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Best all-mountain West Coast Ski? K2 Outlaw, Volkl AC3...

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

I am trying to buy a pair of skis for the coming season and need a little advice...

First off, I am 6'2", 145lbs and I can ski just about anything at this point (even if it looks ugly), save maybe some shoots and the like. I would say I prefer off-piste to on piste, like the trees, like bumps, love powder (who dosen't) and enjoy the occasional gs groomer. I am from NJ and have skied the East a fair amount, but learned to ski in Taos, NM.

I grew close to a foot in the past two years, and as such, I have to sell my 150 Atomic Metron m10's, but I am used to short skis. Also, I am going to school in Colorado Springs and am going to be skiing at Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin and maybe Vail a bit. 

Now for the skis:

I would rather not have to buy more than one pair of skis since I don't have much money. Therefore, I'm looking for an at least descent all around ski.

What I've been looking at (prices include shipping and bindings):

($200) 2005-6 167 K2 Apache Outlaws - seem to be powder oriented, not too good on the bumps, pretty good all around

($250) 163 Volkl AC3 unlimited - Seem to be nice all around skis, less powder focus, better on bumps, groomers

($260) 167 K2 Apache Recon - Seem to be similar to the outlaws with a bit less powder focus

Any other suggestions for great all mountain skis I could get used for under $300?

I'm leaning toward the Outlaws because of the price and generally positive reviews, but I want to be able to carve and do bumps, so I am a bit concerned.

Thanks a lot!
Edited by ztrain727 - 9/28/09 at 8:26pm
post #2 of 46
I loved the 07/08 B83 Bandits (the green ones with wings) they were super quick and loved the trees. I don't carve so I can't say much about that. But, they are the quickest skis I have ever skied! Awesome ski! I don't know much about the skis you listed (more of a twin tip person).

Hope that helps
post #3 of 46
I wouldn't go for either of the K2s if you really like bumps.  IIRC (and someone will correct me if I'm not), they're pretty heavy and not terribly nimble.

I would go eat something, though.

And I would also tell us where you actually plan to ski.  Taos won't be anywhere near the West Coast until a big quake.
post #4 of 46
Thread Starter 
Um, yeah, I'm skinny, thanks.

I'm getting the Colorado Pass, so the place mentioned in my first post are where I will be skiing (Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin).

If the K2's aren't good for trees, what would be better? I need a ski that dosen't suck in powder or on bumps? Does such a ski exist?
post #5 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

I wouldn't go for either of the K2s if you really like bumps.  IIRC (and someone will correct me if I'm not), they're pretty heavy and not terribly nimble.

I would go eat something, though.

And I would also tell us where you actually plan to ski.  Taos won't be anywhere near the West Coast until a big quake.
WHACCCCK!.......(sound of 2x4 applied upside da head)

K2s in general are pretty dang good in bumps b/c they are very soft and forgiving. Nimble? weeellllll.....notsomuch........but EZgoin' fersure. I don't much like 'em elsewhere mind ya.......but in da bumpzzz....dey be good.

SJ
post #6 of 46
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, so I'm getting some mixed feelings here...

The reviews tended to say the K2's did suffer in the bumps a bit, but one review said they were great for bumps. I don't know what to think.

What about the AC3's? No one has mentioned them and they have great reviews.
post #7 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ztrain727 View Post

Hmmm, so I'm getting some mixed feelings here...

The reviews tended to say the K2's did suffer in the bumps a bit, but one review said they were great for bumps. I don't know what to think.

What about the AC3's? No one has mentioned them and they have great reviews.

Suffer in the bumppzzz? compared to what? The AC-3/30/40/50 is stiff and relatively planky as many Volkls tend to be. The K2s are softer, more compliant and have a bigger sweet spot. You decide what sounds better to you.

SJ
post #8 of 46
You can get alot of skinny AM skis for less than 300 with binders if you go used.

K2 PE
Dynastar legend 8000

are a couple I would look for.

here is one: http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168055&highlight=Public+Enemy
Edited by tromano - 9/28/09 at 10:00pm
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

WHACCCCK!.......(sound of 2x4 applied upside da head)

OWWWWW!!!!

