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Need Advice for Powder Skis

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I am 37 years old, 5' 11" 185 lbs. and have been skiing for 33 years. I usually ski 15-20 days a year, so It is only when I am lucky do I get to ski powder. I ski in Mammoth, Lake Tahoe, Utah & Colorado. I ski on Atomic R11's (180) and love them. I am going to Whistler this winter and I am going to go snow cat skiing for the first time. I am looking to demo some powder skis this winter and I need advice as to what to try out. Thanks!
post #2 of 29
D-D,

It sounds as if you like a more powerful ski (R11/180-cm), I imagine that a super soft pow stick might not be for you. If you are going to be in Whistler, where the snow can be variable, I say go with something more solid, like a Volkl V-Explosive. If you want fatter, but a tad softer, try a K2 Made'n AK (available in '05 in a 179) or the coveted Volkl Gotama (in asy the 183). They will surprise you how much fun a 100+ waister can be. If you like the Atomic feel, go with the Sugar Daddy. I have not skied the latest iteration for '05, which no longer has a binding plate and is supposedly softer. The previous version, was sweet in the pow and variable, ran straight oh so nice (shallow sidecut), but felt heavy (plate and Atomic bindings). All that being said, for a strong skier, the V-Explosive is hard to beat. That's my favorite pow/crud ski for Mammoth and Tahoe.
post #3 of 29
I wouldn't go out and buy a pair of powder skis for just a few days cat skiing. I think you will find that most Heliskiing and snowcat skiing operations have fat skis for thier guest. The R11 is a great ski all around agressive ski. I have skied my R11's in some vary deep powder and had a blast.
post #4 of 29
if your gonna be in whistler, you'll have the choice of almost everything on the market from someone, somewhere.

as well as the above see if you can get k2 seth pistol or axis ak, rossi b3, dynastar 8800, volkl sanouk for all out powder day, fischer bigstix 106 or even the 86, volant chubb, head mojo, so many to choose from its hard to say.

after the r11 they will all be very different feeling, but whatever you get, the main thing i find helps the most is to be less aggresive, at least for the first few laps, let the skis skid a bit when possible. You tend to find the sweet spot quicker, but thats a personal thing.

anyway most important, have fun!

after the
post #5 of 29

Don't need, but...

I agree that if you heliski, just show up with your boots and poles. Heck, maybe you don't even need to bring poles. But, for powder, I can speak to three skis.

The Rossi B3 -- great power to bash crud, yet floats beautifully. This is a very nice ski and has very good versatility.

The Salomon Pocket Rocket -- you look at it and you think, no way. Then you ski it and you get a big smile. Not quite the basher the Rossi is, but more versatile. This puppy is a surprisedly quick turner and lighter than the B3, so you feel more agile in difficult situations. I love this ski. Perfect for Utah type snow (I have not tried it in West Coast conditions)

Volkl Explosif: A true brute, yet responds when you push it laterally. Great float, great basher. But, no the turner the B3 and Pocket Rocket are.
post #6 of 29
The variances in powder skis are tremendous. A ski like the Volkl Sandouk is huge with incredible float but too unwieldy for mere mortals. The Pocket Rocket has a soft tip with reverse camber. This allows the tip to engage easily in a turn but it also gives the ski a mushy feel if you pressure the tip. I know experts that love the PRs and experts that wouldn't even use them in a sacrificial bonfire to Ullr. Some people love the Explosiv and others think they are too stiff and straight. Some people would call the Rossi B3 stable & predictable and others would call it damp, lifeless & dull. The thing is, its all a matter of taste & technique and its really hard to guess which powder ski is going to click with someone. If you can't demo before your cat trip go with whatever they provide.
post #7 of 29
Hey, DeepDeeper
If you want a good fat ski to test the with the waters with at a cheap price, try getting ahold of mntlion on the tgr board. Not sure what he has left, but he had a bunch of CMH Explosivs for 200-300 based on condition. I grabbed a pair from him last season and they sold me on fat skis.
post #8 of 29
I posted a reply yesterday on this same thread under Gear General.

