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Agile Powder Skis??

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
What is everyone favorite pick for a ski that combines (or provides a reasonable compromise between) a wideish, floaty shape with enough agility to enjoy tight trees and short turns?

I feel referencing a skis turn radius does not necessarily tell the whole story, however, that is my main frame of reference.

It has been demonstrated that a softer tip will engage easier and provide quick initiation as opposed to a stiffer set up. I think the Salomon Pocket rocket, and to a lesser extent the Volkl Mantra are examples of skis that have an over 20m radius but are still somewhat agile.

Any Bears suggestions on likely candidates??
post #2 of 29
Legend 8800 in a 178cm or shorter.
post #3 of 29
Volant FB's with a 95mm waste is fairly nimble.
post #4 of 29
Given your question, the winner has to be the Phantom Crystal Ship ( www.skiphantom.com ). Use search to find my comments here and an assortment of comments at TGR. I really should do a real review...

When used in its element - powder/trees - it is just unbelieveably massive fun.

BTW, if memory serves me right, the PR is spec'd at something like a 14 meter radius.
post #5 of 29
I am assuming you arelooking for an easy to ski powder ski, quick turns for tight trees and chutes. If I am assuming correctly, here is my finding on skiing a couple. The Solomon PR is indeed very easy to turn and loadsa fun in soft, fresh snow. Quite a friendly little bugger if I may, especially for your first wide ski. Having said that there were a couple things I disliked about them. First is my bias, they are a foam core ski. These have a tendency to break down if skied hard for a number of days. I keep my boards a few years and want confidence in their durability, Sadly foam cores break down if skied long and hard. I tried a friends after demoing a pair that had 41 days on them (same size) and they seemed flaccid and dead (even for foam skiis), compared to the newer demoes I tried. Many people have the same opinion of foam durablity on other boards (TGR). The second thing I disliked about them was their wet noodle tip. I am a lightwieght (130 pounds) so can put up with softer skiis than most. This thing however had the tip flapping around so bad that I literally stopped to see if they were broken or something. The same floppy tip that makes it easy to turn also hampers it when trying to arc larger turns or busting through snow other than fresh light stuff.

The next up was the Volant FB. A lot, lot heavier, and great at plowing through muck and glop. However not much of a tight turner compared to the PR. It ruled in the set up snow and when things firmed up compared to the PR. However not my first pick for threading needles in the trees.

The third was my cup of tea. I was looking for a fresh snow ski that does well in tight chutes, pockets and trees. The K2 Apache Chief. This thing had everything I liked about the PR, turned on a dime, lightwieght, could do hop turns at the top of the chute easy lining up your line, did not take any work to ski, and made me feel great in the freshies. Not only that it is has a soft/medium flex that was ohh so sweet. Its tip while soft and smooth did not flop and chatter like a chipmunk on amphetimines like the Soloman PR. Plenty of float with 98MM under foot and 131MM shovel. It did not plow through the set up powder as good as the Volant but for the things I wanted (tight chutes and trees) it ruled. It is also a wood torsion box construction that holds up better than the foam over time.

Hope this helps some. Good luck.
post #6 of 29
Those Chiefs do look pretty sweet, despite being cap skis.
post #7 of 29
Mantra.

Like you said, the printed turn radius doesn't tell the whole story, Mantra is a lot turnier than the specs make it appear. The sidecut distribution probably has a lot to do with it. Mantra has huge shovels compared to the rest of the ski and they really feed you into turns easily. Carve, skid, smear, long turns, short turns - they do it all except for really hard snow and demanding bumps I guess.

The Mantra seems to have this reputation as a super-stiff demanding fat ski and its the total opposite. I think it actually skis closer to a Pocket Rocket than the old Explosivs. Its has the PR's easy turn initiation and float but with Volkl edge hold, stability and dampness.
post #8 of 29
Well my quick-turns-in-tight-spaces powder ski is a vintage pair of Volant Chubbs ('95?) in a 180. I don't know what the radius is but it has to be approaching 30m, there's only 21mm difference between tip and waist. The old Chubbs have a very flexable tip and can be made to turn on a dime in powder.:
post #9 of 29
For what you're describing you might also consider the Elan M777 (very similar to the 8800, but it skis shorter than the specs would indicate).
post #10 of 29
I'd like to nominate the Head mojo90. Quick like PR but much more stable in the rough stuff w/o feeling planky. Wood core, twin tips, lotsa fun!
post #11 of 29
the ski i picked when faced with this decision about 6 months ago was the Atomic stomp. at 88 underfoot it isnt huge but i've skied some deep days at targhee and the village this year and have loved it for that. that said they dont turn as quick as my old ski but that was to be expected. i went from a 173 K2 enemy to the atomic stomp in 186. first day i was on them i started out in rondevus(sp) bowl, got 5 turns into it, and fell flat on my face. i'da sold them there if i could have, but after spending the rest of the day on them they strated to grow on me. they are super stable on the groomers and it the crud. now ill ski tower 3 alta chutes, central chutes on them and not have any problems with my turns not being quick enough. oh and i was able to pick them up for $220 new, that helped. since then i've seen them as low as $180 new for last year's models.
post #12 of 29
I have found that I do not like soft skis for tree skiing.

