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My First Powder Ski

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

The Question:  What would be the best pair of skis for someone making the transitions from groomers and park to powder and backcountry skiing.

I live in Colorado and generally ski Loveland and A Basin resorts.  I am 6'2 215 LBS and have skied for over 20 years.  I got into riding parks more then anything during college and have been consistently doing that for the last 6 plus years.  I had an epic weekend in Telluride last season and skied in 8 to 16" of powder with a local for 2 days and now it is all i want to do. 

I am looking for a fatter more powder / all mountain ski to replace the more park oriented ski I ride now.

I currenlty ride a set of 171 Salomon 420 Spaceframe's (stop smiling were purchased in college at a ski swap)

With these I use a Salomon Kaos Boot.  I would like to be able to continue to use these boots with my new set of skis because they are only 2 seasons old.  So please keep that in mind when you make your suggestions.  But feel free to throw boot suggestions out there if you would like.

So far in my search on the internet and the local shops in Fort Collins Co the 4 new skis that are in my price range are

K2 Obsethed = $ 430
K2 Hellbent = $ 400
Volkl = Bridge = $ 500
Volkl = Mantra = $ 550

Sizes i am considering are 177 to 185's. 

So that the question please feel free to let me know if the skis I am considering are to much ski for me I am open to any suggestions from people that know more about this then I do.  I would like to still ride a twin tip for a visit to the park from time to time. 

Thanks for your input.

post #2 of 4
Cant help you with the boot, I know nothing about those...

But since I ski at loveland and a few of the other ski areas nearby...

I am looking for exactly the same thing...

Out of your list i would give the Hellbent the nod, the other skis will be to narrow, if you can believe that one...

I have a pair of movement Goliath Sluff's, they are almost the exact same ski as the Mantra...

They do great when the fresh is 12" or less...more than that more width and float is needed...

I am looking at the Hellbent's to fill that need...

I have also been looking at a pair of Icelantic Shaman's...

One of the new boutique ski builders ON3P, have a new ski called the Caylor that i am interested in...

So many wants, so little time...
post #3 of 4
I have skied all four, so here is my take on your list.

Obsethed: IMO, the best choice from this list. It has a mild early rise but for all that, still skis OK outside of the powder.

Hellbent: Among the very best powder specific skis, but offers less versatility than the Seth'd for daily use.

Bridge: The #2 choice from your list. The tail is a little stiff for park and it has a lot of taper so it's not great riding switch, but IMO, this is Volkls best all mountain ski for the west.

Mantra: Not a twin, not great in soft snow compared to the others. Last choice.

One more to add to your list is the Dynastar Big Trouble. It is a full twin, with less taper than the Bridge so it's better in the park. The flex of the BT makes it a better ski in soft snow/crud than the Bridge but a tad less grippy on harder snow. You can find these for ~~ $300 (new '09)

Whatever you choose, go for the 185-189 lengths.

post #4 of 4
I'm with SJ, the Mantra would not be my first choice for a powder ski.  I found the Gotama to be a much more well rounded ski.  In fact I skied my Gotamas in everything from power to slush to bumps to boiler plate last year and loved them. My only regret is that I bought the 183 instead of the 190.
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