Jim knows better than I... particularly since I can't remember the last K2 I was on.  But it makes sense that their softer flex would translate to good bumpitude.  But Jim, what about the PE/Extreme -- sounds like a better bet for what he's talking about?

(And are you practicing for Newschoolrz?)
post #10 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post


OWWWWW!!!!

Jim knows better than I... particularly since I can't remember the last K2 I was on.  But it makes sense that their softer flex would translate to good bumpitude.  But Jim, what about the PE/Extreme -- sounds like a better bet for what he's talking about?

(And are you practicing for Newschoolrz?)

So......it's not that I don't like K2s, it just that they (FTMP) are not really good at much. OTH, they are very easy at a lot of things. The Extreme might be better than what the OP axed about....but I tend to answer what was axed rather than what wasn't axed.

Newskoolerz.......ummmmm.........whuzzat????

SJ
post #11 of 46
IMO -

Nordica Hot Rod Top Fuel (or Jet Fuel) - Nice Ski and does most all of what you want
Dynastar 8000 - It's not called the Legend for nothing
Dynastar Mythic Rider - More Burly than the 8k, and a great tweener for the West
Volkl Gotama and Mantra - different, but both excellent for what you're considering -depends on your tasts
K2 Recon - Most boring plank I've been on in the past 2-3 years
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

So......it's not that I don't like K2s, it just that they (FTMP) are not really good at much. OTH, they are very easy at a lot of things. The Extreme might be better than what the OP axed about....but I tend to answer what was axed rather than what wasn't axed.

I tend to go off on tangents, personally.

That said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ztrain727 View Post

Any other suggestions for great all mountain skis I could get used for under $300?

So, since he's open to alternatives, what would you suggest?  Legend 8000?  (Personally, I'd go for dirtbag quiver, but that's me.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by ztrain727 View Post

I'm getting the Colorado Pass, so the place mentioned in my first post are where I will be skiing (Keystone, Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin).

Sorry -- missed that the first time.  Still, I thought those were all nearer the Continental Divide than the West Coast. ;-)  But besides tweaking you (which is fun, admittedly), my point was that there's a big difference between a West Coast ski and a Rockies ski.  All else being equal, Western maritime regions (e.g., the Cascades and Sierra) get significantly heavier and denser snow than Colorado.
post #13 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

Sorry -- missed that the first time.  Still, I thought those were all nearer the Continental Divide than the West Coast. ;-)  But besides tweaking you (which is fun, admittedly), my point was that there's a big difference between a West Coast ski and a Rockies ski.  All else being equal, Western maritime regions (e.g., the Cascades and Sierra) get significantly heavier and denser snow than Colorado.
Sorry for the confusion, I'm from the East Coast so we talk about skiing out west or east. But yeah, my sister skies Sierra and she saws the snow is very different so point taking. I'll be skiing in Colorado mainly. Oh, and I'm glad you like tweaking with me.



Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

IMO -

Nordica Hot Rod Top Fuel (or Jet Fuel) - Nice Ski and does most all of what you want
Dynastar 8000 - It's not called the Legend for nothing
Dynastar Mythic Rider - More Burly than the 8k, and a great tweener for the West
Volkl Gotama and Mantra - different, but both excellent for what you're considering -depends on your tasts
K2 Recon - Most boring plank I've been on in the past 2-3 years
 

OK, to report back on my findings:

Nordica Hot Rod - $300
Dynastar 8000 - $330
Dynastar Mythic Rider - ~$300
Volkl's mentioned are out of my price range

Does one stick out as a good deal?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

So......it's not that I don't like K2s, it just that they (FTMP) are not really good at much. OTH, they are very easy at a lot of things. The Extreme might be better than what the OP axed about....but I tend to answer what was axed rather than what wasn't axed.
 

OK, fair enough, but isn't that sort of the point of all mountain skis? They aren't great at anything but they can do it all pretty good...

What would be a better all around ski? Where might I find a good deal?

