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Riding my Gotamas

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So, I just got a pair of 183 Gotamas.

I am 5'6", and about 235-245lbs, depending on the day.

I am an extremely strong and aggressive skier, loving to ski off-piste, in the trees, etc. I own a pair of AC4 170s, which I can work in absolutely any conditions. I went to the bigger pair of gotamas, because I wanted them to be a dedicated pow ski, which I figured I wouldn't have any trouble skiing.

I haven't been out on them on a deep day (we haven't had one since I got them...cursed!)...but there certainly have been 7-12cm days that I've ridden tthem. I find that I just can't hold an edge on the pack or the crud, unless I'm riding at absolute top speeds.

I was really expecting these skis to blast through everything...maybe that was a false assumption, but I'm wondering if maybe its a technique (or possibly tuning) issue.

Could it be that the ski is too soft for me?

I am a level 1 CSIA, so feel free to use technical language if you're describing technique....

post #2 of 9

It's doubtful that the gotamas are too soft for you. If so, you'd be overflexing the ski and it would be worst at high speeds. The Gotamas are relatively straight, fat and designed for powder. You got the ski you asked for. Now you're asking it do too much. If you really want to use those skis on pack and in crud, watch some Glen Plake footage and ski like that.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
That's kindof what I wanted to hear...

What do you think is the threshold for a ski like this. (i.e. how much fresh needs to fall before I pull them out).

post #4 of 9
I choose my 183 Gotamas when I'll be skiing about 4-6" or more (or on days like today where I'm searching for leftovers from about a foot or more). I love them for going fast through soft-ish crud (chopped up powder), and have found that they work surprisingly well in soft bumps (I think possibly due to the lack of significant sidecut). They take some adjustment to ski well on groomed, but I manage fine. I'm not spending much time there with them anyway.

I think your problem is that you're expecting them to ski like a groomer ski, and they're the farthest thing from it. You can adapt (I do know people who use them every day), but if you want to enjoy carving shorter turns on groomed or hard crud, use something else.
post #5 of 9
'Atta girl AltaGirl!
post #6 of 9
Just for reference, James, AltaGirl is about half your weight.
post #7 of 9
Sounds like you might be using a bit of upper body rotation to turn the skis at slower speeds and banking more at higher speeds. Upper body rotation tends to flatten the edges and make the skis seem like they have little edge ability.

Less agressive skiing is going to favor a ski like that.
post #8 of 9
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
Just for reference, James, AltaGirl is about half your weight.
Oh you're so sweet! (I'm 5'8" and muscular, so half his weight might be a little too generous, but yeah - I do weigh quite significantly less than he does anyway.)

And Pierre might be on to something - I've taken various lessons but I've never been an instructor so I stay away from giving that sort of advice, but what he said sounds about right for what I'm doing on groomed with these skis. I've noticed I'm focusing on stabilizing my core - like contracting all those muscles in my abs and obliques (like a controlled exhale every turn?) is helping me keep my whole torso facing downhill and angulate enough to get them up on edge and make them do what I want. And then they carve fine - I just have to remember when switching from my other skis with a lot more sidecut that merely tipping my inside toe on edge on a groomer results in just about nothing, unless you want to make one or two turns down the whole thing. I don't really know how to describe what I'm doing, but it works and I can make nice short turns on the groomers when I want to. It's just not the more effortless stuff you can do on a carving ski because you don't have the sidecut helping you out.

I will say that especially in really manky, set-up snow, I think a narrower and stiffer ski (I think of my old G4s) can be easier to ski, because it slices through, where the Gotama will bounce around on top due to it's width and relative softness.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
hmm....these are definitely the types of tips I was looking for. Thanks guys.

I have certainly found that the less aggressively I ski them, the easier they are to ski... Maybe I am rotating a little on these.

I guess I'm really used to a much stiffer ski, also.... which is why I'm expecting the gotamas to blast through the same things that my AC4s do.

Can't wait for the next time I get to take these for a spin and try out all your suggestions.

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