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2008 Fischer Watea 101

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
2008 Fischer Watea 101

How do I review a ski that does-it-all, makes soft snow stupid-easy and is an ideal natural snow ski for most level 6 through 8 skiers?

OK, first about me. I’m a former New England High School USSA racer who spent most of his adult life in Chicago and pretty much stopped skiing for 20 years. I’m a little too “senior”, and a little over-sized to ski double blacks, but I do it anyway. I do manage to ski along with local skiers at places like Sunshine Village & Snowbird if I’m provided with a little patience. I’m still learning how to ski soft and/or deep snow on steeper terrain and I consider myself a level 7.

Today I skied Alta-bird with local skiers including Josh "Bushwacker" and Mark Gardener. About 20 inches have fallen in the last 3 days and every run had some knee deep snow and a fair share of softer crud. I had two memorable runs on High Stakes in Mineral Basin and skied Great Scott twice. This is a chute-then-bowl under the tram near the top. I also skied Shireen twice and got a few runs over at Alta. A good day to test my new all-mountain skis. In-fact it was awesome.

The Watea 101 is a gentle bear of a ski. At 192cm in length and a 134-101-124mm sidecut it provides a 25 meter turn radius. This description might sound like a top-end big mountain skis, but it feels like a 183cm Head Monster 82 on the groomers and is very easy to turn on the kind of steep-n-deep conditions I had today. This is possible because the ski is soft flexing yet retains excellent grip on groomers. It also has more sidecut than most long skis and it's turned up tail makes it feel very short. The tip is like a toboggan and the soft flex allows a very upright and natural body position without any risk of tip dive.

What is best about the Watea 101 is that any terrain, flat or steep, groomed or deep is stupid easy. The ski turns like it has power steering and carves on firm snow and floats just as easily in soft snow. I did not feel the need to change my skiing regardless of conditions. It can even ski softer moguls; the width and length are not felt while skiing anywhere on the mountain.

A few observations: I never felt any lack of stability, however the ski feels very light and some level 9 skiers might miss the beefy feel of other fat skis. The ski also requires some deliberate effort in tighter spaces but much less than other skis of this size.

Any 175 lbs skier who is level 8 or any level 6 skier who is heavier can ski this ski with great results. Want to quickly learn to ski in deep snow? This is your ski.

Cheers,

Michael
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 

A Pix

Just for fun ;
525x525px-LL-vbattach2831.jpg
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'll post this pix and do a TR
525x525px-LL-vbattach2834.jpg
post #4 of 18

94 Watea?

Thanks for the review Michael! What are your thoughts on Watea 94s vs. 101 ?

What would be better (or more versatile) for all-mountain 175 lb. level 8 out west?
post #5 of 18
I have been skiing the 101s since they came out a couple years ago and your comment of "makes soft snow stupid-easy" is right on. It is billed as a "big mountain" ski, but I find it to be a playful pussycat and the most forgiving powder ski I have ever been on (and I've been on quite a few). It is so light and soft flexing that it tends to flap a little when the going gets rough, but if you just ignore it the ski tracks exactly where you want. The turned up tail makes it actually about a 185. I bought mine on a trip to SLC specifically for skiing Alt/Snowbird.

It sounds like you had a blast on your trip. It's nice to have the right tool for the job when it dumps 20".
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaportrail View Post
Thanks for the review Michael! What are your thoughts on Watea 94s vs. 101 ?

What would be better (or more versatile) for all-mountain 175 lb. level 8 out west?
The Watea 94 is clearly more versatile and will float a 175 lbs skier easily. I might consider the 101 as a dedicated deep snow ski if I was your size, but not as a one-ski-quiver.

I have several skis, but the 101 would be my all-mountain ski in a two ski quiver. The Progressor and 101 would be an awesome quiver :.

Michael
post #7 of 18
Love the Wateas...I'll admit I'm a Fischer whore.

I've got the RC4 SL & GS (both race stock; the rep gave me a schweet deal for the pair), the Watea 84s, and am about to go for the 101s. Although, honestly, those 84s are pretty darn close to the perfect ski, IMO. A laminate wood core mid-fat with sub-GS sidecut and more float than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade = all-day heaven.

