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Volkl AC50? Please help me decide

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I've been doing my homework trying to pick the right ski and figured this would be the best place to get some expert opinions.  I'm 6'2", 215lbs ski west coast (Squaw) about 50/50 groomers/powder.  I'd say I'm a solid intermediate/advanced, capable of doing black diamonds well and making it down doubles without much trouble (maybe not as pretty).  Been skiing for around 20 years (sno-blades for 5) but haven't skiied for the last 3 years....so I'm trying to get back in to the game.

 

I was originally leaning towards the AC50's, but after reading quite a few reviews on here I'm not so sure anymore...seems like there are quite a few strong opinions both for and against the 50's.  I'd appreciate any suggestions/guidance.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 15

Groomers, check.

 

Powder, nope.

 

50% powder? Thats a lot of powder.

 

At your weight you will want above 100mm wide if you want them to actually make skiing powder easier (enough ski to be mostly on the outside ski just like when on a groomed run). 

post #3 of 15

This is correct. Dreadful pow ski.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Groomers, check.

 

Powder, nope.

post #4 of 15

Lots of people around here more knowledgeable than myself regarding powder skis, but you're right in one espect; I wouldn't advise anyone to buy the AC50 without first giving them a demo in their chosen conditions.  People either get along with them, or they don't.  Just one of those skis that polarises opinions.

 

Good luck.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Alright...so they're definitely out when it comes to a good powder ski.  Let's say I'm 60/40, leaning towards groomers, any different recommendations?  I will definitely be spending this season demoing anything I can get my hands on.

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by oocase1827 View Post

Alright...so they're definitely out when it comes to a good powder ski.  Let's say I'm 60/40, leaning towards groomers, any different recommendations?  I will definitely be spending this season demoing anything I can get my hands on.



As a former AC 50 owner I would say it is a 100% hard pack groomer...stiff, fast , and great for tip diving in powder.  On the other hand...Dawgcatching and SJ have some excellent alternatives in previous thread reviews----"2011 Mid Fat Reviews" and "Crazy 88's". 

post #7 of 15

It may be hard to some to believe but just because you are going off the groomers sometimes does not mean the conditions off trail require a wide ski. When it has snowed 12" overnight......no doubt a wider ski is a hep. OTH when it hasn't snowed for a 3-4 days or even a week......a wider ski does nothing substantial for you. Given that you are considering an AC-50, some skis that are similar in width but more versatile would include the Dynastar Sultan 85, Rossi S86, Atomic Crimson Ti, and Fischer Motive 84. If you want to get something a little more soft snow oriented, the somewhat wider Sollie Sentinel and Dynastar Sultan 94 come to mind as great choices. You could go wider than this of course but the range of 85-95 (ish) mm waist widths is a very good place to be thinking.

 

SJ

post #8 of 15
Most of the negative reviews of the AC50 have been from lighter weight skiers as the 50 is a fairly stiff skii that favors heavier aggressive skiers and does excell on fast groomers however it will ski off piste quite well in spite of what others have said. At your weight you should be able to bend this ski quite easily. I demo'd a pair and skied it quite a bit off piste and it was fine as long as you keep your speed up. This ski does not like to go slow.

I decided to go with the slightly narrower AC30 which is also softer and IMHO it is a more versatile ski. I love it!

Remember when this ski came out 3 seasons ago, it was hailed as the best 50/50 ski in the market and awards were heaped on it by the ski press. No changes have been made to the ski except new graphics this year.

Other skis to consider would be the Nordica Hot Rod Tempest, Rossi Avenger 82 or the Blizzard Mag 8.1 IQ.

Good luck!

Rick G
post #9 of 15

Uhhhhh............I'm 205#.

 

SJ

post #10 of 15

I'll go ahead and throw out the Mantra (or Kendo, depending on just how much pow you ski).

post #11 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

This is correct. Dreadful pow ski.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Groomers, check.

 

Powder, nope.


Vehemently disagree, I whip ass with mine in powder. Just don't like them in bumps. Super high energy out of turns and tenacious confidence inspiring edge grip.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

I'll go ahead and throw out the Mantra (or Kendo, depending on just how much pow you ski).



