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Pontoon/Kuro vs. Lotus 120

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Looking for an inbounds/slackcountry/shot tour ride to complement by 176 Legend Pros. Have some $$$ coming, but need to strike while the iron's hot or risk the car breaking down or something.

I'm 5'8", 140#s and ski at Alpental, mainly off-piste, so lots of trees and funky, wet snow. I ski fast but am not a semi-pro hucker or anything. The new skis will get Dukes, which spent last season on 174 Coombas. Love this ski so much that I'm going to put Dynafits on them and make them my primary touring ski.

I've loved the LPs (stouter, smooth) and Coombas (soft, playful). Had 173 Sugar Daddies and hated them. Planky and dead-feeling. Didn't like to turn (this experience is why the Thug isn't on the list despite rave reviews). I ski 40+ days a year.

I don't want reverse/reverse, because there's a ton of traversing and some groomer activity (for me, anyway) at Alpental.

Looking for something 115-135 under foot, and with at least a rockered tip. I've largely narrowed it down to the three skis in the title after reading a ton of reviews and talking to people, although I'm sure the EHP, Praxis, Brocker etc. suggestions will come flying.

The Lotus 120's (in a Flex 2 178) shape and profile seem to be right on the money, and I like that they're light to allow for some pow touring. Never having seen a single negative comment about them (aside from topsheet/sidewall durability concerns) makes me nervous. Who's going to roll out $1k for skis and then admit they made a mistake?

Pontoons (in 179) would be a bit more a pain to tour on, but are de rigeur around here and the Coomba's soft flex didn't bother me too much. Kuro makes the list for having a similar shape, but is reportedly a Pontoon done right(er); better in crud, etc. Given that I'm a lightweight, I'm not wildly enamored of a 160+mm tip, especially for getting through tight spaces.

All three have durability concerns, but I can deal with that. I can't imagine "needing" more float than 120mm will give me, but are there others things the Pontoon/Kuro shape (I know these two are slightly different) does much better? Has anyone skied a Lotus 120 and not liked it (and why)? Anything else to consider? THanks.
post #2 of 23
I've skiied the Lotus for free and still liked it, so no $$$ bias there.

As for te Pontoon and Kuro they seem pretty different to me. Isn't the Pontoon full reverse/reverse? The Kuro I think is just reverse cambered with traditional (albeit colossal) shape.
post #3 of 23
Are you only considering single tipped stuff? What about a twin tip? If so that will narrow your choices quite a bit.

Ep pros, Hell bent, Rocker, Sir Francis Bacons.

Twin or Single?
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
I know the Kuro/Pontoon are different, but I'd put them in the same class.

Not interested in anything more jib-oriented (EP Pro, Hellbent).
post #5 of 23
I'd hate to have Pontoons on for the Great Scott Traverse. I skied the 189s as my deep powder ski two seasons ago at Stevens and loved them in blower, but hated them in anything else. And yes, the 160-mm tips will get in your way, especially when skating/traversing.

If you are doing a lot of Alpy BC, I'd look at something with tip rocker only (Sallie Czar or k2 Obseth'd) or something traditional with a soft tip (Made'n AK or Thug). Also something like the Armada JJ with recurve could be really fun in the Aply BC.

I have experience with Sallie Rockers, Praxis, Pontoons, and Hellbents (ugh...horrid) and I have to say that my Sanouks albeit "traditional" are still as good or better pow skis than any of those listed (well...except for the Rockers...those just kill it).

Anyhow, I would recommend trying a Pontoon or Kuro before you buy. If you are trying to score a shop form deal and need to order early (typically where these types of threads come from so early in the season), I'd gamble on the Kuro.

There is the 2-cents of a PNW gear whore with too many powder skis.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks BanditMan. That's the kind of input I'm looking for. What you say points in the DPS 120 direction I was already headed.
post #7 of 23
In contrast to Bandit Man...

I doubt you'd go wrong with any of them. Although the DP 138 would be a more Apples/Apples comparison with the Kuro & Pontoon.

