EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Advice for a fat ski wannabe
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Advice for a fat ski wannabe

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I've been lurking for a while - seems like a good and knowledgable crew here. I've had good luck posting on bike forums for specific advice and information, so why not give this a go?

Here's the situation. I've been skiing Rossi Bandit XX for the last 3 years, and I think they're pretty sweet skis - light and lively, and good just about everywhere, but... A trip last year to Silverton convinced me that I should look into something fatter underfoot for deeper days. I've been shopping around and have come across a good deal on a Fischer Big Stix 8.6 (86mm underfoot), and am leaning in that direction. My dilemma is twofold - is the Fischer the ski I'm looking for (the price is a big motivator), and what length should I look into (they make a 170, 180 and 190)?

Here are some important details:
Me: 6'2" 175lbs 34 yrs - level 9 skier

Terrain: Western Rockies (primarily CO) in Summit Co, Vail, A Basin etc. Some trips into the backcountry (using Trekkers - may get Freerides). I like the bumps, trees, chutes and steeps - live for steeps. I prefer to think of a good ski day as a masochistic exercise where I end up as a pile of goo in the parking lot. The snow pack can either be very boney or very deep.

Recent Ski History (in chronological order):
198 K2 Fours - My first shaped ski. Liked 'em, but learned quickly that longer is not necessarily better.

193 K2 Xplorers - I still use these in the backcountry - a very solid ski that's nearly indestructible. They plow through stuff like a semi truck but they make me pay in the bumps and when I get tired. Still a bit long.

183 K2 Enemys - Thought I'd get on the park bandwagon. Found out I'm too old. Destroyed these on rails, but liked them all right on the rest of the mountain. They'd tend to skitter at speed, and I'd get too far forward on landings as I was used to longer skis and go over the handlebars. They were fun (I learned a few tricks), and I was less fatigued over the long haul, but I felt like the length was holding me back on fast, steep descents.

191 Rossi Bandits - Thought I'd give the French a try after years of devotion to Vashon (forgive me, Glen and Scot). Much snappier and lighter feeling, but not as durable. The length feels about right here - though if I swallowed my pride a bit, I could probably learn to love a 188. I remember playing around on the 183's and feeling much fresher at the end of the day - but I ain't getting any younger, either.

So there's a trend - I'm hung up on length, as are most men my age. When I was a buck out with my friends, it was a point of pride to be able to rip a 200+ length ski, and the whole sidecut trend has put the kabosh on that. I've been trying to adjust accordingly, but it's not an easy mindset to shake (particularly when my whole "ski identity" was forged way back then). I'm acutally leaning towards the 8.6 in the 180 (as I'm gaining 12mm underfoot), but the 190 has me questioning. The 180 would be easier on me over the course of the day and be better in trees and bumps, but the 190 would make me pay (in that good "pile of goo" way) and be a scream on a fast, steep face. If they made a 185, I'd be on it. Would there be another significant performance difference that I'm missing besides the ease of turning? Should I hold out for something that comes in a 185-188 (that can be had for around $300)? It's a curse to be both picky and cheap.

Thanks for listening. There's now very little you don't know about me.
post #2 of 28
I have a pair of lightly used 04-05 190cm Fischer BigStix 8.6 with Fischer FR17 (DIN 6-17) race bindings on them... $275.

Here's the link...

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...hlight=Fischer
post #3 of 28
I looked at this thread because I thought it was a fat person asking for help!!! I was wondering what kind of person would identify themselves as such.
post #4 of 28
BigStix 8.6 is a fun ski, it has a much different feel from the K2 skis you're used to. Feels more energetic, its power doesn't feel as muted by damping as K2 skis feel.

Turning radius is pretty big, 26m at 180cm I think. but the ski isn't afraid to smear a turn or two, so the radius isn't a huge hindrance.

They also will carve quite nicely if you have good modern technique.

I ski the BigStix 8.6 in a 180cm. I'm 5'10" and 155 lbs, Level 8. I ski the Northern Rockies mainly.

Baker Boy's offer is a HUGE bargain.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
How did you like them? How tall are you and how agressive? Are the 190s a chore on the hill?
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
I was hoping you'd reply, Gonz. Seems you're the one here with a fairly strong Fischer slant. What skis did you come from, and why do you like the "Fischer feel" better? Does the 180 feel big or small to you, or spot on? Thanks for your response. Now back to the Turner board...
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by D Line
I was hoping you'd reply, Gonz. Seems you're the one here with a fairly strong Fischer slant. What skis did you come from, and why do you like the "Fischer feel" better? Does the 180 feel big or small to you, or spot on? Thanks for your response. Now back to the Turner board...
before the BigStix 8.6 I was skiing a K2 Axis X. before the K2s I was skiing the Salomon X-Scream Series. before that a 15 year hiatus. before the hiatus, I was skiing the Dynamic VR27 SL Carbon.

Lostboy also likes Fischer skis. Bob Barnes was on them 2 years ago and had good things to say about 'em but he's on another mfr's gear now.

