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Big guy soft snow ski to complement Kendo?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I'm looking to get a fatter ski to compliment my Kendo 184's this season in Tahoe (if we ever get the La Nina snow that's been promised!)  My home mountains this year will be Alpine Meadows and Squaw and I plan on skiing every weekend to every other weekend depending on the snow conditions.  So far I *love* the Kendo in everything but bumps and I have had an absolute blast with them on steep groomers and in boot deep "pow."

 

Background:

 

I'm 6'3" tall and a strong 240 pounds "out of the shower," so probably more like 255+ suited up with hydration pack, etc.  I'd consider myself an advancing 7 and I am working hard on progressing further.  Bumps and really chopped up crud are my main weaknesses right now, although I tackle them when I can to try and progress.  Haven't quite progressed to double black chutes, but I like wider steeps like The Wall at Kirkwood.

 

I'd love to start skiing trees more, but didn't have anyone else to ski with last season so I pretty much stayed out b/c I didn't want to end up in a tree well.eek.gif  This year I hope to ski with several experienced Squaw friends who know the mountain and can show me some of the secret stashes, hence the fatter ski wish.  I'm currently in Lange RX100's which are probably too soft for my size.  Elite Feet said at my size I should probably be in something with more race oriented stiffness like the Salomon X3 130 CS, so I'll probably get fitted for those over the Christmas break.

 

The few times I skied Squaw last season I was surprised by how tracked out it was by Noon after big dumps.  The entire mountain facing the lifts basically looked like one big mogul field.  Skiing bumps like that with the Kendo wasn't what I would call "fun," but I'm sure that's also due to my own weakness in that area, not to mention the Kendo's stiff tail likely making me work much harder than I should be.  So my first criteria is going to be a ski that's a little more forgiving in that respect to help me progress a little easier.

 

The ski would be something wide enough for my size to hit the mountain with the day after a big dump (or during) when the lifts open and continue to ski all over the mountain after lunch when the bumps start popping out everywhere.  I'm thinking something on the stiffer side, probably with metal, but with a short enough turning radius to make bumps easier.  I'd like some feedback on what others use for those "tracked out" afternoons at Squaw from any locals if possible.

 

I'd ideally like to keep the Kendo's for those days when it hasn't snowed in a few.  

 

My short list of skis to try right now are:

 

Blizzard Bonafide (probably too close to Kendo in size and mission, so might not go there unless demoing them can convince me to sell my Kendos).

Blizzard Cochise

Blizzard Bodacious (probably doesn't fit the "good in bumps" criteria above)

Rossi Super 7's in a 188 or 195.  

DPS Wailer 112rp (probably can't get them b/c they are sold out everywhere)

Armada JJs (probably too soft for me)

Moment Tahoe (see Bonafide, above)

Moment Jaguar Shark

SkiLogik Howitzer or Bomb Squad

Volkl Shiro

Bent Chet's

Nordica Unleased or Radict

 

Thoughts, suggestions?

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 8

bump skiing is learned not bought. If you can not ski bumps on the kendos anything wider is just going to be harder....

 

with that said the Cochise skis bumps pretty well for a bigger ski. Even me at a much smaller size(5'09 165lb) than you had no issue skiing bumps on the 193cm. The only other skis on your list I have skied bumps on and hated was the Bodacious and Super 7. the bodacious I need sunlight and wide open soft snow to make work for me its is ALOT more ski than the Cochise.  and Super 7 just feel like stiffer version of the already odd feeling in bumps S7s.

 

I am guessing a Level 9 at my weight put as much force on ski as a 240lb Level 7.

 

The RP112 might be to soft for you.

post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethesteeps View Post

 

 

My short list of skis to try right now are:

 

Blizzard Bonafide (probably too close to Kendo in size and mission, so might not go there unless demoing them can convince me to sell my Kendos).

Blizzard Cochise

Blizzard Bodacious (probably doesn't fit the "good in bumps" criteria above)

Rossi Super 7's in a 188 or 195.  

DPS Wailer 112rp (probably can't get them b/c they are sold out everywhere)

Armada JJs (probably too soft for me)

Moment Tahoe (see Bonafide, above)

Moment Jaguar Shark

SkiLogik Howitzer or Bomb Squad

Volkl Shiro

Bent Chet's

Nordica Unleased or Radict

 

Thoughts, suggestions?

 

Hi there,

 

Yeah, for Squaw, you need 2 skis!  On new snow days, a ski in the morning, and a ski in the afternoon when it is tracked out. The Kendo is actually pretty decent in bumps: As Bushwacker noted, if you aren't skiing it well in bumps, getting a wider ski isn't going to help you.    

 

Bodacious is terrible in bumps (way too stiff)

Cochise is pretty good.

Bonafide stiffer, not as good as the Cochise

Bents: kind of weird feeling in bumps

Super 7: not good in bumps

 

I haven't skied the others on your list in bumps. 

 

If you need a good soft snow bump ski, the absolute best I have found is the Elan Olympus Mons.  Basically flat camber, low rise tip and tail, not super stiff, forgiving tail, manageable radius.  That is a pretty darn good bump ski.  I had just mounted up a pair and made a trip down to Tahoe for a late-season storm; we were skiing on about a foot of fresh that got tracked out quickly into soft bumps over hard base (it was April).  Loved that ski in those conditions: I still haven't found anything 110 underfoot that is better in bumps.  I am actually going back to that ski for this year, as it is super versatile. I have found that minimal rocker (early rise tip and tail) is much better for tight bumps than longer/taller rocker. the new Head Rock n' Roll is also really manageable.  I liked the Sollie Shogun; might be too narrow though.  You probably want something closer to 110-115 underfoot. I would stay away from anything really stiff if you are placing a premium on bump performance. 

