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Some fats I skied the other day...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I already had a pair of 1st generation Volant Chubbs, so I really had no business looking at new powder skis. However, believing that the powder days were past I had put storage wax on the old Chubbs and was relying on my mid-fats (Volant Epics). Much to my suprise, I found a fair amount of untracked at Alyeska on my last visit (I thought the locals would have chewed it up by the time the weekend rolled around). A quick run with the mid-fats told me I would have more fun on a powder ski, so I went to the demo shop to see what I could find.

I'm probably around a level 7 skier (I get defensive in the steeps), 200lbs, 5'11", with 31 years of a misspent youth under my copious gut. I was raised on eastern ice (Killington, Cannon...), and powder is still relatively new to me. A previous demo of the new 190cm Chubbs almost had me ditching the old for the new, so they were definitely on the menu. Bandit XXXs are all over the place, so I definitely wanted to see what they were like. A friend showed up with 180cm Atomic Powder Rides and 194cm Salomon Supermountains, so I definitely had my day cut out for me. Each ski was taken down the mountain on the same trails in relatively the same manner. For those Alyeska skiers, I tried to concentrate on the High Traverse, North Face, and the South Face. I was looking (ok, ok- so I was actively looking... nobody tell my wife) for a ski that would allow me to enjoy the steeper and deeper runs and still be able to carve decent lines on the groomed runs on the way to the lifts.

First Cut:
- The Powder Rides were absolutely terrible on anything approaching a groomed surface. Despite their relatively good performance on powder, I can't afford a ski that causes me to dive for the side of the trail once hardpack is encountered. They were just way too much of a dedicated deep powder ski (128/104/118) for my purposes. They sat at the bottom of the hill for the rest of the day.
- The Bandit XXXs just screamed high performance on the steeps. However, like most high performance equipment, they would reach up and bite you if you got lazy. More than any of the other skis, I found myself letting them run just to see what they could do. Instead of my usual serious of hoots and other excited yelps, I started growling as I literally attacked the hill. Just a total predatory experience. Cool.
- I had previously demoed Chubbs on a less-than-ideal day, and this day just confirmed my previous opinion: they inspire confidence. You instinctively know what this ski is going to do in any given situation. That's a big plus when your technique is still improving. I transformed from my XXX-inspired aggressive personality to a more happy-go-lucky one. "Wow, that was great! I need to do that again!".
- The Supermountains were just a... um... ski. They seemed to me to be more of an all-mountain ski which did just about everything relatively well. Unfortunately, since I already have a mid-fat that serves that purpose they didn't win any points there. They didn't inspire confidence like the Chubbs or the aggressive lines like the XXX... they really didn't do anything special for me. Maybe it was the fact that they were a slightly beefy mid-fat (relatively narrow waist) or the way they rebound- whatever it was they didn't inspire me. I'm goofy that way.

Final Cut:
- With the Atomics and Salomons removed from the race, I focused on the XXXs and Chubbs. The eliminated skis were great skis, but not what I wanted. I started alternating runs between the two remaining choices. It quickly became clear that I liked both of them a whole lot, in different situations. Sometimes when I was skiing the XXXs, I would find myself wishing for the Chubb's round, predictable roll from edge to edge. Likewise, the Chubbs had me sometimes wishing for the "pop" of the XXXs. It all depended on the situation.

The final choice was made at the end of the day. After several runs down the mountain on both skis, the XXXs started to eat me alive. I was getting punished as I got tired and started to slip, and that made me more tired. I was merely hacking it down the mountain- purely in survival mode. A run on the Chubbs following that experience returned a great deal of control and confidence. Sure, I could "grow into" the XXXs, eventually improving to the point where long days of aggressive skiing would be possible. That's just the point- I would be wasting major parts of a day recovering when I could be skiing. I loved the feeling of aggressiveness the XXXs inspired, but this body can only sustain it for so long. Considering that my physical strength was near its peak after a season of skiing and hitting the gym, I can only assume an early season on the XXXs would be even more brutal for me. I'd rather be skiing than sitting.

