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Some questions about Atomic Nomad and Fischer Watea series

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey there,
been lurking and researching the wealth of information on these forums...

My info:
-34 years old, 5'10", 160 lbs., athletic but one knee has had surgery, so more conservative than before.

-I was an advanced-intermmediate, say, 8 years ago, then took a long break. I can ski with relatively good form on anything except black diamonds with big bumps, and steep double blacks. Moved from the east, so I am new to powder skiing above boot high, but want to learn. Just getting back on the mountain this year and plan to in the future, maybe 10-14 days a season. Will have to modify technique, since I am coming from old school skis, but tend to be a fast learner. Ski at medium to medium-high speeds. Aspire to be 70/30 on-piste/off-piste.

-I will be skiing Mammoth 90% of the time, with a trip out to Whistler, Taos, Jackson Hole, Utah, once a year.

I've been able to narrow down my choices for a new 1-ski quiver to the following:
Atomic Nomad Highnoon / Whiteout / Blackeye
Fischer Watea 78 / 84
Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous

I may not be able to demo more than one out of each group above,
So my questions are:
1. In the Atomic Nomad series, would the Highnoon or Whiteout be enough ski for my purposes, or should I focus on the Blackeye? Reviews on the Blackeye seem mixed in terms of forgiveness : some say it requires quite a bit of energy while others say it is very easy-skiing. Also, it seems that I'd be able to get a Highnoon for at least a couple hundred $$ less than either the Whiteout or Blackeye, BTW. And between the Highnoon and Whiteout, is the Highnoon wide enough for my purposes?

2.Between the Fischer Watea 78 and 84, which would be better for my purpose? I was not going to consider anything above 80mm waist, but I hear the 84 skis skinnier than it is.

3.What would be the best length for me with each of the models above?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions!
post #2 of 21
I bought the Atomic Nomad Blackeyes this year and I love these skis. My confidence level as well as my skiing has improved very much. I have found these skis to be very stable in every condition that I have skied them. Powder, bumps, crud, and groomed. We have had fantastic snow this year here in Utah so I can't really say how they handle the ice. Big arcs or quick and snappy turns (like I like em). These skis rock. For me at least. I feel as though these skis were made just for me

As far as them needing quite a bit of energy? That has not been my finding. In fact I am finding that I am able to ski harder, faster, and smoother than I ever have before with greater ease. I would have never guessed that a ski could make so much of a difference.

I would highly recommend them. I would also go with the Blackeyes or the Crimsons over the Highnoons or Whiteouts. I would suggest the 172 length.

Me. 45, 185 lbs., Level 7-8 skier and I bought the 178 and glad I did.

I can't say anything about your other choices as I have not skied any of those.

Hope that helps.
post #3 of 21
I demoed the 176cm Watea 84 last weekend; three sunny days two weeks after the last snowfall in the Sierra. Full review will follow, but I found it notably nimble and easy to turn, amenable to a wide variety of turn shapes. It had a very broad sweet spot; pressuring anywhere from my toes to the front half of my heel produced predictable turns. Its primary weaknesses were suboptimal edge hold on early morning firmness (but good hold once the sun hit, and it might've been the tune) and a tendency to get squirrely at speed unless firmly on edge (although I felt stable at a radar-gun-read 57mph on edge). I came away with the same feeling I have for Toyotas -- competent and predictable, but too soulless and appliance-like for me ever to love.
post #4 of 21
Alpinedad, how big are you? I'm thinking of some Watea 84s as a 2nd ski for goofing around with my kids but also want something good in the powder and crud. I'm thinking of the 176 so I can get backwards more easily without tripping my 5-yr-old. I don't want a true twin-tip for the backward stuff.

I'm about 5'11", 195 lbs. I'm losing weight, though. Advanced-expert ability. Been skiing about 30 years. I'll ski just about anything, but my nearing-40 knees don't quite handle bumps the way they used to.

Do you think the 176 would be the right choice?
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
I demoed the 176cm Watea 84 last weekend; three sunny days two weeks after the last snowfall in the Sierra. Full review will follow, but I found it notably nimble and easy to turn, amenable to a wide variety of turn shapes. It had a very broad sweet spot; pressuring anywhere from my toes to the front half of my heel produced predictable turns. Its primary weaknesses were suboptimal edge hold on early morning firmness (but good hold once the sun hit, and it might've been the tune) and a tendency to get squirrely at speed unless firmly on edge (although I felt stable at a radar-gun-read 57mph on edge). I came away with the same feeling I have for Toyotas -- competent and predictable, but too soulless and appliance-like for me ever to love.
Hmm...well, I'm partial to Saabs as opposed to Toyotas, although there many times that I envy Toyota owners ;-)....so that analogy doesn't sound appealing!

