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New Powder Ski Question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to buy a new set of powder skis.  I have a set of '09 K2 Obsethed (105 mm under foot) that work well for just about everything, but I'd like a little more powder performance.  With that said, I don't often have the opportunity to ski 12"+ of fresh new snow, and I don't want a set of skis that only sees the light of day a few times per year.  I'd like something I could take out the day after a storm or after 3"-6" of new snow. 

 

I skied the new Obsethed (117 mm under foot) in about 5" of new snow and really loved how playful they were.  I'm worried they will be too close to my old Obsethed.  I also tried the Icelantic Gypsy, which were 125 mm under foot and full reverse camber.  I had these skies out in 12" + and I've never found powder skiing to be so easy and fun.  So, my question is what am I gaining/losing between these to ski types.  Will a Gypsy type ski be as fun in 3" of new snow as an Obsethed type ski?  Will the narrower 117 mm waisted Obsethed with some camber under foot be as fun on the 12" day as a full reversed camber 125 mm waisted ski?  I'd really appreciate hearing from some of you that have had the opportunity to ski more skis in more conditions than I have.  Thanks.

post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Just to be clear, I'm really just looking for info on general powder ski types, not these specific models.  What do the 115ish waisted skis with camber have over the 120+ waisted skis with no camber?  Is the camber just for skiing groomers, or does it also help with crud?  Does having a little camber hamper powder performance much?  I'd love to hear what experiences others have had with these type of skis in a variety of conditions.  Thanks.

 

post #3 of 11

A full rocker ski with no camber is great in powder, but the less snow and the more it gets cut up the more its performance tends to decline.  I am sure you'll get a wide range of opinions, but for my money most of the wide skis work great in deep powder, it's what they do in other snow conditions that separates them and dictates a buying decision.

 

I suggest something not real wide (120mm or less waist) with some sidecut (less than 25m), some camber, and "early rise" in the tip and tails, as opposed to a full rocker reverse camber ski.  Generally this type of ski will work reasonably well on groomers, crud, slush, windblow and shallow snow better than a full high rocker ski.  I am a fan of the 5-point "sharknose" design tip (widest part a little back from the tip) that many brands utilize on some models, and I'm not a fan of the real pintail skis with a narrow tail to make the back ride lower in powder, but there are advantages and disadvantages to all the different shapes.

 

I think your biggest danger is getting a ski that is too wide, too soft, or has too much rocker. Those qualities are great if you are a cat or heli guide, but if you intend to use it to mostly ski areas then something in the 110-120 waist range, with tip and tail early rise, but with a little camber and medium stiffness should slay the powder, rule the curd, and get you to the lift on the groomers without just smearing around.  The heavier/lighter you are the wider/narrower you can go.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Mudfoot!  Good info to consider.

post #5 of 11

Check out the reviews on tgr and blistergear on ON3P Caylors.  Early rise, slight camber (1mm), 120mm waist, ~26m TR, very solid but fun ski.  Can hold and edge on groomers and is at home in trees or open spaces.  Not as quick as say a 188 4FRNT CRJ in trees but much much more stable.

 

If you turn a lot then 5-point skis are great, if you like GS-ey turns then look at something like the Caylor, Shiro, etc 

post #6 of 11

Caylors are sweet powder skis. ON3P makes beautiful boards, I had a pair of Viciks myself.  If you are looking for specific recommendations I would also suggest demoing some Icelantic Keepers if you get a chance.  A fun 119 mm waisted ski that can also handle things really well when the powder gets cut up.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

A full rocker ski with no camber is great in powder, but the less snow and the more it gets cut up the more its performance tends to decline.  I am sure you'll get a wide range of opinions, but for my money most of the wide skis work great in deep powder, it's what they do in other snow conditions that separates them and dictates a buying decision.

 

I suggest something not real wide (120mm or less waist) with some sidecut (less than 25m), some camber, and "early rise" in the tip and tails, as opposed to a full rocker reverse camber ski.  Generally this type of ski will work reasonably well on groomers, crud, slush, windblow and shallow snow better than a full high rocker ski.  I am a fan of the 5-point "sharknose" design tip (widest part a little back from the tip) that many brands utilize on some models, and I'm not a fan of the real pintail skis with a narrow tail to make the back ride lower in powder, but there are advantages and disadvantages to all the different shapes.

 

I think your biggest danger is getting a ski that is too wide, too soft, or has too much rocker. Those qualities are great if you are a cat or heli guide, but if you intend to use it to mostly ski areas then something in the 110-120 waist range, with tip and tail early rise, but with a little camber and medium stiffness should slay the powder, rule the curd, and get you to the lift on the groomers without just smearing around.  The heavier/lighter you are the wider/narrower you can go.


