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Help Needed: replacement for Volkl Attiva AC2s


Diva in Training
I am a 5'5"/125 Californian (Tahoe) who is most at home on black groomers but can be talked into the trees while the legs are still feeling fresh in the morning. I currently ski a much-loved but probably more-than-a-little-outdated pair of 152cm Volkl Attica AC2s that have started to feel short and narrow in recent years.

I tried my brother's 167cm Elan Ripstick 96s and found them fun and edgy (literally, ha). I also have a pair of 168cm Coalition Snow Bliss that are great skis for somebody but just sadly not me (though I think I have gotten my money's worth after finding them for $150! / any park skiers looking for very very gently used gear?).

What do y'all recommend as a good all-mountain replacement? I know the usual suspects (ahem, BPs) but it is so hard to tell without demo-ing (boo COVID). And does the 161cm range seem appropriate, especially with the newer rockered skis?

Thanks in advance!


Certified Ski Diva
I think BP 88 20/21 is 159 or 165. I'm 5'5", 140, and just demo'd and bought BP 88/159 having skied on a Nordica Wild Belle 154/84. I think you could bump up to 159 no problem and because of rocker won't notice the length, and maybe 165 if you like to ski fast. You have some choices as to BP 88 vs 97 underfoot, so it might depend on how much wider you want to go and how much powder you expect to find. I thought I'd buy Nordica again, and demo'd Santa Ana 88/159, but liked BP better. Some Volkl people really like to stick to Volkl, and there's Secret and Kenja that are popular if you want to stick to what you know. I don't ski fast and like bumps and trees; I ski mostly in the East and like a light ski, hence my choice. I didn't expect to like the ahem BPs and didn't like them 6 years ago, but skis and skiers evolve.


Certified Ski Diva
If you liked the Ripsticks, there's the Ripstick 94 which is slightly narrower and available in 162 if you felt 168 was too long.

I would second considering the Kenja if you prefer a stiffer flex, bearing in mind there's been a recent revamp - the newer 2020 Kenja 88 with less metal and a bit of a redesign, and the older 2019 Kenja which is 90mm and full metal, and obviously can be found for more of a discount. I hear the Secret is similar in that you have to be on top of it and drive it, which shouldn't be a problem if you like black groomers.

I didn't like the Black Pearl 88 on more solid groomers and felt like they were too soft for me (intermediate skier, usually happy on groomed blue to black runs but I lose a lot of technique on the latter), but I believe the newest version is slightly stiffer.

The Nordica Santa Ana comes in an 88 and 93 width - the 93 is currently on my wishlist, but again has been redesigned recently. The 2021 has less metal and different lengths available, so if stiffer is your thing then a year with both sheets of metal might be better for you.


Diva in Training


Certified Ski Diva
What is your current go-to?
I'm 5' 2" if I round up, and 110-120lb depending on what side of Christmas I'm on and how active I've been. I ski in New Zealand on a mix of groomed and ungroomed fields, so probably most similar to East Coast conditions overall. Fresh snow here is usually fairly wet and true powder days generally only happen a few times per year. I have 2 pairs of skis - the Volkl Flair SC (155) and the 2019 Volkl Yumis (154) so fairly narrow under foot. Ski widthd in the 80s to mid-90s are generally the most popular widths that I see at ski fields and rarely anything over 100. I usually reach for the Flair at the start of the season when it's all manmade and groomed hard pack, and the Yumis for the remainder into spring.


Certified Ski Diva
The New (20-21) BPs 88/159 felt totally different than the ones I had demo'd back in 2014 (not sure what width or what season they were), which I think were 152 although I have a vague recollection I took out a longer pair too and it wasn't any better. 20-21 BP 88 was more carve-y, no chatter (that could be the length) but also responsive and playful when compared to similar Santa Ana or Volkl Secret. I'm 140 lbs tend to short turns, I don't like speed and I like a light ski for bumps and trees. These BPs gripped on blown off hardpack (western skiers call it ice, but it's not real ice) way better than the ones from 2014. It is also possible I'm a better skier, because in the interval I have worked on staying on edge rather than sliding out of my turns. I didn't want to like BP best; also I'm not a purple person . . . but I did, so now I'm part of the BP army!
I am a little shorter than you - 5'2"- but about the same weight. I used to ski the AC3s in a 156 and find that the low 160's is the perfect length for a ski with front rocker. For powder skis, I went a little longer because they had considerable front and rear rocker. My advice would be that if you can't demo - stick to a burly type ski because the AC models were good burly skis. I just bought a pair of Stockli Stormrider 85Ws and I'm not gonna lie ... they are hands down the best ski I have ever had on my feet. I loved them in soft bumps in Taos and in 8 inches of powder. This season I have loved them on the groomers. They make me a better skier. There is just something about Stockli that is very intuitive.