Smiles,

Dave
post #9 of 29

re:....

....another one to try might be K2's Apache Chief...@98mm
post #10 of 29

Deep snow.

If you like the R11 like I did the natural progression is to the SUGAR DADDY.

This year they are lighter and Atomic also has a brand new binding. the NEOX. Not one screw is from the old model. I tried them in spring and they rule! Good Luck,
post #11 of 29
Why do people forget about the Mojos? Demop the Mojos you will not be disapointed..
post #12 of 29
Sugar DaDa, YaYa!!
post #13 of 29
I vote for the Volkl Explosive. I've skied on them a few times, and found them to be a very easy ski to ride. They ride nicely on whatever snow is under them; they were great on everything but ice.
post #14 of 29
You "RIDE" Boards, You "SKI" skis!
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodro
Why do people forget about the Mojos? Demop the Mojos you will not be disapointed..
I had a blast on my mojos last year. Excellent powder ski.
post #16 of 29
Depends on your approach:

As a versatile one-ski pow stick which can handle rough stuff well, too:
Explosives, Legend Pros, Stormrider DP or SS, B3, maybe Sugar Daddy, DB Surreal (light but very pricey); twins like Mojos, Armada ARVs, Pistols, PRs ect. optional but IMHO not quite the jack-of-all-trades as the straight tailed sticks (well except for tricks of course - better demo those before you buy if you haven't already skied a twin before)

Deep pow only with one of the above already in the quiver:
Some sticks with a waist close to 100 or above Gotamas, Sanouks (both softer), Big Stix or Daddies, DB Tabla Rasa (very expensive)

I am 5'10'', 170lb and consider ARVs in a 185 length (on top of my 180 Explosives) - I am permitted cuz I am stoneold compared to you.

BTW Mtnlion ran out of 180 Explosives, just 190 left in case you are interested.
post #17 of 29
Powhog, what characteristics of twin tips might some find hard to ski? (never having used them) Thanks
post #18 of 29
hmmm..I think if anything twintips are easier to ski at least in soft (hard I don't know what the diffrernce might be). For one thing, you can easliy traverse and sideslip backward on 'em.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by John J
Powhog, what characteristics of twin tips might some find hard to ski? (never having used them) Thanks
John,

Fairly none as long as snow is not bombproof. Especially on hardpack they ski shorter than same length on a non-twinned ski due to the reduced running edge and you should mount the binder 3-4cm back from the center mark as long as you don't hit the park. Most have a really soft flex to fit for pipe skiing but that's not what you need when running across a steep boilerplate in the backcountry (bc skiing doesn't always mean you hit powder/soft snow).
In pow/crud they are more maneuverable than straight tail sticks but in return less stable at high speeds. More and more ski manufacturers however start to stiffen up the flex on some of their twins which make them a versatile tool. Right now I got a 1080 at 181 in the quiver (2002 model) with the flex being a bit soft for my needs (that's why I am looking for a longer and stiffer bc twin) but the 2005 model is told to be significantly stiffer if the length is right.
Hope that helps.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by John J
Powhog, what characteristics of twin tips might some find hard to ski? (never having used them) Thanks
Most twin tips are specified to be mounted more forward than a coresponding conventional ski. When I had my Mojo's mounted I had the shop mount them with atomics moved to the forward position at the recomended mount, and ski them in the middle or rear binding position. Best of both worlds for me. I think the main difference with twins is the mounting position and maybe a more even flex. These are the only twins I've skied though. Later, RicB.
post #21 of 29
Powhog, RicB; thanks for the replys. What I am trying to figure out is if a twintip can be a good choice for a woman who likes bumps, pretty much always goes along at a moderate pace and has always been thrilled to hit powder pockets but has not had the advantage of wider skis. Seems like women's midfats are made narrower, so looking at the twins. Found a 161 1080 that i'll give to my daughter (she lives out West); so now I am looking for the espousa. Have a good price for Rossi Scratch 168cm, right now she skis 178 Volkl Platinums from a few years back P30? Anyway, that is why I was asking the questions... probably wondering if the tails tend to lend to breaking away earlier than traditional tailbar setup?
post #22 of 29
Funny, my daughter is on a 161 1080 too.
Twins are doing o.k. in the bumps but don't expect a lot of rebound (softness). No issues with the tail breaking. If your spouse skies on 178s she might feel the twins as damn short at 168. Better demo up front.
post #23 of 29
The scratch is a foam core as is the 1080 I believe, so they won't have the rebound of a wood core ski such as the mojo. I actually like the mojos in soft bumps, steeps too, lots of fun, plenty of rebound for me.

