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For Powder: Coomba or Pontoon?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for some bad powder skis this season. I ski primarily in the Pacific northwest - mostly at Whistler.

I'm a big K2 fan (I've owned two pairs of Recons) and am looking for something for the pow days. The Recon is my everyday ski.

I've tried the Apache Chief and loved them - but sadly did not buy then.

Would the Coomba be similar and how differently does the Pontoon ride?

I'd be open to other brands too.
post #2 of 25
Welcome to Epic! I'm sure some of our veteran powder guys will weigh in soon. Have not skied either, although have a friend who owns old Chiefs and loves them. So take this with some salt. But I understand that the Coomba is very much a rebadged, slightly beefier Chief with mild tip rocker and a flat tail, all optimized for backcountry situations. Everyone seems to like it; lightness and front rocker seem to be popular for AT missions.

Folks here who ski Pontoons appear to see them more as a resort powder/Heli/Cat ski. Said to be amazingly versatile, even in tight spaces, although not designed for groomed. Also doubt you'd want for AT because of the amount of snow they'd collect on that massive tip if breaking trail. But what do I know?

Both have gotten stellar reviews, but again, in different sections of the mags...

My .02: If you loved the Chiefs so much you wish you had bought them, go buy the Coombas.
post #3 of 25
If you're dead set on K2 - what about the Hellbent?
post #4 of 25
You could pick up some leftover Chiefs on Ebay for under $300. You know you love'm, so its a sure thing.
post #5 of 25
The coomba and pontoon are just about as different as two skis can get.

Any reason you're looking at those two in particular?
post #6 of 25
My guess would be "I'm a big K2 fan"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGGOT View Post
The coomba and pontoon are just about as different as two skis can get.

Any reason you're looking at those two in particular?
post #7 of 25
Out of curiosity, are you looking for skis for bad powder, or are you looking for b-b-b-baaaad skis?...........

The Coomba is a normal camber and shape but is wider by a tich than the AC was. It skis pretty similarly and fits into that range of "medium" fat skis. (meaning between the noodles and the rocket sleds) It would be a sure thing that you'd like it.

The 'toon is very different. It has the full monty of reverse features that certainly make it unbeatable in deep snow. That same set of features make it rather specialized in application. The HB is somewhat less specialized but is still a magic pill of sorts for the deep stuff.

Regular big ski = Coomba
Specialty ski = 'toon or HB

SJ
post #8 of 25
Agree with MAGGOT...these are about as different a ski as you can get. Dimensions are:

Coomba - 135/102/121
Pontoon - 160/130/120

Coomba has progressive sidecut (more traditional ski) and the Pontoon has reverse camber, rockered design so something way different than what you are used to. I haven't skiied either but a lot of people (on TGR forums too) are using the Coomba as a setup for a do everything ski that excels in powder but that you'll be able to ski all over. Doug Coombs would not have designed a ski that wasn't great in the deep stuff. You'd probably love it in anything 12" or less. It's not a super stiff ski. The pontoon would be a powder only ski. For those big dump days. However, don't limit yourself to one company. If you are happy with your Recons, then go ahead and look at a powder specific ski...like the Line Prophet 130s, Line Sir Francis Bacon, Hellbents, or Kuros. Those are all a little different but I'd be looking at something in the 120 to 130 underfoot range.

If you loved the Chiefs...the Coomba is very similar. I'd get the Coomba and put some Dukes on it for an all-mountain ski and then get a powder specific ski. Go ahead and demo some on a big dump day and see what you like.
post #9 of 25
go the Hell Bents!
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your great advice!

I like my Recons so I thought the other K2 skis would be a good/fun for me. I'm open to other brands too though.

SierraJim: yes, I'm looking for some b-b-b-baaaad skis!!!

I'm leaning towards the Coombas, but will take a look at the other brands also. I'm not sure if I have use for a dedicated pow ski like the 'toons - but who knows (I'm moving to Whistler for the season). I'm hoping to demo them before actually buying.

The hellbents look interesting also!

