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Looking for Recommendation AC50, Contact 4X4, Rossi CX80, Others

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am looking for opinions on the skis listed and any other recommendations for a big guy, 6'3" 235lbs. Skiing 25yrs, probably a level 8, still skiing agressively but don't ski many days. I came from an old school GS racing ski background.

My current ski is a 3yr old Elan Speedwave 14 in a 176. I like the ski but I have always found it a little soft/short in the tips. Most people don;t think of the SW14 as soft in the tips but at my size I get that feeling even though the waveflex technology maintains stability at speed quite well.

I will keep the Elans but want a wider ski for better crudbusting and occasional east coast powder. This will still be primarily a carver for me but I want a little flexibility off piste and more surface area with a solid stiff feel. 

I never have any luck demoing skiis in longer lengths and shorter lengths really tell me nothing it seems. I am leaning towards the AC50 in the 184 but wonder what others think of the AC50 compared to the other models in the category like the Grizzly, CX80, Contact 4X4 etc.

Thanks for any comments !
post #2 of 18
I haven't skied a CX80 or Contact 4X4, but I think AC50s would be a dream for the type of skiing you describe. I am quite a bit smaller than you, 5'7" 170, and I ski them in 163cm. Very similar usage pattern to you and I love them. I'll leave it at that since I can't really compare them to the other skis you named.
post #3 of 18
I'm 6' 180 lbs and ski the CX80 in a 170. It's a great ski, with a GS feel to it. BUT, it is just ok in crud, and is just too stiff and aggressive for anything off piste. I'd go with the Grizzly as I think it gives similar on piste performance to the AC50, while much better off piste. You might want to get it with the power switch also.
post #4 of 18
 Kastle MX78 or 88. Probably 88 would be better suited to what you are looking for.
post #5 of 18
The contact is pretty similar to the speedwave you own (great skis both but not what you're looking for)-I think others comments on the CX80 are pretty accurate (great big mountain carver for a big guys-loses a lot of use in tight spaces, bumps, etc).

Neither is different enough from your speedwave to justify buying them.

I think leaning towards a wider ski (85+) give you the diversity you're looking for in your quiver.  Peak 88 is a nice ski, the longest version of the Dynastar Sultan 85 might work for you as well.  I'm sure the Grizzly is a pretty sweet ski.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think the Kastle's are a little pricey so I will probably narrow in down to the Grizzly or AC50 . Has anyone skiied both and what about length does 184 sound right ?
post #7 of 18
Question for those who know more about skis than I -- how about the Stockli Stormrider VXL ?  
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

I'm 6' 180 lbs and ski the CX80 in a 170. It's a great ski, with a GS feel to it. BUT, it is just ok in crud, and is just too stiff and aggressive for anything off piste. I'd go with the Grizzly as I think it gives similar on piste performance to the AC50, while much better off piste. You might want to get it with the power switch also.

I'm curious as to why you chose a 170 at your size.....?

This is Rossi's recommended sizing for the ski

180cm = 160+ lbs; 170cm = 120-170 lbs; 160cm = 110-130 lbs
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 84Carrera View Post

I think the Kastle's are a little pricey so I will probably narrow in down to the Grizzly or AC50 . Has anyone skiied both and what about length does 184 sound right ?

I demoed both last spring. Definitely preferred the AC50.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Epic,

What was it about the AC50 that made you like it more than the Grizzly ?

Thanks

Ross W.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
 
I'm curious as to why you chose a 170 at your size.....?

This is Rossi's recommended sizing for the ski

180cm = 160+ lbs; 170cm = 120-170 lbs; 160cm = 110-130 lbs
 
I didn't want to go all out with the 180.  I'm only 15, and the CX80 is my one ski quiver.  I wanted for the ski to have some short radius performance, and enjoy glades also.  If I went with the 180, neither would be possible.  Also, being a stiff, aggressive ski, I figured it could handle a little extra weight. 
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 84Carrera View Post

Epic,

What was it about the AC50 that made you like it more than the Grizzly ?

Thanks

Ross W.

I just thought that it was more playful. It was as solid as you could want a ski to be, but it was also more willing to change it up and make different kinds of turns. Felt lighter. I never tried moving the switch on the Grizzly. I think I had it on the whole time.

btw - re: Kastles... you only live once
post #13 of 18
IMO, Skiing with the PS off would have changed your mind.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 84Carrera View Post

I think the Kastle's are a little pricey so I will probably narrow in down to the Grizzly or AC50 . Has anyone skiied both and what about length does 184 sound right ?
 
I did 1.5 demo days on the AC 50 and half a day on the Grizzly and a day on the Kaestle MX-88 before buying the Grizzly.  I'm 5' 7" 185-190lbs and only a decent skier.  Prior to this purchase I skied the Art Deco graphic  P50 Platinum in 184 or 188 (can't remember) on most days and whipped out the old P30-RCs (2nd gen with the plastic tip) in 188 (I think) on perfect days.  I bought the Grizzly in 170cm which is perfect for me.

The QAD:

AC-50:  Rails. Liked it much better than the red AC-4 I demoed a few years back.  Definitely more versatile than that ski, but still really a frontside carver that can blast through crud and likes to stay in it's turn radius.  Doesn't like to go slow.  Not at all forgiving of poor technique, but if you stay aggressive and ski it short enough you can have a lot of fun making it do what you want as long as you stay out of the moguls.

