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Can a race ski be any good in soft snow?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I am hoping to test some skis this week (have scrounged some days off work), as I desperately need a new pair before the upcoming US season. As our season limps to an untimely end (rain rain rain), I have to get in quick and try some Stocklis.

I desperately want the Stockli Laser SCs. I haven't been on the new, shaplier ones, and maybe they'll be terrible, making the decision easier. But last year I got on the last model, which has very modest sidecut. I was amazed at what great skis they were, they actually made me ski better. And, they were fantastic in big bumps, which got me thinking, could they be fudgeable in soft snow?

I love soft snow, powder is the best, and the skis I've been on for the last few years have made it so easy. They are soft Stormriders, with 70mm underfoot, and there's a new version called Stormrider Fit or something. meant to be an AT ski, but the dimensions look almost the same. I know they'd do the job (my old ones do everything well), BUT, I love the way I ski on those SCs.

I'm not getting too much powder cheating on my current middies, they are not particularly wide, with 70mm waists and very modest dimensions and sidecut. Do I need fat skis?!

Thoughts, anyone?
post #2 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant
...

Do I need fat skis?!

Thoughts, anyone?

...
Hi, Ant.

How deep (guesstimate) and how often are you going to be skiing powder?

I would submit that my 63cm-width Dynastar Speed Omeglass slalom skis will ski 12" and less powder with no trouble whatever. It's only when things get really deep and fairly thick that the wider-width skis start to really shine.

Others will disagree.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, I am on snow every day in the US winter, and whenever it snows, I'm in it! Unless teaching very low levels.
I do like to get out into the deep though (steep I'm not so wild about, but the best deep is on steep, oddly enough). Last season I was skiing stuff quite a bit deeper than a foot, and since I'm short it came up further on me, and loved it.

The thing is, how much "help" does a pair of not very fat midfats give, compared with race skis?
From memory, the SCs are around 63mm underfoot.
Do narrower skis get twitchy?

Maybe I should give the higher-specced Stormriders another go, although I didn't like them last time, too stiff, needed too much speed to perform. The SCs aren't like that, they have a lovely solid wall feeling under the foot, and they are so responsive, and so incredibly safe-feeling at speed. And they had me skiing bumps better than usual, because they felt so good.
post #4 of 25
No, ALL race breed skis... TRUE RACE BREED SKIS... are horrible in the deep stuff. THey are highly specialized (i.e. stiff oak trees, crazy torsionally rigid, amd long) and are for dudes with tree trunks for legs. Stick with the stuff that us normal beings can actually bend and put to test.
post #5 of 25
Excluding Slalom goods.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I usually hate race skis for that reason, but these things did bumps well, which strictly speaking, a race ski shouldn't?

I'm confusing myself now, I just noticed that the Stockli GS ski has a 66mm waist, and a much bigger turn radius. hmmm.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant
I am hoping to test some skis this week (have scrounged some days off work), as I desperately need a new pair before the upcoming US season. As our season limps to an untimely end (rain rain rain), I have to get in quick and try some Stocklis.

I desperately want the Stockli Laser SCs. I haven't been on the new, shaplier ones, and maybe they'll be terrible, making the decision easier. But last year I got on the last model, which has very modest sidecut. I was amazed at what great skis they were, they actually made me ski better. And, they were fantastic in big bumps, which got me thinking, could they be fudgeable in soft snow?

I love soft snow, powder is the best, and the skis I've been on for the last few years have made it so easy. They are soft Stormriders, with 70mm underfoot, and there's a new version called Stormrider Fit or something. meant to be an AT ski, but the dimensions look almost the same. I know they'd do the job (my old ones do everything well), BUT, I love the way I ski on those SCs.

I'm not getting too much powder cheating on my current middies, they are not particularly wide, with 70mm waists and very modest dimensions and sidecut. Do I need fat skis?!

