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Kirkwood - Mantra, Gotama, or ?? - How long?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
I’m 44, 6’2” 245# and consider myself an advanced skier and need some help.

Before moving to the Tahoe area a couple of years ago I skied mostly steep groomed runs (hard packed moguls mess me up) in New England on K2 Mod X (or Axis Pro can’t remember).

Home mountains are now Mt Rose and Kirkwood but ski all over the Tahoe area with occasional trips to Idaho and Utah. These days I mostly ski (at least my version of it) the blacks and doubles of Kirkwood and Rose (Wave, Wall, Sentinel Bowl, Eagle Bowl, Thunder Saddle, Chutes, etc).

In my attempts to adapt to the Sierras, last year I picked up a pair of Volkl Mantras (191) which have helped me a lot. I think the shop mounted the bindings a bit behind center – not sure how much. The group I hang with is a mix of boarders and skiers (no name calling) so we mix up the terrain quite a bit. As to be expected my issues are related to powder and crusty stuff. On powder days of more than a couple of inches I don’t run flat out unless in the wide open, but never straight line anything significant.

1 - On the milder pitches and in the trees I find myself sitting back to overcome the feeling that I’m about to take a header off the front. Probably a bit of Sonny Bono fear kicking in too!

2 - On crusty and heavy wet days I find that my tails catch, throwing me around a lot causing the energy levels and fun factor to drop quickly.

Obviously my technique is suspect and not what it needs to be, but with time it is getting better. One of my friends skis on the Gotamas and seems to have an easier time in these conditions, although typically I out-ski him everywhere else. The other guys grew up here so they could ski on 2x4’s if they had to.

I’m looking for something that is easier to manipulate in the tighter spaces like chutes and trees and doesn’t feel like it’s going to dive the nose when I put my “slight” frame into it J.

Will Gotamas help?
If so how short should I go without sinking in completely on the runouts?

I’d prefer to stay with Volkl (too many other bands to choose from) so I guess Katana, Kuro and Chopsticks are also an option.

Thanks for your help.
post #2 of 51
since i've been on Mantras in the past and ride mostly in Tahoe, Colo, and Utah each season, i'll chime in.

i ride a 188cm Lib Tech NAS Freeride as my every day ski. It has a waist of 93/99 (it has Magnetraction, so the waist width varies). it's a solid all-arounder that seems pretty decent in most conditions, not terribly unlike a Mantra (but with a bit more side cut).

my other ski in normal rotation is a Volant Spatula (i.e. reverse camber).

i would say keep the Mantra as you go-to ski and then get a RC powder ski for deep days (if we are expected to get any more this season!...though an RC set of planks would have been fun this past Sunday).


after going through a number of quivers and skiing 60+ days last season in Tahoe, Utah, Colo, NM, Wyoming, and Oregon, i found that out of a quiver of 6, i was constantly going back to the same 2 skis: Lib Techs and Spats. 99 for every day, 125 RC for pow. quite a number of my constant riding buddies are of a similar mind (a 99ish ski for every day, a 125+ RC for pow). keep it simple!



so, the short answer is since you wish to stick with Volkl, look at the Chopstick or Kuro.
post #3 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymick View Post
On the milder pitches and in the trees I find myself sitting back to overcome the feeling that I’m about to take a header off the front
This going over the handlebars feeling happens to me when i really need to wax my skis - you're waxing regularly, right?
post #4 of 51
At 245#, I would recommend getting a Katana for powder and heavy wet snow days.

I'm 230# and have a 191 Mantra. But, it is not my powder ski. It does not have the kind of surface area to keep you or me up on top of the snow. I really like the 191 Mantra for everything between deep snow and very hard snow. So for me, the 191 Mantra does make a good everyday ski in Tahoe.

The Katana's additional surface, and therefore float, should help with the tail catching issue and feeling of going over the handle bars.

As far as sizing the Katana, I'm skiing a 190 Katana. It has plenty of float and is still easy enough to turn in tighter spots. My bet is the 190 Katana would work for you.

I recommend keeping the 191 Mantra and getting the a 190 Katana for any days that are more a couple inches of new.


