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Big guy needs skis, and needs some help choosing.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ill cut right to the chase. Ive been on a hiatus from skiing for the past few years and am looking to get back into the sport.

Ive been shopping around at a few different shops, and they seem to be pushing me towards the Volkl AC20's, and K2 Apache Recons in a 177cm. I think sometimes shops will push a certain ski more, so thats why Im asking you guys for advice.

Im 6'5, 280lbs. I have many years of experience skiing, and Im pretty aggressive. Im looking for an all mountain ski thats more tuned for east coast trails...the icy/packed powder stuff. I need something thats gonna hold me on edge.

I know alot has changed since I last put on skis as far as sizing and the technology behind them, so that leaves me lost. Help me please!
post #2 of 18
Lot of people more knowledgeable than me, but I'd say no way you want the AC20 (maybe AC30 or Tigershark), and no way you're going to be happy on 177 at your size. Recon is a nice ski, but I've only been on it in pretty soft snow. I think it was a 180 and I'm 6'2" and at that time maybe 175 and it didn't feel long at all. Expect you will hear from others with better advice than mine.
Good luck, and welcome back to skiing.
post #3 of 18
You did ski on carve ski's before right?
If so, than go for the stiffer ski's, the recon wil be to soft.
I like Völkl for that reason, I'm pretty big also.
The Tigersharks will do great, the AC 20 is to soft also.
If you have more bias towards racing, consider the racetigers series.
post #4 of 18

I own the Volkl AC4 in 184 cm

It is now called the AC50 and slightly wider at 85mm under boot.
Virtually as good as a race ski but an excellent off piste crud
buster also. As others have said the Apache Recon does have a
too soft tail on hard icy snow. I have skied the AC4 in 177cm also but like the 184cm length for going hard out at big uncrowded ski resorts.
post #5 of 18
I'm with Cassina on the 184 length. Stupidly bought my AC4s at 170 -- liked'em, but what a world of difference when I got on a pair of 184s one day. Those were money!
post #6 of 18
I am 6ft 3in and all of 280 have been skiing 40 years without much hiatus.

Back when, I skied 210 race skis.

I ski a Nordica Top Fuel in 178. Mostly eastern conditions. Love it. Best ski ever for me. Worth a look.
post #7 of 18
No Recon, too soft for a guy your size, and comparing them to the lower level 20 isn't fair to either of these skis. You need something in the 180 something range, minimum AC30 if you want a ski with a mid 70's width or AC50 if you want a 80 something waist. Take a look on Ebay, you are looking for a ski size that there are a lot of leftovers available cheap. Other than the AC50, there is nothing offered this year that is worth 30-50% more than a leftover ski from last year.
post #8 of 18
I'm 6'6", 265. If you do some searching under my name, you can find very similar posts from me last spring with many different recommendations and lengthier discussions of things I tried.

I didn't like the AC20/30. At all. Didn't try the AC3/4.

The Apache Recons are okay, but I think they're probably a little too soft for a really big guy. Had a harder time with them in icy conditions. Definitely not an aggressive ski.

Various Nordicas were recommended, but were basically impossible to find in demos in New England (at least in a length that would be remotely appropriate.)

Things I liked the best (all available in 178-184ish sizes):

Head SuperShape Magnum
Head Monster iM78
Dynastar Contact Limited

All fairly damp, frontside-oriented skis. I wanted something solid to continue learning on, that I could ski every day in New England no matter what the snow gods would throw at me.

I ended up buying the Dynastars. Very solid all-around frontside ski for Eastern conditions, versatile enough to (hopefully) handle anything but really deep snow. The SS Magnum is awesome at high speed, even in icy crap, but I couldn't really use it well at lower speeds or in softer snow. The Monster 78 is also very good, and maybe even more versatile, but I had trouble with it when it got icy.

Oh, and welcome aboard. :-)
post #9 of 18
I am not as big as you (only 185-190) but had a 6 year hiatus before getting back into things.

Without demoing, you are not really sure what you will like, and it is likely that if you get a ski that is right for you right now, you may find that you want more ski as your skills come back (particularly if you end up skiing a lot like I have the past few years).

With that in mind, you should consider getting some used skis and put more money into boots if you don't have something that works well.

If you decide on the Contact, this might work for you http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=73171 but if you decide to go for more of a race ski, there are many older GS skis that can be had cheap.
post #10 of 18
Another vote for the 2006/2007 Dynastar Contact 11 in a 178cm size. This ski is now the 2008/2009 Contact 10.

Great ski for a big guy. I'm in the 230 to 245 lbs range and the Contact offers great performance in a wide range of conditions. It's also easy to use. Can't go wrong.

