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The perfect Alta/snowbird powder ski - Page 2

post #31 of 59
Movinout:

First off, congrats on the move. You're going to love it there.

I'm going to infer from your background (and from the fact that you love your 190cm R-11's) that you know how to turn a pair of skis. The R-11 is probably a thousand times better - and floatier - than almost any ski the Alta regulars were skiing on as few as six years ago. Somehow or other, Altoids in the past made great turns all over their hill and all through the season on skis that were nowhere near as good as what you have right now. Personally, I think you would find your R-11's to be very skiable in essentially anything you'll ever run into at Alta.

When it comes to ski width, I'm with Billiam and Newfydog. If you're young, strong, and know how to ski, you won't need a ski that's 100mm or more underfoot at Alta.

Big, fat skis are okay, I guess - if you like that sort of thing. But you don't get as much of the experience of skiing *in* the snow as floating on top of it.

Why not spend the first month or so of the season on your R-11's? If you start running into situations in which you think those skis are unwieldy, then demo some fatter ones. That way, you can try several of the possible choices rather than just buying a pair based on someone's suggestions here.

Lastly, you mention using these new skis for backcountry. That's one area where I would probably agree that the R-11 has failings. With the Atomic plate and bindings, it's a pretty heavy setup. If you're going to use your eventual pair of "powder" skis for backcountry skiing, make sure you buy skis that don't have a manufacturer's integral plate on them. You'll want to be able to mount an AT binding on those skis - trust me, you might as well do it when you buy those skis because if you don't you'll wish you had.

Good luck in the search and have a wonderful season at Alta.

Bob
post #32 of 59
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
Movinout:

When it comes to ski width, I'm with Billiam and Newfydog. If you're young, strong, and know how to ski, you won't need a ski that's 100mm or more underfoot at Alta.

Big, fat skis are okay, I guess - if you like that sort of thing. But you don't get as much of the experience of skiing *in* the snow as floating on top of it.

Bob
Bob,

What's up? These are very strange reactions what's great about where ski design is going. As I recall, about 8-10 years ago, "young, strong [pro skiers]" where barking for fats and the companies wouldn't listen. About that time, skiing was needing a huge shot in the arm, because snowbaording was luring many of the "young, strong" talent into its ranks, and away from skiing. Skis started getting fatter and names like Nobis, Morrison, Kreittler, and McConkey used the tools to elevate the sport. They used the fats at powder stuffed mountains all over the globe, and know the world sees the benefit of wide-waisted models.

I agree that one can ski powder on skinny skis, but try to keep up with a "young, strong" hard-charger on fatties, and I venture to say that it wil be hard to stay on pace.

Plus, landing big airs is more fun (and easier) on fatties. And if they are twin-tips, you can ride/land fakie and blast rooster tails (a favorite of yours as I recall) on other skiers.
post #34 of 59
as a transplanted Easterner who's been out here for 6 years skiing the northern Rockies regularly, and the whole US/Canadian rocky mtns chain on trips, I have to agree with Bob Peters.

I skied Alta & Snowbird last year at ESA II on my skinny SL sticks (160 cm Fischer WC SC) and on my fat skis (180 cm Fischer Big Stix 8.6) and I think that the superfat skis are being oversold, overhyped. The fatter skis were better at certain things but primarily that was because of their larger sweet spot (more forgiving on fore/aft positioning).

Of course, if you're doing BIG drops of over 20 feet and other stunty skiing, a fatty makes landings nicer as BM said. But you have to weigh that against the very real in vs on snow feel. I think the fat all mtn skis of 78-90 mm waists are all you need for every condition except stunty skiing.

but I'm an old codger of 43, so take as it is...
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit Man
Bob,

What's up? These are very strange reactions what's great about where ski design is going. As I recall, about 8-10 years ago, "young, strong [pro skiers]" where barking for fats and the companies wouldn't listen. About that time, skiing was needing a huge shot in the arm, because snowbaording was luring many of the "young, strong" talent into its ranks, and away from skiing. Skis started getting fatter and names like Nobis, Morrison, Kreittler, and McConkey used the tools to elevate the sport. They used the fats at powder stuffed mountains all over the globe, and know the world sees the benefit of wide-waisted models.

I agree that one can ski powder on skinny skis, but try to keep up with a "young, strong" hard-charger on fatties, and I venture to say that it wil be hard to stay on pace.

Plus, landing big airs is more fun (and easier) on fatties. And if they are twin-tips, you can ride/land fakie and blast rooster tails (a favorite of yours as I recall) on other skiers.