Given that I am a level 7 skier at best, at my size, would a 167 in the Watea 84 be long enough?

And would logic follow that whatever ended up being the ideal size for the Watea 84, one would probably either match that for the Watea 78 or if anything even go longer? Or is it the opposite?

The last ski I spent a significant amount of time on were a pair of Volkl AC2 demos. I thought they were pretty solid in most conditions besides really heavy crud and powder more than a foot high. I tried them in a 170cm length, and that seemed to be around the right size for me, but that is only a 72mm waisted ski. Just mentioning this as a reference for anyone who is recommending sizing for any of the above models.
post #6 of 21
All of these can do a pretty fair job of everything within the capabilities of this width range. There are differences in personalities of course and each has a little different feel but all are good choices. Do not be concerned about a few mm of width. That is not a highly relevant difference in this case.

Blackeye:

Very grippy yet reasonably damp given how light it is. Directional stability is good considering the light weight. This ski has a moderate tip flex and is relatively firm in the balance of the length. The BE can be thought of as less forgiving than some b/c it returns big energy when you bend and release it. A bit of a bias toward hard snow.

Watea 84:

Not quite as light nor as grippy as the BE but nicely damp without being dead. I'd classify the energy as medium. Nimble for it's width, this ski is stellar in broken snow and adequate on firmer stuff. More of a soft snow bias. Most forgiving of this group.

Nitrous:

Damp, solid feeling. Moderate energy, very good grip. This ski is the heaviest of these three but is reasonably nimble (enough for most). This is probably the most gee-essy of this group of skis but is tractable enough in most turn shapes. Harder snow bias, with medium forgiveness.

The sleeper:

Normally, I just respond to the models as asked. In this case, I'll throw another into the mix. I think the Legend 8K is a very good blend of grip, stability, and is resonably forgiving. I'd rate the grip/stability as higher than the Watea with nimbleness similar and forgiveness being a touch less. The 8K balances energy vs. dampening well. Hard/soft snow bias is about equal.

All these are very good choices. The length that you choose is personal and is somewhat relevant to the model you eventually choose. The low 170 range will be more manuverable, feel more playful and would generally be my first thought for your weight and ability. OTH the higher 170 range (176-178) will be more stable, and have more power when/if you try to blast though rough crud and the like.

SJ
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikdes26 View Post
Alpinedad, how big are you?
6'1", 205 pounds. They felt a touch short to me, but borderline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post
Hmm...well, I'm partial to Saabs as opposed to Toyotas
Me too.

If I were you, I'd take Jim's advice to try these:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
I think the Legend 8K is a very good blend of grip, stability, and is resonably forgiving.
I tested the Watea against the Mythic Rider and didn't like the MR as much. It had better grip than the Watea, but the wider waist and lack of nimbleness negated its value on hardpack. I'd originally intended to try the 8000, and while I think I learned more by trying the MR, I suspect that the 8k is probably more in line with what I'd be looking for as a buyer.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
All of these can do a pretty fair job of everything within the capabilities of this width range. There are differences in personalities of course and each has a little different feel but all are good choices. Do not be concerned about a few mm of width. That is not a highly relevant difference in this case.

Blackeye:

Very grippy yet reasonably damp given how light it is. Directional stability is good considering the light weight. This ski has a moderate tip flex and is relatively firm in the balance of the length. The BE can be thought of as less forgiving than some b/c it returns big energy when you bend and release it. A bit of a bias toward hard snow.

Watea 84:

Not quite as light nor as grippy as the BE but nicely damp without being dead. I'd classify the energy as medium. Nimble for it's width, this ski is stellar in broken snow and adequate on firmer stuff. More of a soft snow bias. Most forgiving of this group.

Nitrous:

Damp, solid feeling. Moderate energy, very good grip. This ski is the heaviest of these three but is reasonably nimble (enough for most). This is probably the most gee-essy of this group of skis but is tractable enough in most turn shapes. Harder snow bias, with medium forgiveness.

The sleeper:

Normally, I just respond to the models as asked. In this case, I'll throw another into the mix. I think the Legend 8K is a very good blend of grip, stability, and is resonably forgiving. I'd rate the grip/stability as higher than the Watea with nimbleness similar and forgiveness being a touch less. The 8K balances energy vs. dampening well. Hard/soft snow bias is about equal.

