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Wide boots and off piste skiing?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am new to the forum and I have the question that is the title.

I have wide feet, so I have custom made boots, stroltz, that had to be widened for me by my boot fitter. A full centimeter widened, and those boots are already the widest on the market.
Anyhow, the boots are lovely but I have skied in different conditions on different skis on them and my experience is this.

I skied a bit of off piste in the French alps on a pair of Rossi B2, 76mm waist, in heavy snow. It was an absolute nightmare. Due to the width of the boots as soon as I sank down in the snow, it really "stopped" so I had to ski with rear weight to compensate. Did I say nightmare? Cant ski like that.

Then I have skiied on 83-88 wide skiis in the Swiss Alps and the French alps, and that has had the same effect, but not as pronounced. Skiiable but it starts to drag still.

When the snow is heavy it is worse.

Worst of all is when it is not so deep, so that the depth varies a lot, then sometimes it starts to drag and I get thrown forward when it is deep enough to cover the boot, then it gets shallower and I can stand with normal balance again, and then deep, you get the gist. Me rocking back and forward and crap it is.

The "lowest" buckle always opens when I ski off piste.

My boot is just over 12 cm wide on the widest section.

I am thinking that a skii a little bit over 90 wide will "solve" the problem. Watea 94, Mantra and so on.
I am also thinking of adding a "spoiler" in front of the lowest buckle that deflects the snow, so the buckle does not open.

Any ideas? Has anyone else experienced this?
Or does everyone experience this to some degree even with "normal" width boots? Maybe this is the way it is, and I just need to stop b!tching and get on with it?
post #2 of 13
Just make the step to a real off-piste ski anyway. Something in the 105+ or 110+ width range. The problem will likely be gone - for the most part anyway... And in a year or two when the mass market starts to catch up with the design/technology happening today, you won't have to smack yourself in the head for having purchased something that is inadequate in multiple dimensions...
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, I live in Sweden, and a 110 ski is very very rarely warranted here, I think.

So, I am looking for an AM ski, with a freeride bias, or off piste bias. But I could end up in a resort with bleeding ice everywhere, then I would be stuck on those puppies for a whole day, before being able to rent new, since I would have to shop around before renting, and usually the place in the slope, it really sucks, at least here it does. The gem you find in the "village" typically.

So, something that works really well off piste, but can mange a run in the piste too. That is why I sort of landed in the 95 wide zone, or is that not good anywhere you mean?
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
Just make the step to a real off-piste ski anyway. Something in the 105+ or 110+ width range.
I'm sorry, but I don't follow how you got from the first sentence to the second sentence. You're saying that 104mm and narrower are fake off-piste skis? What a strange claim to make. How do all those excellent off-piste skiers manage on their sub-105mm waisted skis? Are they just fooling themselves?
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by stowe's pet goat View Post
I'm sorry, but I don't follow how you got from the first sentence to the second sentence. You're saying that 104mm and narrower are fake off-piste skis? What a strange claim to make. How do all those excellent off-piste skiers manage on their sub-105mm waisted skis? Are they just fooling themselves?
See where the market goes over the next few years... You've made your snobbery-based opinion clear elsewhere. All I can say is that you should stock up on your skinnier skis now And maybe reflect on what skis are appearing more and more in the lineup at places where off-piste skiing under conditions better than sadly bedraggled bump fields and skier packed crud is the norm.

To the OP's question - there are many fatter skis today that ski groomers and moderate hardpack great. At least into the 105-122 range. And they make life vastly easier (an IMO safer) when off piste in many conditions - including heavy deep snow as described in the OP. So, considering that, it seems to me that going fat enough to get some ski width under the OP's boots is a no-brainer for addressing the issue as described.

Note, once again, that the question was not directed at at "what is an ideal NE ice ski that will work with my boots?"
post #6 of 13
I suppose if your whole identity as a skier is tied up in being a "fat ski bro" then you might think I'm "snobbish." But if I can ski powder up to my waist in skis less than 104mm how does that make me a snob? Sounds to me like it makes me a better skier than you. Crutches are for the lame. The original poster asked about wide skis and wide boots. Not a crutch or a pose model to help him look like a tough guy.

