Originally Posted by Cirquerider
For example, you might get a recommendation for a Gotama here rather than a DP Lotus or Praxis, (Spindrift will predictably recommend a Pontoon). Either way, the original poster has given us nothing to work with in terms of his skiing ability, terrain selection, objectives or other information needed to make a recommendation. For example where or in what conditions did the Dynastar 8000 leave you wanting for more ski? There are a boatload of good wide skis out there, and many of us in the West are using wide skis everyday, and not just for powder like Jer.
Well, I must respectfully correct my esteemed colleague, Mr. Cirque . I will not "predictably" recommend a Pontoon. I will often bring up a Pontoon when someone talks about wanting a "powder ski" because the Pontoon has a number of characteristics that make it a great modern powder ski for mere mortals - and one that is easily gotten (yet again I refer to cshalbot's offer in gear swap...). And I push it a bit harder than I otherwise might because there is a whole bunch of pushback and incorrect mythology spread by people who have never tried this class of ski in any meaningful way. So...rather than being pegged as a Pontoon maniac, I guess I'd rather be pegged as a "why not use a powder ski for skiing powder" kind of guy.
Which brings me to my other observation on the above. Cirque starts to touch on something really important. "Fat" is not strictly synonymous with "powder".
Skis like Pontoons, Praxis, DP Lotus, Hellbents, Armada ARGs. Prior Doughboys, Icelantic Shamans, etc., etc. are all "fat" skis specialized, each in their own way, for powder/deep snow. On the other hand there are many "fat" skis that have much more of an all around orientation. The Mantra comes quickly to mind - I just do not see how anyone could label it a powder specialist in today's world, despite it being a bit "fat" by some folks standards. And even the Gotama is hardly a powder specialist in the current world order - despite the fact that it has some design characteristics that enable reliable powder performance (eg somewhat extended shovel and rearward mount point) - and this is born out by the fact that more and more people are using them as "all mountain"/"all condition" skis. There are many other "fat" skis out there that, while powder capable, are hardly "powder skis" in the strict sense.
IMO opinion it pays to know what you want to do. If you really, really want to make skiing powder easy and fun without a long & steep learning curve - focus on true powder-specialist skis. If you want something more general purpose (for whatever reason), and easy to ski in a broad range of conditions - including powder - know that and seek out those kinds of skis.