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Powder Problems

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all. Im kinda new around here.

I skied Taos today and the powder was great but I had some problems.

First a little background:
I am 26. I started skiing when I was 2. I raced until I was about 14 (1994-1995 season). When I started high school I quit skiing to play basketball. I probably went less than a handful of times in 4 years (big regret). I went to college and didnt pick it back up. Skied a handful of times in 4 years again. Graduated college and went to grad school in Indiana. Didnt ski at all. Had knee surgery in 2004 didnt ski that season. I decided to buy some 2004 Volkl Supersport Superspeeds in 2005 but only got on them twice that season. I had knee surgery again in 2006. So here we are in 2007.

I have been 6 times this year. These Volkls shred on packed pow. I love them. They are fast and I feel comfortable on them. They turn amazingly. They do well in the trees even. Today in powder at Taos I really felt out of my element. I felt like I really had to muscle these skis. It just didnt feel right.

I remember when I was younger, I used to love powder and this was on straight skis. I dont remember it being this hard. My question to you...

Is it the skier or is it the equipment? Is something wrong with my technique or are these Volkls not meant for the soft stuff?

Im not against buying some fatties...in fact I will have some by next season. I just dont wanna get on them and find out that I still feel uncomfortable.

Height: 6'5"
Weight: 280
Experience: ~24 years
Live in NM
I would consider myself slightly under expert
Two knee reconstructions

Thanks everyone for your help in advance.
Rico
post #2 of 13
The short answer is....a bit of both. I have those skis myself, and while they are certainly not the best in powder, it is not impossible to ski them well in the soft stuff either.
post #3 of 13
How bad are your knees? Fatties may be too much of a strain.

If your knees are really bad, powder and bumps might be a thing of the past for you.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
SkiDude - Thanks for the input. I figured that might be the case. Now I gotta figure out what Im doing wrong. The skis actually did ok on some of the powder. They really felt the worse on the steeps though.

TechWorlds - The knee surgeries were on the same knee. So theoretically, I still have one good knee. I dont think my knees are that bad. I do wear my knee brace when I ski. I skied the bumps last weekend in Angel Fire and my knees held up surprisingly well. I have to stop halfways down and regain my composure but they dont hurt. I will admit though that my quad on my right knee is not at full strength yet. My biggest problem was that on the steeper deeper stuff and in the trees today I could not get the skis to turn when I wanted them to. It may have also just been me being tentative.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechWorlds View Post
How bad are your knees? Fatties may be too much of a strain.
.
Into ridiculous mythology are we?
post #6 of 13
I would be inclined to say it is a technique problem. While the volkls would be FAR from my first choice in a powder ski, they should be skiable in powder. I would recommend taking a lesson.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechWorlds View Post
How bad are your knees? Fatties may be too much of a strain.

If your knees are really bad, powder and bumps might be a thing of the past for you.
I can't speak about thick powder, as we certainly don't have it in the midwest. That being said, I've had 4 surgeries on my right knee (included a 3 hour long open knee this last summer), and 1 on my left (4 months ago). I've been eating the bumps for breakfast this winter, even though I spent 3 months in a wheelchair this last year. Where there's a will, there's a way.
post #8 of 13
I think powder is mostly about technique, but the right skis can make it easier and more rewarding. The Superspeeds are not a ski I would choose for soft snow of any kind, much less powder. These are stiff turny skis, biased strongly to hard snow carving. They are only slightly more skewed to all-mountain ski than a dedicated carver.

BTW, what size are your Superspeeds? At 6'5" and 280 lbs, they are likely way too small to be your powder ski. I use 182-186cm skis for powder, 85-95mm waist, and I am only 6'1" 195lb.
post #9 of 13
It just didnt feel right. There you have it SS. More than likely it is technique. Try to keep your skis on the base of the Snowpack. Lite balanced movements from the Core. Any opening of the arms,legs start to pull you off balance.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Billious - I agree. I am 26. I would hope I have many more years of moguls and powder ahead of me.

