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Powder Ski Questions

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
5'7", expert (~ level 8), ski in New England 35 days a year, on Dynastar Cross 66 (170).

I've been thinking about adding two skis to my quiver: a mid fat (~75 mm) & a powder ski (~90mm). I'm almost positive I want one of the Atomic Metrons as a new england crud buster and powder ski.

The full-on powder ski I'm a little undecided on. I plan to make a week long trip out west, and hopefully two other long weekends there (3 to 5 days skiing). I could also use them if we get a real big dump at stowe or jay. So, they'll basically be a steep and deep ski that might see some all mountain action out west. I don't want to give up too much powder performance, but if I see crud, I'd prefer the ski to plow through, than just float over it. Don't know how much stiffness this will take and how it will affect powder performance. I don't want a ski that will flop around at high speeds, but something too stiff will bounce me around too.

I've been looking seriously at the Atomic Stomp. It's inexpensive and seems like it's good all mountain and powder. The complaints I've heard are that it's heavy and requires the atomic bindings. These two things don't bother me much. I'm not much of a jibber, are there much better non-twin-tip powder skis? The other possibilities I've considered are the Inspired, Seth Pistol, B3, and AK Launcher.

Do I want to worry about crud performance or should I be worrying more about float in powder?

How stiff?

Other suggestions?
post #2 of 17
post #3 of 17
I don't believe next year's stomp requires the atomic binding. Besides the new binding should address most problems some people had with the old ones. I don't believe the ski itself is particularly heavy for that width of ski. For your crud buster I loved the Metron ex.
post #4 of 17
Try demoing when you're out west. When the powder is really deep... just get the fattest skis you can find.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Aren't the explosiv's one of the stiffest powder skis there is?

145 lbs by the way.
post #6 of 17
They are stiff, but way more manageable than you might think. I prefer my scratch bc's on really deep, soft powder days but switch to the explosivs for pretty much anything else - especially chopped up crud. I see a fair amount of smaller skiers on them (including quite a few girls that don't look to be over the 130-140# mark). For what you described, I think they would be worth a demo ride, anyway.
post #7 of 17
I like the Gotamas. Switched to them from my explosivs and haven't looked back.
I use a pair of G4's for most days, the Gotamas on powder only.
post #8 of 17
Throw PhysicsMan a PM about the explosivs, his daughter has a pair in 165 I think and seems to love them. Yes they are a stiff ski, but I agree they are definitely manageable even if you're not a heavyweight.

In terms of the others you have listed as possibilities, I would recommend the AK Launcher as most suitable for what you want. B3 might be a little heavy for you like the Stomp, whereas IMO the Seth Pistol and Inspired will not plow crud like the K2. This season gone past the B3 and the AK were our most popular powder (except for the proverbial blue noodles) skis for demo at Kirkwood, lighter guys like yourself preferred the AK over the B3 due to its weight.

It would be best for you to demo before buying anything, but if you want to get sorted before you head out west, then the AK would probably be my pick for you.
post #9 of 17
You've got a good memory, Juulz. Yup, my 80 lb kid astonished me by doing so well on our pair of 165 Explosivs. She is so light that she can't decamber them, but her light weight allows her to float extremely high on these wide boards, barely leaving tracks in the snow, and this allows her to ski by "surfing" her turns - essentially skidding around, just under the surface of the powder.

The really strange thing is that I also really like these skis, and I weigh 210 lbs. At my weight, I obviously decamber them just fine , and so they carve (turns in powder) for me while the very same skis surf for her.

FWIW, over the years, I have heard from a few people whose weight is in the 150-170 range (ie, between these two extremes) that can't seem to get Explosivs to work well for them (but they do fine on other fatties).

Although I don't have a lot of examples, from what I can tell, it seems these people are all typical upper intermediate to advanced recreational skiers (ie, they don't go blindingly fast and are not ultra-agressive), so between this and their moderate weight, the Explosivs seem to be just a bit too stiff for them to decamber, so they can't carve their turns in powder, but these people are heavy and slow enough so that they don't stay quite as high in the snow as real lightweights, and hence they can't surf their turns either.

OTOH, I know quite a few other 150-170 lb'ers that do well on them. These folks, however, tend to be young, fast, agressive rippers.

Bottom line: As you are near this intermediate weight range, demo before you buy.

