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AC50 compared to MX78

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey all.  

 

My first post.  Almost as exciting as the first run of a new year.  I am in dire need of a new pair of skis, still smile.gif  My crossmax10 pilots are begging for mercy.  The Kastle MX78's have really drawn my interest but unfortunately there are no local dealers or upcoming demo opportunities that I have been able to find as of yet here in the Seattle area.

 

I'm looking for a comparison between the Kastles and the AC50s by people who have skied both.  I demoed the AC50s for three days last December in Whistler and loved them under the very set up off-piste and icy on-piste conditions.  I have never had a ski so solid under foot.  Incredible edge hold.  My hunch is that over all they're a stiffer ski than what I want to be riding all day in different conditions.  

 

I know what I want in a ski's performance and have read many, many reviews on many skis and like has been pointed out here on other posts the reviews are very subjective as we are all very different.  That's why I'm looking for the comparison.  I know, I should demo, demo, demo but reading is so much cheaper.

 

I know the questions will come so here's my story.  51y.o./M, 5' 11" 175lbs.  I can't rate myself but I ski the whole hill aggressively and very well on my good days but don't push it hard all day long any more.  No cliffs but five to eight foot cornice drop-ins make me giggle.  My Crossmax's are 185's.  The AC50's I demoed were 177.  I used to be a three quiver guy but my kids took a bite out of that. Before the Salomon's my skis of choice were Atomic 735RS at 207, RD Heli-Dogs at 203 (any body remember those?) and an Atomic SL that escapes me because I never really skied them that often.

 

Enough of my blah, blah, blah.  Thanks for reading.

post #2 of 19

Wow,

 

 Personally, I am not a fan of the AC50, if you want it, my store offers them, I will help you buy buy them but I won' t sell them to you, if that makes sense (I would sell you a Blizzard Mag 8.7, IMHO a better ski, but I digress). Do you want an SUV or a wagon? Both are going to haul your stuff buy no matter what you do to to the SUV it still will never handle like the wagon can. The AC50 is a wide frontside carver, while it is fairly wide, it is not for soft soft snow, the same way a BMW is meant for on road and not off. It can be stiff and cumbersome and not too much fun in the bumps, the more versatile Volkl tried to make the AC50, the less versatile it became, do't even get me started on the Grizzly.  The MX78 is a beautiful ski, the whole MX line is. Great east coast ski that will do everything for you up to a foot of snow...as much as you can ask from any ski that is good on the frontside. These will be smoother than you ever remembered your 735RS's ever being but more fun and supple than the Heli's ever were (yeah I remember them). These would be a great choice if you were were going to add a powder ski sooner than later, if not, think about stepping up to MX88 and rent a pow pow ski for those odd days when you get huge dumps. If you can afford the Kti Plate on the MX78, I would strongly suggest it...wow. The Kti truly enhances the top end of the ski w/o neutering it at slower speeds, a rare abililty for any play system. 

 

I would be glad to help you with the purchase of any of the skis mentioned here. 

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Definitely looking for the wagon.  My SUV gets me to the hill.

 

 I didn't want to go on too much in my first post, kind of throwing out feelers I guess.  To be more in depth about the AC50's I think they are really good at what they do and that is as you described, carving.  They weren't as snappy nor as quick turning as the Crossmax in the steeps but they were right under you, solidly the whole way.  They weren't fun at slower speeds.  By that  I mean I didn't feel that I could work the ski and really carve.  I should say they were benign because being on the hill is always fun.  I didn't have an issue with the weight of the skis I think it's just more the design/stiffness that is limiting to what I really like to do and I doubt that dropping to a 170 would change too much.

 

I do like to ski bumps as well and my only venture into a bump run on the AC50's...let's just say that I didn't ride the bull for the full eight seconds.  In my own defense I really wanted to see how they would handle the bumps after feeling the differences on other parts of the mountain because I thought it fair to the ski and a true demo. I probably should not have chosen a rutted out, double fall line although short run.

 

I let my eagerness blind me from the fact that the one inch dusting on top was only covering the horrors that lay beneath.  Though uncomfortable with what I had gotten myself into I was doing just fine for the first four or five ice balls then I made the mistake of taking one head on...Houston, we have lift off.  I think in the air was actually the safest place to be but damn that gravity anyways.  I escaped with only a bruised ego and the hindsight that I knew I wouldn't have skied that run in those conditions on my own skis.  When does the wiser part kick in, I'm only getting older.

