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Am I asking too much?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
At 185lbs and a level 6-7 skier I found my Monster 77s at 163 to be very difficult in the powder of Snowbird last year. At 14 days a yr, 6 out West and 8 in the East I cant really justify a multi-ski quiver, but I could be talked into it : . I am considering a change, something like the Mantra in a 177. I like the powder, but I am going to have to get better by either improving the indian or the arrow. It's hard to get excited about the 18" of new when I have the kind of days in it I had last year. I really enjoy the Monsters on everything, but the freshie days.

I am committed to avoiding the rental thing.

What improvements could I make on the equipment side? Or should I focus on technique?
post #2 of 19
weogio, the Monsters should be pretty nice in those conditions, although not a fatty. I would suggest you might want to consider some coaching. Check here: http://esa.epicski.com/
post #3 of 19
I am going to agree with Steve on this one. It is probably not the arrow in this case. The IM.77 can have a sluggish feel to it, but given your size in contrast with the length, this should not be an issue at all. Stick with what you have and invest your money into some lessons from a good coach/instructor. I suspect that the problems are in how you are attacking the terrain and conditions, and less in what your skis are doing. However, if you could describe your problems in more detail we could probably pinpoint the issue. At your weight, a 163 might be a bit on the short side - although at your ability level I would hesitate to go wider.
post #4 of 19

Experiment with moving around

In addition to the good suggestions above, you may also want to experiment with moving the bindings around a little bit (assuming you have the railflex). On firm snow I always move my bindings to the +15 position, in powder back to 0 or even to -15.
post #5 of 19
177 Mantras are a one quiver ski. Get those and go to the academy.
post #6 of 19

Get Some Cheap Big Dogs!

No question the Monster 77's will do it, for the right skier.

But, if you have limited experience in powder, I'd suggest getting a cheap set of powder boards. You don't have to spend much.

At ski swaps, or on ebay, you can frequently find a pair of used Chubb's (170's or 180's would be fine - don't be picky), with bindings, for about $100 to $150. You'll be amazed at the difference!

Even my wife can ski powder in those things, and she's highly tentative!:
post #7 of 19
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
weogio, the Monsters should be pretty nice in those conditions, although not a fatty. I would suggest you might want to consider some coaching. Check here: http://esa.epicski.com/

Those are tiny skis for a 185 lbs skier in powder. Narrow, short, tiny!

Maybe the difference between an instructor and a shop owner is that the first says you skis are fine, you need some coaching - while the other one says your technique is fine, you need better skis

Of course both would probably help
post #8 of 19
Originally Posted by torfinn View Post
Those are tiny skis for a 185 lbs skier in powder. Narrow, short, tiny!
You're right, they are short. I don't think that they are narrow, though. Of course, the 100+ crowd will think they are. I was on 162cm 76mm skis (Atomic B5s) for the ESA in Alta/Bird when we got about 7' in 5 days. They performed very well, and I would expect the 77s to be as good. Although in that ski at 185 lbs I'd probably recommend longer.
Originally Posted by torfinn View Post
Maybe the difference between an instructor and a shop owner is that the first says you skis are fine, you need some coaching - while the other one says your technique is fine, you need better skis

Of course both would probably help
You're undoubtedly right!
post #9 of 19
Piling on to the consensus that the skis might be too short in a 163...
post #10 of 19
Dare I also suggest.... Don't expect to be able to go straight into powder and ski at the same level you do on piste if you're new to it. It's a whole new ball game. I'm getting to a reasonably advanced stage on piste but a rank beginner in powder. It really is like learning to ski all over again - getting used to the speed you need, sorting out your balance, technique etc.
post #11 of 19
You never mentioned your height, but I'm only 5lb heavier than you (at 6'1" height) and ski on 185cm skis for all-mountain, powder, free-ride skiing. 163cm seems too short in my opinion, but I would like to know your height.

Among other skis, I have Elan M666 with a 76mm waist, and they float wonderfully in powder. I would expect your Monster 77 skis to be at least as good.

If you get a frustrating sensation when skiing powder, and feel like the skis are sinking and darting all over the place, then I would say it's a technique/skill issue.
post #12 of 19
Just to be contrary, powder can be skied on short skinny skis. This picture from Januray 2005 I was on 168 cm Six Stars with a 68 mm waist. I was very happy to add the Mantra to my quiver, and would recommend the same to the OP.

