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Resort Powder Ski

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I’m looking for some advice for a resort powder ski to replace my 2009 Dynastar Huge Troubles .

 

Background: I'm around 200lbs, 6'4, level 8-9ish aggressive skier. I currently have a 2-ski quiver of Dynastar Contact 4x4 and 09 HTs (no camber). I am based in Australia so skiing 3D snow here is limited - small, low mountains - snow is often quite dense/wet and rarely see dumps over a foot + the runs are very short. However, at the end of this year and over the next few years, I’ll also be doing northern winter trips for 3 weeks at a time to locations like Utah, BC, and hopefully Japan.

 

What I love about the HTs is their versatility in all types of soft snow. Whilst not particularly surfy in powder, the HTs are stable, damp and blast through all other types of soft 3D snow  - from cut-up fresh, to heavy, thick crud, rain/sun/wind affected snow, slush etc. Although I really like this stability and versatility, I don't always charge hard enough to need this or have access to the open terrain and long runs where a stiffer, wide, straight ski really comes into its own.

 

So what I'm looking for is to find something that is more nimble, floaty, playful, and has more energy. However, I want to obtain these attributes in a ski without compromising TOO much of the crud-busting stability of the HT. I understand that this requires compromise. However, from reading reviews here it seems like a bunch of skis loosely in the 105-120mm waist bracket are starting to develop really good balance between stability and dampening in crappy 3D snow whilst still being very nimble, playful and slarvy in untouched snow and in the trees.

 

I don’t really get the chance to demo here in Aus so keen for any thoughts and comparisons between skis in the list below and the HT. My only experience on a rockered ski is the 2010 K2 Obsethed - demo'd in 179. In a foot of powder I found them to be very easy and fun but when things got cut up, the tips got deflected and knocked around a bit - I assume largely due to the soft flex of the ski and I also would ideally have been on something longer.

 

At the moment I’m leaning somewhat towards the DPS 112rp (although I know this is probably at the more ‘playful’ end of this list) and wondering how stable it would be charging through crud. I'd like to better understand how much stability, crud-busting ability I'd be giving up going from the HTs to any of these skis and how much nimbleness would be gained. I’ve read a bunch of individual reviews on these skis but comparisons to skis I’ve been on is really what I’m after. Skis on my shortlist include:

  • Dynastar Huge Rocker (185)
  • Kastle MX108 (187)
  • Blizzard Cochise (193)
  • Volkl Katana (190)
  • Elan Olympus (190)
  • DPS 112rp hybrid (190)

 

Appreciate any feedback, recommendations and comparisons.

 

Cheers,

Vinski

post #2 of 12

Vin,

 

I have owned and/or skied the Blizzards, Volkls and Elans but based on what you're looking for I can't think of a better ski than the Rossi S7 (the "Super 7" in 195cm).  The Super 7 is 117 underfoot and has metal but skis short to very short and could be used by a good skier pretty much everyday in the western areas of the States.  I've been on them for the past two years and it is a very nimble, playful resort powder ski that has it if you want to go ahead and throttle it.  They are so popular here many dealers are sold out by or shortly after Christmas so if you do buy a pair you could unload them pretty easily.  Except for adding metal to the 188 size (a very wise move I.M.O.) they are unchanged for the coming year (I don't know if you are ahead of us or behind us as to model years) so perhaps there's still a pair out there somewhere for you to snag cheap.  One word of caution on the Rossi is that the dimensions change with length so as they get shorter they also get skinnier and at your size the 195 is the way to go.

 

As to the other skis I think you would be better served to go wider; for many skiers up to 110 mm underfoot is a daily ski in the west or perhaps a one ski quiver.  The Elan and the Volkl are so similar its a "jump ball" and they can both be had for $500 to $600 right now (Backcountry.com and alpinesporting goods.com).  I ski the Katana as my daily ski and its a great, great ski and while it skis powder very well I wouldn't classify it as a powder ski if you are thinking Utah or BC.  I wouldn't necessarily classify it as playfull but it is definately a charger that is very user friendly and can smear as well as it can carve.  For next year the Katana changes and gets true to length (they are actually about 2 cm shorter than their stated length) and they get a bit wider.  I don't know what changes are in store for the Elan but if you like the Volkl you will like the Elan; they are true to length and with a slightly softer tip but have a traditional tail so a bit less "smeary" but very, very similar.  Both the Elan and the Volkl are definately crud busters and if you didn't want to go to the Super 7 then my choice would be Katana for you.  I skied the 185 cm Cochise for two days last weekend in spring corn and was unimpressed (yes, I know I'm in the minority).  It felt short and I was getting pushed around a bit by the snow; neither the Volkl nor Elan feel this way (btw, the Obsethed is a soft ski so that's probably what you were feeling).  Perhaps the longer length would help but I don't think so.  At any rate at 108 underfoot that is definately skinny for Utah and BC.  I haven't skied the 112 rp but my wife was on a pair of 168 hybrids for a month.  She found them to be fun in untracked snow but had difficulty in crud and day after storm snow.  With all that tip rocker they have a very short running surface so that might be what's going on there.  She sold them and has a pair of S7's now.

post #3 of 12

Get the 191 Katana.

post #4 of 12

Cochise is more stable than the Katana, but gives up some of the Katana's nimbleness.