Thoughts, anyone?
The answer is simple, get your race skis, and get some fatties too for the deep days.......now see how easy that was.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Iinter-continental travel with 2 pairs of skis and enough gear for 5 months is never an attractive proposition, especially if airlines on one of those continents has lately become very fussy about baggage weights. I actually have a cupboard full of various stocklis (mostly with tight turn radii) but a ski that "does it all" is more useful I find.
post #9 of 25
I have one answer that will send you in one definiite direction. Atomic Metron -or- Nordica Hot Rod. You'd be looking at the top board in each ski line. They have a slalom cut, but can handle just about anything on the mountain due to their very wide waists. A true race slalom ski, while will be great on groomed snow, will hold you back off piste... plus anytime the snow is soft - which happens a lot in the western US - you are going to have your skis sinking into the groomed snow trying desperately to grab ahold of something they can use to turn on. I'd go with something short and wide, that has the cut of a slalom ski - since you like the livliness and turn shape that they make.
Later
GREG
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
I have one answer that will send you in one definiite direction. Atomic Metron -or- Nordica Hot Rod. You'd be looking at the top board in each ski line. They have a slalom cut, but can handle just about anything on the mountain due to their very wide waists. A true race slalom ski, while will be great on groomed snow, will hold you back off piste... plus anytime the snow is soft - which happens a lot in the western US - you are going to have your skis sinking into the groomed snow trying desperately to grab ahold of something they can use to turn on. I'd go with something short and wide, that has the cut of a slalom ski - since you like the livliness and turn shape that they make.
Later
GREG
How bout the Volkl AC-4? I would not put the Nordica's and Metrons in the same catagory.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by skifordad
How bout the Volkl AC-4? It has much more sidecut than the Nordica, and is more similar to the Metron. I would not put the Nordica's and Metrons in the same catagory.
The AC4 is not quite in the same do-all category. The metron b5 and the hot rod top fuel have a lot of metal in them and have a slalom sidecut, giving them excellent hard-snow performance while giving up little in the deep. The AC4, for one, has a sidecut that is more towards the GS end of things, which is not what ant wants, and is not as agressive as the others. Nice ski, but not the same category.

Why do you think that the top fuel and the b5 aren't in the same category? They have a similar sidecut, construction, and intended purpose.
post #12 of 25
Well The hot rod in a 178 has a turn radius of 17.6 while the AC-4 in a 177 has a radius of 17.8. The Volkl like the Nordica also has metal and a very simialr turn radius. Those two skis have the same purpose.

I would put a metron in a catagory all by itself with a turn radius of about 15.
post #13 of 25
I would also hazard to state that the AC4 makes slalom turns a bit better than the Hot Rod(Top Fuel) because of the softer flex.
post #14 of 25
From my very limmited experience long ago, race skis are not meant for deep snow. You can ski them; when I weighed 140 I took my SGs through powder. Though they only had a 68mm waist, they were 208cm long. They still got bogged down on mild slopes, and you sometimes have to go along mild slopes to get to the good stuff. They also were not half as much fun as even a rented soft noodle of a ski that could bend into a beautiful turn shape under the gentle pressure of the soft snow. Also with a few feet of untracked powder under you, the snow does most of the vibration dampening, so you really don't need "race" skis. I think you would probably be better off getting something like a metron or Top Fuel if you plan on going deep.

On the other hand you should still get a nice pair of quick SL race type skis, just because they are so much fun.
post #15 of 25
Heluvaskier hit the nail on the head!
post #16 of 25
I have to come back an add a little more information.
1) Slalom skis are STIFF - hence the rebound factor.
2) The AC4 as was said above lends itself to GS type turns - solid, stable, damp, little rebound (when compared to an slalom bred ski), etc.
3) Volkl is not the end-all to chosing a ski.
4) Your observation regarding turn radius is accurrate but the skis are not going to ski similarly (AC4/Hot Rod) due to flex differences. Dimensions of the ski are not the only factor that plays into what type of turns a ski will make.
Later
GREG
post #17 of 25
the problem i have found with all slalom ski i have tried in the crud & pow has been 3 fold.

#1 The waist is too narrow. even if the ski has a big tip, this does not provide enough float in the right spot(underfoot) to make them ski well in pow & crud.

#2 Too stiff, ski doesn't want to bend into a nice arc. there is not enough pressure from the snow to bend the ski.

#3 Too short. (157-165cm) #1 & #2 are excerbated by the short length. just not enough surface are to float or bend given the stiffeness longitudinally.

