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170cm Gotama

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

General question:  Anyone have direct experience skiing 170cm 2013/14 Goats vs the same in 186/194cm?


I'm considering going with an AT binding on a pair of 170's and using for skinning up on wind hold days and playing in hand-cut tree lines (tight).  


Not much of a "wide" ski person.  Being located in NE, I've got a locker full of 155-165 SL skis and a couple GSs for gates.  Up to knee deep snow, I am quite happy skiing the bottom or the middle with the SLs.  Last year I finally caved and purchased 186 Gotamas.  I skied them on a 6" powder day ... why bother.  Skied them on a 12+" powder day and found them to be lively and a lot of fun - floating, bouncing and hopping over stuff that would beat the crap out of me with the SLs.  Almost didn't have to think about the skis compared with building platforms and planing out a short SL.


I was traveling last week and demo'ed a pair of 180 Soul 7's.  Conditions were dust on crust at Vail.  The bowls had 2-3" of fresh, but frozen rutted and hard as rock surface underneath.  The Souls skied nice when I could keep them in soft snow, but I found them "hookey" going from crust to dust - especially in bumps.  They actually surprised me with the arcs they'd carve on hard and wind-scoured surfaces, but nowhere near as fun as an SL ski.  Not a fair comparison given the conditions, but I didn't enjoy them as much as my Goats.


So now I'm intrigued with the idea of a short version of the Goat for travel, resort uphill, and play in tight trees. (Obviously a limited use ski given the application and snowfall in NE.)  For anyone who's skied the longer Goats and the 170 - what's your experience?


Stats:  6'1", 185# (summer/cycling) 200ish winter (this year), strong skier but getting old (55).

post #2 of 10
All I can say is that the longer the ski that harder it is to start the next turn. I'm 5'11" 200lbs and ski the full camber Gotama in 177cm at Okemo. Have a blast on it in the bumps, trees, groomers and fresh up to about 10", then I'd like something longer.

Even in the trees on powder days and spring time crud, I find mine easy to turn.

I worry that if you get them in 170cm you'll over power them on the groomers. Hope that gives you some help.
post #3 of 10

I  have a 2 ski quiver that I use most of the year


184cm Volkl Kendo 12/13

186cm Volkl Gotama 13/14 (also had older pair)


I'm 6'2" & 190#, 48yr


I've skied the 170 Gotama and purchased the 186.  Maybe I'm still a little old school & long for my 210s, but have yet to find myself in a situation where I would want a shorter ski.  I typically choose to change skis & grab my Kendos if I want to be quicker or am stuck on groomers w/ my kids.  I wanted my Gotamas for deeper snow, crud, corn, etc.  I tend to ski them w/ longer GS turns & force them to power through vs. ski around cut up conditions.  With the rocker & generally greasy feeling when flat, it's easy to do a quick pivot in bumps or trees when I miscalculated my line.


I think one of the key factors is how fast you like to ski.  I find that the faster I ski, the more 'apparent weight' I have on the ski when turning.  aka - more force.  The longer ski is stiffer than the shorter one & thus requires more weight/force.  You can get that by eating, pushing harder, or carrying more momentum.


As always, if you want to be sure about a choice, go & get on the ski.  If you can only get on one size then try it.  If you like it, buy it.  Don't worry if you'd like the other one better.  You can play that game your whole life.


The best ski is the one on your feet

The best snow is what's under your ski

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you both.  Good things to think about.


I have the 186 2013 Gotama - like it a lot.  Ski it very rarely however - bought it for 10"+ days and just not enough cover in the trees this year to warrant taking it out.


Totally agree that demo,demo, demo is the only way to know.  Usually demo all the current stuff during early season demo days, but 170 is usually not in the rep vans and none available local to my hill.  Wasn't really an interest before now -  6-7 pair of SLs in my locker for short skis.     


Primarily wrestling with whether there is any utility in a 170 AT version of what I have now (186 with Pivot 16s).  Certainly easier to travel with a 170.  Smaller and lighter for skinning.  Thinking a 170 might make elbow spaced tree stands more palatable.  For sure it wouldn't see a groomed trail.  Basically a very special use ski.


Some deals on 2013s - not stupid cheap, but enough to make me think about it.  Don't currently have an AT ski and thinking about a "do-it-all" ski for wind hold days after a night of fresh snow.  Wouldn't be perfect at anything, but maybe like the telescoping fishing pole my grandfather always had stashed in the trunk ... ready to fish anytime/anywhere.  Or, maybe it's a total waste and awful at everything.  Dice roll possibly ...

post #5 of 10
Remember the difference is only a couple of inches...

I'm think I'm taking my Kendo's out tomorrow and the 10+" Okemo got yesterday. I doubt the Got's will be needed.