I tend to like more lively skis until the snow gets REALLY wet and heavy, then I like bomber heavy stable skis. since I don't have to ski much wet and heavy snow, I don't own any bomber heavy stable skis.

the 180 cm size feels spot-on, although if I'm skiing slowly it does feel a bit long, but nothing a little butter at the end of my turn can't fix.

I don't know what to say about how the Fischers work for someone who's more mesomorphic or endomorphic. since I'm a skinny guy I only know what the skis do for a skinny guy.

I was looking for a lively fattish ski and the 8.6 fits the bill pretty well.

it's also stable in everything but wet and heavy snow, where it can get pushed around a bit. but that's "a bit" and not "holy *&#! what the *($@ are my skis doing down there?!"

skiing at Alta late March 2004, there were a few moments in the knee-to-thigh deep spring snow that I wished I was on a Volkl or Stockli.

for the most part those moments weren't many, and were limited to that heavy wet snow.

positives: powerful rebound, good grip on hardpack and groomers, good float, great stability in crud and chop, lively.

negatives: not as super-burly as a Volkl or Stockli.

final caveat: not a good ski for small hills of 2k vert or smaller, the big turn radius really shrinks the hill.
post #8 of 28
I am 6ft 175lbs and I ski on Salomon Pocket Rockets - 175's. They are a blast all over the mountain and a lot less work that my K2 Merlin 4's - 188's. I save the Merlins for the groomers at Keystone.
post #9 of 28

D-line I sent you a message

Let me know what you're thinking?
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Great info - I'm thinking that I might go ahead here. I'm still up in the air on length, though. I started thinking about the 180, but now I'm slanting toward the 190. It's a damn big ski though. If they're a really stable ski at speed, though, maybe it puts me back at the 180. The thing I hated about the 183s I had was the high-speed stability. They'd move all over when the going got quick - but they were a park ski.

Does a gain of 12mm in width merit a loss of 10cm in length?

Decisions....

*edit length from mm to cm*
post #11 of 28
Like, I said, I've got those 190cm's for sale cheap if you want them. Otherwise I'm going to throw some touring bindings on them, because they don't weigh very much.
post #12 of 28
if you buy them from bakerboy you're gonna be getting a sweet deal as well as supporting a great ski photographer.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski nose popsicle
if you buy them from bakerboy you're gonna be getting a sweet deal as well as supporting a great ski photographer.
mtbakerskier is the photographer... I'm the guy who hucks himself in front of his camera, for the Fischer National Freeride Team...
http://www.fischerskis.com/en/news.p...ws&id_news=353
post #14 of 28
Dynastar's legend 8800 might fit the bill.. it comes in a size or two between 180 and 190.
post #15 of 28
Don't be afraid to go a little shorter. I used to ski 207's and all that jazz too. It was had to tell myself that a big ski doesn't make a big skiier. I am 6'-2" 220 lbs and I ski everything fast and hard. When a friend convinced me to try a pair of his Atomics in a 181 lenth a couple seasons ago I thought it would be a good diversion for a crappy snow day. I ended up buying a pair of the exact same skis. I can't seem to remember the model, but they are pretty stable for a big guy going fast. I just bought a pair of 179 made'n ak's.

I know that skiing shorter skis has helped my knees too. I think it is due to less torque being applied in the bump's and drops. Fatter is the new shorter, and shorter was the new longer. So i guess a short fat ski is as cool as a long skinny one used to be?
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerBoy
mtbakerskier is the photographer... I'm the guy who hucks himself in front of his camera, for the Fischer National Freeride Team...
http://www.fischerskis.com/en/news.p...ws&id_news=353
Hey, as long as SNP dropped your name I figured I would look for some photo evidence. I found a picture of you getting good edge angle in pow, taken by Grant. On Mt Baker. And of course the money shot:


Need snow.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply - this is more along what I was looking for. Therapy, really.

My buddy is pushing me toward the 190s - but he's a friend from the "old days" of 200+. His point is that I'm used to the length I've been skiing, and I'll likely "go over the bars" more often on a 180. I'm not really concerned about the high speed stability - the Fischers seem to be very stable at speed from everything I've read. I'm just worried that a 180 is going to require a change in my overall skiing style. The K2 183s I had certainly did that - I couldn't push things as far as on a longer ski. Since the Fischers are wider, stiffer and (I think) more stable, it's not a fair comparison. But still...

So no decision at this point. It's ego versus reality here, and I'm not sure if I'm wise enough to let go of the youthful desire to go fast and hard. I'm also not sure that getting a 180 would preclude that desire...
post #18 of 28
I too went down the lenght road. I'm 45, been skiing for 30 years. 5"10 185lbs geared up, don't know what level but figure advanced/expert lever. Skied 203 Rossi 4S's. (got em at the old Gull Ski shop Gonzo!) Went to 193 shaped ski, too long. Went to 186 shaped ski. Better but only 70mm under foot. I now ski Salomon XtraHots, 82mm underfoot in a 175 and I love them. I have never had a problem with going over the bars. They have a huge sweet spot. These new short, fat, good sidecut skis take the sport of skiing into a new dimension. Skied steep chutes at Alyeska last year as well as powder, steeps etc. A short fat ski is really fun. Whatever ski you buy anymore you can't really go wrong with going "too" short (within reason) but I seemed to learn from experience that you can go too long. With a shaped ski you have a lot more edge you are using.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Hey, as long as SNP dropped your name I figured I would look for some photo evidence. I found a picture of you getting good edge angle in pow, taken by Grant. On Mt Baker. And of course the money shot:


Need snow.

