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Heavy wet spring Snow.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I was talking to a friend the other day about this trend of very fat skis for everyday skiing. He brought up something that I had not thought about. In heavy wet spring snow, a fat skis surface area could be a big disadvantage. Wet Heavy snow tends to stick and grab to the skis base. The more area the more likely your skis could get bogged down. Scott is not just some random guy. He at one time competed in some of the first extreme skiing competitions. He now is a ski instructor. One of the things he recommended was to get a structured base grind for spring skiing. of course a good wax job would also go along way in reducing all that drag. Anybody else have any thoughts on this?
post #2 of 22

Hot mud rules!

I love spring slush skiing and I do not favor real fat skis, not so much because they bog down but because they tend to keep trying to climb up on top of the heavy snow. If you are sailing along on top of heavy snow it can be a dangerous proposition to dive back in to turn or stop. I like a mid-fat to narrow fairly stiff ski (particularly the tip) for ramming through the slush and staying constantly in it. (Generally I think my old X-Screams suck, except for slush where they really shine.) The right ski will carve a continuous platform in any plane and allow you to roller skate down the hill and stop on a dime. I rill the bases with the side of my file and cut small grooves the length of the ski to avoid suction and let the water flow out the back of the ski. A waxed and smoothly polished ski will actually be much slower than one with structure.
post #3 of 22
I remember about ten years ago I was at Killington skiing in heavy, wet spring slush bumps on a pair of the old, straight 203 Dynastar X9's. Afterwards, I went into a ski shop and asked the owner if he could recommend a ski that would make skiing that stuff easier. He told me to come back the next day and he would have a pair for me to demo. That turned out to be a pair of Salomon Xmountains, dimensions of 100-75-89. Not very wide by todays standards and not a lot of shape, but definitely wider than what I was on. These were so easy to ski in that stuff that I bought a pair on the spot. A year or two later, I bought a pair of the K2 Fours, and the Xmountains became obsolete. The K2's were so superior to the Xmountains in almost every condition that I never skied them again. Ended up selling them to a guy in Utah. Point is that fat skis have there place, if I lived in Ut. I would have a pair as a backup. But for everyday skiing in anything knee deep or less, I'll take a ski with a 65-68 waist dimension everytime.
post #4 of 22
I use my Gotamas in a 184 all last spring and had the time of my life. I think I added 2 extra hours to my day while skiing at Mammoth in spring slop. If it was mostly white I could ski it. I did have a coarse base grind put on it with some good partial flouro type yellow wax. That cut way down on the sticky problems on the flatter terrain. Like they say, once you go fat you don't go back.
post #5 of 22
My experience is that fatter wider skis are better in spring snow, by a long shot. They float over or plow through stuff that would upset a narrower ski.

It really depends on your technique. To me, a successful technique in spring snow is to stay on the ski edges as much as possible. You want a tighter parallel, with skis on edge and blowing/plowing stuff out of the way. The downhill ski is the buster, and clears a path for the uphill ski which is tightly tucked in. Wider skis plow/float better in those situations.

If you're not on the flats a lot, the notion of friction and sticking snow on the base is moot.
post #6 of 22
Salomon X-Scream Series...

I have used fat skis in that situation, but the Xscreams still shin above a fat ski - mainly because of the point mentioned above - they blast through the snow versus climb over it. The softness of the xscreams helps too, since they bend on a soft surface...

Later

GREG
post #7 of 22
Well last season spring skiing started for us in January, and my newly aquired Volant Powerkarves were just the ticket. However, this year, on the days when it rose into the upper 40s (thankfully it's been a while), I used my '01 Chubbs; waxed with parafin, and combined with the coarse structure, I had skis that surfed the slush.
post #8 of 22
In spring skiing in Europe or similar situations in western US, a narrow ski is virtually impossible to ski because it will totally bog down when the snow becomes rotten offpiste. This is a condition much different than a layer of wet snow on top of a relatively hard base. Until I got some wide skis about five years ago, it was really difficult to ski with my friends who were snowboarders; now that is no longer the case, in fact many of them have switched back to skis. Many of my friends from the eastern part of the US have come over to ski with me in the spring on skis less than 74 cm and found it nearly impossible because when they stopped they broke through to their thighs. Once they jumped on a 90cm ski they could handle it.
post #9 of 22
I should add a qualifier to my viewpoint. I haven't skied any skis like the Metron or skied with anyone who had a pair in the conditions I mentioned, so I can't say anything less than 74 cm doesn't work well. The wide tip and tail might provide enough float and support to keep them from breaking through.
post #10 of 22
Coarse structure and a soft wax, coarsely brushed. Some nations experience wet snow for much of their seasons. Fat skis are just as appropriate in spring wet snow as in dry winter snow.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant
Coarse structure and a soft wax, coarsely brushed. Some nations experience wet snow for much of their seasons. Fat skis are just as appropriate in spring wet snow as in dry winter snow.
Agree 100%
post #12 of 22

