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Best ski flex for powder

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have two pairs of skis, a Stockli slalom model for my "good" skis and Head something-or-other for my rock hoppers. (I can't give more specific model info because currently they're 4 hours away from me)

Both are 156cm long, and their other dimensions are pretty similar too, around 110 tip / 63 waist / 100 tail. Essentially they only differ in the flex; the Heads are a fair bit softer than the Stocklis.

My question is this: which ski would you take out on a wet powder day, the softer one or the stiffer one?
post #2 of 22
"wet powder", that's like kiwi for 'not quite frozen solid'?

The soft ones, as being better in bumps.
post #3 of 22
Rule of thumb is "soft snow = soft skis, and hard snow = stiff skis." A soft ski will get thrown around by stiff snow, so use the soft skis until you start to lose control, and then go stiffer. My preference is to go as soft as possible, but others may have the opposite approach. If it is soft wet consistent powder ("hot mud"), then I would go soft and put it on ooz control. Once it starts to set up go back to the car and get something stiffer, and then take it up to ramming speed.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch
"wet powder", that's like kiwi for 'not quite frozen solid'?
<laugh> Sounds like someone's skiied the North Island! No, I did mean powder, as in fresh snow, but North Island pow is a lot wetter than most places due to the latitude and all that ocean.

Thanks cantunamunch and mudfoot, a nice simple rule to follow. I was hoping you'd say use the softer ones, being as they're my rock-hoppers and I don't like to find submerged rocks with my good skis. But I thought perhaps the greater stiffness of the Stocklis might make them float that little bit more.

Thanks again
post #5 of 22
Actually, everything else being equal, the softer skis should float better. The softer flex should allow you to stand on the middle of the ski while the front flexs up. On a stiffer ski, with your weight in the same position, it will dive more, forcing you to sit back and use porpoise turns (rocketing up out of the snow, turning and diving back in), but that gets tiring.

Once the "wet powder" starts to set up the softer ski may start to climb up on top, and then you suddenly find yourself going fast and trying to fight your way back down into the snow to gain control. That's when it's time to go for the stiffer ski that allows you to root around down in the thicker stuff.
post #6 of 22
I would'nt use either of those skis in powdr unless I was 4 ft tall and weighed less than 80 lbs. sorry, just telling you like it is.
post #7 of 22
I don't know what "wet powder" is, unless it's cement like Pocono Powder, but in real powder I want a WIDER ski, then next I'd look at the stiffness, but nothing under 75 mm under my foot.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag
I would'nt use either of those skis in powdr unless I was 4 ft tall and weighed less than 80 lbs. sorry, just telling you like it is.
That´s what I thought on seeing those 63 mm but I wanted to let speak pow specialists first.
I would not expect much "float" on a 63-mm ski.
Otoh, the question was "which of the two is better" and not whether the skis are suitable or not.
If there is just a slim chance to find some fresh snow more often a wider ski is almost a must.
I suppose no one knows better than North American skiers...
post #9 of 22
Skiaddict1, this is just how it begins. First you "think" you have skis that offer a choice for conditions. You will soon realize through Bear indoctrination, that you actually have two pairs of short slalom skis. Good skis for a limited range of conditions. Soon you might realize that this is actually preventing you from achieving your potential and you may cross over to the dark side of wide skis, or even a quiver. With over 90 mm under your feet you have a real choice if soft conditions occur. The difference is amazing. Do you have access to demo skis? This conversation is heading a similar direction to another thread on this forum http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=27767 . If you can get your hands on a pair of new Volkl AC4 to try out, I think you might be impressed at the difference.

Warning, continued participation on this forum can be hazardous to your budget.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiAddict1
My question is this: which ski would you take out on a wet powder day, the softer one or the stiffer one?
Neither...

Need 'em fatter. Much fatter.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated. For the record I know neither of my skis is ideal for powder skiing, but I'm not prepared to buy a specialist powder ski just yet! Also the Stocklis aren't as limited in range as one might think, given they are a slalom model. I've seen very good skiers doing extremely fast GS turns on them, and they remain smooth and stable the whole way. It's one of the reasons I bought them -- they perform beautifully in a wide range of situations.

But, thanks guys, once again BB comes through, and you even gave me the answer I wanted to hear!
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Skiaddict1, this is just how it begins. First you "think" you have skis that offer a choice for conditions. You will soon realize through Bear indoctrination, that you actually have two pairs of short slalom skis. Good skis for a limited range of conditions. Soon you might realize that this is actually preventing you from achieving your potential and you may cross over to the dark side of wide skis, or even a quiver. With over 90 mm under your feet you have a real choice if soft conditions occur. The difference is amazing. Do you have access to demo skis? This conversation is heading a similar direction to another thread on this forum http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=27767 . If you can get your hands on a pair of new Volkl AC4 to try out, I think you might be impressed at the difference.