Coaching will be great, but you can't be sure what conditions you will get. While I like the high level and quality of the ESA, you never know what conditions you are going to get. In Montana, they learned to ski hard pack, moguls and ice; while last year at Snowbird was ideal for powder, crud and soft snow. For a powder specific lesson, grab a lesson when and where you can if powder conditions exist. Based on my experience, get the right tools. It can't hurt.
post #13 of 19
I have the Mantras in a 177.

Having never skied anything shorter than a 170 (and that was a Fischer RX Race/Carving ski), I can't comment on your current length. Although I've found that anything under 175 feels way, way too short for me (just as anything longer than 185 feels way, way too long for me).

I'm 5'11" 185lbs, btw.

I must say that out of my current quiver, I've skied the Mantras the most. But that was mostly due to the conditions we had here in Tahoe last year. I ended up skiing a lot of storm or post storm days where my AK's or Karmas just didn't feel like they'd hold up, so I left them in the closet.

I also found the Mantras to hold up really well in Spring/Summer corn (although in "hero" snow pretty much anything will work).

That said, I will echo Cirquerider's comment that you can ski skinny in the pow. Before getting the Mantras I was riding 198 Rossi 7S's. I have no idea what their waist is, but it's SKINNY! I learned to ski powder (rather shoddily, but I learned) on those skis. The fatters skis do make it a lot easier, though. While I won't dissuade anybody from lessons, I enjoy finding a solitary section during a powder day and working on my technique away from the crowds (was lucky enough to be at Sugar Bowl on a Monday last season where there was nobody on the Old School (aka the Crow's Nest lift) section of the mountain and I got in a good 1/2 dozen runs where I was able to fiddle around with my stance and balance and get a nice powder groove going without worrying about anybody else in my way).
post #14 of 19

This thread is staring to wander into unreality. Here is some focus for you. First, the reasons your 77 is causing you to struggle...........

It is not as much the width as it is the flex. The iM 77 is a stiff ski and is especially so in short sizes. If a ski does not flex in deep snow and it is short/narrow, you have nothing to work with except muscle power. Also, it takes quite a bit of speed and therefore confidence/agressiveness to get a stiff ski to bend in soft snow. That would be unreasonable to expect from someone at your level.

Now about what to get.............

If you keep the iM77 for hardpack and/or the East then I'd suggest an easy going powder ski to go with your Monsters. There are lots of good ones but two that come to mind are the Salomon 1080 Gun and the Dynastar Big Trouble.

If you get rid of your Monsters and want one ski for all things, I'd suggest something in the roughly 80-88 mm width range in a softer flex and a longer size than what you had. Some good examples are the Dynastar 8000 or 8800, the Salomon Fury, Nordica Afterburner, Atomic Snoop Daddy.

You may wonder why I don't suggest something on the very agressive side Like a Volkl Mantra, Nordica Jet Fuel or others. The reason is your ability level. Stiff agressive skis require speed and agressiveness that is beyond what I would expect at your level. At times they would be OK, but at times they would probably rough you up. The easier going skis would be better and more fun 80%-90% of the time and be a little lacking maybe 10%-20% of the time.

Whatever path you take, I suggest that you not buy too far over your head. In the unlikely event that you grow out of them in a few years.....congratulations, you deserve to buy something new.

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input. I do feel the Monsters are too short, wish I would have gone with the 170 or even the 177. They are really fun on the groomed, making quick turns and really feel good on the eastern slopes.

Sounds like I am going to add a new pair then decide what to do.

post #16 of 19
Those Monsters probably have value on eBay or here on EpicSki, fwiw.

Have you checked out the ESAs? Really worth considering if you haven't.
post #17 of 19
I'll second the suggestion for the ESA. You can't see yourself ski and a professional eye can tell you what to fix and how to fix it.

Any skier at any level can benefit. Heck, I used to teach skiing myself (long ago, in a galaxy far away) but I haven't had coaching in 20 years. I would love to go and get worked over. We all need it!!

post #18 of 19
Depends too on where you ski powder. If you're going to Utah all the time, I'd suggest fatter skis (or demoing them while you're there if you get pow). If you go far west and ski the Sierra, the same. If Colorado, 77 is enough waist for virtually any day here, but you'd likely want the additional length for stability.
post #19 of 19
BTW and FWIW, my guess is that you're trying to turn those skis in the snow. It won't work. You have to let them turn you. Ride them, as it were. This is where technique improvement (even if you learn on the groomed--which is the most likely place to learn these techniques) will make a difference. Patience. Allow the skis to change direction, don't force them to do.

Lots on this over in the technique forum... (hint, hint!)
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