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Powder skis for big men - Page 2

post #31 of 58
Big Jim,

I assume it is the same for most people, the best thing about deep powder is that the speed limits do not apply. You can go as fast as you want, and if you land on your head it's no problem. It happens to everybody, the deeper it gets the more fearless you get. I have a friend who coined the term "terrain ignortion," which is when it finally gets deep enough (usually at least a 15" or more depending on snow consistency) that you can completely ingore the terrain irregularities and just step on the gas. A deep powder day is the physical manifestation of the phrase "it's all good." When we talk about powder skis my reference is deep snow, and when it's deep speed is never a problem, but more of a natural result.

I believe that fat skis are physically easier to ski in powder, but to some extent speed is an equalizer if you have the same (longer) surface area. I just love the feel of a longer ski bowing into the snow. A ski with the right flex for your weight, speed, and the snow consistency has a sensous feel at that moment when it reverses camber that comes as close to making love to the snow as you will ever get. Short fat skis are a great tool for skiing deep snow, but the shorter I go the more I lose that sensous feel of the flex and the stability at speed. Your skis are the way you touch the mounatin, so I try to pick a pair that gives as much feel as possible, which for me means somewhat longer and narrower than conventional wisdom/industry standard would dictate. I think the most important thing for a powder ski is sufficient total surface area to allow you to float on one ski (at reasonalbe speed) so that you can quit the balancing act between the two skis. Width under foot makes balancing slightly easier, but it is not the most important factor.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
...Your skis are the way you touch the mounatin, so I try to pick a pair that gives as much feel as possible...
Hey Mudfoot, with that statement, I think I finally figured out the real difference between us: Most of the time, you probably get to ski in better snow then me (not to mention more wide open places). Most of my skiing in deep snow is in cut-up wet crud, so that the last thing I want is a pair which gives me as much feel as possible. : I prefer a Hummer, not a Corvette for washboard roads (not that I have either).

Tom / PM
post #33 of 58
PhysicsMan;

That's the basis of my "geographical differences in powder" comment above. Your favorite ski (Exsplovsiv) is very solid, and if you squint your eyes when skiing deep cut up crud you can make believe it is untracted because everything feels smooth. A great tool for heavier snow on narrow eastern slopes, and farming the tight trees for day old powder. Living out west I probably get more open spaces and softer snow. I think of a powder day as high speed GSing the mountain, which requires a longer board.

My standard for a powder skis has always been what those 200 people are standing on in line at Alta waiting for the lift to open on a 15" overnight morning. If you ever get the chance to be there on a day like that you see the true hardcore powder hounds, and it's always interesting to find out what the real worshippers of the steep and deep are skiing on. I forget that you are looking for a tool for a somewhat different job.

Speaking of Alta, I am always amazed at how many "Altaholics" there are on the east coast. If a big storm hits Little Cottonwood Canyon they grab a 5:00 a.m. flight out of Boston, Philly or N.Y. City and are skiing by mid-day. I do the 6 hr. drive from Durango a few times a year and these guys beat my travel time! They even have a deal that if you fly in you get that first half day ticket free.
post #34 of 58
Ok, this thread is on its second page and no one has stated the obvious. V-Mantra. Definitely a ski with the stiffness for a heavyweight, and width for deep snow. Being 10 mm wider at the tip than Explosive makes this ski easier to handle in powder and yet it is beefy enough not to be tossed in crud. The ski turns a tighter radius compared to the Explosiv and I have found it to be very agile in trees and tight steep spots. It is very willing to open up and go as fast as deep snow will allow without hooking or being unstable. I am about 210 and ski it in a 184. I find the ski makes everything I do on the mountain easier and more effortless than anything I have used before. It has a really large sweet spot and boosts confidence. Considering what the OP was looking for, I think it would be a great fit.

There is a review not too far down the board if you want to see more. I'm sure you will be hearing more about the V Mantra as it becomes more widely available this year. Has anyone mentioned demoing yet?
post #35 of 58
190 Explosivs
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by powderhound24
I am 5'10" 255lbs and an upper advanced skier, I skied Atomic powder rides in 180 this year while in Utah and loved them. They handled everything, bottomless backcountry pow----awesome float, and just blasted through anything I skied them on, crud cut up you name it. ...