Thanks!
post #11 of 25
I could sell you my Apache Chiefs in a 181 if you'd like. pm if you're interested. I'm getting Volkl Katanas for a much different style of soft snow riding.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks WestEast, that's a great offer - but I'd be looking for 167cm
boards.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by batcave View Post
Thanks WestEast, that's a great offer - but I'd be looking for 167cm
boards.
What are your stats?
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
What are your stats?
An excellent question. I'm 5'10", 165 and the 181 feels just right to me. I wouldn't want anything smaller at Whistler.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
What are your stats?
I'm 5'6" / 167 cm in height and 125 lbs / 57 kg.

I demoed the 167cm chiefs and was very comfortable with them.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by batcave View Post
I'm 5'6" / 167 cm in height and 125 lbs / 57 kg.

I demoed the 167cm chiefs and was very comfortable with them.
That should work but so would 174s. I am 5'5" and 150 lbs. I have the 167s only because I got a deal. They work great 90% of the time. The only time I wished for more was in waist deep powder and for stability when I was really moving. I demoed the 174s which were perfect though and what I would have bought if the price was right. They do ski long. The shorter ones are a bit more maneuverable on the groomers and will carve for you if you get them up an edge (big transition).
post #17 of 25
I've skied on the Coomba for a season and a half as my dedicated powder ski. It's been great for both backcountry skiing and off piste powder skiing. It seems like they would be the perfect ski for Whistler/Blackcomb. I've skied a couple powder days there and its a very similar maritime snowpack to what we have in California.

The 181's have worked well. I'm 5'11" and 180 lbs.

I've been considering the pontoons, but to me it seems like they are made to ski 100% off piste and reality is that if you are skiing lift served powder you will end up skiing some packed runs.
post #18 of 25
Two words: Pon Toon!
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
NotBombs: LOL!

Couloir8: thanks for the insights. Yes, I'll likely be skiing some groomed runs so I'm leaning towards the Coombas.

Now what about the bindings?

Are the Marker Duke or Barons worth the price?

I'm interested in doing some back-country skiing/touring. Would these bindings be worth it? I'm not sure I need the Dukes with the DIN 16 as I only weigh 125lbs. The Barons will do, but is $400 justified for bindings?
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by batcave View Post
Are the Marker Duke or Barons worth the price?
Yes. Get the Barons.
post #21 of 25
If you are buying Dukes/Barons, don't forget to factor in the price of some skins as well. They aren't cheap either, but you sure won't climb far without them.
post #22 of 25
If you're gunna be skiing in a resort i would recommend the Coomba. The Pontoon is strictly a powder ski and does not work as well when the snow gets tracked out and packed down
post #23 of 25
For a powder day ski? Pontoon. Duh!

Especially given the rest of your fleet.

Honestly, there's a turn style thing with the Pontoons. If you can demo for a full day - that would not hurt. But for my .02, the Pontoon in powder or corn or slush is just so much more fun than a conventional ski there's no comparison. YMMV though.
post #24 of 25
I got the coomba's last year. LOVE them. I thought Pontoons but they are powder only as per rocker and dimensions. I have Coombas as my "powder only but may have to ski a couple of crude runs too" ski
. I have Head Chips and K2 fujis to round it out ALL due to the areas I ski. MArmot Basin and Fernie.

IF I set out for the day and it was ALL going to be dorrhandle deep or deeper pow then get the Pontoons. If you are going to ski even a bit of hard or crude while you are getting to the POW..get the Coombas
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
If you're dead set on K2 - what about the Hellbent?
I haven't bought powder skis yet, but I'm back on the hunt now. I've tried the K2 Obsethed (169 & 179). These are really fun in the pow! I especially liked the 179; I felt the 169 were too short. I'm not even thinking about the Coombas anymore.

I'm also thinking about the hellbent, but it's tough to find demo skis out here except for specific demo days, but those aren't very frequent.

Have you skied on the Hellbent? If so, what are they like compared to the Obsethed?
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