Plus, chemSki right about the waxing especially in the wet sierra snow.
post #5 of 51
^SD:

I initially was gonna suggest the Katana, but at 111 it doesn't seem too far removed from the Mantra. That's why I offered up the next two, as they are both rockered and a little wider, thus making a nice quiver of a 94 everyday and a 120ish powder with a rocker so it'll perform solid in deep, semi-deep, and sorta deep.

but hey, what do i know, i use Magnetraction for pete's sake.
post #6 of 51
crazymick,

Do yourself a favor and drop by Cornice Sports @ the Wood and demo the 196 Lhasa Pow from PMGear (they make "BRO's). May not be a Volkl but you won't be sorry. Plus you'll be supporting a local ski designer/manufacturer. Last time I checked they have them there for demo. Perfect for turning tight spots in pow.

And get a helmet - Sonny would probably still be with us if he had one on.
post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I wax the boards every 4 or 5 days with a pocket sponge applicator (Swix or Toko) and whenever they visit the ptex fairy at Bobos What kind of wax and frequency of application do you guys use?

A helmet for sure, I've even got bluetooth for the tunes - I hate cables. Besides I have to set an example for my kids.

I only notice the tail catching on really heavy cement or when I'm breaking through crust. Otherwise the Mantras do great and I completely agree with it being an every day ski as I only take the K2's when out with my kids or on really hard pack days. The Mantra seems to make pretty good compromises, but I'm definitely sold on the quiver concept.

I'm not sure about running too deep in the powder but I've found that speed definitely helps so I'm working on growing a bigger set But when I'm in the trees I would like something easier to turn, hence the question about the Gotamas and nimbleness. I saw a lot of the twin tip RC skis in the lift line yesterday - some only had a foot or two in contact with the ground.

How are the RC's in crusty conditions?

If I go with something fatter like the Kuros or Chopsticks will 175 - 183 suffice while I work up to the longer sticks in a season or two or will I lose too much stability?

Perhaps the rise (Reverse Camber) in the front will allow me to stay forward without burying the tips, so turning will be easier and length will be less of an issue and compensate for shortcomings in my technique?

As for Sunday, yes it was an awesome day (Kirkwood for me). I almost blew off work to go back today, but my crew fell to; Jury Duty, business trip, work, and one literally into a tree (in Sentinel Bowl yesterday - nothing major, but a week or so off the sticks for him).

Magnus, I'll definitely hit Cornice Sports on my next visit. Just trying to define a demo strategy first.
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
^SD:

I initially was gonna suggest the Katana, but at 111 it doesn't seem too far removed from the Mantra.
The increase in float from the Mantra to Katana is pretty big. Katana has the surfing feeling in deeper snow. But, my old powder ski was the 110mm waist and only 130 in the tip Sanouk.

Another plus for the OP is that the Katana does ski like a "Big Mantra". So, there no "it skis differently" issue when switching skis. The Katana handles moderate crud fine and has OK edge hold. (I did a little edge hold testing on Sunday morning with the firm layer only cover by an inch a snow on some steeper slopes. )

Also Katana is just flat. It skis soft groomers, the kind you find on a powder day, pretty well.




Note: For untrack deep powder I think the softer Sanouk is better than the Katana. Sanouk is just an easier ski. But skiing at resort you probably what something that handles cutup powder and crud a little better - Katana.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymick View Post
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I wax the boards every 4 or 5 days with a pocket sponge applicator (Swix or Toko) and whenever they visit the ptex fairy at Bobos What kind of wax and frequency of application do you guys use?
That stuff is not nearly as good as a real hot wax. If conditions are wet, I wax 1-2 days. Otherwise, every 3-4 days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymick View Post
If I go with something fatter like the Kuros or Chopsticks will 175 - 183 suffice while I work up to the longer sticks in a season or two or will I lose too much stability?
For me, it more factor of how much ski is in front of the binding. The Sanouk with a very rearward mount allows for an aggressive forward leaning stance without any tip dive issues. So you might put the unmounted ski on the floor and stand on them to see if like looks like there allot ski in front of your foot.
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymick View Post
Just trying to define a demo strategy first.
not to add to your list, but if you're in Reno, last season Moment skis let you demo their planks for free. You just had to call 'em and then go by the shop, pick 'em up and maybe leave a deposit. I had a Reno buddy pick me up a pair of their Ruby's (110 waist) one day and then he ended up digging 'em, so he went back and took out another pair of their planks later in the season. worth dropping them a line to see if they still offer that demo deal.

