There has been a lot of talk about skiing on hard snow this year for obvious reasons. A week ago I skied all day on groomers in Tahoe -- it was the day after the one series of storms we have had this winter, so the snow was pretty soft. I was on my Sultan 85 skis and I had a blast. But it got me wondering if I could ski groomers all day on hard snow (i.e. Tahoe hard snow, not true ice) and have that much fun. I started looking at various threads here and got confused.
Here is a quote from Dawgcatching (a reviewer I respect) from a thread on February 26 last year:
"Out here, it was more like "it hasn't snowed in 5 weeks, but rained a few times". Fortunately that is all gone now, but it was still pretty fun for a change of pace. People were bitching about the conditions, but they were plenty of fun on the right skis and if you know how to ski (hard snow). My personal choice was the Magnum 8.1, but same difference as the [Sultan] 85. It is great to have a ski like that around for anyone who doesn't live in Haines and own a helicopter."
This quote makes it sound like the Sultan 85 is a good choice for western hard snow. However, in a more recent thread, here is an exchange between Philpug and Dawgcatching:
These 80-85mm skis are skiing so well that in most cases the pluses in versatility out weigh the Nth degree loss in edge hold or edge to edge quickness. Now with the newest of generations, thanks in most case to early rise, we are even getting bigger sweets posts that they are becoming even more versatile. What is also an interesting trend in this category, is that more and more of these skis are being offered flat (w/o hostage system plates) so the buyer can choose their binding of choice.
"True, some do. But, there is always that vroom.....feeling I get when I load up a sub 80mm power ski that just isn't there on a frontside oriented wider ski (such as the Sultan 85). When it is hard snow, that power and pop out of the turn. is the reason I am at the hill. The best skis for that are race carvers, but a well tuned frontside power ski (like the P900, RX12, Stockli SX) gets it done better than any 80+ ski I am aware of. But, if we are talking about the general population, most people don't want that kind of power and precision in their skis."
So, maybe the Sultan 85 is a good hard snow choice for the "general population" but a skier can have even more fun all day on groomers with a "frontside power ski."
So how much difference is there between a carver and a Sultan 85? Enough that I should add a consumer carver to my quiver? Would I want to ski more "hard" snow days in Tahoe if I had something like a Blizzard Supersonic? Or would I not be able to tell that much of a difference (I am not an ex-racer)?
I am intrigued by the idea of adding a carver if I could get one at a good price. However, I think I would want a more "all mountain" carver that would be fun in bumps, not too demanding, but be zippier and more thrilling on hard snow than my Sultan 85. Would this quiver addition be worth it?