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Quicker powder ski for a big guy?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

This is my first post on EpicSki (what an amazing site!), so hopefully I'm not asking a total noob question. I've spent hours going through the forums, and I can't find any posts that really speak to what I'm looking for.

 

In short: I'm interested in a quicker turning ski that handles both powder and the firm stuff.

 

I'm a big guy (6'6", 230lbs) and a pretty decent skier (level 8-9), but I'm not a gear head. I've always just skied what they sell me at Sturtevants. I'm ready to add another pair of skis to my "quiver" but I really don't know what direction to go. Hoping y'all can help me.

 

I currently ski exclusively on Fischer Watea 84s (184s). These are awesome carving skis with the versatility to go into the bumps and off piste. But I feel like I can find something better for the firm Cascade conditions I'm often skiing. While the Wateas do admirably well in the bumps, I feel I would do better with a quicker turning ski. Same thing for the steep, firm stuff (e.g. International at Alpental)--while the Wateas do great, I feel they want to make wider turns than is ideal when I need quick turns to keep my speed under control.

 

Also, my Wateas have never served me well in the powder, especially the heavy stuff we get in the Cascades. I feel they dive down to the bottom, and I have a hard time finding the right balance--if I want to turn well I need my weight more forward, but I want to shift back to get the tips up. Could just be that I'm not a good powder skier.

 

So, any suggestions?

 

 

post #2 of 30

So, you need to think a little more about what you're looking for.  Do you want a ski that does better in powder, or a ski that does better on firm snow?  Because those are not going to be the same ski.

post #3 of 30

Yep. You're asking for advice for two pairs, not one. Let us know which you want (or both), then feedback will be more productive.

post #4 of 30

And here I thought the answer was always: Cochise.

post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 

Heh, no wonder I couldn't find an answer to this question!

 

If I have to prioritize, it would be for quicker skis on the firm stuff. I ski primarily the Cascade resorts, so I spend a lot of time on hard pack, crusty and even ice. Would like to make quicker turns in the bumps and the steeps.

 

And not to make things too complicated: I've been thinking about trying out masters racing, so maybe I want an SL/GS hybrid race ski?

post #6 of 30

How about PM Gear BRO 188.  Not a race ski, but they are made out there by folks familiar with the conditions you encounter.

post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg89 View Post

Heh, no wonder I couldn't find an answer to this question!

 

If I have to prioritize, it would be for quicker skis on the firm stuff. I ski primarily the Cascade resorts, so I spend a lot of time on hard pack, crusty and even ice. Would like to make quicker turns in the bumps and the steeps.

 

And not to make things too complicated: I've been thinking about trying out masters racing, so maybe I want an SL/GS hybrid race ski?


With that in tow, I'd demo some of the Head piste oriented skis if possible. A lot of folks like the Titan (177 for you), and if master's racing is in your future, maybe the WC i.Speed. For a more all around ski, the Rossi E98 or E88 (no metal in the E88 which might not work as well for someone your weight.) Luckily, you've got a ton of demo options locally. The Blizzard Magnum 8.1 and 8.7 twould be worth looking at as well.

 

post #8 of 30

Hi there.  It's nice to see another big and tall guy on the site.  All of the advice above seems to be right on. To throw even more things at you, I've heard good things about the Scott Crusade.  They are hard to find in the U.S., but they might be a good fit for a tall, heavy, expert that wants to carve but handle powder when the timing is right...  That's me exactly!  I haven't had the chance to ski them, but the stats look good.  92 under foot, wide tip with a powder catcher thingy, and a really short turn radius for a ski its size.  15m at 179cm length.  They make them all the way up to a 189cm!  Apparently they are more concerned with tall people in France...

 

Anybody out there tried these?

post #9 of 30

186 Line Influence 115.  Rockered tips/tails, camber under foot, metal matrix, and a short (21m? for the 186) turning radius.

 

post #10 of 30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dawg89 View Post

Heh, no wonder I couldn't find an answer to this question!

 

If I have to prioritize, it would be for quicker skis on the firm stuff. I ski primarily the Cascade resorts, so I spend a lot of time on hard pack, crusty and even ice. Would like to make quicker turns in the bumps and the steeps.

 

And not to make things too complicated: I've been thinking about trying out masters racing, so maybe I want an SL/GS hybrid race ski?


