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How Many Pairs of Skis?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I could use a little help - I currently ski on Volkl AC 3 170 cm - I am 48 yrs old 6.1 and 198lbs - advanced intermediate skier - was recently in Steamboat and had to rent a pair slightly fatter under foot and shorter 168 and about 82 under foot - They were great in powder - my AC 3 in powder I just have a hard time controlling etc - is it me the ski or what ? questions and help appreciated I am not inclined to carry around 2 sets and swap as conditions dictiate - just want something that works well in all conditions etc -seems I get more confused every year with the gear - orginall skied on 172's that were as wide as a match - now with all this technology I am confused! and most of the so called teck people at the shops no less then I do -:
post #2 of 16
I'm approximately the same height and weight as you are, but I'm younger
This year I'm skiing AC4's in a 177. I find them a good, do everything ski. Their great in the powder, carve on the groomers, blast through the chop. They're 82mm under foot and have a nice big shovel to help you float in the pow.

If you like the AC3 then you would love the AC4.
post #3 of 16
I'm your age and a little heavier. I would consider a longer ski in the 175-180cm size range. Consider the AC4, Head Monster 82, Nordica Afterburner, etc.

See this review for more info; http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=50583

Hope that helps.

Michael
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
wow thanks for the link very helpful!
post #5 of 16
You might consider a wider ski (89mm plus underfoot width) to complement your AC3.

Cheers,

Michael
post #6 of 16
There are a lot of variables here.

First, part of the equation is you. A wider ski will help to some extent but won't automatically get you film offers from Warren Miller.

Second, I'm guessing that your skis are last year's AC-3. This is a good but (IMO and YMMV) not a great ski. It was relatively light and pretty nimble, but not real damp or smooth.

Third, Take a hard look at how often you have encountered conditions like those that made you struggle. If that was fairly rare, then don't jump into something specialized or too wide.

Two options......Get a wider (~~90mm or more) ski as mentioned to supplement what you have. OR Get a somewhat wider ski to replace what you have.

Assuming that you want to replace, then you should be looking at skis that are within your ability range. It is paramount that you understand that in deeper snow, width floats you but flex turns you. Agressive expert skis in the (80mm+ range) will be stiff and powerful. That means that you will have to apply some speed or muscle or both to turn them in softer/deeper snow. You may or may not want to do this.

If you feel agressive and don't mind skiing reasonably fast in the powder/crud.......you have some useful suggestions already.

If you would prefer a ski that will help you in the softer snow and won't require as much strength or speed. There are a lot of really good choices as well. A few would include the Rossi B2, B3, K2 Recon, Dynastar Legend 8K, Fischer AMC 79, Nordica Nitrous. There are many others.

I suggest the ~~78-80mm range because these are exceptionally useful skis as all around tools. At your ability level, a wider ski may require a little more edge angle than you normally use.

SJ
post #7 of 16
I absolutely do not understand the inertia in favor of skinnier skis given the description of what is going on. Something like a 177 Mantra would be very much the kind of ski I think he'd want. A 90+ ski is no less useful on groomers than the "skinny" 75-80-ish mm skis for most people under most conditions. And it is infinitely better for the vast majority of powder and off-piste skiers. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to be stuck in the past on this. Especially if you are skiing areas that frequently have softer snow on groomers as well. Seriously, think at least 90 under foot, and don't be afraid of going even fatter with the best of breed newer all-around skis.

For example - two of my kids have skied 666s in waist deep powder at places like Jackson. They can do it. They, wisely IMO, don't want to. At the same time, they have no trouble carving on their Mantras. This year they asked me to sell off the triple sixes because they figured they would never, ever - not even for a pure groomer day - take the older style skis out. The Mantras win every time in their minds.

edit - heck, given the stated need/intent, I'd look at Gotamas, Seths, Guns, etc. before most of the skis recommended so far in this thread. At least out here in the PNW you see an awful lot of people just railing these on groomers, but having tools that also make sense off-piste. They are far more versatile in terms of letting you (if you are like most of us mere mortals anyway) ride everywhere on the mountain than the narrower skis.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to be stuck in the past on this. Especially if you are skiing areas that frequently have softer snow on groomers as well.
Actually there is a reason for many skier to use more slender skis. Is every skier who uses a more slender ski "stuck in the past", of course not. Depending (or this year, regardless) on where the skier lives, it is likely that he spends most of his time skiing firm snow. Wider skis on firm snow will promote more problems that they will solve. Your children are probably not typical skiers. Not all skiers benefit from wide skis equally.

Michael
post #9 of 16
spin:

You can't judge the world of skiers by what you, your friends, or a small group of "big mountain experts" can accomplish on bigger skis. Do you classify yourself or your ski crew as advanced intermediates? Go out and watch some folks that are maybe level 6-7 (ish) skiers. Then ask yourself the honest question, do they build the angles that you do?? The answer is that they don't.

