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Volkl AC50 - Review - Page 2

post #31 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyclimber View Post
Hi All,

I'm looking for some help with size. After a lot of thought and wasted hours I've just about decided to go with the AC50's; I just can't figure out what size. I apologize in advance for the wordy post but want to get the size right.

I'm 22 years old, between 5'11" and 6', and weigh 175-180. I used to be a decent skier and raced for a couple years in middleschool (I know that doesn't say anything) so I'm a 6-8 I guess. I had a bad accident siing in the Pyrenees 3 years ago and broke my face so I was wary of skiing for a while but want to get back into it. I don't know what level I'll be now but I have since bought a helmet am hoping to charge hard. I'm in NH / ME for the next 3 years skiing mostly at Stowe or Sugarloaf, which are rumored to get decent snow for East standards. I like laying trenches on groomers but want to get into the backcountry as much as possible.

Please let me know what size would be best! I was thinking 177 but thought 170 would be a nice quick ski for the hardpack we see here. Any input is appreciated. Thank you for your time.
Given your height, weight and ability, it's a toss-up.

If you lived in CO, I'd say go for the 177. The snow and terrain out here is varied and large enough that the extra length would pay-off.

In spite of your accident and wariness, you're still young and strong. If you raced, your technique is likely good. Hence, you'd have no touble managing the the 177's.

But, for Stowe and Subarloaf, you may be best served by the 170. That size will dice and slice more nimbly. I expect the 170 will still be plenty stable, and adequate for the snow depth you'll see out east.
post #32 of 77
Thanks for the input guys! I appreciate your help.

I'm not positive but I think I'll go with 177.
post #33 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyclimber View Post
Thanks for the input guys! I appreciate your help.

I'm not positive but I think I'll go with 177.
I'm not much bigger than you, and you're lots younger.

The 177's are perfect for me. You'll be happy with that choice.
post #34 of 77
I'm a wee bit taller than you and about 5lbs heavier and ski the 177 K2 Xplorer... If i lived and skied in the west of America i'd have something longer but if for general faffing around on groomers and the odd foray into deeper snow then the dimensions should be good for you.

The Xplorers are more or less the same dimensions as the AC50s and if anyone out there has been on both i'd like to hear how they compare.
post #35 of 77
Strato, have you skied K2 PEs? If so how do they compare? They have the same waist width as the AC50s but the 50's have more sidecut.

That worries me a bit because so far I've found the PE's a bit hooky in powder, although I've only had one or two powder days on them. Otherwise, I dig the PE's and will spend this entire season on them.

I'm sure the AC50 has better edge grip but, in powder, I think I prefer a mellow sidecut...not sure. Anyway, this is one of the skis I'm looking at for next year. I live on the EC and I feel mid-80s is a good waist width for a ski you can use here but take on western trips too.
post #36 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_d View Post
Strato, have you skied K2 PEs? If so how do they compare? They have the same waist width as the AC50s but the 50's have more sidecut.

That worries me a bit because so far I've found the PE's a bit hooky in powder, although I've only had one or two powder days on them. Otherwise, I dig the PE's and will spend this entire season on them.

I'm sure the AC50 has better edge grip but, in powder, I think I prefer a mellow sidecut...not sure. Anyway, this is one of the skis I'm looking at for next year. I live on the EC and I feel mid-80s is a good waist width for a ski you can use here but take on western trips too.
The AC50 has a much more aggressive tip profile than the PE's did and surely more sidecut. I would suggest a Monster 82 over the AC50 or maybe even the new K2 Explorer.
post #37 of 77

AC50 vs. Salamon Tornado TI

I'm 63, weigh 220 lbs. I have an artificial knee, and hip, and ski at medium to slow speeds in eastern Ontario, and Quebec. I'm considering an AC50 in a 170cm length, or a Tornado TI in a 178cm length. Damping, and ease of turn initiation are important. What do the members suggest.
post #38 of 77
Others may disagree, but given your situation I would think you would want a damper and somewhat more forgiving ski, but would still want fairly agressive side cut. Have you considered the Head Monster 78? This is a very versatile, smooth, damp, but resposive and forgiving ski. It initiates very easily. It may not hold an edge on boiler plate with the same tenacity as the Volkl, but I think you would find it a smoother and moire enjoyable ride overall. I think your internal hardware might thank you.
post #39 of 77
lazyclimber, I would recommend you get the ski in 170cm. I'm 5'11" 190 lbs. I have been on a 170cm ski for the past 5 years or more. If you have good skills, the 170cm is enough ski for you. I find a 177cm to be slow to turn and not much fun.

