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Recommend me a powder ski - Page 4

post #91 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:

 Originally Posted by tball View Post

Congrats on your purchase @Alpenglow!  Do I get two cookies since I mentioned Patrons first (post #10!)?   And, a bonus cookie for linking to the Start Haus deal? :D
 
I've been meaning to come to the defense of Steadfasts here, as I'm feeling they were a unfairly maligned:

Thanks! Not only do you get two cookies, you may add a cake, pie, or strudel as well.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

 

I have about 15 days on my new Steadfasts this year and really love them, and felt they were consistent with all the great reviews that lead me to buy them without a demo.

 

I really see two very different criticism of the Steadfast above:

 

1. They're also difficult in crud, chop and your variable conditions.   

 

I really don't agree, as I loved them in all kinds of snow conditions from power to chop and even (especially) spring slush.   They are a "serious ski" compared to a more rockered and/or softer ski, so they do reward some skills and require you to stay on top of them.

 

I did find them to be hookey at first off-piste, and even went down a couple times in perplexing falls as you describe.  I de-tuned the tips and tails a bit and the problem went away and they became far less demanding off-piste.  I think the combo or a relatively short TR with camber and sharp tips caused the tips to grab occasionally.  Try de-tuning a bit if you haven't, knowing you'll give up some on-piste performance, of course.

 

2. (They were) deflecting all over the place at really high speeds.

 

I think this is a completely different deal.   I'm pretty sure the OP of that review is a 1%er... as in he's a better skier than 99% of us.  His really high speeds are REALLY high speeds.   My context for that are his comments about liking the Kendo better in that review.  I love the Kendo and skied it for three years before getting my Steadfasts, and yes the Kendo is better at high speed, but I rarely if ever ski anywhere near the speed limit of the Steadfast.   They are both great skis with different personalities.  In some conditions I prefer the Steadfast and others the Kendo, but I'd be happy taking either out just about any day. 

 

Yeah by no means do I mean to blame all my off-piste issues on the Steadfast. I know my skill and technique are much more to blame than my gear. However I definitely hit a speed-limit on the Steadfasts in variable terrain, even chopped up groomers.  I don't know how fast I get up to, I don't really measure that kind of stuff. Certainly not as fast as the one-percenters though that's for sure.  I'm going to assume its a combination of my technique and the ski.

 

It's also not the first time I've heard the suggestion that I de-tune them. One of my instructors thought it might be a good idea, too. I don't know though, I really like their performance as a groomer ski. It's something I'll think about though.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

@Alpenglow, instead of spending your cash on a second set of new skis, perhaps it would be better spent on tuning equipment? :-)

Then you could get to the point of telling how tuning tweaks affect the ski's performance. I start getting my skis ready in October....

 

I'm going to build a tuning-bench this summer and plan on picking up enough kit to at least do my own waxes. It's all going to be part of my Tiki-themed Rec-room.

post #92 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpenglow View Post

 

It's also not the first time I've heard the suggestion that I de-tune them. One of my instructors thought it might be a good idea, too. I don't know though, I really like their performance as a groomer ski. It's something I'll think about though.

 

 

I'm far from a tuning expert, but I doubt de-tuning your Steadfasts will hurt groomer performance much at Whitefish, as it sounds like you never get really icy conditions like back East.  Mine still did fine for me on "firm" Colorado snow.  Maybe it's worth starting a thread to get some tuning experts opinions.

post #93 of 116

@Alpenglow, before you reach for anything to "detune" them, let's talk just slightly pressing a bit on the base bevel guide in the zone above the wide point of the ski.  The idea of "detuning" makes me shudder.  We might also want to check that base bevel to see what it is and how consistent it is.  

post #94 of 116

I'm a simple guy.

 

A powder ski in its element is not especially tune sensitive. In powder you might even want more of a 2/1 kind of thing. Or even 3/1...But not such a big deal. In short - detuning the whole bloody thing is probably mildly beneficial. But not a big deal. And you arguably trade that off against the whole firm snow reason you did not go reverse/reverse....