You might be able to find a cheap pair of used Pow Rides.

I beleive the dimensions were like 124-108-116.
Dorm not going to get in the tangle with Physics and Mud but just give you my honest opinion which is close to the above.
My powder skis are 180 Atomic Helistars.
115 under foot, no longer made. got them through mntlion @ podermag.
he also posts here and TGR and actually has a pair for sale now
http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=30505
cheaper by far than a new powder set up.

to relate to the rest of the bunch:
I am 6' 225 lbs

I ski fair amount of powder as a Solitude pass and Alta Silver card holder.

My everyday ski is a Stockli SS pro similar to the Stockli's mentioned above, i find it a bit stiff (tip dive) and narrow ( 110 is the new 95) for really deep untracked days, when I love the floaty surfy feel of the helistars.
if you want a powder specific ski, and have another for other puropses, I would highly recomend it.
I have skied on the spatulas a few days, but never really 'got it" I always felt off balance.
another good old school ski that can be found is the Rosingnol axiom
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
...Your favorite ski (Exsplovsiv) is very solid, and if you squint your eyes when skiing deep cut up crud you can make believe it is untracted because everything feels smooth....
Oooooh, ooooooh, more, more, don't stop ...


Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
... I forget that you are looking for a tool for a somewhat different job. ...
Try your hardest, but I'm not giving anyone a group hug - including you, and that's final.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
...My standard for a powder skis has always been what those 200 people are standing on in line at Alta waiting for the lift to open on a 15" overnight morning. If you ever get the chance to be there on a day like that you see the true hardcore powder hounds, and it's always interesting to find out what the real worshippers of the steep and deep are skiing on. ...
So, what widths do our representatives from LCC see on the feet of the locals on a day such as Mud describes? My sample may not be huge, but everyone (with the exception of you) that I know who is seriously into skiing powder and weighs more than 180 lbs has gone fatter than the mid-80's in the past 2-3 years. For a quick estimate, just take a look at the quivers our bretherin at TGR own, and the messages / photos that they post about their quivers.

BTW, FWIW, I learned to ski powder at Alta 30-ish years ago. Like many people of that era, I was on skinny, stiff, 60 meter sidecut radius 205s (Volkl Zebras). For about 10 years straight, I usually managed to get in about 2 weeks per year at AltaBird on these skis.

My feeling on untracked fresh is that virtually any ski including my 205 Zebras from the history book will do a fine job in such hero snow - its when the snow gets all cruddy & manky that you separate the men from the boys among skis. As your first comment essentially implies, on Explosivs, you hardly notice the difference as the day wears on and the snow gets tracked out. I like this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
...Speaking of Alta, I am always amazed at how many "Altaholics" there are on the east coast. If a big storm hits Little Cottonwood Canyon they grab a 5:00 a.m. flight...
I'm impressed by this as well. I have a friend from Boston who is heavily into this approach to skiing. The problem is that you really want to be interlodged up the canyon the night before, not trying to get in right after the dump.


Cheers,

Tom / PM

PS - Hey, Mud, just to calibrate everyone, how much do you weigh? I'm 215 lbs.
post #38 of 58
PhysicsMan,

Skip the hug, let's go skiing together sometime instead. I'm 215-220 in the winter. Got weighed at CMH suited and booted up, and holding a pair of Explosivs at 240.

My perception from observing the Little Cottonwood hardcores is that they are indeed going fatter (like the industry) the last couple of years, but not all that short. I don't think I would say that "110 is the new 95" just yet, but the average width is probably approaching the 100+ level. Of course in SLC you actually get people with more than one pair of powder skis in their quiver, those lucky *&%#@$^'s. I would like to hear from some SLC locals as to how their equipment choices have evolved. Are you going fatter just because everyone else is?

Nothing like being at Alta and thinking you are ripping the pow and then having a girl on a huge pair of tele skis pass you at eye level to make you think "it must be the equipment."