My Reviews of the Contact 11: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=51234

Michael
post #11 of 18
Lot to be said for the Contact 10 in 178, I might also think about a Stockli Cross (not Cross Pro), which can be had last year's/year-before model new online for a good price, will definitely handle your weight and eastern ice/crud in the 170's range. If you're feeling flush, a new Volkl Tigershark 12 in 175 would work, otherwise last year's AC40 in 177 or Nordica Jet Fuels in the longest length. Agree you should avoid K2's, also Rossis and the other AC Volkls. Just not enough beef. Check fleabay for good prices on all of older new models. At your lengths, you should be able to find plenty.
post #12 of 18
I second the votes for the Contact LTD...

I am 240 and have the Contact LTD...which is now the Contact 10...

I would also look at the Nordica Top Fuel...

Have not skied it, but someone your size should love out east...

I have wanted to demo that ski...

One question...does the ability to use in moguls come into the equation...
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rspacher View Post
One question...does the ability to use in moguls come into the equation...
Nice question. If yes, do not pass go, just buy the Contacts. OK, maybe try the Nordicas first. Forget the Volkls and Stocklis.
post #14 of 18
I could have sworn I posted this already, I thought it was one of the first replies, but oh well, here goes again.

I haven't skied either of the volkl's you listed, but the recons are way too soft for you.

I would suggest something a bit longer than 177. 177 seems to me to be a good size for an all mountain ski for someone who is 135-150lbs and skis moderately well.

Something a bit fatter might be good for you too, but thats up to you. Remember you'll need a fatter ski to float in powder.

I'd suggest (in order of skinniest to fattest)

186Head monster 88's (88mm)
186 Legend Pro's (95mm I think)
184 B squads (100mm although I'm not sure that ski will be in production this year, check rossi's site)
191 Armada ANTs (106mm, they ski more like a 185 since they have a big tip and tail)


Also, it makes a lot of difference how long its been since you've skied, where you'll be skiing and how much.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
I could have sworn I posted this already, I thought it was one of the first replies, but oh well, here goes again.

I haven't skied either of the volkl's you listed, but the recons are way too soft for you.

I would suggest something a bit longer than 177. 177 seems to me to be a good size for an all mountain ski for someone who is 135-150lbs and skis moderately well.

Something a bit fatter might be good for you too, but thats up to you. Remember you'll need a fatter ski to float in powder.

I'd suggest (in order of skinniest to fattest)

186Head monster 88's (88mm)
186 Legend Pro's (95mm I think)
184 B squads (100mm although I'm not sure that ski will be in production this year, check rossi's site)
191 Armada ANTs (106mm, they ski more like a 185 since they have a big tip and tail)


Also, it makes a lot of difference how long its been since you've skied, where you'll be skiing and how much.
Nice list of skis but the OP did not mention powder. I fail to see how that list (except maybe #1) or most of those comments apply to this..........

Quote:
Im 6'5, 280lbs. I have many years of experience skiing, and Im pretty aggressive. Im looking for an all mountain ski thats more tuned for east coast trails...the icy/packed powder stuff. I need something thats gonna hold me on edge.
True, a stiff ski like the iM88 can work great for a really big guy. However, his stated set of requirements does not include powder. The Nordie Top Fuel will give him all he need without unneeded width.

If the OP decides to change his story, allgood....let's talk wider. If not, the TF or several similar skis are the better choices. It is always best to answer the question that was asked.

SJ
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wow, I knew signing up for this board was a good idea! Lots of great advice.

Ill definitely look into everything that was suggested, including those used Dynastars...which look very tempting.

Ill keep you all know what I decide to get and how it works out.

Thanks everyone!
post #17 of 18
Many good suggestions here. But with your build, I am thinking 178-184 minimum, if you were ever any good, looking to improve quickly. When I came back to skiing 5-6 seasons ago, I didn't demo skis. I got a great deal on some used Volkl's, loved them, upgraded the next season to another pair of Volkl demo's, loved them, bought new AC4s the 3rd season with a pair of powder skis.
With all that said, just try and get a pair of nice used AC40s or the new AC50s. I would skip the 20s & 30s. Nordica also makes some great skis IMO and good deals on last years equipment, can be found on the internet. The Jet Fuel, Afterburner or Top Fuel would be money for you. Have a great season.
post #18 of 18
im 6'4" around 200 and i wouldnt dream of skiing anything, anywhere in less than a 177 or so..

i had a pair of top fuels last year...pretty cool, but not ideal. didnt really have the edge grip i was looking for.

if you want one ski to do it all on look at an ac50 or a grizzly maybe...the grizzly is wider (89mm) underfoot but it doesnt feel that wide when you ski it on harder stuff. you can also stiffen or soften it up a bit with the power switch...its easily my favourite all around ski of all time
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