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Phat Luv Review

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
The Ski
K2 Phat Luv
Women's All-Mountain/Powder Ski
Dimensions: 128-95-118
Turn Radius: 17m @ 160cm
Length Tested: 153 cm

The Skier
Female, 5'2", 110ish lbs, 33yo
Skied for 24 years, last couple of years 20+ days a season (some years more like 40)
Aggressive, all-mountain skier, don't love the 1-9 system, so I'll say I'm solid on almost anything. Ski mostly back bowls at Vail & Copper, in all conditions. Big fan of steep and wide open. Like small cornices, drops, and roll-overs, but I'm not throwing big tricks or dropping off anything of epic height, and
I don't ski a lot of tight trees unless the snow is deep.

The Conditions
Day 1: Started out with a few inches of fresh on top of re-frozen snow. Snowed all day, with poor visibility and lots of wind, but good, drifted coverage by the end of the day. Boot-to-knee deep in drifted spots. Light, fluffy snow.

Day 2: Dawned clear and cold, with some wind, and all the snow from the day before and a little overnight. Snow in the bowls was fluffy and fresh, ranging from boot deep to drifts over the knee if you knew where to look. Sun was out all day, so after lunch things got chopped up and a little heavier.

What I thought
Phat Luv is a great ski, and I would add it to my non-existent collection (can't really call one regularly used ski a collection) if I could figure out how I was paying for it.

Hit a couple of front-side and back-side groomers on Day 1, and was suprised by how well the ski carved. It didn't have the bite of narrower-waisted skis on the really refrozen stuff, but I was suprised by how well I could get an edge in and carve some nice, big arcs. Definitely better performance than I expected from something this wide. I'd normally use my Lotta Luvs (78mm waist) for this kind of skiing, but the Phat Luv doesn't fail you when you have to leave the powder. I will say that I might prefer the 160cm length when I really crank up the speed (in steep powder, too). They got a little squirrelly once I was going pretty fast, never scarily so, but I think I might like the extra stability of the 160 when I'm really hauling.

Mid-day of Day 1, we started to find some of the snow the Phat Luvs are designed for, and man were they fun. Dropped off the little cornice at the top of Iron Mask/Lover's Leap and got a great, stable landing on these fat (phat?) platforms, and just powered through the cut-up stuff with a layer of fluff on top. Found that I was actually floating to the top, even more than cutting through, although there wasn't that much new snow yet. Hit some bumps on the run-out, and although these aren't bump skis, they felt pretty good. Not too heavy, not too slow. Easy to get off-edge and onto a flat base to make quick changes in direction.

Had the most fun in the late afternoon of Day 1 and on the morning of Day 2. Lots of deeper drifts to be found, and I loved the way the skis just floated to the surface. No need to worry about submarine-ing these tips. A whole new experience for me, not having to work at the float at all. Very, very fun. Even got into the trees a bit, and found the short length and the ski overall very easy to manuever and fairly quick to respond to direction changes. Easy to drift or smear them into a new turn shape--I think that was the turned-up tail working.

Once the snow got heavier later in the day of Day 2, these skis worked quite well. Great shovel for powering through heavier snow (very little actual crud to test) and even with their girth I found them quite light and manueverable for little hop turns. Laid them out to carve again on Headwall at the end of the day, and they did really well. Snow was pretty pushed around by that point, but if I kept speed down a notch or two from the top end, they stayed very stable and carved about as well as if I was on fresh corduroy.

Big grin on my face pretty much all of the time I was on the skis. Of course all of the new snow didn't hurt!

Only complaints:
They are hot pink, for God's sake. With flowers! That said, they'd probably be very easy to find, should you pop a binding in snorkel-deep. They'd probably glow through about 4 feet of fresh, they're so bright.

I'd like to try the 160cm, too, and compare. I might still stick with the 153 for manueverability's sake in tight spots, but I'd like to see how much more stable the 160s are at speed.

Great fun, great ski. Still love my Lotta Luvs for most days on the hill, and they could have handled all of the above snow conditions just fine. But man, I loved the feeling of a real powder ski. Good times. Now I want to try more!

post #2 of 3
Great review!
post #3 of 3
nolo has reported that she loves hers. I think she's around the same size as you Mollmeister.

I hope I didn't offend either of you by suggesting that "same size" notion.
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