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Favorite powder ski with some hard snow capabilities?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ok you guys helped me out tremendously on picking my new all mountain ski. I decided to go with the Blizzard Bonafides in 180's. I also own a pair of Line Prophet 100's in 172 and a pair of Line Influence 105's in 179. So I feel the only thing left to fill out my quiver is a pair of powder specific skis. I am 5' 6" and weigh 165. I am an expert skier who likes going fast. However when I ski powder sometimes I feel I get going to fast and would like to ski a tad more in control. Basically the ski will only be used in deep powder but even when you have powder days the mountains do get skied off and you sometimes have to ski on the skied off areas for get to some powder stashes.

With that being said would like some suggestions. Like it to be playful more than hard charging. Had a few recommendations of the Nordica Patron and Helldorado. Also the Rossignol Super 7 and S7. I am also interested in the Line Mr. Pollard Opus since I love my Line Skis. I will say my only experience with Nordica hasn't been positive. I bought the Steadfast last year and didn't like them. I have however had very positive experience with Rossignol.

Give me your recommendations and where I should look.

Thanks,

Chuck
post #2 of 28

Do you want Hard Snow capabilities or powder day groomer capabilities? Fairly different IMO. There are basically no skis that will be playful in deep powder and have very good hard snow capabilities. 

 

I would worry much more about crud capabilities than hard snow or groomer skiing as that's usually what I am skiing in the afternoons. 

 

I think the big decision is shape 5 point vs. conventional shape in this segment. 5 point are more playful, fun and slarvy in pow. But they can behave in different ways on groomers and in heavy crud. Conventional are basically like what you already have but fatter with more rocker and softer flex (usually). they are not as fun in powder but generally more pleasing on groomers and crud.

 

In addition to your list, DPS 112RP (or RPC) 184cm (5 point) is where you may want to start. 

 

If you <3 Blizzard, the gunsmoke 186cm  (conventional) is worth a look.


Edited by tromano - 9/29/12 at 9:55am
post #3 of 28

See the reviews in my sig. Depending on what you are looking for I feel that all of the ON3P ski's I have been on perform remarkably well on harder snow.

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

What does 5 point mean.  I am not concerned with hard pack groomer capabilites more like you stated the skiied off powder crud capabilities.  I am also looking at the Armade JJ.  I think my 3 choices would be Armada JJ, Mr. Pollard Opus and Rossignol Squad 7.  Blizzard Bodacious looks good to but probably to much ski for me.  I guess I could go Cochise but that really isn't a powder specific ski.

post #5 of 28

A 5 point ski (such as the JJ) is defined by 5 points where the ski width is measured, as opposed to the traditional 3.  This is because the tip and tail both have a fairly substantial amount of taper so the widest part of the tip and tail are set back from the ends of the skis.  So the JJ, for example, lists the dimensions as such:

126-136-115-133-123

 

This means the the tip basically where you would traditionally measure is 126, the widest part of the tip is 136, the waist is 115, the widest part of the tail is 133, and the tail at the traditional measurement spot is 123.

post #6 of 28

Knowing where you ski just might be important information.  Also, what do you want to use this "powder specific" ski for?  Trees, bowls, wide open slopes. chutes?

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
I live in Michigan but these skis obviously will only be used when I go out west and if I'm lucky enough to get some fresh powder. I already own Line Prophet 100's, Line Influence 105's and Blizzard Bonafides. With that being said I ski the whole mountain when I'm out west trees, chutes, steeps and cruisers so since I only want to buy one powder ski it will have to be able to do it all on the day I am going to ski it. Thinking of going to Jackson Hole this year but usually make it to Snowbird/Alta once a year as well.

