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Suggestions for skis best in spring (slush) conditions

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

A little background about myself:

I consider myself an advanced/expert skier. This season marks my 2nd full season as a ski instructor at a ski school in Japan. My quiver as of now includes two race skis (165cm Fischer SL, and 180cm Fischer GS) and a semi-fat pow ski (176cm Liberty Helix - 105mm underfoot). I like to ski fast, both short and long radius turns. I spend most of my time on my SLs.

I'm looking to add an all-mountain to my quiver primarily for use in slushy spring conditions. I find myself catch too much edge with the GS, not enough stability with the SL, and not enough power with the Helix. I'm looking for a ski I can still charge hard in these wet spring conditions.

 

I'm thinking something with a waist width of around 80cm would be best and have been looking into the Kastle MX series (78, 83). What do you guys think? Any suggestions?

 

Looking forward to responses. Thanks.

post #2 of 22

we ski with our 98 mm twintips in eastern spring conditions and it works very well and feel very stable both in the pre and post-mogul phases.

 

 

on a side note, i was wondering this weekend if anyone actually manufactures a ski specifically designed for spring conditions... i'm sure there would be a (small) market for that.. i wonder what characteristics such ski would have...

post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkamo1 View Post

A little background about myself:

I consider myself an advanced/expert skier. This season marks my 2nd full season as a ski instructor at a ski school in Japan. My quiver as of now includes two race skis (165cm Fischer SL, and 180cm Fischer GS) and a semi-fat pow ski (176cm Liberty Helix - 105mm underfoot). I like to ski fast, both short and long radius turns. I spend most of my time on my SLs.

I'm looking to add an all-mountain to my quiver primarily for use in slushy spring conditions. I find myself catch too much edge with the GS, not enough stability with the SL, and not enough power with the Helix. I'm looking for a ski I can still charge hard in these wet spring conditions.

 

I'm thinking something with a waist width of around 80cm would be best and have been looking into the Kastle MX series (78, 83). What do you guys think? Any suggestions?

 

Looking forward to responses. Thanks.

 

How much do you weigh? How tall are you? And just for fun, where are you skiing in Japan?  I'd think the Kastle MX 83 or 88, and the FX 94 would be pretty great. And wax... lot's of wax.smile.gif  We used to use 'Rain-X' for the descent on spring tours around Tateyama and Hakusan.

post #4 of 22
I have thought about having a dedicated spring ski. My thoughts? Choose a set of skis that you feel can ski well on various conditions. It has to be grippy enough for the morning ice and forgiving enough for softer snow. Give the skis a dedicated wet snow stone grind and satuate the bases with a warm snow wax to help them glide in spring conditions.

Dennis

Edit. I forgot to add that my spring ski is an older 78 mm ski for California. I figure that I don't go off trail as much as I do during the main season, but the skis can handle some mixed conditions.
post #5 of 22

I like a ski in the 95-105mm range for classic New England spring conditions. This may well be your crudbuster or boot top snow ski as well. I like it to be fairly beefy in flex.

 

Extra points for coarse base structure and a good warm weather wax.

 

Gonna be getting some this week with mid 40's and bright sunshine biggrin.gif


Edited by Rossi Smash - 4/2/13 at 4:34pm
post #6 of 22

My experience: my MX 78s are great just as the snow is softening up in the morning but as the soft/slush layer deepens they start to loose it and swim.  Unless you're willing to change skis with increasing slushiness, I'd say something in the mid- to high 80s, with metal, or low- to mid 90s with less metal would probably be a good compromise.  My current favorite is an old pair of Mag 8.7s (last gen) in a length a little shorter than I would pick for firm conditions, and I'm thinking about complimenting them with a pair of FX 94s.  As the slush approaches "bottomless" (!!!), then perhaps the 100+s, but I pretty much avoid those conditions so can't be of much help.

post #7 of 22

I drop down in width when the focus is tip to turn and stay tipped. Other may use a full rocker to go the other way and allow for more rotational skiing. When in goo I try to go fast, lower the angle of my turns to linger in the fall line and tip to ride the edges to release the slurp along your bases. A narrower ski allows for quicker tipping and less time on a flat ski.

