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Around 85 mm vs 95 mm Waist comparison?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

To start, I'm 6', 200 lbs advanced intermediate skier. Today I tried a pair of Cham 97 in about 4'' of new snow. Just for the sake of comparison, I have also tried a pair of RTM 84, a pair of Outland 87 and a pair of Enduro XT 850 under approximately the same condition. I found that the Cham 97 does not float much better than a pair of 85 mm waist. They both sink to the bottom when standing still, and when I pick up the pace, all of them float ok, and turn without much problems or difference in powder. Maybe the Cham floats sooner (or at a lower speed) than those 85 mm, but not too obvious to notice. Maybe either I'm too fat or my skill is too rough to sense that, or both? However, I do notice the Cham requires more effort to turn, and much slower edge to edge especially on harder surfaces than those of 85 mm. So sorry about all the babbling, but I am just curious why many people chose a pair of skis of around 95 mm underfoot over a pair of 85 mm as all mountain. Is it because of flotation or long-radius style preference? Or am I just too heavy to sense the flotation difference? (I can see a pair of 70 ish carving ski does flow much worse and be less versatile) 

 

Should I look at 105 - 115 mm for all-mountain, mainly for powder and back country use (maybe do some AT)? Just ordered a pair of Vwerks RTM 84 for all mountain, front side biased use. Thinking of building a 2 ski quiver.

post #2 of 17

I think that you're concentrating a bit too much on width, to the exclusion of flex, shape, weight, and construction. The skis you mention differ wildly in at least one of those, usually more. A 90-something ski is a great width for a OSQ if you live out west. But if you already just bought a 84 frontside ski, then yep, something in the 110-115 range will probably be very nice for a second ski, especially if it's a bit softer and more playful. 

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Oh no I am aware of that. The RTM and Outland are stiffer than the Enduro and Cham, and the RTM is full rocker while the other 3 are tip rockers, with the outland being less tip rockered. and RTM is significantly lighter too.

 

I am just wondering why many people said a 90 ish is a great width (like you just said) since I did not find it much more beneficial than a 80-85 in slightly deep stuff? What is the context behind it? Is that because of flotation or something else?

 

I mainly go to the Rockies for skiing. and yeah, about the softer ski thing, I was actually thinking about the Katana...on the stiff side but compensated with the full rocker...


Edited by LaserPower - 4/29/13 at 8:42pm
post #4 of 17

Well, I said it's a great OSQ because 1) The average higher end boot tends to be 97-98 across, which means a mechanical advantage on skis that width or less when tipping. So much above 98 loses some carving chops. 2) A ski in the 90's will float most average sized skiers at normal speed. This is particularly important in trees, where you need to stay above Stuff while turning a lot. A ski in the mid 80's will not. 3) It's a numerical compromise between pure powder skis in the 110+ range and frontside all mountain carvers in the high 70's to low 80's. But frankly, my point was that the other variables are more important usually than the say 10 mm difference. I find a big difference between skis in the 70's and the 90's in terms of quickness and edge effort. Not so much between 85 and 95. YMMV. 

 

On to (b). I do not think you will be happy with a Katana if you are looking for a softer powder ski and think the rocker compensates the flex. It's a powerful Big Mountain (not powder) ski that likes to go fast and crush small things - children, crud, small mammals - underneath. It's not playful, think instead of a wider Mantra. Strong, stabile, no speed limit, carves surprisingly well, laughs at chop. The rocker allows some pivots and such that would be tough without, but you'll need to stay focused in bumps or trees. Rocker's not the same as being able to flex it, which is how we turn a wider ski in powder.

 

OTOH, you're a big guy, so likely you can bend it a bit at normal speed, and the beef might suit you. But personally, I'd guess the Shiro would be a far better true powder ski for you, assuming you're committed to Volkl, for Rockies and fairly light pow. If you want a missile for AK, or for broken snow that can pivot and carve pretty well, then the Katana would be worth a look. There are other skis that are better for both situations, however. 

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks beyond. That was some great info. I'm not committed to Volkl at all. I just like the lightness of the v-werks rtm so I guess I was slightly biased when I said Katana. There is a v-werks version coming out too...biggrin.gif

 

 

I guess a lot of people would choose a softer mid 90 pair for all mountain use. But I guess for me is not really a pair of all mountain anyways since I can overpower softer skis (Head Rev 85, for example) at a not so fast speed (50-60 kph) especially on harder and bumpy stuff, and I can't float on mid 90s either...frown.gif When I was buying the V-werks RTM 84, I was more thinking that I need something that is quick edge to edge while manageable when there is a big dump on piste for my weight (maybe a wide carving ski or all mountain front side ski is the right term to describe), and also can go fast without chattering. When I was trying something in the mid 90 range I found the edge to edge slowness is beyond my tolerance (I know it is not a enormous difference when compared with a mid 80, but just far less than I like) while the soft stuff performance was not as much as I hoped. The RTM is stiff so I can charge harder without worrying about chatter, and the extra lightness is especially useful when it comes to getting bumped off the terrain and re-position the skis before landing (People suggest damper skis such as the Head Rev but I still get bumped off quite often on those, so I decided to go the other way around). And being a full rocker it is easier to maneuver around in the bumps and moguls.

