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What ski to Demo for Utah Powder?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I am a 5'11", 190 lb. advanced skier who skis 15-20 days a year. I am heading out to Utah this year and if I get some deep powder days, I am wondering what to demo. I ski on Atomic R:11's at 180 cm. I absolutely love these skiis, but if the snow gets deep, I want to try something new. Any recommendation? Which skis @ what length should I try. Thanks!
post #2 of 28

utah powder demos

the hut on the montain at alta has 8 or so fat skis in various lengths to demo at $39 a day..........its like an all-you-can -eat buffet. no need to decide in advance.
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by duke walker View Post
the hut on the montain at alta has 8 or so fat skis in various lengths to demo at $39 a day..........its like an all-you-can -eat buffet. no need to decide in advance.
I recommend the Deep Powder House at Alta. Great ski-in, ski-out location. I tested the latest Heads & Volkls, Rossignols were also available. The skis were in very good shape even late in the season.

Try the Monster 82, 88 and MOJO 90, Also the Volkl AC4 and Mantra.

Last year I tried the following: 177cm Volkl AC4 & Mantra, 175cm Head Monster iM 88, 177cm Head Monster iM 77.

Where: Skied the set at Alta on 3/5/06. Provided by Deep Powder House Ski shop.

Conditions at Alta: 6 to 12" of new natural snow fell on 3/03/06; however the traffic on Saturday skied most into a firm base where groomed and to a soft mogul field where left natural. No bottomless conditions to be found. Blue sky, 18F at dawn, 35F at 3PM.

My specs: 5’ 11", 215lbs. male, 40th season skiing, former USSA & High School 7-day-a-week competitor in New Hampshire. I use a modern carving technique and I like ice as much as I like soft snow. (maybe a little more…)

Boots: 2003 Salomon Course (red, 130 flex).

Ski: 177cm Volkl AC4
Comments: This is a great ski with multiple talents. I enjoyed the edge to edge quickness and the giant slalom or even slalom like turn shapes. The ski responded to tip pressure and could be steered aggressively even in soft choppy snow. At 177cm, it will give you long turns with superb stability and then throw down a series of rapid shorties like it was an RX8. The ski was not especially tiring or demanding to use, yet was very responsive to aggressive input regardless of conditions.

Ski: 177cm Volkl Mantra
Comments: Not the best ski for the hard snow conditions. It will carve on hardpack, but it’s impossible to adjust the line midturn without provoking a skidded turn. It also was not superior to the iM 88 or AC4 in the soft crud and bumps. It took it across a cut up bowl at high speed to see if it would flatten the uneven surface. I got enough shin bang to dim my enthusiasm. This is not an all mountain ski by my definition.

Ski: 175cm Head Monster iM 88
Comments: The iM 88 is the most versatile performer. It would carve on the firmest hardpack and float easily at speed through the steeper crud and bumps. It felt like a much smaller ski on the hardpack, while covering the softer conditions easily. It does have a slight delay in turn initiation, but once it hooks up it dives into turns like a GS ski. I noticed the width of the ski; it required my boots to angulate more from the cuff than from the sole of the foot. I would not want to match the ski with anything less than a recreational race boot like the Course, an “all-mountain” boot won’t cut it with this ski. Plug boots anyone?


Ski: 177cm Head Monster iM 77 (chip & Railflex model)
Comments: With no soft snow to be found the Monster iM 77 became the logical choice. The iM77 was quicker than expected (I had the binding set forward 1.5cm). It was also a serious high speed carving ski with a stiff tail and a real attitude. Much more performance than I was expecting. I could probably use a 170cm with ample stability, the ski is really solid. It was also the quickest ski of the day. However it’s not in the same league as a cheater GS ski, not as quick edge-to-edge, not the same level of grip. But a very good ski for an energetic all-mountain skier.

In summery, The AC4 was the most fun with the biggest wow factor. A great carver, stable, responsive; excellent in variable snow. The iM 88 would be my ski of choice if I lived within two hours of a mountain with frequent deep powder days and I could own only one ski. It cruises the groomed slopes better than many 68 to 78mm wide-underfoot midfat skis and can float a big skier in bottomless conditions. The ski is not quick edge-to-edge, but this is its only weakness. Quiet competence for the all-day all-conditions skier.

The iM 77 feels quick and solid on-piste while managing crud and knee-deep snow easily. Ideal for the East Coast or Midwest skier who fly out-west for 15 days on the slopes each year.

