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Phat skis

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Who has put time on fat skis in varied conditions? ' Not just Powder days.
I have skied Volkl Explosives for 7 days in winter snow and spring Variable and have a hard time faulting them as a great all around ski.
The Pocket rocket is a move in that same sentiment. Previously, I had skied Volant Chubbs on several occasions. Good, but they were a bit lifeless.

Are there any other voices on the subject?

post #2 of 12
I have skiied fats in every snow condition, and they work great. Skis like the AK Enemy, 10EX, XXX, Big Stix 84, Pocket Pockets, Etc.. will handle just about anything. Yes that includes bumps and hardpack. Heck, the 10 EX may be better on hard snow than soft. The only problem whith skiing fats, and mids, it that you can get lazy on them, and lose some precision in your skiing. Of course, they can't pull off carves shorties like a 155 slalom either, but who cares. Fats rule everywhere, at least out west.
post #3 of 12
Originally posted by CalG:
...I have skied Volkl Explosives for 7 days in winter snow and spring Variable and have a hard time faulting them as a great all around ski...
During my first several non-powder / non-slop days on my 190 Explosivs, that was my impression as well. I think that I was so surprised that they worked at all in bumps or on hardpack, I wasn't evaluating them critically. Since then, I still think they are ok in such conditions, but my opinion has come down a bit.

My major "concern" with them (if you can call it that) is that they allow you to use very sloppy technique and skid around even in heavy deep mush that would have locked skinnier skis in a death grip. Now, I gotta say that:

(a) its relaxing to do this,
(b) it fun to do hockey stops in spring slop and kick up huge sprays of thick slop, and
(c) sometimes is can be extremely handy to be able to do this,

BUT, the purist in me sez that doing this as a steady diet this will tempt you to permanently deviate from the path of carved righteousness [img]smile.gif[/img] .

I have other gripes as well. I have used them and liked them on steep bump runs, but I was skiing slow and the bumps were soft. I have done consecutive bump runs on my 190 Explosivs and then on my 188 P4's, and the Explosivs felt utterly ponderous compared to skiiner skis.

On serious NE hardpack, I find that I just can't get the same grip with them as with skinnier skis. If you want a real eye-opener, boot up at home, click into your Explosivs on one foot, and some 60-65 mm wide ski on the other. Edge both ways, and notice not just how much more effort it takes to edge the fat ski, but that for a given angle of your lower legs, the fat ski makes considerably less angle with the floor than the skinnier ski. This is because the pivot point of the fat ski is far away from your foot, so the fat ski exerts a lot more torque trying to flatten itself out. This torque acts on the everpresent play in your bindings and boots and results in less edge angle.

Finally, my last, but nit-picking grip about using the Explosivs on ice is the god-awful clanking noises they make compared to other skis. They sound like you are skiing on a big piece of metal.

However, after all the above criticism, if I had to pick just one pair, but had no idea of the conditions I would be in, the Explosivs would be very high on my list, maybe just a notch behind my 10ex's.

Tom / PM
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Your words reflect my own thoughts!

I had to work hard to keep these wide skies on edge and in one groove. Skidding is not allowed. Still, I broke the rule... often.

I will try the one ski right and another left. It should be good for some thrills. Next season.

The noise of the Volkl's is enough to raise the dead! oh! my ears! I'm think'in "Duct tape here"! Cover the whole darn tops. Damping don't you know. Alu. foil tape might work too, I can tell everyone they are the new Volants!

The mechanics and edging is the reason I put modest lifts under the bindings of the phats.

If snow conditions were unknown, I too would consider the phats first, though unless spring slush or powder in the trees, I would likely use the all mountain ski.

post #5 of 12
Yup, we are in agreement except:

Originally posted by CalG:
...I will try the one ski right and another left. It should be good for some thrills. Next season...
NOOOOOO! I meant at home, stationary, in front of a mirror. If, OTOH, you really want to do it on the snow, pls. do give us a report, especially, the comments of others. Tell any non-believers that its a "big mountain technique in which you use one ski for the crust up top and the other for the slop down at the bottom".

BTW - about picking 1 pair if you had absolutely no idea what sort of conditions one would encounter, I'm a wuss. I'd rather have to deal with a fairly fat ski like my 10ex on boilerplate, than some skinny little thing in deep soft or mushy stuff. I had too many years of doing that to ever go back. Then again, maybe we are on the same wavelength since some people consider skis in the low 80 mm width (like the 10ex's) to be midfats (ie, not just the usual 70-75 mm definition).

BTW#2, about the clatter these things make on ice, I used to muse about gluing on a couple of strips of that thick, dense, sound absorbing foam that they used to sit old mechanical typewriters on. Maybe we could go into biz together and market it: "Retrofit your Volkls with our proprietary high tech Vibration Reducing System (VAS)" (that actually costs us $0.05 per piece).