as for how to define a demo strategy, i spent 2 seasons demoing. i read all the magazine reviews (Ski, Skiing, Powder, Freeskier) and narrowed down the types of planks I wanted. then i called around and found out which shops carried what i was interested in trying. i also called around to all the resorts to see which ones had the skis i was interested in and which ones offered the multiple pair demo packages. i was a bit picky about what i wanted to try, so i spent a lot of time figuring out which shops and resorts had what i wanted and would set aside days to ski there.

even though my quiver is pretty set (188 Lib Tech NAS @ 93/99 waist and 185 Spats @ 125 waist), i still have a short list of planks to demo:

Icelantic Shaman in a 180
Fatypus D-Sender in a 185
Lhasa Pow in 180ish range
Moment Ruby in 188
Prior Overlord in 184ish
Nordica Blower in 185
Lib-Tech NAS Pow 188ish

but it's doubtful that i'll get on any of those this season...

and i don't really need 'em anyway, just more out of curiosity.

anyway, make a list, pare it down, then start doing your homework on which shops/resorts carry and demo what you're looking for (last season KW shop had both Lib-Techs and Priors, for example).
post #10 of 51
Quote:
1 - On the milder pitches and in the trees I find myself sitting back to overcome the feeling that I’m about to take a header off the front. Probably a bit of Sonny Bono fear kicking in too!

2 - On crusty and heavy wet days I find that my tails catch, throwing me around a lot causing the energy levels and fun factor to drop quickly
.

Crazymick,

IMHO, You're skiing this ski (the mantra) too long. Typically, skishop guys want to put you on a certain length of ski based on your weight. This is good practice, if your skill level is equal to your weight. At the end of the day, the Mantra in a 184 is enough ski to handle your "slight" stature. At 184 you will find it infinately more controlable.

I'm sure you don't want to sell your Mantra.So, I guess what I'm saying is, keep the Mantra for the conditions that you enjoy them in. I would suggest a Kuru as a fat ski to add to your quiver. Just don't feel compeled to buy the longest ski available. The 175 is plenty of ski, unless you ski like Herman Meier.

When you head out to replace your Mantra, buy a ski length suited to your skill level, instead of your weight. Trust me, these skis are more than capable of handling your weight at shorter lengths.
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by hossnphefer View Post
.

Crazymick,

IMHO, You're skiing this ski (the mantra) too long. Typically, skishop guys want to put you on a certain length of ski based on your weight. This is good practice, if your skill level is equal to your weight. At the end of the day, the Mantra in a 184 is enough ski to handle your "slight" stature. At 184 you will find it infinately more controlable.

I'm sure you don't want to sell your Mantra.So, I guess what I'm saying is, keep the Mantra for the conditions that you enjoy them in. I would suggest a Kuru as a fat ski to add to your quiver. Just don't feel compeled to buy the longest ski available. The 175 is plenty of ski, unless you ski like Herman Meier.

When you head out to replace your Mantra, buy a ski length suited to your skill level, instead of your weight. Trust me, these skis are more than capable of handling your weight at shorter lengths.
I agree the OP might like the Matras in general in a 184 but it will not help in powder nor will it hook less in wet snow. The part I can't get over is a 175 cm Kuro for a guy that size?

If you've skied them you'd know that the running surface on them is far shorter than their sticker length. Then you factor in the rocker/reverse camber and in anything but 8" or more of powder your effective edge is a fraction of the sticker length. 185cm Kuros are a good suggestion for a powder ski but demoing them is probably out of the question.

I'll agree with the Katanas and Chopsticks as others have suggested but implore the OP to consider brands other than Volkl. Moment and PMGear should not be ignored especially given your home hill and your close proximity to Moment in Reno. Their skis are made for our mountains and have many options available that will fill the needs your Mantras aren't.
post #12 of 51
oh yeah, perhaps dig up that McConkey 1-pager about choosing a proper length in a RC ski. i think it ran in either Skiing or Powder late last year (like Oct/Nov/Dec issue).

when Shane designed the Spatula it only came in a 185. most RC powder skis that initially followed in it's wake only came in a 185-188 length, as well. it's only been about the last season or so that folks have been offering the RC powder planks in sizes longer or shorter.

anyway, McConkey breaks down how to choose the appropriate size in the article, so it's worth tracking down and reading (it's only 1-page, afterall).

and to echo what i said earlier, call some of the smaller companies (PM Gear, Moment, Praxis) and see what they have in the way of demos. you might be surprised by what you end up trying. who knows?
post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the continued feedback folks.