Quote:

Originally Posted by markojp View Post


With that in tow, I'd demo some of the Head piste oriented skis if possible. A lot of folks like the Titan (177 for you), and if master's racing is in your future, maybe the WC i.Speed. For a more all around ski, the Rossi E98 or E88 (no metal in the E88 which might not work as well for someone your weight.) Luckily, you've got a ton of demo options locally. The Blizzard Magnum 8.1 and 8.7 twould be worth looking at as well.

 

 

Markojp has the finger on your pulse, methinks.  I would also suggest the E98, and instead of the E88, the Kastle MX88 in 188cm.  E98 and MX88 share some overlap in ability, with the MX being more race room construction/quicker, goes as fast as your courage allows yet is very, very versatile (I own the MX88 in 178, love it).  If you want to kick the hard snow focus up a notch, look at the successor to Fischer's Progressor 10+, the P1000, which I have heard is Master's raceable (I'm not a racer).  78mm at the waist, and burly enough that at 5'11" #185, I am wondering if I am better served with the softer 900 (or next year's 950; The Reviewers (tm) on this site haven't spilled the beans on that one yet), but it sounds like they made the 1000 with you in mind...

 

I've skied Wateas before, not surprised to hear they don't have enough ass for you, although I bet you would find the 114 (enjoyed it a bunch) or the new 120 a hoot in the pow.

 

Welcome to the site, I've been having a blast here m'self. beercheer.gif

 

post #11 of 30

I am a Sturtevans shopper myself. They sold me a pair of Super 7's for Alpental tree skiing. I couldnt be happier. The complaint most people give them it that they turn too fast. I find them perfect for the condititions we get in the PNW, but I could easily see them used in any soft snow condition.

Go in and see if they have a demo.

BTW- their sale starts tomorrow.

post #12 of 30
Super 7 of course. The pin tail makes it a very short radius powder ski, yet handle extremely well on the groomers.
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 

Wow, thank you guys! It will take me awhile to sort through all the options you've thrown my way. Really appreciate your replies--what a great community!

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by huhh View Post

Super 7 of course. The pin tail makes it a very short radius powder ski, yet handle extremely well on the groomers.


The Super 7 is many things, but something with potential in the gates as the OP asked isn't one of them and is a very poor second to most all the 'all mountain' skis mentioned for his request for groomers and hard pack/refreeze conditions. Great quiver ski though and has potential if the OP does the powder ski route like he mentioned in the title.

post #15 of 30

So..... this has gotten into not one, not two, but three skis.

 

#1) Masters racing or even beer league. An all mountain ski will not substitute here get an aforementioned Head I-Speed or possibly a Dynastar Course Ti

 

#3) The quick turning powder ski, very easy to find with the Super 7 being among the best.

 

#2) The all mountain ski that is better than your Wateas at............. what? a quicker turning ski in bumps that's better in powder? Not really sure what you are looking for, but a L8-9 skier ought to be able to handle bumps pretty well on a Watea as within it's width category it is among the best in bumps and powder. You could get a wider AM ski and that will serve better in powder but be worse in bumps. You could get a shorter or narrower ski that would be better in bumps but not as good in powder.

 

So, as others have mentioned, what are you really looking for??? You need a little prioritizing.

 

SJ

post #16 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hi SJ/markojp,

 

You're absolutely right--I want a bunch of things and am having trouble prioritizing. Running the S7 or another all mountain ski in gates is silly, of course. As for bumps, when I really think about it, my Wateas do pretty well there. (In fact, my bump skiing has been pretty sweet of late. I've somehow figured out how to carve in the bumps, which feels great.)

 

My thinking is muddled for at least two reasons: 1) I've never skied more than one pair of skis at a time, so the idea of switching to multiple skis is a hard transition; and 2) I've been looking at the 20m radius on my Wateas and thinking of them as suitable only for big wide GS turns. Given my own experience at carving these skis in much tighter turns, I've half understood that the sidecut radius doesn't translate to actual turn radius, but I didn't really understand the dynamics/physics until reading some other threads in the past day. (Thank you, Bob Barnes, et al.)

 

When I really think about it, my first priority is a better powder ski. There is no float in my Wateas.

 

My next priority is feeling more confident in the trees or narrow chutes. And when there's a mix of powder and trees/narrow spaces at same time, I'm kind've a wreck. I would guess that 80% of the issue is that I don't know how to ski these situations well (need to read up on powder skiing technique), but my sense that I'm on a big GS ski that likes to dive into the powder helps me lose all confidence.

 

I was up at Whistler a few weeks ago and really struggled in the combination of 8-12" pow and trees. It could be that what I really need is a decent powder ski and the turns will take care of themselves??

