Sizing Volkl Supersport 6 Star Skis
October 19, 2004
Ok. I'm finally going to break down and get another pair of skis. I demoed a lot of equipment last year and decided I liked the Volkl Supersport 6 Star skis the most. I skied them for 3 days under diverse conditions in a big mountain environment last year and decided that these skis would be best for me-they'll work great on ice, crud, and machine groomed but can also handle the occasional powder experience. I really enjoyed the stable, in-control, feeling I had on these skis at speeds and bashing through death cookies and crud at slower speeds.
My problem now is size. I currently ski Volkl G-31s in the 188cm size category. The salesman at Ski Center (Christian) thinks I should buy 168s but I seem to recall that I demoed 175s last year. I'm worried that I may overturn a ski that is too short, but I certainly do not want a ski too long either. The 175 tip rests just below my nose; the 168 tip, just above my chin. In short, both skis are within range of what I should buy. Any thoughts as to how to proceed. I consider myself to be an advanced skier that can handle most marked terrain, but not a true "expert"-someone capable of skiing stuff like Corbett's Couloir in Jackson Hole with ease.
How much do you weigh?
If you demoed the 175's and liked them, buy them. Especially if you felt that you could handle the 175's in quick slalom turns. One overlooked factor in demoing is to demo the size you would be buying. Skis perform differently at different lengths, even if the difference is only 7 cm.
My personal experience: I demoed the Head IM 75 Chip @ 170 cm but bought the 177's. I wasn't able to demo the 177's. (I'm 185-190 lbs.) Turned out to be a completely different ski in the two different lengths; there was not much difference in stability but there was a huge difference in ease of turning at slow speeds. (I went for the longer length for more float in Western conditions; not sure if I really like the ski @ 177.)
I know it's a shock to be considering skis in these lengths. The skis I had before the 177's were 193 cm shaped skis. Last year, I put to rest a pair of 205 straight boards. The 177's are probably more stable at speed than the 193's and 205's.
I'm 184 and six feet tall. Hmm. I'm leaning towards the 175s, but now you are making me think twice about that move.. Perhaps the 168 is the way to go.
I might be half an inch shorter than you but weigh about the same. My Dynastar's are 176 cm, I believe. They feel like the perfect length. They are nice and steady but have the added surface area the 168 cm's lack. I think greater surface area adds to speed, but I'm not certain. I picture 160-range skis as rentals given to soccer dads. I think you'd be happier with the 175s.
I was amazed at how short the skis were that everyone was using during my Austria 2003 trip. I don't think any of the 5 different expert guides I had were on anything longer than 170 cm. The youngest, most aggressive guide was doing helicopters all day on skis that looked about 160. I felt like a dinosaur on 183 shaped skis (maybe that's because I am a dinosaur). This was mostly newer equipment too that I saw all over the mountains, straight from the nearby Atomic factory in Altenmarkt
Just to reiterate: if you've demoed them and liked them, buy them. Different ski models ski differently, so don't assume that if ski x is great in length y, ski z is also great in length y. Plus, even if two skiers are of the identical build, ability level and personal preference make a huge difference.
Either the 168's or the 175's are reasonable choices. You just need to make the best choice for you. No worries mate.
John Awesome ski. You are going to have lots of fun in a few months. I would recommend the 175 cm Volkl 6 star for you.
I am 5'11" wt 190lbs. I have been skiing volkl 5 star supersports at 175 cm length for 2 years. I demoed the 175 cm volkl 6 stars for a day last year and loved them. I would go with the 175cm. Plus that is the length you demoed.
Just back from Ski Center. I ended up buying the 168s. Christian convinced me that they will be stable at speeds but better on bumped up terrain and glades. Thanks everyone for the advice. I'll let you know how they work out once the season begins.
BTW, Christian at Ski Center got a call from the Volkl rep about this post on DCSki. The rep apparently read it and called Christian to inquire about the situation. That's the power of DCSki.
I admire the creative customer service by the Vokl rep - wish more businesses were as attentive to customer service.
Congrats on the new skis! Coming from the G31's, I don't think you'll find the 168's to be "too little ski." From all I've heard about the ski, it definitely has some kick to it. Peter K's site has give this year's model a much better review. My local play-around ski is the Atomic SX:9 @170 cm. It's much less beefy and performance oriented than the 6 Stars, but I'm still amazed at how stable it is a high speed on groomed runs. (Though it wouldn't be my ski of choice in a rutted race course or plowing through crud.) IMHO, the "speed limit" of most of today's performance skis exceed the speed limit of most of us skiers. Even at these insane shorter lengths.