 

A powder ski on firm snow may or may not be super sensitive in terns of hooking up. Most folks I know will ski 'em and if the tips are catchy, or sort of "catch and release, take a stone to 'em a bit from tip or tail to wide spot. If that continues, repeat until it is fixed or you are just starting to feel silly.

post #95 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post

Some interesting stuff in this thread - I've been a fat ski fan ever since my first Motherships over 10 years ago and my skiing has definitely progressed by playing rather than drilling or worrying about der pistencarven. I recently demoed a touring focused carbon ski with a flat tail, tip rocker and relatively straight sidecut. They were a joy on piste but I was really stuffing up turns in fresh heavy crust as the tails tore me apart. Guess I've got used to twinned tails and ability to wash them out. That said if I drilled myself on them to ski properly I'm sure I'd love them. Guess my point is that you adapt to skis so over agonising in a category is a bit meaningless.

 

bingo

post #96 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
 

I'm a simple guy.

 

A powder ski in its element is not especially tune sensitive. True. In powder you might even want more of a 2/1 kind of thing. Or even 3/1. Well, why? If there's no particular sensitivity, why bother to do anything with the tune other than optimize it for conditions where the edges count? But not such a big deal. In short - detuning the whole bloody thing is probably mildly beneficial. Unclear why. Or why not. Shouldn't matter. But not a big deal. Nope. And you arguably trade that off against the whole firm snow reason you did not go reverse/reverse....Yep. More to the point, no one has ever produced an argument for how and why edges "catch" in powder. There's no there there. Nothing for an edge to hold on to. It's possible - would have to mull it over - that the flex of the tip would alter its "hookiness," but that's not what we're talking about here. 

 

A powder ski on firm snow may or may not be super sensitive in terns of hooking up. This is the part where you lose me. Rockered tips will be mostly uninvolved in a turn initiation; they'll stivot. And the tails will slide. So unless you want to push a wide ski over to knee-shredding edge angles, the tails and tips are irrelevant. Which is why rockered skis run and turn "short," eg, have a very short running length. Most folks I know will ski 'em and if the tips are catchy, or sort of "catch and release, take a stone to 'em a bit from tip or tail to wide spot. If that continues, repeat until it is fixed or you are just starting to feel silly. OTOH, perhaps it's driver mechanics. If I ski a rockered ski in a typical neutral stance designed for deep powder, but through chop and crud, the unweighted tip will want to do something when it is deflected by a chunk of dense snow. This is what you call catchy, I think. But if I use some forward pressure, the tips behave. So why not just adjust technique a bit instead of butchering the edges? This is kinda what fatbob is saying, as I read it. We adapt, eg, change our technique. Only I think adaptation needs to be dynamic; rather than altering the ski to fit the existing technique; modify the technique. If you think about it, that's a mark of solid skiing, no?


Edited by beyond - 6/17/14 at 6:00pm
post #97 of 116
Quote:

Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

Yep. More to the point, no one has ever produced an argument for how and why edges "catch" in powder. There's no there there. Nothing for an edge to hold on to. It's possible - would have to mull it over - that the flex of the tip would alter its "hookiness," but that's not what we're talking about here. 

 

 

I suggested de-tuning the tips and tails of OP's Steadfasts for off-piste use, so I'll try to explain.   True, edges don't "catch" in powder, at least bottomless untracked powder.   Unfortunately it's rare we get to ski bottomless untracked powder.   

 

Usually we are hitting bottom, and you never know what is lurking beneath that fresh snow on top.  I had issues with the tips of my Steadfasts catching in maybe six inches new on top of packed powder.  More than once my tips would catch on a high spot, maybe a hidden bump underneath, abruptly initiating a turn I didn't want, and a couple times throwing me down like a snowboarder that caught an edge.   I detuned the tips and tails and the problem went away.  That also improved the bump performance of the skis, allowing them to pivot more easily in the zipperline.

post #98 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
 

@Alpenglow, before you reach for anything to "detune" them, let's talk just slightly pressing a bit on the base bevel guide in the zone above the wide point of the ski.  The idea of "detuning" makes me shudder.  We might also want to check that base bevel to see what it is and how consistent it is.  

