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Powder Skis Soly Sandstorm or Fischer Watea?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm 5'10" 195 and I ski in mostly in NM (Santa Fe and Toas) 25 to 30 days a year and am a level 7. Right now I have Fischer RC 4 WC SC @ 165 for high speed carving and 05 Volkl AC 4 @ 170 for all mountian. I will keep both. I like both and find the AC 4s good for crusing, bumbs and soft chop but not to good in powder. I'm looking for something for mostly trees and glades, I don't do the steep chutes at Taos (yet).
I am looking at last years Watea @ 192 and Sand Storms @ 187 both are a 101 waist and have similar demensions and are priced at $449.
I am looking for comments on both skis and some advice on what might be good for me.
Thanks, Eric
post #2 of 6
The Watea is surprisingly easy to ski for its length. Haven't skied the Sandstorm but I think you would find the Watea a good fit for what you're looking at skiing.
post #3 of 6
The Sandstorm is surprisingly easy to ski for its length. haven't skied the Watea... So I can't offer a comparison.

Tested on spring snow
Soft front, stiffer tail. Very maneuverable, really stable (more than expected given the soft front and the side cut) and handled the spring snow (ice in the morning, slush later) with confidence. Adequate in moderate bumps. Sometimes described as a beefier pocker rocket, and rightly so.
Not tested in the pow, unfortunately.
A very nice ski. I'll ski one this season.
post #4 of 6
I have skied the original Wateas more than a season, but I think they beefed them up last year and made them a little stiffer. I'm 6'5 and 215 lbs and love them in soft snow and crud. I regularly ski the Ridge at Taos and have used them up there a few times with good results. The are a light ski with a somewhat unusual combination of very soft flex and very torsionally stiff. The tips bounce around alot but they somehow rail exactly where you point them. Because of their soft even flex they even handle the (non-snowboarder) bumps at Taos reasonably well in soft conditions, but the 101 waist and lack of sidecut means they are not a carving ski.

As Toadman states, Wateas are an amazingly easy ski to ski for their length, but because of the straight sidecut you need to flex them to make them turn. With my weight that is easy to do, but considering your weight and the fact that you are buying a newer and possibly stiffer model, they may not react as quickly in tight spots for you.

After reading your post I am curious as to why you are jumping from 165-170s to considering a 192 for tree skiing? I have been skiing on long skis my whole life and have a very large quiver with nothing shorter than 185s, so the Wateas were a good fit for me, but they are going to be quite a change for you.

Bottom line: Wateas are great soft snow skis, but one of the sofest flexing 192s you will find, which gives them a rather unique personality.

P.S. If you search the ski reviews I posted my reactions after some spring skiing at Snowbird and Alta.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
After reading your post I am curious as to why you are jumping from 165-170s to considering a 192 for tree skiing? I have been skiing on long skis my whole life and have a very large quiver with nothing shorter than 185s, so the Wateas were a good fit for me, but they are going to be quite a change for you.

Mudfoot,
Thanks for your insights. I was an eastern skier my whole life until 1991 (I'm 55) and I mostly skied 200 CM slalom skis. When I got back into the sport in 05 I was taken with the new short skis, the RC4s are great @ 165 and I've also had Volkl 5* @ 168 but in hindshigt the AC 4s @ 170 were a mistake, I should have gotten 177s. Ive demod longer GS type skis and enjoyed them. I feel I'd like to get back to a longer ride.
post #6 of 6
Eric:

I am your age but moved to the Rockies 30 years ago, so my skiing has been generally in more wide open spaces with softer snow, and hence I have stuck with longer skis. Most of the recommendations I see on this site for powder skis seem too short to me, so my advice will probably not be consistent with the generally accepted wisdom here. Also, I know nothing about the Sandstorms.

Because of my height I just cannot stand short skis and enjoy the ability to relax at speed that only a longer ski can give me. When I see posts of people weighing close to 200 lbs. talking about how the love their 165s skis it completely baffles me because in my mind for that much weight to work on that short of a ski it would have to be very stiff, which means you end up chopping at the mountain instead of smoothly carving it, unless you only ski groomed runs. Short powder skis require you to ski from the back seat because you are constantly fighting tip dive and going over the front on your face. I have always believed that if you are a good enough skier to keep your skis in contact with the snow and make them carve, then a longer ski gives you a better grip on the situation, but maybe that's just old school bias.

I thought you should understand my biases. If you think you will be comfortable on a 192 powder ski, I doubt you could find a better choice than the Watea. It is a fun and easy ski to use, and I think perfect for a good skier who can work the flex. Mine constantly amaze me at how fast they will turn in deep snow by simply leaning on the front end. The soft tips allow me to stand on the middle of the ski in powder. They are advertised as a "big mountain" ski, but if you want to go really fast in really funky snow then you'll need something beefier than Wateas. A long ski can tend to take you for a ride if you get in the back seat, but the mellow flex of the Wateas makes almost the entire ski a sweet spot.

IMO the Wateas are a weird ski because skis that long tend to be bulldozers made for high speed carving and ramming junky snow. The Watea has a suprisingly mellow personality considering it's size. The only drawback I see is that many people would find it too soft for their style.
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