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Nanuq vs Manaslu vs Wayback

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm considering getting a light touring setup with tech bindings for next season, these are the three extremes on width I'm looking at (Wayback 88/Manaslu 92/Nanuq 96, all widths in the length I'm interested in, 174, 170, 169 respectively). Any thoughts from the gallery? 96 is pretty wide for a touring ski around here, though I ski most days already on either 94 or 105, so I'm used to that dimension (on descent, that is). The Manaslu is slightly lighter than the other two (2.82 vs 3.0). Also, I've already got a pair of skins in 94 width, which I think I could trim for the Waybacks or Manaslu. Anyone think I could use those on a 96 as well? 

Edited by prickly - 5/2/14 at 5:55am
post #2 of 22
Take a look at the praxis yeti, UL core. 94mm underfoot, they have a 172.

you can ask questions to keith (praxis owner) by email, he is very responsive and helps a lot!
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

I love it when people suggest gear I can't buy where I live. 

post #4 of 22
I guess it would depend on the kind of snow you'll be touring on. Harder=narrower (and lighter) of course, but I used a pair of Nanuqs for a daily driver for a couple of years and was very happy with them in lots of different conditions. I just don't have any experience with Euro conditions. I think I'd choose according to the downhill skiing qualities that most appealed to me. IME othe Wayback and the Nanuq ski the nicest, I found the Manaslu to be a bit jittery on hard snow, but the lightness was nice on the up track.

As far as the skins go, you'll do best with the widest coverage possible, especially on the tail. If you use the 94s, especially on the Nanuqs you'll run the risk of slipping on traverses because so much of the base will be exposed. I buy skins to cover the tail fully +/- a couple of mm. That allows for good coverage across the tips of the skis. You want edges to be exposed, but not too much else.
post #5 of 22
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

I love it when people suggest gear I can't buy where I live. 

 Who says that? Of course you can, Praxis ships everywhere... bellow is from their website! You probably won't be able to demo if you want to, but that's a different subject.

"Do we Ship international? Shipping is available to almost any destination around the World"


Sorry I can't help much, was just a suggestion I thought it was worth looking at based on the other skis you mentioned.

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

That's cool. However, overseas shipping involving customs generally isn't a viable way to buy gear, when I get pretty good prices on the Internet within the EU. 

Bob, you thought the Nanuq was better on hard snow than the Manaslu, despite being wider? 

post #7 of 22
Yeah, the Nanuq was calmer and more solid on hard snow and junk - classic Volkl qualities. This was an older, non-rockered model, but still I'd expect the newer ones to be like that.
post #8 of 22

I tend to agree with Bob, at least with respect to the Manaslu and Wayback. I've skied both and greatly prefer the Wayback. Quite a versatile ski for its width. I found the Manaslu to be too light and jittery. If you are interested in a Dynafit ski you might consider the Cho Oyu instead.


If you intend to reserve the ski for spring conditions the Wayback may be less appropriate than say the more traditionally cambered Kastle TX 87 which is terrific in firm conditions and very light. I`ve skied in the Alps a fair bit in late March and April and would take the TX 87 over the Wayback for spring conditions.

post #9 of 22

Alpin Magazine (European) deemed the Volkl Nanuq to be the best light weight tourer of all the high quality skis they tested; but Dynafit did not participate.  If I had to have only one ski it might well be the Nanuq even tho the Nunataq is better--but the Nunataq is heavier, its width is bothersome on steep side-hilling, and where I live they close access to the alpine after big dumps so I rarely get to ski really deep powder in the backcountry and I use Rossignol S7s lift-served and sidecountry.  But I just bought Dynafit Cho Oyu (89 mm waist) to replace my Manaslus (95 mm wasit) & 7 Summits (80 mm waist),  but I will wait till we get some corn snow conditions (along with the crusts and ice) to decide if they will also replace my Volkl Snowwolfs (76 mm waist).  I thoroughly enjoyed my Manaslus for several years (hundreds of days) but found myself going to the narrower Snowwolfs for spring-summer glacier skiing and my Dynafit Stokes (106 mm waist) for use on nasty snow days (breakable crust and other junk).  I think the Chos will handle powder, light snows, and firm snows well (I did a couple of thousand vertical lift skiing them with my TLT6s Saturday and they did fine on the groomed, stiff powder off piste, and even on icy-faced moguls, but got knocked around a bit by firm ruts off piste).  I found tuning my bc skis and putting a 2-degree side bevel and 1-degree base bevel on the edges and keeping the edges clean and sharp improved the performance of them all on hard snow & ice.  But as is well known, the narrower skis are more fun on firm snow than wider skis arem but the narrower skis really suck in breakable crust, trap crust, and the other junky snows we get here in our maritime climate.

post #10 of 22
Kastle TX 80 something's also got great reviews.
post #11 of 22
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Kastle TX 80 something's also got great reviews.

