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Powder and Groomed Ski - Any Perfect Combo?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I am looking to purchase new skis this spring and not sure what to go with. I am looking for a ski that is versatile and can hang in the powder and out of bounds skiing, and can hit groomers too.  When I ski with my wife, we hit the groomers hard. When I ski with my brother-in-laws we ski primarily out of bounds and trees. I would prefer to not bring multiple skis to the slopes. Thus, a one ski quiver is what I am looking for.

 

I am probably a level 7 - 8 skier, and currently ski Salomon Screams and Scramblers. I am 6'2, 205 lbs, 31.5 Rossi Bandit Boots. We have a place in Summit County so that is where we ski primarily (A-Basin, Keystone, etc). I am also torn between sticking with a 175-177 or going up to a 184ish length ski. I will probably demo skis before purchase. I ski about 30 days per year.


The skis I have looked at are:

 

Volkl Mantra

Fischer Watea 84

Volkl Tigershark 10

Nordica Top Fuel

Volkl AC50

Atomic Snoop Daddy

Dynastar Contact 4x4

 

I'm completely open to any and all suggestions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

post #2 of 24

 Well I was looking for something similar and decided on the Head Monster Im 82, I took them up last week, they had great edge grip on the hard pack and ice while working flawlessly in the deep foot of untouched powder. I just received some Fischer watea 94's but haven't skied them. I've heard good things about them though.

post #3 of 24
Quote:

Volkl Mantra

Fischer Watea 84

Volkl Tigershark 10

Nordica Top Fuel

Volkl AC50

Atomic Snoop Daddy

Dynastar Contact 4x4

 

I would suggest paring down your list by eliminating the 4x4, Any TS model, Top Fuel, and AC50. These are all very good skis but they are rather hard snow biased. Some additional models you might consider are: Watea 94, Dynastar Mythic Rider, Nordie Afterburner, and Blizzard Cronus............and dozens of others.

 

SJ

post #4 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilco313 View Post

 


The skis I have looked at are:

 

Volkl Mantra

Fischer Watea 84

Volkl Tigershark 10

Nordica Top Fuel

Volkl AC50

Atomic Snoop Daddy

Dynastar Contact 4x4

 

I'm completely open to any and all suggestions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Atomic Snoop Daddy was my choice. I just got them on sale from Tramdock and will take them next week to Mammoth. They are 50/50 skis and maybe I would call them "Powder Carving" skis. At least thats why I bought them. I'm sure any of those on your list are OK. After all, its more about the skier.

 

J.

post #5 of 24

I ski mostly in and around Summit County and here is my take on your list.

 

Mantra-No,  not versitle enough and a bit stiff.

Watea 84..Liked it,  think the 94 might be better suited especially if you can pick your days.

Tigershark 10- I take mine out when the snow is at it's hardest there.  Powder...bumps....not!

Top Fuels- I have a few (instructor) friends that ski them.  That's a possiblilty.

AC 50.....Maybe,  but I think the Mythic Rider might be a better choice. 

Don't know enough about the rest.

 

A few you should consider

 

Dynastar 8000....fun versitle ski for skiing in Summit.

 

Blizzard 8.1 and 8.7 I bought the 8.1's.  They handle Summit County's conditions very well.  The 8.7's may be a bit much in the bumps,  but given your size may be manageable.  (These can be demo'ed at the Norway Haus in Breckenridge.....tough ski to find)

post #6 of 24

Go fatter and longer.   180+ length and 88+width.  You can ski groomers on anything.  Where do you want to rip the most, powder or groomers?

post #7 of 24

I just can't get over how fun and versatile my skis are (the Watea 94s).  I know I sound like I'm affiliated with Fischer, but can't stop from spreading my enthusiasm for these   though I have not tried many others at all.

post #8 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaportrail View Post

 

I just can't get over how fun and versatile my skis are (the Watea 94s).  I know I sound like I'm affiliated with Fischer, but can't stop from spreading my enthusiasm for these   though I have not tried many others at all.

 

 

Wait til ya see the 2010's.............yer gonna want one sooooooobad..............