No go back to the early 00' and late 90's, I was on 177cm's. I ski at Okemo. Buy the 170's and take a lesson or 2. You'll be happy you did. Learn how to let the ski do the work.

karkley, I'd say the same for you. stay short, let the ski do the work. Stand up and stay forward, engage the tip.
post #40 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDeC58 View Post
Others may disagree, but given your situation I would think you would want a damper and somewhat more forgiving ski, but would still want fairly agressive side cut. Have you considered the Head Monster 78? This is a very versatile, smooth, damp, but resposive and forgiving ski. It initiates very easily. It may not hold an edge on boiler plate with the same tenacity as the Volkl, but I think you would find it a smoother and moire enjoyable ride overall. I think your internal hardware might thank you.
Agreed.

The AC50's are serious fun on hardpack. They rail better than any ski I've owned. You'll cruise through ice patches with impunity. But, they're beefy skis, and not highly forgiving.

The tips hook-up easily. But, you've got to be over them and instantly transferring edges.

If you give them an argument (back seat, slow transitions), they could bite back.

Head Monsters, K2 Xplorer, and even the Blizzard Magnum 8.7, may be easier to manage with an artificial joint.

It all depends upon your style. If you ski decisively, you'll find the AC50's easy to steer.
post #41 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_d View Post
Strato, have you skied K2 PEs? If so how do they compare? They have the same waist width as the AC50s but the 50's have more sidecut.

That worries me a bit because so far I've found the PE's a bit hooky in powder, although I've only had one or two powder days on them. Otherwise, I dig the PE's and will spend this entire season on them.

I'm sure the AC50 has better edge grip but, in powder, I think I prefer a mellow sidecut...not sure. Anyway, this is one of the skis I'm looking at for next year. I live on the EC and I feel mid-80s is a good waist width for a ski you can use here but take on western trips too.
I agree with Phil's comments.

I haven't skied the AC50's in powder, but I suspect they won't be as "floaty" as the PE's.

I skied the PE's one day last year on hard snow. AC50's outshine the PE's on hardpack - far better grip and stability. The AC50 tips hook-up more readily, likely due to greater sidecut.

Although AC50's have ample surface area, I'm not sure how their turn radious (18 meters) will translate in deep snow.
post #42 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ed_d View Post
Strato, have you skied K2 PEs? If so how do they compare? They have the same waist width as the AC50s but the 50's have more sidecut.

That worries me a bit because so far I've found the PE's a bit hooky in powder, although I've only had one or two powder days on them. Otherwise, I dig the PE's and will spend this entire season on them.

I'm sure the AC50 has better edge grip but, in powder, I think I prefer a mellow sidecut...not sure. Anyway, this is one of the skis I'm looking at for next year. I live on the EC and I feel mid-80s is a good waist width for a ski you can use here but take on western trips too.
I agree with Phil's comments.

I haven't skied the AC50's in powder, but I suspect they won't be as "floaty" as the PE's.

I skied the PE's one day last year on hard snow. AC50's outshine the PE's on hardpack - far better grip and stability. The AC50 tips hook-up more readily, likely due to greater sidecut.

Although AC50's have ample surface area, I'm not sure how their turn radious (18 meters) will translate in deep snow.
post #43 of 77
Glad to hear all of the great reviews for this ski, I always get so hesitant making decisions on skis. I called John from http://www.bikesale.com we chatted almost 30 minuets about his differn't skis before settling on the ac 50. I paid 999.00 less 12% for being in the free membership program and received a 120 dollar check in my name in the box with the skis! I could not be any happier with my purchase and look forward to another great season!
post #44 of 77
I've just completed 4 Killington days skiing icy, hard packed steeps, manicured groomers, both firm and powder bumps plus an assortment of chowder. My previous boards included both earlier AC4 models and last years AC40s all 177's. THE AC50s, also 177s, are by far the best. I'm 6', 225 lbs and a level 8 using Dalbello Krypton Cross boots. On the icy steeps, the edge hold was oustanding and on the groomers I didn't find a speed limit. Salomon turns were surprisingly quick considering the 85 mm waist and gs transitions were smooth with little effort. Skied aggressively with weight foward brought the biggest smiles. If you often find yourself in the back seat, this is not the ski for you. For a relatively stiff ski I was surprised how well behaved they were in the bumps, especially the soft ones which you could blast through. My AC40s had tip wander and a rough ride in heavy chowder. The AC50s were firm and stable easily going where you pointed them. I expect, due to their stiffness, tip dive in deep snow could be a problem. But as an East coast 1 quiver ski and West coast excluding deep days these are definately two thumbs ups. If you have skied the earlier AC models and did not like them you should give these a try.

