Originally Posted by PugetSkiDad
...Tom/PM: (1) I'm about your weight -- are you saying that the 'mid-fats' don't work for you and that you prefer a wider waist?
(2) Tom/PM, Cgrandy, HarkinBanks, Paul Jones, Nest: Explosiv vs 724 Pro. I get the impression that the 724 Pro is a bit more of an 'Eastern' ski -- a little more edge, not quite as quick? Is this correct?...
To answer your questions in reverse order:
(#2) I've never tried a 724 Pro, so I can't say anything about it.
(#1) What I'm saying is that in my experience, 75-85 mm skis certainly do better than 65-75 mm wide skis in soft crud, but not enough better to justify hauling any of mine in this width range to the mountain if I can bring more than one pair.
My current feeling is that if I can bring more than one pair, even though I own a bunch of skis in the 75-85 mm range, nowdays I just bypass this width range and go fatter. For example, if I'm bringing two pair, I only bring my 66 mm wide Head carvers, and my 95 mm wide Explosivs.
This combo handles 90% of any conditions I've run into for the last couple of seasons, and does so in fine fashion. This combo has a big overlap in their performance envelopes, so, if I run into a patch of hardpack on my Explosivs, it's no big deal ... same if I run into soft crud but I'm on my Heads.
I've come to this conclusion after years of being a gear geek and enjoying fooling around with a lot of skis, testing every one that I could lay my hands on.
Nowdays, about the only times I ever use one of my skis in the 75-85 mm range anymore is if I'm traveling by air, don't want to schlep more than one pair along and so, pick a compromise, do-everything (but do nothing really well) ski. In such a case, I usually grab my 10ex's over my SR's or g4's.
BTW, the types of eastern crud I'm thinking about for the Explosivs include:
a) Cut up ultra-wet snow with the consistency of a slurpee that you often see on a hot day in the spring, ie, when your boot postholes in up to its cuff (or deeper) with each step, and makes sucking noises when you try to lift it back out.
: This stuff becomes an absolute hoot to ski on with the Explosivs - You think you are water skiing, and can absolutely fly when everyone else is bogged down.
b) The heavy cut-up real snow (ie, not slurpee like) that I ran into after the 28" dump we got 2 seasons ago, about 3 hours after the roads opened and the hoards from the city started appearing at the mountain and tracked out the mountain mercilessly.
c) In my opinion, the Explosivs even do better than the carvers on coral reef (ie, deeply tracked soft snow that has quickly frozen into thousands of criss-cross, 6"+ deep, rock-hard ruts). The make god-awful clanking noises on such a hard surface, but they don't get caught as deep in the ruts, and they don't get yanked around as badly as narrower skis with deeper sidecut. Their bases are also bomb-proof.
Tom / PM
PS#1 - To calibrate my comments, I skied about 30 days each of the past two seasons, and am a L-I cert instructor.
PS#2 - Obviously, the combination of the Head carver and the Explosivs doesn't cover absolutely every situation perfectly. For example, both are too stiff to be really good mogul skis, and neither the deeply sidecut carver nor the Explosiv is exactly the best choice for going Mach stupid on hardpack. If the latter is your preference, the 188 G4 does a pretty good job of being a wide ski impersonating a GS ski.