Thanks,

Chuck
post #8 of 28
I have been quite impressed with Head Kiss of Death, very stable at high speed, floats well, busts through crud and quite decent on ice. It is a stiff ski for me at 240Ibs you should consider that. As far as I'm concerned it was one of the most underated skis last year. I now use mine as my daily driver at Whistler where conditions can change by the run. My only complaint is that the tail is slighty stiff in the chutes if you need to turn. Also, you still can get a good deal on last years stock. The graphics suck but it is a great ski do not consider this years replacement model. I demoed the Head Hammered and was greatly disappointed.
post #9 of 28

Unless you just have money to waste, you don't need a"powder specific" ski.  Any of the skis you already have are more than adequate for an expert.

post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Unless you just have money to waste, you don't need a"powder specific" ski.  Any of the skis you already have are more than adequate for an expert.

^^^^^ Very True. 

post #11 of 28

Answer to your question...Nordica Patron

post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Unless you just have money to waste, you don't need a"powder specific" ski.  Any of the skis you already have are more than adequate for an expert.

Being adequate isn't what I am looking for.  Never had a powder specific ski so would really love to have one for those days when it dumps 2 feet.  Skied Ajax mountain last year on closing day.  The night before they got the biggest storm of the year and was skiing 2 feet that day.  I skied my Influence 105's and though they performed really well or as you would put it "adequate" I was wishing I had something that would float more and be less work in powder that deep.  Thinking about an Alaska Heli trip for 2014 as well and would like to ski on the ski I would take out there.  Don't want to go out there on a ski I never used.


Edited by procos - 10/2/12 at 9:53pm
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

Unless you just have money to waste, you don't need a"powder specific" ski.  Any of the skis you already have are more than adequate for an expert.

And I am not sure anybody "has money to waste"  however I wouldn't be asking about buying a ski if I couldn't afford it. 

post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSafe View Post

Answer to your question...Nordica Patron

Thank You!!!  You like it better than Helldarado?

post #15 of 28

Helldorado

Line Prophet 115

Atomic Automatic 

 

Are three that come to mind all are big skis that are soft snow biased...

 

For the hard snow biased big skis...

 

Blizzard Cochise/Bodacious

Volkl Katana

Kastle BMX128

post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Helldorado

Line Prophet 115

Atomic Automatic 

 

Are three that come to mind all are big skis that are soft snow biased...

 

For the hard snow biased big skis...

 

Blizzard Cochise/Bodacious

Volkl Katana

Kastle BMX128

What about the Mr. Pollards Opus?  That ski is very intruging to me but I don't ski switch?  Helldorado looks interesting too.  I own the Bonafide and the Influence 105 so the Cochise isn't really on my radar.

post #17 of 28
Why do you even consider hard snow capabilities when you already have a Bonafide? Seems like a wee bit of over thinking.

Playful powder skis include S7, DPS112, Bent Chetler. Helldorado is a terrific ski but I would not call it playful. And don't forget Pontoon and Rocker2 (although I believe the last one is more of a Helldorado-like charging mode).
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

Why do you even consider hard snow capabilities when you already have a Bonafide? Seems like a wee bit of over thinking.
Playful powder skis include S7, DPS112, Bent Chetler. Helldorado is a terrific ski but I would not call it playful. And don't forget Pontoon and Rocker2 (although I believe the last one is more of a Helldorado-like charging mode).

 

When I say hard snow capabilites I am not referring to using it on hard pack.  Even on powder days by mid afternoon the snow begins to get skiied off and I would just like a ski that when I am on my way to the lift that will take me back to the top I am not on a ski that reacts squirrelly.

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Do you want Hard Snow capabilities or powder day groomer capabilities? Fairly different IMO. There are basically no skis that will be playful in deep powder and have very good hard snow capabilities. 

 

Mostly this, would say that a few can do adequately. I've been surprised how well S7's do on hardpack, even icy bumps, getting back to the lift, as long as you pay serious ongoing attention to where your weight is. The Elan 1010 is moderately playful everywhere and pretty decent on hardpack, maybe along with the Cochise the most versatile ski out there. And yep, have heard what E sez, that several of the ON3P's do pretty well on firm. PM Gear Lhasa Pow is moderately playful if you are, quite solid on crust and scratch, although long turning radius. DPS's, well, obviously playful, and great grip, strong carvers if it's smooth. But can get very very lively on rough hard snow. Be forewarned. 

