Skier: 42 yr old male, 5'8", 150lbs, advanced, all terrain, CO, UT, Whistler/BC
Current skis: 2006 Volkl AC4 with motion system bindings 170 cm, 2009 Volkl Gotamas 176 cm.
Jet Fuels are Ti model, 170 cm length.
Conditions: Copper Mtn, 3"-6" fresh in morning, spring conditions in afternoon.
Jet Fuels feel heavy when shouldered, but feel surprisingly light under foot. The binding system creates an excellent interface between boot and ski, better than that of the AC4. Huge balance sweet spot....seems to cover almost the length of the ski, which is quite different than either of the above Volkl models. This makes the Jet Fuels feel longer and much more stable than the AC4. I eventually tried to get off balance, but never felt out of control whether too far forward or back. I never felt in the "back seat" all day. On the Volkls, I often feel I'm fighting to stay forward, especially in variable terrain and moguls. Not unlike the Volkls, the Jet Fuels are very damp....very little vibrations are transmitted to the skier.
The Jet Fuel prefers a larger turn radius than the AC4. Short turns require more skier input, and the Jet Fuel seems slower edge to edge than the Volkl. Perhaps this is due to the increase in width from 82mm to 84mm. Once on edge, however, the JFs have tenacious grip and are very rewarding when allowed to finish a turn. There is reasonable energy in the tails, but I never felt launched unexpectedly (unlike the Volkls).
The JFs felt equally in their element on both the front and back sides of the mountain. They easily floated in the 6" untracked powder, plowed through skied out crud, and carved easily on both fresh groomers and end of day front-side runs. Almost as much float as the Gotamas and a similar ability to pivot turn and smear turns in tight spots. Lack of tip deflection allowed the JFs to hold their line at speed in bowl terrain....the AC4s are more easily deflected in similar situations. I had a little less confidence in firm moguls with the Jet Fuels compared to the AC4s due to the initial slower edge response, but soon altered my technique to use a combination of pivoting and tail steering. Softer moguls were as easy to charge the fall line as previously experienced with the AC4s. Both of these skis are much more enjoyable here than the Gotamas.
The Jet Fuels are expected to be a great replacement for the destroyed AC4s. While the Volkls have been a bit more "playful" ski, they are quick to bite you if you get off balance. I never experienced that while skiing the Jet Fuels....I don't know what their limits are yet, but they certainly seem higher than the Volkls. After today, I conclude the Jet Fuels possess the best characteristics of the AC4 and Gotama models for days with 6" or less of fresh snow. I am interested to see how they perform in deeper conditions and therefore determine how much I will use the Gotamas in the future.