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The Case for Mid-fats - Page 2

post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cold Smoke View Post
I guess a better question for the anti-midfat contingent is this: if you're going on a week long ski trip to, again just for arguments sake, Whistler and can only bring along one ski, what would it be? Assume you're not made of money and aren't willing to pay $50 a day for a demo rental or $200+ for an excess baggage charge to bring along a second pair. You won't know the snow conditions until you arrive and don't have a reliable weather forecast. Are you still going to shun the mid-fat for a super-skinny or super-fat?
I just spent a week at Whistler and rented skis for 6 days @ $26 / day. The shop had a selection of Volkl, Rossignol, Head and K2. I could change skis as many times as I wished each day. Definately not rich man prices, but if I had to bring only one pair to a resort such as Whistler, it would be mid-90 to 100mm width. MANY good skis in that range to choose from.

Back East I would use a narrower ski such as the Volkl AC40 (82mm) which is my primary ski this season.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Gimme a good sandwich construction with a laterally stiff binding.
Mmmm. Sandwich...
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
I think we need a table with a sliding scale. Something like:

WHAT'S "MID"?
Region Midpoint Length
East 80 175
Far West 85 180
Rocky Mtns 90 185

For the Alps I'd use the same numbers as the Far West. The numbers I chose are pretty arbitrary. The point is that the definition about what's fat, what's narrow and what's mid has to differ by region.
Surely not the same numbers for the far west for the Alps? i've just come back from Colorado and an all mountain ski with 78 waist (apache recon ) did the job properly.I do understand to go bigger in colorado may give you some more versitility .

But the Alps 85 cms? i ski a very , very nice Scott Aztec pro in Europe as my all mountain and it's 78 in the waist .It does everything it should in a normal all -mountain day . The largest i wouls consider Mid in Europe is 82 cms - anything bigger is Fat and doesn't handle as well the icy piste conditions we get .
post #34 of 53
Again, you can debate the numbers. And I haven't skied the Far West (or the East, for that matter) since before the days of fat skis (!). The point is, simply, different standards for different regions. I've started skiing an 86 a lot of days here in the Alps and enjoy it. I'll go back to my slalom skis again when it gets icy. Question, though, to all you Euro types who've also skied State/Canada-side: how would you categorize snow in the Alps vs. North America? I've always thought more akin to the Far West than the East or Rockies, but there's nothing scientific about this view (and keir, Far West is California, Oregon, Washington, parts of BC, etc., not Colorado).
post #35 of 53
There is a regional component and a time component. The ski companies are pushing fatter is better these days.

Living where I do, I don't see a lot of deep snow. I have little use for a deep snow ski, and am not going to shell out big bucks for a new fat ski. I can afford leftovers though, and a skinny 68 mm waisted Volant Machete g that is still fat in the tips compared to my racing skis, provides a great improvement in deep snow. I can easily understand how a fatter ski would work much better in deeper snow. I wonder if the people raving about fat ski performance on hard snow have a lot of experience pushing racing skis to their limits on true hard surfaces.

A mid fat is like an all season tire.

Come to Blue Mountain Ontario with your midfats that perform great on ice, and I'll bet you a pint of ale I can beat you to the bottom using either of my skinny skis ( Fischer WC SC, Kästle Super-g).
post #36 of 53
Oh man I miss my Fischer WC SC's, consigned to the trash heap after excessive rock damage/one too many edge jobs. Crampon-like edge hold.
post #37 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I wonder if the people raving about fat ski performance on hard snow have a lot of experience pushing racing skis to their limits on true hard surfaces.

A mid fat is like an all season tire.

Come to Blue Mountain Ontario with your midfats that perform great on ice, and I'll bet you a pint of ale I can beat you to the bottom using either of my skinny skis ( Fischer WC SC, Kästle Super-g).
I think the same could be said about trying to use a race ski in fresh snow. Just last month, I believe at Aspen, they had to shut down a World Cup race because these world class professional skiers were crashing on the race course because of the fresh snow.