^^^ This. 

post #99 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

 

Perhaps I did not explain myself well.

 

In pure powder, edges have *relatively" little impact. However, in various forms of layered snow, more rounded bases/edges - all the way up to hulled bases keep things a shade smoother. Which is why some are inclined to throw more base bevel on. Or round their powder ski edges. All in all, I'm not inclined to stress too much about my edges in vanilla powder. A little sharper or a little duller has relatively little impact given the same base ski design.

 

However, when you are on firm snow or crud, your edges matter a bunch. And the edge contact zone is in fact pretty impacted by the combo of specific ski design and edge angles. Some designs seem a shade more prone to grabbiness in firm snow. So some people prefer to make a transition into the sharp zone at a particular point on the ski. This was done by some even on regular cambered skis. 

 

I personally am not deeply religious one way or another about this. I have had some deeper snow skis that were a bit more predictable (for me) when detuned tip to wide point (feathering into sharp at that point or just behind). Others I like pretty sharp end to end. I'd suggest that folks not just go on a detune rampage without playing with the skis and making their own decision. And if they do detune, do so incrementally - as it is easier to detune than the other way around. And I'd further suggest that getting too wound up about a race tune on a soft snow ski is not a good use of energy - if the ski is in its element, the tune will not matter all that much (relatively).

post #100 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

 More than once my tips would catch on a high spot, maybe a hidden bump underneath, abruptly initiating a turn I didn't want, and a couple times throwing me down like a snowboarder that caught an edge.   I detuned the tips and tails and the problem went away.  That also improved the bump performance of the skis, allowing them to pivot more easily in the zipperline.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
 

However, in various forms of layered snow, more rounded bases/edges - all the way up to hulled bases keep things a shade smoother. 

 

OK, nothing personal, but I'm going to call all discussions of hooking in powder a skiing urban legend. Because it needs skis to violate physics. So I say no. Until someone can explain this in a way that is consonant with how real edges interact with real crystals of snow, not buying the idea that our edges are being mean to us. And actually, you both agree, because you keep bringing in non-powder language to talk about hooking. But then it gets problematic.

 

A "high spot" or a "hidden bump" or "layer" are not only not powder, but they're many orders of magnitude larger than our edges interacting with partly frozen snowflakes. OTOH, the shape and flex of a tip may well have major impacts on how the ski handles deflections from settlement and consolidation. Flex and sidecut are the big variables with bumps, not tune. So I think many people on overly stiff skis react to flex related issues of impact, and then decide detuning edges will help things. It cannot in any meaningful way I can see. Getting skis with fronts designed to absorb forces instead of transmitting them to the pilot would be useful, but it's not the direction rockered skis are going. Ever stiffer is ever better when most of the ski is not touching the packed or cutup that most skiers actually ski on. 

 

In some ways, I think the problem is we've all bought into an facile analogy with surf boards and boat hulls and more recently, water skis. They're rockered, and they're stiff, and hey, they have (very) rounded edges. But snow ain't the same medium as water. We can use fluid models for calculating some simple stuff like lift and float, but the analogy fails at a physical level when the small solid particles that interact with each other begin to get denser. I also paddle board, have done fair amount of waterskiing, and surfing, and they do not feel the same as being in light powder up to my knees. Let alone Sierra Cement. The reason is that water molecules interact differently with surfaces and edges than snowflakes. Among other things, water molecules are much much much smaller. Issues like molecular drag and surface tension become relevant. 