Posted before

When the spring snow gets all rotten from sitting out in the sun all day. Even when a pole plant goes in up to the grip, There is nothing better than the Explosive or the G4s.

Way less "tripping".

CalG
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy
When the spring snow gets all rotten from sitting out in the sun all day. Even when a pole plant goes in up to the grip, There is nothing better than the Explosive or the G4s.
You can add the Mantra to that list. Things started to get slushy in Vail this weekend and my 184 Mantras were dynomite.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant
Coarse structure and a soft wax, coarsely brushed. Some nations experience wet snow for much of their seasons. Fat skis are just as appropriate in spring wet snow as in dry winter snow.
^^^^^And the correct answer is ^^^^^

Very short and Soft Ski's suck in soft snow, thin or fat.
post #15 of 22
Man, I've had the exact opposite experience...

Fatter skis seem to work much better in wet crud and slush for me. I guess it all depends on the setup and where you are skiing. My Stockli Scott Schmidt's are 88mm under boot and they plain ruled the Mammoth Mountain slop a few weeks back when SoCal had a heat wave. I've never had ski that carved in slush like the Stockli.

YMMV

<M
post #16 of 22
the theoretical disadvantage was probably fun to discuss, but I don't find it holds up under real world usage. my experience is that everywhere but hardpack and ice, the wider ski is more fun provided you take the time to learn its preferences and the sight delay -- negligible in some wide skis, pronounced in others -- in your turn transitions. in soft spring corn, most skis feel great, but IMO you can ski it faster and smoother on fats if you learn them first.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
the theoretical disadvantage was probably fun to discuss, but I don't find it holds up under real world usage. my experience is that everywhere but hardpack and ice, the wider ski is more fun provided you take the time to learn its preferences and the sight delay -- negligible in some wide skis, pronounced in others -- in your turn transitions. in soft spring corn, most skis feel great, but IMO you can ski it faster and smoother on fats if you learn them first.
Yes, and tomorrow Snowbowl should be abound with the soft slushieness. Going skiing Crud?
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict
Yes, and tomorrow Snowbowl should be abound with the soft slushieness. Going skiing Crud?
something very wrong about skiing spring snow in February, VA.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
something very wrong about skiing spring snow in February, VA.
Tell me about it. Raining here right now and 50 degrees last couple of days..not that I mind a little Corn, but "Damn you, Dick Cheney!!"
post #20 of 22

If it wasn't for bad luck . . .

Hey, it was 63 in Durango yesterday and the paper confirmed that Purgatory has received 150" less snow than this time last year. No wonder the skiing sucks.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse. I checked the avalanche report and they are calling for "rain in the San Juans below 11,700 feet." Yikes!
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTT
^^^^^And the correct answer is ^^^^^

Very short and Soft Ski's suck in soft snow, thin or fat.
I plan to test this theory! I'm gonna get a good structure in my Phantom bases, lube em up with soft wax + Zardoz and take them for a spin when slush time comes. After all the lift line comments I've endured about water skis, I feel this is a moral obligation .

I actually expect them to do just great given generic soft snow performance so far. I'll let you know... Or if you hear really loud laughter from the PNW, others might be letting you know
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
something very wrong about skiing spring snow in February, VA.
The only thing wrong was that I got caught up on epicski last night instead of rilling and waxing my skis, but the skiing was fun, albeit slow at times. Anywho, the temp is dropping (down about 20 degrees since noon) and more snow will likely fall tonight.
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