A second thought is that if you are buying without trying, but know you like Volkl, stick with a Volkl. I've never met a Volkl I didn't like. The Volkl Secret 92 is a great ski and it's a good waist width for all mountain. Another bonus is that the 2021 ski is only a change in graphics so you can pick up a 2020 model at a great price.
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Certified Ski Diva
I replaced this exact ski last year with the Volkl Yumi's. Also now use Volkl Racetigers which I love, but they're heavy and not as fun as the Yumi's, but great for front-side groomers and ice. I did have some Volkl Deacons which I adored, but recently gave them to my husband, and am hoping to replace them with the Volkl SC Carbon Flairs. Depending on where you're skiing, the Flairs could be a great option if you're on the East coast. If you're out west and want an all-mountain ski, I would consider the Yumi or the Kenja. I go between both and they're similar. The Yumi is more fun and playful, the Kenja is faster and stiffer. The chatter on the Kenja is not my favorite but I think that's more due to the length (163) where my Yumi's are 168. I would say the Yumi is a very solid choice for an intermediate skier that wants one ski to do it all. If you're mostly skiing powder, Volkl has a new Secret 96 coming out. I would go with the over the Secret 92. The 102's really take a lot to get on edge, and the rate the snow is NOT falling this season here in Utah, they would mostly be collecting dust. Many people want just one ski to do it all. I like a variety depending on the conditions I'm encountering, so I always keep my options open to consider used gear. I also wouldn't rule out the Nordica Santa Ana's or the Blizzard Black Pearls. I'm a Volkl girl, but many of my girlfriends love them.


Diva in Training
2/10/21 - 2/11/21


Volkl Secret 92
Length: 163cm
Conditions: corduroy + moguls @ Alpine; knee-deep powder + crud @ Squaw

Love at first turn!!! Beautiful bowls of empty corduroy awaited on an empty Wednesday morning, and these skis lived up to their brand's racing roots. Even my brother, who usually far outpaces me, noticed (and, dare I say, was impressed) that I was right by his side this time. Moving into bumps, what I lacked in skill the Secrets made up for me in pure pile-crushing power. I am totally okay with this, though others may find the ski less playful.

I ended up renting them again the next day after a disastrous first run down a freshly-powdered chute on my park skis (which I had unwisely picked thinking that at least they were fatter with floatier tails than my old metal ones...). My powder technique was no better, but at least my newfound friends could barge through enough snow to help me get down the mountain at all. At one point I even flew off a small ledge by accident and landed squarely on my feet. As the afternoon wore on, the Secrets kept plowing right down run upon run of heavy crud.

So now I just wait for a good sale and/or research other posts on this forum re: whether to purchase a demo pair.

Salomon Stance W 88
Length: 161cm
Conditions: corduroy + moguls @ Alpine

I way overpowered these. While they felt more nimble on bumps than the Secrets, this did not make for the chatter all the way down the hill (before the snow had even gotten cruddy that day and before I was anywhere near top speed). Maybe I should have sized up?

Blizzard Black Pearl 97
Length: 165cm
Conditions: crud + start of new snow @ Alpine

These felt like two lifeless planks beneath my feet. Not sure if it was the width, the length, or user error, but things did not get better even as snow started falling on Wednesday afternoon (when I would have expected 97s to come into their own).

Unfortunately did not get to compare the 88s since somebody else had taken them out in my length. Shop was also out of the Nordica Santa Anas that day.

Atomic Vantage 86 C
Length: 165cm
Conditions: crud + trees + laughable attempts in the park @ Alpine

The most accessible ski: lighter and less demanding than the Secrets; more stable than the Stances; more lively and much more fun than the BP97s. The demo shop guy owns the men's version of these, and he recommended them as a nice chill way to end the day. I could carve without a thought (and even without having to stay over them), and I hopped through the trees down into a gully semi-competently with them. Tradeoff: I definitely reached a speed limit and fell behind my brother again, and I am not sure how well these could cut through Sierra cement at its most cement.

Ultimately, I did like the Vantages but I am not sure they offer much more than my current setup. (By the way, they skied short -- could not tell they were almost 10cm longer than my old skis, and one of the reasons I am even shopping for new skis is to get something longer...) Also I just love the Secrets.

TL;DR: once a Volkl girl, always a Volkl girl :tongue: