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Powder Ski Suggestions? [moving to Seattle from JH/Big Sky]

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hey, looking for some advice. I'm trying to update my quiver for next season. I love both my hardpack skis and my all-mountain skis, but I've been meaning to upgrade my powder skis for a while now. I currently have a pair of 2012 Line Mr. Pollards Opus skis, but they're in rough shape, and not as fitting to my ski style as I'd like. I've mainly been looking at the following,

 

Blizzard Gunsmoke 114

Blizzard Bodacious 118

Atomic Automatic 117

K2 Pinnacle 118's

Rossingnol Super 7's

 

 

I'm 6'2 and 185 Pounds. My style is surfy and aggressive, probably would be placed in the freeride "category". I really appreciate skis that have a low swing weight and are very playful. My home mountain is Jackson Hole/Big Sky, but I'm moving over to Seattle this summer, so I'm assuming my new mountain will be Whistler or the resorts scattered around the PNW/Cascades.

 

I'm looking for a powder ski that can obviously float, is stiff enough to not get waffled in the crud, but is also nimble and won't get sluggish in the heavier Coastal snow. I ski predominantly backcountry/sidecountry, and most of my time is spent in glades or on steeps/bowls. I'd appreciate a ski that isn't too sluggish on the groomers, my knees can't roll-over as well as they could.

 

Any opinions on the skis above, or any suggestions for other Skis I haven't listed? Thanks.

 

P.S, what skis would handle the wetter cascade snow the best? Don't have much experience with that kind of snow. 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 30
All are pretty common sights around the PNW. I prefer the Bodacious, but any would work. Gunsmoke is the only twin if it matters at all.
post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

All are pretty common sights around the PNW. I prefer the Bodacious, but any would work. Gunsmoke is the only twin if it matters at all.

 

Well, arguably the best skier at markojp's little hill skis Praxis GPOs most of the time. " src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif" /> Though for my .02, I'd go fatter for big days here. Of course unlike markojp, I do need to buy my turns.

 

In all seriousness, wider and more reverse plays well on big days here. Especially if it is heavy. That 115 zone you are in is probably the baseline. FWIW, also consider whether or not you'll spend more time in WA or Whistler. The WA areas favor nimbleness a bit more. Could impact your thinking on length, depending...

 

Oh, in all seriousness, there is some fine skiing at the local hills.


Edited by spindrift - 5/8/16 at 11:50pm
post #4 of 30

add

 

189 K2 Pettitor 120 (mounted forward +2 1/2 to +4) (but a bit heavy for backcountry hikes)

Volkl Katana 112 (nimble, light and sturdy - outstanding backcountry/resort ski)

ON3P Billy Goat 116 

 


Super 7s float and feel great, but do waffle in the rough crud.   

 

Love the 186 and longer Autos (mounted +1 to +2 for 186) and Pinnacles.  


Edited by ski otter - 5/9/16 at 12:34pm
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
I've heard great things about the autos; that they're super instinctive and nimble, but some have told me they don't hold up well in variable conditions/crud.

On the flip side, some have told me the pinnacles hold up well in variable conditions, but are nowhere near as nimble/maneuverable.

Can you confirm/deny? Haven't had a chance to demo them.

A good friend of mine mentioned the Katana's as well, but my concern is the 112 width won't float on the deepest days. But I assume a 4 MM difference compared to the other skis is just nitpicking at this point.
post #6 of 30
Yup. The katakana is a very solid ski. Don't discount the new Bodacious.no metal, but still an excellent crud charher and more accessible to lighter skiers than the v1.0.
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
The bodacious has definitely been one of my top picks, I love how Blizzard skis are NEVER floppy. Is it hard charging to the point where it's difficult to snap out of a direction and steer? It seems like it has a high swing weight, and that concern has made me look at the Twin Tip gunsmokes, which seem to have all the qualities of the bodacious (flip core) but also have extra nimbleness from the freeride design.
post #8 of 30

For my own curiosity, would a DPS 112RP2 Hybrid be in the same "conversation" as those in the OP's list ?

