guys, getting into arguments about who skis what and how well isn't going to help skidevil learn to ski powder.
First the skis. Skidevil is renting 150's - 160's !
I think we could all agree that this is a little short for someone trying to learn powder technique. If you want to stay short than I would say it should be more like 170 which can make a very good "all mountain" size for small eastern resorts (you can dispute the term mountain of course) and can even be skied anywhere.
Only advice I'll give: Volkl AC40 (82mm) - too stiff for what you want.
Head SShapeMagnum 170cm. (71mm) too soft for your weight, too much sidecut,13.5m. In a 177cm this could work though as it's a bit stiffer from what others say. Not sure of sidecut there but prob. 15m.
In terms of technique, and I'm talking powder here, possibly you need to change your concept of the snow. A lot of people who have trouble in powder and are trying to learn think of the snow as some sort of light cake frosting that needs to be pushed out of the way to get through it.
Instead, think of the powder as a fluid
that turns the skis for you.
In order to get the powder to act as a fluid you need some speed so it can push on the bases of your skis. What you have to do is set up a platform, tip the platform, and guide it around to turn. The platform is the bases of your two skis. The two skis need to act as one and to do this at first it's much easier to keep your legs/feet together. You do not have to jamb and lock them together in some sort of death grip. The whole key is they need to do the same thing at the same time.
Some people like to focus on their knees pointing in the direction of the turn. You can also just focus tipping your feet in the direction you want to go. Some are helped by visualizations of their skis/bottom of their boots acting like two fighter jets flying side by side and banking simultaneously through turns. Others like to think of their boots as two sailboats tacking side by side at the same time.
Probably one of the biggest mistakes is the same one beginner skiers make on groomed snow - being impatient and muscling things before the skis react. You need some speed in powder and it takes a little time for the turn to develop so be patient! Just concentrate on the platform.
So, think of powder as a fluid!
Ever seen those videos of people skydiving on a snowboard? They are using the air as a fluid in much the same way. There the force is very great so they don't have much ability to make subtle movements. You can clearly see though how they can "carve" turns by tipping the board so the air pushes on it and directs it's path.
I think donnyb sums up the whole ski issue very well. I suppose we could get into a lengthy discussion of how sidecut affects reverse camber and reactions of the skis but that's a different thread.
Originally Posted by donnyb
Me. 5'9",160lbs,56 years old, level 3 , 36 seasons teaching skiing in CO. I have taught legions of skiers to succeed in powder.
I have skied a lot of powder in a lot of places. In the pre-shaped ski days a 210 GS in a softer flex was my ski of choice. Soft skis worked better then because you could bend them into deeper reverse camber to tighten the arc of the turn. In powder you don't ski the sidecut of the ski, you ski the bases of the skis bent into reverse camber to make arcs in 3D.
Currently I have a 183 sugar daddy, 190 big daddy , and a 192 thug in my quiver. The SD is better on packed snow, but less effective in pow than the other two. The thug is the easiest and most fun as it can be bent into deep reverse camber for tighter turning. This makes it very quick turning in trees and tight places. The big daddy is a great ski, but less versatile than the thug. Excessive sidecut is a liability, not an asset in powder or other off-piste conditions. Ditto for stiff skis.
Contemporary powder skiing is very similar to old school powder skiing . The sidecuts are similar as are the soft flexes. The only real difference is that the best powder skis are now wider. Wide,relatively long, straight, and soft skis are favored by accomplished powder skiers for the floatation and versatility that they provide.
Short,medium,and long radius turns are possible as is the ability to pivot and/or skid the skis(provided they are kept relatively flat) to adjust line and/or scrub speed when the situation dictates. Could I function in soft,deep snow on a short, shaped, stiff carver? Certainly, but i can also ride my mountain bike on paved roads though a road bike would work better.