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Back bowl choice

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have been browsing much of the day online trying to research several pairs of skis well enough to evaluate them on paper. I want to get another ski that I can learn with to ski the back bowls of Copper Mtn and Breckenridge to begin some powder exerience. I already have the Metron 9 170cm as an on piste choice but it will be new this year also and I am looking for a good choice for experiencing more powder like conditions which is new to me. My previous ski was the Atomic 9.18 180cm which is all I have skied on for 8 years. It's ability to do ok on groomers would be a plus but only to be considered secondary.

I have only two choices: (to much to explain but I make this point to save you from other recommendations as these skis are already owned and I can pick only one.

The two are the Atomic AC4 163cm with it's integrated binding and the Mantra 170cm with a Rossi Axial2 120 Pro binding which would be mounted. From the sidecut specs and posts on here going way back it would appear to favor the Mantra, but here is more info. I am 185 lbs and 6' tall. I am an intermediate to advanced but do not have much experience in loose snow though I love 4-6" on the groomers when it's available before it gets packed down. Which should do better in new powder experience?

Also if anyone can comment on comparison between the AC4 and the Metron 9 I would find it very interesting. It could be possible to end up with the AC4 and the Mantra as well as the Metron 9 and either the AC4 or the Mantra.

(I though this was going to be easy) :
post #2 of 15
You weigh 185 and your choices for powder are two midfats that are way too short for you? Keep looking or keep skiing groomers.
post #3 of 15
You need to wait until there is all three and choose the two that you like the best.

post #4 of 15
TBarb: not sure about your height, but at 185lbs, the Mantra in a 170 is gonna be hella short.

I'm 5'11" and 185lbs at my heaviest (175 on a good year) and I had the Mantra in a 177 and after a season found even it to be too short. I would say you'd wanna at least be looking at the Mantra in a 177 and probably the 184. At least.

Other'n that, SJ's advice is the soundest...wait for the snow and then demo, demo, demo!

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well DOOKEY67 ... we could be twins. My weight is exactly like yours 175 now but every winter I run up to 185 so I gave that weight. I have you by an inch in height though.

I get an impression that powder style skies are not only wider but should be longer than an on piste ski by perhaps 10cm or a couple more from interpreting some other threads. I presumme this is for the 'float', but are they not harder to turn then as well? So if I am sized right in a Metron ski at 170cm (which are recommended a bit shorter), then I should be closer the 180cm or so in the Mantra even at 175 lbs as you suggest. Ouch .

Well - I may still give it a go since it will only cost me the ski mount and if it does not work out (maybe the Metron will be better for all I know), I can find someone who they will work out for. Hard to pass up on the opportunity.

Without a good fit in the Mantra and it somewhat less likely then to work out; the Metron probably would be better than the AC4 in the loose snow of the back bowls (mayber this should be another question); and thus I'll probably pass on the AC4 as they are even shorter at 163cm. Though it would be fun to try on piste and compare to the Metron. Decisons ...decisions ....

Thank you,
post #6 of 15
SierraJim (and others) are perhaps a little more qualified to answer this than me, but yeah, the general gist is that a powder ski should be longer.

they're different beasts than a frontside ski, which you normally want to have a great edge, lottsa sidecut, and be turny.

a powder ski will normally have less sidecut and be not only wider, but longer, than most frontside rippers.

of course all of this really depends on the ski. For example I know that the old Atomic Metrons skied short (meaning you wanted to ski a length a little shorter than what you normally did). That was the personality of the ski. Meanwhile the old Volkl Karma skied short in that it was a lot shorter than the advertised length due to twin tips. As such you wanted to ski that a little longer than you normally would. Every ski has a different personality and a lot of skis can change personality as they get longer (several models out there actually increase their width as they increast their length, others don't).

if you are my height and weight you DO NOT want to be on the Mantra in anything shorter than a 177. Trust me.