Or is it not burly enough for heavy west coast snow ?

... though the Super 7 is not burly, and I haven't handled the Pinnacle 118 either but have the 95 & 105.

post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chair23 View Post

I've heard great things about the autos; that they're super instinctive and nimble, but some have told me they don't hold up well in variable conditions/crud. Truth.  Auto is very good in chop (if not mounted too far forward), pretty good in crud (especially if you have adjustable mount - say, schizos -and can move back 1/2 to 1 for the rough conditions, then move forward again), but so so in roughest conditions.   Compared to better crud chargers like the Katana 112, Pinnacle 118 or Pettitor 120, no, it does not hold up as well.    

On the flip side, some have told me the pinnacles hold up well in variable conditions, but are nowhere near as nimble/maneuverable. Confirmed. Especially compared to the Auto mounted forward, zero to farther forward.  The Pinnacle is middle of the road nimble - more than, say, the old or new Bodacious, for example, to me - but I wouldn't take it into bigger bumps or tight trees, myself.  That said, it does surprise a bit, easy turning.   Powerful but not burly.  It excels at versatile charging, even for a lighter weight skier like me.  More rock solid than the Auto.  
The Pettitors are both as nimble and as good in variable, but they are heavier.   

Can you confirm/deny? Haven't had a chance to demo them.

A good friend of mine mentioned the Katana's as well, but my concern is the 112 width won't float on the deepest days. But I assume a 4 MM difference compared to the other skis is just nitpicking at this point.  It's something about the new Katana design: it floats surprisingly well.  I'd guess you'd just need to get the longer one.  I have the 184.   The old Katanas, on the other hand, were even better crud busters but definitley lacked float, even though they were the same width. 

Edited by ski otter - 5/10/16 at 6:22pm
post #10 of 30
Ski preferences have a lot of subjectivity to them.  You have to demo if you can.  For instance, only you can tell if the 184 or 19? Katana works for you.  
 
PS.  I've skied the Katana in powder and deep powder (~2 1/2'), and levels of variable in between, including pretty gnarly.   It floats very well.  Charges the crud like a champ, though not as well as the old Katana.   
 
In really pure powder, though, for me, it's
1. Auto
2. Pettitor
3. Katana (because of versatile quickness and light weight)
4. Pinnacle 118. 
All four are excellent in powder, great feel.  Wonderful.
 
In crud, it's 
1. Pettitor (heavier)
2.  Katana (easiest on the knees)
3. Pinnacle 118 (lacks top nimbleness)
4. Auto 
 
The first three are excellent in rough crud, but the Auto is pretty good.  Not sure how my lighter weight would effect this.   
post #11 of 30
As a rule of thumb, for the Seattle area hills, there's a fair amount of tight'ish steep terrain that gets skied out on a powder day pretty quickly.
post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
Awesome responses, I'm definitely planning on demoing them as soon as I can. I did a double-take when looking at the Katana's price, but after reading over everything I'm definitely leaning towards it. Seems like it's bang for your buck.

PS, these skis are obviously not meant for groomers/hardpack, but I'm sometimes restricted to the frontside/hardpack because of family obligations or going with casual-skier friends. Which of these carves best? Obviously it won't be a GS ski, but as long as it can make the ride fast and fun without chattering or skidding, I'm happy.

Thanks for the advice!
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chair23 View Post

Awesome responses, I'm definitely planning on demoing them as soon as I can. I did a double-take when looking at the Katana's price, but after reading over everything I'm definitely leaning towards it. Seems like it's bang for your buck.

PS, these skis are obviously not meant for groomers/hardpack, but I'm sometimes restricted to the frontside/hardpack because of family obligations or going with casual-skier friends. Which of these carves best? Obviously it won't be a GS ski, but as long as it can make the ride fast and fun without chattering or skidding, I'm happy.

Thanks for the advice!

Last year's (mostly black;14/15) Katana is the same as this year's (mostly white; 2015/16) and is - or was - half the price or less.    

