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when will it be fat enough

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Last year I had a thread running (fat ski craze going to die?)http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=23836

Sorry to all on that thread I got off on a bit of tangent, but it does touch on some points that I won't on this thread that are relevant to my point this time.

"why bigger, it just makes it less snow"

Now having a fatter ski (legend 8800) I see what some were talking about but also proved to myself some of my preconceived thoughts.

they do absolutely make skiing powder easier. This inturn makes it at times more fun but also at times takes some fun away. A big snow day just doesn't seem as big / old hard lines just aren't hard anymore.

I find on average my 8800's float in the snow at a certain height. Of course as I hit the apex of the turn I go down deeper and then rise more abroptly. Thankfully my research and personal beleifs proved correct for me and I ended up with the perfect balance. Floats nicely but not too much.

Standing in the lift lines and carefully watching others ski pow on differing skis. I can't figure out why anyone would want a 100 plus ski for inbounds. I would not be happy with anymore float than my 89mm waist provides. I think anything more and you simply are just skiing a 10 - 15 cm day regardless of how much really fell.

I realize backcountry is a whole different deal and I don't question the bigger skis for this purpose. Most are well skilled and are travelling far faster on steeper lines warranting bigger skis plus the benfit for skinning back up.

perhaps for the not so skilled, or those that just don't want to work that hard, or those that don't have the time to learn (vacationers) or those that don't like deep bigger skis make sense.

Has anyone figured out a average of "sink depth" in relation to waist size? IE my 89mm waist is about boot deep mostly.

my thoughts are if my 89mm averages boot deep then 100 would be maybe half as deep. seems pretty crazy to turn a great powder day into a 10cm groomer run.

sure big waist make one look cool in the lift line. "look at my big skis I must be good because I need these" when in my mind I think "what you can't ski deep so you bought wide waists to compensate" or "I guess he just doesn't like skiing deeper than his boots"

let the backlash fly but I think anything over 90's is silly in bounds on all but the crazy deep days like baker recently encountered. I think we will see the wide waist go back to being a specialized tool and laugh at the industry and it's silly gimick years from now.

do you ride 100's let me know why? Am I wrong on the sink factor? what is your sink factor?
post #2 of 13
I don't understand why you think they are reasonable in the bc but not inbounds?

And, yes, you're wrong on the 'float factor', you can sink deeper than bootop on fat skis.

Other than that I just think you're trolling.
post #3 of 13
I think we are still at the stages of pushing the boundaries of width in the same way they were pushing the boundaries of sidecut around 8 years ago. At that time there were some people using 120cm skis with 11m turn radius and 100mm lifters, but since then they have backed off somewhat to the point where most groomer skis are 14-19m turn radius, but it was still a major change from the 40m turn raduis skinny skis.

With skis like the Prophet 130 and Sumo the limits of width are still being expanded, and I think there will continue to be a market for those skis, but what will end up being the middle ground for an all mountain resort skis is still yet to be decided. I personally think it will end up being around the 100mm mark, with anything under 85mm being considered skinny and anything over 115mm considered fat. The 'all mountain mid-fat' category is continuing to get wider and I think it still has some way to go before settling down.

It is nothing to do with 'float factor' or trying to change the perception of snow depth, it is just that wider skis are more versatile. If everyone wanted to make snow seem deeper everyone would be on skinny skis, but the fact is skinny skis suck in powder. And if there is 10cm of fresh on an icy or rocky layer you would be really grateful that you don't skink down to that nasty layer below.
post #4 of 13
I am with kiwiski on this one. I do however think that the widths will even out around 90mm for everyday freeride skis, and possibly around 100mm for the perceived expert skis.

Interestingly (and the reason I may never go wider than 100mm - I'm on 94mm now), PhysicsMan did a calculation a season ago (or so) which calculated the skier's weight in relation to the amount of float that they mey need/want. It turns out that more than anything, skier weight is a factor as to how much float you have, versus the width of the ski... (of course they go hand in hand).

It turned out that at 160lbs on an 80mm waist I get similar float as a 200lb person on a 90mm waist ski. Me skiing a 94mm waist ski is like that 200lb person being WELL above 100mm in the waist. So for me, 100mm of waist will be all I ever need for pretty much any conditions. It doesn't take much to keep me on top of the snow. My father who is lighter than I am will be skiing out west this year on my old K2's with a 90mm waist (167), and I will be skiing on my new freeride skis that have a 94mm waist (175). My prediction is that the only thing he will give up with his skis is long turn stability. Floating in soft snow will not be an issue for him at all.

Later

GREG
post #5 of 13
i have noticed what mormot was talking about. a buddy and i were up at targhee on a 13" in the last 24 day. he was on a pair of last year's B3s and i was on my atomic stomps. mine are 88 under foot and im not sure on the B3s..i put his on for a couple runs and my only complaint was half the fun of deep powder days is the face shots, and on the B3s they werent happening. i was almost wishing for my old 73 underfoot K2 enemy's til i remember how much they like to submarine. anyway i thi9nk it is a matter of finding a middle ground between the snow u r in and how much a wanna sink.
post #6 of 13
I remember when i wanted to go skinny. Dynastar Coupe SL's were 60 in the waste and I thought that would be a great qick ski (forget my 45mm wasted Stealths). Volant came out with the first "mid-fat" in the PowerKarve, it was a wopping 73 in the waste. I thought it would be a great ski if I was skiing west more, so I went with the SuperKarve at 68 in the waste. Soon after that I went to the PowerKarve, but dripped from the 193 to 188 to 183 to finally a 173. Fromteh PK, I skied a variation of that ski for a few years. I went to the M11 w/ a 76 waste and thought that was a lot. This year I tried the AC4's with it's 82 waste and I was amazed how numble that ski was on the hardpack.