I rode the 177 all of the 2005/2006 season in powder and loved it. Then again it was the first "shaped" ski I had ever owned and was also the first ski in a waist size wider than a mid-60s-to-low-70s I'd ever owned/skied. It took me a season to get the feel of it. However during the 2006/2007 season when the snow was a little sparser, I found the ski to be too short and a little squirrely. I definitely wished I'd demoed the 184 at the time, but during 2005/2006 it was only my second year trying shaped skis and I was still finding my sweet size (landed on 180 as my optimal length, depending on skis, going down to 175ish for shorter, turnyer skis and up to 185-188 for longer planks).

I would say since we're about the same height and weight that you probably wouldn't want anything shorter than a 175 on any ski model, give or take a few cm here and there.

FWIW, I rode the Metron M:EX in both 175 and 185 and loved the 175. But that was that ski. I don't think I'd have wanted to go any shorter than the 175, which was nimble and quick and had great edge hold. I found the 185 to be a tank. That's what I meant by that particular model "skiing short." But I think a lot of the Volkl freeride skis ski short in that they don't ski as long as you would think they would and going a bit longer isn't going to be much of a problem.

So yeah, long story short, a 170 Mantra is gonna be hella short. Best to wait and try out the 177 and 184 side by side as I've found the Mantra skied a little short (at least the first gen ones did).

Of course we haven't even factored in terrain...if it's going to be purely off-piste and powder, then yeah, i'd go a bit longer (no need to go super long like some folks are inclined to do).

That said, I have a pair of the first gen Mantras in a 177cm length (94mm waist) w/marker Titanium 13 binders, for sale...

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
dookey67 - No one should write such a long informative reply and not be thanked. It is appreciated.
post #8 of 15
Well, agree about the length issue, both are too short, don't waste your effort/binding even if they're free. If that opens up the choices, then also gotta disagree about the skis. A Mantra is more forgiving than some, but still requires management and skills in the deep. AC4's are even more demanding, and not really that great in real powder. I've owned a Mantra, extensively demoed the AC's.

You're wanting to LEARN to ski powder; I'd urge you to think about some of the following availble new and dirt cheap from last year: Public Enemy, Salomon 1080 Gun, Rossi B4, Line Prophet 90 or 100. These are relatively forgiving but excellent for your purpose, will be far more enjoyable, easier to learn on. Buy them no shorter than the middle high 170's.
post #9 of 15
I don't know how informative it really was, i'm just long-winded (you can ask all my friends).

post #10 of 15
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
availble new and dirt cheap from last year: Line Prophet 100.
I've been looking online for these dirt cheap and I'm not you know where I can go to find said 100's dirt cheap.....any help is mucho appreciated?
post #11 of 15
sadly, they're only in a 172, which is probably too short...
post #12 of 15
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
sadly, they're only in a 172, which is probably too short...
Thanks I'd seen those and yes sadly too short.....also while the best price I've seen so far....not exactly "dirt" cheap. I draw the line at 350-400 for dirt cheap....I am willing to pay more but then you enter the cheap but not dirt cheap category
post #13 of 15
you check out Porter's in Tahoe...they have a website and had some stuff cheap...also the prices on last year's gear should be going down the closer we get to November.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks beyond - you got some of the the questions behind the question.

I ran across in my reseach on all this where someone wrote that (paraphrased) - intermediate skiers would be better off sking higher performance skis and it was just that because they were more expensive often by a factor of 2 they would not be normally recommmended. I'm guessing this was a great diservice to anyone else who has read it. I am glad to have found this forum and have picked up alot of information and tips helping me point the right direction. This internet thing really is catching on! :

Anyway, I'm trying hard to negotiate a 177 Mantra as only it is available in exchange for a 170 that was offered me in a business deal. Since it is not costing anything (sort of) and it is all that is available I have to go with it or nothing. Actually it was what opended up the door to trying powder with a more appropriate ski in the first place though my new choice of Metron 9 for an all mountian ski after owning 9.18's had the back bowls in mind to a small degree even if most of my skiing has been on the frontside in the past.

Thanks for your reply!
post #15 of 15
If you have been sking a 180 CM ski for 8 years, get a 180 CM powder ski.

As others have said the skis you listed are not going to do anything for you, 170 mantra's Got a wife or girlfreind? That would be a good off piste ski for her.

You should get a fat(er) ski for powder and chop in CO. Lots of good recomendations here.
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