New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The 100% Powder Ski

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi Bears,

This is my first post, although I've been checking this gear forum for the last two years. First, let me say I've learned a lot about new gear and tuning since I've discovered this website (and also enjoyed all the Metron quarrels ). Thank you very much.

To give you a little bit about my background:

- 35 years old, athletic and fit (rock/alpine clinbing).
- 22 years of alpine skiing experience (mainly in the Andes, although Alps and Pyrenees in the last 4 years since I moved to Europe).
- Weight: 73 kg. (~165 lbs.)
- Height: 1.75 m. (~5'10")
- Skill Level: After reading the skill level definitions used in this forum, I guess I could be considered a 9 level skier.
- Terrain preferred: Backcountry, although in any given season I will spend 40% of my time on piste.
- Style: Mostly powerful and aggresive, finesse at the end of the day when I am tired .
- Main ski location: Pyrenees and Alps, AKA Euroland (although I dream of one day experiencing Alta and that champagne powder I've heard so much about).
Ski days per season: ~40 days.

My current quiver is composed of:

Hard Snow / Piste: Volkl Allstar 168cm. (unbelievable edging).
Crud / Mid-fat: Dynastar Legend 8000 178 cm. w/ Fritschi Freerides (also great for day backcountry tours).
Lightweight AT Rig: Atomic R9 170 cm. w/ Fritschi Diamir III (excellent for long multi-day tours like Chamonix-Zermatt or Monte Rosa Tour!)
Boots: Lange Comp 100 (Alpine) and Scarpa Matrix (AT).

Sorry for the long presentation, but I felt it adequate to put you in context for the questions ahead. I am trying to complete the quiver with a specialty ski: a 100% pure powder ski. Given my current skis, I don't feel the need for a "compromise" ski as I believe I'm well covered for other snow conditions. I am looking for a pure powder machine. For pure powder use, I don't believe I need the stiffness of a Legend Pro but I don't want a very flexible ski a la Pocket Rocket / Gun.

Given my weight and my powder experience (humble), I was thinking in the 05/06 Volkl Gotama. I can get this locally for $420 flat which I tend to believe is a good deal after checking Froogle and ski internet shops (maybe not?). I've done a search and read lots of Gotama and fat skis posts here and in TGR, but I've never owned a fat ski so want to make sure. My questions are:

1) Gotamas: Is this an excellent 100% powder ski? Specially interested in answers from people that own/demoed this ski EXCLUSIVELY in 24"+ powder conditions. I know, who would demo on a powder day? But I ask just in case...

2) Length: Given my weight and the twin tip feature, I believe 183 cm. should be fine with the 105 mm. waist. Right?

3) Bindings: At first I was thinking of a pair of Fritschi Freerides for this but then I remembered of a friend who started the Chamonix-Zermatt with this setup and bailed out on the second day due to its weight. And as this would not be used for touring I believe a Look PX 12 Ti Lifter Wide would do the trick after bending the brakes a tiny bit. Comments on any other binding that might work with this 105mm-waisted ski? Marker M12 Free w/ Big Air Pads?

4) Opportunity: Should I go for the $420 deal given I would only use this a limited number of days per season? Please keep in mind this will not be my primary ski (Alps ain't no Utah, as you may well know), not even my secondary ski on a piste day, but just a specialty ski for those few epic days.

Thanks for all your input.
post #2 of 28
100% Powder?

DP Skis Lotus 138

www.dpskis.com

Never been happier with a purchase:
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
I've checked the Lotus. I've never tried the Spatula design and its praised by many as the pure powder ski. You are right. But I will never be able to demo it in Euroland. And at $910, I would be hard pressed to spend that kind of money on such a specialty ski. I guess then, I am looking for the 99% (traditional shape) powder ski (at a price)... . Thanks.
post #4 of 28
Traditional sidecut that you might be able to demo? Line Prophet 130 or Volkl sumo.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dug
Traditional sidecut that you might be able to demo? Line Prophet 130 or Volkl sumo.
130mm. waist? Might be too rich for my weight? Do you happen to know how this compares to the gotama in terms of stiffness? Thanks.
post #6 of 28
Well you're skiing powder right? Wider would be better unless you're looking for more face shots or more edge quickness.

I've only skied the Gotama for one day (albeit only ~5") and never skiied the ones I threw out above. The gots were nice but I'd go wider with the snow you're talking about. I'm guessing that since the skis I mentioned are pure powder skis that they'd be softer though.

