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NORDICA HELLCAT vs VOLKL AC50

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
I'm really in need of some expert advise...
I'm helping my boyfriend (5'9'', 194 lbs, level 8 skier) find a new pair of skis. He currently skis the Head Worldcup ISL in 166 cm, but is looking for a second pair of skis that would be more suitable to take off trail.
We'd been checking out the Nordica Hellcat (178 cm) and the Volkl AC50 (177 cm)... any thoughts on how these two compare? Any insight will be greatly appreciated!!!
post #2 of 13
I really enjoyed my time on both of these skis, although I would describe both of them as being wide carvers rather than "floaty" off piste skis. If what is being sought is a ski that can handle crud and chopped up snow, I think both of them can fit the bill just fine. Truthfully, I didn't have a strong preference either way - they were both skis that I'd have on my short list.

Where do you ski most often? If you can provide some specifics, you will likely find more detailed info that will be useful for you.
post #3 of 13
Both are good, strong skis, although suited more to a wide-carver style (as mentioned previously) more than anything else, which is somewhat of an oxymoron. Why have a wide carver when a narrower carver will do a superior job? If you want wide, get a crudbuster.....

With that said, both are fairly demanding, energetic, powerful skis that do their job well. I don't think you could go wrong with either, but my personal preference for something this wide would be to get something a little more all-around and less carvy/stiff. Something a little better in bumps and crud, being that you already have a hard-snow ski.
post #4 of 13
I think you want a Fischer Watea 94 or 101 for offtrail use.

There are some threads on the AC50.

You probably want something relatively soft and wide to start getting offtrail.
post #5 of 13
I concur.

AC50's are great skis, but they're more big-mountain carvers and crud-busters.

I wouldn't buy them as an off-trail ski. They're not floaters.

Fischer's Watea 94, Atomic's Snoop Daddy, or Volkl's Mantra are better off-trail choices.

Personally, I'd go for the Volkl Gotama. If you have a carving ski, Gotamas will handle almost anything else.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi everybody!
I forgot to give you some more details, as Alberto made me notice
We're from Argentina, and we mainly ski in Las LeƱas (Mendoza), where we usually get lots of great snow, but due to the wind, the off-trail isn't allways all that powdery, but kind of chopped up sometimes...
We've been travelling to Vail and Winter Park for the last five Januaries for 2 weeks or so, but we mostly ski in Argentina, as I've just told you.
So do you all think the Hellcat and the AC50 are skis better fitted fot the groomers rather than for going off trail?
Thanks everyone for your advice!!!
post #7 of 13
As others have noted (along with me), the skis that you list are better on groomed, but have some crud busting ability. I agree with some of the alternatives suggested by others. I really like my Volkl Gotamas, although one of my favorite everyday skis for off-trail is the Dynastar Big Trouble (several years old now and it's still a "go to" ski for me). Movement makes a couple of skis that might be worth considering (the Baggy and Goliath Sluff) - I am quite partial to some of the skis that they are producing.

So, like others have stated, going for a wider ski that is still fairly flexible will be better for what you are looking for.
post #8 of 13
Mod Note: Since this post isn't really a review of either ski , I am moving this from the Gear Review forum over to the general gear discussion forum. Carry on!
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alberto View Post
As others have noted (along with me), the skis that you list are better on groomed, but have some crud busting ability. I agree with some of the alternatives suggested by others. I really like my Volkl Gotamas, although one of my favorite everyday skis for off-trail is the Dynastar Big Trouble (several years old now and it's still a "go to" ski for me). Movement makes a couple of skis that might be worth considering (the Baggy and Goliath Sluff) - I am quite partial to some of the skis that they are producing.

So, like others have stated, going for a wider ski that is still fairly flexible will be better for what you are looking for.
I own Both Gotama and Big Trouble and love them both a great quiver!! Big Trouble most underrated ski ever!!
post #10 of 13
Just ordered a pair of Hellcats from backcountryoutlet.com

I'm 6'2", 180 and level 8+/9-. Skiied them for a few runs last year at Jackson and really liked them. Was debating b/w them and the Jet Fuel. Have 2 trips scheduled to Snowbird and Jackson this year, so I went with the wide Hellcat.

Plus I still have a pair of old Rossi Bandit Xs that are 70cm underfoot if I want something for the bumps.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by j82 View Post
Hi everybody!
We usually get lots of great snow, but due to the wind, the off-trail isn't allways all that powdery, but kind of chopped up sometimes...
We've been travelling to Vail and Winter Park for the last five Januaries for 2 weeks or so, but we mostly ski in Argentina, as I've just told you.
So do you all think the Hellcat and the AC50 are skis better fitted fot the groomers rather than for going off trail?
Thanks everyone for your advice!!!
I ski Mammoth which is about as windy a mountain you can get, so I am sure we ski similar conditions. Sure we get some serious powder days, but a lot more firm to chopped up fresh snow filled in with some wind buff due to the wind blowing the powder everywhere.
That said, I really prefer my Movement Thunders to my previous AC40's. I also think the Movement Sluff would be an excellent choice for these conditions with a bit more float in soft snow than the Thunders, but the Thunders are more performance orientated on firm off piste conditions. Click the Products link here: http://www.movementskis.com for a look at the Movement line.
I use to ski Volkls exclusively and just like the Movement brand so much more. I have some Nordica Afterburners, which are much softer than the Hellcats, but in the same mold and honestly believe if your guy wants a performance ski for those conditions. Get the Thunders. I am 5'10" about 190lbs and ski the 187. They are fantastic
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by j82 View Post
So do you all think the Hellcat and the AC50 are skis better fitted fot the groomers rather than for going off trail?
Because they are constructed to be used primarily on hard, groomed snow even though they are wider than other skis. They can handle softer snow and crud but they are not ideal for going off trail into untracked powder. You would want a softer & even wider ski for that. The main point here is that just because these 2 skis are wider than your friend's current skis does not necessarily make them the best tool for off trail/softer snow conditions. You have to look at the ski's construction, not just its dimensions.
post #13 of 13
Like MS6 says, these two, along with skis like the Blizzard Magnum 8.7 are frontside skis with backside ability. Personally I rank them in the following order...

Magnum 8.7, a great balance of stiffness and weight, playful.
AC50, Real stiff, but the best bindings on the three
Hellcat, A tank in weight, dampest of the three
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