 

OTOH, there's no way in hell I would call a Katana or BMX128 or Bodacious or Helldorado "playful," (sorry Phil), especially for someone who's 5'6" and 165 lbs. A Cochise might make the cut, but it's more of a Big Mountain rig. The new Atomic Automatic is said to be decent on firm, and would certainly make the "playful" cut. And I've heard that the Opus is (surprisingly) OK if not great on hard stuff. If you didn't like the Steadfast try to think about what put you off. If general feel and design, then you may not like the fatter Nordies that still carry some generic similarities. If something more about that ski in those places, then the Unleashed Hell might be fine. 

 

But IMO you're thinking about this all wrong. A lot of it is not about The Ski To Rule All, but about how you ski. A technically strong skier can take a fairly playful soft pow ski and make it work, more or less, on hard snow. The converse, incidentally, may not be true; a wide ski that's gonna handle hardpack like the Katana is just not gonna be silly fun in pow. Unless your idea of silly fun is straightlining 60 mph down a steep chopped up bowl. In which case get one. Otherwise, get a fun ski just for powder, and learn how to make it work on the occasional bit of ice. My .02

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by procos View Post

 

When I say hard snow capabilites I am not referring to using it on hard pack.  Even on powder days by mid afternoon the snow begins to get skiied off and I would just like a ski that when I am on my way to the lift that will take me back to the top I am not on a ski that reacts squirrelly.

 

In all candor this is all about what you expect from a ski.  Even a ski like a praxis powder  (which is the worst groomer skis and the most playful powder ski I have ever been on)  work on firm groomers for transportation, they are totally predictable in their behavior, never feel squirrely if you know how to ski them and ski them appropriately.  

post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

But IMO you're thinking about this all wrong. A lot of it is not about The Ski To Rule All, but about how you ski. A technically strong skier can take a fairly playful soft pow ski and make it work, more or less, on hard snow. The converse, incidentally, may not be true; a wide ski that's gonna handle hardpack like the Katana is just not gonna be silly fun in pow. Unless your idea of silly fun is straightlining 60 mph down a steep chopped up bowl. In which case get one. Otherwise, get a fun ski just for powder, and learn how to make it work on the occasional bit of ice. My .02

 

Bingo. 

post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Mostly this, would say that a few can do adequately. I've been surprised how well S7's do on hardpack, even icy bumps, getting back to the lift, as long as you pay serious ongoing attention to where your weight is. The Elan 1010 is moderately playful everywhere and pretty decent on hardpack, maybe along with the Cochise the most versatile ski out there. And yep, have heard what E sez, that several of the ON3P's do pretty well on firm. PM Gear Lhasa Pow is moderately playful if you are, quite solid on crust and scratch, although long turning radius. DPS's, well, obviously playful, and great grip, strong carvers if it's smooth. But can get very very lively on rough hard snow. Be forewarned. 

 

OTOH, there's no way in hell I would call a Katana or BMX128 or Bodacious or Helldorado "playful," (sorry Phil), especially for someone who's 5'6" and 165 lbs. A Cochise might make the cut, but it's more of a Big Mountain rig. The new Atomic Automatic is said to be decent on firm, and would certainly make the "playful" cut. And I've heard that the Opus is (surprisingly) OK if not great on hard stuff. If you didn't like the Steadfast try to think about what put you off. If general feel and design, then you may not like the fatter Nordies that still carry some generic similarities. If something more about that ski in those places, then the Unleashed Hell might be fine. 

