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Input on Head iM78/Volkl AC30/Fischer RX8/RX9?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Me: 6', 170lbs, skis mainly in the east/midatlantic with occasional trip out west. Consider myself a level 7-8, and looking for a smaller turning radius ski than my Atomic R9 (177cm) which is a very forgiving and fun ski, but I am searching for something with a little more oomph at this point. I like a wide variety of terrain, bumps included, but a ski that excels in moguls is not really a priority.

I'm just looking for some feedback here as I've heard great things about all the skis listed (and certainly that list is not exhaustive). From what I understand the AC30 from Volkl is an excellent ski, but you have to stay on top of it all day and work it a bit. On the other hand, it seems the IM78 is more forgiving, but still packs a hell of a ride and is more suited to varied speeds.

I was thinking a 177 in the iM78, or is this too long? Will the AC30 in say, a 170 punish me if I want to relax a little here and there? I know I should try and demo but may not have an opportunity to do so.
post #2 of 14
I'm about 5'10 and 190 and I use the new Head IM78 at 177cm. I think you would be fine on the 177cm. I for sure won't go any longer for what your skiing. Both the Volkl and Head are pretty aggressive skis overall compared to many. Everyone has a different ideal of what "laid back is". Head will out perform the Volkl in pretty much everything. Not too mention when you really give it you'll really see why the Head IM is such a great ski. Ski just makes you confident. You will not find the top end on the Head. Sturdy and realiable at any speed on almost any terrain. There is a reason why you never see a bad review on them. But as always demo is the best way to find the right ski for you.

Your Fischers are also two very good skis for what your looking to do. Both will be very snappy on the groomers and should outperform the others on hard packed groom runs. But the difference I'm sure is small and may not even be that noticeable for most people. But off trail, chopped, trees, powder, and basically anything beyond groomers and moguls you'll notice a difference for sure between the Fischers and the Head. As the Head's will easily out perform them.
post #3 of 14
The Fischers will be quite a bit better in hard snow or icy conditions, but the IM78 will be better in softer conditions. Fischers will be lots quicker edge to edge also. I've skied the RX9, owned the RX8, and now own the IM77. RX8 for shorter turns, RX9 longer turns and better at speed than the RX8. IM78 is stiffer than the IM77 I have and should be pretty good on hard snow, but it isn't a carving ski like the RX's.

You can't make a bad choice among those skis. It's more about what you want to do with them. I'd err on the side of going longer unless you really want to make very short turns and end up with the RX8. You'll get used to the longer length quickly.

Mike
post #4 of 14
I've got a pair of once used RX9's (175cm) for sale that I would take $325 for. Great carvers and enough width to add versatility. I've got photos on the swap board if your interested!
post #5 of 14
The iM78 would be a really good ski for your needs. Very versatile, does well on hard snow (I have sold it to many people on the east coast) and you can ski it in pretty much any condition you want to throw at it.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skylolow View Post
I'm about 5'10 and 190 and I use the new Head IM78 at 177cm. I think you would be fine on the 177cm. I for sure won't go any longer for what your skiing. Both the Volkl and Head are pretty aggressive skis overall compared to many. Everyone has a different ideal of what "laid back is". Head will out perform the Volkl in pretty much everything.
I'm curious as to why you think the iM78 will outpeform Volkl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckwild View Post
I've got a pair of once used RX9's (175cm) for sale that I would take $325 for. Great carvers and enough width to add versatility. I've got photos on the swap board if your interested!
I saw these earlier. Tempting, as that seems like a great price. Would that be too long for me?
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
The iM78 would be a really good ski for your needs. Very versatile, does well on hard snow (I have sold it to many people on the east coast) and you can ski it in pretty much any condition you want to throw at it.
Thanks dawg. Do you have any for sale? I would consider a used pair too!
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_steep View Post
Thanks dawg. Do you have any for sale? I would consider a used pair too!
yes, we still have a size run of 2009's. The 2008's and demos sold out long ago, unfortunately. The 2009's are $525, and add another $150 for a Railflex 12 binding.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post
yes, we still have a size run of 2009's. The 2008's and demos sold out long ago, unfortunately. The 2009's are $525, and add another $150 for a Railflex 12 binding.
Okay, thanks. I will let you know.
post #10 of 14
Well if you looked around at some of the reviews you'll see the IM78 always comes ahead of the Volkl in every test I've seen (I put some merit in it but not a lot).

I demo last years AC30 so I'm not going to sit here and say I spent days on it or anything. But I got about 5 runs on them and I was impressed. Looking back and comparing it to my Heads I felt in crud the AC30 got pushed around more then my Heads. On the groomers they felt similar until I started pushing the speed and aggressivness of my sking is when I didn't feel quite as confident on AC30. I'd also say overall the Heads feel more lively to me and my skiing style. Volkl though is a very good ski overall. Personally I don't think you can wrong with either one. Demo is the way to find out for sure. Your style may fit the AC30 better, I don't know. I just know overall I felt like the AC30 just didn't feel right for me. Plus like I said earlier its hard to find a bad review on the IM78. You'll see some nay sayers on the AC line up. Once again though any of them you picked I'm sure will have you smiling down every run as you listed some pretty damn good skis.
post #11 of 14
Fischers are great for hardpack, but not versatile enough to warrant consideration. You really can't go wrong with the iM78. AC30/40/50 are good skis, but never jumped out at me as real compelling when looking at other choices out there.
post #12 of 14
Check the swap forum. Skier219 has some 177 IM77s posted and I have some 181 IM77 as well. There were also a pair of IM78s floating around a few weeks ago.

Mike
post #13 of 14
FWIW, Never tried Fischers, demoed AC30 163 cm 1 day at Park City last spring with 4" fresh snow overnight, but purchased a 07/08 IM78 165 cm. I've got 4 days on them in SLC this year with all different conditions, except really hard ice. I'm 5' 6', 150lbs, level 7 and will ski all over the mountain.

I liked the AC30 in most conditions with the exception of skiing in deeper/softer snow. Then it felt the same as my existing Atomic M10 in that regard. I was really looking for a ski that would perform all over the mountain like my M10 but give me better performance in the deeper/softer snow. The IM78 does that for me, so Im very happy with my purchase.

Regarding your comment about staying on top of the AC30 all day, can't really recall that, but that's how I felt about my M10, so maybe I never noticed. The IM78 does have that forgiving factor but can be pushed into aggressive mode when you want it. Hope this helps.
post #14 of 14
I am 5'11" and 185lbs, live in the midwest, but ski all over the country (midwest, east and west). Mostly on piste, steeps. At 49 I too generally avoid the moguls. Just don't have the athleticism nor desire of days gone by. Some powder when I get the chance but that is, alas, not typical.

I ski hard and fast and love to carve (or at least trying to improve my carves) all day long. PSIA instructors (when asked) have said I am a strong 7 to solid 8.

I have AC30's in 170cm - - and I love them. I like to ski aggressively. So as long as you stay well balanced, and keep your COM moving appropriately down the hill, they are great. With them, I feel comfortable both snapping SL turns and also nice GS cruising. Good edge hold on midwestern and eastern hardpack/ice.

They have a definite sweet spot and you do need to be in charge. But they are very stable and fun, and versatile enough for me. I think as an eastern based skier you should strongly consider them.

Finally, make sure you have professionally fit boots - - I've finally got my boots in good shape (tight without cutting off blood supply) and it makes all the difference. Much more so than any slight differences between similar skis.
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