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Help! I need a go ANYWHERE ski with a bias toward pow. Also, size?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have searched and searched but seem to just get more bogged down the more I read. Would you guys mind offering some advice for a single ski I can take anywhere?

Me: I am 6'3" 185lb currently. I am a pretty good skier (7-8 maybe) and I ski pretty much anything. Steep and deep all the way. I ski east and west. Maybe 6 days in the west and another 10 days in the east this year. I ski nothing but powder in the west if at all possible. I don't really enjoy the groomers but when I hit them I usually just go straight and fast and hug the trees. In the east (I'm pretty new to east coast skiing) I will be doing trees as much as possible, always looking for the soft stuff.

In a ski I am looking for something that I can take in the trees, that will be able to turn and maneuver well and something that doesn't suck in the bumps. It should be stable at speed, and carving is not the most important thing in the world. Above all though it should do well in powder.

I have skied the Volkl Mantra for the last 2 years (renting) and have been somewhat satisfied with it as a go anywhere ski. For powder performance it does just fine, so I'm not setting the bar too high there I don't think. The only problem is when I took it into the tress or bumps it was not too hot. Difficult to maneuver. Of course, this is probably mostly because I am new to tree skiing and admittedly not very good at it yet. That being said, is there anything out there that compares to the Mantra's decent powder performance that will handle even better in the trees and bumps?

Should I just pull the trigger on the Mantras? Also, think a 191 would be a good size for me? I skied the 184 a lot mostly due to rental availability but I could have used a bit more float sometimes (then again longer will be less turny in the trees...ahhh.)

Any advice? Stockli, Dynastar, Blizzard, Elan, Head, others? Thanks guys.
post #2 of 17
PM Gear Lhasa Pow 186?
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
PM Gear Lhasa Pow 186?
Second, Also maybe the 190 Volkl Gotama wider but I think its better in the bumps then the Mantra.

Best bet would be a quiver. Use the right tool for the job.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTpowder View Post
Second, Also maybe the 190 Volkl Gotama wider but I think its better in the bumps then the Mantra.

Best bet would be a quiver. Use the right tool for the job.
I would but I just don't have the cash right now (student).

Now I'm reading a lot of good things about Movement skis too...hmmm...
post #5 of 17
While there are any number of 100mm and over skis that will give you the powder performance that you crave, I'm not sure that you really would be best served by something in that width range. For the following reasons......

You say 6 days out west. regardless of where you go, there is a very good chance of seeing no powder at all.

Same thing for 10 days in the east. You may get lucky but you may not.

You also spill out a lot of other criteria (especially bumps) that don't sit real well with a wider ski.

Given your description of your probable season, you stand a fair chance of getting a powder shutout or only a couple of days at most.

So what to do? Well........you say you like the Mantra at least reasonably well. OK, fair enough........buy one.

Unless of course you want something maybe a little better in bumps and in the trees. (oh wait....that's what you said) OK also fair enough. You could come up with a dozen or two choices that are better than the Mantra in bumps and soft snow trees. You could debate about all those choices for days, weeks and months, because there are a ton of good ones. Here are two that you could flip a coin over and get what you are asking.

Volkl Bridge
Fischer Watea 94

SJ
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
While there are any number of 100mm and over skis that will give you the powder performance that you crave, I'm not sure that you really would be best served by something in that width range. For the following reasons......

You say 6 days out west. regaredless of where you go, there is a very good chance of seeing no powder at all.

Same thing for 10 days in the east. You may get lucky but you may not.

You also spill out a lot of other criteria (especially bumps) that don't sit real well with a wider ski.

Given your description of your probable season, you stand a fair chance of getting a powder shutout or only a couple of days at most.

So what to do? Well........you say you like the Mantra at least reasonably well. OK, fair enough........buy one.

Unless of course you want something maybe a little better in bumps and in the trees. (oh wait....that's what you said) OK also fair enough. You could come up with a dozen or two choices that are better than the Mantra in bumps and soft snow trees. You could debate about all those choices for days, weeks and months, because there are a ton of good ones. Here are two that you could flip a coin over and get what you are asking.

Volkl Bridge
Fischer Watea 94

SJ
thanks for the input. all valid points. i have been debating this in my head for a long long time (which is why i have yet to pull the trigger).