 

Hope this helps. 

 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.

 

Yeah Dawg, Shoguns were on my shortlist last year but never managed to try them out and now this year you don't seem to hear a peep about them anymore.  And thanks for the tips on rocker, I would have thought that more would be better for bumps in terms of turn initiation and release.  I'll be sure to check out the Olympus and and Cochise also. 

 

But this will be much easier if I just remove the part about being good in bumps from my criteria -- I'll just focus on getting better on my Kendos since I can leave in the car for afternoon riding.  I can get down bumps on my Kendo's ok, it's just that I'm exhausted afterwards much more so than skiing anything else so I wasn't sure if that was because of the ski, my conditioning, technique, or any and all of the above.  I just didn't feel like the ski was "helping" me ski bumps in the same way that the Kendo seems to literally scream at me to go faster down any kind of GS type run.  I've been doing P90x for more than 2 months now to get back in shape for the season, so I'm hoping that I can at least eliminate the conditioning aspect from that equation when we finally see our first snow this season.

 

I've spent hours and hours reading all the reviews here and I just seem to get more confused the more I read because I'm never sure if a particular ski is right for someone of my size and ability.  I'm going to demo for sure, I just want to have a good 3-4 good "big guy" soft snow skis on my shortlist.

 

Thanks!

 

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethesteeps View Post

Thanks guys.

 

Yeah Dawg, Shoguns were on my shortlist last year but never managed to try them out and now this year you don't seem to hear a peep about them anymore.  And thanks for the tips on rocker, I would have thought that more would be better for bumps in terms of turn initiation and release.  I'll be sure to check out the Olympus and and Cochise also. 

 

But this will be much easier if I just remove the part about being good in bumps from my criteria -- I'll just focus on getting better on my Kendos since I can leave in the car for afternoon riding.  I can get down bumps on my Kendo's ok, it's just that I'm exhausted afterwards much more so than skiing anything else so I wasn't sure if that was because of the ski, my conditioning, technique, or any and all of the above.  I just didn't feel like the ski was "helping" me ski bumps in the same way that the Kendo seems to literally scream at me to go faster down any kind of GS type run.  I've been doing P90x for more than 2 months now to get back in shape for the season, so I'm hoping that I can at least eliminate the conditioning aspect from that equation when we finally see our first snow this season.

 

I've spent hours and hours reading all the reviews here and I just seem to get more confused the more I read because I'm never sure if a particular ski is right for someone of my size and ability.  I'm going to demo for sure, I just want to have a good 3-4 good "big guy" soft snow skis on my shortlist.

 

Thanks!

 

It depends on the rocker. I found a low rocker or early rise to be really good in bumps. Taller rocker/longer rise to feel funny.  For example, that on the new Legend 94 is great in bumps (super low rise, kind of like that on the Shogun), as is The One from Blizzard, the Elan Apex (basically a 5cm early rise tip).  The longer rocker on the ON3Pe Vicik I skied the other day felt really weird in bumps; like the ski was disconnected from where it should have been engaging at the tip.  The ON3P was better in the soft snow than the others (not edgy at all, let me work the ski and bring it around very quickly, almost on the tip), just not firm bumps.  YMMV, and it might be something you would get used to. I don't have a lot of feedback for you there, as I don't know a lot of people skiing larger rockered skis in bumps much.  Maybe Bushwacker can answer your question; he has skied a bunch of wider skis in that stuff.  For what it's worth, I don't think bump specific skis are integrating rocker right now; just a pliable tip.   
 

I would think that in general, a softer ski is easier in bumps. I love that Olympus Mons in bumps for that reason, and hated stiff skis (Blizzard Answer) for the same reason. But, I don't get to ski bumps except when I am at places like Squaw, as the one bump run we have is groomed off as soon as it starts bumping up.  Old people complain if they don't have 60 groomed runs to ski, instead of 59.  The "bump run" is over on the side of the mountain that nobody skis on, so it never bumps out. 

 

post #6 of 8

I've lived in Tahoe for 35 years so I've just recently qualified for a "local" ID. I've also skied every ski on your list except the Moments and have recently owned an S-7 and currently own a Bonafide and an Unleashed.

 

So....................What works best at 8:30 on a storm day is a bit different than what works at 12:00 or the day after.

 

Basics..............

 

  • Good in bumps and 115mm are counter intuitive however..........
  • Double rise/early taper like the S7, Bent, JJ etc. are magic in the deep and untracked but get progressively worse as the day goes along.
  • The Super 7 is an improvement over the above but skis very short......195 is the one if you go this way.
  • Among the double rise early taper skis, the DPS is the best and most stable and they are in stock at StartHaus.
  • Bodacious is probably a bit much for tight spots but great in the open.
  • Cochise is somewhat more nimble than the Bodacious. Might be a pretty good call.
  • I replaced the S7 with the Unleashed b/c it is somewhat more stable as the day goes on.
  • Cochise is more stable than the Unleashed but less nimble and smeary.
  • Shiro is very good too but is among the stiffer of the skis on your list. Might be more work in the bumpaz than most of the others.

 

So.......I'd suggest narrowing the list to Cochise, Unleashed, Wailer 112. Hard to go wrong with any of those.

 

SJ

 

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys!

 

SJ, I'm heading up to Tahoe tonight, so I'll try to stop in this weekend, hopefully tomorrow, and say hello.  

 

post #8 of 8

I have the Kendo 177 (which I think performs very well in bumps) and my wider ski is the Cochise 185.  But, I'm about 70 pounds lighter than you, so you may want to go a little wider than 108mm for your pow ski since it won't float and smear nearly as well for you.

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