Cheers,

Michael
post #4 of 28
If you absolutely love your Atomics, the logical thing to do is to demo a few of the Daddy's. My call would be the Sugar Daddy for its all-around capabilities, but I've also heard lotsa good stuff about the Snoop Daddy. Depends on how dedicated a pow ski you want.

While I love (and own) Volkls, they feel really different from Atomics. Instead , I'd recommend Fischers as another brand to try; the fat twin tips like the Atua are also light and fairly stiff in the center like Atomics, with softer tips for easy initiation.
post #5 of 28
I have tried many powder skis and think the Volkl Gotama is the best powder ski out there. Put it at the top of your list.
post #6 of 28
Barrettscv, I think your review of the mantra is unfair given the size of the ski you rented. At your weight I would think you'd need to be on the 191 for all mountain performance.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag View Post
Barrettscv, I think your review of the mantra is unfair given the size of the ski you rented. At your weight I would think you'd need to be on the 191 for all mountain performance.
I absolutely agree. It was recommended to me in this size (maybe its all they had) but I should of known better; Its a twin tip after-all.

Sincerly,

Michael
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep_Deeper View Post
I am heading out to Utah this year and if I get some deep powder days, I am wondering what to demo.
Well, if you hit it right and actually get to ski deep powder, I recommend that you try a powder ski and not waste your time with skis like the AC4, Monster 82 or 88.

Gotamas, Mantras, Sugar Daddies, Seths, AK Enemies, etc, etc.....These are the powder skis you should be looking at demoing. You can always demo all mountain skis like the AC4, Monster 82 or 88 when the snow turns crappy.

I'm sure there are those who will suggest you try all sorts of versatile skinny groomer skis or maybe even a monoski or snowlerblades - but why not use powder skis to ski powder? Then again, what do I know? I'm not some racer who bashes gates 175 days a year, I'm just a dumbass powder junkie who reads what people post.

Cheers, Jeremy
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep_Deeper View Post
I am a 5'11", 190 lb. advanced skier who skis 15-20 days a year. I am heading out to Utah this year and if I get some deep powder days, I am wondering what to demo.


I totally and wholheartedly agree with what was JER posted above. If you get powder and are demoing powder skis, I would go for skis like the EHP 193, k2 pontoons, ARG's etc. You know reverse camber reverse side cut skis. There is absolutly no reason not to, they love powder and if you are just demoing for pow then they will work better than anything else. Why demo skis like the sugar daddy and snoop daddy when you can demo the big daddy(which i have heard is an amazing ski btw). Why in the world would you demo a gotma or mantra when you could demo a sumo or sanouk. Bottom line is if it powder get powder skis, 100mm waists arent powder skis 120+mm waists are powder skis
post #10 of 28
I agree with that last couple of guys. If it really dumps go for the pure powder skis. I was lucky enough to be at Solitude for a major dump a few winters back. I't was just me and 1 other friend who was on a board. I was trying to decide what to rent and he said, "Just get the fattest skis they've got." I did and it was the right chioce.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
EHP 193, k2 pontoons, ARG's
Well, you started it, so how 'bout: DP lotus 120 & 138, Capital Thrashers & G Funkenstiens, Fattypus Alotta, ....

Problem is, no place is gonna have any of these boards to demo.

...but if you can find 'em then, yeah, go for it.
post #12 of 28
the thing of it is, you're not gonna know if you're going to be skiing bottomless Utah powder until you get out there.

unless you have your own private jet and are self-employed so you can sit around the house monitoring the weather and jump in the sky the moment a storm is headed to Utah, you may or may not get Utah powder on your trip out there.

Which is why I would scout out some of the shops close to where you will be skiing (The Lift House is on the road right at the "T" where you decide which Cottonwood Canyon to go to, for example and you can always call the shops at Alta and the other resorts to see what they have in stock).

Basically, I'd come up with a list of several skis to hopefully try, some smaller waisted ones (Mantra, Titan 9, B3) and some fatter waisted ones (anything +100).

I see a lot of folks tossing out 4Frnt EHP and Armada ARG...the ARG isn't even on the market yet, to the best of my knowledge. I would imagine finding either of those specialized skis available for demo would be tough. But who knows.

There's also the LIB Tech NAS (99 waist) to consider. And the Elan M1111 (125 waist). Those might be available for demo.

