Originally Posted by Paul Jones
Bob, are you serious? 66 waist is your ski at Jackson Hole?
Yes, I am serious, but I'm also an extreme anomaly (throwback?).
You'll note that I *did* qualify that by saying it's my preferred ski for less than two feet of new snow or crud. If there's a lot of new snow, particularly if it's wind-hit (which it often is at JH), then my "big" ski is an 88mm waist.
My favorite everyday ski for the last three winters has been the Head I.C, 200 in a 177cm (the longest they make in that model). I'm replacing them this winter with the i.Supershape, which is essentially the current version of the same ski. It just gives me everything I need - and want - to ski all over this mountain and it's backcountry - most of the time.
It might help to consider three things:
First, I like to turn. I don't mind going fast from time to time, but I really like the sensation of loading up a ski and feeling it come around. I've never yet found a fat, all-mountain ski that truly gives me that same feeling.
Second, I really like skiing funky places. I prefer picking my way through rocks and pillows and trees and connect-the-dot chutes instead of straightlining some open bowl or face. That's just personal preference, but I don't need a big fat ski to do the kind of skiing I like.
Lastly, I learned to ski a long time ago. Not that I'm not still learning, but powder and crud skiing comes pretty easy to me after all these years and all those miles. Back in the 80's, I was skiing every condition at Jackson Hole with a "quiver" of two pairs of skis; one pair was a "new" pair of 204cm K2 712's and the other was a beat-up pair of 204cm K2 712's.
I used the beat-up ones for powder/crud skiing and the new ones for hardpack days/races. (The wild thing is that back then *I* was the cheater - most of my friends used 210cm GS skis for all those funky conditions.)
Now, compared to a 204cm straight ski, a 177cm modern ski with approximate dimensions of 120-66-105 and a turn radius of around 13m is like a dream come true. They give WAY more float and crud capability than what I learned on and I just don't feel the need for anything wider *MOST* of the time. It's all personal preference, of course.
ZZZ, thank you for reminding me. Without that daily reminder I get this vague feeling that something is missing from my life.
As if YOU need any kind of crutch of any sort!
I will say that if I were a full-time patroller at a big Western ski resort, I would definitely put the 66's in the back of the closet. You guys have to contend with all kinds of crappy snow and keep victims on a sled safe at the same time. If that was my gig, I'd be on bigger skis.