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Fischer Watea 78 vs 84?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I recently tried and was impressed with the personality of the Watea 84's as a possible everyday, mixed condition Colorado ski. I also wanted to try the Watea 78, but couldn't. Has anyone compared the Watea 78's and 84's in similar conditions? Does the 78 have better edge grip, is it stiffer or softer, damper or livelier, etc.?

Based on the information about the Watea line it almost sounds like the skis get more powerful (and possibly grippier) as they go up the line even though they also get wider (I've heard some say that the 94's have better edge grip than the 84's, but I am 130lbs and don't want my everyday ski to be 176cm).

I will be using the ski for 50/50 use, though I don't ski groomers and I prefer to search out crudded-up bumps, crud/powder stashes, trees, etc. when it hasn't recently snowed (so maybe this is 30/70 in other people's definitions). The 84's seemed to have plenty of float, so I'd be willing to give up some float for slightly better edge grip and power. (I know what you're thinking "want more power - try the so and so's". Indeed, I also wanted to try the Head im78, but couldn't. Rossi's feel dead. Nordica's/Volkl's are too burly.... I'll probably stick with the Wateas because they matched my technique/weight and the im78's are 165cm - a length which I found to be borderline too short based on the Dyna 8k's I tried).

Thoughts?

Thanks!
post #2 of 27
The 78 lacks the carbon stringers (i.e., the I-beam construction) and definitely has a softer feel to it. The 78 is a bit quicker/nimble but the edgehold is not as good at the 84. It also isn't nearly as good in crud or pow. For the conditions you describe I would lean strongly towards the 84. but YMMV as I'm about 50 lbs heavier and I out-muscled the 78.
post #3 of 27
Try the Fischer AMC 73.

I think they are more "fun" than the Watea 84.
post #4 of 27
I have the 78s and like them a lot as everyday western co/nm ski. i have the same terrain preferences you do. I also have sugar daddies, but have not needed to take them out this year. the 78s do not have great float in very deep or consolidated snow, but they are super in the bumps and good in crud if it's not knee deep. IMO they excel in hard pack and refrozen chicken head sort of stuff. I have had no problem in them holding on what we call ice out here. they make me confident in very steep manky conditions. they don't swivel as easily in tight trees as the sugar daddies but are lively and fun. very nice on the groomers and very fast.They are super light and easy to carry for those hike-to turns.

FYI i am short (5/5") and lighter than you by 15 lbs. I didn't try the 84s as they are too long for my little self.
post #5 of 27
Just to add to my last post - my wife, who is about your size and wght has the 78s and loves them. She demoed the 84s as well but found they were a bit too stiff for her liking. I had the exact opposite impressions presumably because of my size/wgt (5'9"; 175ish)

PS: the AMC-73 is a nice ski but I don't agree that its more "fun" in your target conditions. as always, YMMV...
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Blue Ox and Mom - Thanks for your input

It just goes to show how different people (even at similar weights) have different impressions of the same skis. Even though I am a lightweight, most of my muscle weight is in my legs (I've got no upper-body), so I guess I ski a bit stronger than my weight would imply.

Contrary to Blue Ox's wife, my impression of the 84's were that I wouldn't want them any softer or more forgiving (though that is probably what makes them so user-friendly). They were also about as quick and nimble as I need in this type of ski - they flowed through bumps and turned in tight trees fabulously (most of the other skis I tried in this category were more like boats).

Based on Blue Ox's impressions, it seems like the 78's probably won't provide me with a grippier and/or more powerful ski, just the opposite. In fact it sounds like I might overpower the 78's (I don't usually say that about an expert ski) and lose much of the 84's fabulous float (based on Mom's impression of the 78's).

Again, if only there was a ski like the 84's with a touch more stiffness, grip and power. As usual the perfect ski doesn't exist....
post #7 of 27
Hey there,
The season is coming quick and I'm having a tough time finding a good ski for myself. I'm 5'11, 230 pounds....

I ski 70% of the time on the east coast but make a few trips out west every year.

I was looking at the Watea 84's at 184, but realized how much ski that really is. So now i'm thinking about the watea 84 in 176

Is that a good call for me? Any other suggestions?
post #8 of 27
The 84 is not an ideal eastie ski. Within the (~~ 84mm) width range, you could be looking at the Nordie Afterburner/Jet Fuel in 178 or possibly the Volkl AC-40/50 in 177.

SJ
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsummmit View Post
Hey there,
The season is coming quick and I'm having a tough time finding a good ski for myself. I'm 5'11, 230 pounds....

I ski 70% of the time on the east coast but make a few trips out west every year.