All these are very good choices. The length that you choose is personal and is somewhat relevant to the model you eventually choose. The low 170 range will be more manuverable, feel more playful and would generally be my first thought for your weight and ability. OTH the higher 170 range (176-178) will be more stable, and have more power when/if you try to blast though rough crud and the like.

SJ
Jim, thanks for the helpful info.

With regards to sizing, I was trying to use my experience with the Volkl AC2 as a reference point. I felt that 170cm was about the right size for me in that ski. Given that, what would be analagous sizing for :
Blackeye
Highnoon
Watea 78
Watea 84
Nitrous

Also, what are your feelings on the Watea 78 vs. the Watea 84 for me?
Ditto for Blackeye vs. Highnoon vs. Whiteout?
post #9 of 21
I'm in a totally different weight category (115 lbs) but i recently demoed the Blackeye, the Highnoon and the Watea 78. I bought the Watea 78. Here's my take FWIW:

Really, really liked the Blackeye. It is an immensely easy ski to ski. It grips on hard snow, plows though crud with grace, silky smooth at speed and confident on very steep and variable snow. liked long turns but made medium or short turns with relative ease. I didn't go for it because of what Jim said and i found that energy to be punishing or difficult to manage in bumps, especially big, frozen ones.

So, if you don't like bumps and that's not where you plan to use it too much, go for that ski.

I did not like the highnoon. it was skittery on variable snow and did not have the confidence of the Blackeye at speed. it just felt like not enough ski although its short turns and grip were good. It was not any more pleasant in the bumps than the Blackeye. It had the blackeye's bad point and not enough of its good ones.

Watea 78 was not quite as light to carry or as smooth at speed as the Blackeye. And, although it held on very hard snow, (recently used race course) it did chatter a bit on one turn when i cranked it on that snow (hard to tell if that was the ski or me). It was just as much fun and just as lively as the blackeye and way more forgiving in the bumps. The kind of ski that makes you want to giggle. It also was totally confident in tight trees and very, very steep terrain and handled the crud just as well, maybe even better. I didn't find it had any bigger a sweet spot than the Blackeye, however. It just did enough better in the bumps to warrant the very, very tiny trade off in the other areas.

Since i was looking for a ski to compliment sugar daddy, i didn't try the Watea 84. It might be a bit better in powder, but if you are comparing to the Blackeye, i think the 78 is a more comparable ski. If you are serious about the 84, you ought to try the Nomad Crimson for comparison rather than the Blackeye IMO. Sierra Jim might have a better take on that.

I should add that SJ was very helpful in guiding my search and highly recommend you listen to his wisdom and try the legend he recommended.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
I'm in a totally different weight category (115 lbs) but i recently demoed the Blackeye, the Highnoon and the Watea 78. I bought the Watea 78. Here's my take FWIW:

Really, really liked the Blackeye. It is an immensely easy ski to ski. It grips on hard snow, plows though crud with grace, silky smooth at speed and confident on very steep and variable snow. liked long turns but made medium or short turns with relative ease. I didn't go for it because of what Jim said and i found that energy to be punishing or difficult to manage in bumps, especially big, frozen ones.

So, if you don't like bumps and that's not where you plan to use it too much, go for that ski.

I did not like the highnoon. it was skittery on variable snow and did not have the confidence of the Blackeye at speed. it just felt like not enough ski although its short turns and grip were good. It was not any more pleasant in the bumps than the Blackeye. It had the blackeye's bad point and not enough of its good ones.

Watea 78 was not quite as light to carry or as smooth at speed as the Blackeye. And, although it held on very hard snow, (recently used race course) it did chatter a bit on one turn when i cranked it on that snow (hard to tell if that was the ski or me). It was just as much fun and just as lively as the blackeye and way more forgiving in the bumps. The kind of ski that makes you want to giggle. It also was totally confident in tight trees and very, very steep terrain and handled the crud just as well, maybe even better. I didn't find it had any bigger a sweet spot than the Blackeye, however. It just did enough better in the bumps to warrant the very, very tiny trade off in the other areas.

Since i was looking for a ski to compliment sugar daddy, i didn't try the Watea 84. It might be a bit better in powder, but if you are comparing to the Blackeye, i think the 78 is a more comparable ski. If you are serious about the 84, you ought to try the Nomad Crimson for comparison rather than the Blackeye IMO. Sierra Jim might have a better take on that.

I should add that SJ was very helpful in guiding my search and highly recommend you listen to his wisdom and try the legend he recommended.
thanks alot for the thoughts. helpful. What level of skiier and how fast and aggressive are you and where do you ski, so I can have a reference point?