 

I use an 88 waisted ski in this type of snow . It just seems to offer less resistance to sliding.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post

I drop down in width when the focus is tip to turn and stay tipped. Other may use a full rocker to go the other way and allow for more rotational skiing.

 

One thing's for sure -- if your ski is submerged in heavy, wet slush, you're not gonna be able to pivot it very much at all.  So you can either use a relatively heavy/damp carver or 'wide carver' and slice through it, or use a softer, wider ski that will keep you on or near the surface, at which point you can more or less 'surf' it.  Stiff, wide skis can plow through most crud or slush, but can make for a scary ride if you're not on your game.

 

I like my Watea 94s in those conditions; the Kastle FX94 is probably similar.  Keeps you from sinking into it too much, but can hold an edge when you need it to.

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

How much do you weigh? How tall are you? And just for fun, where are you skiing in Japan?  I'd think the Kastle MX 83 or 88, and the FX 94 would be pretty great. And wax... lot's of wax.smile.gif   We used to use 'Rain-X' for the descent on spring tours around Tateyama and Hakusan.

I'm 5'6 160. And I ski in Hakuba, Nagano (Tsugaike Kogen). What difference will I see between the MX and the FX models?
post #10 of 22

FX 94 or 104, Blizzard Bonafide/Brahma, On3p Vicik......

 

honestly sping snow is pretty forgiving if your centered and cutting almost any ski will work but the above IMO work better.

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkamo1 View Post


I'm 5'6 160. And I ski in Hakuba, Nagano (Tsugaike Kogen). What difference will I see between the MX and the FX models?

 

FX flex is a bit softer, but it's still a very nice, damp, stable ride... one of the best off piste skis under 100mm made IMHO. If you see Hiroshi Ishikida (Mahoroba) out skiing, say hello from 'Mark from Kanazawa'.  I'm in Seattle now, but he'll know who you're talking about. If you ever want a great telemark lesson, sign up with him. He's an amazing skier and instructor. And nice nice terrain up above the ski area for sure. Hope you're getting up there! Well worth the skin up!

post #12 of 22

In order of personnal preference for spring conditions:

1. Outland87

2. mx88

3. sultan legend 85

post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

 

FX flex is a bit softer, but it's still a very nice, damp, stable ride... one of the best off piste skis under 100mm made IMHO. If you see Hiroshi Ishikida (Mahoroba) out skiing, say hello from 'Mark from Kanazawa'.  I'm in Seattle now, but he'll know who you're talking about. If you ever want a great telemark lesson, sign up with him. He's an amazing skier and instructor. And nice nice terrain up above the ski area for sure. Hope you're getting up there! Well worth the skin up!


Actually, I'm pretty sure I met Ishikida-san yesterday on the mountain...small world. And yes, I've been to the backcountry several times now and will be going more this month. Thanks for the suggestions and info.

post #14 of 22

You should also hook up with Matsumoto-san from Rapie for a tour as well... he's a good guy too!

 

Hiro's (Ishikida-san) not hard to miss when you see him telemarking... there are very few if any who are better at it than he is.

 

Back to skis, I'm quite a bit bigger than you, but for a spring ski for your area, I'd mount up a pair of FX94's in a heartbeat... not too much side cut, so it won't feel hooky, and tracks smooth and straight through heavy snow... for corn snow (ざらめ) Just choose the length appropriate to your height and weight. If you manage to get over to the Tateyama area for the spring season, please take a lot of picts and post them here!!! 


Edited by markojp - 4/3/13 at 9:04am
post #15 of 22

Try an Icelantic Shaman-161cm or the 173...keep them on edge.  For someone who enjoys race skis, you'll flip for these.  Honest.

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

I like a ski in the 95-105mm range for classic New England spring conditions. This may well be your crudbuster or boot top snow ski as well. I like it to be fairly beefy in flex.

 

Extra points for coarse base structure and a good warm weather wax.

 

Gonna be getting some this week with mid 40's and bright sunshine biggrin.gif


I have always read that a waist in the 90-105 range is best for soft spring snow.  Wax them well and keep them on edge and you should be good to go.  Seems to work for me.

