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Information/Recommendation on Fat Skis

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've started skiing again, in the Northeast, after a 30 year hiatus. I'm sking on the Atomic Balanze 9.7, 159cm. When spring skiing came around along with 8-12in. of warm wet corn crud I was stopped cold. I could not manage to ski through the stuff. I felt as though someone was holding the tips of my skis. I noticed that some of the ski patrol, SugarloafUSA in Maine, were on fat skis. The ski deals are great right now. My question is are fat skis the answer to sking this heavy wet chopped up crud? I've come up with Rossignol Scratch Girls BC and Ladies Line Celebities; both have a 90mm waist. The tips of the Lines are a little wider. I have no interest in Park skiing. Should I think seriosly about these skis (160cm.) or maybe look at some short Telemark skis and mount regular bindings? I can't thank anyone enough for the help. I'm completely in the dark here.
post #2 of 10
Hi WinthropME...welcome to Epic. IMHO there are two answers to your question? 1) Fat skis may help; at a minimum they will help you ride higher above the snow which will reduce the amount of grabbiness of the snow and makes it easier to ski. You will also reap a huge benefit in the mid-winter POW as you won't believe how fun it is in those conditions. 2) That said, skiing in variable conditions always requires sound fundamentals such as being neutrally balanced over the sweet spot of the ski...etc. You'll still struggle if not doing those things.

As far as the skis you mentioned, the 90mm waist will definitely help..my friend skied the Lince Celebrities this year and enjoyed them. Many park skis do very well as freeride skis on the mtn. so I wouldn't seat that too much. Other skis to consider would be k2 Phat luv and Volkl Aura which are both considered great women's fat skis.

Good luck.
post #3 of 10
I use a 93/99 mm waisted ski (it has serated edges, so the waist size fluctuates under the boot) as my everyday ski. My back-up everyday ski is a 94.

I own a pair of 78 and 86mm waisted skis and neither saw much action this year, even on West Coast boilerplate days. The 78's are gonna get retired. The 86's are gonna get sold.

It really depends on where you ride and what you like. It's taken me two seasons to get comfortable on what many would consider a "Fat" ski, but now I look at 93-99 as being a "normal" ski. A "Fat" ski would exceed 125mm (I have those, too for the blower days).

Best suggestion:

Make a short list of skis you're interested in and then demo, demo, demo.
post #4 of 10
If this is a fat(er) ski purely for the NE, here are some 07-08's I think you'd enjoy:

K2 Tough Luv in 160
Volkl Aura in 163
Head Sweet Fat Thing in 166
Blizzard Eos in mid 160's

These are all high 80's to mid 90's in width, all are easy to turn in tight spaces, and all can handle variable conditions that you'll find here even on powder days, and they're all somewhat to very forgiving without any loss of top end. IMO, a lighter female (I'm assuming this is you from description of skis) doesn't really need anything wider (these will give you equivalent float to a average size male on a 105-115 waist ski) and doesn't want anything softer for the NE (there's this thing we have about ice under the powder). Good luck!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Beyond, Dookey and Locknload. Your responses are a big help. I seem to be thinking in the right direction.
post #6 of 10
ffat skis will ski that stuff easier to a certian extent but alot is up to you.

Why a women specific ski?

but your 2 choices are solid and should help you out, IMO go for the 170 in the scratch BC girls because the twin tip will make it ski super short. Longer skis truck though that stuff and are actualyl easier to turn than shorter skis. In the case of a softer ski like the scratch longer skis will be easier to turn at slower speeds.
post #7 of 10
This question (or one almost identical to it) gets asked her almost daily, try using the search function.

Just on the front page, there are five threads already discussing this.






Bushwacker's suggestion is the truth though. The right skis can make certain things easier, or require less effort, but if you can't do it at all, you need to just go out there and ski till you get it, then jump on some fat skis and you'll have a huge grin.
post #8 of 10
my wife had tried several skis before settling on the 170 Aura's. Some of the other fatties she's tried but didnt like as much were K2 Phat Luv, K2 Seth Vicious, Salomon Scarlet... She like to ski fast & aggressively. The others just didnt werent as good at speed or in the crud. The Aura's weren't quite as floaty as some of the others, but it was way more stable in the chop & at speed. The added plus is that Aura's do amazingly well on the hard pack as well.

But as Bushwacker said, dont limit yourself to women specific skis. Or for that matter, don't limit yourself to short lengths only. For powder & crud performance length is as important as width. Softer & lighter (aka women's skis) isnt always better. It all depends on your skiing style.
post #9 of 10
The Line Celebrity is a great ski - same as the Chronic Blend, essentially. My wife skis it as her every day ski. She also has Phat Luvs and likes them, although she finds the Celebrity to be more to her liking. She demoed the Aura in a length that was too long for her (she normally skis in 160s but it was 177) - even still, she found that she preferred the Celebrities. Previous to this, she skied a Rossi B2W; although she still likes that ski, the Lines have won her over.
post #10 of 10
My daughter skied 143 Celebrity Minis mounted tele at least 30 days this year so far (she'll get three more next weekend) and loved them.

And there are lots of good responses already. But one nuance I think may be missing is that it sounds like you're looking less for a true powder ski than for a crudbuster. Width is only one part of the equation -- stiffness is another, and an important one.

At the start of the season, my wife added a pair of 158 Dynastar Exclusive Legends (75mm waist) to her quiver, to complement her two-season-old 160 K2 Phat Luvs (95mm waist); her 160 Salomon Versa 8Ws (70mm waist) became rock skis. She loves both pairs of skis. But as the season progressed, I noticed that she was using the Dynastars on a lot of days when she would've used the Phat Luvs in years past -- days when we intended to venture off groomed, but when the snow wasn't necessarily fresh. She sacrificed some float, but gained control and speed.

So when Evogear put a pair of used 158 Dynastar Exclusive Legend Powders with Look NX12 bindings on eBay for $140 shipped, I surprised her. And she surprised me by making them her everyday skis for the rest of the season. If we'd gotten another nice fresh dump, I'm sure she'd have broken out the Phat Luvs. And if we were facing a cold day, when the snow would be unlikely to soften, she used the Legends rather than the Powders. But most of the time, she was on the Powders. Similarly, although I had a choice of what many think is too many skis, with waists from 70mm to 136mm, I spent much of my spring on my 84mm wide 186 Fischer Big Stix 84s -- another stiff midfat.

For an east coast ski in a length under about 165cm, I think you may be happier with a stiffer midfat ski with a waist in the 82-92mm range than you will with a softer and wider ski.

As others have suggested, demoing would be a good idea, but I often get deals at this time of the year that would allow me to flip skis I didn't like for very close to what I paid for them. (Of course, then I love them and my quiver bloats, but that's a risk I have to take.) I know that Sierrasnowboard.com has the 158 Exclusive Legend Powders for $320 shipped.
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