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Wider Skis?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I recently tried skiing in about a foot and a half of fresh powder on top of old hardpack on a moderate blue run out here in utah. After the first rather frightening trip down, I had it pretty well figured out.

Later I tried some practically untouched powder that was about three feet deep and had a miserable time getting down the mountain.

I have a pair of salomon X free 7's, so their a bit narrower than the wider skis that I see alot of on the slopes. Is my difficulty in the deep stuff due mostly to lack of technique/practice, or would wider skis be helpful enough to justify upgrading to wider skis? I am, according to http://activebynature.com, a level 7 skier with the exception with my trouble in deep powder.

If anyone has advice to give I would really appreciate it.
post #2 of 20
you've entered a realm full of people who generally like either race skis or wide skis.

wide skis are super confidence inspiring, though def. slower edge to edge (don't make short all that well, in general). i have alot of customers who have moved to wider skis and actually significantly improved their skill set. Just a little confidence and ability to not get tossed around as hard by those demanding snow conditions.

as for technique, powder can be a bit much at first and has a learning curve. equipment that is designed for such conditions def. do help/make a difference.

go wide. no, wider.
post #3 of 20
Wider skis are more stable in deep snow, and therefore can make a difference, but are certainly not a necessity. When you left the packed runs for untracked deep powder you went from 2-dimensional to 3-dimensional skiing. As you found out in Utah, once you start to "float" the whole game changes. Hang in there, it takes a little practice and getting used to, but it's worth the effort. The problem is that you don't get to ski really deep snow that often, so by the time you start to figure it out a little it usually disappears for a while.

A wider ski would make balancing in deep snow easier, and a very wide ski allows you to duplicate the hard snow techniqe of primarily weighting one ski at a time. With the skis you are on now you have to weight them almost equally at all times in powder or they will tend to go in different directions. I suggest focusing on how your skis feel in the snow as opposed to a particular technique.

Many skiers have more than one pair of skis. You usually start with one for hard snow and a fatter one for soft snow. Any one ski is always a compromise when you go between the packed and the untracked.
post #4 of 20

Yes, and yes

People struggle with powder when they first start skiing it - just like any other challenge (bumps, steeps, ice). Sounds like you are in a good location (Utah) to improve your powder technique. A lesson focusing on powder would probably help a lot. My advice to those who have asked in the past - and I'm no expert - is that I think powder requires more subtle movements and a more centered stance? Others can certainly explain better.

Now, lets get you some skis. Yes, wider, more apprpriate skis would probably help right away. I think you've probably passed the top end of the X-free's. Maybe you could demo some of the wider options after your lesson (don't know if demoing during the lesson would throw too many variables into the mix). I think you'd want to start looking at skis with waist widths in the 80 - 90 range. Others will tell you wider, best bet is to try a bunch and see what you like the most.
post #5 of 20
People used to ski powder on long skinny boards so skinny can be done. Wider skis will help floatation adn do give a more stable paltform to ski upon.

A combination of a different ski and perhaps a leson or two on a powder day will help you come around. Lessons when I was younger really helped my powder skiing. About once a season I always go for a lesson to help me become aware of what I am actually doing on my skis.

post #6 of 20
Widgett- two things occur to me. First, the lesson advice is key. You are in powder heaven- take advantage of some of the best powder technique teaching anywhere on the planet. Second, are you from SLC, or ski there all of the time? If so, wider boards are probably a good investment. If you usually ski the east, rent fatso's on a powder day and spend the rest on the lessons!
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks a lot for all the advice. I'm looking at some 184cm atomic R:EX's, and they seem to be a good on/off piste ski, but I've heard that they're a stiffer ski. My legs are in great shape, but I don't know quite what to think about ski reviews saying that this ski is beefy and needs to be pushed.
Could anyone tell me of a comparable ski as far as capability and price goes?

