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Intermediate Pow Ski?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am currently a level 6/7 ish (5'8/180) and ski frontside only on Volkl Allstars in 168 with Falcon 10 boots - was going to try some off piste this year...

I have NEVER been in more than a few inches of powder so I have no clue...

Can someone suggest a ski to help me learn... Head im 78?

Thanks
post #2 of 17
Where do you spend most of your time skiing? If you ski in the Rockies you can go a little fatter than if you ski primarily on the East Coast. Typically when you are looking for a powder ski you want to go with something above 90mm in the waist. The 78 isn't going to give you a lot of float in powder. A good option for beginner pow skiers is the Salomon Gun. They are a soft ski that are easy to handle in most conditions for intermediates. If you want more of an advanced powder ski then look at the Volkl Gotma or the K2 Seth. Both are around 100mm under-foot. This year's K2 Seth really performs well in soft snow conditions. You will want a longer length than your current skis. Somewhere around a 177-179. Don't expect the powder skis to handle as well on hard groomers as your Volkls.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
80% Rockies... 20% East.....
post #4 of 17
If money is no object, by all means go out and buy some skis.

All you young whippersnappers don't know jack! Why, I used to ski waist deep powder on my 207cm LaCroix Mach SL and and my 205 cm Rossi ST Comps and didn't have no problems. What's the big deal with these new fangled fat skis? Crutches I say. It ain't the arrow, it's the cowboy. Or is that indian? I can never keep that one straight.

Okay, tongue back out of cheek....

You can ski powder on just about any ski. Are fat skis better? Yup. Are they necessary? Nope. Technique is necessary. Take a lesson. Learn what is right. Have your bindings adjusted at a ski shop by a certified technician....wait, that's another thread. Seriously, work on your technique and if you find that you want to keep venturing out into the soft and deep, then consider buying specialized skis.

Man, I should be skiing today....damn hockey schedule!
post #5 of 17
I suggest you consider this ski;




WATEA 94
Stable, snappy and light are just a few words to describe how this ski feels on groomed runs while offering a stable wide ride in the deep.


Radius: 22m @ 186cm
Side cut: 130-94-118
178cm & 186cm
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
All you young whippersnappers don't know jack! Why, I used to ski waist deep powder on my 207cm LaCroix Mach SL and and my 205 cm Rossi ST Comps and didn't have no problems. What's the big deal with these new fangled fat skis? Crutches I say. It ain't the arrow, it's the cowboy. Or is that indian? I can never keep that one straight.

U probably drive a 75 Nova as well... - Technology my man.. Go with the flow

BTW - I would probably try and demo something - Just want to go in thr right direction
post #7 of 17
Sollie gun.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post
Technique is necessary. Take a lesson. Learn what is right.... Seriously, work on your technique and if you find that you want to keep venturing out into the soft and deep, then consider buying specialized skis.
The problem with this statement is that so much of powder "technique" - including what one would most likely be taught in a lesson - is an artifact of using skis designed for groomers to ski powder. Notably all that weighting/unweighting porpoising stuff (whose main purpose is to decamber your ski so it can rise/turn).

You wanna get out and ski powder painlessly? Get thee to a Pontoonery! And grab something rockered and fat. Seriously, a 78mm ski ain't gonna do jack to help you learn to ski powder. Nor will an 85. Can you learn to ski powder on them? Heck yes! Do some people prefer to ski power on them? Yup. Is that the easy road to powder fun? Uh, no....

The notion of incrementally working your way into powder is just silly and needlessly painful. Don't mess around with baby steps in gear and technique that will most likely get you nowhere anytime soon. If you are going to get skis for powder, and want to have fun in powder, get something in the mold of Pontoons, Hell Bents, Lotus 138s, Praxis, EP Pros, etc... You'll be hooting it up in no time.

A couple additional thoughts: 1) in general this class of ski is good in soft snow of any sort, not just powder - things like slush and soft cutup and 2) I assume when you (the OP) say powder you mean powder and that you want a ski truly oriented towards powder (& other truly soft forms of snow) - and that it makes sense in your universe to get such a beast.

