2007 model) on groomers. It was exciting, energetic, and very powerful for a wider ski. But, I also like to ski bumps and crud, and found the ski to be a real handful in those conditions. The same things that made it such a fun ride on piste made it tough for me in the conditions I often ski. The same was true of my Magfire 14 for me: great hardpack and groomer ski at ridiculous speeds, but a handful off-piste, especially at my weight. I ski the iM78 precisely because it is fairly damp, stable, verstaile turn radius, and not a handful in bumps or crud, unlike the others mentioned. The AC40 is surely more fun on the groomers than the iM88 (almost like a race ski, with energy and great edge hold), whereas the iM88 has complete stability in the crud, is smooth and damp while retaining power underfoot, which is ideal for a crud ski. The AC40 doesn't exhibit those characteristics off-piste, which makes it a less than ideal choice for so-called 3-D conditions.

I would wait and ski it when more terrain is open, and preferrably when new snow has fallen. I think that will give you a better idea of what skis work in what type of condition.

More skis to try:

Elan Magfire 12
Nordica Nitrous or Mach 3
Fischer Cool Heat
X-Wing Sandstorm

Good luck in your search!
Thank you! That is very helpful.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
also, I am thinking I want to demo the Head skis again and am thinking that I want to give a long hard look at the iM 78 and iM 82. For my height and weight (6' and 165 lbs) which length would probably be best? 183 cm or 172 cm?
post #9 of 11
171 for the 78, 172 for the 82. Also, if you are using on groomed, try moving the bindings forward to the +15 position. (assuming they are mounted with RF's). You will find the ski is a bit quicker.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
Regarding Tele: I don't know the specifics of choosing length. Most people your size are skiing either the 177 or 183 for alpine, and if you are choosing groomers, at your weight, the shorter length may be better. I ski the 171 at 5 foot 9, 155lbs, and it is all the length I need for any condition save for really deep snow. The guy at the shop who is about 6foot1, 190 skis the 177, so you could probably be on either the 177 or 183. I bet you wouldn't out-ski the 177 as a groomer ski, as typically people your height are on 175-180cm groomer skis these days for Alpine. Do people usually ski tele boards longer?
Thanks a lot for the info! I'm picking up a pair of iM78s tomorrow, so I have to decide on length by tomorrow morning. The jury is still out...

I think most tele skiers tend to choose longer skis, (but I don't really know). I ski mostly on alpine skis, but think tele is a really fun variation every now and then.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poindexter View Post
Thank you! That is very helpful.
I forgot to mention that I really liked the Atomic Nomad Blackeye. I would add it to the demo list if you can.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Demo Results: AC40, iM88, iM78, others