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Buy Fat or Mid-fat skis for Utah?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
As a preface question, for those of you with more experience traveling to distant ski destinations, are there any issues traveling with two pair of skis together in one bag? Maybe additional charges, more hassle, experience says you'll only use one so why bring the other, etc.

I would like to buy a new pair of skis more suitable for Utah skiing than my Dynastar Skicross 9's that have 70ish mm under foot. Do I buy fat skis to take advantage of any powder while I have my fall back groomer boards and travel with two pairs or do I buy some mid-fat skis and leave the skinny skis at home?

A local shop has '08 Gotamas and '08 Prophet 90's on sale, but you could substitute similar models for the argument, which style will serve me better in typical Jan - Mar Utah conditions? I'm middle-aged, athletic, a fairly aggressive skier on groomed surfaces, I give myself a 6 since I don't ski a lot; avoid moguls, never learned how to; avoid double diamond, frequently covered with moguls; and on powder basically suck since most of my skiing is on the east coast or southern California. I've only had one day on powder last year but tasted enough by the way of numerous falls, wipe outs, and face plants, that I want to learn how to ski powder to avoid said tastings.

Thanks for any opinions offered.
post #2 of 27
I bring two pairs of skis in a bag all the time, never had a problem. I'm considering buying something in the 88'ish range myself this season.
post #3 of 27
Welcome to epic!

Your specs, experience, preferred terrain and style of skiing?
This thread is useless without this info.

In any case if you go to Utah you don't go to ski groomers. If so bring a 183 Goat and leave skinny skis at home.

BTW, most reasonably fat skis (90-105 mm waist) outperform skinnier skis in everything and anything soft including but not limited to carving the groomers. This is of course my very humbled opinion.

And finally use the search function J***!!!
post #4 of 27
Don't go to Utah without bringing or renting something FAT.


It is possible for a good skier to ski deep powder just fine without fat skis, but given the choice 100% of other skiers I know would take something over 90mm---way over.
post #5 of 27
If you have a midfat of 77mm or bigger, you will be fine. If you get a foot of new snow while you are there, go rent a fat ski.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassinmax View Post
As a preface question, for those of you with more experience traveling to distant ski destinations, are there any issues traveling with two pair of skis together in one bag? Maybe additional charges, more hassle, experience says you'll only use one so why bring the other, etc.

I would like to buy a new pair of skis more suitable for Utah skiing than my Dynastar Skicross 9's that have 70ish mm under foot. Do I buy fat skis to take advantage of any powder while I have my fall back groomer boards and travel with two pairs or do I buy some mid-fat skis and leave the skinny skis at home?

A local shop has '08 Gotamas and '08 Prophet 90's on sale, but you could substitute similar models for the argument, which style will serve me better in typical Jan - Mar Utah conditions? I'm middle-aged, athletic, a fairly aggressive skier on groomed surfaces, I give myself a 6 since I don't ski a lot; avoid moguls, never learned how to; avoid double diamond, frequently covered with moguls; and on powder basically suck since most of my skiing is on the east coast or southern California. I've only had one day on powder last year but tasted enough by the way of numerous falls, wipe outs, and face plants, that I want to learn how to ski powder to avoid said tastings.

Thanks for any opinions offered.
sorry this is going to be tough pill to swallow but its 100 percent the truth.

My guess is your heel pushing on groomers or are a park it and arc it kinda of guy only carving turns. the fact that you avoid moguls will make powder skiing very difficult due the movement and balance patterns being the same.

If you want to still ski powder look at the widest ski you can get because it will let any bad habits happen on purely powder surface. Basically a ski like a pontoon will let you be extremely sloppy on powder.

heres the catch though.

the big skis DO feel awkward on hard pack off trail, in moguls and on groomers. awkward enough that a level 6 might not be able to control them.

IMO the best course of action would be to learn how to ski first then worry about skis later. are you moving out there? or just visiting?

if you moving out there I would recommend the Prophet 90s over the goats due to being easier to ski and easier to manage where you probably end up spending most of your time.

if your visting take your skis with you there and just see what happens with the weather.

there are no such things as typical utah condtions. it could be anything from icey wet hardpack to dry chaulk to crud to 12 inches of powder to 40 inches of powder.
post #7 of 27
Quote:

the big skis DO feel awkward on hard pack off trail, in moguls and on groomers. awkward enough that a level 6 might not be able to control them.

IMO the best course of action would be to learn how to ski first then worry about skis later. are you moving out there? or just visiting?
This is sound advice. Just buying a wider ski will help of course, but honestly it's not a magic bullet. You need to develp some skills first. This is not to say that you should just take your SC-9 out there and live with them. You could do better. The myriads of mid-fats in the range of 85-95mm will enable some cautious powder excursions in mid boot stuff without feeling weird on the conditions that you will hit most of the time. As you get better (lessons) you will start trying steeper aspects and incrementally deeper snow. Then look for a biggie.

