EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Watea 84 or 94 in the East?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Watea 84 or 94 in the East?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Allright ... I'm getting close :

Had an opportunity to demo the Watea's (both 84 and 94) last week at Sunapee. Conditions were less than ideal with frozen groomers in the morning, although the conditions did soften up a bit in the afternoon. Pleasantly surprised by both skis ... the 84 being better suited for the day's conditions, but the 94 was still a fun ride.

So if you were looking for #2 ski (#1 is the Fischer Race SC), 50/50, soft snow in the east which width would you choose? and why?

Discuss ... :
post #2 of 15
84 if you want best performance while on-piste. A narrower waist simply is better on firm snow, there's no way around that fact.

94 if you are concerned about image, since all the cool kids are on too-wide skis in the hard-snow East and Midwest.
post #3 of 15
Will there be a #3 ski? If yes, get the 84 as your midpoint & go real big for the powder days / trips out west. if no, get the 94 as your powder / soft snow ski & use the SC on the hard snow days.
post #4 of 15
Neither, or both.

Both will work anywhere. It just depends on what *you* like in a ski. Don't rely too much on "conventional" wisdom.

I am on snow 4-6 days a week out here in Montana. I just promoted my new Watea 84s to my everyday ski, above race stock skis, Völkl AC40s, and 100mm+ skis. I've had them on early morning ice, afternoon slop, windblown crust, 12"+ of fresh powder, steeps, chutes, bumps, and lots of corduroy in between. They have yet to let me down or leave me wishing for something else. I know the 94s would be just as capable, and likely more so in some applications, but it's easier for me to teach with narrower waist skis and slightly deeper sidecut. "Conventional" wisdom would say 94s "out west." That's crap.

Buy skis for what you ski and how you ski, and will be capable on what you hope to ski.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stowe's pet goat View Post
84 if you want best performance while on-piste.
Agree totally, but that's where the Race SC's come in. I thought the 84 could be my everyday ski, but thinking I might want something further away from the midpoint in any potential quiver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hazmat View Post
Will there be a #3 ski?
Probably, but not for a couple of years ... Mrs. OES will be pissed when I bring home #2

Quote:
Originally Posted by faber View Post
I just promoted my new Watea 84s to my everyday ski, above race stock skis, Völkl AC40s, and 100mm+ skis.

Buy skis for what you ski and how you ski, and will be capable on what you hope to ski.
So I've got a ski that's fabulous on the groomers and pretty darn good in light (3-5") of fresh on-piste. But they're not that hot at crud, mashed potatoes and fresh powder (or what passes for powder in the east) I suck at bumps and trees, but starting to seek them out and trying to really improve my off-piste game. The Wateas will probably see a real 50/50 mix of on-piste/off-piste use. Bumps, soft groomers, glades.

If I'm sticking to the trails and "eastern hardpack" with icy bumps is what's on tap I'll give the nod to the Race SC's. If we get 6" of fresh or I plan on playing in the glades or the bumps the Watea's come out of the box. If I head west where real powder's a concern I'll rent for now. Or at least that's the current thinking.
post #6 of 15
Can't speak to the Wateas, but as far as width in the east, both agree and disagree about fat vs mid-fat. I've found that skis in the 88-96 mm range are really nice back here when the heavy pow turns to stiff chop with ice below. You can still carve them with a little effort, and they save your body for more important stuff by smashing though crud. Many rock in the bumps. So call that a vote for the 94.

But just got back from JH and Sun Valley, took a 88 and a 105, only ended up using the 88 a coupla times when I knew I'd mostly be on the frontside. (Where the 105 also rocked.) Fact, I'd have liked another 10 mm out back in the stiff crud and chopped up pow. So I'd call that a vote for the 84 back east and a nice 110-130 out west. Doubt that the 94 will satisfy you for long.
post #7 of 15
The 84 is still a solid hard-snow ski, and will be quicker off-piste on harder conditions and in bumps. The 94 is a little wide for hard-snow and hardpack off-piste conditions. It isn't what I would choose as an everyday ski, but then again, the Race SC is almost the same ski as the RX8, which is very versatile.. The 94 will give you great new-snow performance at the expense of some hardpack performance, so if that is more important to you, I would choose the 94. FWIW, the 94 is a great carver for it's width, but a mediocre carver in general. I skied a Legend Pro 176cm on hardpack today, and it was terrrible: much worse than the 94 when up on edge. So, the 94 is about the widest I would go if you are expecting any sort of groomer/hardpack performance whatsoever. Most of the people I know who are on really wide skis on hardpack and say "yeah, they are great" are just doing lazy GS turns or skidding, not skiing aggressively. If you like to ski groomers like you are in a course, than anything much over 90mm will be a big letdown. The two decent wide skis that I have used on hardpack are the 94 and the new Enforcer, which both sport a turn radius of 20m or less.
post #8 of 15
Dawgcatching, well said!

Whenever people say that they can ski, like, 180mm waist skis frontside and backside like they were carving with race stock SL skis (forgive the exaggeration), I am thinking to myself, "They're not really skiing, or at least are not really all mountain skiers."

People were skiing powder/off-piste pretty well when skis were pretty skinny and devoid of sidecut. While the tools are important, very important, more often than not it's actually the craftsman that is the real limitation.

Not exactly an original observation, I know...
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dawg!