 

The skis I've mentioned are almost all versatile carvers, potential fat daily driver skis (good on "frontside/hardpack")- particularly if you can ski enough to be in shape for the wider skis, I'd guess.  

 

For frontside/hardpack carve: (All are very good to excellent.)

 

1. Pettitors 120 (bombproof fast or slow - but not as good for a lot of traversing.)

2. Katanas 112 (so easy; light but sturdy/damp - a little extra care needed on low angle slopes, at slow speeds, because of lack of camber.)

3. Pettitors 118 (great edge feel and flex a plus/lack of turn quickness a minus)

4. Automatic 117 (great carve feel, and damp on edge quickness are pluses/uneven hardpan, rough or mixed condition ride a slight minus)

5. Billy Goat 116 (the reverse elliptic sidecut in the front works well but is different; I didn't have enough time on this ski to be sure here.)

 

On Western groomers, what these particular wide skis lose in closeness to their edges they mostly gain in extra stability, to me.  

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

As a rule of thumb, for the Seattle area hills, there's a fair amount of tight'ish steep terrain that gets skied out on a powder day pretty quickly.


I hate arguing with someone who is a better skier than I am & who knows his mountain way better than I do...but what the heck... :D

 

Maybe relative to Japan. Or to here a few years back. But compared to when I've skied in other places, inbounds powder here is pretty easy to find in a decent season. As markojp can attest, I'm a Crystal newb & yet I skied quite a few days like these this year. These were very good, but not best of year days. We clocked easily over 15 days, maybe over 20,  of this quality locally this season (though schedule flexibility helped). Note that weekends often only delivered a few runs due to lines - but with this kind of snow, I'll take it....

 

 

 

 

 

Again - my family's bias is fatter. On these kinds of days everyone is on Praxis Protests or Powderboards. Though to follow up on markup's comments - once things do get cut up, those skis can start to get comical.... But in the deeper heavier stuff, I like 'em.

post #15 of 30
I'm thinking the difference between a 185 and 193 Bodacious.
post #16 of 30
My dad rides a 188cm super 7 and I'm on the 188 soul 7. The soul 7 is the list rounded out soft snow ski I've ever been on. It is effortless in trees, had enough beef to charge (if not to bumpy) has decent rough snow capability, and is fun on groomers as long as you don't push it like a gs ski. The super 7 is better in the pow but isn't quite as good in groomers/bumps/very narrow places.

However, although I've never ridden the katana, that seems to be the best bet. Maybe take a look at the liberty Orgin?

Just curious, but what about to opus dot you like anymore?
post #17 of 30
You really can't put skis like the katakana or bodacious in the same category as a soul 7. If you like to ski agressively in heavy crud, the Soul, though many skiers like them, isn't your ticket. IMHO of course.
post #18 of 30

If you're mostly backcountry or side country, the Soul 7 would work for the upclimb and be great except in rough conditions or badly crusty/variable conditions, as @markojp suggested.   I own the Super 7 180 and love it in pure, smooth powder & chop, but it is more work to hold together in chop/crud or true variable conditions, enough so that I rarely take it out anymore: the shifted forward Autos have slightly better, quicker float feel, and much better variable ride (esp. shifted back) than the Super 7 (or Soul 7).  And the Auto, in turn, is a bit harder to handle in variable than other skis mentioned.   

 

 

 

P.S.  The old Bodacious I never tried.   I was afraid of those burly dudes.  :D  

 

But I'm quirky carving hard on ski edges at speed, seems like, and the new Bodacious regularly tip deflected on me in mixed conditions at speed, as did the 15/16 Blizzard Peacemaker similarly; so I had to allow for that - not as hard cuts.  I'd think it was just me, but others have told me the same, for the new Bodacious at least.   (But many, many skiers stronger than I am or with different styles have no such problems, I'm sure.)   

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

As a rule of thumb, for the Seattle area hills, there's a fair amount of tight'ish steep terrain that gets skied out on a powder day pretty quickly.

