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Fat Ski Demo Impressions - CO Ski & Golf Demo Day

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So I went to Loveland Sunday and demoed a few fat skis and figured I'd pass along some quick observations. Before I cover the skis, I'm 195 lbs and spend a fair amount of time in the gym working legs. I usually ski 50-60 days a season, I'm a carving freak on hardpack days and ski big, fast GS turns in pow (not that there was any today). For the past few years I've skied on Dynastar Legend Pro, 194cm. As you might have guessed, I generally prefer a longer, heavier, stiffer ski as stabililty at speed is vital. While I am completely happy with the LPs, its always fun to try out new boards. Conditions -- See barrettscv's description here http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=61900

On to the skis...

Rossi B-squad 189cm and the Dynastar LP XXL 194cm - Took these out for the first few runs and quickly discover that there was not enough room to let them run (only 3 runs open). Both of these skis are probably overkill for CO due to the lack of insanely deep snow and big mountains (these would be perfect for heli-skiing AK).

RX Big Heat 185cm - Very impressed with this ski, although they seemed liked the heaviest ski that I demoed all day, they were very nimble, stable and quick from edge to edge for such a wide ski (90cm). Edgehold was great and I started to think this may be the next addition to my quiver.

Nordica Enforcer 185cm - Overall I came away liking the ski as it was very similar to the RX Big Heat except a little wider (98cm). It was heavy, stable and carvy. Ice performance wasn't as strong as the Fischer though I tested it near the end of the day so it may have been a bit out of tune.

Gotama 183cm - This was the shocker of the day, given how much positive I heard about this ski. I was amazed at how light the ski was and it did not seem anywhere near as stable as any of the other skis demoed. Overall, I felt "disconnected" with the snow...hard to explain. I've had a similar reaction to a couple of other highly touted Volkls, so I am beginning to feel that I'm just not a Volkl guy...too light, too disconnected for me. I'm not saying they are bad skis, just not for me. After two runs I happily returned the ski and moved on.

Elan 999 185cm - These were a blast to ski...Another heavy ski that had a "racy" feel to it, somewhat damp and smooth, however, when you get up to speed and load it up it springs to life. Excellent edgehold and very stable.

Fischer Watea 101 192cm - Riding up on the lift I couldn't stop thinking how huge these were (I have the 1st generation LP which is only 90cm at the waist). Skiing down the hill I was amazed how stable and they were surprisingly nimble. I also loved that fact that the tails have a nice kick them and they had a "precise" edgy feel to them.

K2 Seth 179cm - Overall a relatively boring feel...while the Fischer, Dynastar and Elan had a very "precise" feel to them, these seem relatively sloppy. The "mini rocker" tip really isn't that much different from last years un-rockered ski, but the ski simply didn't have bite that most skis have in the tip or the tail. Note that the rep didn't have the 189cm on hand.

Dynastar LP 176 - While I wouldn't normally ski this length, the buddy I was with loved this ski and this is going to replace his old B3s, so I figured why not take them out for the last runs of the day. I was shocked at how stable it was...more stable than some of the longer boards I tested.

I was looking forward to testing the Head Mojo 103 and Atomic Sugar Daddy but the reps didn't have them.

Overall a fun day.
post #2 of 19
Interesting how impressions of skis can differ. I put this down largely to the differing weights of the skiers (I weigh 165, compared to Jay P's 195). I was looking to demo fat skis with a waist width of about 100-105 and a length around 180-190, strictly for deep snow and crud. Versatility was not a concern. I tried quite a few well-reviewed skis in Loveland hardpack conditions totally the opposite of what they were designed for. I was expecting lots of skittering and sliding but was very pleasantly surprised. Every ski held remarkably well and made very smooth turns on very firm snow. The major differences were in the relative "burliness" of the skis. Skis that Jay tends to like, I found a bit too much work. Conversely, the skis I liked, he, and others over 190 lbs., would probably find too soft. Here are my rankings in order of preference. Skis at the top are relatively supple, moving down to quite stiff and heavy-feeling. Skiers over 190 lbs. would probably reverse the order of preference! All were very good skis and would likely be very enjoyable in the conditions they were designed for. I just wish we had some fresh powder or deep, heavy crud to prove it!

K2 Coomba: Straight tail, not a twin. Cap construction with a wood core. I was astounded to find how smooth and supple these felt. No skid; no chatter. Amazing. Whether heavy, frozen crud would be a problem, I just don't know. That would be my only possible concern.

Volkl Gotama 190: Very nice. Smooth, good edgehold. The twintip makes them ski much shorter than their advertised length--more like a 185. I also skied the 183 for comparison. This felt like a totally different ski. It seemed too short and I was sliding all over the place. I have a feeling the problem was not the ski so much as a bad tune. The skis felt base high. Perhaps that's what Jay felt when he talks about lack of stability and feeling "disconnected" with the snow.

