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Powder vs. All Mountain Skis at Resorts

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm headed to Copper this week to demo some skis. I ski primarily glades and bowls occasionally steeps and chutes, etc. I enjoy the groomers, but they're mostly to get back to the lift; I also like moguls, but I wouldn't say I'm addicted. I generally ski Copper, Winter Park or Steamboat and on all mountain skis. Finally, my question (!):

Are all mountain skis (70-78mm waist) adequate for conditions at these resorts in the majority of cases? Should I spend my precious ski testing time on powder skis that will be used at a resort for virtually their entire life?

I suspect all mountains are what I'll end up with, but I thought I'd check before I throw down that much dough.

Thanks again,
OKD
post #2 of 11
You enjoy:
Glades, Bowls
Kinda Like
Moguls, Groomers, Steeps.

I think of powder when I think of Glades and bowls.

Demo Sometime in the mid 80's, to lower 90's for waist.

You'll be surprised how well some of the fat skis do on the groomed.

Legend 8800, perhaps.


Elan 777
Apache Outlaw
1080 foil

That ought to give you a range of skis from soft and turny to stiffer and stable.

But hey, don't sweat it, just try stuff out and have fun.

ps. I personally don't feel 70-78mm is "all mountain"... Thats a groomer ski. 80-90 is truly "all mountain". (for the west anyway)
post #3 of 11
Ride a pair of Dynastar legend 8800s great all mountian ski but a little wider than the 8000, handle the deeper snow a little better. Especially if you live in the west.
I also would ride a pair of volkl mantras. These skis eat every kind of snow condition there is anywhere it may be. Again best if you live in the west with more consistant snow fall.
Try the dynastar legend 8000. A true great all mountain ripper. I ride these myself every time I ride unless it is a real deep pow day. A stiff ski, vertical sidewalls. Eat every snow condition possible with a 81mm waist. All these skis like to be rode aggressively. All very fun.

Just my 2 cents
post #4 of 11
My alpine fat skis (183 Gotamas) will likely never see anything other than resort skiing - since that's what they're for. When I leave the resort I use a different setup specifically for touring, which are actually a little shorter and skinnier than my resort fat skis to save weight on the climb.

The question is only how much time you plan to spend off piste and how high a priority you place on that off-piste performance. I can still carve nice short turns on our soft groomers on my Gotamas. Sure it probably takes more effort than it would on little carving skis, but I can deal with that and will not sacrifice off piste performance in order to save a little effort on the groomed.
post #5 of 11
The skis I mentioned above perform awesomely on piste and off. Great on groomers to pow. I never rode the mantras in bumps. But the legends, both pairs, I had no problems laying down zipper runs.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by overkill dan
Are all mountain skis (70-78mm waist) adequate for conditions at these resorts in the majority of cases? Should I spend my precious ski testing time on powder skis that will be used at a resort for virtually their entire life?
I'd say they are very adequate and are the skis that are designed for what you primarily ski.

I've found this whole mid-fat/fat/super-fat debate fascinating since I'm in the market myself.

I think it comes down to a few things:
  1. Turn shape desired
  2. Speed
  3. Percentage off-piste vs. piste
  4. Primary conditions
If you are going to be cranking out a few powder turns, blasting through crud and straightling the groomers with Altagirl and her crew, a ski fatter than 85mm under foot is a necessity. On the other hand, if you prefer making shorter radius turns at moderate speed in various conditions off-piste, a 70-78mm waisted ski is a perfect choice.

The mid-fat is not going to outperform or be near as stable at speed in the deep, heavy, or crud but will outperform the fat and super-fat skis in the bumps, on groomers, and on days when the entire mountain is packed out.

70-80mm: 50-75% off-piste, good to excellent performance in bumps and groomers, short to medium shaped turns off-piste at slower speeds

85mm+: 90% off-piste, various shape turns in various conditions off-piste at high speed, fair to good performance in the bumps and groomers.

-68mm: groomer ski, East or West Coast
post #7 of 11
Mid-fats typically have a 75-77mm waist and a decent sidecut. These are meant to give you a little of everything. They really end up giving you fair powder/crud performance without losing to much groomer/carver performance. To me, they are a good eastern US ski. I would only choose these for western skiing if groomer/carver performance is one of your top priorities. If it's not a priority, then definitely move into the 85mm range or higher. The Elan 777 is a good example of this kind of ski (and contrasts well with the mid-fat 666). Still does decent on groomers too. If you prioritize powder/crud performance but don't care so much about groomer performance, then go even wider (Elan 999 for instance).

I am not necessarily pushing the Elans, just using their 666-777-999 lineup as an example of three skis that cater to different priorities, with the 777 squarely in the middle. So think about the kind of snow that matters most to you and go from there.
post #8 of 11
the head im88 is a great all mountain ski. It carves almost as good as a gs race ski, blasts through crud with ease, and floats in powder. Give it a try!!
post #9 of 11
Since your handle is "OVERKILL dan", I think the Line Prophet 130 would be in order.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by huckingfellers
Ride a pair of Dynastar legend 8800s great all mountian ski but a little wider than the 8000, handle the deeper snow a little better. Especially if you live in the west.
I also would ride a pair of volkl mantras. These skis eat every kind of snow condition there is anywhere it may be. Again best if you live in the west with more consistant snow fall.
Try the dynastar legend 8000. A true great all mountain ripper. I ride these myself every time I ride unless it is a real deep pow day. A stiff ski, vertical sidewalls. Eat every snow condition possible with a 81mm waist. All these skis like to be rode aggressively. All very fun.

Just my 2 cents
Great suggestions. I've demo'd all three and would buy any one of them as my one all-mtn ski for western trips. I just bought a pair of 8800's and that choice was primarily based on cost (50% off) and remaining selection (can't find anymore 184 Mantras for 05/06).

I ski similar terrain (mostly bowls, glades and some bumps thrown in for good measure). I used the 8000 on a +18" powder day last year in Utah and was pleased with their performance at that depth.

I'm not the quickest bump skier but consider all 3 of these models as relatively good bump skis - the legends probably better than the mantra. I just got back from a quick trip to NC and actually skied the 8800's there. While a good carving ski would have been much more appropriate on that good old southern ice, the 8800's did just fine. Quick turning and good absorption in hard/crusty bumps. Easy to maintain a zipper line.
post #11 of 11
An obscure one you should try if you can is the Stockli Snake BC. I just bought them to replace my old Scratch BCs and I love them. Much more stable at speed and all the off-piste/ park performance of the Scratch.
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