I did contact Cornice sports and I plan on visiting them when I get back to Kirkwood (family commitments are ruling out this weekend - just Mt Rose on Saturday with the kids).

I also did a bit of research on Moment, so in deference to your guys opinions I may expand the search a bit. Although I do think the moments shapes are kind of square (ugly) I do plan on demo'ing them.

Of course the challenge is always getting the conditions you want when you're able to do a demo.

Back east they used to do demo days at different mountains early in the season where a bunch of different manufacturers would show up and you could a couple of laps on whatever you wanted. I haven't seen anything like that in the Tahoe area. All the demos here seem to be pay as you go from the shops.
post #14 of 51
CM:

They used to do demo days around Tahoe. But I always had a hard time finding out when they were (it was almost like the companies didn't want to advertise them).

I stumbled upon a Rossi demo last season at KW.

Prior used to do a traveling demo show several seasons ago, but have since discontinued doing it in the States to the best of my knowledge.

I think if you dig around company websites they might have the info buried there somewhere.

And also check with the shops. I know Northstar used to offer a multi-pair demo package that was like between $35 and 60, but you could swap out skis as many times as you wanted. I think one of the other shops in the NS village also offers this, but it's in the village, so it's a pain to keep going back and swapping out. Ditto for Squaw, they might have some options like that. And also the KW shop (not Cornice, but the one near the ice rink) may have a multi-demo package.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
\

And also the KW shop (not Cornice, but the one near the ice rink) may have a multi-demo package.
Cornice Sports at Kirkwood does demo's as well. They have all of PMGear's skis available for demo (i.e. the 99-waisted Bro Models, as well as the 186 and 196 Lhasa Pows. Actually, the 196 Lhasa might not be mounted up yet. They were still being displayed unmounted in their window as of last week).
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
Cornice Sports at Kirkwood does demo's as well. They have all of PMGear's skis available for demo (i.e. the 99-waisted Bro Models, as well as the 186 and 196 Lhasa Pows. Actually, the 196 Lhasa might not be mounted up yet. They were still being displayed unmounted in their window as of last week).
I talked with Pat about a week ago and they said CS has the 196's, but not 186's. He didn't say anything about them not being mounted.
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
CM:

They used to do demo days around Tahoe. But I always had a hard time finding out when they were (it was almost like the companies didn't want to advertise them).

I stumbled upon a Rossi demo last season at KW.

Prior used to do a traveling demo show several seasons ago, but have since discontinued doing it in the States to the best of my knowledge.

I think if you dig around company websites they might have the info buried there somewhere.

And also check with the shops. I know Northstar used to offer a multi-pair demo package that was like between $35 and 60, but you could swap out skis as many times as you wanted. I think one of the other shops in the NS village also offers this, but it's in the village, so it's a pain to keep going back and swapping out. Ditto for Squaw, they might have some options like that. And also the KW shop (not Cornice, but the one near the ice rink) may have a multi-demo package.
Last year the shop at the California Lodge at Heavenly had a mutli ski demo program. They were pretty Metreon happy.
post #18 of 51
Thread Starter 
Dookey, I found the McConkey article you mentioned and he suggests adding up to 10cm for full rockered skis.
It was in the September issue of Powder magazine.

Here is the link:
http://www.zinio.com/pages/Powder/Se...7066930/pg-116
post #19 of 51
Thread Starter 
Dookey< I found the McConkey article you referenced (link below).

He recommends up to 10 cm longer for full rockered skis.

http://www.zinio.com/pages/Powder/Se...7066930/pg-116

If this appears twice I'm sorry as my last attempt isn't showing up.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
Cornice Sports at Kirkwood does demo's as well. They have all of PMGear's skis available for demo (i.e. the 99-waisted Bro Models, as well as the 186 and 196 Lhasa Pows. Actually, the 196 Lhasa might not be mounted up yet. They were still being displayed unmounted in their window as of last week).
196s are available, unfortunately some guy demo'd the 186s and never returned them, so they just charged him. They have 192 Fat Bros as well, which is what I got when I couldn't get 186s.

They also have Rossignol S7s available for demo at Cornice.
post #21 of 51

There are a lot of ways to look at the OQ and the discussion could go on forever. It could be very easy for you to start chasing your tail a little here.