Skier219 - My superspeeds are 182's. Like I said before, the skis are amazing on the packed stuff. Took some getting used to but I feel very comfortable in them on packed.

Slider - Thanks for the input

Let me just add a little more. I felt comfortable in the powder on the wider runs where i could let the skis do their work. In the chutes, steeps and trees is where I felt most out of it. I just felt like I couldn't get the skis to turn...almost like I didn't have control which can be pretty scary!

I will continue to work on it though. These are my first pair of shaped skis. It took me about 4 trips to get a hang of the skis. Yesterday was only my 2nd powder day on them. I need to stay with it and I'm sure I will figure them out.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
Into ridiculous mythology are we?
Call it what you want buddy. I ski with a guy that wears knee braces on both knees. He has tried wide skis (Mantra) and they just wear his knees out long before his Supersports do.

He doesn't go near the wide skis anymore.
post #12 of 13
It pissis me off that I cant remember the Atomic I tryed on a 3ft powder day last year! Any way I went to the dealer and said were I was going and wanted to try the best powder ski they had. He gave me this realy parobolic Atomic and said try this. I keep thinking it was a meton or what ever.im 6ft 225 and I looked at this ski and said your kidding me right. I mean this ski had big time shape to it. It realy looked more like a slalom race ski. any way I took it with me and holy man was I treated! mind you it was cold snow -12 out and fresh so real lite pow. i to this day had never have a ski turn as easly as this ski did in the powder! I mean it was so easy my legs felt rested all day long. Top to bottom non stop from first chair to last. It was like the ski just knew what to do for me. It was like a $1200 ski so one of Atomics top liners. It always hants me that I gave back that ski! Wide waisted skis dont {nessisaraly} mean better in the powder. This ski wasnt supper wide in the waist but the tip and tail were very wide I recall. a real hour glass figure to it. I guess what Im trying saying is this ski would be perfict for someone with a knee injury recovering. It was very easy on the legs. Ironicly The last run of the day threw the trees I was preparing for a drop and my left ski got cought under a root on the edge of the cliff I was going to do and left me hanging upside down by one ski twisting my kneee and terring my ACL. Ouch!! My buddy was to far away to hear me. It took a half hour to get the strenth from the pain hanging there to pull myself up. Its kinda good in a way I had my din set at 14 or I may have landed on my head! I would demo some shaply skis. Some of them will be easier to ski than others. At you girth a 130/88-90/120 in about a 180 might be a nice all round cut that would get you round with less effert and strain on your knee. Im not knocking other brands but after trying this Atomic i would start there you might find something that just says I like it. Also I wouldnt risk the bumps this soon after a surgary? personaly I think with the right ski and techneic{sp} powder can feel like a groomed run. Just my opinion! PS I ski on 120/92/110 189 right now and they are much harder to ski but they are also very fast and stable for what I am doing right now not real knee friendly like the ones with more shape and narrower waist.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechWorlds View Post
Call it what you want buddy. I ski with a guy that wears knee braces on both knees. He has tried wide skis (Mantra) and they just wear his knees out long before his Supersports do.

He doesn't go near the wide skis anymore.
yeah except in powder were fatter skis make your legs are alot more comfortable. On true hard pack with severe alignment problems I could see fat skis making you knees hurt but for me theat pain doesnt come about to about 120mm.

Fat skis will make it easier as will a more aggresive more fall line technique. Being scared and bracing will cause you a bad time on any ski no matter how fat.

If I had to guess you are missing one or all of these movements from your skiing.

1. steering that is coming from your femurs, which is causing you to rotate your upper body.

2.strong quiet upper body with proper pole touch timing and technique

3. looking across the hill, instead of down the hill.

4. looking at your skis even know you cant see them

5. no retraction in your turn transition.

http://media.putfile.com/Gathering-Day-1-teaser

the first skier making turns is a nearly perfect example of what you should strive for.
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