Kaestle MX-88:  Most versatile of the group by a country mile.  Creamy, and very stable stable at speed but can go slow if you want too.  You pick the turn radius or snow conditions.  Not as good as the AC-50 on ice or quite as railed at high speed, but pretty close and you can take it into moguls.  Rewards good aggreessive technique, but doesn't punish you if you want to take it easy or make a small mistake and sit back a little.  So easy to ski it can feel a little boring next to the Voekls sometimes which frankly is why I bought the...

Grizzly:  Best of both of the above worlds IMO.  Not as versatile as the MX-88, still prefers it's natural turn radius and speed BUT, turn the power switch and in Cruise you get an AC50- meaning something like the AC-50 that's more forgiving, with better float, and easier turn-shape variation;  in Dynamic you pretty much get the AC-50 with better float; and in Power you get something like a race stock AC-50 with better float.  I love this ski.  It really likes to go fast, but doesn't have to in Cruise and Dynamic mode.  Rails like the MX-88 can't, and consistently surprises me with it's snow conditions versatility, and how quick an 89mm ski can be edge to edge.  Still no friend to the moguls though.

184 is probably the right size for you, but I'd try 177 as well. Though I picked the Grizzly's my wife recently picked the MX-78 over the Aurora saying it was no contest, and there's a good chance that I'll pick up a pair of 2011 MX-98s for real powder next year if I don't do Gotamas this year, in which case I'd have to change my username here.
post #15 of 18
Sorry, this is a bit of a hijack, but I'm curious why everyone (Epic reviewers, Ski Mag, Realskiers reviews) gives high marks for the AC-50 but not for the AC-30.  Why is that?  I would have thought them to be similar -- stiff, heavy, but steady -- and thus would have gotten similar reviews in their respective niches. 
post #16 of 18
Jimski not sure but other thing to note is that these skis have also changed over the years. If you look at Volkl website and view current vs. past models the waists have changed and the core materials too.  The AC30 use to be "powered by titanium" now that is reserved for the Grizzly and AC50.  AC30 has also gotten wider over the years.

I have demoed the AC50 (2009) and own the AC30 (2009) and AC Motion (2005).  I find the difference between AC50 and AC30 negligible.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the input. After reading some more reviews and  talking to Dawgcatching regarding some choices of skis in the genre at good deals I decided to go with a Blizzard Magnum 8.7 in a 181.

Anyone care to comment on that ski compared to the other ones discussed for a large guy
post #18 of 18

I'm a bit late to this discussion, but did ski the CX80 and AC50 last year, and have notes, so here goes.

Me: 5'-8" 155 lbs.  Ski on Head XRC1100sw in a 170 at Bear Valley CA.  

 

Overall, I liked the Rossignol way better than the Volkl.  Main issue was versatility.  If you want to rail GS turns of the exact same radius all day in anything but powder (yep, for me these will bust crud, crust, cr*p, etc no problem) with that "locked in" feel, go with the AC50 no question.  If you want to do  just about anything else, go with the Rossi.

 

 

Volkl AC50, 170cm

Bear Boogie, Monte, Tigger,

Possibly the first ski I've ever ridden >70 mm underfoot. Felt very wide, even tippy. Very conscious of effort to get up and “balance” on edge . Once I figured out how to do this, it was a breeze to set them on edge and the skis would carve deeply and effortlessly. VERY solid and stable in a turn, no apparent speed limit (I was not pushing these too hard, but they clearly were no where near their limit). Skis wanted to be ridden middle-back: I was having trouble with initiation and noticed I was washing through some turns before I realized I was jumping on the tips too hard (I do tend to lean forward too much). Once I relaxed, kept weight centered, and focused on edge angle, out went the train tracks behind. I could sit back as far as my quads would let me – edge behind felt limitless, and let me feel full length of the ski (note: I did ask for tech to check boot sole mark, and they said I was set dead on the mark). The only downside is that they seemed one-dimensional: it was difficult to get different radius turns. This may be a function of my lack of experience with wide skis, especially on ice. I did get them on a sunny slope with some soft cover, but had trouble getting short turns out of them.

 

 

Rossi Classic 80 (CX80), 180cm 180cm: R18.7, SC124/80/112

Porridge, Snow Valley, Grizz Face

After finding the CR70 in a 175 too long, I was hesitant to take this out, but it was clear who ever had the 170 was not bringing it back, so I decided to give it a go. Tech said that this ski liked to be skied long. After my first run, a moderately steep groomed bowl, a friend came up and said, “OMG, you were FLYING”. I had taken a couple of slow speed warm ups, and then let them run through some wide sweeping turns. I knew I was going pretty fast, but they felt very calm. Unfortunately, the ice was thawing out, so getting a good hard-snow comparison was not likely. What to do? Head for something steep and wide-open. The trip over was a rolling groomer, and these skis rolled it like I was on a SG course – gotta be careful of the speed on these things, because I found air on a couple of small knolls that came up way faster than I had expected. Target slope was re-frozen mashed potatoes. They sliced right through, even kept auto-pilot like steering when I flailed about. Bomber? B-52! Back up top, I met up with another buddy, who convinced me to take them down the moguled lift-line route. Amazingly, these things rocked! Big plus is that they are soft enough to negotiate bumps. Soft flex also allows lighter skier to have fun with different radius turns. Tons of confidence. Do I want to try the 170? You bet, but I'm seriously considering the 180.

 

 

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