P.S. I had a pair of 205 Zebras too! I don't think the bottoms touched the snow underfoot when I was standing still. Mucho camber.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
My perception from observing the Little Cottonwood hardcores is that they are indeed going fatter (like the industry) the last couple of years, but not all that short.
I think this is where the debate erupted. I think this may have been a misconception/misinterpretation, correct me if I'm wrong Physics Man, but I read your post saying you may ski on 165's, but when in powder, you are on your 190's, not that you ski your 165's as powder skis.

I don't think people have typically gone shorter in powder, however, some people are maintaining the length of their all-mountain ski and just increasing the waist width. But I find most people do go longer (at least a little) when getting a powder ski (as compared to an all-mountain). I know my quiver ranges from 169cm - 189cm (and would have slightly longer if there were more models available) and waists ranging from 68mm (I think - Rx8) - 98mm (189 Viscious) - keep in mind I'm an East Coaster, too. While I agree that the industry as a whole has been shrinking length, I find that it is with powder skis that you will still find current skis approaching the 200cm range (I've seen many top all-mountain skis having a max length around 180 +/-5). In my honest opinon, the All-mountain and racing (SL specifically) have made drastic moves in shortening the equiptment, but I that's really the only place I typically see people skiing shorter skis.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus
I think this is where the debate erupted. I think this may have been a misconception/misinterpretation, correct me if I'm wrong Physics Man, but I read your post saying you may ski on 165's, but when in powder, you are on your 190's, not that you ski your 165's as powder skis...
That's right. I think I have said several times that I pick one pair or the other depending on the trail width & crowding, who I'm skiing with (ie, likely speed), etc.

So, if I'm teaching the usual lower level crowd at my home mountain in the spring, on stuff that's the consistency of a half-warm milkshake, I know I'll likely be going pretty slow and making lots of turns, but still want a reasonable ammt of surface area so that I don't get bogged down on the flats, can walk back up the hill to a guest without sinking in as deeply on each step as I would on my normal 65 mm wide teaching skis, etc. In such a case I pick the 165 Explosivs. Same for itsy-bitsy turns in eastern trees in normal eastern snow (ie, not deeply rotted spring slop). I used the (much older) 190's for years in the same conditions, but now that I have both lengths, I like the 165's better for such conditions.

OTOH, if it's the middle of winter, I'm on a deserted mountain midweek, going fast on a heavy snow day, especially if its a big mountain with wide trails or bowls, the 190's come out if I have them along. If I don't, I use whatever is on my feet. No rocket science whatsoever involved.

What may have misled Mudfoot was that in previous threads, I have commented glowingly about my 165's, and noted that their performance envelope astonished me, especially since before I tried them, I was of the opinion that 165's could not *possibly* work for me. For example, with respect to their speed range, on my home mountain, in the sort of sucking spring slop that I mentioned above, even on my little 165's, I can pass just about every recreational skier and keep up with most of the other instructors on longer skis without feeling the least bit unstable. The speed limit on the 190's is above the point where I usually chicken out on narrow trails or if it's crowded enough that someone might decide to cut in front of me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus
... I don't think people have typically gone shorter in powder, however, some people are maintaining the length of their all-mountain ski and just increasing the waist width. But I find most people do go longer (at least a little) when getting a powder ski (as compared to an all-mountain). ...
Yup, I think you nailed it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus
... All-mountain and racing (SL specifically) have made drastic moves in shortening the equiptment, but I that's really the only place I typically see people skiing shorter skis.
I'm not so sure. I think there has been a drop in the length of fats being used (by normal mortals) as well, just not so dramatic as with the narrower classes of skis. I think that 180-190 is now the most common length of newly purchased fats you will see on the hill, whereas a few years ago, it was probably more like 190-200, although the numbers of fats back then was much lower.

