Originally Posted by MikeC
I agree with most of what you say ski-ra. I guess I think of a dedicated powder specific ski as something like 125 in the waist. The skis I have been looking at are 100 to 110 and will be manageable on groomers and runouts. I want something for pow on those rare days out west when I will see fresh untracked, and something for days after a storm crud, which I will likely see out west.
I won't get to use the ski back here in PA unless we get a huge dump, and that almost never happens around here, so it won't matter if I have a 90ish ski or a 100+ ski. I won't ski it around here. I already have an IM78 that is good for new snow days here.
Fair enough. I would consider the iM78 something that could handle more than just hard-pack conditions even out west, so you are correct in wanting to go wider. Yeah, where the line is drawn between an "All Mountain" and "Powder Specialty" ski is getting blurred, and the "Powder Specialty" category seems be cleaving into those for "in-bounds" vs. those for B/C & Heli-Skiing. I don't think that the waist width is a good indication of a ski's powder prowesss anymore (some of the newer "powder specialty" skis, like the Rossi S7's, have 115mm waists). Instead the addition of sidecut or camber tweaking along with the ski's stiffness and use of metal is probably a better indication.
With that in mind I would definitely consider the the Coomba to be a powder-biased "All Mountain" ski (it is fairly soft and has a tip designed for assisting with deeper snow). OTOH, unless you define a powder specialty ski as that only used in the B/C or for heli trips, the rockered technology of the Czar/obSethed makes these essentially in-bounds powder specialty skis (with "in-bounds" being the operative term here - the companies want to call them "All Mountain" because there's more sales in that category and they already have "powder speciality" skis). I'm not saying that they can't ski groomed (heck some people say that their K2 Hellbents can ski groomers), it's just that the technique required by these skis on groomers will need to be more advanced than that of a "normal" ski.
Keep in mind that the others here recommending the Czar or obSethed probably (based on their profiles) have more advanced techniques that would allow them to control these skis more readily on packed runs. If you feel that you are in the same league (again, no offense meant), then go for it. If not, then maybe something like the Prophet 100's or Gotama's (or the Coombas) would give you what you want without requiring you to learn how to control "flying lunchtrays" on groomers. In fact, check out this other poster who seems to have bought into the "all mountain" capabilities of the Czar only to find that they may really be dedicated powder skis - http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/82660/did-i-go-to-wide.
P.S. I just saw your other "Reworking the Quiver..." thread which gives me some different perspective about your situation. I will leave the above intact (I wrote it before I saw this other thread) even though I now know that you also own the W94's and I am warming up to your approach. But before I agree...it's hard to believe that you don't consider the W94's to be good soft snow skis - that's what they are universally known as (I ski the W84's, which at my 130lbs probably perform similarly, and would have to agree - they handle deep snow nearly as well as my Gotamas as long as the conditions don't get too gnarly). This leads me to wonder (again no offense intended) whether your deep snow frustrations are a technique rather than a ski issue. I'm now thinking that if you bring your W94's out west and use a "learners" powder ski (i.e., the Czar's or obSethed's) only in deep untracked snow you'll probably be fine. These hybrid rockers will probably help you learn how to ski the deeper stuff better. You may then find that your soft snow skills with the W94's have also improved. If so, I wouldn't bother with P100's, W101's, Coombas or even Gotamas - they overlap too much with the W94's. OTOH, if you're gonna dump your W94's then I will stick with my previous recommendations and add that you should take a powder lesson.
So much for all of my above flaming....
Edited by ski-ra - 3/20/2009 at 08:38 pm