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Reworking the Quiver- Soft Snow Ski

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm going to overhaul the quiver between now and next season and would like some help choosing skis. 

 

In this thread I'd like some help with soft snow ski recommendations.  I've posted another thread asking about east coast carving skis.

 

I'm a solid level 7 on hard snow, maybe a 6 in the soft stuff, who's 6' and 185lbs, I'm currently skiing soft snow conditions on a Fischer Watea 94 in 178cm.  I like the Watea's but they are a bit lacking in true soft snow conditions and I think I'd like a more soft snow oriented ski.  Wateas are a great all around mid fat ski, but I was struggling on them in Utah in a couple of feet of fresh and cut up snow.

 

Skis on the short list are:

 

Watea 101 or 114

K2 Obsethed

K2 Coomba

Volkl Gotama

Prophet 100

Blizzard Argos

Icelantic Nomad

Icelantic Shaman

 

I'd like a soft snow ski that I don't have to ski 100 miles an hour on to get it to respond and that will still be ok on harder snow.  Don't really want a powder only wide ski, rather something in the 100-110 range that is fairly forgiving.

 

Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated!  I won't get to demo any of these types of skis out here so I'll be buying blind most likely.

 


Edited by MikeC - 2/24/2009 at 05:21 pm
post #2 of 13

If you're really looking for a Watea replacement I would go for the Argos or the Gotama.  You may be fine on the 180 and 183 but could go to the longer length too.  I know Icelantic has a loyal following but I think it would be easiest to turn around and resell the Argos (system binding) or the Gotama if you don't love them.  I'm a bit surprised you find your Wateas lacking in soft snow performance since in my opinion it's there where they excel.  In fact, if you think the Wateas are lacking in soft snow I'm not sure why you're limiting yourself to 100ish width skis.  My bet is you would of been happier on the 186's although I've been more than pleased with my 178's in most conditions.  I purchased a pair of Argos as a more versatile alternative to my Wateas but like the Watea so much I'll likely keep them both.

 

Good luck and don't be afraid to go bigger and keep your 94's.

post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus_CA View Post

 

...  I'm a bit surprised you find your Wateas lacking in soft snow performance since in my opinion it's there where they excel.  In fact, if you think the Wateas are lacking in soft snow I'm not sure why you're limiting yourself to 100ish width skis.  My bet is you would of been happier on the 186's ... 

Good luck and don't be afraid to go bigger and keep your 94's.


 

Great advice. The 178cm length is a little on the short side for Utah powder. Consider the Watea 101 in a 194cm or a Dynastar Huge Trouble in a 186cm.

 

Match this with a 172cm 2009 Dynastar Contact 10 or Contact 4X4 and you'll be all set.

 

Michael

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks Magnus.  I do like the Wateas and may keep them yet.  I debated about the length and ended up with the 178's because I found a good deal and was undecided between the two sizes anyway.

 

What would you recommend if I went bigger and kept the 94?

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeC View Post

 

 

What would you recommend if I went bigger and kept the 94?

 

I think Wildcat's Watea 101 suggestion is a great one.  They're more of a replacement to your Wateas if you're looking for something slightly more soft snow oriented than the 94.  If you want to compliment your Wateas I think Huge Troubles are a terrific choice.  They are 115mm in the waist with a stiffish tip.  They have no camber or rocker.  Their quasi-traditional design will give you the float you need in powder without making a huge sacrifice in hard snow conditions.  If you look up dawgcatching's review of them you'll find he also praises they're crud-busting ability.  I'm having a pair mounted this week.

post #6 of 13

I see it's already on your list, but definitely give some consideration to the K2 Obsethed.

 

I was looking for a "more fat" ski, something to handle deeper snow conditions than my Volkl Aura.

 

I demo'd the Obsethed (169cm) out at Telluride, on a day which hadn't seen any new snow for 4 days.  I found some powder to test them out in, but I had to hike for it.  The ski was good in the powder and trees that I found, it cuts through the chop and crud pretty well. But then, I expect a ski of this size to be good in powder.

 

The big surprise was how this ski handled the groomers. For a 105mm waist, it rocks!  Took me a couple turns to get the hang of it, but when I found that spot-- whee!  I had a great time all over the mountain, even in some light crusty bumps.  Great ride, and it didn't beat up my knees by the end of the day (after 3 days of solid skiing).  I also tried out the Armada JJ (175).  It was nice in powder and bumps, but too weird for me on the groomers. 

