Volkl AC4 Titanium Ski with Motion iPT 12.0 Piston Binding:
Designed specifically for all-mountain experts, this Volkl Men's AC4 Titanium Ski with integrated 12.0 Piston Binding dominated the One-Ski Quiver Expert Category in Skiing Magazine's 2006-2007 Gear Guide ("Our hands-down favorite of the category."). This versatile ski eludes simplistic classification. While Ski Magazine gave the AC4 a Gold Medal in 2006 for their wide ride Freeride XL category, this year's Ski Magazine Buyer's Guide noted that it was the best soft snow performer in their All Mountain Expert Freeride category. How good is this ski? When Ski Magazine broke down the highest scores in their All Mountain Expert Freeride category this year, the Volkl AC4 Titanium was the only men's ski that had three top scores above 4.0, including a remarkable 4.4 rating for Long Turns (we're confident that this is the highest score in the Ski Magazine Buyer's Guide, but we're still waiting for the ink to dry on the magazine). We're also pretty sure that more than a few people will vote the Volkl AC4 Titanium as their ski of the year, but what makes this ski better than last year is the new titanium element in the ski construction. Normally Volkl keeps the titanium in their GS and RC series racing skis (it's also in this year's AC3, Supersport Allstar and Attiva skis) but the AC4 Titanium brings new power to discerning expert-level masses. Like last season, the AC4 Titanium still features the tip-to-tail Sensorwood core and wood sidewalls for flex. Unlike some ski manufacturers who contract core work to third party companies, Volkl produces their own wood core to optimize quality and consistency in design with CNC precision. The AC4 also features Volkl's Double Grip XT technology, a double-height construction above the ski edge that enhances skier support and grip through varying high-speed turn arcs. Both of these elements were key to the amazing performance characteristics of last year's award-winning AC4 ski, but this year's version takes the power transmission to an unprecedented level. That's probably why Volkl replaced the integrated Marker Motion AT Racing Binding with a new Marker Motion iPT 12.0 Piston Binding. It's a lighter binding design that improves the ski flex through an improved Motion system. The iPT stands for "internal power transmission" because unlike previous Marker Motion bindings, this one is built into the ski, created the most rigid connection ever developed for this binding line. Because the sides of the binding interface rest directly on top of the AC4 Titanium's Extended Double Grip construction, you can apply more pressure directly over the ski edges. This gives you better response with the same lively feel that quickly rebounds through the perfectly rounded ski flex in each turn. Another binding enhancement is the interface, which now snaps together according to your boot sole length, so you can do away with the weighty adjustment dial (you will see a dial version on some AC4 Titanium demo versions out there on the mountain).
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