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Volkl AC30 vs Atomic M11B5

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My local shop has both of these and I'll be able to demo the AC30 this week, but they don't have a M11B5 to demo. The salesman says they perform virtually the same and if I like the AC30 then I would be happy with either one. The only reason it matters - the Atomics are on sale for about $300 less than the Volkl. I think both are 170cm.

I'm 6'0 - 180 lb, ski mostly Eastern hard pack (but not this year! - at least not yet). I ski fairly aggressively but often weight the tails a little heavy. While most of my time is on hard pack/ice, I spend about 20% of my time in bumps and usually spend a few days out west UT or CO. Total ~20-30 ski days/yr. Priorities are having a ski that is stable at high speed and excellent grip when carving in icy conditions. I've tended to like race-carvers (the skis that are slightly softer than race stock, ~66mm waist) in the recent past but they don't do well when I go out West or in the Eastern crud. So that's why I'm looking at these slightly wider skis, for which many of my ski buds claim can carve just as well. Is there much difference between the AC30 and M11B5?

Thanks for your thoughts.
post #2 of 8
I haven't skied the AC30, but here is what I wrote before about the M11B5:

"I picked up last year's M11B5 at a super sale at sierra snowboard & ski ($199). Fun ski. Mine is a 170cm length. It is a great front-side biased all mt. ski. It turns quick, not as fast as an SL ski, but has a lot of versatility in turn shape. It is slightly heavy, but with its B5-connected construction, it is very smooth and energetic. In powder, it is OK but it could benefit from more length and a softer tip. Of course, then it would have different feel on the front-side. Aside from my NASTAR skis, it is my favorite front-side ride.

My only real complaint is very minor. The colors of graphics are a dull blue & gray combo."

Here is what I think the diff might be. The Atomics probably have slightly more weight and a smaller radius. They will be a slightly smoother (damper), quicker turning skis. With narrower tip and tails, the Volkl will be a better bump ski, unless you carve your bumps. In powder, it is hard to say. I think the 170cm length will be the biggest limitation there. In general, when I demo Volkls, I like the "snow feel" the skis communicates, but it may not be as smooth as the Atomics B5 connected design. The Atomics have a lot of energy, but Volkls tend to have that too.

FYI. I weigh 145 lb. and I don't think 170cm is too much ski at all for me. For out west, I would think about a longer ski.

I agree with the dealer. You'll probably be happy with either one.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Would there be any difference in grip? A couple of reviews have said the M11B5 doesn't have the same grip on hardpack as some of the other stiffer all mtn skis. Dgudaitis you ski in the East, no? Wish I could demo both!
post #4 of 8
I'm a little surprised the guy at the shop said the two skis were so comparable. I would associate the Atomic M11 B5 to have a shorter turning radius than the Volkl AC 30, with the tighter turning radius of the Atomic either being a love it or hate it proposition .
post #5 of 8
I have skied the M11B5 in the west (Colorado, Utah) and midwest (Indiana). I think the edge grip is fine, but I haven't skied them on ice yet. I also haven't touched the manufacturer's tune. Right now, the edges are not as sharp as my race skis so I can't really judge the skis until they have a matching setup. They are not as stiff as my race skis so I don't think even after the tune, they will be quite as good on ice. Still, if you do bumps, and perhaps some powder, you don't want too stiff a ski.

All skis has strengths that limit them in other conditions. I think someone described them as "racy." Sounds about right. Not a real race ski, but some power and energy. The width makes them a bit more versatile, but they really are a front-side ski.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sounds like what I want. And sounds like the AC30 with a little shorter radius. Thanks for your help.
post #7 of 8
I tried an 08 AC30 in 178 and I thought it skied short. I liked it in fairly fresh snow (probably hadn't snowed in 3 days). There wasn't much coverage where I went so I mostly stayed on the groomed runs, but I liked them more than some Nordica Hot Rods (can't remember the model).

I'm ~ 5' 10", 175 lbs. 170 sounds short for you.

Haven't tried the Atomics.
post #8 of 8
I have a pair of the 08 Volkl AC30s. I love them I just got back from skiing in breck with them. I am 5,10 and 145 lbs. I ski like a bat out of hell. This ski is my all mountain ski. I ski with it out west. I had the same thought about the two skis you did. I went with volkl and I am glad I did. Being a long time Atomic fan. I am now a volkl guy. For most skiers the volkl AC30 will take what ever you throw at it. If you dont think the ski is stiff enough for you then get out of the backseat and ski forward. I ski a 170 so maybe you should go with a 175 or a 177. But I do love to ski hard. My groomers ski are Fischer worldcup SCs.
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