also im 6'4" 200lbs
post #8 of 20
Don't know your size, but those sound long relative to your previous skis and your stated ability.
post #9 of 20
At your size you and ability you should have no problems with the R:ex. This isn't really a powder ski though. If you already have a ski for groomed/hard pack, why not get a true powder ski? You should check with mtn lion, he has some good deals on fat skis right now. They are posted on TGR and are linked from here on something like December sales.
post #10 of 20
oops I should not post and talkat the same time-just saw your size-still think shorter size for your stated ability
post #11 of 20
If you want a pair of powder boards for cheap, look at www.reioutlet.com. They had some Volant Chubbs for $269.00- hard to beat that price. I have the R:ex, and use it as my all-mountain ski. They are fantastic in crud and are a very good compromise on-off piste ski, and handle the powder pretty well, too. I am very light, so the 84mm width goes a long way for me (do a search on a past thread here by physicsman on width and float related to skier weight), and would be less so for you, but still a great all around ski for an advanced skier.
post #12 of 20
At a level 7 and struggling in powder I would not recomend the rex it is a ski that reqiuers skill and will have you for lunch if you don't have those skills. For a 8 or above skier the rex can be your best friend for true big mountain skiing. There are some excellent deals on Valant Chubbss and Fat boys on REI outlet or find an older pair of chubbs. around 180 or so. At 6'4" and 200 lbs those xfree 7 is a bit soft for you. if you can only have one ski try something around 70mm to 80mm They will be good in powder and good on groomed.
post #13 of 20
70MM is not good in powder. You want over 80 to get any sort of decent float. I skied all the powder storms in the east last year (which is mild pow at most) and it's a pain in the ass to ski 2 feet of powder on 68MM or 74MM waists.
post #14 of 20
Originally Posted by glint
70MM is not good in powder. You want over 80 to get any sort of decent float. ...it's a pain in the ass to ski 2 feet of powder on 68MM or 74MM waists.
For average weight guys, what you said is true, but don't forget, how deeply you sink in the snow (at a given speed, etc.), i.e., your "float", depends on the weight of the skier. 70 mm will give a very light person the same float that a heavier person might get on a 95+ mm ski. 85 mm will likely not give a slowly moving 250 pounder enough float.

There are several old threads on this:


Tom / PM
post #15 of 20
Even though I won't be caught in Utah without my Gotama's, I don't think width is your issue.

Take a lesson. You may want to try speeding up a little, and read the many mag articles about how to ski powder.

There is a difference. The 3D comparison is a good one. Width is fun and helps, but it is far from manditory.

I love my fats, but skied powder for 25 years without them.
post #16 of 20
Get the dynastar 8800. It is 89 underfoot and still rips the groomers. It wont be too much ski for you but will still provide substantial float. Weird snow this storm eh.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
I really appreciate all the tips guys, thanks. I went ahead and took your advice on the chubbs, I found a new pair of 04's on ebay for $270 and picked em up.

I just hope we don't get another big surprise dump before they get here.

This new snow was pretty heavy/wet for utah, I skied powder mtn this weekend and it was 40 degrees up there by 11 a.m., I thought the snow was gonna be awful, but it's definitely been worse in the spring.

do any of you guys from utah know somwhere in the ogden area who mounts bindings at a good price? $25 at gart's seems a bit steep, but I don't know anything about it really.
post #18 of 20
$25 IS a good price.
post #19 of 20
$40 minimum, $50 standard for binding mounts here in NorCal.:

Take the $25 quote, widgett84, and thank your lucky stars.

Anybody want to start a thread about D.I.Y. bind. mounting tips/techniques? Or are we risking too many lawsuits with that?

Perhaps SkiTrucks.com will post something enlightening on the subject, so we can finally get the straight dope on the One Man who has a monopoly on the world's mounting screws. Grrrr; that guy's been screwing us, hasn't he SkiTrucks?
post #20 of 20
I think Canyon Sports on Riverdale rd. charges $22 for a mount. They would probably do a better job than Garts also.
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