Can't wait for the 101s.
post #8 of 18
Nice review Michael, thanks!
post #9 of 18
DUDE! Those are some great pics and I am drooling all over my keyboard. OK, Now then, I need to get a pair of 101's nice can cheap for my dedicated 12" plus days. Anyone still have a demo pair or slightly used pair around???????
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
I started a new thread to describe the length of the 101: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=67514
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post
2008 Fischer Watea 101

How do I review a ski that does-it-all, makes soft snow stupid-easy and is an ideal natural snow ski for most level 6 through 8 skiers?

OK, first about me. I’m a former New England High School USSA racer who spent most of his adult life in Chicago and pretty much stopped skiing for 20 years. I’m a little too “senior”, and a little over-sized to ski double blacks, but I do it anyway. I do manage to ski along with local skiers at places like Sunshine Village & Snowbird if I’m provided with a little patience. I’m still learning how to ski soft and/or deep snow on steeper terrain and I consider myself a level 7.

Today I skied Alta-bird with local skiers including Josh "Bushwacker" and Mark Gardener. About 20 inches have fallen in the last 3 days and every run had some knee deep snow and a fair share of softer crud. I had two memorable runs on High Stakes in Mineral Basin and skied Great Scott twice. This is a chute-then-bowl under the tram near the top. I also skied Shireen twice and got a few runs over at Alta. A good day to test my new all-mountain skis. In-fact it was awesome.

The Watea 101 is a gentle bear of a ski. At 192cm in length and a 134-101-124mm sidecut it provides a 25 meter turn radius. This description might sound like a top-end big mountain skis, but it feels like a 183cm Head Monster 82 on the groomers and is very easy to turn on the kind of steep-n-deep conditions I had today. This is possible because the ski is soft flexing yet retains excellent grip on groomers. It also has more sidecut than most long skis and it's turned up tail makes it feel very short. The tip is like a toboggan and the soft flex allows a very upright and natural body position without any risk of tip dive.

What is best about the Watea 101 is that any terrain, flat or steep, groomed or deep is stupid easy. The ski turns like it has power steering and carves on firm snow and floats just as easily in soft snow. I did not feel the need to change my skiing regardless of conditions. It can even ski softer moguls; the width and length are not felt while skiing anywhere on the mountain.

A few observations: I never felt any lack of stability, however the ski feels very light and some level 9 skiers might miss the beefy feel of other fat skis. The ski also requires some deliberate effort in tighter spaces but much less than other skis of this size.

Any 175 lbs skier who is level 8 or any level 6 skier who is heavier can ski this ski with great results. Want to quickly learn to ski in deep snow? This is your ski.

Cheers,

Michael
Hey Michael,

Anymore insight to the Watea 101? thinking of this maybe as a one ski quiver for out west for a big guy 6'4" 245lbs. advance/expert How do you think they do for moguls when necessary ? Ski mainly resorts off piste, trees, all mountain. Thanks
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
The Watea 101 does very well on groomed slopes and in deep powder. I am very happy with its crud performance too, but the ski does feel soft and light: most hard-charging crud skiers want a beefy, "bulldozer" feel in crud. The Watea 101 feels stable, but does not feel totally anchored in variable snow.

High altitude moguls were were easy on the 101. As long as the moguls are typical Utah or Colorado moguls, the ski is easy to use. Here the light and lively feel is a benefit. Concrete-like moguls will be more difficult, but not impossible.

As a one ski quiver for a big guy our size, the ski is great. I would also consider the Blizzard Titan Argo in a 187cm.