The 120 is a tip-rocker oriented ski. I have not skied it, but I doubt it'd pivot or smear as well as the other two. It should plane faster & be less catchy than a more conventional ski. Last spring there were a couple of guys on them every weekend the last 5 or 6 weeks of Alpental operations. They looked like they were having fun. I have to admit I'm skeptical of tip rocker only skis - but I have not tried any yet...

I like both the Kuro and the Pontoon. I think the Kuro is more versatile and a better choice for most of us. OTOH, Pontoons can now be found for more reasonable prices... Both of them are on the short list of skis that have made me just bust out laughing because they were so much fun.

A few comments on each:

Pontoon: Very surfy/smeary. If you can dive the tips, my hat's off to you. You can get it on edge readily enough if the snow is at all soft. As long as you are not dealing with full on ice, the Pontoon is nowhere near the nightmare some make it out to be on groomers. It does present some challenges in cutup snow - and that seems to be the thing that gets it the most gripes from people who otherwise like it for its powder performance. Still, I hear through the area grapevine that this genuinely remains Bryce Phillips' ski of choice for most days.

Kuro: Compared to the Pontoon, it has relatively subtle rocker combined with real but unusually shaped sidecut. Overall taper is roughly similar to the Pontoon. Not as surfy/smeary as the Pontoon, but way more so than a more conventional ski. Lots of luck diving the tips on this one too. It is shockingly comfortable on groomers & in cutup snow. IMO it is way, way more self assured in these conditions than the Pontoon. Hence my view that it represents a solid evolutionary step relative to the Pontoon.

Unlike Bandit Man, I'd never go back to a conventional shape here in the PNW. I like the tip/tail looseness of a rockered shape. Although I think Bandit Man's response brings up an interesting pattern I've seen. So I'll offer up what is likely a gross over-generalization: The people I've seen who have been least happy playing on spat derived skis have been people who really like to "charge" and get out over the fronts - traditional style. And who like a solid platform out back - especially when finishing turns. I think lots of people with lots of years of solid experience have a preferred feel and "muscle memory" that gets kind of unwound by the centered character of the spat family turning & steering. Despite the fact that the Kuros and Pontoons have those big tips, there are times they just want you centered in order to make the right things happen... FWIW, Bandit Man is a better skier than I am, so feel free to factor that in (but I'm pretty sure I skied more days last winter )

Or, you could just get a Praxis
post #8 of 23
fwiw, the only rockered ski i have tried to date is the Brocker.

also keep in mind it was in Cali spring condis @ Mammoth.

i found that it handled quite similarly to my Spats. i took a groomer/zoomer run on 'em and smeared and pivoted to my heart's content.

i was then urged to "lay into 'em" and really get up on edge and do some carving. this is where it handled quite differently from my Spats.

i did this on the next run and they performed much better than my Spats. i still had a Pavlovian response, though (from 2 seasons on Spats), so i was pretty hesitant "carving" them, but i can say they held an edge in medium arc carves pretty swell (if i even think about laying up an edge on my Spats they wash out and throw me for a swing).

i didn't get to try the planks in pow or on groomer fresca firma (hard packed groomers), but i imagine they would handle pretty well compared to my Spats, which handle for shite in those latter conditions.

so, you might want to scope out a rockered ski...since you are from up Northish (it sounds), you might want to look into Lib-Tech. They have a new Recurve powder ski that is 117 underfoot. Plus they have MAGNETRACTION!

at any rate, i'm sticking with my Spats until they peter out as i'm trying valiantly to get my quiver down to 3 skis or less.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
So I'll offer up what is likely a gross over-generalization: The people I've seen who have been least happy playing on spat derived skis have been people who really like to "charge" and get out over the fronts - traditional style. And who like a solid platform out back - especially when finishing turns. I think lots of people with lots of years of solid experience have a preferred feel and "muscle memory" that gets kind of unwound by the centered character of the spat family turning & steering.
You've got me nailed! My top skis from last season were 187 XXLs, Sanouks (I should have bought a pair a long, long time ago), and Rockers. I think that tip rocker is the ticket for my style, which is driving the tips (or at least attempting to do so). The full-rocker designs are "fun", especially in trees and tight spaces, but are so un-nerving to me in full-throttle situations, that I'm willing to sacrifice maneuverability and playfulness for rock solid stability. I don't miss the slarvy, smeary feeling when skiing the Rockers since they destroy snow in a way that Pontoons and Hellbents cannot.