Final result:
A pair of 190cm '01 Volant Chubbs with Salomon S912 bindings are hidden in my garage until I can offload my old Chubbs or find a good explanation why I NEED two sets of powder skis. I already had trouble with the whole reasoning behind having mid-fats AND fats, so this isn't going to be easy. Of course, it will only be complicated more when I throw in some GS race skis...

The Hopeless Gear Whore
post #2 of 8
Great story, Mike - I know that feeling. I had to explain over and over to my ball and chain exactly why I needed the DaKine Poacher pack, the DaKine Heli Pack, the DaKine Heli Pro, the DaKine Day Tripper etc...etc...

Then when I mentioned I was taking 5 pairs of skis to Verbier last week, she blew her top?! Crazy.

Any way, I only used the one bag and two pairs of skis. I didn't tell her that though.


Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones...
post #3 of 8
just a quick observation, the '00/01 Epic, it is a strech to call that a mid-fat @ 103/67/95. I would consider that more of an all mountain type board. Even though Volant can call it a mid fat, I would not place it in that catagory.
Not saying it is not a good ski, Volants are real nice, just that the other 'mid's' on the market have much more surface area.
Put it this way they say the Powerkarve is on a "fat" platform at 105/73/97.

So just explain to you wife that the Epics are not that great in deep snow and that the design on the Chubb's had changed and they are much nicer to ski than your old ones.

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Argus (edited April 04, 2001).]</FONT>
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
You're right, the Epics don't have the suface area to be considered a true mid-fat. Then again, they have to much surface area to be a carving ski. Your description of them as an all-mountain ski is probably pretty accurate. Just a basic comprimise that suits me when the off-piste conditions are less than great or I feel like carving on the groomed.
Logic never works with my wife. She thinks I should be able to do everything on one ski. She's probably right. If I had to pick, it would be the Chubb.
post #5 of 8
Hey Alaska Mike,

Don't feel guilty, be happy. You did the right thing, and "tried them before buy them." You came to a conclusion that was right for you based on your own judgement.

I would still keep the Chubb Gen 1's around.

BTW I own a pair of Voalnt PK's, 193, and a pair of Gen1 180 Chubbs, which my wife now skis, and last season I bought a pair of 190 Ti Chubbs and couldn't ski them worth a dam.I thought that I had totally mispent money and I did know better to "try'em before you buy'me."

Finally bit the bullet, and had an alignemnt done by the Performance Zone of Auburn Hills , Michigan this past fall. What a difference.

Now I ski it all the time, and will be leaving this Thursday in 60-70 degreee weather to go skiing with one of my sons at Snowbird. Usually, I take a pair of midfats and powder boards, but guess what pair of skis is staying home ?

You think you are a "gear pig" when it comes to skis, you ought to see what I have in golf Clubs, and I only started with that game two years ago !<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by wink (edited April 08, 2001).]</FONT>
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
The old Chubbs are a little floppy on hardpack, but otherwise were a great powder ski. It's just that the new Chubbs are just that much better. The more I ski them, the more I just love them. Sure my Epics are quicker edge-to-edge and better on hardpack, but the new Chubbs are pretty darn good all over the mountain. I'll probably sell the old Chubbs because I'd hate to see them go unused. I just don't foresee myself wanting to go back anytime soon.
The coolest thing about the new Chubbs is the wife can't tell them from the Epics when I ski with her. Someday I'll break down and confess...
post #7 of 8
The Powder Ride skis are not, and never were, considered an all mountain fat ski. They are specifically designed as deep powder skis. The Beta Ride 10.ex is Atomic's All Mountain Fat ski. Too bad you didn't try that model out.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Actually, I was looking to try the Beta Ride 10.ex out, since I see a fair amount of those on the hill as well. Unfortunately, the shop I was demoing from didn't carry that particular model. I think a lot of the shops that usually demo a wide variety of skis were holding back because of the poor snowfall at the beginning of the year. It's been a hard year on retailers up here.
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