I agree with your point that there is a proper tool for every condition and if you could bring three pairs of skis up the chairlift everyday, great. At Whistler you might find every type of terrain and condition imaginable, a lot of times on the same run down the mountain. Moguls, trees, open bowls, cornices, cliffs, steeps, rocky chutes, Olympic quality race courses, powder, crud, ice, rain, frozen coral reef. Given the choice, I would probably go fatter than skinny but no ski will be ideal for all of the above. That all season tire wouldn't be such a bad thing.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cold Smoke View Post
I guess a better question for the anti-midfat contingent is this: if you're going on a week long ski trip to, again just for arguments sake, Whistler and can only bring along one ski, what would it be? Assume you're not made of money and aren't willing to pay $50 a day for a demo rental or $200+ for an excess baggage charge to bring along a second pair. You won't know the snow conditions until you arrive and don't have a reliable weather forecast. Are you still going to shun the mid-fat for a super-skinny or super-fat?
My answer: Yes. I'm heading to Aspen tomorrow and I'm bringing only Gotamas (oh, what if the pro-midfat folks think Gotamas are midfats, then what?).

Last year at Aspen, I brought some Volkl Superspeeds, and while they were a blast on the 90% groomer first day at Snowmass, I lent them to a buddy when we went to Highland Bowl on day 2 and let him take them off my hands because he really liked them. I never skied them again.

The Goats are definitely not as fast as the Superspeeds at mach schnell speeds, but they're solid enough on groomers and WAYYY more fun everywhere else. So, there's my personal choice to compromise...
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
I'm seeing it! I'm feeling it!
But every time I get on the lift with my Eos, here in Michigan, some stranger I'm riding with says, "those are some fat powder skis you have there":

At one point I decided it wasn't worth it to splain that they were midfats, and powder skis are ..........well...................something completely different.


As posted earlier in the thread.......... much of what people are used to is regional.

Glad My Waist hasn't grown at the same rate as the waist(s) of my skis.

1. You should hear the comments I get on my comikazis. Single worst thing about those skis. (Although I'm sure its just as bad with midfats in Michigan)

2. To be fair, I think that the fairer sex tends to use skinnier skis since they're a bit daintier, and don't need as much float.
post #40 of 53
I did a little powder skiing with some guys from the Italian national team a few years back, taking a break from training to make some tracks in the woods after a major dump. They did just fine on their slalom boards.
post #41 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
Surely not the same numbers for the far west for the Alps? i've just come back from Colorado and an all mountain ski with 78 waist (apache recon ) did the job properly.I do understand to go bigger in colorado may give you some more versitility .

But the Alps 85 cms? i ski a very , very nice Scott Aztec pro in Europe as my all mountain and it's 78 in the waist .It does everything it should in a normal all -mountain day . The largest i wouls consider Mid in Europe is 82 cms - anything bigger is Fat and doesn't handle as well the icy piste conditions we get .
The Aztec is now skinny for a all moutain. I love it (I own a 186 cm, 80mm waist), but there are many 90mm waisted options as good (if not better) than the aztec on hard pack. Dynastar Mythic, Salomon Fury ... the new Scott Crusade looks promising too.And in terms pure edge-hold, my sandstorm (101mm) is quite close. It gets floppy at speed and is not as quick edge to edge, but it's definitely perfectly enjoyable on the groomers. With a clear advantage on everything soft or rough.
post #42 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cold Smoke View Post
I think the same could be said about trying to use a race ski in fresh snow. Just last month, I believe at Aspen, they had to shut down a World Cup race because these world class professional skiers were crashing on the race course because of the fresh snow.

