Originally Posted by east or bust
Some of you guys are unbelievable…. OP asks for powder ski recommendations for a 6' 230lb frame and you're throwing out skis in the 90-100mm waist range, really?!
Yes, skiing a wide ski on hardpack for a couple days in a row will stress your joints but if you're taking a ski trip out west and skiing hardpack every day you're doing it wrong.
For you, I wouldn't be looking at anything under 105 waist and with substantial tip rocker. More so the narrower you go.
It sounds to me like out of the skis you demoed you didn't like the Bonafide and TST because they were harder to turn/disengage from turn. It didn't seem to be the turn radius, but rather the lack of tail rocker in both those models. The Automatic technically doesn't have tail rocker but it does have a much more gradual upturn than either of the former. I would make note of that for yourself when continuing the search. It will also help in the bumps.
Check out the gear swap on the tgr forums, tons of people selling the kinds of skis you're looking for on the cheap and sometimes they are even selling them with the bindings included. Sales on new or blem skis are still out there but getting harder to find at this point.
Another tid bit to add FWIW, in my experience wider skis with a 5 point sidecut design handle hardpack conditions better than some of the more funky shapes. Like what anachronism said.
For what it is worth, I weigh what the OP does. As mentioned, my everyday ski is 118 waist. BUT, that is at a mountain that gets much more snow than average for the intermountain West, in much larger storm cycles, with much less people than average, and (more importantly) has flat/green pitches that one must negotiate to get to the good stuff. I'm kind of looking for a wider ski but not willing to spend real money, so we will see how that goes. I think it is really hard to go too fat at Wolf Creek, and we see a far number of Fatypus ALotta's, BD Gigawatts, and other skis in the 130+ waist range.
My biggest concern with the OP's thought process is taking a ski in the 115+ range as the only ski. Lets be honest- it is really hard to travel and catch powder days. Maybe the OP is one of the guys that can afford to pay to board a plane the night before so he can be reasonably sure that it will snow (but forecasts bust the night before as well). I sincerely doubt that considering his motivation is buying a ski in the $200-$300 range.
The percentages reflect it is not easy to catch a bonafide powder day when traveling. I defer to @Tony Crocker on this one http://126.96.36.199/~bestsnow/pwdrpct.htm At the snowiest areas, your chances of catching 6+" of snow during a week trip is around 20%. If you book a trip based on a ten day forecast, you can probably add a bit to that figure, but ten day forecasts break all the time.
And that is a 6" day- 6" in the intermountain West means lighter snow, and you are still touching bottom. Fun, but not something that a 100-ish waist ski is going to have any problems with.
For most of the West, those true bottomless 20"+ storms come around 1-3 times a year. At Wolf Creek, Alta, etc., it is more like 6 and more in a good year, but even at Wolf Creek, catching that week out of the entire season is filling an inside straight against pocket aces- luck is not on your side.
So yes. I don't think a ski in a 115 range is suitable for a one ski quiver to travel out West. I think it would be a great choice for a 2 ski quiver with a 95 waist ski (or possibly skinnier). But I think the ski will be used for its intended purpose so infrequently that dealing with the discomfort of having it on ones feet day in and day out will make it a rough choice.
On the flipside, a 105 range ski could easily be an everyday ski, and that 10mm difference adds to a lot less hip and foot pain.
I second scouring the TGR forums.
Edited by anachronism - 8/5/14 at 11:38am