Thanks a lot guys, the help is much appreciated
post #14 of 46
Nordica Hot Rod........  I used to be love  Volkls until I started skiing Stockli skis.  In March I tried the Hot Rod Nitrous at Squaw and loved it. Not a subtle as my Stocklis, but nowhere as one dimentional as Volkls have become.  Nice ski.

Owned the Legend 8800 (now the Mythic), also a great ski, but IMO not as versatile as the Hot Rod.
post #15 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thanks Taxman.

So I'm thinking about going for either the Mythic, Legend 8000 or the Hot Rod Nitrous/Top Fuel (sounds like nitrous is better for Rockies). All three have wonderful reviews, the Hot Rod running about $30 cheaper than the 8000 and Mythic. Also, no once has mentioned the AC30's, but I get the feeling they are more on-piste.

Any final input on which one might be best for a 6'2, skinny advanced skier in the Rockies? Also, recommendations on length? I'm thinking anywhere from 165-170, keeping in mind I previously skied 150's.

Thanks once again, I appreciate the help

Edited by ztrain727 - 9/29/09 at 5:03pm
post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ztrain727 View Post

Thanks Taxman.

So I'm thinking about going for either the Mythic, Legend 8000 or the Hot Rod Nitrous/Top Fuel (sounds like nitrous is better for Rockies). All three have wonderful reviews, the Hot Rod running about $30 cheaper than the 8000 and Mythic. Also, no once has mentioned the AC30's, but I get the feeling they are more on-piste.

Any final input on which one might be best for a 6'2, skinny advanced skier in the Rockies? Also, recommendations on length? I'm thinking anywhere from 165-170, keeping in mind I previously skied 150's.

Thanks once again, I appreciate the help

Any reason you can't demo? The 8k is more of an east or hardpack ski with it's 80mm waist, but it's still well ahead of the Recon is virtually every condition and terrain..

AC30's aren't really off-piste skis, and (IMO) quite overrated, along with the rest of the AC series. Volkl's freeride skis are MUCH better. Think of the AC's as akin to Bose and Rolex that got where they are through advertising and being passed off to the unknowing, while the Mantra / Gotama are the real thing.

I think your sizing is about right. I have 172 MR's for CO and UT, and keep some 178's (along with some LP's) out at Whistler as big hill skis. Having had 8k's in 165, be aware that you're going to make a LOT of turns down a decent sized hill, as their natural radius is somewhat short.
post #17 of 46
Thread Starter 
Alright, thanks a lot snowfun.

I can't demo because I have to get skis before this season and I don't have the budget anyway. Keep in mind I'm trying to pay $300.

So if the 8k's are more east, that leaves the Mythic's and the Hot Rods. Which one would be better all around? I have a feeling the Hot Rods would excel since they seem less powder-orieneted, but I can probably get a slightly better deal on the Mythics.

One final question: I can get the Nitrous and Top Fuel for the same price. Which should I go for?
post #18 of 46
I'm going to go out of a limb here...

Screw Volkl (lifeless dead skis)
Screw Nordica (soft slippery noodles)

Look into some used Blizzard's
Magnum 8.7
Titan Argos

You will BE SO HAPPY!

 
 
post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ztrain727 View Post

Alright, thanks a lot snowfun.

I can't demo because I have to get skis before this season and I don't have the budget anyway. Keep in mind I'm trying to pay $300.

So if the 8k's are more east, that leaves the Mythic's and the Hot Rods. Which one would be better all around? I have a feeling the Hot Rods would excel since they seem less powder-orieneted, but I can probably get a slightly better deal on the Mythics.

One final question: I can get the Nitrous and Top Fuel for the same price. Which should I go for?
I suggest you read the reviews here (and elsewhere) to get a sense for what you'd like better.

I'm a Dynastar fan, but when I was on the Top Fuels, I really enjoyed them, whereas I didn't care for the Jet Fuels, and haven't tried the Nitrous. The Mythic's aren't real powder oriented (read stiff), so don't use that as a criteria.

Read all the (useful) reviews you can and go from there if you can't demo.
post #20 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thanks again snowfun!