Line Prophet 100. Twin tip. Solid. Very nice skis.

Black Diamond Verdict. Similar feel to the Prophets.

K2 Seth. A more "solid" ski than the Coomba. Twin tip and sandwich construction.

Elan 999. Getting a bit burly now.

Nordica Enforcer. Similar to the Elans, even more so.

Fischer Watea 101s. An Imperial battle cruiser. A serious power machine! 192 is the only length made.
post #3 of 19
Glad to see y'all got out and had some fun. Some people like to use a 90-105mm ski as an every day ski and therefore won't compromise groomer performance. I am sure they will appreciate these reviews. For me the reason to do that is to enjoy the ski in soft snow as well. I don't typically think about a ski that is carvy, nimble or has lots of edge hold when imagining a great soft snow ski. A great soft snow ski might be those things but that not what I would think about. I usually think about float, flex pattern, turn radius, maybe weight (for an AT ski), and stability at speed. Do you think your reviews would be much different if it was midwinter conditions?
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Good point tromano> Except for the XXL and B Squad, I'd consider the boards I demoed as potential every day skis so hard snow performance is a must. That said it would of been nice to have a foot of fresh to test them. I'm guessing that both the Seth and Gotama would have scored higher on my list, however, the hard snow performance would prevent me from buying one of them.
post #5 of 19
totally disagree with the B-squads as a heliski statement this ski flat out sucks in powder. I found the 194 pretty unweilding last year, the 189 a great crud buster and charger and he 184 was actually the best in powder. FYI Micah Black use the 184cm not the 2 bigger he man sizes.

The XXL I found way easier to ski that the same size LP, IMO the XXL is a great inbound charging ski that will float powder. Its alot better than the squad for user friendliness. Also the XXL is only 105 underfoot by no means big and they have 187cm size this year that looks like cool little softer snow all mountain ripper. The 194cm last year I skied torn though crud and groomers with an ease I have never felt.

Noridica Enforcer - read TGR, and take my experience with it. The Red nordica(99m wasit) from last year were tip divers, the blower despite their bigger dimensions werent much better.

Gotama - I am really biased and think that, that ski would work for 99 percent of all people in some size.

Elan 999 one of my favorites tested in spring demo day last year. Did everything you asked of it and still was super easy in powder.

and as for the seth, its weird ski to me. Its slightly narrow underfoot than the gotama but I feel as if unless the snow is butter soft it give up edge hold to gotama. Off trail its soft, fun ski and great for playful type skiing in the 179cm. Never have skied the newest one with tip rocker though.

also any ski over 70mm-80mm is a compromise in groomer performance, just because you or I can rail a 105mm ski on a hardpack loveland groomer doesnt mean everyone will be able to or like it.
post #6 of 19
didn't anyone (other than Michael) demo the 94?
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
also any ski over 70mm-80mm is a compromise in groomer performance, just because you or I can rail a 105mm ski on a hardpack loveland groomer doesnt mean everyone will be able to or like it.

Good point. A 92mm and a 76mm ski will have noticable differences on groomed snow. I probably should have said that if you want an 90-105mm ski for everyday use then you might want think about a reasonable compromise between groomer performance and soft snow ability and not let one or the other be most important. Ma Bad.
post #8 of 19
I have some of the new 999's, can't wait to get on them.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post
Interesting how impressions of skis can differ. I put this down largely to the differing weights of the skiers (I weigh 165, compared to Jay P's 195). I was looking to demo fat skis with a waist width of about 100-105 and a length around 180-190, strictly for deep snow and crud. Versatility was not a concern. I tried quite a few well-reviewed skis in Loveland hardpack conditions totally the opposite of what they were designed for. I was expecting lots of skittering and sliding but was very pleasantly surprised. Every ski held remarkably well and made very smooth turns on very firm snow. The major differences were in the relative "burliness" of the skis. Skis that Jay tends to like, I found a bit too much work. Conversely, the skis I liked, he, and others over 190 lbs., would probably find too soft. Here are my rankings in order of preference. Skis at the top are relatively supple, moving down to quite stiff and heavy-feeling. Skiers over 190 lbs. would probably reverse the order of preference! All were very good skis and would likely be very enjoyable in the conditions they were designed for. I just wish we had some fresh powder or deep, heavy crud to prove it!

K2 Coomba: Straight tail, not a twin. Cap construction with a wood core. I was astounded to find how smooth and supple these felt. No skid; no chatter. Amazing. Whether heavy, frozen crud would be a problem, I just don't know. That would be my only possible concern.