 

SJ

post #9 of 24

 The mantra kicks some serious a** everywhere. It holds like a race ski on groomed, pretty well in chopped powder and powder. It a little stiff for moguls but really a fun ski

 

oh and i would recommend wait for next years model. It looks a loot better than this years imo. Sure a black base + ninjas with ak 47s are pretty kick ass but i wish i had waited for nexts years after seeing the new model. 

post #10 of 24

Many great suggestions here. I ski the Blizzard Titan Cronus. While it is 88mm underfoot, it it a great ski for soft groomers. Even does remarkably well on the hard packed that I often get here in Maine. I just spent two weeks in Vail and Utah. The skis were just magic in the shallow pow on the walls of the China bowl and on the glades and woods at Blue Sky. Soft tip from wood core makes them very nice in the bumps. And then I got to ski them is spring like conditions at Deer Valley. Very stable, willing, reliable and quick turning in heavy stuff and the steeps (like the Daly chutes - with killer bumps). And not that it may matter to you, but mine were the only pair I saw during my two weeks out west. Others don't know what they are missing. Try these or anything else in the Bliz line. Highest points from nearly everyone. Enjo the search and happy trails. David

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks everybody for the suggestions and tips. I'll be hitting the slopes Thursday and will pick up a couple to demo.  

post #12 of 24

I'll be looking forward to your response as I am looking for a 90-105mm waist width ski as well that is good all-around as well.

 

Right now, I'm thinking about the Volkl Gotama as my main possible choice.

post #13 of 24

If you are a strong skier, or want to go with a shorter length I suggest the Mantra.  If you are less agressive, or want to stay longer go with the Watea 94.  These skis have virtually idential dimensions and IMO are as wide as you can go and still be a good carver, and as narrow as you can go and still be a good deep snow ski.  I favor the Watea because IMO it is easier to ski in most situations.  Be advised that the 94s measure shorter than their advertised length.

 

I have no experience with the other skis you are considering.

post #14 of 24

Ditto on the Watea 94. 

post #15 of 24

I really like my gotomas as an everyday all around ski.  I didn't expect it to be good on the groomers, but it is.  It bumps OK and it's good in powder and mank.  I thought Bushwacker was exaggerating last year, but it is way more versatile at 105 underfoot than I would have believed.  It is the only ski I am using at The Village this season.   I'm even using an older pair as a tele ski.  Good luck with your search.   

post #16 of 24

If you spent 70% of your time on the backside, I'd second the Goats; solid everywhere. But you sound more like a 50/50 guy, so think hard about the Mythic Rider, an Afterburner, a Salomon Fury, or if you have the extra $, a Kastle MX88. All are smooth and versatile, the MR will be the best in soft chop or pow at speed, the Kastle will be the quickest and grippiest on pack, also most stable there at speed, the Fury will be the best in soft bumps, trees, and tight places, and the Afterburner will be the easiest going, do-everything well but nothing exceptionally. The Mantra and Watea 94 are superb skis, but not skis I'd choose to spend a day hitting groomed "hard," and IMO the Cronus is a bit flexy for a guy your size. As far as size, if you like to ski over 35 mph, go for low to mid 180's. 

post #17 of 24

You're getting a lot of feedback from more "wide-ski-oriented" skiers, so let me balance it out. I particularly disagree with Shredhead:

 

Quote:

 Go fatter and longer.   180+ length and 88+width.  You can ski groomers on anything.  Where do you want to rip the most, powder or groomers?

 

Yes, you can "ski" groomed snow on anything. But isn't the point to enjoy it, not just get down it? I think that it is no coincidence that fat-ski afficionados tend to proclaim their distaste for groomed snow, or anything not deep and soft. I wouldn't like it either on those skis!

 

And what about when it gets harder, windblown, bulletproof, or otherwise "loud"? That's been the prevailing snow conditions in much of Colorado for the last couple weeks--and the east is no stranger to it either! I met a friend of mine in the grocery store the other day--a friend who is a former "big-mountain" competitor and who loves to preach the virtues of fat skis. I don't know how many times he's tried to convince me that they "ski great" in all conditions, and are super-versatile, and so on. "Have you been skiing much lately?" I asked him. "No," he said, "I don't like hard snow."

 

Point made!

 

While it does take some technique and skill (what of value doesn't?), you can certainly ski (even "rip" on) narrower skis in deep and soft snow. Indeed, groomed snow and powder are the two easiest conditions to ski, and you can do fine with just about any type of ski--once you learn. To me, the test of a ski is how it performs on--or in--challenging conditions. I would much rather ski powder on a narrow ski than hard snow--or even groomed snow--on a fat ski.