So, being an eastern skier myself who enjoys the west - I will throw in my 0.02 - I have the narrower Volkl AllStars and the Volkl Mantras but have skied the AC40 (the predecessor to the AC50).  Note that I have chosen two different skis.  I use the Mantras exclusively out west and in the east when the snow conditions warrant (fresh snow or good snow depth in the woods).  If you are thinking one pair of ski - I would demo the Volkl Kendo - I think this will give you the breadth that you are looking for in the ski.  The AC 50 is a great ski and if you are an accomplished skier you will be able to ski it in Powder, however, given your "getting back into skiing after 3 years", I am not sure this is the ski for you.  I would demo both the AC 30 and Kendo, they will ski differently with the Kendo probably being the better "all in one" ski.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

It may be hard to some to believe but just because you are going off the groomers sometimes does not mean the conditions off trail require a wide ski. When it has snowed 12" overnight......no doubt a wider ski is a hep. OTH when it hasn't snowed for a 3-4 days or even a week......a wider ski does nothing substantial for you. Given that you are considering an AC-50, some skis that are similar in width but more versatile would include the Dynastar Sultan 85, Rossi S86, Atomic Crimson Ti, and Fischer Motive 84. If you want to get something a little more soft snow oriented, the somewhat wider Sollie Sentinel and Dynastar Sultan 94 come to mind as great choices. You could go wider than this of course but the range of 85-95 (ish) mm waist widths is a very good place to be thinking.

 

SJ

 

As usual, SJ is right on with his line of thinking.  As a frequent visitor to Squaw and Tahoe in general, I can remember my first 3 road trips there.  10 days of skiing, and not more than 2 inches of fresh snow in that whole time.  Mid 80's skis were the perfect answer (actually, I had my Head iM78's part of that time, they were just as good as my other "no new snow" ski, the Elan 888).  Both were about perfect for most of those conditions.  Would I have had as much fun skiing laps on West Face and Headwall on a big, soft ski made for deeper snow?  It surely wouldn't have been as effective (I tried it last year at the Alpine Meadows demo: no new snow and trying to pilot a 115mm reverse cambered big-mountain ski through the steep bumps over on Keyhole.  It was more scary than fun).  The key on those fairly firm days is having a ski that had a large enough sweet spot to handle off-piste conditions, which the AC50 really does not. It is more of a wide-ish, stiff groomer rocket.  A good skier can pilot a stiff, aggressive ski off-piste, but there are better choices (SJ's list is great, I would add the Kastle MX88, FX84, Elan Apex, Fischer Watea 84 to it as well).  Skiing bumps and steeps on a really stiff, aggressive ski isn't as much fun as a ski with a larger sweet spot.  A nice wider 50/50 ski (like the Sultan 94 mentioned by SJ) would also be awesome, and should still be great in that up to 12" dump. If has snowed 3 feet, that is the time to pull out the big guns (or rent).  Others that may be solid in that range: Fischer Watea 98, Kastle MX98 or FX94, Elan Spire, Blizzard Atlas, Salomon Shogun, Nordica Enforcer.   That Fischer Motive may be just your ski for all-around performance.  An under the radar brand, but one that puts out a very well-designed product. 

 

BTW, on my subsequent 3 trips to Tahoe, there was at least 10 inches of new snow each trip, but obviously they get plenty of long, dry periods punctuated by big storms.  How do I know this?  The skiers that vacation here for the 1st time and are Californians come to Bachelor totally unprepared. They are ready to hit the mountain in sunglasses and soft shells, and we get daily blizzard, whiteout, driving snow conditions for the few months of the season.  They ask "where is the sun?" and "why is the mountain so cold and windy" and I tell them to come back in April: we get plenty of sunny warmth then! In Tahoe, you might actually see the sun in December: I haven't seen the sun for more than 30 minutes in around 2 weeks here.  
 

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

I definitely appreciate all of the advice...I think may have narrowed my top demo choices to the Sultan 85, Shogun and Kendo.  I'm sure as more people chime in I'll have to reconsider.  I missed out on the great snow over Thanksgiving but will be heading up this weekend...looks like more rain than anything has been coming down...guess I should look for some ice skates instead.

post #15 of 15

Kendo is your typical relatively stiff, wants to go fast and rip the groomers Volkl ski.  But despite this, it manages to be a very good ski everywhere else also, something Volkl has struggled with in the past.  It is still groomer oriented, but can really do anything you ask of it.  The Shogun won't give you nearly as much on the groomers (101mm waist) and is probably not stiff enough to ski it super aggressively, but is probably better in the pow and trees and such.  The Sultan (despite its 85mm waist) will still not be as good on the groomers as the Kendos, but will be much better than the Shoguns.  The Sultan is also probably decent in powder, but similar or maybe a tad better than the Kendo, and worse than the Shoguns.  TBH, I'm kind of wondering where the Shoguns fit in to the equation, as you have 2 skis with mid to high 80's waists, and then a 101mm waisted ski.  To me, if you're going to look at the Shoguns, the Mantras and a few other skis would make more sense.  If you are looking towards the Kendo/ Sultan end of the spectrum, also look at Salomon's Enduro, which I have heard great things about.

 

Tyler

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