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Need Powder Ski Suggestions

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I want a fatty, and I don't mean a girl or a joint right this second.

 

I already got a strong recommendation for Line 130s, but wanted to see what else I should be looking at in this category. Some great sales right now so I will be buying next couple of days or so

 

Existing Ski Quiver: I have Line Prophet 90s that I LOVE, they take care of all of my groomer and on-piste needs as well off piste with <6" fresh POW. I live EC so they are good all around out here.

 

 After a great week in Whistler earlier this year (100" base when I flew in, 90" of snow while I was there), I want some dedicated POW skis for deep days. Anything else, the 90s come out ( I actually bought a Ski Lock for those special racks and am willing to leave a locked up set of skis at base for fast switching).

 

6'0", 240 lbs, aggressive skier.

 

Main use for THESE particular skis - 6"+ POW days, trees on POW days, air time, glaciers, general off piste - CAT, Heli skiing, but little backcountry hiking so I'm not interested in touring equipment. Basically, resort powder; if I'm going BC, I'll pay for the CAT or the Chopper.

 

I tried some Katanas while at Whistler, I like the fatty concept with rockers; did not like other aspects of those particular skis (hence why I started looking at Line's lineup). One beef I had, they were not as nimble in the trees as I like.

 

Balancing a great air landing platform with nimble, quick turning characteristics is where I am struggling. Oh, and POW skis, so I don't want to deal with diving issues. Carving characteristics are less important on these skis for reasons already mentioned.

 

My biggest issue with the 130s is since they are rockered, I feel they would ski a little short for my tastes/height/weight at 186 (shame they don't make 191s). Also, I'm, not sold Line is the best in this category - I love my 90s, but those are very different skis than a fatty.

 

Please post your opinions alongside any good and bad thoughts about your rec. Thanks!

 

PS: Also, suggestions on bindings since my fav Marker Jester Schiizo's don't go up to 130.

post #2 of 14
Geeezzz, why do you need a 130 mm ski is you live on EC. You need to weigh the pros and cons of owning a pure pow ski vs renting.

If you are set on owning, a 5 point ski like Bent Chetler, Patron, 112RP, JJ, Sollie Rocker2, and the like would work. Think tip and tail rocker with a bit of camber in between. If you want a nimble ski tail rocker is very beneficial. Tip rocker is a must for a pow ski these days. Good luck.
post #3 of 14

I am 6' 3" 250, for guys our size powder skis begin at 130 mm. Look at Praxis Powder Boards in 200 cm and Ski Logik Depth Hoars in 193 (only size) 143 mm with 24m radius. I have Marker Jester on my Depth Hoars so the brakes do fit if bent. Smaller skis will work but bigger is better.

 

Every powder day is different, the conditions make a big difference. I own both of the above, for pure powder the Praxis is the bomb, go to their web site and read the Blog section down near the bottom for their explanation of the Powder Board concept, its true power steering for powder skiing. I can easily carve and arc turns on the Depth Hoars, the Powder Boards do not have side cut but are easy to ski and tons of fun. I leave gear at two resorts so I need two of everything.

 

I have never spoken to anyone who has been on the Line 130. I own Line Motherships (111mm no longer made) and like them a lot, fun ski, is my daily driver for many days. No speed limit, will ski all conditions depending upon that particular day. I have skied them on two foot days with great success. The longer the ski the bigger the sweet spot.

post #4 of 14

First, this is a topic that has been hammered before. It is worth using the search function. Having dispensed with dispensing that bit of wisdom...

 

I don't care where I live. If I'm looking for a powder ski, I'm starting my hunt with a true powder ski - something like a Praxis Powder Board or DPS Lotus 138.  Maybe something like an Armada ARG or ON3P Pillow Fights.Then, if need be, I'm compromising toward mixed conditions, terrain issues, special uses, the need to deal with groomers, etc. - working down from Praxis Protests & BPS, the Armada Bubba, K2 Pon2oons,  etc., etc through skis like Bent Chetlers, Rocker 2s, ON3P C&Ds, etc., etc., down to things like Praxis Concepts, DPS RP112s, 4FRNT Hoji (or the roughly similar Praxis Wootest). Anything smaller is not even close to being part of a powder ski discussion.

 

Anything without tip+tail rocker claiming to be a powder ski today is either a rather special design or a fraud.

 

At your size & weight, I would not hesitate to use a truly wide ski.

 

I have not skied it, but feedback I've gotten on the Prophet 130 seems to top out at "meh". Even though narrower, the Opus gets much better reviews in all conditions among folks I know.

