Originally Posted by JayT
This argument has gone from dumb to dumber to just inane.
Look, 100mm skis as currently produced are *not* powder skis. It doesn't mean they're not perfectly fine in powder (I've had great days skiing powder on 98mm Bonafides), but as currently manufactured they are designed with the intent of being all mountain tools with a balance between hard and soft snow. This isn't even debatable - it's just how the industry is these days. Show me one company that classifies their 100mm ski as a "powder ski."
The only exception I can think of is the latest versions of the Volkl Mantra - which frankly is one of the weirder skis on the market. Although they're still too stiff to be considered powder oriented, which makes the lack of camber even more strange. And Volkl still doesn't market it as a powder ski. But to each his own.
I agree. There are plenty of 100 waist skis with powder-oriented features, like some taper, almost universally some rocker, less aggressive radius, etc., but I can't really think of any that are not built with an eye to perform decently in typical resort conditions. There are very few true 100 waist powder skis, and most of them are intended to be touring skis that are skinnier for weight savings.
This is why the whole "midfat" term came out- to differentiate between purpose-built powder skis with severe impairments to skiing firm snow (Think Spatula and the first generation Pontoon) and the new category of skis designed for Western US resort use, where a powder day looks like chasing 6-18" in the AM, skiing crud midday, and skiing a lot more groomers and bumps in the afternoon and days that follow.
And so many of these skis are simply spectacular at that role and will serve resort skiers in the West really, really well- and perform exceptionally on hard snow (by Western standards). These can really be 1 ski quivers for a lot of people. But just like there is no comparison between a Bonafide to a race cheater on the hard snow side, there is no comparison between a Bonafide and a genuine powder ski when conditions get to true, deep bottomless powder.
Can you ski bottomless powder well with a 98 waist ski? Absolutely, just like you can ski powder well on a 65 waist ski, and you can ski hardpack well on a 98 waist ski. But there is still no comparison to the purpose-built tool.