I think the adjustment she will need to make to technique will be because of width under foot and skiing characteristics of a particular ski and not because of the shape of the upturned tail. Though I haven't owned a ski with a traditional square tail since my G31s.

Powder skis shouldn't be stiff generaly speaking, they need to flex in a soft medium when skied at average speed. That doesn't mean they should be noodles either. A wood core may give you a little rebound sometimes that foam doesn't always deliver. The Mojo will give you this as does the Gatama I hear, but it is significantly wider. Later, RicB.
post #24 of 29
I am also considering some powder skis, as my SX11s are very difficult in deep fresh (or maybe I suck in powder, but the skis aren't helping me). I noticed that sportsliquidator.com has 2004 Atomic Stomps for $349US. They sound like a bargain but I know very little about powder skis - any comments from anyone who has tried them?

I only ski freshies a few days each year and so won't be spending a lot of money on wide skis. I just can't put up with my snowboarding mates kicking my butt on deep days!
post #25 of 29
All I heard is that it's a really good park ski and it's somewhat stiffer than f.i. a 1080, so it wouldn't be that bad overall.
But again that's third hand info, maybe try a search at TGR Tech Talk.
post #26 of 29
Why is everyone talking about powder skis, and not mentioning the true BIG DADDY? I also ski R:11 as my everyday ski, but on those epic days at Alta/Snowbird is there really anything that fires anyone up more then these. There is nothing faster, and nothing that floats better on the planet. Also, I am thinking of scoring a pair of M:EX. Any thoughts?
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyons
Why is everyone talking about powder skis, and not mentioning the true BIG DADDY?
Probably because it only comes in a 193 and is a monster to ski...Plus the Atomic plate and therefore atomic binding-only requirement from the last two years kept some folks away...
Now the 193 Sugar Daddy - Pimp Edition, in all her "flat" glory might be worth a gander...
post #28 of 29
Almost all powder skis have a soft shovel (tip) and have an even flex - they are a handful of fat skis that are not like this. It depends on how much you weigh (weigh on a scale your skiing weight - boots, outerwear, headgear, poles, pack, etc.) and how good you are in powder... For the money (demo rental), you can't go wrong with the Explosiv or the Gotama (190cm), Monster 84 or 103 (beast), Sugar Daddy, Titan 8.2 or 9.2 (beast), Big Stix 8.6 (190cm) or 10.6 (180cm), Seth Pistol (189cm) or Apache Chief (188cm), Mothership Titanium (192cm), Mad Trix Mojo (186cm or 188cm), or the Scratch BC (188cm). Beware twin-tips - the longest length gets more running surface in powder, but the longest length ski short - except for Sugar Daddy Pimp and the Big Daddy.
post #29 of 29
Ric,
Just want to know what size mojo you ride. I'm 6' 175 lbs and can't decide what length I need. I'll be using the skis mostly for powder days and tree skiing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB
The scratch is a foam core as is the 1080 I believe, so they won't have the rebound of a wood core ski such as the mojo. I actually like the mojos in soft bumps, steeps too, lots of fun, plenty of rebound for me.

I think the adjustment she will need to make to technique will be because of width under foot and skiing characteristics of a particular ski and not because of the shape of the upturned tail. Though I haven't owned a ski with a traditional square tail since my G31s.

Powder skis shouldn't be stiff generaly speaking, they need to flex in a soft medium when skied at average speed. That doesn't mean they should be noodles either. A wood core may give you a little rebound sometimes that foam doesn't always deliver. The Mojo will give you this as does the Gatama I hear, but it is significantly wider. Later, RicB.
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