I was looking at the Watea 84's at 184, but realized how much ski that really is. So now i'm thinking about the watea 84 in 176

Is that a good call for me? Any other suggestions?
like SJ said, this may not be the right ski for the EC, but at your size, you would have no problem man-handling the 184's. if you get a more groomer oriented ski, as SJ recommends, then a shorter length wouldn't be too bad. but the watea 84's are more freeride-esque skis, and should be skied longer
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsummmit View Post
Hey there,
The season is coming quick and I'm having a tough time finding a good ski for myself. I'm 5'11, 230 pounds....

I ski 70% of the time on the east coast but make a few trips out west every year.

I was looking at the Watea 84's at 184, but realized how much ski that really is. So now i'm thinking about the watea 84 in 176

Is that a good call for me? Any other suggestions?
Can you give us a bit more info? What type of skier are you? Do you ski trees, groomers, bumps? How aggresive are you etc..
post #11 of 27

Watea 78 vs. 84

Like I said before, I'm a big guy at 230, but not very tall at 5'11. I ski mostly on the East Coast, but I do make trips out to the west. I ski pretty aggressive and find myself in the tree's.

I'm a college student on a budget. My game plan was to find a good 50/50 All Mt. ski so that I can ski anything on the east, but have at least SOME float when I go west.

I really like the sound of the watea. I'm having a really tough time picking the 78 or the 84 though. I know the 78 would be better for me on the east coast, but at the same time, don't the 84's do all the same things as the 78's? I know they are thicker, but i'm a big guy... I figured the 176's would be good for me.

The 78's come in 174 and 181, while the 84's come in 176 and 184. I almost bought the 84's but my buddy told me I would be kickin myself in the ass if I did.

I'm really appreciate all the help, let me know what you think.
Cheers
post #12 of 27
bsummit,

Here's the deal.

There is no 'SOME' float. There is float. And there is sink. You either float or you sink.

When the surface area of the ski is enough to float the skier's weight, they float. Otherwise, they sink.

You will sink like a ROCK on either of these skis. I have the 84's. I know these things.

You will need a ski with a waist of 100+ to float, which is probably not what you want in the east.

Buy a skinny waisted east coast ski.

Rent when you go west IF it snows.
post #13 of 27
Alright, Thanks. Sorry if i annoyed you...
post #14 of 27
bsummmit,

I don't think anybody is annoyed.

But, you don't have to make mistakes I've already made (if you don't want to)!

I have made lots of worse mistakes, though.

The Watea 84 is a nice ski, it just won't do what you want.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking bear View Post
bsummit,

Here's the deal.

There is no 'SOME' float. There is float. And there is sink. You either float or you sink.

When the surface area of the ski is enough to float the skier's weight, they float. Otherwise, they sink.

You will sink like a ROCK on either of these skis. I have the 84's. I know these things.

You will need a ski with a waist of 100+ to float, which is probably not what you want in the east.

Buy a skinny waisted east coast ski.

Rent when you go west IF it snows.
This comes to reasonable conclusions but the argument is wrong, all the way through. "Float" can be loosely calculated using aeronautics formulas. It is the point at which lift is equal to weight. (Think airplanes flying) Lift is related to surface area of ski, shovel and ski shape, snow density, speed, and weight of the skier. So it VARIES in many parameters at once, is NOT all or nothing. You may well have enough float to be 2 inches below the surface, at which point your SA, speed, and the compressed snow density achieve the same lift as your total weight. Or perhaps you're slower and that break even point will be at 8 inches down. Just look at skiers in powder: Even female pros "sink" in super fats when they encounter deep light snow or slow down in a chute or hit a landing, and NO skier ever achieves 100% "float" in deep powder, even superheroes at Valdez. That would mean that every square inch of the base is completely at the surface of the snow. Getting back to airplanes, think about the fact that stubby winged jets weigh a lot, have little surface area, achieve enough lift to fly almost entirely from their airspeed, while gliders do it almost entirely from their surface area to weight ratio.

A good first step for you would be to calculate the surface area of the Wateas you like using PM's ski radus calculator (sticky at top of page). Then divide by your weight (including boots, clothes etc.). Then compare to a lighter person you know. You will discover that the ratio is the same for you with a 84 waist as it is for a person 50 lbs lighter with a low 70's waist! So no absolute sink or floats here, either for you or by comparison. OK, then ask yourself how fast you ski in pow. At your weight you'd have to be a F-111 to get up near the surface.