There seem to be pretty varying opinions on some of these skis. Reviewers on realskiers.com, skinet.com seem to like the Highnoon even better than the Blackeye. Perhaps your light weight combined with the light weight of the Highnoon made it seem less stable and less able to plow through variable snow (do you mean torn up and cruddy stuff?).

The Watea 78 and the Nordica Nitrous seem to receive very consistent praise, as well as the Dynastar 8000's.

Unfortunately it doesn't seem like the Wateas are that easy to find to demo, nor is the Highnoon. So I'm gonna have to rely somewhat on reviews like yours.

BTW, does anyone know if the current Dynastar Legend 8000 is really an improvement over the previous generations as they claim?
post #11 of 21
I wouldn't dare to guess a level for myself on this forum:

I ski pretty near everything in Taos. The days i demoed were in Taos and it hadn't snowed in a week or so, but it had been fairly cold. So the variable snow i was talking about was rutted, torn up hard pack. snow not groomed in a while but not bumps. That and snow in the trees or the bowls that combined 'former powder' with chunky bits. the skis just seemed to skidder around on it. my weight may have contributed to it. But my point was that the Blackeyes were (IMO) more ski while the Highnoons were not any "easier" to ski than the Blackeyes, so why not go for the Blackeyes?

The Wateas were better in the bumps possibly in part because they are less carv-ey. Which means they wouldn't punish an old school technique, but they also might not make you improve as much because of that.

Honestly, I would listen to Sierra Jim and try the ones he suggested. The guy has an uncanny knack to put you in just the right skis. If not, you likely cannot go wrong with any of the three, the Wateas, the Blackeyes or the Legends. The differences are subtle and you will adapt to whichever ones you choose
post #12 of 21
I am also really interested in the Watea 84 for skiing loads of Sierra cement. I am type 3, level 7 and am 5-10, 180. I have narrowed my list down to:

Mojo 90 (demoed and loved)
im88
Watea 84
8k or 88

I am surprised about what has been written about the Watea in here, as a lot of reviews about it are so incredibly stellar. I really liked the Mojo. I turned very well (trees and grooms), was nimble in moguls, beat the crud pretty well, and floated nicely in the pow. I skied them for about 4 hours on the Saturday of superbowl weekend at N* in tahoe in 1.5' of pow and they were great. Graphics kinda suck, and my buddy lost his blue 1080 gun that day. We looked for it for 2 hours and never found it, making me thing twice about a ski who's graphics are white and lighter blue organic shapes. Just a seconday thought. Sorry about the post hijack here...I wrote more than I thought I would.

AB
post #13 of 21

Fellow Knee repair Victim

Hey there,

I am a fellow transplant from the east to the west, N.E. to SL,UT 10 years ago. I'm too lazy to read all the commentary, but can offer the following points of view. I am not yet 40, 6'3", and 270#'s (last time I checked). 7 years ago I had bi-lateral ACL reconstruction, and they repaired the full tear of one mcl, and the partial tear of the other.

Anyway, I have upgraded my equipment since then for the west. I am loving my new pair of Fischer Watea 101's (192 cm), last years model picked up from Backcountry.com for $280, and they have become my everyday ski, even when hitting the groomers with my 6 y.o. daughter. The ski has phenomanal stability at speed, busts through everything with ease, and are surprisingly quick edge to edge, although i am not.

I would say that you might want to consider the Watea 94's
, but that is just my opinion. I know that when I bought my first pair of skis after surgery (Fischer Big Stix 75) i was a little conservative in the size. FF six years, and I said what the heck (I now know i have lived in Utah too long) with the Wateas. I had never skiied them, or anything that large, but figured what was there to lose. Go bigger, you will be less likely to second guess yourself in the future.


Now i want to demo the Fischer Duke. 121mm underfoot, and one length, 207 cm. I am sure that they will be scary. Good luck. Enjoy the western snow, and you may never move back.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
I posted this already in my other Watea / Mammoth thread so I apologize for anyone who has to read it twice :

Well, looks like I am gonna flip-flop one more time....and go with 1 ski for now, the Watea 84. Just seems like this ski wil legitimately cover the range of skiing i will be doing and do it very well....the majority of people have said that this ski will be plenty good enough for full-time on-piste duties for Mammoth....and that it will also be plenty good enough in up to boot-high snow....so I may not need a second ski unless I start getting into the real deep stuff in the future.

Problem is that there has been some conflicting opinons on what size would be a better fit for me , 167 or 176cm. I've had some credible sources strongly recommend the 167 over the 176, particularly in regards to my weight (160lbs.), and in regards to the fact that it will be a 70/30 ski. But equally credible sources are strongly pushing me to get the 176cm. So I'm a bit torn...maybe I can get a few more opinions to weigh?! Remember I won't be able to demo the different lengths beforehand...