 

The basics are that regardless of the width, the ski still has to flex to turn you. Stiffer skis just need more speed and or muscle when in deeper snow and tight spots. Sidecut is mostly irrelevant in light "blower" snow but it does have an effect in heavier deep snow and the effect is the "hookiness" that you described. As a general purpose OSQ for Tahoe, any conventionally cambered ski in the range of 95-105 (give or take) could work very well. The reverse concept skis can be an advantage in very deep snow but will generally suffer in comparison to the others on non snow days.

 

So, if you want an everyday ride that is better than the Mantra in deep snow, fairly easy going and has the Volkl name on it....Gotama (190) BTW....the Katana could work too but it is less nimble and generally less versatile than the Goat.

 

If you want a powder specialty tool to go with the Mantra and it needs to be a Volkl......Kuro (185)

 

SJ

post #22 of 51

I would tend to agree with SierraJim, you can overwhelm yourself with choices and just end up more confused than before.  If you already know you like Volkls then go demo some more Volkls at the Kirkwood demo center.  They have Gotamas, Katanas and Kuros available in a variety of sizes (not sure about the Chopstick).

 

Personally I make the Gotama my regular go to ski at Kirkwood, it just suits the terrain and conditions really well.  The Katana is very similar, slightly worse at carving hardpack but more floaty in powder.  Both handle Kirkwood sierra cement and crud quite well.  Either of these skis will be better than your Mantra off trail, I find the Mantra very hooky and grabby anytime I'm off piste.  Your impression that the Mantra is a better carver on groomers compared to the Gotama is correct, it is.  But hey you're at Kirkwood, who cares about carving groomers?  Seriously you could buy a fat ski and keep the Mantra as a frontside tool or replace it with something more appropriate for carving if that's your thing.  The Kuro is going to be pretty one dimensional and is really only going to be fun on deep days.  It's a conventional design but the profile is so fat that I doubt anyone makes this an everyday ski.

 

If none of these skis do it for you, the demo center also carries 4Frnt EHP's, K2's Obsethed, Prior Overlords, Nordica Blowers and Nordica Enforcers all of which might work as an everyday Kirkwood ski.  You can take up to 5 skis out per day and you probably don't want to demo more than that anyways.

 

I find Mount Rose's terrain to be more conventional than Kirkwood's and your Mantra should serve you quite well there most days.  The exception of course are the Chutes where conditions can vary from deep powder to sketchy icy moguls through 50+ degree pitches and 5 foot wide chokes.  Doesn't really matter what your skiing in there but make sure you bring your A game.  Hope that helps.


Edited by Cold Smoke - Mon, 02 Feb 09 00:20:41 GMT
post #23 of 51
Thread Starter 

Interesting new format for the forum.  The changes explain why I didn't get any notifications about the newer responses.

 

Anyway, I stopped by Bobo's tonight to touch and feel the skis we've discussed and the comments from the guys there are in line with your advice also (no surprise - although it takes some getting used to after the usual lack of knowledge at a lot of other stores - Best Buy, etc).

 

The main guy I talked to used to own the Katana and now rides the Kuro on pow days, but he leaned more towards the Chopstick than the Kuro for nimbleness in trees, tighter spaces, etc.  He also showed me the Rossi Sin Seven and the Armada J&J.  The array of shapes and sizes are amazing, not to mention the graphics.  The Chopsticks look like one of my daughters drawings.

 

I agree with SierraJim, on the Gotama over the Mantra, but as I already have them I'll probably stick with them unless a great deal comes my way for the Gotamas.  I might have a line on a pair of the Black ones hardly used, but they're 183's.

 

I'll get a dedicated demo day for the fat boys within the next week and let you guys know how it goes.  Hoping for snow Thurs/Friday.

 

I did hear that Wednesday is an industry demo day at Alpine - love to be able to crash that party!

 

Oh, and for you locals - don't forget the monthly cheap local day next Thursday at Squaw (2nd thursday every month).  Check their site for "Merchant Day" and don't forget a pay stub!  And no I'm not a homer - just a good deal.

 

 

post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymick View Post

 

I agree with SierraJim, on the Gotama over the Mantra, but as I already have them I'll probably stick with them unless a great deal comes my way for the Gotamas.  I might have a line on a pair of the Black ones hardly used, but they're 183's.

 

 

The 05/06 Gotamas are terrific skis, the best Gotama ever IMO, but they are on the softer side and way too short for you in that length.  Unless you plan to turn around and sell them for a profit (they have a cult following) I'd advise against buying them for personal consumption.