Bottom line: You're a big guy. 84 mm in the longest length MAY work well for you as a general purpose western ski with adequate float in calf-high powder IF you ski damn fast or don't mind porpoising a bit. (Remember that we all used to ski pow in 60 mm waists. Good workout.) Otherwise, suggest the Watea 94 for a start, but even at that, you'll begin to lose significant groomer performance, especially in the east. IMO, at your size, I'd think about a different brand, something that's beefier, like a Dynastar Mythic Rider, Volkl Grizzly, Head iM88 or Mojo 94, all of which would hold your edge better on hardpack but still give you some workability in pow. OTOH if you like to noodle through powder (I do sometimes), or really get a lot of narrow trail ice where you ski in the east, you may need to think about a quiver, keep that 78 something for groomers, get a 110+ for dumps. In that sense, Lurking Bear is right...
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
This is just wrong, all the way through. "Float" can be calculated. It is the point at which lift is equal to weight. Lift is related to surface area of ski, shovel and ski shape, snow density, speed, and weight of the skier. So it VARIES in many parameters at once, is NOT all or nothing. You may well have enough float to be 2 inches below the surface, at which point your SA, speed, and the compressed snow density achieve the same lift as your total weight. Or perhaps you're heavier or slower and that break even point will be at 8 inches down. Just look at skiers in powder: Even pros "sink" in super fats when they encounter deep light snow or slow down, and NO skier ever achieves 100% "float" in deep powder, even superheroes at Valdez. That would mean that every square inch of the base is completely at the surface of the snow.

A good first step for you would be to calculate the surface area of the Wateas you like using PM's ski radus calculator (sticky at top of page). Then divide by your weight (including boots, clothes etc.). Then compare to a heavier person you know. You will discover that the ratio is the same for you with a 84 waist as it is for a person 40 lbs heavier with a 90 or 92 waist! Or if you're the heavier person, it may only be the same as a 76. Same float in all three cases. No absolutes here. OK, then ask yourself how fast you ski in pow. Faster means you don't need as much width for the same float.

Bottom line: 84 mm may work well for you as a general purpose western ski with adequate float in calf-high powder IF you're light and ski fast. Otherwise, suggest the Watea 94 for a start, above that and you'll begin to lose significant groomer performance (which is also part of most skier's "everyday.")
I generally agree with this, but also think that there are other factors in play like ski flex, length and tip vs tail dimensions. I think that good skiers can use a variety of skis in moderately deep powder as long as the ski is not prone to tip dive.

My guess is that if you take two skis with the same surface area the following will ski better in deeper powder:
less camber (or even a rocker tip)
softer flexing
longer
wider tip, narrower tail

I know that you are looking for a clear answer, but the bottom line is that you are not going to find a single ski that is perfect for all conditions, so you are going to have to figure out where you want to compromise.

I have yet to ski my Wateas, but most describe the 84s as a good, easy going, 50/50 ski with a soft snow bias that can possibly be out muscled by a strong heavy skier.

Of the skis that you are considering, the 184s may be one of your better everyday Western skis that will give you a chance to handle moderate powder if you have the skills. However, most posters here feel that they will likely not be the best ski for you on the East coast and that there are also better Western skis out there for heavier skiers.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
My guess is that if you take two skis with the same surface area the following will ski better in deeper powder:
less camber (or even a rocker tip)
softer flexing
longer
wider tip, narrower tail
Agree with your list; a old Rossi B1 does a lot better in powder than a modern race carver same width and length.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsummmit View Post
Hey there,
The season is coming quick and I'm having a tough time finding a good ski for myself. I'm 5'11, 230 pounds....

I ski 70% of the time on the east coast but make a few trips out west every year.

I was looking at the Watea 84's at 184, but realized how much ski that really is. So now i'm thinking about the watea 84 in 176

Is that a good call for me? Any other suggestions?
I suggest you need two skis, at least:

Atomic Drive 11 or SX12/11 or similar mid-radius 70 mm and under waist ski for the east.

Something over 85 for west - maybe Dynastar LP (100 mm).
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I suggest you need two skis, at least:

Atomic Drive 11 or SX12/11 or similar mid-radius 70 mm and under waist ski for the east.

Something over 85 for west - maybe Dynastar LP (100 mm).
I know you are on a budget, but there are occational deals to be had on some moderately used stuff, especially race skis that are still in good shape...Might cost the same to get 2 used skis rather than 1 new...just a thought.
post #20 of 27
I'm not ambitious enough to make this stuff up.

From PhysicsMan's thread back in 2006 titled "82 mm skis should be good enough for a foot of snow":

Folks thinking about making their first purchase of a wider than normal ski repeatedly make statements such as, "I expect that this 82 mm wide ski should be 'good enough' for foot deep snow".

The problem with this expectation is that soft snow skiing is a lot like water skiing. Specifically, for a given speed, you and your skis won't start lifting you up unless the upward force that the snow exerts on your skis exceeds your weight. So, a 200 lb guy going 25 mph may get 150 lbs of upward force from 70 mm wide skis, and his skis won't lift off of the hardpack base.