SJ
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassinmax View Post
As a preface question, for those of you with more experience traveling to distant ski destinations, are there any issues traveling with two pair of skis together in one bag? Maybe additional charges, more hassle, experience says you'll only use one so why bring the other, etc.

I would like to buy a new pair of skis more suitable for Utah skiing than my Dynastar Skicross 9's that have 70ish mm under foot. Do I buy fat skis to take advantage of any powder while I have my fall back groomer boards and travel with two pairs or do I buy some mid-fat skis and leave the skinny skis at home?

A local shop has '08 Gotamas and '08 Prophet 90's on sale, but you could substitute similar models for the argument, which style will serve me better in typical Jan - Mar Utah conditions? I'm middle-aged, athletic, a fairly aggressive skier on groomed surfaces, I give myself a 6 since I don't ski a lot; avoid moguls, never learned how to; avoid double diamond, frequently covered with moguls; and on powder basically suck since most of my skiing is on the east coast or southern California. I've only had one day on powder last year but tasted enough by the way of numerous falls, wipe outs, and face plants, that I want to learn how to ski powder to avoid said tastings.

Thanks for any opinions offered.
bassinmax, Sounds like you are in the market for new skis. Sierra Jim and Bushwacker gave good advice. Last year I went out to Utah bringing 2 sets skis. Volkl AC-4 170cm and K2 PE in 179, used the ACs 1 day rest of time on PEs, had to lug that 2nd pair of skis thru 2 airports- no fun. Bush and a friend of mine out there both said leave the ACs, I should have listened.

So if you want to buy new skis as others said go with a mid fat 85mm ish, You will have fun out west and you will also have a blast on them in the east under most conditions except boiler plate. The best thing you can do in the short term is work on short round turns, if you can get those down you can ski moguls and steeps. Find every steep pitch you ski normally and triple the amount of turns you are doing on it, don't just cruise it to the flatter areas, work it. That will pay off in Utah.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post
The best thing you can do in the short term is work on short round turns, if you can get those down you can ski moguls and steeps. Find every steep pitch you ski normally and triple the amount of turns you are doing on it, don't just cruise it to the flatter areas, work it. That will pay off in Utah.

This is great advice. I still bring two sets with me, if only for the fun of swapping them out on different types of surfaces, conditions, etc. I have a rolling bag made for two pairs, however, which makes it pretty easy to get through airports. Might be different if I had to carry them.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reisen View Post
This is great advice. I still bring two sets with me, if only for the fun of swapping them out on different types of surfaces, conditions, etc. I have a rolling bag made for two pairs, however, which makes it pretty easy to get through airports. Might be different if I had to carry them.
Only two???..................

Seriously, the range of 85-95mm is my favorite class of skis. There are soooo many good ones both in twin and non twin that it's impossible to pick a best. The aformentioned P-90 is a really nice twip and the Watea 84 is a nice place for a level 6 to be thinking among non twins. There are also some buzzards that are intrigueing as well. They are at the top of my testing agenda as they are part of the mix for me now.



SJ
post #11 of 27
If you live east cost skiing mole hills in the midatlantic like I did up there. Skiing moguls is about the best way to "practice" for skiing off piste. You learn balance, and how to use your edges in much more effective ways than tip and rip carving on groomers. Just MHO. I would get a wider ski that you can use both at your home resort (when conditions call for it) and in UT. A 85-90mm wide ski should fit that bill.
post #12 of 27
Buy the Gotamas and leave the skinny skis at home.

There's absolutely no reason to go any skinnier than 100mm at the waist in Utah unless your going to run gates at PC or something - and that kinda defeats the purpose. Even during the ultra crappy winter of 07 the skinniest ski I had was 95mm.
post #13 of 27

Uhhhhh - You Need To Check Airline Rules

I have 3 trips setup this year out West using two different carriers and their policy is the same. I have the Dakine Concourse that will carry both my 190 Goats and 187 Movement Thunders and with the bag and both pair of skis I will be under 50 lbs. The gootcher is that after the bad year the airlines have had they are sticking it to fliers where ever possible. I am going to have to pay $75 to check my ski(s). Now, if they decide to check my ski bag and find 2 pairs of skis in my one ski bag they will charge me 2 x $75 even though I have one ski bag.

If you decide to fly with 2 pairs of skis be sure to check on line the airlines policy as it could cost you a decent penny for 2 skis.