I find that a turny soft ski has a tendency to load up when making quick turns. I also find that soft skis get pushed around and change direction when encountering changing snow (like you find in trees)

Too me, when skiing in tight places I like to have total confidence that my turn shapes and line will not change without my direct input.
For dangerous conditions; trees, rocks, cliffy areas I like my Legend Pro's

Big fat stiff skis float well in POW, you really can turn them pretty fast but most important, they go exactly where you want them to go and there are never any surprises.

My 2Cents
post #13 of 29
post #14 of 29
Although I haven't skied them, my ski mentor who was never interested in Fat skis, not enough carve to them, has recenltly been skiing on Stockli Storm Ranger XL's and totally loves them. This is a lifelong amazing Vail skier who enjoys front side as much as bowls and bumps.
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

Great Suggestions!

Thanks to everyone for the helpful input.

My decision is still evolving, but I feel i have eliminated some candidates.

My list so far ( in decending order as of right now):

Nordica Hot Rod Jet fuel;

Volkl Mantra;

K2 Outlaw;

Head IM 88/82;

Volkl AC4.

PS: the Phantom Crystal Ship looks cool! I'd love to demo that!!
post #16 of 29
mojo 90
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pechelman
mojo 90
Mojo 90, hmmm.

Have you skied the Im88 as a comparison to the Mojo?

I may be on a quiotic quest for a nimble floater, but it seems like none of the skis on my list would be nimble compared with an Atomic Metron B5 or a Fischer RX8.

Actulally the B5 comes close as it has a huge (130mm) tip and mid-fat waist (76) and will float up with a good measure of speed.
post #18 of 29
I own the Mantra & Chief and skied the Outlaw.
All three are remarkable nimble for their girth. I'll seoncd Team ftb's opinion that the Chief can be skidded easily which comes in handy in tight spots. It's definitely more skidable than the other two and is also the most powder-specific ski of the bunch.
Mantra & Outlaw are more equally at home in powder, crud & on-piste.
Outlaw is a bit quicker edge to edge & is clasically K2 damp. Definitely not as much rebound energy in the tail. The shovel is also not as stiff as Mantras and gets deflected more easily when transitioning from pow to crud.
Mantra is stiffer than Outlaw and has more rebound. It requires a bit more input and stronger technique but rewards you with a smoother & more powerful ride. Mantra really comes to life with a bit of speed. Both skis require work in the bumps but can be taken through all but the steepest & tightest bump runs if necessary. Mantra has better float than Outlaw likely owing to it's larger girth.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotama
Mojo 90, hmmm.

Have you skied the Im88 as a comparison to the Mojo?

I may be on a quiotic quest for a nimble floater, but it seems like none of the skis on my list would be nimble compared with an Atomic Metron B5 or a Fischer RX8.

Actulally the B5 comes close as it has a huge (130mm) tip and mid-fat waist (76) and will float up with a good measure of speed.
I have not skied the IM88, but I can absolutely assure you that the Mojo 90 is one of the most turny skis Ive been on and many others seem to concur with this. I was deciding between the Mojo and the Mantra myself for a 80% backside\tree\powder ski and 20% bumps\groomer kinda ski.
The mojo has far surpassed my expectations, especially on the hardpack and bumps. Im sure the mantra will handle the powder better than a mojo, but otherwise, Id say the mojo is the better ski for what I wanted...and maybe what it sounds like you want.

Also a quick note, the dimensions of the head mojo 90 and solly PR are nearly identical.
Basically imagine a ski as quick and fun in the pow and trees with super ability on the hardpack and moguls.
I guess thats what happens when you build a real ski with a wood core.

also, take a gander at my review.
do a search on "mojo marker" and youll find it
post #20 of 29
Volkl Sanouks.

I like the straighter profile of the Sanouk. I also feel that the swallow tail ready does make a difference at low speed short powder turns.

Also, a buddy had his Sumo out for the first time yesterday. He was very happy with the 175cm (& 120mm waist) sumo. We did hit some pretty tight

(and steep) trees at Alpine Meadows yesterday.





BTW: I have the mantra. Sanouks are way more fun and effect in deep pow do to the increased float.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by pechelman
I have not skied the IM88, but I can absolutely assure you that the Mojo 90 is one of the most turny skis Ive been on and many others seem to concur with this. I was deciding between the Mojo and the Mantra myself for a 80% backside\tree\powder ski and 20% bumps\groomer kinda ski.
The mojo has far surpassed my expectations, especially on the hardpack and bumps. Im sure the mantra will handle the powder better than a mojo, but otherwise, Id say the mojo is the better ski for what I wanted...and maybe what it sounds like you want.

Also a quick note, the dimensions of the head mojo 90 and solly PR are nearly identical.
Basically imagine a ski as quick and fun in the pow and trees with super ability on the hardpack and moguls.
I guess thats what happens when you build a real ski with a wood core.

also, take a gander at my review.
do a search on "mojo marker" and youll find it
So you've compared the Mojo and the Mantra? If so, you thought the Mojo was at least equal to the Mantra on groomers / bumps?