Again, I'd come up with a list of 5 or 6 skis and then start calling some of the shops to see what they have available. You're not gonna want to ride a 125+ waisted ski if you get out there and it's all groomers. Conversely, you're not gonna want to ride an 84 waist ski if you get out there and it's bottomless.

That said, I did fine last year on my Mantras. We hit Utah during a grauple storm, so we had wet powder 1 day, residue the next, and hardpacked powder the third.

And CRANK:

"I was trying to decide what to rent and he said, "Just get the fattest skis they've got." I did and it was the right chioce."

Might be helpful if you said what the ski was you rented/demoed and where...

post #13 of 28
OK dookey. It was the rental shop at Solitude and they were Vokl's. Not sure what name they had. It was '02 if that helps.

I agree that Double D should scope out the local shops. When I was there I rented Atomics for a couple of days from a shop right in the Snowbird Lodge, then the Vokl's from the place at Solitude. Yeah I prpbably paid a bit more, but the convenience factor was worth it.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
There's also the LIB Tech NAS (99 waist) to consider
those wont float theyre too narrow assed
post #15 of 28
Hey, I survived Utah Pow on Mantras (94 waist) so I imagine one could easily survive on the LIBs.

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
Hey, I survived Utah Pow on Mantras (94 waist) so I imagine one could easily survive on the LIBs.

you dont get it do you?
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
you dont get it do you?
Hi Jim

I am always amazed how the "bigger is better" posters can quickly dismiss skis they have never used and think that a ski is easily critiqued by looking at its waist dimention.

Michael
post #18 of 28
One of the things to kep in mind is that all that powder will be gone by 1pm at any of the big resorts. stay with something that will work good in crud and powder. Save the powder only skis for heliskiing.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Hi Jim

I am always amazed how the "bigger is better" posters can quickly dismiss skis they have never used and think that a ski is easily critiqued by looking at its waist dimention.

Michael
you dont get it either I am just waiting for someone to explain it to you guys
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
Why in the world would you demo a gotma or mantra when you could demo a sumo or sanouk. Bottom line is if it powder get powder skis, 100mm waists arent powder skis 120+mm waists are powder skis
A Goat is 105 in the waist and would float a 175 lb dick waver like yourself just fine. The Sanouk is 110 in the waist, which you seem to suggest is a powder ski but then turn around and say 120+ is a powder ski. Think it through before you start spouting off.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by VASKI244 View Post
A Goat is 105 in the waist and would float a 175 lb dick waver like yourself just fine. The Sanouk is 110 in the waist, which you seem to suggest is a powder ski but then turn around and say 120+ is a powder ski. Think it through before you start spouting off.
Gah.... logic! it has no place in my posts. The point is the idea, do not read my words try to read the point. The point was (no mesurments included):If demoing a ski for powder, then demo a powder ski.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
... If you get powder and are demoing powder skis, I would go for skis like the EHP 193, k2 pontoons, ARG's etc. You know reverse camber reverse side cut skis.
Sure, why not demo them -- if you can find them to demo. But the problem with the reverse camber skis is that they do one thing only. Where are you going to get to ski bottomless powder all the time, or even frequently? Unless you are helisking, these skis seem to me to be not particularly useful.

Instead, think about a more versatile ski. It can still be slanted towards deep powder, such as a Gotama or (less so) a Mantra. But if you are lucky enough to find waist+ pow, I'll bet you will not be lucky enough to find the really wide pow skis. Better to have a more versatle ski -- and know how to make it work in those deep conditions.

My 2 cents,
Mike
post #23 of 28
I'm with the young dick waver. If you want to try some powder specific skiis go for it. Get some fatties and surf the pow. Spats would be a good choice.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
There's also the LIB Tech NAS (99 waist) to consider.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
those wont float theyre too narrow assed
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
Hey, I survived Utah Pow on Mantras (94 waist) so I imagine one could easily survive on the LIBs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
you dont get it do you?
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Hi Jim

I am always amazed how the "bigger is better" posters can quickly dismiss skis they have never used and think that a ski is easily critiqued by looking at its waist dimention.