Oh, I'm your height, but lighter by about 5-10 lbs.
post #7 of 28
I bought a pair of Gotamas this year in a 183. I'm 6' and 190lbs. I put probably 20 powder days on em this year. They are nothing short of wonderful in the pow. I have Karhu 7tm tour tele bindings on them. The Gotama isn't a really stiff ski, but I wouldn't call it a noodle either. It's a great ski for wide open steeps, where you can let it run and do nice big swooping turns.
It might be a little heavy for big ski tours, but short yo-yo type stuff off the resort, their great.
post #8 of 28
I'm a little curious about how *much* powder you think you'll see on a regular basis and what the quality of that snow typically might be.

The reason I ask is that if the snow is typically less than 40-50cm deep and of reasonably good quality, *and* if you're a level 9 skier, why would need or want a huge fat ski? You say this is purely for powder and you've already got a ski and touring setup for crud and junk. Unless you love going 60 or 70kph in new snow, I don't think a 100mm+ powder ski is necessary or even desireable in a setup that you'll use for a lot of hiking.

My favorite ski for backcountry powder - if I know for certain that the quality is going to be good - is an old pair of K2 Heli Stinx. I don't even know what the dimensions are (they probably aren't even 75mm underfoot), but they ski like a dream in good powder. They don't weigh anything and they're super easy to schlep uphill.

A big ski is going to give you better performance in junky, slabby conditions. It's also an advantage if you want to go really, really fast but personally I like to make turns and enjoy the ride if I've walked uphill. A big ski is going to be a lot heavier to move up the hill and I really question the reward except in lousy snow conditions.

Also, pardon my ignorance but is the Matrix compatible with Dynafit bindings? If so, and if this set of skis is primarily for uphill/downhill travel, then you might give some serious thought to Dynafaits.

Just trying to provide an opposing view. Fat skis are not *required* to have fun in powder.
post #9 of 28
The Volkl Gotama is a great powder ski. It has great float, is very stable and very easy to turn. It would be my choice if I was buying something for powder only.
post #10 of 28
I don't have much to add to this then to say - finally! Someone who gives information and context before asking what ski they like instead of the usual clueless "I want the best ski in the whole wide world".

Gotamas are very nice. I'm your weight and would ski a 183.

Kneissl Tankers are back this year. They're a little narrower but handle light pow and heavy pow just fine. They're a bit stiffer then the Gotamas. I would ski a 180 in that range

Frankly, my Pocket Rockets are my favorite powder ski. They're turny - at my weight they're fine for medium radius turns. Sure they get knocked around in crud but you want a powder ski don't you? They're so light they're super easy to move around and turn.

I really liked the Head Mad Trix Mojo in a 183 - now a Mojo iirc.

I also really liked the Dynastar Inspired by Nobis - now the 8800. Just a super nice stable powder platform

I'm not that stoked on the huge fat boards in light powder. I actually want to sink in a bit. If I skied in 100 cms of new snow in Big Sky Montana on a regular basis I might change my mind but I don't.