Edited by Magnus_CA - Tue, 03 Feb 09 16:52:27 GMT
post #25 of 51

Crazymick,

 

Note the quote I'm listing from the volkl website. Note that nowhere does it refer to weight. Only skill level. I still think that your problems are based on a ski that is too long for you.

 

"Völkl recommend sizing customers for skis with the "Use your Head" method. The key to this rule is simplicity. For Type 1 (novice) skier, size the skis with the tip approximately chin height. For Type 2 (intermediate) skier, use approximately nose height. Type 3 (expert) skiers will be sized correctly when the ski tip is at forehead height. Note: There are a few exceptions to the rule to be aware of. Slalom racing skis like the Racetiger SL Racing and the SL Race Stock will be sized considerably shorter. In racing women generally use a 155cm and men use a 165cm. Powder specific skis like the Gotama or Katana are sized longer, mainly for expert skiers. For the best sizing advice, ask your local Völkl retailer."

 

Trust me when I say, A ski like the Gotama can and will handle your weight at a shorter length. A 183 or shorter would be fine, or a 175 in a Kuru. Unless you are skiing wide open bowls with 2' of fresh. The shorter legth will be more nimble.

 

It seems that it is a testosterone thing to have long skiis. I think that, if your leaving guys in your dust with a shorter ski, why not. I was of the same "long ski" mentality until a couple seasons ago. I have realized that it is no longer "the way" 

 

I will refer to a ski that is no longer made, but when the Sumo came out it was only availible in a 175. This length was for pro sponsored skiiers as well as the public. They did release it in a 190 two years after it was originaly realeased. According to Volkl the 190 edition was solely for expert riders over 220lbs. North America recieved less than 20 pairs of the longer length.

 

Anyways, do what you want. If your doing some demo days, try some shorter skiis. I'm sure that you will be surprised.

 

 

post #26 of 51

One more thing. If you are thinking on getting a fat ski, in the volkl line up. You might want to do it this year. Next season, everything north of the Mantra will be a reverse camber,

 

I will get the chance to try many of them on the indudustry demo days on the 20th. I'll let you know what they look like.

post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by hossnphefer View Post

Crazymick,

 

Note the quote I'm listing from the volkl website. Note that nowhere does it refer to weight. Only skill level. I still think that your problems are based on a ski that is too long for you.

 

"Völkl recommend sizing customers for skis with the "Use your Head" method. The key to this rule is simplicity. For Type 1 (novice) skier, size the skis with the tip approximately chin height. For Type 2 (intermediate) skier, use approximately nose height. Type 3 (expert) skiers will be sized correctly when the ski tip is at forehead height. Note: There are a few exceptions to the rule to be aware of. Slalom racing skis like the Racetiger SL Racing and the SL Race Stock will be sized considerably shorter. In racing women generally use a 155cm and men use a 165cm. Powder specific skis like the Gotama or Katana are sized longer, mainly for expert skiers. For the best sizing advice, ask your local Völkl retailer."

 

Trust me when I say, A ski like the Gotama can and will handle your weight at a shorter length. A 183 or shorter would be fine, or a 175 in a Kuru. Unless you are skiing wide open bowls with 2' of fresh. The shorter legth will be more nimble.

 

It seems that it is a testosterone thing to have long skiis. I think that, if your leaving guys in your dust with a shorter ski, why not. I was of the same "long ski" mentality until a couple seasons ago. I have realized that it is no longer "the way" 

 

I will refer to a ski that is no longer made, but when the Sumo came out it was only availible in a 175. This length was for pro sponsored skiiers as well as the public. They did release it in a 190 two years after it was originaly realeased. According to Volkl the 190 edition was solely for expert riders over 220lbs. North America recieved less than 20 pairs of the longer length.

 

Anyways, do what you want. If your doing some demo days, try some shorter skiis. I'm sure that you will be surprised.

 

 

 

Choosing ski length based on height is a pretty nearsighted approach and one I would expect to see from big box chains, not so much a manufacturer, but they want to make it easy for the consumer and sell more skis.  Terrain preference, weight, ability, aggressiveness, personal preference, shape, construction (i.e. stiffness), etc. are just some of the factors that should go into the equation when choosing ski length.  I don't refute the testosterone connection but that doesn't mean certain applications don't call for a longer ski.

 

Take the black squaretail Gotamas for example.  They've got no metal and probably 20cm of the length is in the twin tip.  A 183 for a guy 245?  