 

For steep tight'ish partly skied off, maybe crusty coming through, I'd want to be on the Katanas, of the skis I've been on.   Or maybe also the Billy Goats, don't know about them as much.   A fun problem to have.   


Edited by ski otter - 5/11/16 at 6:51pm
post #19 of 30

@markojp, have you skied the Bibby/Blister Pro?   

post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 

@markojp Any thoughts on the Gunsmokes? I'm not overly hard charging, and the Bodacious might be a little too much burliness for me. The Gunsmokes seem to find the sweet spot between stability and nimbleness, both of which I equally value. 

post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski otter View Post
 

If you're mostly backcountry or side country, the Soul 7 would work for the upclimb and be great except in rough conditions or badly crusty/variable conditions, as @markojp suggested.   I own the Super 7 180 and love it in pure, smooth powder & chop, but it is more work to hold together in chop/crud or true variable conditions, enough so that I rarely take it out anymore: the shifted forward Autos have slightly better, quicker float feel, and much better variable ride (esp. shifted back) than the Super 7 (or Soul 7).  And the Auto, in turn, is a bit harder to handle in variable than other skis mentioned.   

 

 

 

P.S.  The old Bodacious I never tried.   I was afraid of those burly dudes.  :D  

 

But I'm quirky carving hard on ski edges at speed, seems like, and the new Bodacious regularly tip deflected on me in mixed conditions at speed, as did the 15/16 Blizzard Peacemaker similarly; so I had to allow for that - not as hard cuts.  I'd think it was just me, but others have told me the same, for the new Bodacious at least.   (But many, many skiers stronger than I am or with different styles have no such problems, I'm sure.)   

 

For steep tight'ish partly skied off, maybe crusty coming through, I'd want to be on the Katanas, of the skis I've been on.   Or maybe also the Billy Goats, don't know about them as much.   A fun problem to have.   

It seems like the Katana's are the most solid overall skis, just from looking at your rankings. I just demoed the Super 7's today at Mammoth, it was a day with some untracked powder on the backside, and the super 7's were great on the powder and for trekking up. Once I took it to the lift-accessed bowls, which are mostly crud now, they absolutely fell apart. Not a fan. I had a chance to check out the Katana's at the local shop, and I was blown away by the lightness. Is a ski that light truly as dominant as it sounds, or is it too good to be true? 

post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 

Crystal seems great, definitely gonna take some trips there. Most of my time will probably be spent at Mt. Baker (shortest drive from my town) which has quite the reputation. Of course, their claim to fame is the snowfall record, but I don't know much else. My college said the snow there is as heavy as it gets, and that practically no-one stays in the resort boundaries. Apparently the powder gets tracked out incredibly quickly, so most of my day will probably be spent in chop/crud. Any other lesser known resorts in the cascades worth visiting? 

post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 

@Ski Otter

 

I have another day of skiing here at Mammoth, and I'm hoping to demo at least one more ski before I have to head back. The most important traits for me are 

 

1. Float (For Baker's infamous dumps)

2. Stability (for the variable chop/crud, and for my bad knees)

3. Nimbleness/Ease of turns (for the tight glade skiing I plan on doing, and for the sluggish coastal snow)  

 

Which of the skis is most solid across the board in all of those traits? 

post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski otter View Post

@markojp
, have you skied the Bibby/Blister Pro?   

Nope. Still have and am deeply smitten with my v1.0 Bodacious. smile.gif
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chair23 View Post

@Ski Otter

I have another day of skiing here at Mammoth, and I'm hoping to demo at least one more ski before I have to head back. The most important traits for me are 

1. Float (For Baker's infamous dumps)
2. Stability (for the variable chop/crud, and for my bad knees)
3. Nimbleness/Ease of turns (for the tight glade skiing I plan on doing, and for the sluggish coastal snow)  

Which of the skis is most solid across the board in all of those traits? 

