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Slalom skis in powder/crud?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I spend most of my time carving slalom turns on the groomed. I'm not terribly good in powder and crud which is mostly due to not spending much time off the groomed but I can't help wondering if skiing everything on my volkl P60 SC racings (waist of 64mm) is making it much harder.

I really love these skis for what I ski the vast majority of the time since they live to carve but they feel quite unhappy being forced to do skidded turns and are so narrow in the waist I'm thinking of buying another pair of skis for variable conditions to make things a bit easier.

How much easier am I likely to find these conditions with some of these more "all mountain" skis that are all over the market now? I'm unlikely to venture off piste so I'm thinking maybe something like the volkl ac30s? Renting will be difficult.
post #2 of 11
Skinny skis sense trepidation. Skinny skis bite "wondering" skiers.

Stand on 'em and drive the piles and they'll go through. As easy as some floaters ... no. But when you don't question, you'll be amazed how solid they actually feel in the chop about boot to shin high. Just be fluid and ready to move quick if you do slam something that "stops" your feet. As it gets softer and up toward your knees, put them together and float the pillows or the fresh if you're lucky enough.

If you're riding deeper stuff all the time, switch gear. If the chop is a treat more than a staple - rock the skinny skis. : Or .. build a quiver, nothing wrong with that either.

How much easier with a purpose ski? Well, that's why they make them.

Enjoy!
post #3 of 11
Narrow waisted skis with big tips and tails can be a handful in crud unless you stay on the edges all the time. And in powder, they don't have a very useful loading profile, with too much float (relatively speaking) at tips and tails and too little float in the middle. If you can go to a slightly wider waist, say 75-55mm, and less of a sidecut, you'll end up with a ski that is more versatile and easier to ski in powder and crud. Many of those "mid-fat" skis are still very good performers on groomed snow.
post #4 of 11
Skiing on the SL skis in all conditions is fun. Unless there is no base for the SL's to bite into,then they suck. The mid-fat(75-85mm)15-18m TR are a good all around ski with the best of both, float and carve.
post #5 of 11
Both the shape and the stiffness of your SLs put you at a bit of a disadvantage in deep cruddy snow.

I've only skied really deep snow on skis that were skinny and not meant for it, but I recently got the chance to compare my Fischer WC SC (165 cm, 13 m side cut), to my Volant Machete g (from 2002, 195 cm radius 20 something). Having previously skied RX8s to a depth of 8" finding them great, I didn't know what all the fuss was about, but I found out.

The morning of the "test", 1 January 2008, I skied with my daughter at the local speed bump using my Fischer WC SC (she was on Porsche slalom carvers like the Volkl P50 slalom carver). It had snowed to a depth of over 8 inches. My car was seriously dragging it's underbelly, and the skis disappeared from view as the snow was around mid shin level. It was also pretty wet heavy snow. The tricky part was that with the wide shovel and pronounced shape, the tips would hook up and try to dial up a turn that snow surface and the rest of the ski could not deliver, resulting in too much lateral motion at the tips for low tipping angles, and too much sideways skiing period for big angles.

Latter as the snow became more variable with skiers tracks, bits of tracked out snow, bits of snow piled up into deeper mounds it became even trickier. You had to be very quick at adjusting your angle of attack as the snow conditions at the tips changed, to make sure you didn't dial up more turn from the tips and keep the midsection flexed enough turn. It was more difficult for my daughter, who is only an intermediate skier; she actually fell trying to turn on a big deep pile of wet crud.

My daughter got soaked to the bone and was cold, so at lunch I brought her home, and returned with the Machete G skis. Skiing the same snow with these skis was a walk in the park. They erased any irregularities, plowed through crud piles like they weren't there, and allowed me to turn where ever I wanted with ease just by tipping them up to any angle I fancied.
post #6 of 11
Ghost, great comparison "test" -- I had the exact same experience a few years ago. Spent the morning on my carvers in crud and felt like a newbie. They were all over the place, and it was a real struggle.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
It does sound like I'm making my life more difficult in these conditions than it should be. Slider you are right, as soon as it gets too deep to carve through it gets really hard work.

I'll be on the lookout to pick up a good deal on some used skis which will deal with this stuff better for use on new snow days.
post #8 of 11
Skiing crud/powder with slalom race skis would be like blasting up an unplowed and wind drifted road with a ford fiesta. The wrong tool for the job!
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Both the shape and the stiffness of your SLs put you at a bit of a disadvantage in deep cruddy snow.

I've only skied really deep snow on skis that were skinny and not meant for it, but I recently got the chance to compare my Fischer WC SC (165 cm, 13 m side cut), to my Volant Machete g (from 2002, 190 cm radius 20 something). Having previously skied RX8s to a depth of 8" finding them great, I didn't know what all the fuss was about, but I found out.

The morning of the "test", 1 January 2008, I skied with my daughter at the local speed bump using my Fischer WC SC (she was on Porsche slalom carvers like the Volkl P50 slalom carver). It had snowed to a depth of over 8 inches. My car was seriously dragging it's underbelly, and the skis disappeared from view as the snow was around mid shin level. It was also pretty wet heavy snow. The tricky part was that with the wide shovel and pronounced shape, the tips would hook up and try to dial up a turn that snow surface and the rest of the ski could not deliver, resulting in too much lateral motion at the tips for low tipping angles, and too much sideways skiing period for big angles.

Latter as the snow became more variable with skiers tracks, bits of tracked out snow, bits of snow piled up into deeper mounds it became even trickier. You had to be very quick at adjusting your angle of attack as the snow conditions at the tips changed, to make sure you didn't dial up more turn from the tips and keep the midsection flexed enough turn. It was more difficult for my daughter, who is only an intermediate skier; she actually fell trying to turn on a big deep pile of wet crud.

My daughter got soaked to the bone and was cold, so at lunch I brought her home, and returned with the Machete G skis. Skiing the same snow with these skis was a walk in the park. They erased any irregularities, plowed through crud piles like they weren't there, and allowed me to turn where ever I wanted with ease just by tipping them up to any angle I fancied.
Corrected length of Machete G.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
Skiing on the SL skis in all conditions is fun.
ESPECIALLY IF YOU SKI LIKE SLIDER!

Ordinary mortals, try a midfat or even a frlendly fatter ski.
post #11 of 11
Still fun, though.
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