 

Not sure what to say about your Sumo example.  Not sure how what Volkl shipped has anything to do choosing optimal ski length.

 

I do echo your suggestion about demoing.  It's always wise to demo a ski in multiple lengths before you buy.

 

 

 

post #28 of 51

The Sumo example only states the fact that, for a few years, the "Big Dady" of the volkl line-up only came in a 175. A "big time" ski in a short length. Ths furthers the arguement about length. The 190 version never went into a huge production run in 07, because very few people could handle this ski in a 190. In fact, you can still find the 190 Sumo for sale, brand new.

 

The sumo is a wood core ski, with no metal. Yet pro riders like Chris Collins at 220lbs skiied this ski at 175. I understand that Crazymick is a big guy. But does big guy mean big ski. Not a chance.

 

Trust me, I believe that there is a time and a place for long skis. I personally skied the old black Gotama in a 193. I'm only 5'8" and 180 lbs. I loved these skis and had no problems controlling it. However, Crazymicks problems of having his tips and tails get caught up in heavy snow. To me that's not a ski line or brand problem, that's a technique problem. Having a shorter ski makes up for a ton of technique shortcomings.


Edited by hossnphefer - Thu, 05 Feb 09 21:53:19 GMT
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by hossnphefer View Post

 

The sumo is a wood core ski, with no metal. Yet pro riders like Chris Collins at 220lbs skiied this ski at 175. I understand that Crazymick is a big guy. But does big guy mean big ski. Not a chance.

 

However, Crazymicks problems of having his tips and tails get caught up in heavy snow. To me that's not a ski line or brand problem, that's a technique problem. Having a shorter ski makes up for a ton of technique shortcomings.



Where did you get the Chris Collins weighs 220lb?  He was a Coach at a ski camp I was at.   180lb +/-10  would seems right.

 

BTW: He was skiing a 183 Gotama w/ 20-din Markers.

 

 

Crayzmicks, also, mentioned a tip dive issue- "I find myself sitting back to overcome the feeling that I’m about to take a header off the front."    My initial reaction to that line was - the Sanouk would take care of that. In fact, if the OP can find a one,  a Mantra plus Sanouk quiver is nice in Tahoe.

 

 

Also there is very big difference between the float experienced by 180lb skier and a 240lb skier.   In my own experience with my weight ranging from 215 to 245 in the last 6 year, in fact in one  season (going from 245 to 215).   The difference between 215 and 245 is very big.      I have thought that at 200lbs I could step down in ski length on any ski that float was an issue.

 

Again in my personal experience, a big soft ski that offers more float in easier to maneuver in powder b/c you are riding higher in the snow.  It allows me to ski slower and still turn the ski easily.  This has been my experience with the Sanouk and with a 200cm Yellow AK Rocket before that.  YMMV   

post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 

Well I went to Kirkwood today (4 to 8" depending on where you went) and visited the demo center with the intention of trying 4 or 5 pairs of skis - Seth, Katana, S6, Kuro, etc.

 

So I decided to start with the big boy, the 185 length Kuro (the only size they had) thinking that it would be too big and I'd work down from there.

 

Unfortunately (or not depending on your perspective), I never got past the Kuro.  SierraJim/Cold Smoke were right about that ski.  What an incredible piece of equipment.

 

The Kuro raised my game by a couple of levels and was exactly what I was looking for.  I could stomp on it without felling like I was going over the nose, not once did I get in the back seat.  It was extremely nimble and quick turning, not once did the tails catch, not even in the tight chutes.  I did notice the tips flapping when on the packed at speed off of chair 4 down to the wave, but control wasn't a problem.  When I caught air they landed soft, and I even survived the crunchy bumps on Zachary's on my first run (not intentional).

 

I was all over the mountain - the wall, the wave, thunder saddle, eagle bowl, norms nose, dicks drop, etc - absolutely no problem.  I must have skied the trees at about 3 times the speed I normally do with far more control. I even took air off the wave 4 or 5 times, 10 feet or so - a lot for me.  These skis were unstoppable and they did not feel heavy or awkward in any way.

 

I probably sound like a teenage girl gushing about her new boyfriend, but I felt like I stole supermans cape for the day!  Before I knew it we were on the last lift.

 

The other skis may be better for other people, but I've found what I'm looking for.  I'll demo them again in a couple of feet if I can, but otherwise I'm just looking for the right deal.

 

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