Originally Posted by doublediamond223
I don't ski the park, and have been out west once. Therefore, I've pretty much missed the fat ski revolution. I've tried a few pairs of wider boards and have hated most of them. I'd rather deal with my race boards in soft snow than deal with lousy edge-grip on piste.
As far as the issue of skill level goes, I saw a lot of kids at Vail last year on fat skis who looked to be around my age (17). Most of them couldn't ski, not that it was a surprise, given that it was a Vail groomer. The funny part was when I was hit from behind while making fast slalom turns by a kid my age on Made N AK's. He told me that I was turning too much and was taking up the trail. I told him to learn how to turn....
Most kids my age who use fat skis are park rats, in my experience. I think the soft ski, especially in the east, promotes bad habits by allowing people to ski from the backseat and to turn by turning shoulders (which is what the Vail kid was doing). A stiff, narrow ski punishes you for sitting back, which IMO leads to the formation of good habits so that the skis do not get away from you.
Disclaimer: I have skied powder precisely twice in 15 years of skiing, and am groomer-biased. Don't forget racing....
Dude, don't knock the fat skis until you've actually skied more than a few pairs of them. My guess is that you've skied only fat floppy pow skis, which I'll be the first to agree, have shitty edge hold and aren't too fun outside of snorkel-deep blower. However, there are a handful of stiffer fat sticks out there that would probably be enjoyable to people as yourself: ANT, m103, Supermojo, Gotama (maybe too soft still), customs (i.e. Igneous, Capital, Kingswood, etc).
As everyday skis I'm on the 191 Armada ANT (106 underfoot) and 183 Head m103, both ski fairly long, have little sidecut and are stiff (the latter is probably similar in flex to most of your race boards). I like stiffer skis, but despise sidecut...I hate any ski that wants to turn for me.
I also concur with you and others above that fat skis have become the new thing among kids and skiing, but I don't think it's something that will fizzle out. 90 - 100 underfoot is becoming more and more of an everday type ski out here in the west. I may not be able to get edge to edge as fast on my 106 underfoot as you can on 70ish underfoot, but then again, I'm not trying to shave miliseconds off my run either.
What you don't understand is that I'm guessing the kid that hit you (which may or may not have been a bad skier) was just cruising to get back to the lift and get back up to the top where the goods are. Most freeride oriented skiers in the west don't care to make slalom turns on the groom on the way back to the lift...the groom is just something that has to be dealt with sometimes in order to get back to the good spots.
In contrast, my skis with radii in the upper 30's only allow me to make large fast turns on the groom and I got clobbered from behind last year by some guy making slalom turns. It can happen to anyone and is just shitty luck, although some out of control people should just stay off the mtn, but that's an entirely different issue.
Bottom line, you brought your EC mentality to the west, which I don't think is ideal in making your trip the best is could have been. Next time you are out here, find a place to rent some stiffer fat boards and get off the groomers...I guarantee you'll have fun.
FYI, if you like stiff skis, here's a list of some of next year's sticks I think you should try (I'd be interested to hear your thoughts):
Head Mojo 105
Atomic Big Daddy
Rossi Squad (184 isn't much, but the 189 is alot of ski...and if you are really intense, give'er on the 194, it'll be plenty stiff compared to your race boards)