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Fatties for Mainer

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Friends, I want a pair of fat skis to round out my quiver. Currently on pair of Elan Ripsticks in 164cm (66mm waist) and Elan M666 in 168cm (76mm waist). I am 8-9 level, 51 yo, 5'9 and 165lbs. Boots are modded Tecnica XT17 plugs with Dobie liners. Very fit (weight training 3-4 times pw) except for right knee injury got last week at Jay when a fan ran me over from behind. I am looking for something between 84 and 94 that is more for all mountain/all conditions than a dedicated powder machine. Will have to be able to handle transition conditions, like hardpacked to powder patches. Looking for boards that can hold an edge, carve and are quick enough to ski the steep fall line. Was considering the Line Prophet 90's or Wateas in 84 or 94 (?), or Gotama. Am I asking too much from a ski of this width? Length suggestions? Thanks. David
post #2 of 12
Why not the 888?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Why not the 888?
Why not, indeed. I have perused some reviews that are flattering. Would be intereted to hear if anyone has skied the M666 and the 888.
post #4 of 12
Choosing any ski is about the level of compromise that you are willing to accept. There are skis in the ~~ 85-95mm range that will do pretty well on hard snow, (but not to the level of your ripsticks) and of course just by width alone, will be better in the goo than what you have. Then there are skis in the same width range that are better yet and more forgiving in the goo, but will sacrifice a bit more on the hard stuff. Thus, it depends upon which set of conditions will be prioritized for this particular ski choice.

Group #1: wider skis that are good on hard snow.

Atomic Crimson
Dynastar Mythic Rider
Nordica Afterburner, Jet Fuel, Hellcat.
Sollie Fury
Volkl Mantra

Group #2: give up a bit to group #1 on hard stuff but are better in the goo.

Atomic Snoop
Dynastar Legend Pro
Fischer 84,94
Rossi B83
Volkl Bridge

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
SJ thanks for the suggestions. So the Mantra is still a good front side ski even with the 96mm waist? D
post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
SJ thanks for the suggestions. So the Mantra is still a good front side ski even with the 96mm waist? D
Good is a relative term but considering its width, it's pretty good. When compared to say a Jet Fuel, it is not as good.

post #7 of 12
David, I don't know if this will help any, but have a look:


I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Watea 84s did on some hardpack the other day -- I wasn't expecting a lot, but damned if the skis didn't totally defy my expectation. For such a soft, light ski, they held absolutely fine when skiing some hard packed powder and frozen granular. I consider this a bonus for that type of ski, as it won't penalize you on those soft snow days when you happen to run across a patch of hard snow, even if it's a long stretch of a trail. The Wateas got me through a long section of frozen granular without a hitch; I dare say the added length made them feel as confident as my shorter, more hard snow biased skis.

I have had some other soft snow skis that were absolutely helpless on the hardpack (for instance, Atomic Sweet Daddy), and the Wateas are significantly better in the same situation. I would not hesitate to bring the Watea 84s out as my only ski on a 50/50 day.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Skier219, thanks for your imput. It was your reviews of the Fischer siblings that sparked my interest in the Wateas. You write a great review - free of the gushing hyperbole that we sometimes see from those writing under the influence of new ski puppy love. I particularly appreciate your real world comparisons under the same conditions. Sounds to me that the 84 would be better suited for what I encounter here in Maine. While we dance the snow dance for the kind of big dump that westerners get, the fact is that 6-8" gets us salivating. Because most folks here are powder-deprived, many do not have the skill set for these "powder" conditions, and the trail crews pack and groom with a vengeance. I am an edge skier - that is, the side of the trails where snow goes when the middle is skied off. It can get a bit hairy what with different depths and rutting and the unexpected hard patch. A caught edge will land you in the woods. So I am looking for a ski that will give me some float and a solid platform to plow through the edge crud. My Elan M666's are pretty good at it but still get deflected a fair amount (116-76-102). I suspect that the Watea 84's at 126-84-112 will give me that extra energy. Funny the pricing of them now. They are widely available at $329 which seems to me a steal. While the 94's sell for at least $100-150 more. Did the 94's start out costing that much more or is the demand greater?
What suggestions for bindings? I put a pair of Look pivot 10's on my M666's and find them very capable. Are there bindings that are better suited for a fatter ski?
And finally, I was thinking of the 84 in 176cm. I ski the M666 in a 168cm and the Ripstick in 166cm. I am 165lbs and about 5'9. Again, more interested in a quicker turner than maximal floater. Thoughts? And thanks. David
post #9 of 12
Funny, I thought I *was* writing the reviews under the influence of puppy love! I guess I haven't yet reviewed a ski I didn't like, perhaps that will be different, but it's hard to get motivated to write a lot about skis that are duds.

A 176cm Watea 84 would be just about right for you. It won't take much to adjust to the extra length compared to your other skis because the Wateas are quite playful and easygoing. They will turn fairly quick on groomed snow, so you ought to enjoy the carving performance.

In loose snow, I thought that the 84 responded well to what I call "gun" skiing style, where I spend more time with the skis down the fall line, on their flats or with very slight edge angles. I tend to put them in a tighter parallel in crud or powder and just "gun" them through everything. The soft wide tips will really plow through and over anything you encounter without a lot of drama. I assume that style skiing will work well on the edges of trails, since you probably won't be carving big S turns there. The Watea 84s make real nice quick skid turns and spin quickly in tight spaces. I was zipping through a real tough bumped up trail entry better than I have done on other skis in the past.

I don't think it matters on the bindings -- I have a few models I like and just look around for deal, and also choose based on which brakes will fit without too much hassle. I happened to see Tyrolia LD 12 with the 93mm wide brake at Al's Ski Barn for $149, which is a fair deal, and they fit the Watea 84s really nicely. They will also fit the 94s if you bend the brakes a little (splay out to clear the sidewall and then bend back in to bow the arms a bit). I think Al's must be right up the road from you, so the shipping will be real quick. If you get those bindings and do your own mounts, I can give you the paper template I made to mark the holes.

I think the 94s retailed for a couple hundred bucks more than the 84s, and they seem to have gotten more attention. I just saw another post where backcountry.com has them for $420, in the shorter length only (which would be ideal for you). The 94 would reward you with more float in those smaller 6-8" powder dumps, and not really detract from groomer performance, but they may indeed be a little cumbersome skiing the edge of trails. Hard to say. I continue to think a strong bump skier would probably ski the 94s just fine in the same cases where I feel they are a little too wide.

post #10 of 12
The pm gear bros seem to be getting good reviews in applications like your talking about. Our own trekchick has a pair on order, not sure if she has been able to try them on MI hardpack yet though.
post #11 of 12
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Why not the 888?
deliberate, you should also ask dawgcatching about the 888s and the Wateas (and the Mantras). He knows the Elan and Fischer lines quite well. He's also got some great prices right now...
post #12 of 12
Put the Blizzard Titan Cronus on your list too.
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