Also, I agree with the above. I love my Goats, but it I can only take one pair I am taking my 187 (89 under foot) Movement Thunders. They kill it on groomed and will still get it done in POW.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses, even the harsh, albeit sage, words from BushwhackerinPA. After reading some of the responses, I believe that I'm a better skier than I let on to be at least on hardpack, my bad for the mislead. Guess I should have looked up the definition of level 6, it just seemed like an appropriate number. I figured 9-10 skis anywhere, bolder ladden chutes, in-and-out of trees, off cliffs and skis uphill; 7-8 skis most everywhere, narrow double diamonds, bowls w/ moguls, pees with out stopping behind a tree; 5-6 average, etc. Still, I suck in powder but it was only my fist day. I had my moments, the mountain had its' moments. I rented Guns from the local shop for the day that we had a good 10" overnight but believe that they were too short and with my size 12s, I was too far back on the ski. I'm sure there was a bit of operator error. This is my excuse that I'm going with. Consequently, hanging out in the back seat quickly digressed into riding in the trunk and my skis shooting out from underneath me. I realize I have some position issues to work on. I did not get the kind of answers that I was looking for. No, I don't have my mind made up and I want everyone to agree with me, I just need to do a better job of stating my interest and concerns, I know you guys have the answers. I'll give it some though and post a new thread tomorrow night that includes the fact that it does not always snow while one is on a ski vacation.
Again, thanks for the input. Tony
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassinmax View Post
Thanks for all the responses, even the harsh, albeit sage, words from BushwhackerinPA. After reading some of the responses, I believe that I'm a better skier than I let on to be at least on hardpack, my bad for the mislead. Guess I should have looked up the definition of level 6, it just seemed like an appropriate number. I figured 9-10 skis anywhere, bolder ladden chutes, in-and-out of trees, off cliffs and skis uphill; 7-8 skis most everywhere, narrow double diamonds, bowls w/ moguls, pees with out stopping behind a tree; 5-6 average, etc. Still, I suck in powder but it was only my fist day. I had my moments, the mountain had its' moments. I rented Guns from the local shop for the day that we had a good 10" overnight but believe that they were too short and with my size 12s, I was too far back on the ski. I'm sure there was a bit of operator error. This is my excuse that I'm going with. Consequently, hanging out in the back seat quickly digressed into riding in the trunk and my skis shooting out from underneath me. I realize I have some position issues to work on. I did not get the kind of answers that I was looking for. No, I don't have my mind made up and I want everyone to agree with me, I just need to do a better job of stating my interest and concerns, I know you guys have the answers. I'll give it some though and post a new thread tomorrow night that includes the fact that it does not always snow while one is on a ski vacation.
Again, thanks for the input. Tony
here is another thought as well. I truly dont know how you ski but am just making what in my mind is fair assumption from the post and seeing how everyday people try to ski.

Longer is better in powder.

My groomer skis are very short 170cm but my powder boards are 192cm and I wish my powder boards were much longer.

how tall are you and how much do you weigh? still something in the 180 to 185 range and soft soft is important would be best.

Jer just because you like to make long turns all the time doesnt mean everyone else will share your opinion.

sure you can ski everyday on 95 plus ski sure someone else can ski everyday on a 70mm carver. but guess what it doesnt make either the right answer or does it make either the most efficient or most fun.
post #16 of 27
"It ain't the wand, it's the wizard"

Most comments on the choice of equipment (width and length)are accurate but you need to know that the equipment only makes it easier to ski certain conditions but does not completely compensate for poor technique. It sounds like you need to work on your powder technique, which a few days in Utah will certainly do for you. Good skiers never had a problem skiing powder on the old straight skis but the new wider skis just makes it incredibly easier. There is no substitute for good technique and you only get it through more experience on skis. Remember to relax, stay centered, feel the rhythm and go with the flow.
post #17 of 27
Like Buckeye I to have the exact same skis that I use Utah all the time Thunders/Goats.. Anything under 6" of new thunders, anything over Goats..
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post
Also, I agree with the above. I love my Goats, but it I can only take one pair I am taking my 187 (89 under foot) Movement Thunders. They kill it on groomed and will still get it done in POW.
Brother, glad to hear you have the Thunders. I love mine, but the one week I skied Utah, I really wanted fat skis, as it snowed ever night between 6"-24". That said I changed my quiver entirely this year with fat Praxis for deep pow, Goliaths for cut up deep pow, then my beloved Thunders for 6" or less and the Nitrous that will never see UT or CO. Flying out this season, I will check the weather and if it is snowing, guess which 2 I will take? Gets some fater skis and take your lumps learning to ski them. Powder is soft, so wiping out is all good and just fun.
post #19 of 27
It's always good to choose a ski that excells at the conditions you will see most often. So....if one sees packed or firmish snow and/or new loose snow of 6" or less say 70-80% of the time, then a mid fat probably makes the most sense. If one sees snow deeper than 6" on a more regular basis than that...then it makes sense to look somewhat wider.