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

Cochise is more stable than the Katana, but gives up some of the Katana's nimbleness.



I fully expected (and wanted) the Cochise to kick ass but found the Katana better at everything.  I tried the Cochise about 8mm back and then again about 15 mm back and just could not get excited about this ski.  Perhaps corn is its weakness; perhaps its just me.  Go figure.

 

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Very interesting. 195 Super 7 is added to the list I think.. From a bunch of other reviews though, it sounds like the 112rp (at least 190 hybrid) equals if not beats Super 7 (definitely the S7) in stability in crud  and is also lighter and more playful + better on groomers (which isn't overwhelmingly important but for a resort powder ski is a benefit)... Any experiences?

 

Katana is definitely a contender. However, don't think I'll rule skis out just because they're a few mm below 110 underfoot. I would expect that all of the skis on my list would likely be more floaty and playful than my current HTs (which are equal or wider underfoot). And frankly if I was struggling to ski untouched pow on a rockered ski at 108 underfoot, then probably equipment isn't the issue (although I do get that there is evidently a fun factor and application in opening up terrain for super wide pow skis on really deep days).

 

At this stage I'm leaning towards the more playful end of my list, e.g. 112rp, Super 7, Katana, Olympus (although I would expect these last two might have very different personalities to the other two?..).
 

Any other comparisons with the skis on my list and the HT?

 

Cheers,

Vin


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SquawBrat View Post

Vin,

 

I have owned and/or skied the Blizzards, Volkls and Elans but based on what you're looking for I can't think of a better ski than the Rossi S7 (the "Super 7" in 195cm).  The Super 7 is 117 underfoot and has metal but skis short to very short and could be used by a good skier pretty much everyday in the western areas of the States.  I've been on them for the past two years and it is a very nimble, playful resort powder ski that has it if you want to go ahead and throttle it.  They are so popular here many dealers are sold out by or shortly after Christmas so if you do buy a pair you could unload them pretty easily.  Except for adding metal to the 188 size (a very wise move I.M.O.) they are unchanged for the coming year (I don't know if you are ahead of us or behind us as to model years) so perhaps there's still a pair out there somewhere for you to snag cheap.  One word of caution on the Rossi is that the dimensions change with length so as they get shorter they also get skinnier and at your size the 195 is the way to go.

 

As to the other skis I think you would be better served to go wider; for many skiers up to 110 mm underfoot is a daily ski in the west or perhaps a one ski quiver.  The Elan and the Volkl are so similar its a "jump ball" and they can both be had for $500 to $600 right now (Backcountry.com and alpinesporting goods.com).  I ski the Katana as my daily ski and its a great, great ski and while it skis powder very well I wouldn't classify it as a powder ski if you are thinking Utah or BC.  I wouldn't necessarily classify it as playfull but it is definately a charger that is very user friendly and can smear as well as it can carve.  For next year the Katana changes and gets true to length (they are actually about 2 cm shorter than their stated length) and they get a bit wider.  I don't know what changes are in store for the Elan but if you like the Volkl you will like the Elan; they are true to length and with a slightly softer tip but have a traditional tail so a bit less "smeary" but very, very similar.  Both the Elan and the Volkl are definately crud busters and if you didn't want to go to the Super 7 then my choice would be Katana for you.  I skied the 185 cm Cochise for two days last weekend in spring corn and was unimpressed (yes, I know I'm in the minority).  It felt short and I was getting pushed around a bit by the snow; neither the Volkl nor Elan feel this way (btw, the Obsethed is a soft ski so that's probably what you were feeling).  Perhaps the longer length would help but I don't think so.  At any rate at 108 underfoot that is definately skinny for Utah and BC.  I haven't skied the 112 rp but my wife was on a pair of 168 hybrids for a month.  She found them to be fun in untracked snow but had difficulty in crud and day after storm snow.  With all that tip rocker they have a very short running surface so that might be what's going on there.  She sold them and has a pair of S7's now.



