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Freeride Shopping List?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am looking for a wider ski for new snow/heavy snow days to complement my 170 cm. Salomon X-Wing Tornado's. To give you a sense of preference, I bought those after testing a lot of different all mountain skis and I love them. But I need something wider for back-country venturing and new snow.

I like what I've read about the Dynastar Mythic Rider. What else belongs on my list? Watea 84? Head 78 or 88? I really don't want to overlap the Tornado's, so all advice appreciated.

About me. 51. 6' 0". 170 lbs. Ski in the Pacific NW at Crystal and Whistler. I ski aggressively but I'm not a speed freak or daredevil.
post #2 of 10
This question gets asked here on an almost daily basis. The search function would probably give you all the answers you seek.

I'll throw you a bone though and say that if you don't want to overlap the tornadoes, and this is for soft snow, go with something 100mm underfoot or bigger.
post #3 of 10
I haven't skied on as many different skis as many of the folks here, but I did some demo'ing this winter and recently jumped from 69mm Rossi Bandit X's to 94mm Watea's (not the 84, obviously). I will say, based on my limited experience, that you'll barely notice the difference moving up to something in the 80's. I think Maggot's got the right idea, if you're looking for a soft/heavy snow ski, go into the 100's, or at the bare minimum into the 90's. It sounds like you want something that's substantially different enough from what you already like that there's a reason to *add* a ski, instead of *replacing*. If you're looking to replace the tornado's, sure, go for something in the 80's. But if you're looking to start a quiver, definitely go bigger.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help so far. I'll sharpen the focus of my question by including a longer list of skis... if folks will tell me what belongs and what doesn't... what might be over my head in terms of stiffness or skill required... I'd be very appreciative.

Again, I really like the feel of my 170 cm. 2007 Tornado's and I'm looking for a versatile ski biased for new and/or deep snow but one I can use on any given day. From reading string after string I can tell there are pros/cons to each of these below... what is closest to ideal?

Volkl Mantra
Atomic Snoop Daddy
Dynastar Mythic Rider (too stiff?)
Head IM 88 (too stiff?)
K2 Outlaw (weaker contender?)
Volkl Gotama (too one dimensional?)
Fischer Watea 94

I think size/weight/skill put me in the 170 to 175 cm length.

Thanks for your input!
post #5 of 10
From reading string after string I can tell there are pros/cons to each of these below... what is closest to ideal?
JH...this question is unanswerable as its posed. What do YOU want to the ski to do and what you want to DO on the ski? What I mean is...if you want a ski from that list that will crush soft snow...then the Gotama wins easily. If you want a ski that will be merely much better than your current ski but provide a ton of versatility...I'd say the Mythic or the Mantra or the Watea 94 are good choices. My personal belief is that you need at least 15-20mm difference in waist difference between skis to prevent too much overlap (obviously other factors come into play as well...shape, stiffness etc). You'll hardly notice a difference less than that. I think you need to really decide what you want this ski to do and then it becomes much easier to match that goal with a short list of skis. At your height and size...I also think you should be considering the lengths that are at the mid to high end of 170ish. For instance, the Mantra comes in a 177...that would be perfect for you...the Mythic comes in 178. The extra length will give you tons of versatility off piste and much better float...don't be afraid of that.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Apologies. We had lots of days at Crystal this year where we had the opportunity to ski in a foot or so of new snow. I also began to venture into the backcountry and ski in and around the trees. In both cases I felt the Salomons were too narrow. Inevitably, even on these days, I would still ski all over the mountain, including on bumps, so I'm not looking for a ski that will be difficult to use under normal conditions on everyday black diamonds. Also, as our snow is heavy and there's often crud under the new snow, I need a ski that can cut through and/or stay on top, without being so strong it'll back me around. I have really enjoyed skiing a shorter ski and worry about losing manueverability, though I understand length will help me float. The Salamons have a 75 mm waist, so the 20 mm rule will help narrow the pack. I know I'm taking some risk buying without demoing, but I'm trying to take advantage of end-of-season sales to buy something now.
post #7 of 10
No apologies necessary JHski...I hope my tone didn't come off abrupt..I definitely did not mean it to...just trying to help you with your decision making rationale. A couple of assumptions that might also help...first off...in 3d snow (ie..soft snow/POW) the shafe and flex of the ski have as much, if not more, to do with the nimbleness and quick turning ability of the ski. So....a soft flexing wider, slightly longer board may actually turn faster than your stiffer, narrower Salomon. Its a bit counterintuitive...but its true....so if you want to ski trees in POW you'll be cutting tight dynamic turns through them if you pick the right ski.

Second, you do have to accept at least some tradeoff between float performance and bumps. I am a big bump skier as well but when the snow is fresh...I focus on POW and save the bumps for non-fresh snow days. If you hop on the Mantras, or the Wateas or the Gotamas...they will float much better than your skis and it will be very noticeable--particularly at lower speeds. HOWEVER, they will not carve the bumps the way your current skis do. They'll do fine if you stay on top of them etc. and if the bumps aren't super tight and carved out...but that's not what they're designed for. I have a friend who has the Mantras and he can ski the bumps well on them as long as they're not VW sized and if they're fairly soft. I ski the Gots and they're OK in the bumps but not great...I much prefer my narrower skis in the bumps.

In terms of crud performance, many people rave about the Mantras in crud. They are stiffer than the Gots and the Wateas (not sure how they compare to the Mythics) and so the tip powers through crud and the width keeps you up on top of it. For the PNW (where i went to college-UW) it might be a great choice. My only caution with the Mantra is that you must be on top of if...well balanced and not sit back on the ski otherwise it will ride you. If you're technique is fairly strong (level 7/8 ish) I think you'll be fine.

Don't worry about the risk of buying without demoing. Some people on here really are big believers in demoing...I have demoed lots over the years but the best skis I've purchased I never demoed. I relied on boards like this to figure out what people like and why and then juxtaposed that against my own style and preferences to find a correlation. The best deals are to be had right now...and all of the skis you have listed are really great skis. You probably can't go wrong...but you do want to match the type of ski with what you want it to do....

I rambled on...I hope this was helpful...
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Very. Thanks. I know if I went real versatility the Tornado's are a good solution. What I want to avoid with this next ski is getting something that will make it hard to ski on normal stuff... even when there's lots of new snow I spend time on groomed snow sorting out my kids in between lessons and racing, etc. I worry about the Gotama's being too one dimensional and may want something in between.
post #9 of 10
Do you already have gear? if not that should be on your shopping list before skis.
post #10 of 10
If you live in the PNW and ski Washington and Vancouver you might want to check out the local product:

Lib Tech Freeride (99 mm)
Lib Tech Powder (117 mm)

Prior Doughboy (105mm)
Prior Overlord (113mm)
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