Michael

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
you dont get it either I am just waiting for someone to explain it to you guys
Okay since I am appearently coming a cross as a "dick waver" I'll explain myself on the whole lib-tech thing. I dont know how many of you people even know what the hell libtech so I dont know how you can get on me for say something about the skis. Libtech is a snowboard/skateboard company and they decided to make some skis. They called them NAS or Narrow Ass Snowboards. You get it now? Did you notice the smiley in my first post it was a joke, I thought more people would get it but apparently not. BTW I think 99mm is usually going to be plenty of float


EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
I'm with the young dick waver. If you want to try some powder specific skiis go for it. Get some fatties and surf the pow. Spats would be a good choice.
Thanks for the support
EDIT# 2 (So i dont have to post again)
I was being serious I am thanking you for your support
post #25 of 28
Just messin with ya kid. When someone is right what more needs to be said.
Rock them Squads this weekend.
post #26 of 28

Some other powder skis to consider

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep_Deeper View Post
I am a 5'11", 190 lb. advanced skier who skis 15-20 days a year. I am heading out to Utah this year and if I get some deep powder days, I am wondering what to demo. I ski on Atomic R:11's at 180 cm. I absolutely love these skiis, but if the snow gets deep, I want to try something new. Any recommendation? Which skis @ what length should I try. Thanks!

If you get a chance to try them, I would add the Rossi Scratch BC, the K2 Seth Vicious, and maybe the Salomon gun to the list. These are all pretty decent powder skis but are not super long/super fat so they also work ok on the groomed for mere mortals. Some of the other skis described in this post are actually specialist skis that might be a little more than you want to take on if you don't ski powder regularly. As regards length, unless you have alot of experience on powder I would stick to skis that are shorter than you are, so 180 or smaller.

The Rossi and the K2 are pretty similar with wood cores and a good fat waist. They are stiff enough to ski all mountain but not too stiff in the tips and tails. Both are around 98 mm underfoot, which should give you plenty of float. In my book the Rossi skis a little heavier, the Seth feels a little lighter. Both these skis have a similar footprint to the Mantra, so if you get to try all three you will have a very interesting comparison amongst what K2, Rossi and Volkl think a fat powder board should be like.

I'm not sure if you are from the city of the Angels or the city of the saints (LA?), but if you describe yourself as advanced you may also want to try the Salomon Gun. These have been very popular entry level powder skis, and I notice a lot of even more advanced skiers on them. The design has been around for a while (former Pocket Rocket), you will see a lot of people on them on a powder day. In my book they are a little soft or light when the powder is skied out, but if you are moderately aggressive they could be just the thing for you. It's hard to quibble when a ski works so well for so many.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Hi Jim

I am always amazed how the "bigger is better" posters can quickly dismiss skis they have never used and think that a ski is easily critiqued by looking at its waist dimention.

Michael
And I'm amazed that you continually go to threads where someone is looking for a powder specific ski for skiing powder and recommend an AC4.

Yes, I have never skied an AC4. I have tried skis with lots of sidecut and short turning radii in powder and they've completely sucked. Sidecut doesn't work in powder - it's that simple. Plus they're too short. Plus they come with Markers.

The AC4 may be a great all around ski, but that's not what we're talking about here, is it? He's looking for a powder ski to demo if he chances upon a powder day. He's not looking to buy a ski that will be as good in powder as it is scralping icy groomers at Tyrol Basin.

I agree that recommending he demo cutting edge freak skis like the ARG or the Lotus 138 is kinda ridiculous - no place is gonna have those skis available for demo. But waisting your time demoing "all-mountain" skis on a powder day is even more ridiculous.
post #28 of 28
While the chances of demoing the ARG or Lotus are incredibly slim to zero, I do know that you can demo the Alotta from Fatypus.

http://fat-ypus.com/home/home.php

That ski is like a 140 underfoot.

Granted, the reviews I've read online aren't too favorable, but I swear one kid who wrote a review either here or on TGR demoed a pair in Utah (do a search on 'em).

Also, Prior Skis out of Whistler will be touring the States with demo gear:

http://www.priorskis.com/demo_schedule.php

Worth checking out if you happen to be at the mountain the same time.

Again, the best, easiest, and most prudent suggestion is to get a list of the shops near where you're going to ski and call/email them to see what they have available for demo. That way you know what is on hand and what you can conceivably try should you get in Utah during a serious dump.

While the "freak" skis will be hard to find, some shops may have some (i.e. there's one shop in Tahoe that demos the Fatypus, another shop that has the Goode Scoop, but they're few and far between).

So, call ahead my friend, call ahead!



And for the record PhilT, I got your joke. Sadly, I didn't think it that funny!

hahahahahahah



just kidding, man...hope you're having fun with your manly planks!
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