 

post #7 of 12

I really like my MX108's, but they are a lot like the hard charging XXL's and not really floaty.  I found the Bent Chetlers to be much easier and more playful in powder, especially in the trees. 

I would think the Super 7, 192 Bent's and the big JJ's would all work.

 

Why the hybrid DPS?  I would think the pure would be the way to go?  I've only skied one DPS and it was the Lotus 120 and it was way too soft to be a resort ski for me.  

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinski View Post

Very interesting. 195 Super 7 is added to the list I think.. From a bunch of other reviews though, it sounds like the 112rp (at least 190 hybrid) equals if not beats Super 7 (definitely the S7) in stability in crud  and is also lighter and more playful + better on groomers (which isn't overwhelmingly important but for a resort powder ski is a benefit)... Any experiences?

 

Katana is definitely a contender. However, don't think I'll rule skis out just because they're a few mm below 110 underfoot. I would expect that all of the skis on my list would likely be more floaty and playful than my current HTs (which are equal or wider underfoot). And frankly if I was struggling to ski untouched pow on a rockered ski at 108 underfoot, then probably equipment isn't the issue (although I do get that there is evidently a fun factor and application in opening up terrain for super wide pow skis on really deep days).

 

At this stage I'm leaning towards the more playful end of my list, e.g. 112rp, Super 7, Katana, Olympus (although I would expect these last two might have very different personalities to the other two?..).
 

Any other comparisons with the skis on my list and the HT?

 

Cheers,

Vin


 



 



The Katana is very similar to the HT's, and not a particularly playful ski, more a driver as said already. Without knowing why you are dumping the HT's, I can't know why you'd want the Katana. It's not much of a shift from where you are, except maybe a poorer ski in overall construction quality and not as wide as the HT by 5mm, IMO.

 

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

From what I've read the 112rp in hybrid is heavier, a little damper and has a feel more similar to traditional construction skis compared with the pures + the price helps as well. But for resort powder sticks for me, dampness is important for left overs and day after crud, etc.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

I really like my MX108's, but they are a lot like the hard charging XXL's and not really floaty.  I found the Bent Chetlers to be much easier and more playful in powder, especially in the trees. 

I would think the Super 7, 192 Bent's and the big JJ's would all work.

 

Why the hybrid DPS?  I would think the pure would be the way to go?  I've only skied one DPS and it was the Lotus 120 and it was way too soft to be a resort ski for me.  



 

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post


The Katana is very similar to the HT's, and not a particularly playful ski, more a driver as said already. Without knowing why you are dumping the HT's, I can't know why you'd want the Katana. It's not much of a shift from where you are, except maybe a poorer ski in overall construction quality and not as wide as the HT by 5mm, IMO.

 


 

Alluded to this below;
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinski View Post

What I love about the HTs is their versatility in all types of soft snow. Whilst not particularly surfy in powder, the HTs are stable, damp and blast through all other types of soft 3D snow  - from cut-up fresh, to heavy, thick crud, rain/sun/wind affected snow, slush etc. Although I really like this stability and versatility, I don't always charge hard enough to need this or have access to the open terrain and long runs where a stiffer, wide, straight ski really comes into its own.

 

So what I'm looking for is to find something that is more nimble, floaty, playful, and has more energy. However, I want to obtain these attributes in a ski without compromising TOO much of the crud-busting stability of the HT.


But to summise, I don't ski enough of the kind of terrain to really open up the HT and make use of its stability at speed in medium/large turns, and would like something more nimble and playful in trees. Plus just feel like the HT easily covers the stability side of things in general (and I do like this aspect) but gives up a bit of fun factor and playfulness at slower speeds or in tight spots.

 

So I DO want to move along the spectrum and sacrifice a little of the HT's stability for some nimble slarviness. So feedback about whether skis are really close to HT is definitely useful. I would have thought the Katana might be a good option because it IS similar/comparable in crud stability to an HT (mine is no camber 09 version) but then should be looser and nimbler with the ELP.

 

What I would really like to know is how much stability and crud performance I would be giving up going from the HT to something further along the spectrum like an 112rp or Bent Chetler, etc?..

 

 

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok I'm leaning towards the playful end of my list so it looks like;

- 192 Bent Chetler
- 190 DPS 112rp hybrid
- 195 Rossi Super 7

Any other thoughts or comparisons between these from those who've skied them?
post #12 of 12

Considering the skis you are looking at, you might want to consider the new ON3P 191 cm Billy Goat.  Their pre-sale deal ends June 15th.

 

 

http://on3pskis.myshopify.com/collections/2011-2012-skis/products/2011-2012-billy-goat

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