Volkl Gotama 190: Very nice. Smooth, good edgehold. The twintip makes them ski much shorter than their advertised length--more like a 185. I also skied the 183 for comparison. This felt like a totally different ski. It seemed too short and I was sliding all over the place. I have a feeling the problem was not the ski so much as a bad tune. The skis felt base high. Perhaps that's what Jay felt when he talks about lack of stability and feeling "disconnected" with the snow.

Line Prophet 100. Twin tip. Solid. Very nice skis.

Black Diamond Verdict. Similar feel to the Prophets.

K2 Seth. A more "solid" ski than the Coomba. Twin tip and sandwich construction.

Elan 999. Getting a bit burly now.

Nordica Enforcer. Similar to the Elans, even more so.

Fischer Watea 101s. An Imperial battle cruiser. A serious power machine! 192 is the only length made.

Mike,
You were on the type of skis that are on my demo list for this Dec. How about a little more detail? What lengths? Were you in any bumps, ruts, piles Ect. What was nice about the BD's, Lines? What made the Coomba #1
was it a stand out ?
post #10 of 19
My red Nordica Enforcers did not tip dive in above-the-knees Utah snow last year! I thought they were awesome.
post #11 of 19
Quickfoot: All the skis (except the longer ones specifically listed) were between 180 and 183. The trail was hard pack with few ruts or significant bumps. The BDs and Lines just felt "there"--solid without being abusive, nice flex. A touch too firm for my personal taste, but I could EASILY live with them! The Coombas just amazed me that they skied those conditions with effortless ease. They were light and smooth underfoot and never chattered or skittered. They weren't overly soft--just what I call supple. I actually felt perfectly comfortable on snow I thought they (and all the other fatties) would really struggle on. I took them out a second time later in the day to confirm my initial favorable impression. I wouldn't necessarily recommend them as an everyday east coast groomer ski, but there would be no problem getting to and from the powder! That said, as I mentioned in my review, my weight is 165 and I just don't know if that light, supple feeling might also translate to having problems with deep, chopped up, Sierra cement. No way to hazard a guess. Anybody ski them in thick, heavy, or frozen slop or gotten reports back from folks who have?
post #12 of 19
Mike, Thanks, I'll post back mid Dec. with opinions if we ever get snow.
post #13 of 19
i'm confused.

you say "Fat Ski Demo" yet it doesn't seem like you rode anything over 105mm.

Did you in fact demo any REAL fat skis? (Fat meaning anything over 110mm)?




*remember, in today's climate anything between 94-105 is a "mid-fat"



post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
i'm confused.

you say "Fat Ski Demo" yet it doesn't seem like you rode anything over 105mm.

Did you in fact demo any REAL fat skis? (Fat meaning anything over 110mm)?




*remember, in today's climate anything between 94-105 is a "mid-fat"



eh not really fat is such a subjective term, in utah my skis are skinny but to another instructor back east they are huge.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
i'm confused.

you say "Fat Ski Demo" yet it doesn't seem like you rode anything over 105mm.

Did you in fact demo any REAL fat skis? (Fat meaning anything over 110mm)?

*remember, in today's climate anything between 94-105 is a "mid-fat"


Yes....I'd agree.....you are very confused.........

Quote:
by tromano.....Good point. A 92mm and a 76mm ski will have noticable differences on groomed snow. I probably should have said that if you want an 90-105mm ski for everyday use then you might want think about a reasonable compromise between groomer performance and soft snow ability and not let one or the other be most important.

Quote:
by jay_P..... Good point tromano> Except for the XXL and B Squad, I'd consider the boards I demoed as potential every day skis so hard snow performance is a must. That said it would of been nice to have a foot of fresh to test them. I'm guessing that both the Seth and Gotama would have scored higher on my list, however, the hard snow performance would prevent me from buying one of them.
Clearly jay_P and tromano are not......................

SJ
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
i'm confused.

you say "Fat Ski Demo" yet it doesn't seem like you rode anything over 105mm.

Did you in fact demo any REAL fat skis? (Fat meaning anything over 110mm)?
remember, in today's climate anything between 94-105 is a "mid-fat"

Well in CO we don't get the snowfall of UT, the PNW or Tahoe so you really don't need anything over 110mm.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_p View Post
Well in CO we don't get the snowfall of UT, the PNW or Tahoe so you really don't need anything over 110mm.
loveland 400 inches of a year and tons of great backcounty with softish snow in colorado.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_p View Post
Well in CO we don't get the snowfall of UT, the PNW or Tahoe so you really don't need anything over 110mm.
Really? I thought all us Tahoeites took a backseat to UT and CO when it came to snowfall.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus_CA View Post
Really? I thought all us Tahoeites took a backseat to UT and CO when it came to snowfall.
You guys get snow in Tahoe? Damn, did I miss a memo or something?
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