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Volkl

post #1 of 117
Thread Starter 
So first, understand that this is not intended to be flame bait - i'm genuinely interested to hear what people have to say.

Lots of people here recommend Volkls - a lot. I've never skied on them so I have no real opinion myself. But I have seen (here and on other boards) the comparison of Volkl to Bose. That means different things to different people. To me, it means overpriced and under-performing but very well marketed. To others, it means the exact opposite.

I tend to agonize over expensive purchases, and try to find out as much as I can about the quality of what I'm buying before I pull the trigger. I'm open to trying out Volkls, since it seems every shop around here sells them and they're readily available as demo models, and lots of people like them. But I'd really like to hear what people have to say about the quality, both good and bad - the Bose comparisons I've seen make me wonder, but maybe I'm misinterpreting the comparison.

BTW, I don't really care what someone's opinion is of me when they look at my gear, I'm more interested in the quality of the gear itself.

Seriously - this is not meant to start a flame war!

Thoughts? Opinions?
post #2 of 117
My AC4's have about 140+ day's on them and they ski almost as well as my AC40's.

The AX3's I had before the AC4's had over 120day's on them and they were still fun.

I have bent 2 pairs of Volkl skis and received new Volkl's from them for both pairs.

I have been on Volkl's since the late 90's. I have Atomic's and Salomon's but my ski of choice is Volkl.

The ride alone is worth the price. They are much smother then Atomic's. They don't give you a rough ride.

A few weeks back I was with a buddy who was on his Rossi's, we were skiing in death cookies. When we got the the bottom, he said, "I wish I had my Volkl's, they ride the death cookies much smother".
post #3 of 117
Volkl is the brand of choice for me as well. I own Dynastar and k2's as well but for me Volkl is #1!
post #4 of 117
I spent an early season day trying different brands in 2001. The two Volkls I demoed were far superior. My current AC4s are three years old and still look and ski like new. I just purchased new Gotamas last week for a powder ski. Both these pairs and the G30s I originally purchased are the most solid feeling, stable at speed skis I have ever experienced. Previous owned brands were Fischer, K2, and Volant.
post #5 of 117
Another brand is my favorite, but there's some really good stuff in the Volkl line, particularly in the Goat and wider models. Their marketing is good, but so is their performance, although I think some models are overrated.

It would REALLY be unfair to compare Volkl to Blose. Volkl pricing is reasonably on par with its performance. Bose pricing is completely out-of-whack with it's performance and / or its competition. Hard to believe people buy the stuff - audio's version of mega-gapers.

There's some K2's that come to mind in the Bose analogy, but not Volkls. (Yes, K2 sells a lot of skis, but Bose sells a lot of speakers)
post #6 of 117
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post
Their marketing is good, but so is their performance, although I think some models are overrated.
Which ones would you consider overrated, and why?

for an expert skier, east coast only, what models would you be looking at?
post #7 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by friolator View Post
Which ones would you consider overrated, and why?

for an expert skier, east coast only, what models would you be looking at?
I'd be looking at the Racetiger SC or the AC50 depending on your preference.

IMHO - Volkl has one of the most complete full lines out there You can find something comparable or better than most of the skis, but across the line, they're really good from carvers to rockered powder tools.
post #8 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by friolator View Post
Which ones would you consider overrated, and why?

for an expert skier, east coast only, what models would you be looking at?
I said - "some really good stuff in the Volkl line, particularly in the Goat and wider models". Read into it from there.

I like Nordica and Dynastar stuff in the narrower skis, but again, most all of the Volkl line is very, very good, and I can understand how some really like the AC30-50 if stuck doing Eastern skiing.

To continue the speaker analogy, to me the narrower stuff is Martin Logan level good, not quite Wilson level good (and I have Logan's at home).
post #9 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by friolator View Post

Lots of people here recommend Volkls - a lot. I've never skied on them so I have no real opinion myself. But I have seen (here and on other boards) the comparison of Volkl to Bose. That means different things to different people. To me, it means overpriced and under-performing but very well marketed. To others, it means the exact opposite.
Bose??? I hope Volkl isn't that bad: is that really possible?

Volkl is a nice ski, but no better than MANY other brands. You are paying a marketing premium for Volkl and Marker, no doubt about it. Check out what SJ was saying about the Marker Jester: it is the new generation "wide" binding, but the hole pattern is the same width as any other binding, and the plastic footprint above that isn't in meaningful contact with the ski and does nothing to transmit pressure. But, people pay a premium for it. Nothing wrong with the binding, but functionally the same as any other high-end model, except the price is higher.