Now the SX11, (66mm waist)18M radius does handsomely well in pow and crud up to about 8" in spite of it's somewhat narrow waist and stiffness, but mine are 180cm ski.
post #18 of 25
Wow, I can't believe all the people that are willing to ski on race skis on anything other than hardpack.

How do you live with that annoyance?

If the snow isn't bulletproof, I'm not going out on race skis. Period. Most groomers are better skied on 70mm-80mm skis than race skis. Race skis are meant for hard snow. Thats it.

People are talking about skiing narrow skis in inches of snow, I can't stand skiing narrow skis even on fairly typical groomed. There are some 68mm and 70mm skis that I love on pretty much all groomed stuff, but if it gets any softer than "groomed twice since it snowed" I'm going out on something 75mm and up.

.02
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Wow, I can't believe all the people that are willing to ski on race skis on anything other than hardpack.

How do you live with that annoyance?

If the snow isn't bulletproof, I'm not going out on race skis. Period. Most groomers are better skied on 70mm-80mm skis than race skis. Race skis are meant for hard snow. Thats it.

People are talking about skiing narrow skis in inches of snow, I can't stand skiing narrow skis even on fairly typical groomed. There are some 68mm and 70mm skis that I love on pretty much all groomed stuff, but if it gets any softer than "groomed twice since it snowed" I'm going out on something 75mm and up.

.02
Around here, it's okay to use race skis in powder, but if it's the other way around, it's complete and utter pandemonium! The double standard here is strong, and it's mind-blowing that people actually can make it down the hill on a hard day -- AND HAVE FUN! -- on something that's over 75mm wide! :
post #20 of 25
Yeah, well I guess the flip side to what I just said is what you are talking about...having fun on "hard" snow on 75mm+ skis.

I ran a couple of beer league races on them last year, as a matter of fact.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant
I was amazed at what great skis they were, they actually made me ski better. And, they were fantastic in big bumps, which got me thinking, could they be fudgeable in soft snow?

...BUT, I love the way I ski on those SCs.

...Do I need fat skis?!

Thoughts, anyone?
First, I'll echo Greg... I know you really like Stocklis, but I'd suggest trying the Metrons and/or the Hot Rods just to see what you think.

That said, my answers to your questions above are these:

Yes.

...that says a lot!

No.

Try the Metron:b5s in 152.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm trying some skis tomorrow, which ones I don't know, I'll have to chat to my mate, who imports stocklis. I buy them because I really like the way they ski, and their longevity, and also because here we get the cheapest stocklis in the world and they are way cheaper than more expensive brands. I want the SCs but we have the new model here (you get them next season, I think), and they look like they have a lot more sidecut than the model I tried. I don't want big sidecut.

I'm wondering if in fact I might end up with Stormriders, at long last. Didn't like them last time I skiied them, but that was some years back. The two models here have waists in the mid 70mm range (75 adn 76).

Just hoping to find something I like the feel of. I know it won't be a deep sidecut ski though, and I am thinking of going longer this time around.
post #23 of 25
I'll put my two cents into the pot. Race skis were the only thing to use for every type of skiing other than for dedicated freestyle. Powder, bumps, cruising, etc.... It wasn't until recently that specialized skis were developed.

As far as modern race skis being good in soft snow, well they are a heck of a lot better now than in years past. GS skis are softer and have more shovel width, but are lighter and have greater torsional rigidity thanks to modern materials and design. Generally I would opt to use a more softsnow intended ski when the conditions warranted it ( I can choose from 72, 85, and 99 off my wall), but there have been a few times when a race I was teching at was cancelled because of too much snow and all I had along was a GS ski. I went skiing with friends who all had their mids or wides I handled it just fine.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant
Just hoping to find something I like the feel of. I know it won't be a deep sidecut ski though, and I am thinking of going longer this time around.
I'm interested to hear about your demo experience. Definitely not a Metron!

Would you consider a Nordica?

Good prices on Stockli? I'm jealous!
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
#3 Too short. (157-165cm) #1 & #2 are excerbated by the short length. just not enough surface are to float or bend given the stiffeness longitudinally.
I find that the SL9 in a 170 (I'm 5'11'' 165lbs) makes a great all mountain ski. I got a pair cheap on ebay and they became my all mountain rock skis. Certainly not as good as my M:B5's but they are surprisingly capable in all conditions even with the relatively narrow waist.
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