(Point of reference for whatever its worth: the only shaped ski I've spent a week or more time on at Mammoth was the Volkl AC2 170cm. This seemed to me to be pretty much dead on...definitely not any longer)
post #15 of 21
167 cm.

SJ
post #16 of 21
I would vote for 176cm if you're 5'10". That is still less than head height. I'm 6'1" and on the 184cm Watea 84, and would not want the skis to be shorter for my own needs.

For me, the Wateas are soft snow skis, and I would not want to use them as a 70/30 ski. Maybe a 50/50, but not 70/30 unless that 70% is primarily nice soft corduroy.

BTW, I have the Watea 84 and 94, and they are both great skis.
post #17 of 21
I am a bit over 5'10" weigh 205 lb. level 7+. I am about to buy a Watea 94 after reading all the positive remarks. It will be used mostly in the East...anything over 4-6 inches of fresh...trees...powdery bumps...rare major dumps...but of course mostly tighter spaces. Do I go 178 or 186? Any input greatly appreciated.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post
I posted this already in my other Watea / Mammoth thread so I apologize for anyone who has to read it twice :

Well, looks like I am gonna flip-flop one more time....and go with 1 ski for now, the Watea 84. Just seems like this ski wil legitimately cover the range of skiing i will be doing and do it very well....the majority of people have said that this ski will be plenty good enough for full-time on-piste duties for Mammoth....and that it will also be plenty good enough in up to boot-high snow....so I may not need a second ski unless I start getting into the real deep stuff in the future.

Problem is that there has been some conflicting opinons on what size would be a better fit for me , 167 or 176cm. I've had some credible sources strongly recommend the 167 over the 176, particularly in regards to my weight (160lbs.), and in regards to the fact that it will be a 70/30 ski. But equally credible sources are strongly pushing me to get the 176cm. So I'm a bit torn...maybe I can get a few more opinions to weigh?! Remember I won't be able to demo the different lengths beforehand...

(Point of reference for whatever its worth: the only shaped ski I've spent a week or more time on at Mammoth was the Volkl AC2 170cm. This seemed to me to be pretty much dead on...definitely not any longer)
Hmm..i'm surprised Jim says 167, although he certainly knows more than me. I'm 5'9 and 168lbs and demoed the 176 this wkend and it was fine, super easy to turn and the extra length will help you in the powder and crud. Great ski. I'm going to try the others mentioned here before though for my new midfat.
post #19 of 21
I skied the 176cm at 5 foot 9, 150lbs, and it felt just right, maybe even shorter than many 176cm's, as it is very easy to ski. I wouldn't go shorter for off-piste use. You could probably go 167cm as a carver, but as the intented 50/50 ski that the Watea 84 is, I think 176cm is the more appropriate length. Good luck!
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squawbomber View Post
Hmm..i'm surprised Jim says 167, although he certainly knows more than me. I'm 5'9 and 168lbs and demoed the 176 this wkend and it was fine, super easy to turn and the extra length will help you in the powder and crud. Great ski. I'm going to try the others mentioned here before though for my new midfat.
I ended up ordering the 167's. Interestingly enough, many ski shop staff I asked recommended that length for my uses, while skiers on this forum seemed to lean towards 176. So it remains to be seen, who knows better, the customer or the shop guys?!

I am a little lighter than you, but it may have more to do with how you will use the ski. These are going to be my first pair of shaped skis believe it or not, plus I'm coming off an 8 year layoff and transitioning to "modern" technique. My last skis were Dynastar Vertical 195's lol.....The Wateas will, at least theoretically, be my 90/10, 70/30 ski. I probably won't be taking them into anything too deep. If the need arises eventually, I can add something wider later.
post #21 of 21

Watea 78

Howdy,

I own the Watea 78's. I'm 5'10" and 200lbs. I put about 50 days on them last year teaching and just having fun. I found the Watea's easy to turn. A good teaching ski I thought as they were stable and smooth. As I said they enjoy smooth skiing not hard skiing. I didn't think these skis were quick but then they aren't suppose to be. They aren't powder skis but won't snivel at fresh snow and well they didn't shiver on ice they didn't slice it either. One final note they seemed to ski and turn better once I had them going, not real fast, but not slow, these are not salom skis. Incidently I purchased the 174cm length and that may have something to do with the quickness issue. I would like to ski the 168cms and may buy myself a new pair this year. Finally note. Im gonna use protection this year as the skis don't have a tip bra and mine got banged.
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