Just after New Years, I demo'd 177 Mantra (perhaps too short but alot of fun) at PC. First demo day was on 7" new in Jupiter Bowl which followed prior day of 26" new sinced bowl last open (unfortunately, I didn't have the Mantras that day). Second demo day was half bowls (pretty tracked out) and half soft bumps with enough groomers to really be impressed with the Mantras (and, like you, I found PR's to be a waste of time on groomed). Loved the Mantras. Ready to buy. Only had to decide between 177 & my usual 184.

Next day, I catskied with PC Snowcats and used their 04/05 186 Mojo 90's which had been part of the guides' fleet from prior year. The guides raved about the ski and I really liked them. Of course, no bumps or groomed to compare directly to Mantras and the powder was obviously much better (uncut / deeper).

Like you, I need an 80/20 ski. I was really impressed with the Mantra's flexibility and wonder if the Mojo is just as flexible. My catski day was enough evidence that the Mojo handles the deeper conditions sufficiently. I just didn't have the chance to hit some black and blue runs.

Thanks in advance.
post #22 of 29
Sorry pechel.

I now see you already responded to an earlier question from me on this topic.
post #23 of 29

wood

I have a pair of Nordica Beast skis that are just ok. I kinda like the feel I get from them, they get really high strung at any speeds through crud, but I guess its that feeling of pure wood, with no dampners or anything, I would describe it as a kind of violent vibration you get at any speed through rough stuff. The 777 has a firmer, more solid feel, my Beasts are tricky through the trees, they are somewhat quick. I know I should just buy a different ski (777, or 666) and probably will get the 666 at some point.
post #24 of 29
James -

Quit talking about the Beast. With the number of days I'm getting in my pair is going to be well worn by the end of this season. I've been looking for another pair on eBay and they have become hard to find in my length & the price has gone up on the other lengths.
post #25 of 29

your right, mine wear quickly too

Rio, your right, I am finding the same thing, mine are getting worn out fairly fast as well. I guess the vibrations may have something to do with the accellerated wear rate...I have decided to expand my size range to help snag one more set. In the meantime I got a pair of sins to use in the spring and early next season. I think the Elam 666 would be a nice ski to round out my quiver.
post #26 of 29
Finally got a chance to try my 178 8800's in some fresh 12"s of pow. Skied them once before on hardpack/firm and they did pretty well given the width and shape. But, anything soft and they own it!! Untracked, tracked and packed - the turn radius was surprising - whatever you want it to be... very manuverable with great float. Yes - skied trees, chutes and bowls today and didnt want to stop! If you ski the West/Tahoe this is one to try. They may not look sexy - but - looks can be decieving. Good luck!
post #27 of 29
Greetings Gotama,

Some thoughts:

I have skied the AC4 in a 177..heavy marker bindings and all, the Pocket Rocket, the Scrambler Custom in a 180 from Salomon this year and have ended up with the "Dynastar Big Trouble" in a 176.

Me: 195 6', level 8-9 skier.

The AC4's were great but a bit heavy and sluggish..in super tight stuff, however I probably should have tried a 170 vs. a 177.

Iown 175 P. Rocket's and as bad a press as they get..they still are the ski that started this area of super quick 90mm+ skis...my 175's have a 17+radius, however I am concerned about longevetity in them due to my size and ability.

I just bought the B. Trouble's from Seirra Jim on this site...from his store in CA. They are insane. Great sidewalls, wood core, super quick, even in bumps for a 92mm waist..but much more able to hold vs. the P. Rocket.

Great in tree's, pow, crud, etc. and with twin tips, the release so quickly for quick fall line turns in the steeps.

A #1 pick. Hope this helps.
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 

Revised list

After reading Dawgcatching's "Reviews of 2007 Mid-Fats ( 76-88mm waist) Skis" and demoing Nordica Hot Rod Jet Fuels yesterday I have re-constituted my list of prospective Agile-Fat skis to consider:

Volkl Mantra;

2007 Volkl AC4;

Head IM82; and

2007 Atomic Snoop Daddy.


Any thoughts, impressions or information from my fellow bears would be appreciated.


PS: My impression of the Jet Fuels was very close to Dawg's.

An awesome carver on "Hard Packed powder" at Watervlle Valley, NH. Perfectly flat snow made for high speed ripping and very little soft snow to try 'em in. They did bounce rather than blast though the small amount of uneven loose snow and crud that was there. Turn initiation, and short radius turns very easy and great power on all turn shapes.

They didn't seem very stiff to me ( 6', 215lbs) but they seem to be designed as a hard snow ski and for me there is too much style overlap w/ my ( better all around) Atomic Metron B:5.
post #29 of 29
volkl mantra is the best nimble pow ski out there now. it has a nice big shovel for those deep days, and a generous sidecut for dicing the trees and groomers. i have a pair of 184 and they are a little bit too soft for me, but i am sure the 191 would have been perfect.
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