Falcon_O aka Charlie
post #45 of 77

AC40 vs. AC50

Falcon O:

I am an East coast skier coming off race-carvers onto brand new leftover 177cm AC40's which I recently purchased. I had read all the reviews concerning the AC40's ability to carve and "rail like a race ski". Given my predisposition towards carving type skis I thought the AC40 would be an easy addition to my quiver as an all mountain ski. The 82mm waist would allow greater flotation an the occasional Vermont powder day and its reviewed carving ability would be helpful on ice.

I skied them for the first time this past weekend on manmade granular, which as the day progressed, became skied off revealing some ice. The AC40's held relatively well on ice but were not even close to my race carvers. They certainly did not "rail like a race ski." The AC40's like speed and like to be pressured, but for me were a disappointment in their carving ability on icy slopes. With my race carvers Eastern ice is not even an issue. Even the Volkl Tigersharks I demoed last season held very well on ice (maybe I should have purchased the Tigershark 12).

Since you have had the AC40 and you now have the AC50, is the AC50 that much better? Am I expecting to much in the expected carving ability of an all mountain ski?
post #46 of 77
I found that the biggest improvement in the 50 over the 40 was that it was easier to ski in mixte' salad conditions. Neither ski rails like a race carver but in comparison to other skis in the same width range, both are very good.

Keep in mind that the AC in AC-40/50 stands for "all conditions". As such, there was an intended compromise on really hard snow relative to say the TS 12 for example. IMO what you get with either of these models is a wide carver with a hard snow bias. In no way however, can either one stand up to a more dedicated hard snow tool like most race carvers or skis like Progressers, Speedmachines etc.

SJ
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post #47 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauntless View Post
Falcon O:

I am an East coast skier coming off race-carvers onto brand new leftover 177cm AC40's which I recently purchased. I had read all the reviews concerning the AC40's ability to carve and "rail like a race ski". Given my predisposition towards carving type skis I thought the AC40 would be an easy addition to my quiver as an all mountain ski. The 82mm waist would allow greater flotation an the occasional Vermont powder day and its reviewed carving ability would be helpful on ice.

I skied them for the first time this past weekend on manmade granular, which as the day progressed, became skied off revealing some ice. The AC40's held relatively well on ice but were not even close to my race carvers. They certainly did not "rail like a race ski." The AC40's like speed and like to be pressured, but for me were a disappointment in their carving ability on icy slopes. With my race carvers Eastern ice is not even an issue. Even the Volkl Tigersharks I demoed last season held very well on ice (maybe I should have purchased the Tigershark 12).

Since you have had the AC40 and you now have the AC50, is the AC50 that much better? Am I expecting to much in the expected carving ability of an all mountain ski?
As SJ also said, no way will the AC50 be a top-flight carver. Not a bad carver for the width, and pretty versatile, but they aren't hard snow skis. I spent some time on the AC40, a few runs on the AC50, a bunch of time on the Cold Heat and a bunch of time on the iM82. They all are OK carvers, but not anything close to a race ski, and definitely not the best tool for hard snow use. They are very fun on soft groomers, but as the snow gets firm, the less exciting they become. The better your technique and the stronger you are (especially when coming off of race skis) the more likely you are to be very disappointed if these are your replacement for your race carvers. I guess you have to consider the source: I have seen people raving about how well Gotamas carve on hardpack, when I know first-hand (and have seen other second-hand) that it simply isn't true. But, if that Gotama reviewer's "other ski" is a Praxis, then sure, it carves well.