 

You made total sense about not "selling" me the AC50s.  Sometimes I think I'm the only one who actually enjoyed them but then again it was on some pretty extreme and limiting conditions.

 

It's been a few years but I remember having a lot of fun on the Heli's, especially Spring time in Sun Valley.  Now I digress.

 

I'm not convinced yet that a person really needs a big powder ski unless you're skiing wide open spaces.  Considering I'm coming from a 68 waist now the 78 seems huge.  The 85 of the AC50 seemed silly under foot to me but then again I'm slow to adapt.

 

I'm interested in talking about the Kastles and the Kti plate. I hope my wife doesn't read this.

 

post #4 of 19

I managed to demo both the AC50 and the MX78 on the same day back in July.  Conditions were a bit dire with iced up hardpack and frozen corduroy in the morning, softening man made snow in the afternoon, large rutted ice bumps, plus the odd rock and grassy patches ... you get the idea (things got much, much better in August, mind you).

 

For my money the AC50 was the ski liked the least out of 14 skis that day.  It felt over-stiff and planky to me, which is the main complaint that I hear about it from people who dislike it - Philpug included it seems.  On the other hand I loved every one of the Kastles I tried (FX84, MX78, MX88, RX).  So much so that I'm considering streamlining my small quiver to include the 78 (or the RX) as my hard snow carving ski.

 

Now, you seem to have gotten along fine with the AC50, so we're different in that respect, but I do think you could do yourself a favour by demoing the MX (plus, perhaps, the Blizzard Mag 8.1 and 8.7 if you can find them).

 

Good luck.

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post

Now, you seem to have gotten along fine with the AC50, so we're different in that respect...

Good luck.

I think you skimmed over the following.....
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by heeler View Post

 

 

I do like to ski bumps as well and my only venture into a bump run on the AC50's...let's just say that I didn't ride the bull for the full eight seconds.  In my own defense I really wanted to see how they would handle the bumps after feeling the differences on other parts of the mountain because I thought it fair to the ski and a true demo. I probably should not have chosen a rutted out, double fall line although short run.

 

I let my eagerness blind me from the fact that the one inch dusting on top was only covering the horrors that lay beneath.  Though uncomfortable with what I had gotten myself into I was doing just fine for the first four or five ice balls then I made the mistake of taking one head on...Houston, we have lift off.  I think in the air was actually the safest place to be but damn that gravity anyways.  I escaped with only a bruised ego and the hindsight that I knew I wouldn't have skied that run in those conditions on my own skis.  When does the wiser part kick in, I'm only getting older.

 

 


BTW, I laughed at the bull riding comment. 

post #6 of 19

Ha!  Yes, was working off the first post.  Seems conditions might have been a tad 'challenging' for the OP.  I was awfully cautious in some big ice bumps myself on the AC50s - well, every ski that day actually.  The reps turned up with some brand new skis and left with some fully trashed rock skis, each in need of a major base grind.

post #7 of 19

Phil is right! I have the 78 with the KTI plate. This is a superioir carving machine and is safe at any speed. I have skied them in a foot or so of new and they are a dream.

When the foot or so got chopped up these skis rocked.

The only condition I have not skied them in is really deep stuff.

I hvae sold and ridden Volk's since the Renntiger "R".

The Kastle's are head and shoulders above most skis out there.

 

Ride on!

post #8 of 19

coming from a person who owns 78 with KTi, 88 and a 98.......

 

I would suggest you look more at the 88. Why? if you don't need a ski for skiing boilerplate all day but value performance on softer snow and for things like cornice drops, steeps and such, the 88 is superb. It's still a carving machine on all but ice (and does well even on that with a good tune) but adds that much more stability for variable conditions and a bit more float for powder days. The 78 is still a fantastic choice and you won't go wrong with either but think a bit more about the 88. Although your brain is thinking this is a huge jump, your feet won't say the same thing... 

post #9 of 19

What Phil said if you ski back east; either the MX78 or the 8.7. And the AC50 is just as narrowly focused as described. What Finn said if you ski out west, and drop in's off cornices truthfully make you giggle. Suggest a plate in either case, to help with carving. 

