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Ranking fat skis in flex and weight

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Next time I am out West in powder I want to demo some fat skis. Because I am so lightweight (5'9.5", 141-143 lbs), I can get by with shorter lengths. In past, I tried out the Pocket Rockets 175 which I love the float and quickness in the glades, but on the trails, they are just a bit too soft for me. The Head i.M85 is solid and fast, but too much work, not enough flex for fun. It seems the ideal fat ski for me is a stiffer Pocket Rocket, but what would that be?

Reading SkiPress, I get some idea of the flex and weight of fat skis, but if someone who knows could take a stab at ranking some of them it would help me. Skis I am curious to compare about include:
Pocket Rocket
Volkl Explosive
Volkl Karma
Elan M777
Dynastar Legend 8800
Rossignol B3
Head i.M 85
Please add any more that you know about, including twin tips if you can.
Thanks.
post #2 of 28
Sounds like you're looking for a Seth Pistol or Scratch BC, both are stiffer than the PR but not as beefy as the explosiv(really stiff) or i.M85. B3 is another softer choice, but only small turned up tail - not a true twin. I haven't skied the Karma, the Elan or the legend 8800. I'd put the Pistol and Scratch at the top of your list.
post #3 of 28
I was also thinking to add Pistols to the list, but you might also want to add Volkl Gotama's to the list, I have heard a lot of positive feedback about the ski.
post #4 of 28
Volkl Ax4; Atomic Sugar Daddy; Dynastar Inspired by Nobis. All of these are worthy of Alta/Snowbird and Jackson! YEE HAW!!!
post #5 of 28
Head mad trix mojo. same dinesions as PR, but a little more substantial.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
OK, could someone take a stab at trying to rank them?
post #7 of 28
Volkl Explosiv
Volkl AX4
Atomic Sugar Daddy
Atomic R:EX
Dynastar Inspired by Nobis
Dynastar Intuitiv Big
Rossignol XXX
K2 Kahuna
Salomons are Noodles
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyons
Salomons are Noodles
I've noticed a lot of PR bashing in my short time here at the Forum. I've been skiing on Pocket Rockets for two seasons, soon to start my third, and I have found that when people don't like them they always say that they're not stiff enough and unstable at speed.

I beg to differ. I'll admit that if I skied in the East I'd get rid of the PRs and go to something different for the hard conditions, but with speed on snow instead of ice they don't have a problem. The key is to stand up and keep your weight more in the center. The tips are quite soft, but if you think about turning behind the tips and controling them from there, you won't have the wandering effect that you do when you control at the shovels. It feels funny at first, but you can carve and cruise on these. They work better in loose cut and uncut conditions instead of groomed, but that's what a fat ski is for. Where I live they're very popular because they make heavy snow fun as well as light stuff.

Last season I was skiing in some uncut with my son and feeling so good about how light and perfect the snow was. When we stopped he made a snowball out of the stuff and threw it at me. Pocket Rockets make powder out of mashed potatoes.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by pheft
I've noticed a lot of PR bashing in my short time here at the Forum. I've been skiing on Pocket Rockets for two seasons, soon to start my third, and I have found that when people don't like them they always say that they're not stiff enough and unstable at speed.

I beg to differ. I'll admit that if I skied in the East I'd get rid of the PRs and go to something different for the hard conditions, but with speed on snow instead of ice they don't have a problem. The key is to stand up and keep your weight more in the center. The tips are quite soft, but if you think about turning behind the tips and controling them from there, you won't have the wandering effect that you do when you control at the shovels. It feels funny at first, but you can carve and cruise on these. They work better in loose cut and uncut conditions instead of groomed, but that's what a fat ski is for. Where I live they're very popular because they make heavy snow fun as well as light stuff.

Last season I was skiing in some uncut with my son and feeling so good about how light and perfect the snow was. When we stopped he made a snowball out of the stuff and threw it at me. Pocket Rockets make powder out of mashed potatoes.

Just curious have you skied the other skis on this list?..... I think you would find that they are all better in the softer crud.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke
Just curious have you skied the other skis on this list?..... I think you would find that they are all better in the softer crud.
I have not skied all of the skis on the list but I found Pocket Rockets the most suited to my skiing of the ones I did try when I bought them. I have found that many people complain about problems with them that I don't find a problem. I have a blast on them and others do too (LOTS of people ski them at Mt. Baker). They are rated well and if some other people like other stuff that's fine with me. I see them on some pretty dynamite skiers around here. I must admit though, while I was in the market for them the deciding factor was price. They were on sale for $300 and I bit. I have no regrets.
post #11 of 28
I was not "PR Bashing." I was giving an honest and educated opinion. I have skiied all of the skis on my list. I have never liked Salomons. I have always preferred German and Austrian skis. Better made...beefier...more stabile...faster...and yes, stiffer. I am by no means an authority, but I do know what suits me...and Salomon pocket rockets does not!
post #12 of 28
Would also recommend that you give the Fischer Big Stix 106 a try. I am 150 lbs and really like the 170's. They have a nice shape and a soft tip. Perfect for Northwest conditions.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgudaitis
It seems the ideal fat ski for me is a stiffer Pocket Rocket, but what would that be?