I agree with your point that there is a proper tool for every condition and if you could bring three pairs of skis up the chairlift everyday, great. At Whistler you might find every type of terrain and condition imaginable, a lot of times on the same run down the mountain. Moguls, trees, open bowls, cornices, cliffs, steeps, rocky chutes, Olympic quality race courses, powder, crud, ice, rain, frozen coral reef. Given the choice, I would probably go fatter than skinny but no ski will be ideal for all of the above. That all season tire wouldn't be such a bad thing.
Deviations from the all-season tire will also depend on personal preference. If you live for high speed you might ski DHs, and suffer the consequences; if you love powder you will choose some powder skis and live with their shortcomings. How about a pair of LPs for Whistler?
post #43 of 53
Hi,

I've my main pair of skis ('04 Salomon equipe 3V) and I absolutely love 'em. I am skiing in the east (canada, and new england). Those skis are simply awesome on hard groomers / ice and ok on up to 6 inches of fresh pow, but when it gets ddeper they are terrible. I'm a big (6'0'' and solid 200 pounds) and strong skier and I'm condidering buying a second pair of skis. I'm looking for super strong skis and waist 80-90 mmm that can handle the snow but stiil performing ok on sooft groomers. Sine i'm a die-hard fan of salomon, I was considering the 08' X-Winf Fury, in 184. I was wondering if this is the right choice, and also the right lenght for me.

Thanks, Hellevhisse
post #44 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Deviations from the all-season tire will also depend on personal preference. If you live for high speed you might ski DHs, and suffer the consequences; if you love powder you will choose some powder skis and live with their shortcomings. How about a pair of LPs for Whistler?
Great Whistler ski, I think the MR's would work fine as well depending on conditions. And I consider both mid-fats, must be my western bias.

This thread is probably a East vs. West debate which was never my intention, I just thought it a little unfair to dismiss a whole class of skis given there are so many types of mountains, terrain and snow conditions out there.
post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
Skiing at my new home hill, I have only a couple times seen people on 100mm+ skis. One dude was on gotamas and another guy one some Line Elizabeths. Thats it in half a season skiing. Many (but not most) folks are on 90mm skis like BigTrubs, Pocketrockets, seths... The majority are still on Rossi B2s, K2 Axis, etc..
Tromano do you think any of this comes fom the local shops not carrying fat skis? There are pretty much 4 ski shops in the valley. A couple of them have some fatties but do not have a good selection. I don't think sports athority has anything over about an 80 mm. You see lots of k2s, Rossies, and Salomons because thats what Als sells. A few Volkls come from the Sportsman and some Atomic, Dynarstars from Nordas. I don't know just a thought.

Most of the people I see skiing fatties are USU students and not locals. I hate to say anything bad about Cache Valley because it is so incredibly beautiful (and I grew up here) but it seems to be kind of isolated from the rest of the world. While that makes it nice it just seems to be behind some of the upcoming trends in gear.

BTW all my days so far this year at the Beav have been on my 110mm powder boards except for 2 half days.
post #46 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
The actual numbers can be debated, but I think it's clear we need different standards for different regions.
Perhaps for different *people-sizes* as well? I can get a LOT of float out of a ski that's around 80 in the waist. . . but I am 5'2" and 110lbs.
post #47 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
Again, you can debate the numbers. And I haven't skied the Far West (or the East, for that matter) since before the days of fat skis (!). The point is, simply, different standards for different regions. I've started skiing an 86 a lot of days here in the Alps and enjoy it. I'll go back to my slalom skis again when it gets icy. Question, though, to all you Euro types who've also skied State/Canada-side: how would you categorize snow in the Alps vs. North America? I've always thought more akin to the Far West than the East or Rockies, but there's nothing scientific about this view (and keir, Far West is California, Oregon, Washington, parts of BC, etc., not Colorado).
prickly - am American by birth just live in Europe so i know exactly where Colorado is !(above New Mexico below wyoming forms the 4 corners with Utah ,Arizona and new mexico,been there as well incidently) i wasn't saying it was far west just pointing out that i had been to Colorado to ski which is infinitly different to the Alps , and needs a different type of ski .Just don't get your comparison of Alps to Far West - would think that like Colorado(mid West or south central united states if you read the text books) i would think it requires a totally different type of ski to Europe.From reading this site the closest snow conditions to ours in europe seems to be the East coast , wetter heavier snow and lots more ice. As you say nothing scientific just points of view from different people .It's what makes this site interesting , not catty remarks questioning peoples geographical knowledge
post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by philippeR View Post
The Aztec is now skinny for a all moutain. I love it (I own a 186 cm, 80mm waist), but there are many 90mm waisted options as good (if not better) than the aztec on hard pack. Dynastar Mythic, Salomon Fury ... the new Scott Crusade looks promising too.And in terms pure edge-hold, my sandstorm (101mm) is quite close. It gets floppy at speed and is not as quick edge to edge, but it's definitely perfectly enjoyable on the groomers. With a clear advantage on everything soft or rough.
i must admit that i haven't tried the Salomon Fury Phillipe as i gave up on the brand after being dissapointed with my Screams and Foils for being a bit too wishy washy and unprecise in the case of the screams.