I make take another trip west in the spring (right now I just have about two weeks planned over the christmas/new year holiday) but yeah powder shut out is a very real possibility.
post #7 of 17
I should've been clearer that the Lhasa Pow recommendation was a joke.

The ski you're looking for doesn't exist.

Jim's right; you need a quiver. Just buy them used.
post #8 of 17
Looking at two skis (one for frontside/light snow and one for just powder) might make a lot of sense if you can afford it. Another option would be to buy something for typical Eastern conditions and rent skis out west if you luck into huge powder days on vacation. That's the plan I'm using; I just haven't managed to get out West when there's snow. :-/

If you really want a single go-anywhere ski, you might look at the Head Monsters in the 78-88mm width range. Very highly regarded over the last few years.

Elan Magfires or a Dynastar Contact 4x4 would be a step more towards frontside performance, maybe something like a Dynastar Legend more towards off-piste. K2 Apache Recons are also pretty well-balanced. There is no shortage of choices; almost every manufacturer makes 'all-mountain' skis designed to work anywhere (but, of course, generally not excel at anything in particular).
post #9 of 17
A ski like the Rossignol S5 will give you decent versatility to handle firm days, it will float well and it will be quick in the trees and bumps. A solid all-around choice for what your looking for.

Avoid directional big mountain oriented skis in longer lengths if you plan to ski east coast glades. You say you found 184cm Mantras unwieldy, that's a pretty quick ski, if you didn't like that I'd say go twintip so you can smear easier.
post #10 of 17
Tramdock.com had some Rossignol B78's with Axium 12 bindings in a 181 for $399 this morning.

It's comparable to the B2 from years ago which is an awesome all round ski and very powder/bump friendly.
post #11 of 17
You're not going to find "the one" ski thats going to be the best in trees, bumps, pow, east, west, hard, soft. it just doesn't exist.

If you can't afford a "quiver" right now (read: 2 pairs of skis), I'd suggest buying an all-mountain go-everywhere ski this year, with a bias towards the snow you are likely to see most: harder snow. If you happen to get powder when you're out west, use it as a chance to demo a couple powder skis. And then next year, when you save up some more money, use the knowledge you gain from demo'ing to make the right choice on some dedicated powder planks. Then you'll have a perfect 2-ski quiver: one ski for hard snow, one ski for soft snow.
post #12 of 17
Since you're a college student, here's a ski that won't break the bank that you might dig -- Lou let me demo a pair out at ESA Big Sky but unfortunately sold his last pair before I could buy from him. Scott Punishers -- available at Backcountry for $331 right now.

I like the Mantras and these are pretty comparable -- they're twins so they ski a little shorter than you might think.


EDIT: Hmm... just realized that BC only has em in 171 right now, but if you keep your eyes out you can probably find a deal at a similar price, but you're going to save enough you might be able to find something else to work on a quiver.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok so what do you guys think about maybe picking up a pair of 08 Volkl Bridge 185 for $400? These would be for all conditions except fresh powder in the open. Will definitely be taking them in the trees in the east. Then I'll look at picking up some powder skis for the good days. Comments?
post #14 of 17
In Sierra Jim I Trust! Get the Volkl Bridge's (from him) now.
post #15 of 17
The Fischer Watea 94 has almost identical dimensions to the Mantra, but a mellower flex, a much lighter and more playful feel, and therefore a lot easier to ski in the bumps. With the same size but softer flex it will turn more easily in the powder and is more forgiving in the bumps. It's not as rock solid at speed on hardpack or heavy crud as the Mantra, but it doesn't sound like that matters much to you. The Mantra is an excellent ski but it can be a little demanding. The Watea 94 gives you better soft snow and bump characteristics, but still does very well on the groomed.

As noted below, Sierra Jim also suggested the 94s. I bought a pair from him last year and love them.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok checking out the watea 94s too then. Any thoughts on the Movement Thunder?
post #17 of 17
I don't have a vast amount of knowledge on skis but I am using a pair of High Society FR. They handle well on the hard pack stuff thats present at Keystone and Copper right now and with a 92 mm waist at the 179 length they'll give you some float in the powder as well. They are semi twin tips so they run a little short as well.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Help! I need a go ANYWHERE ski with a bias toward pow. Also, size?