ClaesB, spindrift is busy trying to recapture his lost testosterone. Let him go about that game. As for you, you should be aware that nobody needs 105mm waisted skis to ski powder. And wherever spindrift says "the market" is going is useless. Ski mfrs are in a fad-creating and fad-expanding game right now. 10 years from now we're not going to see a bunch of skiers on 110 waisted skis, no matter what spindrift's crystal ball tells him.

Get what works for you. Not what feeds spindrift's ego. He gets enough ego-feeding by pretending to be the EpicSki Resident Expert on Fat Skis.
post #7 of 13
ClaesB, out of curiosity, how much do you weigh?

I ask just to get an idea of how much flex there might be in the ski.
post #8 of 13
I suppose if your whole identity as a skier is tied up in being a "skinny ski wanatabe racer" then you would want skinny skis. But if I can ski boiler plate in skis greater than 104mm how does that make me a snob? Sounds to me like it makes me a better skier than you. Crutches are for the lame. The original poster asked about wide skis and wide boots. Not a crutch or a pose model to help him look like a tough guy.

ClaesB, goat is busy trying to recapture his lost testosterone. Let him go about that game. As for you, you should be aware for the most part you can ski anything with any ski but some work better for some purposes. Since you allready have a skinny ski, and are specificly looking for a fater ski, And since you have 120mm wide foot, you may want to look into some of the 100-120 width skis. They are alot of fun, and there are lots of people (who ski off piste most of the time) who use them every day. I personaly have a 99 and 107 wasted skis. This does not mean I don't want something like 74 wasted ski, just where my priorities are.

And whenever anyone says "the market" is going is useless. But I will tell you what is going to happen anyway. Ski mfrs are in a creative and expansive game right now, some of the results will be usefull, some of them will not. 10 years from now we're going to see a bunch of skiers on variety of widths and styles.

Get what works for you. Not what feeds goat's ego. He gets enough ego-feeding by pretending to be the EpicSki Resident Expert on why fat skis are bad.
post #9 of 13
Nothing I said has to do with "testosterone". Or ego. Just trust me on this...

The market is going where it is for a reason. Can an expert skier do great things on skinnier skis? As I've said many times - yes Heck some can ski better &/or stronger on toothpicks than I can on anything. (and I've skied waist deep with some of these folks within the past week or so). And for a variety of reasons, many people who have honed their off-piste skills on skinnier tools prefer to stay on said skis. And some others aspire to the combination of those tools and skills. But for most people without decades of muscle memory backing them up, fatter is easier in the context described by the OP. And given the choice, even many seasoned experts will now use fatter skis off piste. Hence the movement of the market toward fatter skis for off piste use. Movement that is in fact inhibited by the inertia of the channel and is happening despite the channel's reluctance. So why not look at where the market is going rather than where it has been?

Now - I confess to making an assumption: that, based on boot width, the OP is probably not a tiny person.

Factoring in the boot issue and other statements in the original post (and that assumption immediately above), it seems that a leap to a 105 or wider ski addresses at least two key things - maybe three if you want to split hairs. First, it'll make life easier in heavier ungroomed snow. Second, it'll reduce the amount of buckle exposure in said snow. And third, to the extent the OP lays the skis over, it'll minimize "boot out" (yes, the quotes are there for a reason...).

Honestly, I'm not sure there will be a single complete answer to the question posed in this thread. I ski wide skis & the buckles on my XWave's still get popped open now and again in the kinds of conditions described above -- but my bet is they'd be popped open a ton more if I still skied my 70 or 76 or 80 waisted skis...
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaesB View Post
Worst of all is when it is not so deep, so that the depth varies a lot, then sometimes it starts to drag and I get thrown forward when it is deep enough to cover the boot, then it gets shallower and I can stand with normal balance again, and then deep, you get the gist. Me rocking back and forward and crap it is.
Am I the only one who reads this as not one but two coincident problems: a ski that dives instead of floating properly even in heavy snow AND a wide boot?

If it was only a wide boot problem, he could hardly tip them over onto edge on hardpack without leaving an extra track in the snow.

If it was only a wide boot problem, he couldn't fix it by backseating.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by stowe's pet goat View Post
I suppose if your whole identity as a skier is tied up in being a "fat ski bro" then you might think I'm "snobbish." But if I can ski powder up to my waist in skis less than 104mm how does that make me a snob? Sounds to me like it makes me a better skier than you. Crutches are for the lame. The original poster asked about wide skis and wide boots. Not a crutch or a pose model to help him look like a tough guy.