Banditman:
The skis that the movie-star skiers were barking for 8-10 years ago are barely beyond what would qualify today as mid-fats. Back then, Jeremy Nobis turned the ski world on it's head by torching big Alaskan faces at mach speeds. The skis he used (helped design) were what basically became the 4x4 Big. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that ski had an 88mm waist and was considered HUGE at the time.

What has come along since is ever-wider waists. I would probably agree that a 100mm waist might be nice if you were straight-shotting monster faces in relatively untracked snow all day, but who does that at a lift-served ski resort? I'd probably agree that a 100mm waist would be nice if you were dropping 30-foot cliffs all the time (although it would be even nicer still to be sponsored by a company that would replace all the broken gear).

My own opinion (and mine only), however, is that anything over 90mm underfoot is completely unnecessary at a ski resort. Skis that wide are clunky, one-dimensional, and seem to respond best (based on most of the skiers I've seen on them) to backseat driving. A skier who can't get enough flotation out of a 90mm waist to ski powder or bust through crud needs to work on technique rather than buy new boards.

Ski design has indeed made incredible improvements in the last few years. If you were to look up some of my comments from five or more years ago, I think you'd find that I was a very enthusiastic early-adopter of shaped skis and some of the new designs.

The ultra-wide ski genre, however, smacks more to me of marketing swill than a class of ski that's really useful for most skiers. Now, if landing big air is an important component of skiing, then certainly a snowboard-like surface to land on is going to be better. If landing that jump backwards is an important component of skiing, then having turned-up tails on your snowboard-like skis is going to be better. Other than those fairly specific needs, however, I don't feel a good resort skier needs a great big fat ski.

ToMAYto versus toMAHto.

Personally I'd rather be on a medium-width ski that I can feel working on and in the snow than riding a surfboard that skims across it. If I really wanted that sensation, I'd use a snowboard. :

Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Bob
post #36 of 59
Bob knows of what he speaks, and personally I have also had mucho fun skiing 160 SL skis in the deep stuff. However, there is an ..ahem.. middle ground here. My 90mm skis (Head Mojos) do make very nice tight turns in soft snow, reward forward technique and make skiing crud and uneven funky snow a much more enjoyable experience. And I find that I do get plenty of vertical movement; e.g. its not all skim 'n float.
post #37 of 59
Bob,

I must admit that I agree with you on many points. I spend most of my days in the Sierras and have found that my 95-mm waisted Pistols and Explosives are fast becoming my skis of choice, regardless of how much new snow has fallen.

I was resistant to the fat ski trend, saying that I didn't get enough deep days to warrant such wide planks. As my technique and skills adjusted to skiing fatter skis off-piste, (and at higher speeds) I began to really see the benefits for true fat skis, for the type of skiing I was pursuing.

This of course is my very subjective pointof view. I realize that riding fakie, spinning 3's and straightlining through crud is not everyone's cup of tea. But, in my current Peter Pan, I wish I was born 10-years later state, it's still fun for me.

I admit that 100-mm waists are bordering on the extreme for most of us and are hardly a consideration as a "single quiver" ski for most of us. I think 85-mm to 95-mm is much more realistic, and from your latest post, it seems we might even be in reasonable agreement on that one.

Anyhow...as you say "ToMAYto versus toMAHto"

...but I still think that folks who really want to enjoy the world of the ungroomed need to strap on a pair of fat skis (other than pocket rockets) and give it a whirl...it is so stirring to the soul!

...and Bob, yes...I'm just jealous because you get to live in JH...
post #38 of 59

Its not whats on your feet

You can ski deep powder with almost any ski and feel like a superhero. I spent an epic Alta day on Glory Hole after the ave was blown out last year on an old pair of Dynastar Powertrac 4X4. What a blast! Face shots all day. Going way back, I remember shooting Corbetts at Jackson Hole in the 70s with 205 cm Kastle Grand Prix GS skis. I was even on the first tram at Snowbird in 1972 when the tram ballast actually hit the cliff and shut down the rest of the day. No snow grooming back then and straight stiff GS boards.

Today most of my skiing, on or off piste, is on short Volkl 6 Stars, but pull out some older Olin Selkirk 195s and Dynastar Powertracs just for kicks. I guess its because I spent so many years skiing deep snow on straight sticks that it just doesn't matter what skis are on my feet, its having my head straight for jumping off the cornice or threading the rocks or trees. I can't wait to try some of the wider skis talked about in this thread. Faster and easier with wider skis sounds fine to me. As skis are getting wider and easier to go everywhere, it seems like backcountry might be a consideration. Whatever you decide on, if the snow is deep and the mountain steep, it would be almost impossible to be on the wrong ski, well at least until you have to walk out of a hole in deep snow.