 

But IMO you're thinking about this all wrong. A lot of it is not about The Ski To Rule All, but about how you ski. A technically strong skier can take a fairly playful soft pow ski and make it work, more or less, on hard snow. The converse, incidentally, may not be true; a wide ski that's gonna handle hardpack like the Katana is just not gonna be silly fun in pow. Unless your idea of silly fun is straightlining 60 mph down a steep chopped up bowl. In which case get one. Otherwise, get a fun ski just for powder, and learn how to make it work on the occasional bit of ice. My .02

 Good advice.  Can't comment on the Helldorado but the Patron, which IIRC correctly is basically the same ski without the metal, is an excellent ski and in my experience was plenty playful as well as (which really surprised me!) more than effective on the crud/hard pack.  In fact it was good enough to convince me to buy it after trying it, no mean feat!  I am similar weight to you and I didn't find the lack of metal to be any issue. 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

 

In all candor this is all about what you expect from a ski.  Even a ski like a praxis powder  (which is the worst groomer skis and the most playful powder ski I have ever been on)  work on firm groomers for transportation, they are totally predictable in their behavior, never feel squirrely if you know how to ski them and ski them appropriately.  

 

Yup!  I got rid of the PP for that reason.   When you were on piste trying to get back to the lift it was like skiiing on 12 inches of edge.  If you tried to make a conventional turn they would tend to go in the opposite direction, weird!.  Great in powder though...

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by procos View Post

 

When I say hard snow capabilites I am not referring to using it on hard pack.  Even on powder days by mid afternoon the snow begins to get skiied off and I would just like a ski that when I am on my way to the lift that will take me back to the top I am not on a ski that reacts squirrelly.

Perfect. This is exactly what i needed to know....Listen to me. You already have a influence 105, which is plentttty for those in between days. You want something thats Specifically for pow, but probably not reverse sidecut...All these new 120mm skis, feel like 100mms. theres so much technology know you could even go with Rever Sidecut but i dont recommend if you never even had a pow glider yet. Get a full reverse camber.

 

Forget what i said and others are saying about the Nordica Patron Helldorado unleashed blah blah blah.. they are great ski but, *you give me a rather ideal situation*, they are closer to the influence 105 than "Pow" skis.

 

I dont know if you want to buy something from this year or something on sale but here are some models that have been around for a couple years and still are around.

You really WANT Something 120mm-127mm with some good background and reviews...

...IceLantic Gypsy,    Nordica Radict,    Surface New Life(cheap),     Armada Magic J, even Armada Bubba if feeling POWerful,     Atomic Bent Chetler for mix of pow,shred, jib, and charge,   Salomon Rocker 2 (122 added to name for 2013),   Moment Night Train,   most  on3p or Icelantic or Moment over 118 will be fine too...Lemme know if theres any you specifically are looking at.

post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSafe View Post

Perfect. This is exactly what i needed to know....Listen to me. You already have a influence 105, which is plentttty for those in between days. You want something thats Specifically for pow, but probably not reverse sidecut...All these new 120mm skis, feel like 100mms. theres so much technology know you could even go with Rever Sidecut but i dont recommend if you never even had a pow glider yet. Get a full reverse camber.

 

Forget what i said and others are saying about the Nordica Patron Helldorado unleashed blah blah blah.. they are great ski but, *you give me a rather ideal situation*, they are closer to the influence 105 than "Pow" skis.

 

I dont know if you want to buy something from this year or something on sale but here are some models that have been around for a couple years and still are around.

You really WANT Something 120mm-127mm with some good background and reviews...

...IceLantic Gypsy,    Nordica Radict,    Surface New Life(cheap),     Armada Magic J, even Armada Bubba if feeling POWerful,     Atomic Bent Chetler for mix of pow,shred, jib, and charge,   Salomon Rocker 2 (122 added to name for 2013),   Moment Night Train,   most  on3p or Icelantic or Moment over 118 will be fine too...Lemme know if theres any you specifically are looking at.

Thanks!!!  For a powder specific ski interested in Line MPO, Atomic Bentchetler and Armada Norwalk(supposed to be a killer new powder ski).

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by procos View Post

Thanks!!!  For a powder specific ski interested in Line MPO, Atomic Bentchetler and Armada Norwalk(supposed to be a killer new powder ski).