 

I ended up purchasing a pair of the Obsethed.  This ski is a twin tip with a slight tip and tail rocker.  It's also quite long for a 169.  I stood them up next to my husbands 177cm Volkl Mantra, and they look to be the same "length" visually.

post #7 of 13

I agree that if you want to supplement your 94, you should go wider. The 100-105 ish skis will be a little better in soft snow but not enoguh to really help much. I can't speak to the Icelantics but the rest of the skis you mention are not better on harder snow than the 94 and the K2s are worse. The one exception is the Argos. It is better on hard snow than the 94 but it is not dramatically better in soft. (a little maybe but not much)

 

I own the Argos and it fits in my quiver where the 94 fits in yours ie: your daily driver. Among the skis I own, thats the one that I'd keep for Western snow but again, I don't see it as a supplement to your 94 but rather as a replacement.

 

Among conventional camber and sidecut skis, the Huge and the 2010 Watea 114 are logical choices. I own the Huge and really like it. The lift and crud capability is great yet it still feels as "normal" as you could reasonably expect from a 115mm ski.

 

SJ

post #8 of 13

Another vote for the Huge Trouble here!  If you want a longer version (it skis a bit short) there is a 192 next season.  The Gotama is an extremely popular very versitile ski and while it's not for me, it's a good ski.  I'd also throw a nod out to the Armada JJ

post #9 of 13

Just get the Volkl Kuro in a 185 and don't look back.  Read the reviews on this site and TGR.  If you already have a mid-fat, traditional camber, traditional sidecut ski, go for the pintail rocker. 

 

You won't be struggling in deep snow, you'll be giggling.  Trust me.  My husband has them, and he is completely insufferable on them. 

 

They are a little unwieldy on the groomers, but if you pay attention you'll be fine. 

 

Right now I'm trying to restrain myself from picking up a pair of 175s, now that it has FINALLY SNOWED in the PNW.   What time does Evogear close?

post #10 of 13

Since you have the Argos and the Huge Trouble, and it sounds like you find the HT's to be versatile for such a wide ski, can you describe what conditions you would pick one over the other, and what it is one can do that the other can not?  I am trying to get a feel for if the Huge Trouble could reasonably be versatile enough to make a ski like the Argos unneccessary, say, in a 2-ski quiver with, say a 78-84 mm ski.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by monologuist View Post

 

Since you have the Argos and the Huge Trouble, and it sounds like you find the HT's to be versatile for such a wide ski, can you describe what conditions you would pick one over the other, and what it is one can do that the other can not?  I am trying to get a feel for if the Huge Trouble could reasonably be versatile enough to make a ski like the Argos unneccessary, say, in a 2-ski quiver with, say a 78-84 mm ski.

 

The key to me here is that the Huge is certainly the best of the skis that I've been on in that width range. But it's still really big for anything except deep snow and crud. OTH, the Argos in the 180 length is much more nimble feeling and grippy than the HT. From Dec 25 to Feb 7-8, we basically got no snow in Tahoe other than a couple of sprinkles. During that period, I skied I think 12 days and I always had a car full of skis in varying widths shapes etc. I skied the Argos at least a bit every day but only took the Huge out once. The HT was ok in those conditions but the Argos was way more fun.

 

I think the Argos is a great 1SQ or a great middle ski in a 3SQ. If I were to pair up a ski to go with the Huge in a 2SQ I'd probably go back to the Mythic or possibly the Mag 8.7. Or....or....or......

 

SJ

 

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeC View Post

 


I'd like a soft snow ski that I don't have to ski 100 miles an hour on to get it to respond and that will still be ok on harder snow.  Don't really want a powder only wide ski, rather something in the 100-110 range that is fairly forgiving.

 

I'll put in a vote for 173 Shamans.  Easy to ski at slow speeds, still stable at fairly high speeds.  Easy to turn, great in soft snow, great on groomers, good on hardpack, ok in bumps.  I feel like a hero on them on every type of terrain and snow I've shown them.

post #13 of 13

If I was in your shoes, looking at your list, I would go with the Obsethed. My buddy has a pair in 179 and just rips everything and any conditions on them. I sold some 191 Movement Thunders recently and may add the 189 Obsethed to my quiver for next season to fill it's spot. The front rocker does amazing things in soft snow, yet you can still put them over and rail a groomer. BTW, for 12"+ of soft stuff, try and get a ski that is mid 180 - mid 190 for extra float. Skis that have a flat camper and some tip rocker, ski short IMO, so longer is good.

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