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

You should also hook up with Matsumoto-san from Rapie for a tour as well... he's a good guy too!

 

Hiro's (Ishikida-san) not hard to miss when you see him telemarking... there are very few if any who are better at it than he is.

 

Back to skis, I'm quite a bit bigger than you, but for a spring ski for your area, I'd mount up a pair of FX94's in a heartbeat... not too much side cut, so it won't feel hooky, and tracks smooth and straight through heavy snow... for corn snow (ざらめ) Just choose the length appropriate to your height and weight. If you manage to get over to the Tateyama area for the spring season, please take a lot of picts and post them here!!! 

Mark,

I went to Rapie for the first time the other day as I'm looking into buying some telemarking gear this summer when prices get a little lower. I probably won't need to buy alpine skis for the spring if that's the case...haha. I don't know if you are familiar with the Inomata family (Kazuyuki-san, national demonstrator and former technical champion) in Tsugaike, but I've been staying/working at their hotel so I have many connections to great skiers here in Hakuba-Otari area.

Back to skis...I really want to try out some Kastles and see what the hype is all about. Again, I do have some 105 Liberty Helix which I truly enjoy skiing on. I'm just not quite sure if I can shell out that kind of cash for a "spring ski" yet.

 

Again off topic: Does Tateyama refer to the entire mountain range here in Hakuba? I've toured up Tsugaike all the way to the top of Hakuba Norikura several times and the view was phenomenal. Here's a couple pics from my latest trip up. Look familiar? :)

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkamo1 View Post

Mark,

 

 

Again off topic: Does Tateyama refer to the entire mountain range here in Hakuba? I've toured up Tsugaike all the way to the top of Hakuba Norikura several times and the view was phenomenal. Here's a couple pics from my latest trip up. Look familiar? :)

 

Indeed! Tateyama isn't really in the same area, though you're not too far away... talk to Matsumoto or Ishikida-san... they both make regular trips to Tateyama... it's the place where you see the buses going through the 20 meter snow cuts on the way up....

 

http://www.alpen-route.com/en/introduction/highlights/murodo 

post #19 of 22

In the first place, base structure has much to do with wet snow glide.   No matter how you wax for wet snow, structure is paramount.  That being said, waxing for wet snow will also be very important for any glide in wet snow.  Here is how I do it.  Remember also, that graphite is good for dry snow, but it is not so good for wet snow unless you use a flurographite polymer.

post #20 of 22

Here is the Butter portion.  Please don't use Rain-X etc.  I have used Not-Wax from Zardoz as well, but don't recommend it as it seems to prevent further infiltration of subsequent waxings.  I would recommend Zardoz Not-Wax for skiing on fake grass type surfaces as used in summer set-ups, or city demos where fake plastic grass is what you ski on.  In that case those skis should only be used for fake plastic grass and the Zardoz will need to be reapplied frequently.

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
 

I drop down in width when the focus is tip to turn and stay tipped. Other may use a full rocker to go the other way and allow for more rotational skiing. When in goo I try to go fast, lower the angle of my turns to linger in the fall line and tip to ride the edges to release the slurp along your bases. A narrower ski allows for quicker tipping and less time on a flat ski.

 

I use an 88 waisted ski in this type of snow . It just seems to offer less resistance to sliding.

 

Interesting thread. Can't imagine how I missed it back when. The above seems quite opposite to what really happens to me. Especially the statement about full rocker biasing to rotational skiing.  Deep really wet granular slush is even more water-like than powder. Hmmmmmm..... In short, a fat reverse/reverse ski will allow faster "edging" and will allow higher edge angles without "breaking through" - due to surface area, surface area distribution, and rocker profile (ie, pre decambered). The fatter a ski is and the closer to reverse/reverse roots it is, the better it'll ski deep slush - regardless of style (unless you insist on treating it like a super shape). It'll let you feather the edge angle and slide without catching. It'll let you achieve higher edge angles and arc at higher speeds with more control.

 

I'm guessing slush in Japan is about the same as slush everywhere else ;) 

post #22 of 22

Water skis!:D 

 

Maybe try Volkl RTM 84. They are wide carvers. 

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