Völkl gives a good ride with its AC3 and AC4 | AspenTimes.com

Völkl gives a good ride with its AC3 and AC4

Allyn Harvey

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

Völkl has hit it hard.

Two skis in its 2006-07 lineup – the AC3 and AC4 – offer advanced and expert skiers an outstanding ride.The AC4 is the fatter of the two models. At 82mm underfoot, the ski has all the float you’d need on a big powder day on Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands. What makes it different than most fatties, however, is its responsiveness. You can carve most excellent turns on the ‘roy down Ruthie’s, or cut off to Last Dollar and float easily through the pow. Shyaah, Brah.I demoed the AC4 and almost bought it. But ultimately I went with the AC3 because it is a little less underfoot (76mm) and easier to crank through the moguls. For anyone making turns down Ajax on a daily basis, skiability in the moguls is a critical factor.

Like the AC4, I found the AC3 to be exceptionally responsive on cruisers. It took to Copper Bowl easily, avoiding the chatter that at high speed makes so many “high performance” skis wanting both in name and performance. On ice, the AC3 performed worse than its cousin. If the first half of winter proves as dry as forecasters are predicting, that may be the reason it proves to be a one-year ski. Overall, the ’06-07 versions of the Völkl AC3 and AC4 are great skis. The AC4 holds its edges a little better and turns a little tighter. The AC3 is a bit looser on edge, which can make for a more wild ride down the hill. Both are great at high speeds.

If your home mountain is out East, the AC4 is probably the better choice. But here in Aspen, I’d rather pick my way down Norway on a pair of AC3s.