A good example of the difference between the skis is last year, when I was testing a bunch of skis on manmade snow very early. I was on the Cold Heat, AC40, and Magfire 12, all 82mm and GS-radius skis. They did well: held a decent edge, rolled onto edge fairly quickly, and had a bit of pop. Then, I stepped down in width to the Cool Heat (76mm underfoot). A huge increase in edgehold, edge-to-edge quickness, and power. The sweet spot shrunk (it is a more demanding ski) but the payoff was more power and rebound. Edgehold seemed infinitely better. The iM78 from Head provided me with a similar feel, but without all of the power (more forgiving). These were still considered "all-mountain" skis, but once I was on that Cool Heat, the 82mm skis didn't seem all that desirable. In fact, if I skied manmade snow most of the time (obviously not the case for someone who lives in the PNW, fortunately) I would never consider a ski 82mm underfoot for an everyday ski. And, that doesn't factor in the Progressor, which I mounted up shortly afterward: that ski is MADE for the conditions you describe. That ski absolutely rips on the morning April boilerplate. It pretty much comes down to physics: a wider ski will put more of a Moment (F*D) onto the edge, causing it to break loose earlier than a narrower ski. Also, all-mountain skis, by definition, need a larger sweet spot to accommodate the skier getting bucked around in crud and bumps. Which reduces power and rebound.

I would stick with the race-bred skis, of if that is not an option, something around 75mm underfoot with a heavy frontside bias (Cool Heat, Tigershark 12, 4x4). They will all be superior tools to anything you find 80-85mm for hard-snow use.

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

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post #48 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauntless View Post
Falcon O:

Since you have had the AC40 and you now have the AC50, is the AC50 that much better? Am I expecting to much in the expected carving ability of an all mountain ski?
Both SJ's and Dawg's responses were excellent descriptors of the strengths and limitations of the AC50. When I said the edge hold was "outstanding", I did so in comparison to similar classed skis (mid 80's waist). They definately will not "rail" like a dedicated salomon or race ski. I did find they had better edge hold then the AC40s and was able to carve solid gs turns on an icy steep - but not salomon gate type of turns. In addition to the improved edge hold, the biggest noticeable difference was the stability in heavy chowder = fun factor 10. I will use these for the variety of conditions eastern skiing offers including "snug" trees. If you are looking for a performance carver then SJ & Dawg recommendations are the way to go.

Falcon_O aka Charlie
post #49 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by falcon_o View Post
Both SJ's and Dawg's responses were excellent descriptors of the strengths and limitations of the AC50. When I said the edge hold was "outstanding", I did so in comparison to similar classed skis (mid 80's waist). They definately will not "rail" like a dedicated salomon or race ski. I did find they had better edge hold then the AC40s and was able to carve solid gs turns on an icy steep - but not salomon gate type of turns. In addition to the improved edge hold, the biggest noticeable difference was the stability in heavy chowder = fun factor 10. I will use these for the variety of conditions eastern skiing offers including "snug" trees. If you are looking for a performance carver then SJ & Dawg recommendations are the way to go.

Falcon_O aka Charlie
Good point. It is a good carver for what it is, as was my Cold Heat last year, but I was very happy to have the Progressor around for those days when we hadn't seen snow in awhile.

Full selection of 2014 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

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post #50 of 77
Thanks Guys for all your input. I am glad I ADDED the AC40 and did not get rid of my race carvers. I expect the race carvers will see the majority of the duty with the AC40 used for the occasional powder day.
post #51 of 77

50's vs AC40's

Hi - all the reviews on the AC50's sound pretty great! My only concern, and I know it was slightly mentioned in a earlier post, but not much since then - is how are they in bumps. I ski Whistler and each day can range from the groomers to the bumps and all in between. I love a stiff ski (ex-racer) and so I am not too concerned about it being stiff - but just making sure it isn't too stiff!! I had some Salomon All Mountain ski's - and they are WAY to soft...
post #52 of 77
Within it's width category, the AC-50 is at or very near the top of the stiffness scale. Hence it is near the bottom of the scale for bumps and forgiveness.

Priortize before you buy.