If nothing else, this discussion gets my mind away from the 90 deg temps we are supposed to get today. :

Cheers,

Tom / PM

PS (in edit) - Mudfoot, you're absolutely right about the huge camber on the old Zebras. Imagine if they tried using that amount of camber in the current crop of deeply sidecut skis - they would probably be totally unable to be run flat as the tips and tails would always be engaged. BTW, one pr of my old Zebras are still in working condition and I try to take them out for a spin every year or two. They certainly do a grand job of straightlining any run they are placed on.
post #41 of 58
Now that we have beat the "short" powder ski issue to death, how about the width issue? When I was at CMH a few years ago they encouraged everyone to use Explosivs (95 mm waist), but weaker skiers who were having problems got switched to shorter and much fatter Atomics, on which they could ski with less effort. I attribute this to riding higer in the snow, thereby making 2 ft. ski like 9". They no longer experienced everything the mountain had to offer in the way of deep snow, but it greatly increased their enjoyment and ability to hang with the group.

Next year will a stong powder skier be more likely to be on new Mantras (95 mm waist) than super fat 110 mm plus waisted skis? I still believe that after about 95 mm you are getting into the realm of hindering performance, although I have only had limited experince with superfats. They are certainly easier to ski, but are you losing something?

PhysicsMan, if you were sking that cut up crud you love on real fatties wouldn't you tend to continually have to fight crawling up on top of the chop? Anybody have any consumer comparison of Exsplosivs or similar size skis vs a 110+ waisted beast?
post #42 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
if you were sking that cut up crud you love on real fatties wouldn't you tend to continually have to fight crawling up on top of the chop? Anybody have any consumer comparison of Exsplosivs or similar size skis vs a 110+ waisted beast?
My Stocklis ski a lot like the explosivs( similar stiffness and stats) but damper, they excel in high speed crud blasting but are surpassed in bottomless UT fluff ( I am talking Utah powder days measured in feet, not CO, Wolf creek and S'ton excepted, powder days measured in inches) by my super fat skis.

and I have been in that alta line up mentioned above a lot, it was the first place I saw 100+ waisted igneous, W103's. big stix 106's etc.
I also see ALOT of old school atomic fats.
Spatulas were also VERY evident last season.
post #43 of 58
post #44 of 58
Thread Starter 
Mud and Physics ... give it a rest! Seriously, this is a nice discussion, and someone earlier mentioned the Atomic Helistars, I just could not find where to grab a pair. Thanks to Matt Davis for the tip.

One thing I'd e-mailed Joe Cutts or Kendall Hamilton earlier in March, related to the stiffness of skis, and how there ought to be a measure used related to these. My suggestion was to include some sort of flex/stiffness measure when the ski test is being done, and included in the product review ... we'll see. It just seems to me that stiffness ought to be relavent to a person's size, and knowing this up front would help to be more efficient in the buying process. Comments..........
post #45 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorm57
Mud and Physics ... give it a rest! Seriously, this is a nice discussion ...
Huh? I don't get it. I haven't posted in this thread since the 9th, about 11 days ago. :

BTW, it's nice to find another person that would like to have flex data put back in the reviews. Now, whether or not we'll get it is another question.

Cheers,

Tom / PM
post #46 of 58
Dorm57,

Sorry if you think I/we hijacked your thread but, as you pointed out, ski magazine reviews are not giving us the info we really need, so this forum is where we get the real "test" results. Any feedback I can get from a big guy that knows how to turn'm is worth all the ski reviews I will ever read.

Besides, sparing with PhysicsMan has taught me a lot about skis and actually caused me to buy a shorter pair than I have ever owned before, which IMHO is what this forum is all about.
post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
...as you pointed out, ski magazine reviews are not giving us the info we really need, so this forum is where we get the real "test" results. Any feedback I can get from a big guy that knows how to turn'm is worth all the ski reviews I will ever read.
exactly what I've been saying for years, being a heavier guy, its impossible to properly assess (even begin to) a ski based on ski reviews that are printed, let alone the propensity for the reviews to be skewed by what companies are paying the tab. I've been saying for years now that ski testing needs to become more "real world" oriented. Yeah, now you'll see some older people, male and female testing skis, but the heaviest ski tester I've ever seen was about 200 lbs (and a former olympian I think too). There are a great deal of top level skiers that are over that mark, and they are not getting good info from reviews. As a rule, based on American society at least, people are getting heavier, hell, I've noticed it on the slopes a lot this past season, however many corporations refuse to adjust and aknowledge this portion of the market (arguably the fastest growing portion of the market) and stick by the common (mis)perseption of what a "typical" skier is.
post #48 of 58
I think that, unfortunately, most skis are designed for an "average" skier (150-165 lbs.) and then shortened or lengthened without changing the construction, which gives the big and small folks a less than optimal ski. Some models are beefed up for longer lengths, although many companies seem to have just stopped making skis over 180 in most models.