ClaesB, spindrift is busy trying to recapture his lost testosterone. Let him go about that game. As for you, you should be aware that nobody needs 105mm waisted skis to ski powder. And wherever spindrift says "the market" is going is useless. Ski mfrs are in a fad-creating and fad-expanding game right now. 10 years from now we're not going to see a bunch of skiers on 110 waisted skis, no matter what spindrift's crystal ball tells him.

Get what works for you. Not what feeds spindrift's ego. He gets enough ego-feeding by pretending to be the EpicSki Resident Expert on Fat Skis.
Lemme guess - you're an aliais of "Volklwhatever" - the JHAF wannabe on the "Should I rent fat skis at Jackson Hole" thread. Man you're transparent. Come clean, alias. You were ridiculed soundly, now you're getting your "revenge" through an alias. Pretty sad.

To the OP - logic would dictate getting a wider ski. It just makes sense.
post #12 of 13
Snowboarders with big boots use wider boards to avoid boot drag, so why shouldn't skiers? If you decide to use a mid-fat, a lifter under your binding should help. I use wide boots (120mm at the widest point) and narrow skis (60mm waist) and I haven't experienced problems with boot out, so as Comprex implied, maybe the problem isn't the boots . The sole of my boot sits 50mm above the base of my ski. Yes, the waists of my skis are almost as tall as they are wide.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok, skiis are bought, and skied a week on, in a Swedish resort that does not have any snow making abilities. Just natural snow. Skied off piste in trees, maybe 25 cm pow at the most. Total was 135 cm, a lot for sweden.

Skies bought used, salomon xwing sandstorm. 2007 puppies for a good deal in super condition. 187 cm long ones, with salomon s914 bindings with the salomon tracks on them. Total 3cm lift I measured. Nice that the bindings allows adjustment of both toe and heel part. I skied them with boot center in "recommended" position.

Anyhow, they are 135-101-124 I think and here is what I thought of them and how they "solved" my problem with my wide wide boots.
Me 188 cm and 82 kg. Prolly an 8 in piste, 7 off piste.

We can start with the piste performance. This was pisted natural snow. So, mostly softish, but hard, melted and refrosen snow, in sun facing side of the system. No real "ice" but hardish anyway.

Skidded turns very very easy and comfortable, low speed to high speed. I was able to make fairly tight short skidded turns, then applying a little heel at the end and the ski would bite and give a little pop. Nimble and agile, very surprising considering the girth.

Carved turns, well no real "short" turns, it is a 22-23 meter radius, but beautiful carve nonetheless. It does require a bit of "pressure" before carving, but not a huge deal. So, carves really really well, I loved it. I am used to carving race skis, SL, SC, GS types, and this one really surprised me, again, with that girth I would not have thought it to be so capable.
Some pop, or rebound, if I really put a lot of pressure on it, it would send me into the next turn nicely, but not "wildly" like some stiffer skies do.

So, its piste performance surprised me. I could happily carve a whole day on this ski. Not tried in really icy conditions though.


Off piste then. As said, in the forest, quite steep, same steepness as double black piste, and they were nimble, surprisingly so. I never felt the ski gave up on me, it "helped" me ski better. None of that ugly boot draggin I have experienced, so I had a very good time on them. The lowest buckle did not open once, which it often does off piste on not so wide skies.
Only time I felt the width, was in an area that had become very hard, and steep, and bumpy and tight. Then I could feel the width, but still manageable. It felt manageable and competent. Nice "float" but that comes with the width on all skis more or less I guess.

The ski has a stable but nimble feel. It is not "damp" like a some race skis, so it can "clatter" a little at high speeds on not perfectly smooth piste, but it never felt "wobbly" or so. I could ski at silly speeds in downhill position, the skies would "clatter" soundwise but feel stable.

So, I loved the ski. Sure, it does not have race pop, but it takes where you point it, relatively easy to ski, but still powerful, in a "light" salomon way, if you know what I mean. They are stable but somewhat "noisy"

It skied well through "nasty" cut up snow and crud at high speed too.


So, it solved my problem, and allowed me to have a lot of fun. It is sort of a ski that you do not think about when skiing, it just does the job.

Lovely for someone like me.
I had a blast.
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