And if you can't see yourself on a rockered ski, at least get something conventional that is powder friendly or powder oriented - Bacons, Sumos, Gotamas, Rubys, whatever... The previously mentioned Watea 94 is well regarded, but is on the narrow end of what I'd even consider (as would be a Seth)...
post #9 of 17
Scott P4
Solly Guns
Wateas
Rossi B4 / 94

Any of these would probably be a good place to start.
post #10 of 17
Demo, demo, demo. Don't bother even thinking about buying! Just get on a number of skis over the course of the season. Then, you'll know.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by triplenet View Post
U probably drive a 75 Nova as well... - Technology my man.. Go with the flow

BTW - I would probably try and demo something - Just want to go in thr right direction
Mine was a 68 Nova Head Comp SL/Look Nevada :
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Demo, demo, demo. Don't bother even thinking about buying! Just get on a number of skis over the course of the season. Then, you'll know.
Steve, I agree in principle. However, two things get in the way. First, if you want to demo a "powder ski" and see how it does in powder, you need powder. Hardly an "on demand" commodity for demo-ing. Second, most of the more interesting (and IMO better) powder skis are tough to come by for demos. As far as I can tell, you guys in CO are in a pretty unique (in a good way) position with regard to demoing - and I bet that a number of skis I've mentioned are still tough to come by. Especially on a great powder day . In most of the country, even places with appropriate snow - forget it.

I don't know specifically where triplenet is based or where triplenet vacations. But I'd guess that the lack of powder experience/exposure says it isn't anyplace where leisurely powder ski demos are practical -- and that powder skiing will be opportunistic. So as a practical matter, here's my contrarian opinion for triplenet: read a ton here, and maybe more importantly at TGR, and then place an informed bet. Then when a good opportunity rolls around, you are good to go. Play for a few days and make up your mind. Don't like it? Sell it - and if you were a careful shopper, you'll only be out the cost of several days rentals anyway. And if you have a chance, try your choice in spring snow and slush too. You could not pay me to go back to a skinnier ski in soft but variable spring snow - but obviously YMMV...

Again, if demoing is sensible, go for it. Gonna be someplace with a good demo fleet(s) and cat skiing & can afford the cat skiing - enhance your odds of skiing powder & have at it (Targhee and Aspen come to mind). But the killer powder day is unusual enough for most folks that IMO placing the gear bet and testing it out on the fly can be a smart way to go.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
The problem with this statement is that so much of powder "technique" - including what one would most likely be taught in a lesson - is an artifact of using skis designed for groomers to ski powder. Notably all that weighting/unweighting porpoising stuff (whose main purpose is to decamber your ski so it can rise/turn).
Really? Are they still teaching unweighting? Since I haven't taken a lesson in about 45 years, I wouldn't know, but with modern skis (someone above told me to get with the program...), I find no need to unweight skis to make them turn.

So a person won't find a significant improvement in powder performance by going from a 64mm waist (my EC groomer skis, not his/hers) to an 84mm waist (my EC powder skis)? That's just a silly statement.

I can't dispute the statement that the true powder skis are better in true powder, but for the EC-er that makes a few trips to Utah or CO or Tahoe or (insert your favorite powder region here), the chances are those powder-specific skis will get lugged around the country a lot but not see much snow.

I'd be interested to hear BushwhackerinPA's take on this. He jumped in with both feet when he moved to Utah, but recently has been looking for some GS skis....
post #14 of 17
The best selling "powder" ski of all time is the Solly PR/1080 Gun. There is a simple reason for this. It is very easy to ski for almost anyone, and can be useful enough day in day out that one would not be hugely handicapped with it on a non powder day (at least in the West). It is also very accessible in demo fleets in most places.

However, I agree with bjohannsen. I'd rather travel with something in the mid-high 80's and demo something fatter if I needed it.