And yes...you got many more days than I did this year. However, since so many were on Hellbents, do those still count?
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit Man View Post
Y
And yes...you got many more days than I did this year. However, since so many were on Hellbents, do those still count?
I said mount near center. Sooooo, what did you do? Your test was flawed!

And yes, they count!
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
I said mount near center. Sooooo, what did you do? Your test was flawed!
Mounted them at +4.5-cm and it still felt too forward. Also, I had the luxury of skiing my Rockers and Hellbents back to back on a powder day that got heavy and chopped as the day progressed. After that test, it was fairly obvious what had to go...(Hint, I still have the Rockers).

Sorry for the tangent, but Spindrift baited me...
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm not comparing apples to apples because I'm trying to decide between an apple (Kuro/Pontoon: 130+ underfoot, fuller rocker) and an orange (Lotus 120, etc.: 120+ underfoot, tip rocker only).
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpyandy View Post
I'm not comparing apples to apples because I'm trying to decide between an apple (Kuro/Pontoon: 130+ underfoot, fuller rocker) and an orange (Lotus 120, etc.: 120+ underfoot, tip rocker only).
Perhaps I should have just said this to begin with...

For the PNW, based on my experience with different types of rocker, the Lotus 120 will be money.
post #14 of 23
I have a 2005 DPS Lotus 120, I love them. I think the newer tip profile would erase the one thing I don't like about it; it feels 'just wrong' when trying to carve on firm snow.

+ extremely light yet still powerful
+ great surfy feel, pivots at will
+ did I mention they're really light?
+ torsional rigidity, they track beautifully through anything
- firm snow sketchiness, can be funky skinning
- possibly not durable
- slowest bases of any ski EVER
- price.

I'd check out the Black Diamond Megawatt as a possible great choice for you.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Whiteroom: What do you mean by sketchy on hardpack? Because they're fat, or something about the construction of the ski?

Megawatt is definitely a contender, but not available yet...
post #16 of 23
a lot of these skis we're discussing are reverse camber. they have very little contact edge points and thus are not optimal for "carving hardpack".

the irony of it all is why anybody would want to carve hardpack on a pair of Lotus or Hellbents or Pontoons or Spats. they are a specialized ski meant to be used primarily in deep snow.

you figure out how to manage them on hardpack if you have to hit a groomer back to the lift.

the bottomline is that they are tailored for maximum deep snow performance and as such they loose hard snow performance.

too many people bitch and moan about not having a ski that will both float the deep and carve the groomed.

that's why you have a quiver. get one all around ski that handles the hardpack and then get that deep snow baby.

me, I primarily rock a pair of Lib-Tech Freerides (93/99mm underfoot due to Magnetraction wavy edges) and a pair of Spatulas (125mm underfoot and reverse camber) for the deep days. Those are the skis I rode the most out of 62 days this season. Sure, there's some things I dislike about each (the Spats tips are too narrow, they are heavy, they suck on groomers), but what I love about them far outweighs the negative.

The cool thing is that unless you want to be a classicist, there are a ton of options out there that improve upon the basic Spat design. These skis are lighter, often have more edge for a better hold on groomers (but don't be fooled, they will never carve like race skis), and so on.

I think if you score anything that is 120+ underfoot with either rocker or recurve or reverse camber and dedicate that as a deep snow ski you're going to have a blast.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
the irony of it all is why anybody would want to carve hardpack on a pair of Lotus or Hellbents or Pontoons or Spats.