I will definately try your suggestion of the Dynastar Mythic when in Morzine in February and give the Furys a look - must allways keep an open mind .

One question though - are these 90mm's really quick enough edge to edge and have a small enough turn radius (in other words piste orintated enough)to be considered all mountain? Would like to know your opinion?
post #49 of 53

Alps vs. Far West

Peoples impressions of snow conditions can vary depending on the type of weather they have been lucky or unlucky enough to experience while they have visted or lived in a particular resort, so take my opinions for what they are worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
prickly...Just don't get your comparison of Alps to Far West - would think that like Colorado(mid West or south central united states if you read the text books) i would think it requires a totally different type of ski to Europe.From reading this site the closest snow conditions to ours in europe seems to be the East coast , wetter heavier snow and lots more ice. As you say nothing scientific just points of view from different people
I skied Utah extensively as a teenager, Tahoe off and on as an adult (18 days at Heavenly last year), a limited amount in the Central East Coast about 20 years ago (that was enough for me) and am getting out about 3 days a week this year in Les Arcs. I have also skied in Chamonix (1 week 4 years ago), Colorado, Jackson Hole, and a day each in Oregon and in New Zealand. Other than when I have been on a snowboard, a demo of Dynastar Big Troubles Thursday and some demoing in Kirkwood 3 years ago, all of my skiing has been done with a 75 mm waisted ski or less.

I don't think the snow conditions that I have experienced in the Alps are exactly the same as Tahoe or Oregon, but I can understand the comparsion. To me, the similarities are that unlike Utah where the powder is usually light, here (Les Arcs) and Tahoe it can be light, but is probably medium or heavy more often than not. I also find that snow quality can be much different at the top here and in Tahoe than at the bottom of the mountain, which at times can get rain while the top is getting snow. For me, the major difference between the two is that Tahoe seems to be much more likely to get a 6 foot/2 meter dump than here (although I think that they tend to measure/estimate the snow in Tahoe a bit more liberally (like maybe eyeballing a part of the mountain where they know it tends to pile up and reporting 48'' to 60'' new while most of the moutain seems to have 2 to 3 feet). On the Les Arcs website, they give precise reports for 3 different parts of the mountain which are not overstatements and, annoyingly, even seem to forget to report new snow (or maybe I miss them and they only mean new since the last update as they do not give last 24/72 hour totals like some places). At times I feel the grooming makes the piste conditions more hardpack here than in Tahoe, and maybe more windpacked as well, so this might be where Prickly is coming from.

Maybe it is the fact that the mountains are so much bigger here (which I realize is not exactly snow conditons), but I would never dream of comparing the Alps to the East Coast. Maybe this is because I have never been to Vermont or any of the better East Coast areas, or because it rained the entire day of my first East Coast experience (a day trip to Liberty where I did not see an inch of snow until after I walked from the parking lot around the lodge which I remember blocking the view of the entire "mountain" and finally saw the limited amount man made stuff on piste only with not a millimeter of snow under you as you rode up the chair lift.

I have never skied Whistler/BC, but think that is probably the closest North American comparision to what I have experienced in the French Alps.

