|Originally posted by kieli:
this is cracking me up... so, I advised that he buy practical skis and rent the fatties...
While your recommendation is the standard advice given east coast skiers heading west, I do precisely the opposite - I bring a pair of lite-fats, and rent anything else I need. I have done this for the last few years, and have been extremely happy with the results.
When I go out west and conveniently can only bring one set of skis along, I do what many of the locals do and bring my 184 10ex's (83 mm wide). These days, many of the locals use mid-80's skis as their do-everything-day-in-day-out ski. If the snow becomes hardpacked, or if I need a serious carving fix, I can easily rent some appropriate sub-70 mm ski. OTOH, if I know that a huge dump is imminent, I may *try* to rent something fatter, but its no great loss if I can't. Modern 80 - 90 mm skis cover a wide range of typical western conditions very well. They do surprisingly well on groomers, and are absolutely spot on for those days when the snow is comming in dribs and drabs, 5 - 10 inches every night.
70 mm (and under) skis are always available for rent and are cheap, whereas fatties can be almost impossible to find the night before a major dump. With my 80+ mm skis, I cover the widest range of conditions centered around typical conditions for the area. Xdog is exactly right that 80 mm skis are becoming the prefered 1 ski quiver for many western skiers.
For example, I noticed the msg from Pman (in Seattle) just posted (November 12, 2003 03:53 PM) in this thread
that he would have bought a Rex as a one ski quiver, but, instead went with a two ski quiver: SX11's (under 70 mm), and Sugar Daddies (over 90 mm). His approach is essentially the same as what I do.
Of course, if I'm going to get more than just a day or two of skiing tacked on to the end of a business trip, I'll probably bring two pair, a 68 mm wide pair with 14 m sidecut radius, and my Explosivs (95 mm fatties), and then truly have all bases covered.
Tom / PM
-------------------------------------------------(This "PS" section added in edit.)
One final comment - You should be very careful about extrapolating from your own experience using normal width skis in soft snow when making ski recommendations for (potentially) much heavier guys. Here's why:
Lets assume that there is some validity to the oft-heard claim that mid-80's skis are the best thing since sliced bread for average weight guys (say, 175 lbs) in soft snow. Then, one can estimate the width of a ski that would give the same amount of float to a skier of a different weight. Here's a table that does this:
Thus, if you are a little slip of a 120 lb woman, you will have the exact same float on a 58 mm wide pair of skinny boards that Mr. Average Guy (at 175 lbs.) has on his 85 mm "lite-fat" skis.
Basically, on any sub-70 mm ski currently being sold (because they are all greater than 60 mm), Ms. 120 Pounder will sink in less than Mr. Average Guy on his Rex's, so its to be expected that a light weight person might not fully appreciate the need for fatties (at least from direct personal experience).
At the other end of the spectrum, at 210 lbs, I will need to be on 100 - 105 mm boards to achieve the same float as Mr. Average Guy on his sticks.
BTW, in calculating this table, I assumed that all people carry about an extra 12% of their weight in boots, skis, bindings, clothing (ie, about 20 lbs for a 175 lb guy).
Bottom line - unless your friend is a really small guy, he probably has a valid point in wanting to be on wide skis in soft snow. And, yes, we have all skied powder in 207 cm long, 64 mm straight sticks from the past, so fatties are not absolutely required, but sure are fun and make marginal snow much easier. This issue has been discussed *many* times before on Epic, for example, most recently:http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...=004721#000009
(particularly, my msg posted November 10, 2003 11:34 AM in that thread)
And also, about a month ago:http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...c;f=1;t=004585
Tom / PM[ November 13, 2003, 12:20 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]