Warning, continued participation on this forum can be hazardous to your budget.
Too true, reading these forums have led me to the awareness that my '01 Chubbs (87 cm under foot) are woefully skinny (I might as well be wearing ice skates). How could I have ever seen them as wide? Now I must wrestle with the agony of this realization, and hope for a unforseen windfall so I can alieviate the deprivation. Yes, wider skis, then I will be at peace with the state of my quiver, yea, that's the ticket.

The steel junkie
post #13 of 22
It's not only the width of those skis that would make it tough, but also the length. It would be hard to have stable fore/aft balance on such a short ski, plus you'd most likely have to be in the backseat to keep those tips up.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict
Too true, reading these forums have led me to the awareness that my '01 Chubbs (87 cm under foot) are woefully skinny (I might as well be wearing ice skates). How could I have ever seen them as wide? Now I must wrestle with the agony of this realization, and hope for a unforseen windfall so I can alieviate the deprivation. Yes, wider skis, then I will be at peace with the state of my quiver, yea, that's the ticket.

The steel junkie
87 cm!

There are a great many skis made today that do very well in a wide range of conditions. The metron started the trend, Nordica has the "Hot Rod", Volkl has the AX4.

These skis can do it all. On groomers they have a 14-16 meter turn radius at 170 cm. In powder they range from the mid seventies to mid eighties in mm underfoot.

A friend of mine and I were talking the other day about the 02/03/04 Fischer WC SC and how well it skied in powder. Everyone skied it as a short hyper carver (10 meter @ 160 cm) however with the 123 mm tip it would have really been fun to ski it longer as an all mountain ski.

I really think the aforementioned shape a la the metron/Hot Rod AX will take the ski industry by storm in the next two years.

My days of a quiver are done.
post #15 of 22
I use a SL 170cm ski for all conditions. My theroy-Technique not Technology.
post #16 of 22

1 Ski Quiver - get rid of every thing else!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
87 cm!

There are a great many skis made today that do very well in a wide range of conditions. The metron started the trend, Nordica has the "Hot Rod", Volkl has the AX4.

These skis can do it all. On groomers they have a 14-16 meter turn radius at 170 cm. In powder they range from the mid seventies to mid eighties in mm underfoot.

A friend of mine and I were talking the other day about the 02/03/04 Fischer WC SC and how well it skied in powder. Everyone skied it as a short hyper carver (10 meter @ 160 cm) however with the 123 mm tip it would have really been fun to ski it longer as an all mountain ski.

I really think the aforementioned shape a la the metron/Hot Rod AX will take the ski industry by storm in the next two years.

My days of a quiver are done.

Rusty:

I think you may have a good handle on the current thought among ski mfgs.

"Metron = all conditions equipement", Volkl AC4 (all Conditions), Elan Maggies, Fischer AMC series, etc.

My Metron B5's have a 11m radius in 162cm and are amazing in quick turns, bites well on ice as well as busting through uneven conditions.

Does the Nordie Top Fuel, feel quick edge to edge on firm snow? I have no doubt they ski the deeper snow very well. I know they have to be lighter then Metron B5's (what isn't?)

Nordica looks HOT for 2006!

Gotama
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
87 cm!
My, I do feel silly, 87mm of course.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider
I use a SL 170cm ski for all conditions. My theroy-Technique not Technology.
Then why aren't you on a 210 cm ski with no sidecut?

My theory- Technology=fun. I'm sure i could ski pow on a 170 cm sl ski, but why would I want to? A fat ski is soooo much more fun.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag
Then why aren't you on a 210 cm ski with no sidecut?

My theory- Technology=fun. I'm sure i could ski pow on a 170 cm sl ski, but why would I want to? A fat ski is soooo much more fun.

Do you think a SL ski is more versatile than a wider ski? Note-205cm Kastle WC SL.
post #20 of 22
What am I supposed to see in that pic other than a guy that is barely hanging on to control?

And no, I don't think a sl ski is more versatile than fat, thats my point, you can have more fun on a fat ski in all off-trail conditions.
post #21 of 22
Regaurding your opinion. You must ski in a(fun)conserveing manner. EOL.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider
Regaurding your opinion. You must ski in a(fun)conserveing manner. EOL.
I'm going to need a translation here.
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