SJ
post #15 of 17
Since we all skied powder on narrow skis just a decade or so ago, I don't think you need to get powder skis to experience powder. The more important thing is to find the powder and start skiing it. We always talk about the trade between equipment and skill, but in this case I think snow conditions become the key factor. Whether you are on All-stars or wide powder skis, it's going to be a new and wonderful experience when you ski real powder for the first time. I'd place much less emphasis on the skis at this point. Some of my best powder days were on skinny skis in the old days. Yeah, my modern wide skis can make powder skiing easier, but I think you can appreciate powder and have a fun time skiing it with *any* ski.

That said, if I could only have one ski to do everything, it would probably be the K2 Public Enemy (85mm waist). I find that they do well on groomed snow, and then come alive with a lot of extra tip float in powder because of the long gradual tip that adds lift in deep snow. This is a ski that would be great for anybody looking to expand their repertoire from groomed into powder. They are inexpensive and fun.
post #16 of 17
In light of this discussion, consider yet again 82 mm skis should be good enough for a foot of snow

Interestingly, some of the same people who didn't get the concept in that thread (and in other places), do not get it in this one either. Reality - who needs it?

Quote:
Since we all skied powder on narrow skis just a decade or so ago, I don't think you need to get powder skis to experience powder....Whether you are on All-stars or wide powder skis, it's going to be a new and wonderful experience when you ski real powder for the first time. ...I think you can appreciate powder and have a fun time skiing it with *any* ski.
The above flies in the face of what I've seen on almost every major "powder day" I've skied. Unless someone is blessed with perfect "hero snow" the truth is that their first powder experiences may very well not be all that much fun if they are on "old school" gear. I see people hiking out. I see people going over the bars. I see people ejecting when they hit barely covered bumps. I see people crying. Look at the history of posts on all the "usual" boards with people having miserable early pow experiences - and wondering what is wrong with them. The truth is that there is nothing "wrong with them". They are simply newcomers attempting to ski powder using tools that demand very finessed technique specific to the combination of gear and conditions. Conditions most people will not get to practice in very often. The outcome is almost a foregone conclusion.

I'm the first to admit that part of my viewpoint comes from living in the land of maritime snow. But tales of "why can't I enjoy the powder magic" seem to come from everywhere. Heck check out the description of the Aspen scene last week in here http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...d.php?t=105500 The general scene described matches what I often see.

I started skiing in my mid-forties, so my memory of "first attempts" (usually failed first attempts ) at all things skiing is pretty fresh. I think those of you who have been skiing a million years and brush off the advances in both equipment design and technique do a disservice to newer arrivals who want to have fun minus the archaic initiation rituals and "club membership" foolishness...

The simple reality is that if someone wants to step into powder skiing and they are willing to build a quiver, a modern powder ski is the way to go. And a baby step to 78 or 85 or 88 is likely a giant waste of time and money for the stated purpose. If you are looking for a "one ski quiver" or a hardpack+softer snow generalist 2 ski quiver then that's a different discussion. But if you want to step into powder and just plain have fun, go decently fat (likely somewhere between 95 & 138 or so depending on your weight/size & personal preferences) and probably go rockered. It is that simple.

And BTW - the notion that fatter &/or rockered skis are skis for more advanced powder skiers is also a red herring. Proportionally, they'll up the game of an intermediate even more... [/rant]
post #17 of 17
Listen, powder days have been around long before wide skis. Let's not lose sight of that.

I won't dispute that wider skis make powder easier to ski and also more rewarding. I own a wider pair of skis specifically for this reason. But anybody who has skied long enough to experience old-style long/skinny skis in powder can relate the same exact experiences and analogies you cite. For example, some people will be ripping and having a good time, while other people hate it and get frustrated. Advances in ski width and ski technology have not changed that part.

I do believe modern wide skis allow more of a "ride on top" experience, while old timers skied powder with the float and sink approach, so that part has definitely changed. And the new skis definitely make it easier. But the difference between groomed snow and deep powder is there no matter what's underfoot and what decade it is -- the powder is the first order effect here, and technique is number two. I wouldn't skip a powder day just because I accidentally brought my skinny skis to the mountain that day, I'd dive in and love it (and rip just the same).
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