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When is fat...fat enough?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
So here's the deal...looking for input from those who ride fat skis. For the purposes of this discussion, let's say 110mm underfoot and wider is considered "fat". At what point does additional width on a ski become a point of diminishing returns and not add a whole lot more performance? On fresh snow days this year, I'll be on the widest skis of my life (115mm underfoot). I picked a ski in this range b/c I wanted it to be very good in POW and still have some utility on trail; though I didn't buy it for on-piste performance. It is rockered tip/tail and zero camber--but not reverse camber. It is NOT reverse sidecut either.

For those of you who can compare from experience, how much more POW performance will I get out of a ski up in the 120-130mm range underfoot will I get? Or is the bigger issue whether I move to a true R, R and R ski? Do you prize the versatility of a ski in the 110-120 range OR is wider simply better and you didn't buy the ski to carve hard snow at all? I'm guess I'm wondering if I should have gone even wider?

Thoughts? Feedback? Really interested to hear from on extremely wide skis and/or reverse camber and sidecut skis.

Cheers
post #2 of 27
When are your fat skis fat enough?
When they match the width of your boots! Stepping on the insides of your skis and not punching into the snow enough on cliff drops are just a couple negatives of skis being too fat.
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by locknload View Post
..............I wanted it to be very good in POW and still have some utility on trail...........

..............OR is wider simply better and you didn't buy the ski to carve hard snow at all?

I'm guess I'm wondering if I should have gone even wider?
That's really the question and I don't think that anyone else can answer this for you. Your impressions are going to be way more relevant (for you) than anyone elses because everyone has different priorities.

SJ
post #4 of 27
Assume this is prompted by crop of new 110+ skis that are beginning to look "normative," and 130-ish up's that are the new crazy wides. Posed a similar question myself last year. Agree partly with SJ; it's about what you care about, where you operate.

But also think there are practical limits. Two snowboards side by side will get your knees wide enough that under load you'll start shearing your medial collateral ligaments. Not to mention looking like the ultimate level 1 getting back to the lift.

And once you achieve surface float at typical velocities, only issue left is how slow you want to go. More SA allows less velocity to achieve same float; reverse is why if you really mach the backside, you don't even need 100+ (as SS showed us all).

So whadya think? Are Fat-ypus's the limit?
post #5 of 27
I am going to find out. Gonna get some bluehouse mavens. I just want to do my part to make sure that the beav gets tracked out faster. Besides part sof the hill are sort of flat so more float = less stalling out.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by locknload View Post
... I'll be on the widest skis of my life (115mm underfoot). I picked a ski in this range b/c I wanted it to be very good in POW and still have some utility on trail;
To Jim's point and my perspective; If by utility on trail you mean using them as a sled carrying supplies behind a Sno-Cat hauling the entire mess up to the mid mountain restaurant...I’m with ya…otherwise take piste out of the equation with 115 and wider IMHO. Beyond's post hones this thread I think.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Assume this is prompted by crop of new 110+ skis that are beginning to look "normative," and 130-ish up's that are the new crazy wides. Posed a similar question myself last year. Agree partly with SJ; it's about what you care about, where you operate.

But also think there are practical limits. Two snowboards side by side will get your knees wide enough that under load you'll start shearing your medial collateral ligaments. Not to mention looking like the ultimate level 1 getting back to the lift.

And once you achieve surface float at typical velocities, only issue left is how slow you want to go. More SA allows less velocity to achieve same float; reverse is why if you really mach the backside, you don't even need 100+ (as SS showed us all).

So whadya think? Are Fat-ypus's the limit?
Well-stated.

I love my Gotama's (just 105 mm underfoot - not super-wide).

But, when I'm on a surface that loads pressure, I can feel the strain in my knees.

My 85mm skis are easier to drive in most conditions.

Once you're floating, I'm not sure it matters if you're on 105mm or 135mm. I prefer sinking a bit - it contributes to the surfing sensation.

Rockers, of course, add new variables to the equation.
post #8 of 27
I believe PhysicsMan used to say that float was a function of surface area vs. weight, and that once you were floating, more surface area wouldn't buy you anything.

My daughter floats like a fairy on 70 waist skis, while I sink like a rock on long 84 waist skis.

I'd like to see some replies of 'I weigh X and my Y waist skis float me fine' or 'I weigh X and my Y waist skis let me sink.'

Speed and location (snow density) seem to be contributing factors, too.
post #9 of 27
I saw some awful doggone wide skis at a local shop last week. Next step has to be mounting up a pair of snowboards with ski bindings and going for it.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
I am going to find out. Gonna get some bluehouse mavens. I just want to do my part to make sure that the beav gets tracked out faster. Besides part sof the hill are sort of flat so more float = less stalling out.
Just make sure you save some for me and my new PRAXIS Powders
post #11 of 27
Fat enough is when you can ski what you want the way you want to.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTpowder View Post
Just make sure you save some for me and my new PRAXIS Powders
Yea will do. Those praxis should be sick on the back side! The beav takes a while to get fully tracked out I think a stupid fat ski like praxii or mavne would work great there. I am so jonsing for winter right now.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Great responses. I'm 185 and float very well on my 183 Gotamas. Capt. Strato, I also feel my knees aching a bit when I'm driving those skis on hardpack...at 37 methinks I need to go easy on that if I want to be skiing when I'm 70. I will still pull out the PEs or the Legend 8ks when the snow is not fresh.

Beyond and SJ had great answers as well. I guess I already believe there is a limit where there is not a ton of extra utility and I'm not into shearing my medial collateral ligaments . I think Fatypus's have to be the limit...can skis practically get any fatter? Its staggering how much wider the "average" ski is now compared to just 6 or 7 years ago.
post #14 of 27
For powder at my weight of 180 last season I would say anything above 120 -130 is just being overkill. but sometimes wretched excess is barely enough.

