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Super Fats or Not So Fats?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Recently, there have been several posts on the trend toward the ever increasing ski width and the merits, or lack of, for use in deep off-piste resort conditions. From my own experience skiing on a what would now be considered a skinny 107/70/97 K2 Axis X and a today’s standard mid-fat 110/90/100 first generation Volant Chubb, I am beginning to question where this trend is going? I know there are many upper level advanced and expert skiers now using the super fats and the professionals who are paid by the industry to ski them. But, are they really needed by the experienced off-piste and deep snow skier?

In my earliest powder skiing days, I struggled on 200cm SL skis to link turns due to my lack of experience. My powder 8 championship dreams were dashed. Then along came skis like the Chubb that certainly allowed me to ski deeper snow for longer periods with far better results. But as I progressed, I found that the Axis X was just as capable in deep snow, at least up to two feet. If the Chubb was designed for people like me, those who lacked the experience of deep snow skiing, to get in it and enjoy it, why is it necessary to keep increasing the width of the skis when a proven dimension is capable? Is this just a ski industry marketing trend? Do super fat skis allow even those with less experience to get in the deep snow and ski? Are you capable of skiing in the “white room” on these skis? Or, are those who ride these boards skiing a far different style than I by hucking cliffs, straightlining chutes, and arcing high speed long radius turns on top of the deep snow?

There have been several still shots posted of skiers on really fat skis getting face shots. The one thing I notice in most of those pictures is that the skis’ tips are well out of the snow, like a snowboard, and not buried beneath the surface like skinnier skis.

So, take a look at these great videos of some very accomplished skiers. Look at their different styles and notice their equipment. The first is taken from the Thunder Chair near Tower Three Chute at Jackson Hole. It captures what I think is the ultimate shot of a skier deeply immersed in the snow and floating weightless. It is one of my favorite skiing videos. I watch it over and over and never tire of seeing it. The second is of skiers at Squaw on fatter skis. One is on a pair of Spatulas and they are clearly on top of the snow instead of in it. Great stuff either way. What skis would you want to be on?


http://www.jacksonhole.com/movies/121003.mov

http://www.adventurefilmworks.com/Videos/Mar28.mov
post #2 of 27
Neither vid loads on my computer. Are you sure about the links?
post #3 of 27
Lay Off The Big Print, We're Not Blind.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
Lay Off The Big Print, We're Not Blind.
Just wait a few years and you'll appreciate that larger print.
post #5 of 27
The snow in the first vid is alot deeper and more importantly, alot lighter. Even the snowboarder is going in deep.

And the song from that second vid made me want to vomit.
post #6 of 27
It's the Indian not the arrow. An accomplished skier can rip up powder on any kind of ski. I enjoyed skiing deep snow just as much 30 years ago on my old 210 Fisher Superglass as I do now on the new shaped....and I've skied many different legths and widths. Granted it's much easier with today's skis but for my money it's not neccessarily more fun. Worry more about getting better than about what is the ideal ski...again it's more you than the ski itself.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
Neither vid loads on my computer. Are you sure about the links?
I'm sure about the links. They are both Quicktime. I have had to open the videos in a separate window at the Adventure Filmworks site but since the above link does that, I have no problems.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
Lay Off The Big Print, We're Not Blind.
???
I cut and pasted #10 font size from a word processor. Shows up fine and the same as yours on my screen. Try adjusting your viewable text size to "Smaller". Or, are you really blind and need that "Largest" text?
Now, Super Fats or Not So Fats?
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornbread
???
I cut and pasted #10 font size from a word processor. Shows up fine and the same as yours on my screen. Try adjusting your viewable text size to "Smaller". Or, are you really blind and need that "Largest" text?
Now, Super Fats or Not So Fats?
You have huge font up there.

Learn how to use the internet, JONG.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
You have huge font up there.

Learn how to use the internet, JONG.
Ummm...I hate to say this, Highway Star, but the only huge font I see is yours. :

Thatsagirl
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway Star
You have huge font up there.
Strange...displays fine for me.
post #12 of 27
Weird.

