^^^ I see it the opposite way. Skis in the 97/98mm range are wide enough to start to feel wide, yet they don't really float very well. I like these skis for the 'any condition/ any day' ski, but they are a serious compromise on both hard and soft snow... jack of all trades, master of none, Around 105 underfoot still feels clunky on hard snow but there is a noticeable improvement in soft snow performance.
I find 105mm seriously lacking in versatility, therefore the uselessness as an every day driver which is the mission of the 97mm.
105mm = good for a foot of powder, but not great.
97mm = good for firm skier packed, groomer packed, white ice, hard chalk, foot of powder, crud, chop, and mank.
No real compromise for the 97mm I see, right up to white ice or a foot + of fresh. I'd have to say: master of most conditions, and the ski width of choice for about 90% of strong skiers (who own a quiver) for a daily driver. Adjusting for extreme youth, all generalizations are off.
And the 105mm stinks in really deep snow and sucks bad on firm snow. Now THERE is a master of nothing. (Stink 'n Suck Skis)
I can't believe you are using the word float for the (97mm) class of ski. That's usually a technical crutch of weak powder skiers. Don't you sell skis? I forgot.
Edited by davluri - 1/19/13 at 11:45am