The AC50 is no world-beater: a nice ski, but so are about 8 others I can think of. Yet, no ski sells to the wall as quickly as an AC50, especially for the type of customer who would walk into a shop and say "give me the best ski you got". Mantras are very good skis, Grizzly and TS12 solid, but not for everyone, Goats aren't my favorite, and their race skis are excellent hard snow models. They are probably in the top 5 to 7 ski brands, but I rank ahead (of what I like and prefer): Nordica, Elan, Head, Fischer, Blizzard, Stockli, Kastle. Sales-wise, Volkl would be great to have: they sell themselves, but the reputation was probably built 10 years ago, and the line is mainstream and solid, but unspectacular.

Speaker analogy:

Volkl is the B&W of the world. Well reviewed in all the mags, pricey for what you get, and a real love-hate relationship with audiophiles. The only reason I would ever trade my Tyler's for a set of 802D's is so I could re-sell the 802D's, buy another pair of Tylers, and pocket $5k in the process.

There are very few "cult" brands in the ski world, unlike in audio. It takes alot of effort to built enough skis to get the required materials, and you need some sort of distribution. Stockli has a well deserved reputation, and BRO is probably as close to "cult" as you will find in skiing (great skis, I wish I had a pair). In the audio world, anyone with some knowledge of electrical circuits, some tools, and a good ear can put together something, and often do it quite well. In skiing as in audio, the price paid has no direct relationship on quality. Often, paying more just gets you a status-oriented product.
post #10 of 117
the smart thing to do is:

STOP worrying about 'stereo analogies' and go demo some, if you like the feel then consider buying some. If you don't like the feel, try something else. Skis are NOT quantifiable, they are based on taste, if you like it then it's good.

I demo TONS of skis every season, I have yet to find a Volkl ski that I consider 'Best In Class'... for me. As a brand they have great skis in every catagory, just none I think are 'best'.
post #11 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
Stockli has a well deserved reputation
Go demo some Stocklis. Handmade goodness.

I have really like all my Volkls, but the Stockli's...

Stockli is pretty $$. But with some patience good deals can be found.

Got one from Skiershop last summer on a pair of SS Pro.
post #12 of 117
I would say plenty of other compainies make fine skis. However, I'd say Volkl skis have a feel all their own. You may like it or not. To me a Volkl doesn't feel like a Head, a K2 or a Rossi etc..
If you like the feel it's the ski for you.
post #13 of 117
With 25 years of experience under my belt as a professional audio engineer, I can comment on Bose : it's overpriced well marketed mid-fi (at best) snake oil aimed at folks who know little or nothing about audio. I know of no respected audio engineer who has a high opinion of Bose. (although the classic 901s in the right room could sound very good, if not at all accurate).

Völkl, OTOH, is the real deal. Yes, there are many other good skis out there, and in some cases better than Völkl's offering, or as good at 70% of the price. You do pay some for the label. Also, some people won't like them, preferring a ski with a different "feel" - that's ok too.

If you want an audio analogy to Völkl, think Neuman or AKG.
post #14 of 117
My take on Volkls from about 10 years ago and it was mainly their race skis: Good skis, durable, held really good on hard snow, but more work (narrow sweet spot) than a lot of other skis that were just as good.
post #15 of 117
Different people have different opinions. I personally never demoed a Volkl ski that I liked- that german feeling of a ski trying to hold its own line in a "ski me if you can" way has always been a turn-off for me. On the other hand I have friends who could not get enough of that feeling, so your mileage may vary... With a very few exception there are no good brands and bad brands, but there are certainly different ski personalities.
post #16 of 117
More than half of my skis are Volkls. I demo before I buy, usually four or five skis. With few exceptions, I have always loved the Volkls I've tried more than any of the others.

My latest Volkl purchase (reviewed).

My SL skis are Fischer, my GS skis are VIST, and everything in between (i.e. the rest of my skis) are Volkls. Not being a huge off-piste fan I don't have a dedicated pair of skis for pow, so couldn't comment on Volkl's wider offerings.

I've always been happy with the Volkls I've skied on (just slightly happier with Fischer's SL offering), and think that their quality and construction is very good, and their grip fantastic. However, I'd say the best ski in the world is the best one for a given person for a given purpose. Demo - the one that works/feels best is the one that is best (even if it's something I wouldn't touch with a barge pole... Salomon... )
post #17 of 117
Not sure what the question here is....................

If it is...."are Volkls good quality?" I'd say yes.
If it is...."are Volkls great quality?" I'd say no.

If it is about skiability........that depends upon individual tastes.

I'd suspect that between us, Scott (DC) and I ski on more skis than any two other posters on this forum. I also think that we have a generally well grounded approach to matching skiers to skis. We don't always agree about stuff but we generally have roughly similar impressions about Volkl. That would be something like.........."nice ski for such and such a skier but not something I'd buy for myself"

Then again..................YMPWV.