Tom / PM

[ May 06, 2004, 07:12 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #10 of 17
I demoed Nordica Beast 165, waist 92 at Snowbird 2 weeks ago. Floated on powder, blasted on crud, and with a bit of effort held on ice. I felt like one of those inflatable toys that you punch down and it pops back up. Utterly stable. I am 5'9", 150 lbs, advanced eastern skier who is not real experienced in powder.
post #11 of 17
The Explosivs are legendary for good reason.

Last year Volkl added the 747 Pro to their lineup. This is the ski I use on most days in most conditions. It handles great in powder, crud, wind blown and even does well on the cord. I end up switching to the Explosiv only for truly deep powder days
post #12 of 17

I am looking into the Metrons, too. From what I've heard they handle extremly well everything on- and off-piste, that's basically what they are designed for. Likely you don't even have to look into an additional pure powder ski, I'll try to demo them for jack-of-all-trades purpose in order to save the extra money.
post #13 of 17
Definately try the Fischer Big Stix 106. This is an amazing powder ski that not only floats, it also is stable at speed and laughs at crud (what crud?). I've also demoed the K2 AK Launcher and found it to be light and very easy to ski on. If you prefer a somewhat stiffer ski that you drive hard try the Atomic Sugar Daddy or next year's Dynastar Legend Pro Rider. Enjoy your powder demo days!
post #14 of 17
I too am interested in trying the 75mm Metron as a jack-of-many-trades ski. It promises to be a improvement on many of the existing midfats, but, unfortunately, I can guarantee you with 100% confidence that they won't do anywhere near as well in soft crud as a true fattie.

IMHO, you can ski just about any ski in nice untracked powder, no matter how deep, so that should never be the test. The real test of versatility is a ski that isn't too twitchy in heavy tracked-up crud, but also can dart around in tight carves on the groomers. THAT is a combination difficult to find.

My crystal ball says that this Metron will ski the groomers without giving up much performance, but will still be excessively twitchy in serious crud because of the deep sidecut and relatively narrow waist (75 mm vs 90-106 mm).

OTOH, if all you are asking it to do is handle light doses of crud (ie, not too deep, not too heavy/wet), it probably will serve you just fine.

Tom / PM
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
"I am looking into the Metrons, too. From what I've heard they handle extremly well everything on- and off-piste, that's basically what they are designed for. Likely you don't even have to look into an additional pure powder ski"

"IMHO, you can ski just about any ski in nice untracked powder, no matter how deep, so that should never be the test."

Once you open it up and pick up speed, your room for error goes way down. If your tip ducks under the snow, while you're going 40 mph you might not have a chance to adjust before you get "thrown over the handlebars". Throw in some wind blown snow and your requirement for width goes up even more.

Stick to the trees in either fluffy pow, or shallow crud and I think you're right; any ski will do the job.

It sounds like the Metron series is going to be awesome for tree skiing in the east; even if the ski has a tendency to dart, it should be fine given the need to make quick turns. I don't think it's gonna be a chutes and bowl ski for the west though.
post #16 of 17
Midfat- K2 Axis XP (Apache Recon), Salomon Hot or X-Tra Hot, Elan Mantis 662.

Powder- B3, Seth Pistol, new Chubb.

I think the Gotama will be too much ski. You may use it 2 or 3 days in the east.

I say put the money into a super sweet midfat and binding, and rent the dedicated pow planks as necessary. 2 points to keep in mind;

-All of the midfats I listed, and most of the others suggested, will perform brilliantly in powder and crud.

-The airlines will do everything in their power to destroy your precious pow boards.
post #17 of 17
Tom/PhysicsMan , actually I find the B5's to be anything but twitchy in crud , they do blow through heavy lumpy stuff with a lot of stability . As for the other metrons I have been on them all (with the exception of the 10 and the 8) in all conditions and found them to be awsome skis with great edge hold and stability. The Mex is going to surprise a lot of people in how good it holds and carves but does everything a powder ski should do , my ski of choice for next season. The M11 well lets just say if anybody likes a versatile allround ski they would be hard pressed to find better , good on groomers , good in powder handles crud and heavy wet stuff no problem . The M9 a real treat to ski for the person that wants a ski that does what is asked with out having to work at it but still is capable of handling what ever is on the mountain . The B5 is in a place all of it's own , these things are a blast . I have been on these things in Fernie powder , crud and crust , spring ice and mashed potatoes and all they want to do is turn turn turn. Probably the most fun ski I have been on , super stable and fast .
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