 

I'm reluctant to buy a dedicated powder ski because we just don't get enough pow in the Seattle area to justify it, and because I want something more nimble that I can take into the trees.

 

So after more reading on EpicSki (my new favorite site!!) and a couple hours with an awesome guy at the ski shop today, I'm starting to focus on more of a "big mountain ski"--something like the Blizzard Cochise, which seems to do great in the powder and off pist gunk, while carving nicely on the lower mountain groomers that lead to the lifts.

 

Am I sounding more coherent now?

 

Jeff

 

p.s. Bad news: I had hoped to demo some Cochises or S7s this weekend but couldn't find any that were in my size (big).

post #17 of 30

You have to buy a designated powder ski. Don't think of how much you use it for one season. Think that you will have the most fun for the rest of your life in powder snow with the right skis. 

 

Also try the Volkl Kuro or Shiro. there you go!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg89 View Post

Hi SJ/markojp,

 

You're absolutely right--I want a bunch of things and am having trouble prioritizing. Running the S7 or another all mountain ski in gates is silly, of course. As for bumps, when I really think about it, my Wateas do pretty well there. (In fact, my bump skiing has been pretty sweet of late. I've somehow figured out how to carve in the bumps, which feels great.)

 

My thinking is muddled for at least two reasons: 1) I've never skied more than one pair of skis at a time, so the idea of switching to multiple skis is a hard transition; and 2) I've been looking at the 20m radius on my Wateas and thinking of them as suitable only for big wide GS turns. Given my own experience at carving these skis in much tighter turns, I've half understood that the sidecut radius doesn't translate to actual turn radius, but I didn't really understand the dynamics/physics until reading some other threads in the past day. (Thank you, Bob Barnes, et al.)

 

When I really think about it, my first priority is a better powder ski. There is no float in my Wateas.

 

My next priority is feeling more confident in the trees or narrow chutes. And when there's a mix of powder and trees/narrow spaces at same time, I'm kind've a wreck. I would guess that 80% of the issue is that I don't know how to ski these situations well (need to read up on powder skiing technique), but my sense that I'm on a big GS ski that likes to dive into the powder helps me lose all confidence.

 

I was up at Whistler a few weeks ago and really struggled in the combination of 8-12" pow and trees. It could be that what I really need is a decent powder ski and the turns will take care of themselves??

 

I'm reluctant to buy a dedicated powder ski because we just don't get enough pow in the Seattle area to justify it, and because I want something more nimble that I can take into the trees.

 

So after more reading on EpicSki (my new favorite site!!) and a couple hours with an awesome guy at the ski shop today, I'm starting to focus on more of a "big mountain ski"--something like the Blizzard Cochise, which seems to do great in the powder and off pist gunk, while carving nicely on the lower mountain groomers that lead to the lifts.

 

Am I sounding more coherent now?

 

Jeff

 

p.s. Bad news: I had hoped to demo some Cochises or S7s this weekend but couldn't find any that were in my size (big).



 

post #18 of 30

Dawg 89,

Sounds like you've got your thoughts more dialed in! That's great! The Cochise should be a nice ski for these parts. It'll be interesting to hear what you like better, the Cochise or S7. The ski tune shop in Greenwater is selling their demo stock now, and I'm sure a lot of the local demo fleets will follow suit pretty soon. Let us know what you try, like, and decide.

post #19 of 30

As a fellow Alpental skier, we get plenty of powder to make a dedicated pow ski worth it.  I have the Watea 84 and rarely use it.  Only on the hardest of hard days.  I am a little smaller than you (6'2" 190) but I have been skiing an Elan Olympus Mons 190 and it is great.  With the metal, it is stiff enough to handle our heavier snow.  Even at 110mm waist, it is still maneuverable to get through the bumps on Nash and Edelweiss. It also has a bit of rocker to float awesome.  I also have a BD Megawatt for when we get big storms like what we are getting right now.  Over 20" in the last 24 hours. Too bad my inlaws are here and I won't get up until Monday.

post #20 of 30

can we sum up your interest as: a quick powder ski for a very big skier?

 

I can make a list of skis I see being used by the biggest guys I know.

 

I have mentioned Kuro and Shiro. Continuous rocker is very quick. Pin tail (ish) very maneuverable.

 

Rossi Super 7.