Please add any more that you know about, including twin tips if you can.
Thanks.
Gotta agree with what has been said about the Pistols...they are what you are after. I owned a pair of 175 PR's and quickly sold them after riding a pair of 179 Pistols. The Pistols are a better PR. I been telling people that for the past two seasons. If you can get over the graphics (hard for some to do), I'm certain you'll love them.

And since I can't leave well enough alone...I gotta respond to this one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pheft
I've noticed a lot of PR bashing in my short time here at the Forum. I've been skiing on Pocket Rockets for two seasons, soon to start my third, and I have found that when people don't like them they always say that they're not stiff enough and unstable at speed.

I beg to differ.
Since I am one of the PR-bashers on the forum, I thought that I would extrapolate a bit. They are a good, easy skiing tool for average skiers. They are so empowering for folks who ski at moderate speeds in powder and softer crud. I find that lighter-weight or finesse skiers really enjoy them. These are not bad things.

However, PR's are lousy for aggressive skiers. The "Blue Noodle" moniker is not an accident. Either by virtue of the soft tips and tails or fact that foam-core Sallies soften with use, they are jsut too soft for some of us. I skied PR's for a season, and as posted above, sold them and got Pistols.

One of the reasons that I suspect that you see so many "dynamite skiers" on them is that they can be had by industry folk at low prices (from salomon) and have an almost guaranteed high re-sale value. Again, they also ski fine at moderate speed, so most people are generally happy with their PR's.

Here's where I beg to differ...

I now ski Volkl Explosiv's as my off-piste skis. They are as easy to ski as the PR's, but have absolutely no speed limit. They demolish crud (not the PR's forte) and in my opinion, even carve on the groomed better than PR's. They are perhapsthe best blend of float and control out there today. You know why I can say that? Because after skiing just about every ski on the above list, I can tell you that the PR is a good place to start and a sad place to finish, because there are much better pow/big mtn. boards if you care to dabble.

Oh, and I got my V-Ex's for $300, as well...so I suppose that I call that a deal I had to bite on, as well.

Enjoy season number 3 on yuor PR's...or you could sell them and try something new...
post #14 of 28
good thoughts, BM.

I would add something, though. Terrain can be a factor, as can skiing style. A light, finesse skier who spends lots of time skiing powder in tight trees might find the Pocket Rocket the best ski for powder, despite the fact that this skier would choose differently if he/she skied regularly in wide open bowls with heavy snow.

Having owned Salomons and knowing how they feel and ski, I can think of situations where their characteristics are good and useful. And I'd say it's not just "less aggressive" or "less skilled" skiers. It's also terrain and turn frequency.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
This is a great thread for me. I have lots of skis to demo. I still like to see opinions on ranking flex and weight.
Volkl Karma
Rossy B3
Scratch BC
Seth Pistol
Head Mojo
Dynastar Troublemaker
Legend 8800

It is that broad middle ground I don't know enough about.
post #16 of 28
here's my best shot...haven't skied them all...this is only for flex. weight does not matter as much. a heavier ski is going to rip the crud apart the way a soft can't. so if it's for in area, buy a stiffer, heavier ski. the weight is not going to kill you. think about - if you're in a fist fight, better to punch someone with a roll of nickels in your fist that without - more damage. the trick with crud snow is to punch through it, so just like about, the extra actually helps. for backcountry, go lighter. the snow is usually alot fresher, less beat down and fluffier. that said, top of the list is inbounds oriented, bottom of the list out of bounds oriented.

Karma
Pistol

8800
B3
Scratch BC
(pretty similar - Scratch is smooth groom or smooth pow oriented due to THC construction - wobbles all over on harder rough stuff - a ex-racer friend loves his)

Troublemaker is a very progressive flexing pipe oriented ski. much narrower than the other described here.

can't help with the Mad Trix Mojo, though based on it's popularity on the east coast, it's probably slightly stiffer, like the Pistol and Karma. and wider than the Troublemaker...

from your origial list, the Head i.M85 and Völkl Explosiv are by far the stiffest, with the Explosiv leading the pack. Explosivs are wide, stiff, race-inspired every-day all over skis. I hope they never go away.
post #17 of 28
If you are putting the morate flexing (relative to PR) Pistols in there and talk about stiffies like the Explosive and G4, what about stirring the pot with the K2 Apache Chief? :
post #18 of 28
good one! - absolutely no experience with it, but it does use the torsion box construction like the Apche X. the only point of reference i have is that this ski is stiffer and damper than the AK Enemy and original Enemy. I'm only gonna guess as to how it skis if I get pushed, so somebady push me.

does Jim S rock a guitar, too?
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by unionbowler
does Jim S rock a guitar, too?
Thank you so very kindly.
That whole CD started out as a goof but became a bit more.
post #20 of 28

PR's

Quote:
Originally Posted by pheft
I've noticed a lot of PR bashing in my short time here at the Forum. I've been skiing on Pocket Rockets for two seasons, soon to start my third, and I have found that when people don't like them they always say that they're not stiff enough and unstable at speed.