Anyway....ski a narrow ski in deep powder if you feel like it, I'm not going to sit here and try to convince you to ski a super fat ski if you don't like them. I can assure you, however, that it is not a marketing trend.
post #13 of 27
90mm under foot for every day , all day ski

for JUST powder spatulas, but more to do with sidecut/camber then the 130 wasit. I would love a spat with 90mm wasit for light powder days ......

and I didn't try the vid links
post #14 of 27
To me, it's not just about skiing fresh powder. For the last several years of skiing in the Sierra's (Mammoth, Squaw, etc.), where day-old powder, crud, and windblown are typical, fat (and somewhat stiff skis) make skiing these types of snow actually fun.

Like many others, I ski ~95-mm waisted skis almost any time I go out. I just have more fun and find that I can ski more of the mountain on any given day. The only draw back I have found is bumps, but who skis bumps these days anyhow?
post #15 of 27
a 160 lbs skier with a 70mm ski will have about the same float as a 180lbs skier on a 79mm and a 200lbs skier on a 87mm ski. given the ski length is the same.

we cannot discuss float without taking body weight into consideration.
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowdan
a 160 lbs skier with a 70mm ski will have about the same float as a 180lbs skier on a 79mm and a 200lbs skier on a 87mm ski. given the ski length is the same.

we cannot discuss float without taking body weight into consideration.

Let's pretend like we can, because that's going to seriously take the piss out of a thread that should be all about making sure that everyone knows that the width of your skis directly correlates to the length of your manhood
post #17 of 27
My powder skiing experience is limited (East Coast + jinxed on most trips) and I have only done one cat skiing trip, but I have always been under the impression that it isn't just width, but overall surface area that will give you more float.

A little less fat and longer = a little fatter and shorter

Is this not correct?
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takecontrol618
Let's pretend like we can, because that's going to seriously take the piss out of a thread that should be all about making sure that everyone knows that the width of your skis directly correlates to the length of your manhood
For sure. I just ski my 175 cms SIDEWAYS. Of course they're only 76 mm LONG that way, but I'm still the manliest man on the mountain!
post #19 of 27
I vote for fat.
My definition of fat is 95 to 110MM @ the waist
And I just thought of a question. what skis were last years Powder 8 Champs on? What type skis do most of the contestants in a powder 8 contest use these days.

I thought my skis were pretty big and burly. Then while watching the 2005 Freesking Championship @ KirkWood I noticed the Female winner
(Jamie Burge) was sking the exact same ski that I ski? Same size same ski! She is a small to average sized woman.
post #20 of 27
The dudes in the red and yellow jackets are better than the dude in the black jacket in the squaw vid.
post #21 of 27
This is my 30th season and I can't believe how much skiing is changing over the past few seasons. The technology really has given us wider tools that can perform just as well for carving duties as the older narrower skis. Sure wider skis are slightly slower edge to edge, but the width brings added stability. Wide skis used to suffer from being torsionally "sloppy", but that's no longer the case.

I was on 70mm skis for the first time this season and it had been quite some time (almost a year) since I had been on anything that narrow. It really felt weird to be on those skis and I was seriously missing my fatter skis. I honestly can see most recreational skiers enjoying the wider skis (even if your on the "other" coast). I used to think the wider skis would hamper the development of intermediate skiers learning to carve, but my wife has shown me that this isn't the case.

Tomorrow I'm bringing up my 91mm and 94mm wide skis and I'll be smiling all day.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL
My powder skiing experience is limited (East Coast + jinxed on most trips) and I have only done one cat skiing trip, but I have always been under the impression that it isn't just width, but overall surface area that will give you more float.

A little less fat and longer = a little fatter and shorter

Is this not correct?
Yes, your basically correct and you have to add in your speed factor. On low angle stuff, a big fat long board will get you up on top and turning when mid fats are shlogging.

This indian likes to have the right arrow for the game. For big game, deep or variable snow, a fat is just much easier and faster.
post #23 of 27

please expand, expound, expostulate???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler
.... I honestly can see most recreational skiers enjoying the wider skis (even if your on the "other" coast). I used to think the wider skis would hamper the development of intermediate skiers learning to carve, but my wife has shown me that this isn't the case.
...this comment and the other about 'stability' are interesting - is it possible that you might be willing to consider 70mm 'too narrow' and detrimental to the overall learning experience now that the new equipment has proven itself?
post #24 of 27
Seems to me that we're talking about different missions - and sensations - here. Missions: Nothing like a serious fatty for floating big pow on moderate angle big open slopes, like Siberia at Vail or the Targees. Heaven. Put that same ski on a 45 degree chute, though, and you'll either be a) imitating Shane McConkey and hoping you're that cool above 40 mph or b) in a sled handled by two patrol guys running 79 mm Legends.