Hell - I'm still confused as to why anybody would want to carve hardpack period.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit Man View Post
I have experience with Sallie Rockers, Praxis, Pontoons, and Hellbents (ugh...horrid) and I have to say that my Sanouks albeit "traditional" are still as good or better pow skis than any of those listed (well...except for the Rockers...those just kill it).

There is the 2-cents of a PNW gear whore with too many powder skis.
by pnw gear whore he means that he has owned almost every single pair of fat skis made from the Powder Plus and Explosive to thugs (in two sizes) sumos blowers(also in two sizes) to rockers and hellbents and nearly everything inbetween.

As a fellow pnw skier I would have to second his recommendation of the sanouk. Our mutal friend who is much closer to your size bought a pair at bandit mans recomnedation and has fallen in love. The straight sidecut, soft flex, swallow tail and tapered tip give it the abilities of a Reverse/reverse ski in a conventional shape.


Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
In contrast to Bandit Man...
......(enter the biggest challenger to bandit man's whore title).........
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
Unlike Bandit Man, I'd never go back to a conventional shape here in the PNW. I like the tip/tail looseness of a rockered shape. Although I think Bandit Man's response brings up an interesting pattern I've seen. So I'll offer up what is likely a gross over-generalization: The people I've seen who have been least happy playing on spat derived skis have been people who really like to "charge" and get out over the fronts - traditional style.
Hahahaha bandit man a "charger". Please allow me to take a moment through my collections of embarrassing photos to properly quash this misunderstanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
And who like a solid platform out back - especially when finishing turns.
Now that sounds like the b-man i know
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
I think lots of people with lots of years of solid experience have a preferred feel and "muscle memory" that gets kind of unwound by the centered character of the spat family turning & steering.
FYI spindrift, i've yet to find (m)any skis that you don't want to ski centered in powder.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
FYI spindrift, i've yet to find (m)any skis that you don't want to ski centered in powder.
Haha - true.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Don't recall anyone on this thread asking for a fat ski that carved hardpack. Asked Whiteroom about sketchieness on hardpack. This can come from size, or construction (foam cores feel "tinny" on hardpack). If it's construction, that's a bit of a concern for crud, set-up snow performance. If it's because fat skis are weird on hardpack, well, no s$#%, I'll deal with it.
post #21 of 23
Alpy,

What I find sketchy is the combination of extreme torsional rigidity + the nearly reverse sidecut from 2005. If the ski 'skarved' more I'd never mention it feeling sketchy, I don't expect a ski like the Lotus to rail groomers... but it DOES RAIL, straight ahead until you force them to pivot, then you go straight again. If the ski allowed for smooth brushed turns I'd be 100% in love... I'm 96%.
post #22 of 23
this manual for the Spatula pretty much sums up what you'll be getting into with a reverse camber ski:

http://www.fuzeqna.com/evogear/consu...il.asp?kbid=61


and regardless if the question was how does it carve on hardpack or how does it handle on hardpack, the bottomline is that you are inquiring about POWDER skis. hard snow performance really shouldn't be an issue. you learn to deal with it.

me, 2 skis in heavy rotation: Lib Tech NAS Freeride (93/99mm underfoot) and Spats. You figure out pretty quickly what days the Spats are gonna rule (and they actually rule in 5 day leftovers). You also learn to use 'em on groomers and hardpack (it's all about Yosemite Sam bowlegged stance if you want to go straight or you just power slide and pivot...it's weird at first but actually becomes quite fun). At any rate a number of the Spat offspring have added more sidecut so they are relatively better on hardpack, but again these skis are made to perform in the deep and the sidecut is just something to get you back to the lift should you be at a resort where there are a ton of groomers (this can be eliminated drastically by being selective about where you ski).

Anyway, with anything there are tradeoffs and you have to decide if deep snow performance or hardpack performance is what you are after.

Read the manual, it's a hoot.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
the bottomline is that you are inquiring about POWDER skis. hard snow performance really shouldn't be an issue.t.
dookey,

reading first; stream of consciousness postings second
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