 

I'm a Praxis fan. And a big, big fan of the Powder Boards (mount +3). If you are putting a premium on magic abilities in soft snow and are willing to deal with the quirks of the design on firmer snow - they are stunning. In their element they will do multiple turn types, variable radius and are loose as hell. The current ones are a big step up in terms of firmer snow and "platform". The Protest (mount +1 or +2) delivers much of the same - but compromises a bit for variable snow. You can find reviews and discussions of all the skis I mentioned and other similar designs scattered around the usual ski boards and sites. FWIW, the Praxis are on crazy clearance pricing with an additional 10% off with any number of coupons). I have not looked at what is in stock, but ON3P is doing a big clearance as well.

 

Regarding bindings - your Jesters (Schizo or otherwise) will take a Marker 132 brake that'll handle virtually any fat ski other than a Liberty Mutant or Garywayne... Salomon STHs are a fine choice with tons of brake sizes available. For my.02, I'd skip the schizo on this class of ski. Find the right mount point and stick with it.

 

Regarding length - a lot depends on the design and your intended use. Unless you are going to rip big open bowls at mach speed, moderation can have some advantages. I'm not sure you need monster long in most of these designs. Mid 180s to low 190s is probably fine. Some folks think you need to go monster big. I'm of the notion that use and terrain factors into sizing with these skis. I'm a bit lighter than you are, but if you get interested in the Praxis Powder Boards, think about the 190s... 

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

thanks for the suggestions!

 

I wanted a fresh convo on the subject and alot of the other forums, people kick in multi-use with on piste or true BC as a requirement; I wanted something specific and timely since I wish to take advantage of a sale right now.

 

Your posts have been helpful and I am researching the skis you guys suggested, the Praxis Powder Boards look interesting. Also lead me to look at DPS Lotus 120/138s altho those are not cheap.

 

I'm with Robert, I will simply take multiple skis with me and lock em up at base for easy access in case I want to swap out or if conditions change enough. I spend enough time and money on skiing that I would spend a little bit more and have a full blown powder ski ready to go if conditions warrant it.

 

This ski will probably never see the light of day in the EC; granted, the last two years we have had ONE super storm each year that dumped 19" in VT (both in late Feb), so those days yeah its worth while for the AM with a swap back to the 90s in the PM.

 

This will mostly be for WC skiing, I am willing/able to pay and be a stormcrow a couple of times a year (fly last minute right in front of a storm so I can ski the day of/day after a huge, snowy storm system dumps all over CO or Tahoe (thats why VR invented the Epic Pass!).

 

EDIT: WOW! This is a radically different ski design - reverse sidecut, continuous rocker (no flat spot),...

 

I won't lie, I don't think I've ever skiied something like this before. Truthfully, I don't understand how this would all come together, its pretty different. I would probably have to demo something like this to appreciate what it even does. I like the SOUND of variable turning radius, but what does it mean when you are on the snow relative to a more traditional ski. I'm researching, just had not looked into this approach before.


Edited by dracop - 5/13/12 at 8:28pm
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

Anything without tip+tail rocker claiming to be a powder ski today is either a rather special design or a fraud. Well some hyperbole here, as I'd expect from Spin as June approaches. June truly sucks. Anyway, a lot of superb skiers (both here and on more specialized places like TGR like tip rocker way more than they like tail rocker. And even folks who swear by both tend to want a lot less of the latter. So I think you can drop the "fraud" bit of an otherwise good post. Part of this revolves around how you define powder; if 6" qualifies and you plan to spend any time of groomers getting there, or if you like serious speed in broken snow, or steep chutes, or skinning in backcountry terrain, or taking serious air, then much rocker in the tail could be be a giant PITA. This is one reason why folks at TGR are raving about the new Squad over the Super 7: It has a far milder tail. If "powder" means above the knees and you don't have to spend much time getting to it, and it's mostly trees or open moderate terrain, or bumps, and you like to smear and slarve more than carve, then yep, tail rocker is your new best friend. 

 

OTOH, think you are misjudging your size issues. The length of a ski is related to your height and the degree to which you pressure the tip. Rocker will reduce the running length on pack, you can look at the rocker specs and figure out what's left if you can't find a running length. But in powder, you'll have the whole ski length. So at your height, something in the high 180's is not unreasonable.

 

The cross sectional area, and what it's made of, is related to your weight.  Eg, how much you flex the ski. Which is one way to turn a ski in powder. And the total float is far more determined by the width than the length; just the mathematics of it. So you do not need a seriously long ski. But you do need a comparatively (for a powder ski) stiff and wide one or things are gonna get very interesting at speed or in light deep trees. You might think about skis that have a rep for being beefier. Plenty out there. 

 

If you are putting a premium on magic abilities in soft snow and are willing to deal with the quirks of the design on firmer snow - they are stunning. Again, have heard nothing but good stuff about PPB's in real powder. But those "quirks" can take a bit of getting used to, according to some. You may or may not want to purchase and then learn. Suggest a demo on this one.

