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Hellcats vs. AC50s?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
New poster back in the market after a couple of years off due to the loss of a dear friend (my right ACL) during a skiing accident. Want to get off my old skis (6 year old x-screams, 187s), which I now view as cursed, and into something a bit wider and shorter with more float. Given my current condition and my desire to get on something new to start the season, will likely get new skis without actually having the opportunity for demos.

I'm 6'2", 190, and was somewhere between an advanced/expert skier pre-accident. While I'm reasonably athletic, I'm still working my way back after surgery (exactly 10 months out as of today), but should be ready to hit the slopes after 2 more months of my rehab.

I ski outside of Seattle, with occasional trips to Whistler and Idaho. Like a fast ski on the groomers but, again, need something more capable off piste or when we get some of that heavy PNW snow.

Great deals out there on last year's Hellcats (mid-$600s). Looks like I can get AC50s for a bit more than $800.

Weighing the pros/cons of the different waist sizes of the HCs (90) or the 50s (84), especially given the jump in width it will be coming from my old skis (which I believe have a width of 67).

Thoughts on HCs or 50s? Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 4
No experience on either ski, but can give you my take on the new wider skis. I went last year from my old Bandit X's (69mm) to Watea 94's (94mm) and it was an easy jump. The Watea's actually ski better on groomers than my old Bandits (circa 2000 or so, I forget exactly which year) despite the extra width... and off-piste, forget about it, no comparison. I bet once your knee is up to it, if you get out and demo you'll find that the extra width is not an issue at all.
post #3 of 4
I live in PNW and I have HellCats. I am big and heavy (300lb) and I got hellcats after I demoed a large group of skis, including Volkls, Atomics and everything else. I did the demo at Stevens.

I was looking for a fatter ski which still be good on groomers. Nordica turned out to be perfect for my size. They might be a bit too much for a lighter guy. Although I demoed with a friend of mine whe is about 190lb and he liked them the most as well.

I ski the 177 and it's been great. I did have a chance to try them out in deep stuff at Chrystal, about 6" new, and they were great.

I also returned to the sport after loosing all three of my friends (PCL, ACL, MCL) and was a bit cautios, but these ski gave me alot of confidence.

Highly recommended!
post #4 of 4
I was considering both these skis this year, along with Atomic's Crimson Nomad Ti, and Blizzard Magnum 8.7.

I haven't skied any of these skis, but I read every review and user comment I could find. They all have stellar attributes, with different emphasis.

Hellcats, from what I've read, are probably the beefiest - no surprise given the width. Good turners for their size, and supreme crud-busters

Blizzard's 8.7 are held to be seductively smooth and easy to turn, but with great edge-hold.

SKI mag testers were wowed by the Crimson Nomad TI, primarily for on-piste. It scored well everywhere.

The AC50's received raves for hard-snow performance, stability at speed, and ice-pick grip. I haven't read much about their deep snow performance.

I bought the AC50's. They're stiff, but not much more than my Atomic M:9's. I'm curious regarding their powder prowess.
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