Michael
post #13 of 18
One of the things I like about the Wateas is that they do extremely well in crud without having a boat anchor feel like some crudbusters. I like skiing crud as much as powder with these skis. A lot of the bulldozer crudbuster skis are just too heavy to be fun.
post #14 of 18

Had a blast on these in various snow conditions and terrain recently (@ 6 ft. 200lbs.).  My regular skis are the Watea 94s (186 cm).  The 101s aren't as quick, turny, or as easy to bend as the 94s, but the trade off is more platform, stability, and smoothness.  I think the 101s are stiffer in general (or at least in the middle portion of the ski) .  I like the phrase "a gentle bear of a ski" that Michael used to describe it.   I was able to maneuver this ski much better than I anticipated. They definitely ski shorter than their length indicates.  This ski's dimensions haven't changed in something like 6 -7 years providing maximum versatility.  Fischer might have something good here heh???

 

The 101s were amazing on spring like groomers - handling speed very well- with more of a of GS ski feel versus a medium carver and softer pop feel of the 94s.  Good solid strong smooth energy while carving and yet the more I pushed the greater the response and energy awoke (hence the stiffer or higher end expert rating).  They're also very easy to ski at slower speeds - auto pilot turns.  However, if you were to throw them a bit too much sideways on harder surfaces at faster speeds -you definitely get the infamous chatter that may knock your teeth out.  So wether it be pilot error or the nature of the Wateas under those circumstances -not so much fun.  I've found that gentle edging on steeper - harder sections rather than trying short radius turns (at higher speeds) eliminates that chattering.

 

Straight lining was fun fun fun - very stable and easily handing the highest speeds that I could produce- a very fast ski indeed.

 

Steeps were super easy-with great edge grip, great stability through rough crud/chop, easy to throw around, and carve or slarve.  You do get a fair amount of feedback from the snow rather than damp plank feeling on the Wateas, but I tend to like that feel and energy.  

 

Moguls of the softer kind were surprisingly easy for a ski this size  and never felt the length catching as I thought I would.  

 

No deep snow to test, but this is where I'm sure the 101's would out shine the 94s with the wider and longer platform. The tips are soft enough to stay above the snow, but strong enough to charge over/through tough crud as well- a perfect perfect balance of soft but strong. I would probably tend to favor the 25 m radius shape of this ski in powder versus the 22 m radius of the W94s, but  not huge difference.  

 

Overall, this could be a one ski quiver for softer conditions particularly for larger skiers.  I tend to like the softer, carvey pop, quicker feeling, and a bit more versatility I get from the 94s. However, if I were larger in size or skied bigger mountains (with higher speeds and big snows) I'd gladly take the 101s. Next years 101s in a 182 cm length may be the best of both worlds for a guy my size--hmmm???  Recently, saw last 2008 101s which is the same (just different graphics)  for about $340.00 on ebay.  A steal! 
post #15 of 18

What do you guys think of the Watea 101 + Duke for an AT setup?  I'm looking at getting into backcountry skiing.

post #16 of 18

I would say a very choice for all backcountry conditions you may encounter -they are made for that stuff. Great resort ski as well. Notch on the tail for skins & fairly light for it's size.  How big are you? You may consider the 94 as well if you're around 6 ft 200lbs or smaller ( ball-parking).  Can get the 08s on e-bay for about $340.00 right now.  Good luck.  Great binding (I've read) for backcountry or resort too.

post #17 of 18

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaportrail View Post

 

I would say a very choice for all backcountry conditions you may encounter -they are made for that stuff. Great resort ski as well. Notch on the tail for skins & fairly light for it's size.  How big are you? You may consider the 94 as well if you're around 6 ft 200lbs or smaller ( ball-parking).  Can get the 08s on e-bay for about $340.00 right now.  Good luck.  Great binding (I've read) for backcountry or resort too.

 

It's the 101's for $340 that gave me the idea.  I have the 94's in a 178 and love them.  Perfect length for tree skiing at the resort but a little short and soft for crud busting and navigating through the thick chop.  I'm just under 6' and 177 lbs.  I much prefer the '08 topsheet to this year's too.  Kiwi's rule.

post #18 of 18

Maybe slap the dukes on your 94s and have one ski for everything.  They should handle crud etc. just fine.  I haven't had problem with mine yet in those conditions (but I'm on the 186cm @ 200lbs 6ft.).  You'd find the 101s (192cm) big, heavier, more cumbersome for touring at your size.  Or wait and buy the  (182cm) 101s for AT.  IMO

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