These things just keep getting bigger and bigger and better and better. When and where will it stop? IMHO, it never will.
post #7 of 13
The feeling of not hitting bottom is preferable to getting a face shot while skiing on icy bumps hidden under blower. And if it's light snow, you still sink no matter how fat your skis are and get plenty of face shots.

And I agree that in the BC, I go for a ski that is skinnier (90 vs. my resort fat skis which are 105) to save weight.
post #8 of 13
Lament the increased width? Sounds like the same whinning we heard when shaped skis, oversized raquets, cast golf clubs, etc. came along.

You want the old pure days?

Fine. Go find some old (not new tech) wool garmants, leather lace-up boots and hike up an uncontrolled mountain. Then lash those wet, cold-as-shi% boots to some wooden planks and get your "pow" in a truly old-school fashion.

Otherwise, let's not bother wishing for your version of the "old-days" especially if they were only 5 years ago!

I remember freezing my butt off in soaked clothing on old crappy equipment. I 'm not bothered by modern technology.
post #9 of 13

what's the goal

Width is a replacement for speed.

If you ski fast, you will float even on skinny skis. I haven't got the balls for much of that on skinny boards.

Wide skis allow even the slow turns to float at a comfortable depth..
We tend to want to ski near the top.

Since the snow seems to be self "normalizing", the comfortable depth is easily assured with less penetration,....more float, Wider ski!
(heavy, grabby snow is dense, cold smoke can be enjoyed while inhaling)

I keep four skis Skinny , Midfat, fat, and Powder,

Here in the east where fresh snow is not ofter. The skinny ski rules
It is nice to get a good "powder day" in 5-6 inches!

CalG

CalG
post #10 of 13
Fat skis (100+mm waist) are also great in tricky snow and thin cover situations. 12" of blower pow on top of ice and rocks will feel like crap on midfats, but a pair of superfats will keep keep you above the crap and floating on the soft stuff. They also have more of a surfing effect on light snow, where you can really ride it instaid of sinking in, or stay on top of it in tighter trees where you would sink in and get bogged down. Fats turn much easier in deep snow at slower speeds. Not to say they are good for all powder, I will ski 80mm or 90mm skis for heavier powder, or for more wide open skiing.
post #11 of 13
Someone commented that the fat ski thing is a industry driven fad. I don't see it that way, I see it more of a demand driven segment. Hence the success of Bro models, a bit of line, guys out of truckee I think and zag to name what I can recall.

I think it started with heli ski operations who began using miller softs years ago and then into fatboys. It expanded their client base to intermediate skiers and fly days to dealing better with wind slab at the top and gorilla snot near the pickups. Interestingly the guides often want skis in the 84 waist range so they are down in the snow more and have a better feel for the snow pack.

It has also brought in a huge new crew of skiers into tougher conditions and I noticed some years ago that what used to involve 20 skiers in the double blacks on a given day has now become several hundred. I think any body can point to the amount of new 'extreme terrain' opened and operated at many ski areas in the last decade or so.

My fat skis are really about 85 but I have some rockers for early season and really big dumps that are over 100. I too prefer being down in the snow and while a fatter ski may have more success on flatter pitches or heavier or deeper snow I'd still prefer being down deeper and working with more sidecut when it's possible. I heliskied a wee a couple of springs back and just skied R:ex's. I even had spatulas with me to try but didn't even bother. I let the guide use them a couple of days as he was interested.
post #12 of 13
It's all relative.

Not long ago, all-mtn skis were typically 68-70mm in width and we were debating the all-purpose nature of the new "fat" skis like the 84mm 10.EX / R.EX.

Given limited annual western trips, my following observation certainly won't qualify as empirical evidence. Notwithstanding, I haven't noticed an explosion of intermediate skiers on fat skis in the bowls, etc. While I have noticed alot of intermediate skiers in the bowls, they tend not to be on skis beyond the latest "freeride" designation in demo / rental ski fleets (currently skis like the K2 Recon, new Rossi B3, etc.). In fact, many are on carvers or "performance" rental stock.

Furthermore, its not easy to find +90mm skis in the rental / demo fleet around the resorts. They exist but you have to search / beg and compete with the shop techs who also want to use the Mantras, etc. on their free days. If we truly had an explosion of intermediates on Gotamas, etc., we'd be tripping on the plethora of these rental boards as we walk thru the nearby shop. I should know as I no longer drag my "skinny" 191 10.EX's out west.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmot mb
do you ride 100's let me know why? Am I wrong on the sink factor? what is your sink factor?
yes - Volkl Sanouk. I just spent the weekend in Tahoe getting plenty of face shots.

Why fat skis? I ski the Sierra. The bigger skis are a big advantage in heavier snow and when dealing with slopes that the snow density changes on.

Yes, with bigger skis it is less work. But, that opens up many lines to be skied or skied faster.

I also think having longer skis (>190cm) is important when dealing w/ variable density pow. With the big winds we have along the crest of the sierra, it is pretty typical to have pocket of dense wind blown snow. Even in the middle of runs with mostly light snow. Longer skis (and stiffer) helps you punch thru the transition area.

Also, when skiing corn I find skis with a waist over 90mm to be much better. I know that I ski corn much better and faster on my 194cm/97mm waist Legend Pro than my 168cm/68mm 6 Stars. I have ski corn on my 6 star but it is a bunch of short radius turns versus smooth long radius turns.

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