 

Atomic Bentchetler

 

Salomon Rocker 2

 

Dynastar Legend 115

 

 

These are pretty stout skis. You don't want a ski that you have to buy extra long to support you. It will lack if it is too long and still somewhat soft.

post #21 of 30

You should look at the reviews for the Armada TST in a192 length.  I am 210lbs and ski the 183 as my less than 12" of fresh pow day ski.  It has more tip rocker than any of the skis mentioned so far = float in the pow.  It is a very quick turning ski regardless of what your skiing = rocks trees, moguls and groomed snow.  It is an amazing ski and really doesn't get enough love here.  Of my quiver of 4 skis, if I had to narrower it down to one ski to do it all, it would be the TST's in a 192 as they ski very short for the marked length.  Trust me, you would not be disappointed.

post #22 of 30

While there has been a ton of great advice here so far, it also strikes me as a bunch of throwing darts at what people "think" you are looking for, because the description of what you want doesn't make any sense at all in terms of what skis are actually capable of.  

 

From what you describe you want, I'd venture to guess you are an intermediate skier, not level 8-9..  In short, it sounds like you are looking for unrealistic expectations out of a ski to get you to that next level, instead of just working at where you need to improve your skill.  

 

Like SJ or someone else said, you are already on an ideal AM ski for some of the conditions you "think" the ski is not good at, i.e bumps and powder.  I've never heard of Wateas being great "carving" skis also, especially for bigger guys.  So, first off, you need to take some lessons to get the most out of the skis you already have, and demo lots and lots of skis to get a feel for what a true carving ski is, or what a true powder ski is, and then evaluate the compromises between both that All-mountain skis make.

 

​Sorry if this sounds harsh, but in Tahoe I see skiers absolutely ripping it in all conditions on everything from beat up, decade old yard sale skis, to the fattest of fat powder skis on rocks and ice.  That's what we call a level 8-9 skier out here!  

 

 

post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 

lovethesteeps,

 

I happen to agree with much of what you say. I don't at all feel like a level 8-9 skier, as I see many others shredding way beyond my level. I'm very uncomfortable calling myself anything more than "advanced intermediate," but I definitely fit within the 8-9 definition I've seen (e.g. http://www.epicski.com/t/66885/explanation-of-the-9-level-ski-ability-scale )--I'm certainly beyond a 7. I wouldn't know if my Wateas are good at carving or not, since they're the only ski I've ever carved!

 

But I don't think my Watea is good at the powder/crud. I was able to demo two powder skis this weekend--the Black Diamond Zealot and the Line Influence--in great heavy powder/light crud at Alpental (in bounds, away from the fatal avalanche), and I've never had so much success or fun in those conditions.

 

I freely admit that my powder skiing technique is awful. On my Wateas this weekend I was either in the backseat or feeling like I was burying my tips. While on the demos, however, I floated and was able to make quick, balanced turns, even in the heavier slide cookies.

 

No intention of overstating my ability, but I'm definitely sold that I can have more fun on a bigger ski in the deeper snow. Just want to find a good one. I appreciate all the help you and the others are providing in that regard!

 

Jeff

post #24 of 30

I usually advocate just about anything from ON3P

 

Specifically the Billygoat or Caylor.

 

I had ridiculous fun on the 192 Bent Chetler this weekend as well.

 

Evo should have the ON3P's

post #25 of 30

Pair of 191 Wrenegades for sale on eBay right now.  

 

post #26 of 30

Im on Rossi Super 7's right now and they are amazing for a big guy..

post #27 of 30
Dawg, it was a bit presumptuous of me to criticize your ability without seeing you ski, so I apologize for that.

But I suggest you get a hold of some Blizzard Bonafides to demo. These skis continue to amaze me. I've spent a few days now with them in the bumps and they did really well. Mine are a bit longish at 187 for VW size bumps, but slay smaller bumps. They turn/slarve quickly and should also be great in boot deep pow. And they handle groomers almost as well as my GS skis... The more time I spend on them, the less I want to ski any of my other skis.... Really really FUN ski! I'm 6'3" 235lbs.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post

Pair of 191 Wrenegades for sale on eBay right now.  

 



Not a quick pow ski, fast charging ski with a pretty large turn radius.



Quote:
Originally Posted by demiks View Post

Im on Rossi Super 7's right now and they are amazing for a big guy..


There is nothing super about those floppy clown shoes. I don't know how they manged to make a ski with metal in so soft. And the rocker profile is silly in how abrupt it is.

 

post #29 of 30

The Squad 7 has a different rocker profile, more gradual rise, and is stiffer. new in their line.

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

The Squad 7 has a different rocker profile, more gradual rise, and is stiffer. new in their line.



Rossi is finally catching up.

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