Even in the Rockies, it is not always powder day on piste... A lot of the time the piste is pretty hard and icy (more than powder days imo)...so a daily driver with good hard pack performance is the top priority...But it is always good to have a wider one for off piste use. 

 

Yep like you said in trees, but I can't even get the Cham to float at 4'' of soft stuff so I prob should not expect it to float in trees eh? I guess it is a bad idea to use the RTM in trees too (never tried, attempting tho, know that I could fail miserably). What should I be looking at for trees? Soft, full rocker or high rise tip rocker with something around 110 underfoot? I am thinking maybe I can use it for heli skiing or cat skiing too? (I know I am probably ahead of myself or asking too much but just thinking...would be nice if I do not have to get another pair)

 

I thought big mountain goes along with powder?

post #6 of 17

Ah, trees. Well, at your size, yeah, a 90-something won't cut it. I'd guess you'd want to go up at least to a 105-110, even 115+ if you're also thinking heli or cat (two very different kinds of terrain, usually), high 170's to low 180's in length. Much wider than that and it gets unwieldy in tight bumped up places, regardless of how much it helps you float. So lotsa choices. IMO, front rocker is a Major Improvement over traditional, not so committed about rear (depends more on your style and where else you're using the ski), but a twin-ish design is useful, so look for as much of a flip in the tail as possible. 

 

Some candidates that IMO should work especially for typical trees in all conditions from soft bumps to two feet of fresh: Sollie Rocker 2 108's or 115's; next year's Rossignol Soul 7's or Super 7's; Praxis MVP's; Nordica Patron's; DPS 112RP's; next year's Blizzard Scouts, Volkl Shiros. Obviously the narrower ones will be quicker and happier in tighter trees and bumped up trees, while the wider one's will excel in Cat scenarios and big open trees.

 

Heli, I'd think you would want another ski altogether, more of a stiffer, fat big mountain design like a Bodacious or Kastle 128 or Rossignol Squad 7, or Praxis Ullr or Moment Bibby Pro. Since the terrain would be more open, steeper, and would want skis that can charge ahead of skis that are quick. That could also be the case for Cat trips, depending...

post #7 of 17

4 in of powder is too little to appreciate the difference in float between 2 pairs of skis. That said, if you already have 84's on the way I agree you should be looking in the 105-110 range for a second ski.  At which point you have to decide what you want it to be good at--soft with full rocker for powder, period, vs tip rocker/camber and stiffer to handle powder and firm--more of an OSQ for out west--at the expense of more work in the bumps, trees, etc. 

 

The reason a lot of people like skis in the 90's is that they tend to make good western OSQ's--enough float for most powder days, narrow enough for the bumps and carving. Understand that unless you're heli-skiing or skiing the hardpack, EVERY ski is a compromise because on every day you're going to encounter a variety of conditions and every ski is going to be better at one of those conditions than the others. You have to decide what compromises you want to make. For example in the 105-110 range I favor stiffer hybrid camber skis over light playful full rockers because I value a secure edge on steep firm snow and am willing to give up maneuverability.  Other people have other priorities.

 

If you want something that won't bottom out while you're standing still in 4 inches of powder you may need to look at some very large snowshoes.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
What is your thought on full rocker for tree applications (no camber under foot) or people pick cambered with rockered tips for a reason?

Am I handling the bumps (not mogul type, just rather uneven hard surface on un groomed runs) at faster speed correctly and picked the right stuff for it or should I adjust my technique? Because I tried stiffer and heavier damp skis for that, hoping it can absorb or reduce the bump but not so effective imo, the heavier ones just increase my fatigue trying to control the skis mid air.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserPower View Post

the heavier ones just increase my fatigue trying to control the skis mid air.

???? Are you talking about involuntary air? Which is a technique issue, not a ski issue. Or just sort of skipping from bump top to bump top deliberately? Which can be done, but best done with a third kind of ski, more of a freeride design, light as possible. DPS or Prior are two companies that make very light skis in the 110-ish range that you can really toss around. Sort of what a Bushwacker allows for us lighter guys. OTOH, if you are talking about actually throwing down airs, then you should be on a more park/freestyle design, and issues of the tail for landing come into focus. Not to mention flex pattern, which should include very soft tips and tails. 

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

???? Are you talking about involuntary air? Which is a technique issue, not a ski issue. Or just sort of skipping from bump top to bump top deliberately? Which can be done, but best done with a third kind of ski, more of a freeride design, light as possible. DPS or Prior are two companies that make very light skis in the 110-ish range that you can really toss around. Sort of what a Bushwacker allows for us lighter guys. OTOH, if you are talking about actually throwing down airs, then you should be on a more park/freestyle design, and issues of the tail for landing come into focus. Not to mention flex pattern, which should include very soft tips and tails. 