Sensations: Superfats are like surfboards. So if you've ever used same, you'll know that oscillating float feel, great cut against the force of the wave/snow. Like sweeping the smoothest groomed that never existed. And definitely where you want to be in deep crud or heavy pow/Sierra Cement.

On the other hand, some of us below Shane's level actually enjoy, from time to time, porpoising through deep light pow, taking nice face shots, big open radius turns, at sane speeds, instead of floating up to the top and making lotsa S's. The old school is tougher to pull off, demands more calories and better balance, but also to me can feel more like true floating - pow both above and below your hidden skis, pow smoke billowing up over your shoulders - than surfing the top. Even then, though, there are limits. Won't see me on 68 mm in any deep. Too much work, man.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
I like a lot of these replies. It was not my intention to start a war regarding the width of one’s skis and ability. If a great skier can rip powder on a pair of slim waisted skis, the reverse can also be argued that a great skier can rip the groomers and bumps on super fat skis. So yes, I like the analogy of the Indian not the arrow but I have also been a believer in the right arrow for that days game. My intention was to find out what arrow is right for me and the game I am pursuing.

Last season I lost one of my Chubbs up on Tucker Mountain at Copper. I have since been reviewing several skis as a replacement and getting some demo ideas. The ski that I would like is one that will allow me to float in and through the snow like the first guy in the Jackson video. To me, that has always been the ultimate quest in powder skiing: to float weightless. From the replies, the super fats are not going to allow me to do that. I’m not looking for a surf board but I would like to try them out. I can see the use of a super fat for Sierra cement, deep back country, heavy crud and crust, hucking cliffs, and straight lining having its merits but that is not what I am pursuing at this time.

I have considered several skis but have always been a big K2 fan and believe in their all-mountain philosophy. I am strongly leaning towards the Recon (119/78/105) but have also heard good things about the Outlaw (124/88/111). Both skis’ tips and tails are wider than my old Chubbs but narrower in the waist (9/-12/5 and 14/-2/11 respectively). I plan to use them 75% or more off-piste, in powder, crud, and soft bumps. The Outlaw is getting close to the super fat category and I wonder if it will float in or on top of the snow. I guess I need to demo.

Here’s one more amazing video brought to you by the fine folks at TGR. These guys are in some very deep and light back country snow. One is also on some spatulas. I guess if I was out there in the middle of nowhere, I’d want some super fats too! Maybe a better comparison to the Jackson video. And better music! Enjoy!

(you may want to right click and save)

http://www.soulskier.com/powder.wmv

PS. My apologies to those of you seeing SUPER FAT SCRIPT! Learn to use your toolbar.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT
And I just thought of a question. what skis were last years Powder 8 Champs on?

Usually atomic (MW heli is is Austrian as is atomic, go figure....)


Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT
What type skis do most of the contestants in a powder 8 contest use these days..

what the sponsers for "gay ski week" give them
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornbread

I have considered several skis but have always been a big K2 fan and believe in their all-mountain philosophy. I am strongly leaning towards the Recon (119/78/105) but have also heard good things about the Outlaw (124/88/111). Both skis’ tips and tails are wider than my old Chubbs but narrower in the waist (9/-12/5 and 14/-2/11 respectively). I plan to use them 75% or more off-piste, in powder, crud, and soft bumps. The Outlaw is getting close to the super fat category and I wonder if it will float in or on top of the snow. I guess I need to demo.

I would try to demo both skis, if you can. Skied both of these skis last year at Copper. I liked the Recon, better for two resons, 1, It was probably better suited for the run conditions (Groomed and some bumps w/ 3" of fresh) 2, It just felt more lively, the Outlaw was just BLAH. If you like K2s And want a fun mid fat ski, open your mind and demo the new Public Enemy (118/85/109).

james
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