Assuming the lift force is proportional to area of the skis, on a pair of 90 mm wide skis (same speed, same angles, etc.), his skis will be generating 192 lbs of upward force and hence, they will still be sitting on the hard base under the soft new snow. However, as soon as he gets on a pair of 95 mm or wider boards, they will generate 203 lbs (or more) of upward force, and his skis will be able to lift off of the base layer and rise through the soft layer.

Thus, this skier will hardly see any change in float from 70 mm to 90 mm wide, then, all of a sudden, at 95 mm, he will start to experience a change in sensation and mode of skiing. This is precisely why many folks (particularly, those over, say 180 lbs) feel that mid-fats are "Jack of all trades, master of none", and why I object to the statement that mid-width skis are "good enough" for a foot of snow. If they really are "good enough" (ie, wide enough at your weight) to float in a foot of snow, they will float in a meter of snow.

This is also why many folks advocate bypassing the mid-fats and going directly to fats. It is also why lighter weight folks get enough float out of mid-80's skis and like them. To them, mid-80's are "fat" skis (at least in their behavior, if not actual width).

Now, obviously, the above description is a simplification. Skiers don't all travel at precisely one speed, and snow compacts, so new snow just above the hardpacked base will be more dense than snow near the surface, particularly if it has aged for a bit. This means that for real skiers in such snow, the transition from not-floating to floating will not be as abrupt as I described above. It will be more gradual with respect to changes in width, speed, and other variables, so mid-fats will actually float a bit better than 70 mm wide skis, just not as much as most skiers seem to believe.

Tom / PM

*End Quote

This closely matches my experience.

I don't think a 230 pound guy can go fast enough to get any float out of a Watea 84.
post #21 of 27
The Watea 84 is a great ski. Last season they became my daily frontside work/instruction ski. They're good 90% skis. Good in freshies over groomers, handle crudbusting in all but the mankiest mank, pretty good in the bumps (if you have to), and just a fun, versatile ski. (I am 6'1" 190 lbs.)

At 230 lbs., you nee dsome serious width for float. The Watea 84s would be a good soft snow carver for you. In other conditions, I think you'd overpower them and/or sink them.

For float/stiffness, look at DP Pros.

You'll be happier if you buy a ski for your home mountain. Few people travel as much as they hope to. If you do find yourself out west, it is easy and cheap enough to rent/demo.

For skiing the east, look at the Watea 78 or, better still, the Progressors (if you're stuck on Fischers). You will be happier with carving and versatility. Whenver I go east (maybe twice a season) I take my race stock RC4 Worldcup SLs. Much better for me than the Wateas over there.

I'd seriously look at some Progressors.
post #22 of 27
I think i'm going to go with Head i.M 77. I've read alot of good things about them online and they are cheap brand new right now. One thing i'm having trouble with is to go railflex or not to go railflex. The railflex is cheaper, but I was looking to get the marker Griffon binding.
Any thoughts on that?

-Cheers
Brendan
post #23 of 27
faber, what length watea's do you have?
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
faber, what length watea's do you have?
176

I could have gone longer, but I bought these with instructing in mind. I wanted something that I could teach on, and then ski for myself. And since every lesson doesn't start with a beacon check and a snow pit...if ya know what I mean

But honestly, I have taken these all over the mountain in pretty much all conditions. No complaints. None. Even in 24+" of freshies, in the chutes, on the wind glaze....

Towards the end of last season I picked up a pair of 94s and a pair of DP Pros. The similarities between the 94s and 84s are many. I'd give the 94s a slight edge in mach 2 cream cheese surfing, and the 84s require less "driving" on the corduroy. But sooooo similar. So I got rid of the 94s over the summer and kept the 84s.

The single best non-race ski I've ever owned. I rarely get that excited about a ski, but, man....I loves me ma Watea 84s.
post #25 of 27
If you are looking at one ski for some float and carve ability.. Look at the Head Monster IM82... good tweener...

I subscribe to the theory you wont find a ski that does everything exceptionally well. Ala the quiver..
I have the Monster 78 and like them so much went and added the 88... Head's rail like crazy and on the east got to be able to go soft pack and hard pack...

Good luck
post #26 of 27
well that's awesome info faber, I've been on narrow waist skis (RX8's) for years, and bought a pair of 176 84's off season and can't wait to ski on them. I'm losing weight and by ski season should be in the mid to low 180's at 5'9 1/2" so they should be great for me. My week in Vail it's all i'll bring.

For the east I'll use them whenever there's soft snow. I can't wait!
post #27 of 27
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, SMJ.

There's no such ski as a wonder ski, but I seldom have a day on my Wateas 84s when I think "I wonder what that run would have been like on my...." So I call 'em my no-wonder ski

Looking forward to your take on 'em!
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