I think my dilemma stems from 2 things .. first, the other skis I've tried or looked at have mostly been 88's (right in between the 84 and 94 ... if they made a Watea 88 I'd be set ... second, with the exception of the Elan 888, I demoed these in hard snow conditions. Had I been able to get a feel for the 84 in 6-12" of fresh eastern pow, I might have found it to be plenty good enough. I'm sure all the skis I tried will have much different personalities in soft, fresh snow.

I agree with you and Faber that +90 on hard snow generally won't cut it. When I tried the 94, I thought it was OK on the hardpack but wouldn't make it as a day-to-day ride in the east. The 84 was (surprisingly!) tenacious on the frozen groomers with a personality very similar to the RX-8/Race SC's ... but wider (doh!). I *could* ride this every day, but would still prefer the Race SC's on hard groomers.

The Wateas will be primarily a soft snow & crud ski, but will certainly see occasional duty on hard snow as well. At the moment I'm starting to lean toward the 84 - mainly, as you point out, because it's going to be quicker than the 94 in the tighter terrain in the east.

If I find I'm missing the extra 10mm, I guess I'll just have to add a 3rd ski to the quiver sooner than I thought .

Still happy to hear other opinions, though!!
post #10 of 15

Snoop

OldEasternSkier,

I am on the East coast and a huge Volkl fan. I currently have Volkl Racetiger Titanium GS, Volkl AC4, Volkl Gotama and Atomic Snoop. After all the hype the Snoop received last year I had to demo and once I did I bought a pair. They are 88 underfoot and they have absolutely no problem with 18" of new snow nor do they have any porblem on the groomers or chopped up snow. They are a fun ski and pretty much any conditions you throw at them they will handle it. If you are looking at the 84 Watea than you should really take a look at the Snoop. Plus on top of this Sierra Jim is running a sick special on them right now and he is actually the one who turned me on to the ski. If you do a search on the Snoop on this forum you will see nothing but great praises for this ski.

I will not be parting with mine anytime soon.
post #11 of 15
Of the two choices to be used on eastern slopes, I would choose the 84 just out of pure versatility. The days you would need the extra width of the 94 will be few and far between, and the 84 is an all-around great performer on groomers, ice and both chopped up and fresh pow. My vote is for the 84.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by faber View Post
While the tools are important, very important, more often than not it's actually the craftsman that is the real limitation.
bingo... which is why i ski on whatever's cheapest and don't worry too much about the most specific details engineers can offer... what's cheapest for me at the moment happens to be the head mojo 90 (underfoot)... they're probably not the perfect ski for me but i love them for everything i ski on (mostly zipping through trees and laying big gs turns on groomers)... don't agonize over one ski over another... just get out there and ski!
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by coreyb View Post
bingo... which is why i ski on whatever's cheapest and don't worry too much about the most specific details engineers can offer... what's cheapest for me at the moment happens to be the head mojo 90 (underfoot)... they're probably not the perfect ski for me but i love them for everything i ski on (mostly zipping through trees and laying big gs turns on groomers)... don't agonize over one ski over another... just get out there and ski!
I agree (of course!) As an instructor, I have seen a lot of people show up (for privates) with BROs or Gots or Apaches, and Dukes, etc., only to spend the next three hours trying to match parallel skis at the fall line. I also have taught eight-year old girls on Rossi Princesses who can rip through double-black bumps or chutes without a break in their giggle. Skis are second to skill.

But if you have the skills, really, then the right quiver can help. If you look to develop a quiver to make up for skills, then the skis won't help.

Some people forget that we used to ski all the same stuff before sis got so specialized and specific. Yet, we still had fun.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coreyb View Post
don't agonize over one ski over another... just get out there and ski!
I'm an engineer ... I over-analyze everything (it's in my job description)!!

I'm certainly not letting gear selection prevent me from skiing ... will happily take my Race SC's anywhere I can and don't let the fact that they're classed as a "front-side carver" prevent me from seeking out bumps, glades, chopped crud, etc. I'm also well aware of my own skill limitations and actively seek to improve my skills independent of whatever skis I'm on ... I'm not looking to substitute equipment for skill!!

I will, however, happily admit to being a bit of a gear geek and I've got the means and desire to add a 2nd ski to the quiver. I want a ski that's got more of a soft-snow bias that works well in eastern conditions. I've talked to folks who ski the Watea 84's as their everyday ski ... but I will still spend most of my time on groomers and I'm not looking to give up the Race SC's as my everyday ski.

So I'm looking for opinions from folks who ski narrow carvers as their day-to-day ski. How fat do you go for #2? Any real value to a wider ride (90+) in the east? Or is mid-80's good for anything you normally encounter in the east?
post #15 of 15
OES, you may be interested in my review of the Blizzard Cronus I posted yesterday. Skied them at Saddleback for the first time on Saturday in hardpacked conditions well known to us hard scrabble guys. Outstanding and a joy to ride. And my go-to skis have been a pair of Elan Ripsticks which, at 64mm in the waist, are major carving machines. I realize the Blizzards may not be available to demo, and I bought them untried. I shyed away from the Wateas 84's after reading that they may not have the kind of torsional stiffness to handle aggressive skiing on hard. Hope this helps. I can recommend the ride of a fat (88mm in the Blizzard) as an absolute treat after coming off the Ripsticks whose need to turn verges on the obsessive. That can be good too....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Watea 84 or 94 in the East?