 

So Spin, I think you're closer, if what you're really talking about isn't powder. If "layered snow" means using a powder ski on ice or crust or semi-refrozen covered with powder, and you're specifying that the ski surface is bottoming on the ice or crust. Then yep the edges will have an impact, although I still think the flex pattern is more relevant. We can agree to disagree. And if the edges are transitioning rapidly from ice to soft snow, then yep, there will be a mild sensation of engagement and release. But even a mediocre skier like me can deal with that - and has to - just skiing on groomers with variable surfaces. And race courses are all about keeping edges engaged while the ski's being knocked silly. The only time I've encountered a sense of over-engagement in powder is when I'm making errors in stance and balance on a ski with a lot of rocker. Nothing like a sudden turn uphill on one ski while the other is running straight. So nothing mysterioso, nothing exotic and powder specific that requires surgery on the edges. Just adjust our weight on the run. I guess that for me, this is a lot like talking about using a fat ski on groomers. It takes some practice to be instincitve, to just adjust to changes in how the bases are running and the edges are engaging. I've noticed that in a single run, I may pivot one turn, carve several, do a tail pressure drift, repeat, as the snow surface changes. Fatter skis require more management, actually. But that's not is not about powder skis "hooking" in powder. They can't. It's about how we choose to ski variable snow. 

 

Thinking of a video over at TGR. A lot of people over there are very militant about detuning their edges. The standard answer is that they all ski bottomless powder at silly fast speeds, and don't want to "hook." But the reality, of course, as you said, is that there's not all that much bottomless anymore. So I suspect it's because they've become so committed to neutral stance slarving that the ability to rapidly transition to carves when the snow suddenly gets firm is just too much effort. It feels awkward instead of natural. So couple of recent videos over there of posters "ripping" that showed guys with their weight in the backseat, happily landing in ACL-grinding postures, sliding their tails to turn, and not surprisingly, having visible issues with their tips wandering. No wonder they want to do anything they can to make the ski forgive and forget their technique.

 

More to the point, smearing and slarving is a perfectly viable way to ski soft snow, even for racers. An expert should be able to handle slarves and carves with equal aplomb. Recall the long thread here on it? But IMO let's not confuse a choice about technique in variable snow with a reified myth about edges grabbing powder.

 

Out. 

post #101 of 116
I'd like to confirm that @Alpenglow never complained about his Steadfasts "hooking". It seems to have originated with someone else quoting, inserting, etc. Certainly I don't remember him having that problem with his Steadfasts. It was more of a over-liveliness in chop that I recall. Which is an entirely different issue, and won't be helped by detuning. It certainly may be slightly helped by checking and fixing the tune, but more so by (at least for me) more consciously using the wide part of your ski to initiate the turn. I'm sure some instructor will talk about where your weight is or something, but for me it's a thought process more than anything. And is exhausting if the whole hill demands it. My damper and stiffer skis I can go sort of mindlessly through that stuff. And I think that is what he wants as well and didn't find in his Steadfasts. Think a groomer trail when it's having a bad day. Death cookies, etc.
post #102 of 116

For sure, take a hyper rockered carbon pure pow five point ski and ski it through some coral reef in a "normal" style for that sort of ski and the tips will be rattling/deflecting until you get enough weight on the front contact point.  For some that might be too much like hard work/no fun so a damper ski would work better - it's the whole reason companies like DPS offer different layups.  No no foul if you have a personal preference - its just a sign of an experienced skier who knows what works for them.

 

I don't really buy the whole tuning thing for 3D snow- I pay moderate attention to my edges maybe once every 15-20 ski days, and will tune between that only if I'm in hard hardpack conditions or there's a drought on. It's great to have a good edge when you're on firm snow but the rest of the time I'm clearly not nuanced enough to notice it.

post #103 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

 If "layered snow" means using a powder ski on ice or crust or semi-refrozen covered with powder, and you're specifying that the ski surface is bottoming on the ice or crust. 

 

I yet again must not have been clear. By layered snow, I me certain types of breakable surface crust over powder crust or multi-layered crusts in what is mostly powder snow. Edge interaction there: usually pretty annoying. In those conditions, the less sharp the edge, the smoother things tend to be...