^^^^ One of the more intelligent powder ski posts out there. Would only add that IMO most wider skis with a modern front are fun in new uncut pow; it's a very forgiving medium. Not so many rock after the pows been messed up a little by skiers or mother nature. 

 

On a recent trip to Big Sky, seriously powder oriented resort with lotsa trees, saw on good skiers/staff: Slew of S7's and Super 7's of various incarnations, several Icelantics, a few Bent Chetlers, coupla DPS 112RP's mounted tech, coupla Blizzard One's, one Moment Com, coupla Moment Bibby's, coupla fat Fischers with AT/tech, one Billy Goat, one EHP, one Huge Dump, one Shiro. Mainly noticed the dearth of skis that get a lot of ink here, like big Blizzards, Kastles, Dynastars, or on TGR, like PM Bros, ON3P's, Praxis. And never saw a single ski over 100 from some brands: Head, Elan, K2, Line come to mind. (Yeah, I know, how weird is it to keep track of this stuff.) (And yeah, I'm aware of sampling error, my bad vision, conditions - not their snowiest winter - so on.)

 

Conclusions: 1) Locals do not necessarily follow trends. Or can afford them. 2) MT gets lighter pow, so softer pow skis. YMMV in the NW. 3) This particular place rewards skis that emphasize turning rather than charging. Again, YMMV. 

 

My .02

 

post #8 of 11

Thanks Beyond, I appreciate the props.  I am certainly no expert, and only have experience with a limited number of rockered skis, but I am a real student of ski design and love watching and talking to people about their skis.

 

Something I have noticed around here is a very large number of people on the Rossi S7s.  It was definitely the hip ski in the west the last couple of years and there has been a real bandwagon mentality.  Once it got dubbed "the most stolen ski at Snowbird" (who knows if it's true) it became the "must have" ski.  I literally have a half dozen ski buddies that are on them. At the beginning of this season I came real close to getting a pair myself, but a friend and I decided to go with the Icelantic Keepers instead. Very similar shape to the S7s, but less rocker, more camber, stiffer, and what turned out to probably be the most critical, a slightly wider and more stout rear end.  After skiing them in everything from 30" of cold smoke at Wolf Creek  to wind slab at Silverton Mt. along side S7s users we have concluded they definitely work better in a wider range of conditions. The S7 skiers appear to be struggling a bit more in the crud and complain that the front will fold when the going gets tough, but the loudest complaint seems to be that they have no tail. They are great in deep soft snow, but when the going gets rough or weird if you get in the backseat there is nothing there.  It also gives them a mushy feel at the end of a turn when carving hard pack.  The Keepers have a more solid unified feel more like a traditional ski on hard pack, yet retain all the quick any radius turn quality of a rockered ski.  There are many other companies (like Atomic and ON3P) making very good early rise skis that are probably comparable to the Keepers, but that is the only one I have experience on.  I noticed that Rossi beefed up the S7 with metal with Super 7, and next year is coming out with the more Keeper like the Squad.

 

In my opinion you definitely do not want a stiff ski in powder, but I think the trend with rockers has been to go a little too soft, particularly in the tips and tails, so they end up becoming less effective as the snow gets cut up and set up.  If your tips are too soft and high they just ride up on heavier snow and your end up ruddering.  On the groomed return road you hit every lap in the Waterfall area at Wolf Creek I noticed that half the rockered skis' tips were flapping.  If they are flapping on the road what are they going to be doing in the crud?  My simple criteria is that if I see someone skiing in any kind of contition and their tips are flapping I would not buy that ski.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Beyond, I'm guilty of the same sampling when I ski places.  Thanks for all of the info, everyone.  I actually did demo the Keepers and I liked them.  If I ever win the lotto and have a garage full of skis, the Keeper will be one of them.  I liked how stable and versatile it was, but I missed that surfy sensatio that some of the other skis had.  Of all the skis I've demoed these past few weeks, it seemed that the less camber they had, the more I liked them.  I think that is why I liked the Gypsy so much.  I really enjoy those pivoty/slashy turns.  It also felt really stable in the chopped up, afternoon snow.  My fear is that wide waist is going to be over-kill for a typical North Idaho 6" "dump." 

post #10 of 11

^^^^ Naw. In truth, that's where a modern rockered fat earns its dough; moderate freshies that get cut up and settle. They can make 4" feel like 4'.

post #11 of 11



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lloydd View Post

Of all the skis I've demoed these past few weeks, it seemed that the less camber they had, the more I liked them.  I think that is why I liked the Gypsy so much.  I really enjoy those pivoty/slashy turns.  It also felt really stable in the chopped up, afternoon snow.

The less camber the looser your connection to the snow, until you get to reverse camber (and even reverse sidecut) where things get very loose. Lots of available turn shapes, but  it can get sketchy in thicker or packed snow.. At some point you have to find your personal preference on the balance between maneuverability and stability.

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