Hey, my first post here. Did I date myself??
post #39 of 59
I originally got a my super fat as quiver ski, but I find myself skiing on my Big Daddies more and more. In variable conditions or with a big pack, they are just a whole lot easier to ski. Sometimes on low angle days it helps to float on top. Getting towed by a snowmobile is way easier on a really big plank. They may not be for everyone, but you would have a hard time talking me out of them on a big day.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
I was even on the first tram at Snowbird in 1972...
Did I date myself??
I wasn't even born yet...maybe that's why I like the new school stuff...just another victim of modern technology...
post #41 of 59

Vesatility Rules

I am one of those who argue that 75-85 mm is plenty. Interestingly, I have a pair of 1996 Volkl Snow Rangers that are 79mm undefoot and 180 cm. So, today's everyday ski is very similar to my old Snow Ranger in term of size (although the tail and shovel are wider today). But, I became convinced of the wider platform the last couple of years demo-ing various skis in mixed conditions. I think the designers have got the torsional rigidity and turn initiation thing down much better today. Compared to 5 or 8 years ago, the wider ski today IS much more agile.

However, I have skied the 90+ mm ski and while I was amazed at how good they were on the hardpack and I was surprised how well I could ski bumps, I still think I would rather have more quickness in the tight spots. As with many things in life, ski size and shape is a tradeoff. We all want a ski that can do it all; I find it hard to believe that a 100 mm waisted ski is as versatile as a 80 mm ski. Unless of course, you are not interested in versatility...

I can ski powder on my old 62 mm Rossi's. So an 80mm ski today is a breeze, even in weird crud. What do I need 100 mm for? I also think a lot of this is trends. It is much more likely that today's skiers on 100mm will go back down to 80 or so, than up to 120 mm! Bigger is not always better.

Oh, and why so down on Pocket Rockets? Do they bend or break? I know they are foam core, so a shorter life is probably an issue. Admittedly I only had them for about 8 runs at Snowbird, but they were a blast. More fun than the B3 cuz they were much lighter and quicker.
post #42 of 59
One thing obvious I do think people forget is how nice a narrow waisted ski feels on hard snow -- so I would never want to own just a wide ski.
post #43 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billiam
What do I need 100 mm for?
Straight-lining like a bat out of hell...

...again, clearly a preference thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billiam
Oh, and why so down on Pocket Rockets? Do they bend or break? I know they are foam core, so a shorter life is probably an issue. Admittedly I only had them for about 8 runs at Snowbird, but they were a blast. More fun than the B3 cuz they were much lighter and quicker.
I used to have a pair of PR's myself, and they were a lot of fun. They do have durability issues, but as cited are prefect for trees and quicker skiing. For a powerful skier, such as someone used to the feel of a 190 R11, I venture a guess that they aren't a good match. BTW, I loved the feel of the PR in the park, but fear that they would not stand up to that kind of skiing.

You might have heard of the rumors milling about that a 100-mm waisted PR is in the wings at Salomon. Will the same loyalists follow the "Blue Noodle" into the realm of 100+? Hmm...
post #44 of 59
100 is the new 90.
post #45 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by descender
100 is the new 90.
That's ok, because 90 is the new 80...
post #46 of 59
And the 80 is the new 70... funny how that goes. At this rate we'll be clicking into a pair of snowboards for skis in 5yrs
post #47 of 59
The Volkl explosiv (thats right there is to "E" on the end) is made the same way, with the same side cut since tis inception about 10 year s ago. My yellow/orange version in a 180cm has served my stupendiously for 8-9 years!! Always in the car for those days whre its deeper that 6 inches or so. iIlike them as they are torsionally stiff with a wood core. I can actually carve a little on the groom and have used them for teaching lessons. Supprisongly fun in spring corn moguls. Its soo cool to ski wet heavy cascade crud andstill look like you know what your doing, while every body elso on low fats are struggling. I'm sure the rossi b-3 and of couse the Volunt chubbs are great choices too. Get a mid fat, like the volkl exp 724 for the groomed days. and light dumps. Having skiied alta only 4-4 times in the last 25 years, I'm jealuous!!!
post #48 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard
And the 80 is the new 70... funny how that goes. At this rate we'll be clicking into a pair of snowboards for skis in 5yrs
Heh, see the Line Prophets - that day has arrived.
post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobboing
The Volkl explosiv (thats right there is [n]o "E" on the end)
...I love them too, but those who get hung up on spelling should check out the wizard garphic model from a two-years back...they are actually labeled "ExplosivE"...since that's what I ski, that's how I spell it. The latest red model has dropped the final E once again, so in a way, it does and does not have the "E" on the end...
post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffW
Heh, see the Line Prophets - that day has arrived.
Indeed
https://files.xythos.com/users/amorg...mothership.jpg
post #51 of 59
Boy, those Motherships look like a pair of Teneighty's next to the Prophets...
post #52 of 59
hey movinout, sounds like we may have a bit in common....i'm heading out to alta for the season as well (from the east coast - philly).
send me an email if you want to shoot the breeze. (email@clayplagerunger.com)
peace.
post #53 of 59
Got to add my 2 cents to this thread. Remember, Movinout is heading to Alta, not the Sierras or Northwest. The heavier the snow, the more the fat skis help. I learned to ski powder in Steamboat in the early 70's so when I discovered the Volant Powerkarve 7 or 8 years ago it was a revelation, like taking 20 years off the age of my legs. Movinout's Atomic's are about the same dimensions as my old Volants. I second the thought that he should just take those to Utah and then demo some fat skis when he gets a big dump.

