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Shaped/Twin/Fat Ski Virgin Pops Cherry!!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This post is half ski review/half TR. I figured it was worth posting my experience.
Before last week I had never skied on shaped skis, twin tips or fat skis. My previous skiing experience was limited to 10 seasons on skinny skis between the years of 1990 and 2008.

Skis reviewed:
1- 175 Fischer RX 6 [114, 68, 98]
Railflex binding system

2- 2009 176 Gotama [133, 105, 124]
Marker Griffon binding

I was a level 7 skier from age 13-15. No racing background. I stopped skiing in high school. Then at age 19 I bought a pair of 200cm Kastle Speed Machines (stiff GS skis) and found myself very unstable, uncomfortable, and unable to have much fun on skis. I began to ski less often and thought that I had "lost my skills."

In reality I lost all my confidence because I was on huge, stiff skis... a terrible fit for me considering my weight and and skiing style. This summer I found Epicski and TGR and spent 2 months straight educating myself on what to buy considering my weight, abilities, terrain preference, etc. I ended up buying the skis above.

26 years old
6 feet, 135 pounds.
East coast lifer.
This will be my first full season in over 12 years.
Ambitious about getting my skiing up to a new level, especially skiing faster in the trees and doing bigger cliffs (big meaning over 10 feet).
Steep sections/small cliffs really get me psyched up.
I like to hit a jump every now and then. Maybe 5% of my time will be in the park.
I consider myself a solid level 7 skier

Day 1: Friday 11/28/08 @ Killington, VT
Trail conditions: Packed powder over crusty ice
Woods conditions: 3 inches of powder over layer of ice. Under the ice there was a foot of pow.

Arrived for my first full day of the season with my boarder friend @ 10am. Jumped on my new Fischer RX 6's. My skier friend told me I was going to be blown away by how easy it was to ski shaped skis, so here I went. We took the gondola up and skied down Rime (blue square) to warm up.

Within about 4 turns I realized how unreal these skis truly were. I felt like I was absolutely RIPPING on these skis and starting RAILING turns super-confident, super-fast (OK not that fast, maybe 25mph). I couldn't believe the confidence these skis gave me as compared to my 200cm Kastle's (87, 60, 75). We got down to the lift and I was freaking out about how incredible these skis felt. To put it in perspective: It felt like cheating. It felt like I had instantly gained about 3 seasons worth of skiing experience just by strapping on the shaped skis.

We made a few more laps on groomed black cruisers then ventured into the woods. This was a little difficult for me since we were trail blazing and the trees were pretty tight. I was struggling to make turns because I wasn't getting up to a speed fast enough where I could keep momentum going. I was sinking into the snow with each turn (below the ice layer and into the foot of powder).

We grabbed lunch and then I broke out the Gotamas. Got onto the lift and noticed they were much heavier. I was expecting these skis to be difficult to maneuver on a groomed trail... not the case at all. They were a little bulkier underfoot than the Fischer's but I could still carve effortlessly. We dipped into the "Nowhere" glade and this is where I had another epiphany. The "cheating" feeling made its presence again.

The upturned tail made turn initiation ridiculously easy. And this is where the width of the ski just made everything FLOW beautifully. I could float above the snow effortless at very slow speeds. The faster I went, the more in-control I felt. I could focus on choosing my lines through the trees more quickly. Whereas with the Fischer's, most of my efforts were spent struggling to make turns (w/ a 68mm waist) in deep crust.

We came up on a deer that was nibbling at some branches. It took off bounding through the snow. We came up to a 5 or 6 foot cliff with a flat but untracked landing. I hiked back up and hit it with some speed. The goats made the landing rock solid for me.

Next run we headed down Nivis Walk and dropped the lip onto Ovation into tracked powder. We dipped into the woods but they were impossibly tight. We came out on Ovation (which was closed, we shouldn't have been on it since it opens up into plain view of the entire base area). The upper section of this trail is very tame and was untracked. I made big arcs and the skis floated easily. The second section of the trail drops off into a steeper section. We really started ripping this section. Big, speedy arcs. It was crappy dust on crust with tons of bushes protruding through the snow (worst conditions encountered thus far) but the Gotamas still trucked along. We got to the bottom and a patroller nabbed us. We got off with scolding and took a few more runs.

Day 2: Monday 12/2/08 @ Jay Peak, VT
It had snowed and then rained the night before. The day temperature was now in the high 30's. This made the snow feel oddly like spring corn.
Trail conditions: Groomed runs were crusty corn. Ungroomed trails were soft-crust moguls with some exposed rocks and dirt patches.
Woods conditions: Mixture of sloppy untracked corn (1-2 inches deep), and some tracked corn.

Unfortunately I had to go solo since my friends were working. Warmed up on the Fischer's on a crusty mogul run then proceeded to ski everything else that was open (everything off the Jet Triple). The "epiphany" feeling had worn off at this point but I was still enjoying myself.

I headed in around Noon to switch skis. First I had to take advantage of the T bar that drops you off at the top of a mini terrain park. There was a small table top jump at the bottom of the run and I busted out my first helicopter since 1996.

Switched to the Gotamas. Groomed run warm up. Again, they were easy to carve. I took them into Kitz Woods and Timbuktu. It was fairly easy to negotiate the trees even though there was a crusty top. Took it super easy since I was alone. The final test: Taking the Gotamas into the bumps on U.N.
I was really caught off guard by how easy it was to maintain momentum and control with skis that I thought would only be good in powder. I made it down the entire trail only stopping 3 times. (I have to admit the bumps on this run were immaculate. Almost perfectly spaced top-to-bottom, and the corn/slush factor of the snow made for slow skiing, which also helped me stay in control). Still, at this point I really started feeling like I could bring the goats anywhere.

Final outcome: For me, the width of the Gotama = stability everywhere. The bulky feeling is gone. I feel so confident and in control on these things and I've only been on them for a total of 5 or 6 hours. They will be my everyday skis for the rest of the season. The Fischer's... well, I may break them out for skiing pure ice or something, they are fun. But duh Goats R FUNNER!!

I actually want to thank you guys on this forum that helped me pick out the right skis. Epic was my source for information and education all summer and you lead me to make some good choices. With the 176 Goat I feel like I bought the perfect ski in the perfect length. ROCK N ROLL!!
post #2 of 6
I'm sorry-did you say you were 6 foot and only 135lbs???

Is that possible? I'm like 5'10" and at my adult leanest (heck, even in high school') I couldn't crack 155..and frankly, I'm pretty darn lean (though now resting in the comfy 160's)!

Nice reviews btw-quite a radical comparison the rx6 to the gotama-I like it!
post #3 of 6
Originally Posted by Liam View Post
Nice reviews btw-quite a radical comparison the rx6 to the gotama-I like it!

Especially considering the reviewer had never been on anything remotely similar to either ski, really makes you realize how great current skis are!!

Nice Work!!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
6 feet, 135. I've been skinny my whole life. Same height and weight since I was 15 (I'm 26).
post #5 of 6
Quite possible Liam. I'm 6 feet, was 135-145 until junior year in college. Bet he competes in something involving distance.

OP: Agree with your exuberance over the Goats, great all around, hope you're keeping something narrower for icy days.
post #6 of 6
Hey man this really is LOL!
But great reviews, thanks for sharing.=))

BTW, I always feel happy when someone returns to skiing in such a pleasant way.
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