Yes the TX87 got best all-arounder in the 82-93 mm waist skis in Alpin's review; it seems it is a very nice ski.

post #12 of 22

I can only speak to the Manaslu in this thread, but I've put 2 seasons on them in all kinds of terrain, including everything from sweet powder to bullet proof, steep hard pack.  The areas that I have skied them are the Tetons, Sawtooths, Lost Rivers and some other smaller ranges in Idaho.  They are marketed as a one-ski quiver and that is my experience.  I love the wt advantage on the uphill, and the only thing I have noticed on the downhill is that I want to slow em down a little and turn a bit more than I would with my resort skis.

One other thing on these.  If you get the Dynafits, I highly recommend getting the Dynafit skins that are custom fit to the ski.  These are really cool and have been great.

Final note on the Manaslu ski:  It has had some negative press on durability.  I can only say that I have hit multiple rocks, (buried) and damage has only been superficial and easily repaired.  They are NOT meant for hucking big air and charging huge, high speed lines.


Oh, I ski the 178's.  I think they are about 95 under foot.


hope that helps

post #13 of 22

I suggest you have look at Scott Crus'Airs.


I skied these for the whole season, best ski I have been on so far. I use it for some resort riding but mainly touring, Alps and Norway.

Previous skis are K2 Mt Baker, K2 Backlash, K2 Coomback, K2 Wayback.


The Scott is better in most aspects. Pretty light, stable in hard snow, floats nicely in powder, forgiving in breakable. If I had to go with just one pair of skis for the next couple of years, this would be it.


Nanuqs are a tad wide for hard snow in the alps but def. OK. These would be a good choice too.


Manaslu might be a tad soft.


Waybacks, I found them to be OK offpiste at slow speeds but very unstable on piste, compared to what you can get from a Crusair, in example.


I am 188cm/78kg and happily ski the 178.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that. Have been thinking about the Scotts too, a little pricier, but sound like good skis. 

post #15 of 22

Late to the discussion, but I'm very impressed with my DPS Wailer 105 Pure (with Onyx tech bindings), light, versatile. Has not yet had any powder time but in the ice to slush I skied last Oz winter/spring, the DPS is going to be my got to ski for most occasions.

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 


post #17 of 22

I agree the retail price of the scotts is bit of a laugh. That said, if my CrusAirs were stolen, I would probably pay full retail just to get them again. Never been on a ski so confidence inspiring, versatile and adaptive to snow conditions. You may find a dealer that has some standing in the corner and is willing to accept your offer :-)


No way would I ski waybacks instead.

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm leaning toward the Nanuqs, I'm used to wider skis even in hard conditions these days, so think they'll be OK. Bit of a quandary on skins, still thinking that one through. My "pricey" comment was for DPS, BTW. They're out of my league cost-wise, at least over here. 

post #19 of 22

Got a pair of the new Nanuqs (184 cm, 131-96-114, tip rocker, 7.6 lbs), prepped them yesterday, and skied them early this morning on dense, water-logged snow, almost frozen.  Skinned very nicely over the cattle trail (ski, snowshoe, boot, and crampon tracks--main route to Camp Muir and from their to the summit of Mt. Rainier)  from Paradise Parking lot to Panorama Point.  We've had a series of refreezing nights, but some rain last night and some sprinkling as I began climbing.  The lenticular cloud that covered the mountain down to about 11,000 feet started sinking fast so I deskinned and heading back skiing firm, runneled snow on a variety of aspects.  The ski did fine; held an edge well, turned all radii easily.  They are light so they can get deflected by a runnel edge.  This ski is based on the Mantra, but the Mantra (one of my favorite skis) is a bruiser, this ski is a lightweight.  Looking forward to skiing them on softer snows; these conditions are what I bought my Cho Oyus for.  But more pleasant to skin and ski on than the Stokes in these conditions--Stokes require more input for sidehilling while skiinning with loose boots on hard snow, for making short radius turns, for making minor course corrections to avoid runnels & tree wells; the Stokes like to go fast on wide open spaces.