I'm sure I would love some fatties in tough, heavy snow, but I can't see why I, let alone a youngster, would need a 90mm waist in light stuff. Sierra cement is another thing. Guess I am an old fart. Lew
post #54 of 59
Quote:
The heavier the snow, the more the fat skis help.
Having moved from the West Coast to the Rockies I find that I need a fatter ski here. In Oregon I could easily float on 4 inches of powder on a ski with a 70mm waist. In Montana 6 inches means I'll be hitting the hard snow below unless I'm on a ski with a 90mm or bigger waist. Because so many of our snow falls are in the 4 to 8 inch range a fatter ski allows me to enjoy it more.
post #55 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio
In Montana 6 inches means I'll be hitting the hard snow below unless I'm on a ski with a 90mm or bigger waist. Because so many of our snow falls are in the 4 to 8 inch range a fatter ski allows me to enjoy it more.
A very good point -- that extra float definetly helps keep you from bottoming out on those not infrequent dust on crust days.
post #56 of 59
In Utah 6 inches is flurries!

I am amazed at how well some of the new skis fat skis will hold on the hard stuff. I bought a pair of Blizzard Titans spring of '03 to ski at Loveland, which gets a lot of windblown snow. (The Titan is 120/82.98? and I thought they were real extreme when I got them).

Didn't even have use for them last year, but they could carve a nice turn on the groomed when I did try them out early season. Hopefully this year I will use them a bunch. Lew
post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewBob

I'm sure I would love some fatties in tough, heavy snow, but I can't see why I, let alone a youngster, would need a 90mm waist in light stuff. Sierra cement is another thing. Guess I am an old fart. Lew
If that is true, why don't the Heliskiing Operators use 70-mm waisted skis? I believe the CMH Volkl is the exclusive stick to the CMH operations.

I also question if those who dispute the value of fatter skis in powder choked locales have spent more than a demo day on any given pair. Having seen four seasons on 90-mm+ boards, I realize that one must adjust technique to see the benefit of such girth under foot. I'm such proponent because they have increased my satisfaction of skiing.

Movinout sees the light...and I bet his R11's might even end up playing secnd fiddle to a new fatter sibling... Now if I was spending the season in Alta, I'd take along my R:EX and V-Ex...but then again, we're not talking about me...
post #58 of 59
Bandit, Your point is well taken about the Heliski operations. And until I have tried super fatties I shouldn't have an opinion on them.

But look back to Bob Peters post above. We are talking about lift served terrain. Heli operations serve very difficult snow which varies from old windblown to deep fluff, but never packed snow. I would want whatever was the best for the worst conditions on a Helitrip.

If there are fatties that can ski the groomed as well as my Volant T3 Powers and Blizzard Titan 8.2's then I will proabably own some one day. But for now I am delighted with the versatility of these skis. I think Bob Peters suggestion is good: Movinout can demo skis in Utah of various radicalness and see what he likes. His Atomics will do well for just about anything he will encounter while he tests the fatties.

May we all have snow that makes us wish for fatties! Lew
post #59 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewBob
If there are fatties that can ski the groomed as well as my Volant T3 Powers and Blizzard Titan 8.2's then I will proabably own some one day.
LewBob,

You have some Titan 8.2's so your definitely headed in the right direction...

I admit that when I'm in Tahoe or at Mammoth, I occassionally break out the R:EX's (<90 underfoot)...they do nicely on the groomers and in the crud.

Also, I will admit that when I'm skiing at the local SoCal mole-hill with my five-year-old, I'm on my Teneighties, not my V-Ex's.

And about skiing the groomed...I thought groomers were just maintained cat-tracks for getting back to the lift/gondola after ripping some fun line.
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