Assuming of course that one has the skills to be minimally competent in the deep snow in the foistest place.

SJ
post #20 of 27
I'm gonna go against received wisdom from guys I respect here. Last year got several intermediate friends - who pretty much fit Bush's heel push and or park it and (s)carve it description - to try soft forgiving fats - various Sollies such as PR's, Guns, etc. And y'know what? It opened up a new world for them. They were having so much fun in boot top pow and chop they were whooping. These are guys who skied 76-81 mm waists, never ever left groomed and were lost in bumps. Now they're asking where we can find powder. OK, so they wouldn't thrive in 3 feet of fresh. But what are the odds of that in a given week at a given Rockies resort? Main point is, they're loving to ski again, and the skis are so easy to handle in what most resorts get much of the time (6-8" of fresh rapidly pounded into chop).

So bassinmax, yes, the PROPER approach would be to take lessons and buy a modest 80-something to take west. Or demo. But sometimes people here (myself included) can get a little, umm, upright about the PROPER approach. Hey, go score last year's Solomon Guns in a shortish length (170 something), take them out west along with your narrow skis, and if you find some chop or pow above your instep, go have a good time. If you really love it, take a few lessons. The skis will work for you as you get better; if you decide you want to mach backside bowls, you can always get something stiffer and longer. But for now, ignore the advice about going long, or about Goats or most other brands. Sollies are the shitz for guys who want to discover pow...
post #21 of 27
Within the context of this thread, PR's and to a lesser extent, the Guns (in short sizes), would be considered midfats.

SJ
post #22 of 27

1SDSKIER

Man, dont even bring up the Goliath! 2 yrs. ago I was out West and my skis did not make my connecting flight. I of course had to rent and I was planning to check out some Stocklis and the shop guy talked me into trying out the Thunders - stupid, stupid, stupid! First run and I was hooked. Needless to say I bought a pair and have not looked back since. So last year my buddy tried my Thunders and fell in love with them as well. We were out West last year and we got dumped on. I was sporting my Goats and he decided to demo the Goliaths. He instantly had a smile on his face and I of course had to try them out - stupid, stupid, stupid. They were balls to the wall and killed it in POW and cut up snow. The Goats are still a great ski, but the Goliaths just made me feel unstoppable. On top of this the 08/09 graphics are off the hook. Oh well, I know I will pull the trigger, but need to bang up the Goats a little more!

post #23 of 27
Dunno if anyone answered this but ... I have a nice large Oakley bag (from steepandcheap and I did have overweight issues when I tried to put my boots and two pairs of skis in it.

So the big bags are nice but it really depends on your airline. I think Delta allows 50+- pounds? Then they charge you. The charge is somewhere around $50. For Southwest I think my buddy paid $25 for extra weight due to too much gear too.

Here's the Delta baggage rules website - I think max is one bag now and 50 pounds. They are getting worse this year for this stuff.
post #24 of 27
Just my opinion, but I ski on a 72 waist Dynastar Contact ltd most of the time even in powder up to about 12". After that I break out my Rossi Bandit b3(94cm) and they are great. I prefer to ski in the snow not on top of it personally. A fat ski WILL make skiing powder easier, but once the pow is skied off I like my carvers.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuff46 View Post
Just my opinion, but I ski on a 72 waist Dynastar Contact ltd most of the time even in powder up to about 12". After that I break out my Rossi Bandit b3(94cm) and they are great. I prefer to ski in the snow not on top of it personally.
Just my opinion, but I like driving nails with a big screwdriver instead of a hammer. Unless it's like barn nails or something. Then I use a tiny ball-peen hammer.

Cuff - the "I like skiing in the snow, not on top of it" thing was played out about two years ago. Mostly by guys who never skied a fat ski in their lives or think boot-top is super deep. Unless you strap two surfboards to your feet, you will be skiing "in" the snow.

I'm really glad you like your carvers and all, and it's cool that you're such a great skier, but it's really really old.
post #26 of 27
Driving nails with a big screwdriver...you wouldn't make much of a carpenter I should have started by saying my style of sking, I prefer figure 8 type turns in pow, not 5 turns in 500'. I never said was a great skier, but I do hold my own. We all have our personal preferences, you don't have to get so snippy.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuff46 View Post
Driving nails with a big screwdriver...you wouldn't make much of a carpenter I should have started by saying my style of sking, I prefer figure 8 type turns in pow, not 5 turns in 500'. I never said was a great skier, but I do hold my own. We all have our personal preferences, you don't have to get so snippy.

Five turns in 500 feet is figure 8 type skiing.

I like using the screwdriver because you have to be a lot more precise than if you use a hammer. Any gaper can drive nails with a hammer.
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