I have read just about every review I could find on both skis by now. They all say that they are great all mountain skis. Some people mention some chatter for high speed GS with the Nitrous', and the Mythics say they are 70% off piste where as the Nitous' are 50%, but other than that I can't pick up on any major differences. I feel like the Nitrous would be better for me than the Top Fuels though because of the softer flex and my weight. I guess I'll just go for the best deal unless someone has something to add.

Thank you
Edited by ztrain727 - 9/30/09 at 1:49pm
post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ztrain727 View Post

Any final input on which one might be best for a 6'2, skinny advanced skier in the Rockies? Also, recommendations on length? I'm thinking anywhere from 165-170, keeping in mind I previously skied 150's.



Your ski doesn't know how tall you are, but it knows how much you weigh (FWIW I'm 93kgs - approx 200lbs).  Four years ago I was skiing the Volkl AC3 @ 170cm.  My Legend 8800 was 188cm (for Kashmir powder) and the Nitrous I demoed was around 184cm. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesoggycow View Post

I'm going to go out of a limb here...
Screw Nordica (soft slippery noodles)

Look into some used Blizzard's
Titan Argos 

The day I was skiing the Nitrous at Squaw, I joined up with their race coach and some of their racers for a free skiing tour of the mountain - It was a high speed on-piste, off-piste, very steep shyte and lets throw some moguls in there as well (Thanks Scotty, an awsome afternoon).  That ski was not a noodle.  My only reservation about the Noridca though is the system binding.  I have never had a problem with Markers, but some people do.

I like my Titan Agros (180cm) a lot, an awsome ski.  But come hard pack days it stays in the cupboard.




Quote:
Originally Posted by ztrain727 View Post

I Some people mention some chatter for high speed GS with the Nitrous', and the Mythics say they are 70% off piste where as the Nitous' are 50%, but other than that I can't pick up on any major differences.

 


Couldn't get any chatter out of the Nitrous and we skiied it seriously fast (as one does chasing a race coach).  Would agree the Mythics have more of an off-piste bias.
post #22 of 46
Thread Starter 
Wonderful, thanks again taxman!

I think you've made up my mind for me. I would just ask one last time how the Nitrous handled the powder and bumps since some people seemed to doubt their bump/powder ability.

Otherwise, I think I'll go with some used demo 170 Nitrous'. I have a feeling I'll be happy with any of the skis mentioned, but I have to chose eventually.

Thanks everyone
post #23 of 46
Didn't ski them on a powder day (that was 2 days earlier and I was on the Blizzard Titan Agros), but chowder and crud were fine. Bumps were fine.  Two things, other than technique, help in bumps - 1. a softer ski. the Nitous isn't that soft, but it isn't the plank a lot of the Volkl AC skis have become, and 2. sidecut. A straighter ski is earier to pivot slip and scarve, which is very useful in bumps.  High sidecut skis can be a handful in bumps as they are really made for carving.

Caveat, my bump skiing sucks so I guess I'll never be an expert skier (never quick with my feet and I can't dance either).

Before throwing down the $$$, demo both the Nitrous and the Mythic, they are both excellent skis, but quite different in character.  Also, if you get the chance, I would also throw the Stockli Stormrider XXL into the mix, also an excellent ski and now my every day ski (i.e. when I'm not skiing powder, gates or heading BC).  And finally, have a go with skis that are longer than would would think you would be comfortable with; building my quiver of skis, starting a few years ago, I found I started way too short and now find skis around 10-15cm longer much more comfortable, stable and versatile.
post #24 of 46
As a fellow 145lbs skinny 6' guy, after demoing a bunch of skis over the last couple of years, the Watea line by Fischer was a standout for me.  I ended up buying the Watea 94 at the end of last season, and found it to be a good flex for my light weight and style.  The year before i skiied the Watea 84, didn't buy it, but really enjoyed it, and it made it to my short-list.  I ski the 94 on "hard pack"  (Idaho snow mostly.) and enjoy them greatly.  And only rarely bring out the AC40's for real hard re-freeze groomer days.