My experience with wider skis is very limited, but I think that you need less width to stay on top when the snow is heavier rather than when it is lighter. However, when it is lighter, it is easier to ski in the snow assuming that you know old school powder technique and don't have a ski that is prone to tip dive. IMHO, while waist size is important to overall float, tip dive is a function of tip stiffness and width compared to tail as well as your technique.

While I think that very good skiers can make almost anything work in most conditions, a 75 to 95 mm ski is probably a good choice for a one ski quiver in the Alps and Far West for many skiers with a tendancy to go a bit wider in the Far West than the Alps.
post #50 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
i must admit that i haven't tried the Salomon Fury Phillipe as i gave up on the brand after being dissapointed with my Screams and Foils for being a bit too wishy washy and unprecise in the case of the screams.

I will definately try your suggestion of the Dynastar Mythic when in Morzine in February and give the Furys a look - must allways keep an open mind .

One question though - are these 90mm's really quick enough edge to edge and have a small enough turn radius (in other words piste orintated enough)to be considered all mountain? Would like to know your opinion?
If real short radius is what you value most, try a wider Scott. The Mission / Punisher is like a beefier Aztec, slightly less quick edge to edge, but still impressive and a 15m radius.
Mythic (that I didn't ski, but I loved the previous 8800) has probably a more traditional feel (like 20m radius). I don't feel it should impairs its all moutain virtues, but YMMV. It won't give you that great, effortless, short carver feel as a Scott will on groomers (it wil need more imput), but it will gain some stability at higher speed in crud. Two nice shapes, two lively skis, different flavor... I would like both to have a choice, according to the mood of the day.
The Fury should be in between. I skied the first Fury and found it nice, very quick edge to edge, but lacking some stiffness in the tail. New models have been stiffened and should be money. They have woodcore, so they should last longer than some previous salomon.

Edit : Do not give up on Salomon. The Xwing line is nice (did I mentioned I love the Sandstorm ?) and they have some nice powder skis anounced for next year. Always this easy going feel, but more substance when pushed harder. What's not to like ?
post #51 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
My experience with wider skis is very limited, but I think that you need less width to stay on top when the snow is heavier rather than when it is lighter. However, when it is lighter, it is easier to ski in the snow assuming that you know old school powder technique and don't have a ski that is prone to tip dive. IMHO, while waist size is important to overall float, tip dive is a function of tip stiffness and width compared to tail as well as your technique.

While I think that very good skiers can make almost anything work in most conditions, a 75 to 95 mm ski is probably a good choice for a one ski quiver in the Alps and Far West for many skiers with a tendancy to go a bit wider in the Far West than the Alps.
i think you've got something with that statement - that heavier snow such as the alps requires or should i say allows us to ski it with a smaller waist.I ski off piste fine with the Scotts at a 78mm waist , but i think a few other things have a lot to do with it including the length,shape of the shovel.I do know that i was hunting round the web and a lot of Europeans would consider a 78mm Mid Fat .

Phillipe didn't realise that Salomon had returned to full wood core ! that's great news .Happy with my scotts as an all day cruiser but will definately put them back on the list for next time
post #52 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir View Post
.From reading this site the closest snow conditions to ours in europe seems to be the East coast , wetter heavier snow and lots more ice.
I'm in denial... No, seriously, I think our snow is better than the East. Maybe Idaho? I certainly get a lot more powder days in the Alps than I ever got when I skied Vermont, but Utah it ain't. And sorry Keir, didn't mean to lecture on geography like the overbearing boar I am.
post #53 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollmeister View Post
Perhaps for different *people-sizes* as well? I can get a LOT of float out of a ski that's around 80 in the waist. . . but I am 5'2" and 110lbs.


Not necessarily. I am 180lbs and my power ski is Sally 1080 with 80mm underfoot. Plenty of float.

My normal ski the sub 70mm Elan Speedwave 14, and I used them last week on 12" powder without any problem. My only concern with skiing Speedwave 14 in power, is that they are in the powder and not on top of the power. So, If the binding pops, I will lose a ski.
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