In the past I have found that the longest ski in some lines (like the 195 Rossi XXX) was way stiffer than the next size down. I think this is for their big mountain skiing pros, but whatever the case you don't usually find that out from reading the manufacturer's info. Pitty the guy who demoed a 190 and wanted something a little longer only to buy it and find out it was a much different ski. I agree that reviews need more tech info, especially for bigger/smaller skiers that may not be able to demo the length they end up buying. Knowledge is power.
post #49 of 58
mudfoot,
that is why these forums are good.
Especially if you know the skier making the comments personally ( as a Ido a bit here and more on TGR)
I also just ask people on the lifts & in the lift line.
So while I have not skied on the new Blizzard XXl I know enough bigger gus that have and seen pure rapture on the faces of its owners in the Alta lifft lines and on the lifts @ SOlitude and JH.
If I found a deal on a pair of these I would snap them up, even tho my current quiver of skis prolly overlaps with it a bit.
post #50 of 58
Matt, check out http://www.evogear.com/ProductDetail...-YahooProducts for those Blizzard XXLs for $359.
post #51 of 58
ooh temting, too bad only a 181.
good pick up for someone who is looking for a great ski
post #52 of 58
Thread Starter 
Guys, I e-mailed Ski mag back in March, and commented about lining up to do testing for next years crop of skis. It may have been to Kendall Hamilton, be he did reply back, and verified Cutts was lining up for the testing. He also forwarded my note to Cutts, wherein I'd asked about some type of measurement for "flex".

While thinking about this discussion, I recollected skiing 2 years ago at Big Mountain, and I demo'd a few pairs of performance skiis, Rossi B2's, K2 Axis XP, and a pair of Salomons. It is interesting to me that while the B2's seemed very noodley, and the XP's much more stiff, I had a ball skiing either pair. Maybe my opinion on either pair's stiffness is out to lunch, but either way both sets handled very well. Perhaps width, and not stiffness is the key?
post #53 of 58

Yet another victim of "The Rocket"

Quote:
Originally Posted by skierecs7
pocket rocket
Even in the 185cm length, this ski is too soft for any good skier over 180#'s. I weigh 130#'s and have skied every length and still find it too soft and noodley in anything but bottomless. IMHO, Salomons are somewhat easy to ski but, don't ski anything particularly well. Big guys that are advanced to expert skiers should go for a little more beef in their skis. Volkl Explosives, Atomic Big Daddys, Sumos, Gotamas, Made N's, B-4's, FB's. Even Sugars if you can ski the shorter 183 length.
post #54 of 58
I think Mudfoot's post (#31)
is getting into the area of
SkiPorn (light) [snow].
post #55 of 58
Anyone used Crystal Ships? Esp the 160s. They sound fascinating to me.
post #56 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
Anyone used Crystal Ships? Esp the 160s. They sound fascinating to me.
I saw some in January, and my jaw dropped, 162/113/154, crazy wide with huge sidecut. I read on TGR it's like a 10.5 meter turn radius! They make my Chubbs look like cross country skis!
post #57 of 58
VA, were the bindings offset inwards?
post #58 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
VA, were the bindings offset inwards?
Ya know, I don't remember, I was leaving the bar at the end of the day, and may have had a bit of a buzz on. One thing is for sure, if they weren't, it would neccessitate a wide stance.

I have a friend who has some super-fat Rossi Axioms (sp?) which have the bindings offset, it looks really strange to me, but he says it isn't really noticable when he skis them.
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