Tom / PM

[ April 29, 2002, 12:19 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh yes! The two ski mix on the hill! I will bring a recorder to capture the gasps from the un initiated.!

The only problem is, I will only be able to turn left at the top, and right at the bottom. No linked turns? How will I ever get down ;-(

The VAS can come in colors, Then it will be a hit. We could package "graphics kits" like the motorcycle guys. Big $$$$ Here we come! Phat skis require more area covered, so those kits can sell for more. snik.snik.

Now one can select a style/ color that will go with any tee shirt!

post #7 of 12
Originally posted by CalG:
...The only problem is, I will only be able to turn left at the top, and right at the bottom. No linked turns? How will I ever get down ;-( ...
Sheesh - do I have to spell everything out?

Lower level skiers can take the clockwise descending catwalks on the upper mtn and switch to the counterclockwise catwalks on the lower part.

Higher lever skiers who can carve complete, back-up-the-hill 360's can do LH 360's on the upper part, and RH 360's on the lower part.

...and you thought path differences between skieres and snowboarders were causing problems.

Tom / PM
post #8 of 12
The fatty is a soft snow animal for the most part. It won't replace the mid-fat in my quiver for everything. It will get a lot of use as I tend to seek out Poweder and Crud whenever possible though.

I do hear great things about the 10Ex although I like the AK Launchers trmendously.

post #9 of 12
I use my fat skis (84mm and 99mm) mostly in new or soft snow. I say mostly because I might need to use groomed or skied out terrain to get to a desired place, and to ski out at the end of the day. In their element, fat skis are tons of fun. I prefer a narrower ski when not in the deep.

If I had to decide between a current race ski or a fat for one ski, I'd take a 186cm GS-11 over a 183cm Sugardaddy. Some of you recall days of skiing powder on 212cm VR17 GS. If you could ski all day on those skinny stiff planks, modern GS skis are super fats in comparison.

Thank gawd that there is a ski for every type of condition, for every type of skier. I was going to make some comment about marriage is the only thing where you have to settle on the same thing for the rest of your life, and skiing doesn't have to be that way, but I won't. Golf has players carrying 14 clubs and umpteen different balls for one round. Having a narrow, a mid and a fat ski in your quiver might be a bit pricy, but think about how much more fun you'll have.

[ April 29, 2002, 11:15 PM: Message edited by: BetaRacer ]
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
"Having a narrow, a mid and a fat ski in your quiver might be a bit pricy, but think about how much more fun you'll have."

ahh yes, The quiver!

P-30 SC

And all for about $200 each. Plus, When "separation time" comes, We won't need a lawyer.

We will agree that we have both "lost our edge" about our relationship.

I may need to move to Utah and add a pair of G4s and P50s to the family. The more the marry der!

One thing I haven't been able to get my head around, is how skis could get much better.

post #11 of 12
To me, the definition/size of the "mid-fat" all mountain ski will continue to widen. After a season with my 10.ex's, I see no reason to ski my old X-scream series anymore.

My only complaint with the 10.ex's is similar to that voiced by others...performance on icy/hard surfaces especially when trying to compress the turn radius (including hard bumps). If memory serves me well, the same critique was lobbed against the X-scream (and its peers) when it first came out!!

In general, all-mountain skis tend to suffer in hard bumps as well as pure hardpack carving. Nothing has changed as the middle of the ski has grown from 66 to 90 mm. It's just that all other conditions involving powder, cut powder, groomed, slush, wind crust, etc. are more fun with the about-to-be new standard for all mountain performance. Yesterday's fat is today's mid-fat.

Get yourself a fattie for the west and a good gs-based racer for the east.
post #12 of 12
I wish I could contribute more to this discussion - I've never taken a ride on true FATS. However, the Rossignol Bandit XX seems able to handle everything I've encountered, from deep to paved. The only place I might wish for something else is on really hard, hard, and hard snow [or ice, as some westerners call it]. The XX has great grip on everything but that hard, hard, hardest stuff - and that stuff is no fun for me on any ski. However, it is the one place where the more narrow skis can make the day, and then I may switch to my Rossi T-Powers. Still, I'm convinced that with the advances in mid-fats, they are THE quintessential do-it-alls, and that as time goes by, they will become the norm, just as shaped skis are now the norm. Let me put it this way: If I just HAD to use mid-fats on really, really hard snow, I could. However, I've had much more difficulty using short, skinny skis in deeper snow. I have skied with kick ass skiers who use the old non-shaped skinny skis in hip deep powder - but they were on significantly longer skis.
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