A quiver? beercheer.gif
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chair23 View Post
 

@Ski Otter

 

I have another day of skiing here at Mammoth, and I'm hoping to demo at least one more ski before I have to head back. The most important traits for me are 

 

1. Float (For Baker's infamous dumps)

2. Stability (for the variable chop/crud, and for my bad knees)

3. Nimbleness/Ease of turns (for the tight glade skiing I plan on doing, and for the sluggish coastal snow)  

 

Which of the skis is most solid across the board in all of those traits? 

The Katana construction is a real breakthrough, as near as I can tell.  For me, the real deal.   

 

Okay, it's the uphill skinning to backcountry that makes the Katana the one, of the resort/backcountry skis I know of.   More pure backcountry would shift that to the Volkl BMT 109, I'd guess over the Katana.

 

 (See Blistergear review: http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2015-2016-volkl-v-werks-bmt-109)     

 

 It was the Blistergear Mag/online review that clued me into the Katanas: http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2014-2015-volkl-v-werks-katana.

      

That review is spot on for my experience on the ski also.  The differences I noticed were that I am lighter weight than those Blister guys, and while I ski fast often (gs/sg speed), I am not an elite skier, not skiing steeps and gnarly as fast.   So for me, the Katana was very good at crud and rough conditions.  

 

Still, if it weren't for your need for a part backcountry ski, the Pettitor would be my choice over the V Werks Katana.  I'm glad I have both.  They are different enough that I enjoy both:  quiver!!!!  :ski

 

 Pardon the analogy, but the Pettitor is like a tank in variable, the Katana more like a good 4x4 truck, for me at least.    

 

But the Pettitor 120, for me, requires a bit of conditioning build-up to its width and weight, while the Katana does not.  The Katana, overall, is easier on bum knees. (Currently, mine.)

 

The skis I know of that are better crud chargers, besides the Pettitor, are mostly no longer good floaters in powder: they drive straight through crusty crud, but are not as fun at all in pow.  

 

 

Note: Left out, through my ignorance of it (besides the Blizzard skis), is the ski that Blistergear most likes for a backcountry/resort ski, a powder/crud "playful charger":  The Moment Bibby/Blister Pro 116.   I have never skied it, but skied with someone on it in heavy pow/crud as recently as last Tuesday at A Basin in a blizzard.  Blistergear has done a number of good reviews of it: for example,  http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/moment-blister-pro

 

You are heavier than me, so if you flex the Katana more than I would, and lesson its crud ability, a stiffer such ski would be the Bibby Pro.


Edited by ski otter - 5/12/16 at 5:32pm
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chair23 View Post

 

I'm 6'2 and 185 Pounds. My style is surfy and aggressive, probably would be placed in the freeride "category".

 

I'm looking for a powder ski that can obviously float, is stiff enough to not get waffled in the crud, but is also nimble and won't get sluggish in the heavier Coastal snow. I ski predominantly backcountry/sidecountry, and most of my time is spent in glades or on steeps/bowls. I'd appreciate a ski that isn't too sluggish on the groomers, my knees can't roll-over as well as they could.

 

Any opinions on the skis above, or any suggestions for other Skis I haven't listed? Thanks.

 

P.S, what skis would handle the wetter cascade snow the best? Don't have much experience with that kind of snow. 

 

Thanks!

 

Did not see an ON3P suggestion:  Billygoats would be nice and the Cease and Desist is a pow crusher:  https://shop.on3pskis.com/collections/old-stock

 

I ride 193?? Autos in deeper pow and love them, but I would really love some BG's someday too.

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post
 

 

Did not see an ON3P suggestion:  Billygoats would be nice and the Cease and Desist is a pow crusher:  https://shop.on3pskis.com/collections/old-stock

 

I ride 193?? Autos in deeper pow and love them, but I would really love some BG's someday too.

Recommended the Billy Goats 116 in posts 4, 13 & 18.   

post #29 of 30

I love my Billy Goats, best ski I've ever owned in crud, mashed potatoes, tracked out snow and fresh powder.

post #30 of 30

Im a Blizzard fan, love the Bonefide, only 98 under foot though.

I was able to test the  16/17 Volkl Confession  ( 117  uf ) at sia demo, killed it !

worth a look IMO

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