Heh, that shot has been published about 7 times, was the Mt. Baker poster/trailmap shot for 03-04, and was a cover of Skieur in France last winter. Needless to say, I'm sick of it... So i'll post some more to make up for it...

Anyways, people who say length doesn't matter in pow aren't skiing very deep powder, nor jumping off of things. I think the American way of saying it would be "There's no replacement for displacement", and that rings true if you're constantly skiing knee deep or deeper snow (depending on certain things, such as snow density and what's underneath it). If not, you can certainly get away with a shorter length, as well as very shaped skis, such as Metron's and what not.

AK: 82mm is most certainly no longer fat. None of the magazines even recognize 82mm as fat anymore. The term "fat" really doesn't apply to anything smaller than a 90mm waist ski nowadays.





post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerBoy
AK: 82mm is most certainly no longer fat. None of the magazines even recognize 82mm as fat anymore. The term "fat" really doesn't apply to anything smaller than a 90mm waist ski nowadays.
Ya I suppose. 68-70mm used to be midfat but I think now they call them a carver and maybe now 75-85 is a midfat. But, I'm not a magazine and 82mm is definatly fat compared to most skis us guys over 35-40 have ever skied on over the last 30 years.

My point is that shorter and fatter is really a fun ski and that if you are going fatter don't be afraid to go shorter.

Later
post #21 of 28
seth viscious, pocket rocket, mantra or explosive, are all great powder skis. I ski the pocket rockets and love them
post #22 of 28
I'm 5'10 200 (need to lose a good 20) and 24, raced a bunch in highschool, was skiing on Rossi Bandit XX 177cm until last season when I bought a pair of Dynastar Legend 8800 188cm. I found the 177 Rossi too short for going fast on variable snow/pow/crud. The extra 10cm and width (74mm waist XX, 89cm on the 8800) makes a huge difference in stability and confidence. I can still ski trees and bumps on the Legends (but I hate bumps so I avoid them) and they carve nice GS turns on hardpack.

I would go with 190's for you, and the deal Bakerboy is offering is awesome especially with race bindings, so cheap you may as well go for it. I think you will be happy with the length.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Still on the fence. Let's do a quick summary - votes for 180s and 190s:

180s (shorter)
AK
Steamboat
Washskier (by virtue of salemanship)
Scaryfast

190s
gramboh
BakerBoy (salesmanship)
Gonzostrike (not really an outright opinon, just a nudge towards BakerBoys offer)
SkiNose (by nudging as well)

That's 4 to 4. Right back where I started. Kidding here - I know this is a stupid way to make a decision. Thanks to all who put in some real information and thought. It's what I was looking for.

I'm just going to flip a coin and live with it.
post #24 of 28
I'll throw in a free Fischer t-shirt, a gazillion Fischer stickers, and a couple of this years and last years ski flicks from Theory-3 and Team-13, heh.
post #25 of 28
There is only one thing to do. Split the difference and buy the 184 Mantra. Would I lie??: Put some 94 mm heft on the the job and a great shape for everything else. (Really, I held out as long as I could) If you hurry you can buy them from Canyons for the best price I've seen (new) in the gear swap.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
There is only one thing to do. Split the difference and buy the 184 Mantra. Would I lie??: Put some 94 mm heft on the the job and a great shape for everything else. (Really, I held out as long as I could) If you hurry you can buy them from Canyons for the best price I've seen (new) in the gear swap.
Then you'd be better off with the Fischer Atua, which crushes the 184 Mantra everywhere... But that's just me, of course.
post #27 of 28
Go longer, geting a shorter fat ski will negate the benifit from more surface area. In deep powder you really do need some lenght still, and while a ski wiht more sidecut gives you a longer edge, it doesnt really work that way in soft snow. Go longer, and for what its worth, the bindings alone are worth more than what matt is offering you the pacakge for.
post #28 of 28
New here too, but I can share experience. Best length is really tough to compare across ski brands. Shorter Goats (eg, 176) worked for me because it's a comparatively stiff ski. Shorter PR's (175) were just asking for ACL replacement when I motored. Haven't skied Stix, but I think they use the same design philosophy (sans titanium) as my RX8's; 10 cm longer will mean much much stiffer. So I'd argue for 180's on basis of design (Fischers may be light, but they're Austrian stiff, which can make pow into hard work at subsonic speeds) and realism (unless you work for a resort or ski company, how often do you ski newly minted pow above your knees, where a 190 will shine?)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Advice for a fat ski wannabe