post #20 of 22



I'm surprised to learn you found the Crus'Airs superior to the other skis you listed, and just as surprised to learn you have such a low opinion of the Waybacks. I skied on Crus'airs for a full season, including a month of spring touring in the Alps.  I hated them and sold them as soon as I could. In a lifetime of skiing I can't think of a ski which has disappointed me as much as the Crus'Air,


I owned the older all-black model, in a 176 cm, the longest length available in the first few years they were on the market. I usually ski on skis in the mid-180 cm range. So that might explain why I found the ski unstable and hooky.


Perhaps there have been significant improvements to the Crus'Air since then (despite the opposite judgment issued in a ski review in Alpin magazine a few years back.) Are yours the white Crus'Airs?


I have a similar question about the Waybacks you've skied on. The pair I have are new (2014 model) in a 181 cm. I've used them at Whistler in chopped up heavy powder and in firm conditions., on piste and off. They were superb in those conditions, especially at high speed. Very stable and predictable. I also spent a week on them at Sorcerer Lodge in BC's Selkirk Range in a wide range of conditions. They were fine, especially in variable snow where the early rise tip revealed its worth. How old are your Waybacks?


I suspect I'm simply a K2 kind of skier. I also ski on Coombacks, Backdrops and Sidestashes and prefer them all to the Crus'Air. Go figure.

post #21 of 22

Good point, Tecumseh!  


Personal preference is highly variable and as complex as individual skiers are in their anatomy, physiology, experience, skiing style, and prefernces for what conditions they like to ski.  My preferences for Volkls began with the Presto, ehanced by the Snowwolf, inflated by the Mantra, and, I hope, will be sustained by the Nanuq.


I have never liked K2s (owned a couple of pair and skied others) but many do; seemed too soft to me.  In the bc, I prefered Tua AT skis over K2 telemark skis when I was a telemarker.


I like Dynafit for AT because they are light and designed for specific purposes: ski mountaineering, touring, and freeride.  Dynafits, to me, vary significantly between models--no single Dynafit feel.  The 7-Summits, designed for ski mountaineering were short (longest 178 cm) with traditional camber, reasonably stiff underfoot, quick turning (80 mm waist), and pretty stable at speed on firm snow; sunk in deep powder.  I had the Manaslus in 187 cm (95 mm) waist; medium-soft to me (230 lbs) in flex, forgiving, quick turning, handling most snow conditions well, but a little soft in dense powder at speed (maybe they softened after >100 days :-) ); an outstanding touring ski, but perhaps not the best freeride.  My Cho Oyus are nice and stiff underfoot (89 mm waist) and very soft in the "flex tip" with tip rocker and narrow tail--skis much differently than the 7-Summits and Manaslus--but is proving to be a good firm snow touring ski (not enuf experience in deep snows yet).  The Stoke was different yet, very stiff underfoot (106 mm), and reasonably stiff in the earlly rise tip.  Not as forgiving or versatile--more for freeride.


But some of my younger, stronger friends prefer heavy skis for their power & robustness   

Edited by Andy Carey - 5/26/14 at 8:39am
post #22 of 22

Thanks for the detailed reply, Andy. Yes, I suppose ski preference is a highly individualized thing. Still I was surprised by the dodgy performance of the Crus'Airs I owned. I'd never before encountered a ski in that price range that felt like such a dud. 


I've owned a number of the skis you mentioned (Snowwolves, Tuas, various Dynafits) and still have a pair of Snowwolves for late Spring and early season skiing. I've been meaning to buy a pair of Nunataqs for several years and may yet settle on a pair of Nanuqs, to replace my Coombacks. I find the Coombacks a bit too damp, and while stable and easy to turn, they aren't much fun. Volkl makes terrific skis.


I've skied on quite a few Dynafits over the years, my favorite being the FT 10 carbon, precursor to the Mustagh Ata. It was my go-to ski for touring in the Alps. My current Alps set-up is the Kastle TX 87. I didn't like the Manaslu at all; dumped them at the end of their first season. They seemed very twitchy to me. Those were first generation Manaslus, though, and I didn't like the pre-set binding mount arrangement. I would have moved the binding forward a few cms if I could have.


I hope you'll let us know how you fare with the Nanuqs.



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