So what does this type of skier really lose when they go to a fatter ski??
  • Ability to find the edge easily given the angles that THEY can attain.
  • Manuverability in tight spots like moguls that give them fits anyway.
  • The zippy fun factor on groomers that they will get from a ski they CAN edge and bend.
What do they gain??
  • Float in deeper snow. (but how deep will they ususally ski?)
So.....can an intermediate skier live with a wide ski?....sure. Given the types of snow and terrain they will normally tackle will they get more overall enjoyment?..........No. A stiff fattish ski would probably not be a wise choice as an only ski for someone of this level.

SJ
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
Actually there is a reason for many skier to use more slender skis. Is every skier who uses a more slender ski "stuck in the past", of course not. Depending (or this year, regardless) on where the skier lives, it is likely that he spends most of his time skiing firm snow. Wider skis on firm snow will promote more problems that they will solve. Your children are probably not typical skiers. Not all skiers benefit from wide skis equally.

Michael
I agree with a bunch of what you are saying here. At this point I tend to stay out of discussions about North East icy trails - very much for that reason. And if someone said they were looking for a ski mostly for Sun Valley or Deer Valley groomers, and really pressed me for an opinion I'd probably suggest they look at a range of carvers or what I consider traditional "all mountain" skis (like many listed above) - maybe something like a Mantra if they thought they wanted to explore a bit. However, the specific area mentioned: Steamboat. The specific conditions: powder + all around utility. And given the tone, I am making an assumption that this is not a ski focused primarily on New England hardpack . So I assume that soft snow is in the mix as well as powder. And more in the mix than glaze ice. The skier weighs 200 or so pounds (as do I), so surface area and lift matter in powder and deep snow (feel free to dig up physicsman's thread on the topic...). Given those considerations, 90 - at a minimum - or better is the way to go IMO.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
spin:
Do you classify yourself or your ski crew as advanced intermediates? Go out and watch some folks that are maybe level 6-7 (ish) skiers. Then ask yourself the honest question, do they build the angles that you do?? The answer is that they don't.

an intermediate skier live with a wide ski?....sure. Given the types of snow and terrain they will normally tackle will they get more overall enjoyment?..........No. A stiff fattish ski would probably not be a wise choice as an only ski for someone of this level.

SJ
I'm honestly not sure how I'd classify myself. I'm enthusiastic - and in addition to just enjoying being alive and out in the snow, I generally know what I want to accomplish. But I routinely make my share of amusing beginner mistakes! Those pics don't make it into the TRs... I suppose I'd put myself somewhere in the border area between advanced and intermediate (in my fifties and been skiing about 6 years). To your point, cloudpeak (who is almost exclusively skiing her Auras these days) and I were talking this AM about the fact that the usual discussions about edge-to-edge comparisons are funny because most of the people on the hill never get on their edges to begin with. So you touch on the fact that for many people the edge to edge thing is meaningless without significant skill development... However, at least under typical conditions here - and those I've seen in the Rockies - that has nothing to so with a 1 or 2 cm difference in waist size. Under those conditions, I believe learning to edge a modern fatter ski is not especially harder or easier than a skinnier ski - there are just some pros and cons to each. At least here, there is no shortage of seriously excellent skiers who can rail, who learned on fat skis - just by following their buddies around...

And BTW - I'm not necessarily advocating "stiff fattish" skis. I think something like an iM88 or a Squad would be a mistake here. However here is a pretty big range of flexes available today. And in the skis I listed. In contrast, a soft (or even moderate) flex fat ski will be vastly easier to use in powder & soft snow than a stiffer and narrower "all mountain" (by the std definition) ski that sinks deep and is a much greater challenge to decamber without going over the bars...
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone View Post
.....advanced intermediate skier - was recently in Steamboat -:
"Recently in Steamboat" does not suggest to me that deep snow and off trail conditions are anywhere near a steady diet.

SJ
post #13 of 16

Living in the past

My newest purchase is described in reviews as a "Serious deep snow ski" having "great Volant float". It has a 68 mm waist. I guess in the past people knew how to ski deep snow on a skinny ski, but now they need a fat ski to make it easier.

post #14 of 16
2 ski quiver, go + 15-20mm in waist. 3 ski quiver, go +10mm per interval.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
2 ski quiver, go + 15-20mm in waist. 3 ski quiver, go +10mm per interval.
Or follow this formula; + 6, 17, & 36mm . (66+6=72; 72+17=89; 89+36=125)

Michael
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

How Many Pairs of Skis

All - Great comments and I thank you - Perhaps some clarrification - I only ski Rockies and West - Canada and Colorado - I ski 70% groomers and 30% off piste - I am a level 7-8 skier. I enjoy those runs where I am into alpines - moguls etc - on that 30% - problem is the AC 3 (2006) are a lot of work in that environment - therefore I am in search for the right one - Will be in Breck this week and see what happens - Appreciate all the comments which I am reviewing - any others please send.
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