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm going to read up on the Kti plate before I start asking questions but I just had to refer back to my original post...here in the Seattle area.  Hello, WEST COAST. In all seriousness I gather that the East Coast is referring to man made and generally hard/icy conditions which we do get here, sans the man-made (in WA.).  I've never skied east of the Rockies.

 

Hey Phil, are we talking "first born" here for the MX's w/Kti plate?  He's fourteen and I love him to death but that may just be a father's obligatory thing and you might not want him.  Then again, I would recover one of my lost quiver skis. Hmmmm.....

post #11 of 19

KTi plate is definitely a great addtion to the 78, however for me, the 88 is more of a (please excuse this terrible word) all mountain ski with a nod to the soft snow. The KTi plate adds a considerable amount of weight to the ski and I don't need the functionality of the plate for more soft snow orented skiing and terrain.   Just my .02

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by heeler View Post

I'm going to read up on the Kti plate before I start asking questions but I just had to refer back to my original post...here in the Seattle area.  Hello, WEST COAST. In all seriousness I gather that the East Coast is referring to man made and generally hard/icy conditions which we do get here, sans the man-made (in WA.).  I've never skied east of the Rockies.

 

Hey Phil, are we talking "first born" here for the MX's w/Kti plate?  He's fourteen and I love him to death but that may just be a father's obligatory thing and you might not want him.  Then again, I would recover one of my lost quiver skis. Hmmmm.....

At even 14, he is already past his peak value on the open market. You might be able to get a "half a tuna fish sandwich" or a HD DVD player for him. 
 

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

HD DVD?  I'm holding out for three 8-track cassette players!

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post



At even 14, he is already past his peak value on the open market. You might be able to get a "half a tuna fish sandwich" or a HD DVD player for him. 
 


Totally hilarious, and funny too....who would have known that Phil is a pedophile   

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nfp158 View Post




Totally hilarious, and funny too....who would have known that Phil is a pedophile   



Just a capitalist. 

post #16 of 19

The AC50 seems to be a polarizing ski... so many love them and it seems that an equal number feel they are overrated or too stiff or too somethingoranother... I have to demo the Kastles this season, but I demoed almost everything else last season, including the Blizzards, and to me the AC50's were significantly better at speed, in long turns, in crud and even medium to shortish turns than anything else I tried... of course the stiffness hinders them as a real powder tool, and I think they are wrongly portrayed as the "ultimate all mountain ski" when they are really just an extension of the Supersport idea, which is killer edge grip, stability and predictability... if you respond to those aspects you will like them... I'm fairly tall and big and it seems that larger frames respond better to the AC50 design... that might have something to do with my perception of the ski versus the rest of the pack... I do have friends who ski everything and prefer the Blizzards, but most tend to be smaller framed skiers... 

 

As always, demo and forget about what other people think... wink.gif

 

Andrew

post #17 of 19

I skied the 170 AC50 some time ago, and found it a hoot in Sierra snow, with a stiff tail to launch you into the next turn, and like most Volkls rather harsh..

This ski likes speed, performs better at higher speeds, and is a bear in softer snow/crud  unless you pay serious attention....hooks up powerfully and will not slarve.

 

My problem with it was that it was tiring, altho I am lighteweight at 155#, and it might be less so for a heavier dood.

But for balls-to-the-wall hard snow ripping it was terrific....just wore me out after 0.5 day, more so than a Blizzard 8.7, Head iM 78/82/88, and reminded me of the VERY OLD Dynamic VR 17series.

 

I have not skied the Kastles, because I don't want to send Philpug my first-born anything (maybe a kitten?)  

 

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post

The AC50 seems to be a polarizing ski... so many love them and it seems that an equal number feel they are overrated or too stiff or too somethingoranother...

Andrew


AC50's (like AC30's) are for those who drink of the Bose / Rolex Kool-aid - everyone KNOWs they're the best (all the advertising says so after all), but if they'd tried a good ski in the catagory it would be a relevation.  After trying them for a few runs, for sure I was way underimpressed. Probably the only thing worse in popular skis is the Recon.

post #19 of 19

Actually I steer away from things that get hyped, and I was late in trying the AC50 because of that... but lift ride after lift ride with locals who loved the ski made me give it a try and it worked for me... I can see how some would say its a bit planky and demanding, but I'm an old Volant (Colorado only) fossil, so I love the railroad track feel...

 

Lots of people buy the ski because of the hype, but that does not mean that its not actually a good ski for a lot of people...

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