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Forgiving off-piste or all-mountain ski

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Looking for a slightly more forgiving ski for my off piste endeavors this season. Last season I had a 2-ski quiver with Atomic Metron Xs in 178 for most stuff, and tried the Volkl Manta in 191 for the off piste. The Mantras I think were just too much of a weapon for me, as I really don't ski that FAST, and the Metrons weren't the right ski for a lot of the off piste, but I love them on the groom. Too grabby, not forgiving enough in variable terrain.

I'm 6'7" 240lbs, advanced skier (PSIA L8 likely), will be skiing another ~60 days at Alpine Meadows this year. Probably won't complete my PSIA Level 2 cert, but will be training for it. Ski most runs at Alpine but have so far avoided Keyhole, Idiots, and most of Sherwood Cliffs. Started to list some favorite runs, but ended up listing almost everything off of Summit and Scott chair, hah!

Any ski suggestions? Perhaps Fischer Watea, Volkl AC4?

-Adam
post #2 of 13
The Watea 94s have almost the idential dimenisons as the Mantra, but are a much more forgiving ski. From what I can tell it is one of the easier high performance skis to ski in most conditions. It will rail the groomed but not spank you in the bumps if you get a bit lazy. A very good crud and deep snow ski, but definitely does not have the bulldozer quality of the Mantra when the going gets rough. If you've got the game the Manta is a better all around tool, but if you don't want to focus 100% for 100% of the time the Wateas are much more fun for all mountain skiing. I have not skied the AC4s, but my buddy has those and the Mantras, and based on your post I think you would find them more of a handfull than you want for an all-mountain ski. I weigh 215 and if I go crazy can push my 186 Wateas 94s beyond their limit, but most of the time I enjoy the heck out of them. If you can demo the Wateas you should definitley give them a try. They are a great ski for someone who doesn't want to have to ski full bore all the time to get the most out of their boards.
post #3 of 13
You should check out the Atomic Crimson or the Crimson TI. Or for that matter the new Snoop daddy is supposed to be a great ski with a little more girth than the crimson. Crimson at 86 and the Snoop at 94. I skied the original snoop the last couple of years and really enjoyed it in soft deeper snow. My main ski last year was the nomad blackeye. At 79 under foot you might want to consider it as well. Very versatile.
post #4 of 13
In addition to the Watea 94, it might be worth trying the 101.

It will give you a bit more float and stability.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by abertsch View Post
I'm 6'7" 240lbs, advanced skier (PSIA L8 likely), will be skiing another ~60 days at Alpine Meadows this year.

Any ski suggestions? Perhaps Fischer Watea, Volkl AC4?

-Adam
Dude you are huge. It might be hard to find a ski that is big enough to work with you and still not overbuilt as to be unforgiving for whatever it is you want to do. Do you want to practice any particular techniques or develop any thing in your skiing with this new ski? Because to be honest, I am surprised that a guy 6'7" 240 would seek out something like the mantra for free skiing primarily off piste.The gotama or katana would to me seem to be the much more natural choice amongst volkl line up, or one of the big funshape skis they just came with.

I personally love the 191 Scott P4 as something that is fun but still capable off piste in a variety of snow conditions. The ski flex is basically soft tail and tips and stiff in the middle 50%. They work great for me and I am constantly being accused of skiing slow by a few people I know. But I do weigh 50lbs less than you. So they may or may not be enough ski for you.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I think I am looking for something with a little more shape than the mantra. Also the mantra seems like it has to be tipped to a pretty extreme edge angle before it really starts to grab. The Metron starts to arc if you even think about maybe tipping it. I am looking for something in the middle of those two.

In order to have more shape than the mantra, I think I want something narrower, so was thinking of skis in the 80-something waist range. However, I haven't tried enough different kinds of skis to really know what I want. This is the issue.
post #7 of 13
Try the 183 Scott Santiago Mission. You won't be dissapointed.

128/89/115mm (14.7m turning radius)
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by abertsch View Post
In order to have more shape than the mantra, I think I want something narrower, so was thinking of skis in the 80-something waist range. However, I haven't tried enough different kinds of skis to really know what I want. This is the issue.

Not sure you need to go thinner to get more shape, but maybe a tad shorter.

Your 07 191 Mantra - 130/94/113 turn radius ~25m

08 186 Elan 888 Alu 128-88-108 - 23.1m better and also tappered like the mantra to help float the tip up.

08 187 Salomon X-Wing Sandstorm 135/101/125 - 22.2m

Eski was on the X-Wing Sandstorm last year. Based on his comments about its behavior, I think it might be what you are looking for. I got the impression that it was very easy turning ski. (You might PM him for more details.)

Plus, being a little wider under foot helps guys in our weight range from punch through softer snow - hooking a tail or be getting the back half of the ski buried . (think a little wind effected snow up on High Yellow face - tell you a story later)

Of course, wider should be better in powder.

There are some good deals on Sandstorm right now.


Mantra needing a high edge angle to engage is more an Mantra issue than a wide ski issue. My LPs (97mm) do not require the same high edge angle as my Mantras. If you can wait and pay full retail (or hope pro-form skis are left.) demoing would be a good idea to make sure the skis feels right.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Watea 84mm -- 18m
Watea 94mm -- 22m
X-wing Sandstorm 101mm -- 22

Good suggestion on the X-wing. Never skied anything that wide. The ankle forces on the Mantra weren't that bad. I just didn't like how they felt like "clown shoes" on real hard pack until the edge angle gets so high. I also think I'm going to end up skiing a much more upright and stiff configuration on my boots this season (glad I got the Kryptons) so I'll be pressuring and bending the skis more on the front half. I think skiing my boots on the softest setting last season was a real mistake.

-Adam
post #10 of 13
Adam, I recall you had Fritchi Free Ride bindings on the Mantras. Did you ever try a better clamp?

I would like the Gotama for you. A lot easier to turn in variable conditions and more float in the deeper stuff. You might also look at the PMGear Bro in a 188. Nice easy going shape that doesn't grab the same way the Mantra does.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have good tyrolia bindings on the Mantras now (thanks Stormday!!). That makes them skiable. I still really like the mantra for deep days. I don't think I'll be getting rid of them. I just don't like them for the other 90% of days when the snow is harder, more variable, bumped out, etc.

-Adam
post #12 of 13
You don't necessarily need to go narrower and I don't think that you need more shape. IMO, what you need is a ski that is softer torsionally. While a little softer torsion will give up some ultimate edge grip, that's not much of an issue for the west and the payback is a ski that is more supple and forgiving in wierd and broken snow and especially when you have grippy spots in between the piles of crooood. I own a Mantra myself but don't care that much for it for the reasons that you describe. In the high 80's to mid 90's range I'd suggest the Watea 94 or the Mythic Rider for someone of your weight. I own the MR too but would also be completely happy with the 94. The Snoop is a great ski but might be a little soft for your weight.

SJ
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Any suggestions for a way to demo the Watea 84, 94, X-wing, and possibly the MR in the extreme early season? I'd like to get in to a pair of skis as early as possible this season. It is key that I be able to teach on whatever ski I choose since I am not likely to have time to swap out, but I don't think that's going to be an issue with any of these. I taught a few days even on the Mantras last season, but that was seriously sub-optimal, heh.

-Adam
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