 

Regarding hull designs. Yeah, the comparison with fluid is not perfect, but is real. And even more literal in slush or corn. If you have never skied one you might actually try it. They scare the crap out of me on groomers, but Garywaynes are a trip (and make notably easy work out of the previously mentioned layered snow). I only have a few runs on Boomerang TBTs, and those not really in their element - but based on that little timeI suspect they play well too. Even that tiny bit of hull shape changes the feel of the skis dramatically. The kayak universe discussion of planing hull characteristics vs displacement hull characteristics actually applies. Post up if you have tried them or when you do...

post #104 of 116

Spin, I think we're mostly saying the same thing vis-a-vis layers. I said: " If "layered snow" means using a powder ski on ice or crust or semi-refrozen covered with powder," You said, "By layered snow, I me certain types of breakable surface crust over powder crust or multi-layered crusts in what is mostly powder snow." So I guess maybe you would go with the "crust" I mention but not go with the ice or semi-refrozen. All good.

 

But my point stands, that the part of the structure that bothers you is not powder. It's crust. Unless you want to define powder as kinda anything off-piste.

 

And I still don't see why what you describe isn't flex and shape related, rather than edge related. You say, "edge interaction there: usually pretty annoying." But I cannot see how that's physically possible, especially when you emphasize the crust is breakable or multilayered and thus apparently fairly soft. At the point of contact, edges and the friable crust/compressed powder are simply too different in scale, and your ability to pressure the edges against a surface too compromised, to interact the way you claim. Explain the physics and I'll happily admit if I'm wrong.

 

Otherwise, I honestly think you're reacting to issues of flex and shock and tip shape, and since you believe duller edges help, they will. A placebo effect. We all do it, all the time. It's a human tendency. Dulling the edges gives you confidence in your technique - or you change it unconsciously - so it works.

 

The test is simple, although it'll chew up an afternoon. Have a buddy in a shop prep an old pair of rocker skis with four different levels of detuning, randomized order. None (sharpened), mild, moderate, serious dulling. Ski them blind - you don't get to know which tune is which - and only in the layered powder you say is an issue. Write down which tune goes with which run. Give your prediction to someone. Then find out if you called it. My prediction is that you won't. But I've been wrong before. ;) 

 

Hulls: Not sure what "not perfect, but is real" means. I basically said that fluid was a rough approximation, so had some predictive value in some situations, but was not accurate in terms of how powder really works against skis. The topic of our last few posts. Analogies don't prove reality. Nor do predictions that work decently. Did you know that TV ownership predicts height fairly well? Want to argue that TV ownership causes height? Cannot speak to reverse reverse or other exotic sidecuts. 

 

Anyway. Don't rule out placebo effect. Drug trials fail all the time because of it, and few ask the relevant question: How is it that believing you've had a treatment makes a sugar pill work as well as a real drug? How was it that not shaving helped the Sox win last season? Magical thinking can be a form of placebo effect too. And Suarez may win a world cup because he's gotten confident about his body, had some luck today, and that's minutely changing his timing and mechanics in a good way. You hand me a ski that you say is perfectly tuned for the conditions, and I'm gonna ski better on it. Even if you just made the whole thing up. :eek 


Edited by beyond - 6/19/14 at 11:39pm
post #105 of 116

IMO hooking up in powder is not a myth, but it has little to do with the edges and everything to do with the shape of the sidecut and how it interacts at certain speeds in 3D snow, especially if you're slarving.  Hence the growing popularity of 5 point powder skis.  The flex plays a role too, of course.

 

In *real* powder, detuning your edges at the tips and/or tails won't accomplish much.  Mixed snow is a different story.

post #106 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

 

In *real* powder, detuning your edges at the tips and/or tails won't accomplish much.  Mixed snow is a different story.

 

I do it exactly for the "different story."  ;)

post #107 of 116

Catching up on this thread but maybe this helps the OP ... Got a feeling it will be a bit long winded (get nostalgic speaking about skiing in summer) but will try and make it as short as possible. I am 5,10" / 80kg. Of the ski's I had a chance to demo last season in Europe, Blizzard Gunsmokes in 186 were resounding winners. I had them with AT setups and spent 90% of my time in the Solden backcountry on that trip but they were energetic, versatile/playful when getting back to the chairlift (could easily spend a day on groomers) and handled some of the deeper days (knee to hip high at a stretch) very well. There are better powder skis out there no doubt, but a ski that can be that playful on piste (and turny if you do your bit), that can still be mountains of fun in steeper and deeper backcountry is high up there on my list ... Same place I also tried the Rossignol Super 7s in similar snow conditions but found these to be flat and lifeless by comparison. Didn't have the same responsiveness at the transition from turn-to-turn that the Blizzard flip cores produced. I put this down to the softer flex and possibly honeycomb tip that didn't do it for me.  