BentChetler  Handsdown

post #26 of 28

I spent the day at Alta today - amazingly good snow, especially for November.  I am 6'1'' and 220 lbs and consider myself an "average joe" skier.  I can hold my own in most terrain, though high, high speeds and serious steeps can be a bit spooky for me.  But I thought it might be helpful to offer some thoughts on the ski from the perspective of a "normal guy" if you will...

 

I spent the day on three skis - the Helldorado in both 193 and 185 lengths and also a 2013 blizzard Cochise 185 cm for comparison.  It was an interesting day and I learned a lot, and had a ton of fun in the process.  So here are a bunch of random thoughts:

 

The 185 helldorado:  Very stable in virtually all conditions, including groomers.  Surprising edge hold on the groomers.  I have an RTM 84 and a blizzard bonafide and the edge hold rivaled both in terms of just sheer grip on hard pack - I was floored.  Now this is NOT the primary purpose of this ski, but unlike so many wider skis, you can actually have fun on the groomers.  I was skiing with my wife who enjoys groomers and spending time on hardpack with her was surpisingly fun.  In the powder and mixed conditions, the ski was stable and could push through anything.  Pretty buttery and smeary in the soft stuff.  Later in the day when conditions were a bit more wet, it was a relief to have a ski "heavy" enough to support a bigger guy when smearing around in the cut up junk.  I spent some time in the trees and was surpised, considering its weight, that the swing weight was very manageable.  I was worried that in the trees, the skis (or I) would struggle, but not so.  I wouldn't call it "playful" or "light" - I imagine the patron would be better for that.  Easy to throw sideways to scrub speed.  Not hooky at all - unlike a pair of 188 super 7s which I just sold for that very reason.  

 

193 helldorado:  Just too much for me... It felt like the ski was dictating everything and I was just along for the ride.  I would rather tell the ski what to do and not the opposite.  I felt like I had to work on balance and be really focused or I was one move away from blowing up in the crud.  Incredibly stable and could imagine the ski being enjoyed on big lines in the deep stuff, but for the average guy who shows up after the pow has been skied out a bit, the 193 was just too much to handle and I wore out quickly trying to steer and control.  Felt like a barge.... which surprised me considering my size - 220 lbs.  I know others feel different about this length - but thought I'd offer just an opinion.  

 

185 cochise:  more playful and smeary than the 185 helldorados.  Less sidecut (28.5 vs 18.5) and spent more time slarving turns than carving like the helldos - not necessarily a bad thing, just different.  Felt quite a bit lighter than the helldos, even though I think their actual weight is close.  In the trees and on the sides of runs, you could spin and dance with much more ease.  While edge hold on hardpack was reasonable, it did NOT match the grip of the helldorados, in either size.  I wondered if the edge tune, but the skis were practically new and seemed tuned well.  My hold fall of the day occurred on these skis when the tail slipped out and I slid for a bit on my butt.  Stability at higher speed equal to the helldos.

 

At the end of the day, I find myself ruling out owning the 193 helldorados for sure.  But I found myself torn between the other two if I were "buying" today.  I enjoyed the playfulness of the cochise more than the nordicas, but, the reality is, all skiers spend a fair amount of time on hardpack, even on the best powder days and I absolutely loved the carving ability of the helldorados.  It was simply shocking.  So here was my conclusion:  If I had to buy ONE ski - I would probably buy the helldorados, primarily because there was NOTHING that they couldn't do at least reasonably well, if not exceptionally well.  However, if I were pairing this purchase with a narrower, carving or sub-100 mm ski, I would select the Cochise, knowing I would grab it on "new snow" days.  

 

Anyways, random thoughts from a 38 year old, larger guy, average skier.  I hope that helps as you all fill your quivers this year.  

 

By the way - snow is already stacking high at Alta, Snowbird and Brighton and other Utah resorts.  Hopefully this year will be a good one.  

 

Best... 

post #27 of 28
Patron. Period.
post #28 of 28
You can jib and jab wherever you need to go, just point and shoot, even on the iciest days - once you learn to ski them you won't use another ski other than rock/ice skis - and you have plenty of those. Hope you made the right decision smile.gif
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