 

So, if you want to enjoy--not just "ski"--all conditions, I'd steer you toward a ski with a waist between 72 and 88 mm for that one, all-around ski. And personally, I'd go much closer to the narrower end of that range.

 

If you can find them--and afford them--you cannot go wrong with the new line of Hart skis. In that line, the two I'd lean toward are the Pulse (77mm waist) or the Twisted Twin (86). They are both hand-built laminated skis. The Pulse has a deeper sidecut, and is generally my preference. Hart describes the Twisted Twin as an "all-mountain twin-tip." It can carve decent turns on groomed snow, but really comes alive in softer snow, as well as freestyle maneuvers--half pipe, switch, and such (I wouldn't take such a fine ski near a rail, though--or any ski if you want the edges to work).

 

Reading between the lines, you've probably figured out my top recommendation: Hart Pulse! Around here, it's become an overwhelming favorite of instructors, who need a ski they can do anything on, anywhere. It has proven itself well in our certification exams, which include skiing the entire spectrum of speeds, movement patterns, turn shapes, conditions, and terrain--from groomed to steep off-piste and bumps. I prefer a still narrower ski (race ski) on real ice, but the Pulse has impressed me even there.

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #18 of 24

Skip the Top Fuel and go with either the Afterburner or the Jet Fuel in a 177 length.  Personally, I give the highest ranking to the Jet Fuel.  It is an incredible ski for Summit county.  I really love mine!

post #19 of 24


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangSVT View Post

 

I'll be looking forward to your response as I am looking for a 90-105mm waist width ski as well that is good all-around as well.

 

Right now, I'm thinking about the Volkl Gotama as my main possible choice.


 

If you decide on Goats I have a pair of 183's solomon 12 binding  07-08 Excelllent condition. PM me FS

post #20 of 24

Sort of getting to be a common question.  NO ONE can tell you what ski you will like.  As you've stated go Demo.  When demoing try different sizes too.  Have Afterburners 178, have Goats 183 and skied with Atomic bud last week at Mammoth and demo'd some Watea 94's 178 and Snoops 184 and 177.  Skied 4 to 12 in of powder everywhere and groomers and didn't like the Wateas or the Snoop 177 but loved the Snoop 184.   Go figure.  Bob Barnes is certainly right but if you search hard you will be able to find what is right for you.   Don't settle on lst ski that you like and play with length too.

 

I think I like the snoop the best because it has an even flex and a rather soft tip which resulted in me not getting in the back seat.  Felt really centered on these skis.  May not work for you of course so DEMO as many as you can.

 

Good luck.  Snowed 8 " here last night.  WELCOME TO EPIC !

post #21 of 24

I am about to depoy a pair of Scott Crusades for exactly this purpose.

 

Ptex1 has them for a rare deal............. 

post #22 of 24

i would recommend that you demo a pair of line prophet 90's. great all around all mountain ski.  i demoed eight pairs of skis before i found my one quiver arrow.  good luck.

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

I can't say thanks enough for all the feedback. Keep it coming!  I've passed this site along to my father-in-law who is a fantastic skier. After about 15 years of skiing Volkl straight 190s, he is searching for new skis. So, I'm sure he is going to start a thread asking for feedback on some suggestions.

 

As for me, I have two pairs of skis and they are 75 and 77 underfoot. The 75s have a 110 tip and the 77s have a 118. So, going up to a 94 waist would be a huge jump. I think I am going to try a 84 or in that range to start off with to see what they feel like.

 

I looked for a dealer for Hart and boy they are tough to find. I found a place on ebay selling demo/product development Hart skis. Even Hart's dealers in Colorado don't list them. I'm going to give the store in Frisco a call.

 

Unfortunately, I don't get to choose what the weather is like when we head up to Colorado. My in-laws have a place there so we go up 5 or 6 times per season, but the weather is what it is when we are there. One of these days we may try to move up there.

 

post #24 of 24

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilco313 View Post

 

As for me, I have two pairs of skis and they are 75 and 77 underfoot. The 75s have a 110 tip and the 77s have a 118. So, going up to a 94 waist would be a huge jump. I think I am going to try a 84 or in that range to start off with to see what they feel like.

I went from 69mm to 94mm (watea) last year.  I didn't think it was nearly as big of a difference as I expected.  I personally think things like stiffness, flex pattern, sidecut, etc. make a lot more difference in how a ski feels than 10mm of waist width.

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