Just something else to consider.
post #25 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the advice.

Unfortunately, I cannot demo because I don't have the time or budget.

I looked up the Watea 94's and they look great, but I couldn't find any in my budget range. Same for the Stocklis.

I was going to get the Nitrous' but I talked to some other kids and they all thought a 79 waist was too small for the Rockies as an everyday (and my only) ski, but then again I'm a lightweight. I just cant seem to find a good deal on any of the recommended big-mountain skis. I found a great deal on some Elan Magfire 14 Fusions, but I hear they are pretty stiff and only an 84 waist. Also found cheap Fischer Cold Heat's. The Mythic's are going for about $200 w/ bindings right now too.

I'm about to drive myself insane over this. Should I just bite the bullet and get the Nordicas? Am I gonna regret it on the powder days? Do the number of powder vs. average days justify buying a fatter ski?

Thanks once again and I'm sorry I'm the most indecisive person you've probably ever met. I just really want to be happy with my skis!
Edited by ztrain727 - 10/2/09 at 7:06pm
post #26 of 46
Check out the 177 Volkl Bridge, skis short because of the twin tips (running surface like a 172), 92mm waist, and as good an all-around ski as there is, East or West..

Lots of reviews here on epic....

My .02
post #27 of 46
Dont go with the rossi b83 bandits.  A.  get a wider ski, and B.  Those skis were terrible.  Mine delaminated after about 7 days of skiing on them.  Took them into the shop to see if they could get rossi to warranty them and he said that the day before a different person brought in my exact same ski which had delaminated as well.  He said they looked identical.  Apparently rossi used some very poor glue on that particular ski.  Plus I wasn't a fan of the foam core to begin with.  Get a wood core ski imo.  Not making that mistake again.
post #28 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thanks again.

I think I've decided for sure this time. The winner is:

Nordica Hot Rod Afterburner 170's


From what I've read, they are similar to the Nitrous' but a bit wider underfoot (84 vs 78 though the site I'm buying from for some reason say they are 74 waists). They sound fairly damp, softish flex, easy to maneuver and a great all-around Rocky ski. For my weight and somewhat aggressive style, they sound very nice. Also, for $260 shipped w/ demo bindings, they are the best skis for the price I could find.

Any final comments?

I really appreciate all the help and assuming I do buy, I'll report back after a season on them.
post #29 of 46
I have owned the Afterburner. It's a nice ski. Doesn't do anything badly, except maybe floating in pow, doesn't happen. I was transitioning from a one ski quiver to a three ski quiver so I sold it. They are a great bargain.  You won't be sorry.
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ztrain727 View Post

Thanks Taxman.

So I'm thinking about going for either the Mythic, Legend 8000 or the Hot Rod Nitrous/Top Fuel (sounds like nitrous is better for Rockies). All three have wonderful reviews, the Hot Rod running about $30 cheaper than the 8000 and Mythic. Also, no once has mentioned the AC30's, but I get the feeling they are more on-piste.

Any final input on which one might be best for a 6'2, skinny advanced skier in the Rockies? Also, recommendations on length? I'm thinking anywhere from 165-170, keeping in mind I previously skied 150's.

Thanks once again, I appreciate the help

At your height I would get something in the 184 range. I am 5'10" and love my 184 Mythic Riders. I have some Nordica Nitrous that I really like too. So the Hot Rod, Top Fuel, whatever would likely be a good choice. I have seen the MR on Ebay for cheap if that helps. http://cgi.ebay.com/Dynastar-Mythic-Rider-178cm-07-08-Ski-w-PX14-Ti-WB_W0QQitemZ200390429170QQcmdZViewItemQQptZSkiing?hash=item2ea83349f2&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
Here is what I have and this is a smokin deal: http://cgi.ebay.com/Dynastar-Mythic-Rider-184cm-08-09-Skis-w-Px12-Fluid_W0QQitemZ220489558857QQcmdZViewItemQQptZSkiing?hash=item335633ab49&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
Edited by liv2 ski - 10/3/09 at 9:43pm
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