I'll email my buddy and see what he's skiing, his Mantras' or new Got's.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hear what your sayin'.  Probably making a bigger issue out of this than is warranted. 


Looking at my gate skis, 165 to 185 is a fair jump and a big difference in the way they toss around.  Wondering if differences will be similar in a 108 waisted ski (more mass/surface area).  Have demo'ed a number of skis up to 130 wide, but only compared longer lengths.


Skiing Washington state next week and planned to take some SLs just because they're easy to transport and work with the current conditions.  Other than gate skis everything else is at the ski locker and not retrievable before my flight tomorrow.  Possibility of some fresh snow at Crystal and I'm trying to justify not taking the SLs and buying some new sticks.  :)  Worst case I demo whatever the mtn shop has again - Soul 7's seem to be ubiquitous.  Also Volkl One, but can't see that being a worthwhile NE ski.


post #7 of 10

I skied my Kendo's today in the 10" of snow Okemo got on Wednesday. had a great day, I don't know why any body would use a SL ski in these type conditions, use the best tool for the job. My buddy was on his new gotama's his wife was on her new Kenja's. We all had a great day, every run had ungroomed snow and/or bumps. He did say what great crud pig's the got's were. They do plow through just about anything.


I think you know what to do...just do it....:)

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Good to hear there's finally a layer of fresh in NE. Our weekly pilgrimage to Maine has been a bit dry (of snow) since the Holidays. Started off so well, then Ma Nature turned cruel. More snow at home than in the hills.

I would have pulled my Goats out for 10-12. Wasn't able to pull an AT Goat set up together for the trip to WA, so have more time to ponder the AT length decision. Some fresh expected here in WA over the next few days, but nothing major. Have been told to expect dust on crust but hoping for more. Northway and HighnCampbell areas at Crystal is some of my favorite skiing anywhere when the snow is good.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Demo'ed Volkl One (186) yesterday to ski 9-10" of new snow at Crystal Mtn (WA). About as fluffy and bluebird as it gets in the PNW. Wanted to compare with my 186 goats and thought I'd try the 166 V-One today. 12" predicted for today, but has mixed snow and rain all night. Not sure what we're going to get at the top today.

Ones were not a playful as the gotama. On groomed with a couple inches fresh over they felt dead. Not what they were designed for, so to be expected. Didn't realize 186 was the long end of the V-One. 156 on the short end. Not what I expected for a 118ish ski. Mountain shop and other shops seem to have shunned the gotama in favor of Ones and Twos. Marketing wise that makes sense - gotama is long in the tooth and on the backside of the bell curve. Need something new and sexy. Given the choice of my gotama or the One, I'd take the goat based on yesterday's experience.
Edited by medmarkco - 2/12/14 at 7:21am
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

FWIW, Wednesday @ Crystal was rain frozen crust over heavy fresh (6"+/-).  Groomed trails were rock hard corduroy.  Groomers softened with sun exposure.  Crust (thinner) remained most of the day as clouds rolled through -direct facing scapes like Campbell, Sunnyside, etc. were softer and heavier.


Had planned to swap out the 186's for 166 to get some sense of short/wide ski performance.  Trees and power lines tumbled due to wind overnight, so the access road was closed early morning.  No demo ski staff available to make the swap.  Stopped by the Mtn shop 3x to make the swap, but staff not in - final return to shop (11am) the line was 6-7 deep for demos.  Kept the 186 Volkl One.


Skied some rock hard groomers.  Found it impossible to use tip/tail engagement to tighten turns - too much rocker.  Tried rolling on edge, then pressuring the tip to bend the front of the ski which worked to a degree.  As the groomer snow softened, this technique actually worked quite well to carve some relatively tight turns with the One.  Takes a lot of extra work to keep a 115+ waisted ski rolled up on edge.  Definitely challenged new muscle groups.   Mostly used "edged schmeering" on the groomers. 


In the crust, with some speed, the One produced stable sweeping turns.  Was difficult (for me) to slow the ski down and get tighter/rounder turns in the crust.  Reverted to hopping the ski and turning.  Not having a lot of experience with these conditions and an unfamiliar ski made for some challenging skiing.  Snowboarders began to break up a lot of crusted terrain by mid/late-morning, leaving a heavy mix behind.  The One performed well - stable and maneuverable - in these conditions.   Took a final run about 3:45 down sunny side expecting sun-softened conditions, but it was starting to set up by then.    A mix of hard and soft piles.  Can't say I enjoyed the One in those conditions - got tossed around a bit and took some work to adapt, but managed to keep the flow going.


Didn't get any answers to long or short for my AT ski choice, but an enjoyable couple of days getting to know the Volkl One.  The One won't be in my ski locker, especially for eastern conditions, but I enjoyed it more as I understood how to work it.



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