SJ
post #18 of 117
Here's my take on Volkl...they've been in the game a long time, over the years they've run the gammut from some of the best to average. What Volkl does very well is make skis for everyone: groomer rippers (racetigers and tigershark), all mtn solidness (ac50's and mantras), all mtn powederness (Gotamas and Bridges), etc. They are a well developed brand. Their prices are a little on the high side but they do a decent job. Their warranty departments is one of the worst in the business and they tend to have a pretty warranty return rate.

Their quality is good but no better than any of the other players. Their skis are solid but are they better, that's an opinion call. Are you paying more for the name, a little bit.

The only way to tell is to get out and ride them. I personally think there are a lot of brands out there that make skis just as good, service them better, and charge a little less. But, it's the ride that counts
post #19 of 117
They have some very good skis and some average skis. Just like many other brands. In the range of 75-95mm skis that I tend to focus attention on these days, they have a couple well regarded models, but overall I see better choices from the other brands (and as a whole, there is more variety that way). I've been most impressed by models from Head, Fischer, Blizzard, and Elan in recent years.
post #20 of 117
I've always liked Volkl skis. I think they hold up better than other skis I've had. Every pair of Rossi for example. I like the Volkl feel. I also like my Nordicas, which seem very much like Volkls. I nknow there are other skis out there that may be better. I don't get to try that many. Go demo as many as you can and make your own decison.
post #21 of 117
Their carvers have a pretty distinctive feel. Try for yourself to see if you like it. Many people seem to be very dedicated to their brand.

I think I am more of a bargain shopper, so the high price and low availability preclude a Volkl purchase for the most part.

Speaking of marketing...I don't know if their product naming makes much sense anymore. Based on my demo last week of the AC50 that is a narrowly focused carver and crud ski--which doesn't exactly put the ALL in all conditions. A ski like the Bridge should is the real AC.
post #22 of 117
Well, I gotta weigh in here and gotta give a thumbs up to the Volkl's. I had the AC40's given to me last year ( end of season) and have been been extremely pleased with the carving ability of these skis (on groomers). Best skis I have ever had......Rossi's, Atomics, Dynastar's, K2's and a few others I do not want to mention have been in my lineup from time to time. If I had all the skis lined up I would grab the AC40's. I think tetonpwdrjunkie has it right......there is a different 'feel' to the Volkl skis......FWIW.
post #23 of 117
Volkl blazed a new path with the original SuperSport 5 Star.

Occasionally they hit one like that and change the game.

This current Volkl obsession with switches will pass as it smells of marketing BS and gimmickry and I don't see them selling in any quantity.
post #24 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
I'd suspect that between us, Scott (DC) and I ski on more skis than any two other posters on this forum.
C'mon now... TC has both of you beat, of course with her she isn't demoing, she's buying...
post #25 of 117
I think for most skiers brands are really overrated. Pretty much all the manufacturers make at least some excellent skis, so I don't really see the big deal.

From the select few of you guys out there, the elite, I've always heard that Volkl is one of the top mass-market brands. Generally hear good things about Nordica and Dynastar too, for what it's worth.

Disclaimer: I own one pair of Volkls and have owned another in the past. Like(d) them, but then I like most any ski.
post #26 of 117
Here's an observation on Volkls

I love em. I'm a big, strong skier and tend to muscle things a bit. My friend hates Volkls - can't get them to turn. He's smaller and lighter. Depends on your skiing style.

I like Mike's advice - demo and find out - that's how I found out I loved my Mantras. Sold em this year and got two pair of something else though

Another observation: like them or not they hold their value on the resale market! If the market is never wrong, then Volkl's are right, particularly Gotamas and Mantras.
post #27 of 117
If you are a strong skier and are going to buy without demoing, it's hard to go wrong with Volkl's line of skis... and as ct55 pointed out, the resale value is truly 'BEST in Class'.
post #28 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct55 View Post
Here's an observation on Volkls
I love em. I'm a big, strong skier and tend to muscle things a bit. My friend hates Volkls - can't get them to turn. He's smaller and lighter. Depends on your skiing style.
meh

I'm 160 pounds and ski Volks. Claims that they are more demanding than other brands is completely lost on me.

But I don't like them any more than I like my Dynastars or Nordicas.
post #29 of 117

Attempted Thread Hijacking

Lord! I got my wife a Bose iPOD docking station for Xmas. Haven't set it up yet for her. Sounds like I should return it. What should I get her instead?
post #30 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Not sure what the question here is....................

If it is...."are Volkls good quality?" I'd say yes.
If it is...."are Volkls great quality?" I'd say no.

If it is about skiability........that depends upon individual tastes.

I'd suspect that between us, Scott (DC) and I ski on more skis than any two other posters on this forum. I also think that we have a generally well grounded approach to matching skiers to skis. We don't always agree about stuff but we generally have roughly similar impressions about Volkl. That would be something like.........."nice ski for such and such a skier but not something I'd buy for myself"

Then again..................YMPWV.

SJ

Who makes a great quality ski?
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