I suppose you are right about the involuntary air part. Mostly happens on ungroomed steep frozen hard pack when I go fast. But I cannot see how I can absorb or avoid it correctly just because I do not expect them to be there...
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

4 in of powder is too little to appreciate the difference in float between 2 pairs of skis. That said, if you already have 84's on the way I agree you should be looking in the 105-110 range for a second ski.  At which point you have to decide what you want it to be good at--soft with full rocker for powder, period, vs tip rocker/camber and stiffer to handle powder and firm--more of an OSQ for out west--at the expense of more work in the bumps, trees, etc. 

 

The reason a lot of people like skis in the 90's is that they tend to make good western OSQ's--enough float for most powder days, narrow enough for the bumps and carving. Understand that unless you're heli-skiing or skiing the hardpack, EVERY ski is a compromise because on every day you're going to encounter a variety of conditions and every ski is going to be better at one of those conditions than the others. You have to decide what compromises you want to make. For example in the 105-110 range I favor stiffer hybrid camber skis over light playful full rockers because I value a secure edge on steep firm snow and am willing to give up maneuverability.  Other people have other priorities.

 

If you want something that won't bottom out while you're standing still in 4 inches of powder you may need to look at some very large snowshoes.

 

I suppose I should try a pair of mid 90s in trees before judging...Last time I had some bad experience with mid 80s in trees, waist deep soft stuff...they dive head first into the soft stuff when I start going, tipping me over in the process so I am kinda reluctant to try again before I can assure myself the new pair will float. It is just pain in the ass trying to get out when you have the wrong gear. Is there a better way to check how floaty they are? Guess I have to wait for a big dump...which is not very frequent here...

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserPower View Post


I suppose you are right about the involuntary air part. Mostly happens on ungroomed steep frozen hard pack when I go fast. But I cannot see how I can absorb or avoid it correctly just because I do not expect them to be there...

If you're looking for a ski that's good in steep frozen ungroomed hardpack at speed you're going to be looking for a long time.

post #13 of 17

Although there are some candidates. Stockli, Kastle, and Blizzard make skis that come to mind, as well as several indies. 

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

If you're looking for a ski that's good in steep frozen ungroomed hardpack at speed you're going to be looking for a long time.

That's why I got a lighter one. Just let the bumps launch me and reposition the skis before landing~but that's some rough skill tho. Any better suggestions?
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Although there are some candidates. Stockli, Kastle, and Blizzard make skis that come to mind, as well as several indies. 
Can you offer me some insight on how to avoid involuntary air? Well, the bumps (mogul type, but less dense) are not so tough since I can see where the bumps are. But the occasional bumps on the generally steep runs are tough since you cannot see them that well to avoid or prepare.
post #16 of 17

If you're actually talking about frozen ungroomed snow, as in sidecountry, I'd say first of all to slow down. If you're getting launched without wanting to be, you're going too fast for your skill set, prolly with too flat a base angle. Think about turning once in a while. Second, you want a fairly damp, fairly beefy ski that can absorb some of the shock and keep the edges in contact with the snow. Thus my recs. Light skis might work for a truly skilled pilot that likes the air and plays with it. That you? Third, lessons. Lessons. Lessons. Fourth, you keep mentioning vision, what you can and can't see. Either you're traveling ahead of the speed of light, or maybe Rx googles? 

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

If you're actually talking about frozen ungroomed snow, as in sidecountry, I'd say first of all to slow down. If you're getting launched without wanting to be, you're going too fast for your skill set, prolly with too flat a base angle. Think about turning once in a while. Second, you want a fairly damp, fairly beefy ski that can absorb some of the shock and keep the edges in contact with the snow. Thus my recs. Light skis might work for a truly skilled pilot that likes the air and plays with it. That you? Third, lessons. Lessons. Lessons. Fourth, you keep mentioning vision, what you can and can't see. Either you're traveling ahead of the speed of light, or maybe Rx googles? 

Well, if there is a hidden bump and I hit it when I am using a low angle intentionally and going fast enough (I think that is pretty normal for ungroomed terrain. I like carving too, but I prefer mix it with hard charging to make things interesting), I will always get launched involuntarily regardless of my skill right? Sorry I do not see how improving my skill can avoid that. I see slowing down can, but to me it is kinda a bad trade off...

I half agree with you on the second point and fully agree with you on your third. I do like to catch some air and play so I think a pair of lighter skis will still benefit me even I'm not a 'truly skilled pilot'. Is there a disadvantage of a intermediate using a pair of light skis?

About vision, bad weather, fogged up goggles (Even the best anti fog goggles fog up sometimes), and light and shadow can all contribute to poor vision and I do not need RX glasses. I don't think that's news for anyone.
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