I beg to differ. I'll admit that if I skied in the East I'd get rid of the PRs and go to something different for the hard conditions, but with speed on snow instead of ice they don't have a problem. The key is to stand up and keep your weight more in the center. The tips are quite soft, but if you think about turning behind the tips and controling them from there, you won't have the wandering effect that you do when you control at the shovels. It feels funny at first, but you can carve and cruise on these. They work better in loose cut and uncut conditions instead of groomed, but that's what a fat ski is for. Where I live they're very popular because they make heavy snow fun as well as light stuff.

Last season I was skiing in some uncut with my son and feeling so good about how light and perfect the snow was. When we stopped he made a snowball out of the stuff and threw it at me. Pocket Rockets make powder out of mashed potatoes.
It's not bashing. It's just people's experiences. Myself, I am too forceful of a skier for the PR. The 185 length is dangerous at higher speeds (45+ mph), because there's just too little ski there for that length. They are OK for trees though because they are so light. If you're over 155lbs or are a forceful skier that skis from the ankles, don't ski them - if you're under that and turn with your hips, you'll love them. They initate turns easily because they are very torsionally flexible (I can literally put the tail between my feet and twist the tip about 60 degrees with zero effort) and have a decent sidecut. I prefer Volkls. I'm going to see this weekend if I like the Volant Machete FB, it's stiff as hell, 94mm underfoot, and has an 11mm riser.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgudaitis
... some idea of the flex and weight of fat skis, but if someone who knows could take a stab at ranking some of them it would help me. Skis I am curious to compare about include:

Pocket Rocket
Volkl Explosive
Volkl Karma
Elan M777
Dynastar Legend 8800
Rossignol B3
Head i.M 85
Please add any more that you know about, including twin tips if you can.
Thanks.
I stopped by a local shop to pick up my skis from a tune and walked around like a nerd flexing some new skis. My opinion, stiff --->soft:
  • Dynastar Legend Pro
  • Volkl Explosive
  • Rossi Scratch BC <-- similar to my '04 Dynastar Skicross 10
  • Volkl Gotama, Dyastar Legend 8800--similar
  • K2 Made 'N' AK
  • K2 Seth Pistol
  • Salomon PR, Rossi B3 --similar
The Seths felt pretty similar to the Salomon PR and B3. I know the B3 reportedly is softer than last year. Footloose at Mammoth feels the K2 Chief skis better than the Pistol. One other opinion to throw in there.
post #22 of 28
something to keep in mind, not saying you did this but beware, when flexing twin-tips, if you hold the ski up and flex it you are not getting an accurate feel of the flex. When flexing a twin-tips, you need to have the point where the tail begins to turn up be the contact point to the ground, often times the ski will not be very high in the air at all. If your point of contact to the ground is in the tail turn up, ads you flex it you are only feeling the flex of the very end of the tail, not where the power comes from, and not where the majority of the strength of the flex is centered.

Personally, I want to see someone with DB skis (Drake Boynoi or something like that) and see what their skis are really like (carbon fiber core skis, supposedly rather stiff and very light).

Also, while I haven't flexed em, I'm surprised you put the Made'n as stiffer than the Pistol, everything I have heard say the opposite. And the Apache Cheif is supposed to be one hell of a big mountain ski, from what I've heard.
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim S
Footloose at Mammoth feels the K2 Chief skis better than the Pistol. One other opinion to throw in there.
About the Footloose crew...pretty good shop and a lot of good riders. I suspect the reason they like the Chief is that is has less sidecut, which is better in deep snow. Also, I know for a fact that the majority of the testers there like stiffer off-piste skis, which may be better for skilled pilots (like the guys at Footloose), but a challenge for people looking for their first fatty and weigh 143 lbs, like the originator of this post. Just a point of reference.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus
I'm surprised you put the Made'n as stiffer than the Pistol
I was afraid to push real hard on the Made 'N' AK. I was afraid the graphics might hurt me.
post #25 of 28
From stiffer to softer

Sugar Daddy
Karma
Gotama
Pocket Rocket
Seth Pistol

The PR and Pistol were just demos, not alot of time on those.
post #26 of 28

Fat Bastard please!

Would somebody who's skied the Volant FB please take a stab at classifying them in some of these rankings. I haven't skied too many Fatties, and am curious to find out where my new FB's will fit in.

Also, how about the K2 AK Enemy? I put them at the softer end of the scale, from my brief experience on them.
post #27 of 28
I think the 2004-2005 Seth Pistol was stiffened some - it's a basically sandwiched Mothership. Morrison liked the Mothership (three years ago) and he liked the ride. What I like about the Seth Pistol and the Public Enemy is their fat edges (2.5 or 3 mm). For somebody who likes to tune, that's a godsend. I think all of the Igneous skis had fat edges.
post #28 of 28
Seems like somebody must have made a stiffer PR, since just about every company out there has copied them. Maybe it's the Karma? Haven't tried them, but Freeskier mag claims it's the best ski made for a one quiver ski, if it's stiffer than the new Gotama, should be reasonably beefy.
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