 

After all of that, where I landed was the Nordica Helldorado. Tried forever to get a pair of the Gunsmokes shipped into where I was in Dolomites but couldn't bc of a monster storm in late Jan that shut everything. Hard to find a twin tipped powder ski there where there is a clear preference for narrower, traditional camber/profiled skis for couloirs and the Nordica's were heavily discounted as a result. For me, the Helldorado comes in somewhere between the gunsmoke and rossi. Can be playful and responsive but were asking me to ski it in a more forward stance to get it turny in the trees. Wide open faces and you could let them go on big arcs but if that's your thing, they were worryingly prone to tip dive given the profile of the rise and the softer flex in the shovel. It trapped me a couple of times for some interesting spills. PM me if you want more info and good luck 

post #108 of 116
He got his skis already. Post 83. He's admiring them this week.
post #109 of 116
Thread Starter 

Yeah my Patty-cakes came in the other day. Despite being so-called "Blemish" skis, I haven't yet actually found the cosmetic defect on them. Maybe the small scratch on the surface? I've seen new skis in the shop that were in worse shape.

 

Anyway, they're currently on center display in my Tiki-Ski room, in between the drums and my Wicker-Liquor Bar, a fine place for inspiration as I try to decide on a binding for them. Man, I really need some bamboo ski poles.

post #110 of 116

Aaaah right. Was burning through the string at work and had to chip in ... enjoy the new sticks! 

post #111 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpenglow View Post
 

Yeah my Patty-cakes came in the other day. Despite being so-called "Blemish" skis, I haven't yet actually found the cosmetic defect on them. Maybe the small scratch on the surface? I've seen new skis in the shop that were in worse shape.

 

Anyway, they're currently on center display in my Tiki-Ski™ room, in between the drums and my Wicker-Liquor™ Bar, a fine place for inspiration as I try to decide on a binding for them. Man, I really need some bamboo ski poles.

:worthless

post #112 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Nolasco View Post
 

Aaaah right. Was burning through the string at work and had to chip in ... enjoy the new sticks! 


Will do, and thanks for your feedback on the Helldo's. The Patron's come out of the same mold as I understand it, just no metal in the layup there. This makes them ski a bit different but they still share a lot of similar qualities.

post #113 of 116

I think you will love the patrons. You will appreciate the extra playfulness in the trees but be careful of that tip dive if you really decide to open up in powder ... Also, have a think about where you mount as the tails run pretty soft (at least on the helldos). Enjoy 

post #114 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpenglow View Post
Man, I really need some bamboo ski poles.

http://www.pandapoles.com/products/panda-pole

 

Probably the best bamboo poles you'll find.

post #115 of 116
OP, If you like the Steadfast, check out the Volkl Shiro. Google it, read the reviews.

I did that before I bought new in the wrapper 2012 Shiros this past March. Like $260 shipped.

Skied them 7 days late season in the spring time crud, loved them.
post #116 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

OP, If you like the Steadfast, check out the Volkl Shiro. Google it, read the reviews.

I did that before I bought new in the wrapper 2012 Shiros this past March. Like $260 shipped.

Skied them 7 days late season in the spring time crud, loved them.

Psssst, he already got the Patrons :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpenglow View Post
 

Yeah my Patty-cakes came in the other day. Despite being so-called "Blemish" skis, I haven't yet actually found the cosmetic defect on them. Maybe the small scratch on the surface? I've seen new skis in the shop that were in worse shape.

 

Anyway, they're currently on center display in my Tiki-Ski room, in between the drums and my Wicker-Liquor Bar, a fine place for inspiration as I try to decide on a binding for them. Man, I really need some bamboo ski poles.

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