SJ
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post #53 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuttin' Edge View Post
Hi - all the reviews on the AC50's sound pretty great! My only concern, and I know it was slightly mentioned in a earlier post, but not much since then - is how are they in bumps. I ski Whistler and each day can range from the groomers to the bumps and all in between. I love a stiff ski (ex-racer) and so I am not too concerned about it being stiff - but just making sure it isn't too stiff!! I had some Salomon All Mountain ski's - and they are WAY to soft...
Agreeing with SJ & Dawg these are an "all conditions" ski which will work well in a variety of conditions but not designed to excell on a limited specific. That being said I found them fun/easy to ski in soft bumps and requiring more precision in ones that were firm. While not a bump specific ski I did not find myself being bounced or tail hooking due to the dimensions or stiffness. I have skied Whistler/Blackcomb many times and these would work well on BC bumps as well as running the groomers. I would suggest you demo first, but from your comments I believe you would be very happy with the AC50s.

Falcon_O aka Charlie
post #54 of 77
Thanks. I used to ski the bumps in my race ski's - so I should be good! I think I am going to get some 177's.. I think 170's for all mtn are just too short - esp if you get into a bit of powder...
post #55 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Keep in mind that the AC in AC-40/50 stands for "all conditions". As such, there was an intended compromise on really hard snow relative to say the TS 12 for example. IMO what you get with either of these models is a wide carver with a hard snow bias. In no way however, can either one stand up to a more dedicated hard snow tool like most race carvers or skis like Progressers, Speedmachines etc.

SJ
I read on here once many years ago that ice grip is 50% tuning and 50% everything else. About a week ago at 7Springs I did an experiment. I skied my well tuned PEs back to back with BWIPA's Fischer Progressors which he said, "hadn't been tuned in a long time". The Progressor should have smoked my PEs in terms of grip, but we both agreed that my PEs had better grip on ice than his progressors that day.

I think alot of this come down to how well tuned do you keep your skis. If you are on some dull race carvers a sharp AC50 is probably an improvement. Thats my rationalization anyway.
post #56 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
..........I think alot of this come down to how well tuned do you keep your skis. If you are on some dull race carvers a sharp AC50 is probably an improvement. Thats my rationalization anyway.
That's true of course but from the standpoint of endlessly comparing and debating skis..........one has to assume equal tuning or else any comparisons would be invalid.

SJ
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post #57 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
That's true of course but from the standpoint of endlessly comparing and debating skis..........one has to assume equal tuning or else any comparisons would be invalid.

SJ
I guess I was just thinking outside the box or whatever. I don't really think metrons had as good of grip as skis 10mm narrower. So when someone says this 85mm wide ski carves better than a 65mm wide ski it seems pretty implausible to me. I was just trying to rationalize how that could happen.
post #58 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
I guess I was just thinking outside the box or whatever. I don't really think metrons had as good of grip as skis 10mm narrower. So when someone says this 85mm wide ski carves better than a 65mm wide ski it seems pretty implausible to me. I was just trying to rationalize how that could happen.

Did somebody say that? That is rather implausible assuming the skis were built the same and tuned the same. The problem with any of this stuff is those variables can be anywhere from irrelevant to definitive depending upon degree.

The Metron example you gave is a good one b/c at the time, they had very good grip for their width....but they couldn't hold a candle to the same level ski in the SX series.

SJ
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post #59 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Did somebody say that?
I though many of the comments in this thread by Strato and others (not you) indicated something like that, if they didn't say so explicitly. As well as other similar threads. I had been searching through the archives and reading a bunch of discussions from the end of last season as well. I will try to find some links, after work.
post #60 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
I though many of the comments in this thread by Strato and others (not you) indicated something like that, if they didn't say so explicitly. As well as other similar threads. I had been searching through the archives and reading a bunch of discussions from the end of last season as well. I will try to find some links, after work.
Nope - never said that.

I did say that AC50's are as nimble as skis I used to own at 75mm. That's just advancement in technology.

But, compared to today's narrower carving/race skis, thin skis rail better than mid-fats, even ones as quick and grippy as the AC50's.

I prefer narrow skis on smooth, short hills. They're agile as ferrets, and hold like ice-picks. But, I avoid them on big hills. As speed increases, and terrain varies on big vert runs, narrow skis get squirrelly.

Given the advances on today's skis, like the AC50's, I wouldn't go less than 85mm on a big mountain.
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