 

Think Spin's "magic" comment is spot on. Some of us want powder skis that will gracefully handle most any kind of softer snow nature throws our way. Others of us want a ski that will deliver a peak experience if the powder is also peak, so you'll get less use out of it, but when you do it'll be amazing. So suggest some realism about how often you're gonna hit big powder even out west if you travel to it, and which mindset you have about the occasional big dump you will hit.

 

More generally, suggest you do some searches over at TGR. They talk about powder more than we do. 


Edited by beyond - 5/13/12 at 7:50pm
post #7 of 14

Read this.

 

It'll do a lot to help you understand the "mutant" DNA found in virtually every credible soft snow/powder ski being made today.  The closest loving descendants of the Spatula are arguably the Powder Board and the Lotus 138. 

 

Here are a couple of videos that show the skis in action. 

 

Praxis Powder Boards in action:

 

Lotus 138s:

 

The "looseness" of the skis should be apparent in both videos -- it allows playing with turns in ways more conventional skis are not designed to do.

 

Search YouTube & Vimeo for more videos if you are so inclined. Maybe look for McConkey on Spatulas or Pontoons as well.

 

Again - you might want to "dial it back" design-wise for specific reasons. Indeed, many of the more hybridized skis out there offer a choice of where on the spectrum you end up.  But IMO no one looking for a quiver "powder ski" should make a final decision without understanding these skis. Just my .02...

 

I agree with much of what beyond said (although I'm gonna be in a good mood for a while after my April trip smile.gif). My point on tail rocker was not that it needs to be dramatic - just that it is found on the vast majority of the best powder skis. And when it is totally lacking - there should be very good design reason. Most of the better skis - IMO - have moderate tail rocker.

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dracop View Post

I tried some Katanas while at Whistler, I like the fatty concept with rockers; did not like other aspects of those particular skis (hence why I started looking at Line's lineup). One beef I had, they were not as nimble in the trees as I like.

Balancing a great air landing platform with nimble, quick turning characteristics is where I am struggling. Oh, and POW skis, so I don't want to deal with diving issues. Carving characteristics are less important on these skis for reasons already mentioned.

Here you have an indication and a contradiction.  The first highlighted sentence says "tail rocker", that's a the ticket to nimbleness in trees.  Second sentence scrambles it again.  Air landing platform kinda says "no tail rocker" or "little tail rocker", so that's where only the OP knows where his compromise would land.  If the premium is strongly on magic in really deep stuff, then yeah, the R/R skis (i.e. Spatula-like) are the ticket, just be ready to have one or two such days per year....  Size: if you are a truly aggressive skier (and different people tend to put a different meaning into those words) at 240lb, get the longest ski the manufacturer makes.  High 180's is a bare minimum.  All rockered skis ski short, tip-tail rocker skis even shorter, so keep that in mind.  

post #9 of 14

Hey Spindrift that you in the first video? Some nice tight pillows there. Drool. 

post #10 of 14

I'm not that good.... Some guys in the Alps posted a bunch of videos of skiing on Powder Boards (and some on BPSs). I just went and dredged up one of those - and a Lotus 138 one..... I was surprised that a number of illustrative Praxis & DPS vids seem to have faded into the woodwork.

 

Most of the runs I posted my more feeble videos of this year were on either Powder Boards or their cousins the Protests (the brief exceptions IIRC being a few turns on Garywaynes & Concepts). So my videos tell you how those boards handle for a very average skier..smile.gif


Edited by spindrift - 5/15/12 at 12:40pm
post #11 of 14

I like you live on east coast. I just picked up a pair of Moment Bibbys. They are supposed to be great in the pow but handle very well on groomers. I will most likely be using them as my everyday ski. Check out what moment has to offer they make great skis. The night train might be a good EC pow ski whereas maybe something like the Moment Donner party would be good for trips out west. Hope this helps your search! 

post #12 of 14

From what you describe take a look at the K2 Dark Side in a 188 - this could be your ticket.

post #13 of 14

This is the powder ski deal of the century: Praxis Powder Boards clearance for $340 bucks. http://www.praxisskis.com/shop/buy-skis.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=11&category_id=3 

 

I think the 10% coupons may work too (not sure). 

 

Good luck finding a better powder ski. Good luck finding a better built ski. If you were ever curious about a magic powder design, it'll never get better than this to check it out IMO.

 

This is what happens  when a company in Tahoe builds powder ski inventory based on 2010/2011 and then gets handed the 2011/2012 season... Keith needs to clear out inventory for the new custom build lineup (although the base Powder Board design remains unchanged), so the world gets a rocking deal.. 

post #14 of 14
Might I suggest that you reserve some powder skis as you head west and try a few? I skied several before falling in love with my DPS'.

There are a lot of views on this topic from one end of the spectrum to the other. You can probably guess who skis groomers on Powder boards and who skis powder on "skinny" skis. Try a few and figure it out for yourself. And..... Here is the crazy suggestion.... On one of those powder days when you're figuring out your skis, take a powder lesson. It really opens up a lot more of the mountain.
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