My everyday powder boards are 120 they float great and have acceptable hardpack performance. but, despite being young fit having strong legs and skiing for day on end with no breaks, these are the only skis I have ever owned that caused knee pain hard pack when skiing it longer than a couple runs

Not that I would choose these to ski on hardpack, for me line between knee pain and non is 105 mm.

lurking bear remember floatation is a function of surface area, weight and speed the bigger you go the slower speed you will float at.
post #15 of 27
Last season I weighed 235 at the beginning then ended at 205. Now I'm 195. Spent most of the season on either 191 REX or 190 Goats. I put some lifters under my P18's on the Goats that made a huge improvement on hard snow performance. Marker Duke's did tha same for my 183 Goats in improving hard snow performance. The extra lift really helped getting them up on edge and staying there. I liked both the Goats in powder with the lifters. No drawbacks as far as I was concerned. I spend most of my time at Mammoth or Kirkwood. The weight loss is going to be interesting this year as to how the skiis will feel. Thanks Crossfit.
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Grumpyof,

When you say it made a big difference on the groomers..does that mean they carved more or put less strain on your legs, knees and ankles?
post #17 of 27
Fat enough is when you run out of money.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
Not that I would choose these to ski on hardpack, for me line between knee pain and non is 105 mm.
105 is about it for my knees on groomed, too. Which are strong but neither young nor in the right number of pieces. Interesting. May be more about height from ski to knee. I'm 6'; how tall are you?
post #19 of 27
I used to think (and still do, for the most part) that a 110mm waist with very little or no camber is all you really need. After a few freakish storms last winter tho where guys were comming to a dead stop while trying to straightline, I decided to get some Praxis Powders.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
....not punching into the snow enough on cliff drops are just a couple negatives of skis being too fat.
...amen to that.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
105 is about it for my knees on groomed, too. Which are strong but neither young nor in the right number of pieces.
You didn't ask me (it's okay, I'm dealing with it). I'm 6'1", and I find even 105mm less comfortable on hard snow.

After reading testimonials indicating Gotama's fitness as an all-day, all-mountain ski, I was suprised to find they bothered my knees on hardpack.

Regardless of age and fitness, a wider surface places a shearing force on the knee joint when edging.

I now only launch the Gotama's if the snow's deep enough to pressure the bottoms, not the edges.

You said it best. There are practical limits to how wide is functional for human anatomy.
post #22 of 27
the lifters made the skis carve much easier on firmer snow. The added leverage of the lifters made it easier on my whole body. If lifters work on my old race skis then I figured they would work on my fat skis too. It made the Goats into my everyday ski. The snow had to be really hard befor I got The REX out. I couldn't feel the ski any better when mounted flat in any kind of softer snow. There is a reason the FIS limits the heighth of lifters. You can put a lot more power into the edges with the extra leverage.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpyof View Post
the lifters made the skis carve much easier on firmer snow. The added leverage of the lifters made it easier on my whole body. If lifters work on my old race skis then I figured they would work on my fat skis too. It made the Goats into my everyday ski. The snow had to be really hard befor I got The REX out. I couldn't feel the ski any better when mounted flat in any kind of softer snow. There is a reason the FIS limits the heighth of lifters. You can put a lot more power into the edges with the extra leverage.
Agreed. Lifters will reduce knee pressure on fats.

But, don't you find lifters lessen the "feel" in deep snow? When I'm surfing the deep stuff, I prefer as close contact as possible.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking bear View Post
I believe PhysicsMan used to say that float was a function of surface area vs. weight, and that once you were floating, more surface area wouldn't buy you anything.
except maneuverability, which is also a function of speed and density, as you mentioned.

I notice that while some companies have gone larger in the past, it seems the trend for '09 is to be maxing out around 130-140 at the waist.

Volkl
Praxis
K2
BH
Line

We could list them all, but I doubt we'll see skis above 140 in the future.

Over 115ish and I'm focused more on shape/camber than actual width. Yes, width is an element of shape, but once it breaks 115 it's all about sidecut design and camber. Above 115 I'm more worried about words like sidecut, taper, pintail, center-of-pivot (ie- location of widest point of the ski in relation to my boot), rocker, camber, etc.

Also, since the Praxis Hybrid has been introduced, along with the S7ish and JJ designs, a lot of people have been referring to them as "resort pow" skis... meaning they have underfoot sidecut for the groomers back to the chair. However, many of us just want the center-of-pivot in front of our foot (even in bottomless pow) and use those designs as are our pow-specific skis that never even see groomers.

These are fun days, eh?
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Very interesting discussion. I also prefer to be as close to the ski as possible in deep snow....maybe I wouldn't notice the lifters if I had them; but I like to "feel" the snow. I'm glad I'm not the only one who had achy knees after working hard on my Gots on harder snow. I've never had any knee problems of any kind and wasn't sure what was going on. I'm at 6 3 185 and fairly lean. I think I'll definitely listen to my body and only pull the Gots out where there is at least a few inches of fresh.

It is definitely exciting with all the new shapes and configurations. Samurai, totally agree with your take regarding shape and other factors being more important after about 115mm at the waist.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
Fat enough is when you can ski what you want the way you want to.
I ski my best when I'm around 125 lbs and have a bmi of 20-22 ish.
post #27 of 27
last year I found that for me I thought that the 127mm of my rockers was a bit too fat. And I also felt like my 108mm LPs could gain a little width.

For light utah/jackson snow, I prefer my squads (104) to either the xxls or the rocker (or my pow pluses for that mater).
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