There- that should get you started.
post #11 of 28
I thought he wasn't going to use these for touring ...
post #12 of 28
Can't relate to his stats, (i'm a little person and probably a lot less aggressive) but what about Atomic Sugar Daddy? Very light, and pretty wide (99), stiffer than PRs, easy to demo, and reasonable cost. Someone closer to his size, ability and proclivity who knows these skis may want to chime in.
post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferniefreeheels
I bought a pair of Gotamas this year in a 183. I'm 6' and 190lbs.
Given your weight do you feel should have gone with 190s or you feel comfortable on the 183s? The reason I am asking is because the TGR folks are advising that for my weight (30 lbs. less than you) I go with the 190s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I'm a little curious about how *much* powder you think you'll see on a regular basis and what the quality of that snow typically might be.
In a 40-day season, maybe 10-15 days mostly of 12" with maybe a couple of dumps of 24". The quality of powder in the Euroland is generally more of the coastal type, wetter and heavier. Although you might get some drier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
The reason I ask is that if the snow is typically less than 40-50cm deep and of reasonably good quality, *and* if you're a level 9 skier, why would need or want a huge fat ski?
I am not going to get into the "why teenage kids want fat skis" discussion for the obvious reason I am not a teenager anymore . But my reason for wanting a (not necessarily huge, if you have checked the Sumo and other 130mm+ offerings) 105mm. fat ski is the same reason as for others: LESS WORK, MORE FUN. And most of all, that good ole surfing feeling . You should check it out, it's great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
My favorite ski for backcountry powder - if I know for certain that the quality is going to be good - is an old pair of K2 Heli Stinx. I don't even know what the dimensions are (they probably aren't even 75mm underfoot), but they ski like a dream in good powder. They don't weigh anything and they're super easy to schlep uphill.
I've checked that out for you: the K2 Heli Stinx are 102/70/93, you were right on target. I tend to relate to you, because for many years I also was (with all due respect) an old school. But once you tried a fatter board you never go back. Just as point of reference: my thinnest waisted ski, the Volkl Allstars, have a 70mm. waist. This is my hard snow piste ski. And I already have a setup for "schleping uphill" in my lightweight AT rig (Atomic R9, 106/72/98). The Gotamas would be for the big days. Nevertheless, I am still doubting to mount Gotamas with an alpine or AT binding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
Also, pardon my ignorance but is the Matrix compatible with Dynafit bindings? If so, and if this set of skis is primarily for uphill/downhill travel, then you might give some serious thought to Dynafaits.
Yes, the Matrix is Dynafit-compatible. But at my weight, you tend to need a stiffer boot than a Matrix for a big ski like the Gotama.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
Just trying to provide an opposing view. Fat skis are not *required* to have fun in powder
You are absolutely right, they are not required but certainly MORE fun. And the opposing views are the more welcomed, keep them coming. Thanks.
post #14 of 28
If you live in Europe then you can some good prices from www.sport-conrad.com and if i'm not totally misstaken they've got some Sanouks left for 499€... And alot of other cheap skis. If your intrested in Völkl then they got the 06/07 models for sale already! I think next years Gotama costs 599€...
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinist
Given your weight do you feel should have gone with 190s or you feel comfortable on the 183s? The reason I am asking is because the TGR folks are advising that for my weight (30 lbs. less than you) I go with the 190s.
No, the 183 is plenty of ski for me. There is a lot of surface area there. I'm comfortable on it, they go fast enough in the deep stuff for me.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinist

But my reason for wanting a (not necessarily huge, if you have checked the Sumo and other 130mm+ offerings) 105mm. fat ski is the same reason as for others: LESS WORK, MORE FUN. And most of all, that good ole surfing feeling . You should check it out, it's great.

.
Having learned from you that your snow quality tends to be on the maritime side (heavier and thicker), then perhaps I'll tend to agree. A wider ski would probably be better for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinist
...

I've checked that out for you: the K2 Heli Stinx are 102/70/93, you were right on target. I tend to relate to you, because for many years I also was (with all due respect) an old school. But once you tried a fatter board you never go back...
Heh. The Heli's are even narrower than I thought.

But see here's the thing; I have tried fatter boards on many, many occasions. I just spent 5 days skiing in Alaska on a 193cm pair of skis that are 102mm underfoot. I've also demoed tons of skis in the 75mm to 105mm underfoot range. Wide skis are nice (but not indispensible) to ski, particularly when the snow gets thick.

But you asked about a "100% powder ski". To me, that implies a backcountry ski because unless the resorts you ski are enormously different than the ones I ski, 100% powder only lasts for about two hours after the lifts open. After that, lift-served powder skiing tends to be occasional untracked shots connected by sections of cut-up junk. In those conditions, many skiers like and/or need a wider ski to feel comfortable.

But I will tell you that I've skied many, many days of completely untracked Wasatch powder on those Heli Stinx and they don't feel like any work at all if the snow is good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinist

And I already have a setup for "schleping uphill" in my lightweight AT rig (Atomic R9, 106/72/98).
I thought in your original post that you were asking about putting Fritschi's on this new pair of skis. You also talked about touring on them. I guess I erroneously came to the conclusion that this was to be a backcountry (or off-piste) setup for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinist

Yes, the Matrix is Dynafit-compatible. But at my weight, you tend to need a stiffer boot than a Matrix for a big ski like the Gotama.
Hence the suggestion that perhaps you wouldn't need a big ski like the Gotama for a 100% powder ski that you would be touring with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinist

You are absolutely right, they are not required but certainly MORE fun.
I assume you would concede that the "certainly MORE fun" part is a completely SUBjective conclusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinist

And the opposing views are the more welcomed, keep them coming.
That's what I'm here for.

BTW - I have skied the Gotama a fair amount. It's a nice ski. Not one I would choose as an AT ski, but certainly a very, very nice powder/junk ski for in-resort and sidecountry skiing. Have fun on them.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferniefreeheels
No, the 183 is plenty of ski for me. There is a lot of surface area there. I'm comfortable on it, they go fast enough in the deep stuff for me.
Thanks, Fernie. With this logic I may have to go with 176cm., althought that seems short given the twin tips...Comments? Anyone?
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I have skied the Gotama a fair amount. It's a nice ski. Not one I would choose as an AT ski, but certainly a very, very nice powder/junk ski for in-resort and sidecountry skiing. Have fun on them.
Yes, Gotamas are too heavy for an outright AT rig and the point of lightening them by setting them with Dynafits doesn't make sense as most Dynafit-compatible boots are too soft (even after customizing my Scarpa Matrix with Denali TT's hard grey tongues).

If I get them, I might have to set them up with Freerides which will:

- allow the use of my stiffer Langes.
- result in a strong enough kit for in-resort/sidecountry powder use.
- make a good backcountry powder ski for "short" off-piste forays.

For long tours I will have to sacrifice their downhill float for the lightness of my Legend/Freerides or, for multiday, of my R9/Diamir III.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
I believe I will close in on a pair of brand new Völkl Gotamas in 183 cm. Maybe if there is no much difference in weight with the Legends 8000s, I will put the Freerides on the Gotamas and get some Look Pivots for the 8000s. This might allow for:

- a Big Mountain / Powder setup that can be used both backcountry and in-piste on big days (Gotamas/Freerides),
- a lightweight backcountry setup for long/multi-day touring on thin days (Atomic R9/Diamir III),
- a proper in-piste midfat (what many call "everyday ski") for the softer crud days and warm afternoons full of slush (8000s/Pivots) and
- a in-piste ski for hard snow/ice use (Völkl Allstar).

What do you think of the quiver? Or should I rig the Gotamas with fixed heels bindings and leave the Freerides on the 8000s?
post #20 of 28
sound good to me.
post #21 of 28
I think the Gotamas are a great choice too, but if you haven't pulled the trigger yet you should also consider the Elan M999.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler
I think the Gotamas are a great choice too, but if you haven't pulled the trigger yet you should also consider the Elan M999.
Thanks for the advice. To all of you. I've pulled the trigger this morning on a brand new pair of 05/06 Völkl Gotamas 183cm. for $400 on eBay. My first eBay purchase. Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship...
post #23 of 28
You could have gone "old school" with some green Molnars or "The Ski" or even some Miller Softs
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
You could have gone "old school" with some green Molnars or "The Ski" or even some Miller Softs
I've gone "old school" on powder for the last 20 years, Phil. It's time for something new. But for you Phil, just one last time...




You can turn the clock to zero, honey
I'll sell the stock, we'll spend all the money
We're starting up a brand new day...with Gotamas
post #25 of 28
Jeez........ K2 Apache Chiefs in a 174cm.
Demo and buy.
Pwdrski
post #26 of 28
I'm 200 lbs, and I've got the 183 Sugar Daddy's (06 model). They're amazingly light, and quick, yet powerful and solid, with edge-hold that'll surprise you.

I haven't had them in "pure" powder yet - mostly just the gunk and slop on Mt. Baker. But, if they can float over and bulldoze through that stuff, I'm sure they'll be fine on the real deal.

At your weight and size, the 173 might make the most sense. However, your ability is higher than mine (I'm level 8), plus you're younger and fitter. So, the 183 might also work for you (the quasi twin-tip design cuts at least 5 cm off the length).

I've haven't skied the Gotama's but I'd like to. They look a beauty, with nice, supple flex.

If weight is an issue, I doubt you'll find a lighter big ski than the Sugar Daddy.
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
I'm 200 lbs, and I've got the 183 Sugar Daddy's (06 model). They're amazingly light, and quick, yet powerful and solid, with edge-hold that'll surprise you.

I haven't had them in "pure" powder yet - mostly just the gunk and slop on Mt. Baker. But, if they can float over and bulldoze through that stuff, I'm sure they'll be fine on the real deal.

At your weight and size, the 173 might make the most sense. However, your ability is higher than mine (I'm level 8), plus you're younger and fitter. So, the 183 might also work for you (the quasi twin-tip design cuts at least 5 cm off the length).

I've haven't skied the Gotama's but I'd like to. They look a beauty, with nice, supple flex.

If weight is an issue, I doubt you'll find a lighter big ski than the Sugar Daddy.
Thanks for the advice. I knew of the Sugar Daddy's but I mostly prefer wood cores.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinist
Thanks for the advice. I knew of the Sugar Daddy's but I mostly prefer wood cores.
I hear you. Wood's got a solid but silky feel.

If I hadn't gotten a great deal on the SD's, I would've been tempted by the Gotama's. They flexed sexy in the store - supple but not noodley.

I hear Volkl's giving them a bit more sidecut for next year.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion