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Women's Powder Ski?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Looking for a powder ski for my daughter, J3 racer, 5' 9", 140 lbs., so a big strong skier.  I'm aiming towards some versatility and utility in terms of both trail and conditions, so maybe something in the 100 mm waist range.  Given the description, 170 to 172 cm ok?  A men's ski is fine, just need to make sure it's not too much ski.  Would love two or three recs!
post #2 of 22
What skis/lengths did she race on last year? and what will she race on this year?

What have her previous AM/powder skis been? Will she have anything in between her race skis and this model you are considering?

SJ
post #3 of 22
 This thread is likely to cause me to drool.......

Welcome to EpicSki!

The questions that Jim is asking will help in a choice, but I'll share my experience from last year at Big Sky.
I had the good fortune to borrow a pair of 05(?) Gotamas in 168 on some deep powder days.  LOVED THEM! 
Since they don't make the gotama like it was in 04, but began making the women's version Kiku, similarly to that version of Gotama, I picked up a pair of 09 Volkl Kiku's (105 w) 168cm.

Since then, and because I'm a gear ho, I've seen a few other skis that have piqued my interest in this range of size and ability, Icelantic PIlgrims (mid 90's waist).
Then there is the stayed and true K2 Phat Luv (102 w)

There is some fun stuff out there to explore with.  Looking forward to hearing more from you!!
post #4 of 22
What Jim asked, plus it'd be good to know where she and you ski. 

But I will add my usual two cents for the past five months when someone asks about women's powder skis:  My wife demoed the 160cm Moment Pika in April and was blown away by its on and off piste performance.  (I demoed the 190cm Moment Ruby at the same time -- the Pika and Ruby are the women's and men's names for the same line of skis, although there are structural differences among the lengths -- and had a similar reaction.)

Her current quiver is 158 Dynastar Exclusive Legends (75mm waist), 158 Dynastar Exclusive Legend Powders (85mm waist), and 160 K2 Phat Luvs (95mm) waist.  Despite their 112mm waist, the Pikas performed more like the 85mm-wide (misnamed) Exclusive Legend Powders, which had been her default ski last season, than even the 95mm-wide Phat Luvs. She's a moderately aggressive skier in her mid-40s, and found them easygoing and fun, so I suspect that your daughter would find them very manageable and relaxed.  I'm planning to buy her a pair of Pikas for her birthday, and suspect that the Legends and Phat Luvs won't see much snow this year.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Great questions.  As a J3 but a big kid, she's in between junior, adult and FIS racing skis.  She's racing SL on junior Atomic 155's, and GS on adult Head 178's.  She skis SG on Volkl 188's.  For an everyday ski, she has a beat-up pair of Fischer Vision Vapors at 165 cm, which are 76 mm in the waist.  I bought her a pair of Prophet 90's at 172 cm, but I don't think they're wide enough or distinct enough from the Vapors.  Not looking for an obscenely wide powder ski... just wondering if I should trade in the Prophets for an extra 10 or 15 mm of width.  I suppose the alternative is to leave the quiver as is and add a really fun only really deep day powder ski?  And yes, I know she's a kid and you might be thinking this guy is nuts, but she has a lot of passion for the sport and we have enormous fun doing it together... and it sure beats hanging out at the mall!
post #6 of 22
The reason that I asked what skis she is on was to get an idea of what she can handle. The one thing that stands out immediately to me is that you have her skiing super G on a men's GS ski. While a doable thing it is not ideal as she is on a ski with too much sidecut and in too stiff a flex. I'd get her a Junior Super G in a 186-96. She will be more comfortable and faster on those than on those big GS skis.

This thread will have the potential to drift hither and yon but I think it is best to keep this fairly simple and not overthink the powder ski thing too much. Assuming that you see much powder, I do think that she could use something wider than the Vapor. The P-90 would be adequate most of the time and would certainly serve her well as an everyday ski depending somewhat on where you live and your general conditions. Don't worry about it being too close to the Vapor as they serve different purposes.

FWIW we have hundreds of race families in our store every year and we will tell them all the same thing. Most get one pair of skis outside of their race quiver and how wide it is is dependant upon the kid but approximately 90mm is a good place to be thinking about. I would suggest that you ditch the Vapor or keep it for early season rocks. Once she gets on the Prophet, she won't ski the Vapor much anyway.

So....one more time.....don't overthink this deal.

SJ
post #7 of 22
How many days 1' or greater for her per season? What is her style, how does she want to ski? Big open lines charging, smaller stuff more off in the trees? Will she be jsut skiing or will there be any flipy / spiny? Will she tour on them at all? Does she want a conventional pow ski or a fun shape? Sounds like she could handle with out knowing any of these could work: Scott P4 181, 181 Atomic Thug, 179 Obseth, Line SFB, 179 EHP, 179 pontoons, 185 praxis. But any or none of those might be best depending on how she wants to ski.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hmmm, I double-checked... the Volkls are 188 World Cup SG with a 27m radius.  Are they a GS ski in disguise?  And perhaps too short, yes?

Good advice on the over-think thing.  The Prophets are obviously a fine ski.  Maybe they're the anchor ski and I'm looking for a wider just-for-fun ski.

As to conditions, we do have some heavy snow days in the PNW.  I'd say usage is focused on shorter runs and in the trees rather than long Alaska-style open charges.  No flippy/spinny, and no touring.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post



This thread will have the potential to drift hither and yon but I think it is best to keep this fairly simple and not overthink the powder ski thing too much. Assuming that you see much powder, I do think that she could use something wider than the Vapor. The P-90 would be adequate most of the time and would certainly serve her well as an everyday ski depending somewhat on where you live and your general conditions. Don't worry about it being too close to the Vapor as they serve different purposes.

FWIW we have hundreds of race families in our store every year and we will tell them all the same thing. Most get one pair of skis outside of their race quiver and how wide it is is dependant upon the kid but approximately 90mm is a good place to be thinking about. I would suggest that you ditch the Vapor or keep it for early season rocks. Once she gets on the Prophet, she won't ski the Vapor much anyway.

So....one more time.....don't overthink this deal.

SJ

Some of the most solid information you can get, right there...^^^^^^^

Obssd, Did I miss where you said you primarily ski.  That will make a difference on your selection for her as well.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Home mountain is Crystal in WA.  We ski only in the pacific NW... WA, OR, Whistler, Sun Peaks.  So it's a form of powder.
post #11 of 22
I rather disagree with SJ & TC on everything other than the "don't overthink it" part. 

Not to put too fine a point on it, but 90 underfoot is not a "powder" ski in the world of modern skis. That goes doubly so for xtal and the PNW in general. In that world, there is almost no such thing as "obscenely wide". 

A baseline would be the new Kiku/Gotama. Contenders might include Praxis, Pontoon, Kuro, JJ, Hell Bent, EP Pro, Sir Francis Bacon/Pandora, etc. Or, if you prefer for "technique" reasons, any number of somewhat more traditional designs in the 100+ waist range. Maybe something like the short or medium Doughboy. Or perhaps down as far as the 98 waisted Missbehaved. 

That's not to say a 90mm ski can't ski powder just great on the right pair of feet. But to call anything of that sort a "powder" ski component of any broad spectrum quiver just does not make sense. Especially in a place where deep breakable layered slabby snow is reasonably common. Why not get a ski that can make that kind of snow ski like hero snow? And that won't wear someone out for no reason under said conditions?

The only issue I see is that many modern "powder" skis want a slightly different touch than the race crew is used to delivering. A few days & that'd be fixed...

For a PNW powder ski don't overthink it, go "fat" and rockered and don't look back. 
post #12 of 22
I don't have a recommendation for your case, but I'm in a similar situation, although my now 13yo daughter is just under 5' and weighs about 105lbs. We also live in the East coast.

Based on online reviews.I got her a pair of Roxy Broomstix (www.evogear.com/outlet/skis/roxy-broomstix-womens-2009.aspx) (122-86-110) 158cm (just over her head) mainly for skiing powder, crud and trees this year. At the time, I also was looking at the Salomon Suspect (amongst others), which was unisex, more expensive and was only available in 162cm in that range. She probably could go with the extra 4cm as her previous twins in the last two seasons measured exactly her height. Because here in the East our powder days are far fewer and the off-piste turns are much tighter.

In a couple of month, we'll be able to found out whether I made a good call. Even though I, later on after the purchase, found out that the Suspect could a bit more agressive of a ski more suitable for her style.

As for your daughter, I think around 172cm should be fine for a twins or AM. If you were in the East, I probably would go with <90 waist for the reasons others have mentioned. Assuming she is as able a freeskier as a racer, I think she should do well with just a narrow-mid fat in all conditions including deep pow. Afterall, I suspect that she'll spend far more time on course than off. But, then again, you guys have a much longer season than we do.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by obssd View Post

Home mountain is Crystal in WA.  We ski only in the pacific NW... WA, OR, Whistler, Sun Peaks.  So it's a form of powder.

The question then is this:
Do you want a powder specific ski or a ski that does well in powder?
A powder specific ski will fall into the category that Spindrift describes, but will not be so much fun unless you got some serious dumps.

From what I am reading, you're looking for something that will be a next step up from race specific that will allow her to ski powder more easily than her race skis.
Jumping from a race ski to a powder specific ski could be an extreme transition that is not so much fun for her.  My advice is to stick with what you got and then take the time for her to rent or demo something like what spindrift is suggesting if/when you get a huge dump and find out if that will be the next step.
post #14 of 22
I think she should definitely demo, but even saying that, make sure she demos the Volkl Aura, maybe in 170 (would have to be a prior-season ski as I think they've stopped making this length).  Most of the female racers I've heard of liked it as their powder ski.  I even like it, although I don't own it.  I guess she'd have to demo it in a shorter length or see if she can borrow it from someone to try it out in that length, but I bet it's still out there in a 170. 
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post


A powder specific ski will fall into the category that Spindrift describes, but will not be so much fun unless you got some serious dumps.

 


I think there are a decent number of folks in the PNW who would disagree. The category I described is pretty broad. Skis like Hell Bents, JJs, SFBs/Pandoras, Goats/Kikus, etc. are gaining wide acceptance across a range of conditions. And no small number of people are treating them as "quiver of one" skis in the PNW. Not the majority (yet), but you'll see plenty of these skis on anything but serious hardpack days. As soon as you get a few inches of fresh on the ground you see them in abundance. Spring slush, same thing.  Even Pontoons and Kuros come out in decent numbers in soft or slabby snow. 

Obviously one can only discuss generalities and averages. Who knows what a given year will deliver? But ski area snowfall averages in the western Cascades range from a bit north of 350 inches up to 600 inches a year. With settled snowpacks in excess of a hundred inches during happy times. And in decent years, it falls in a pattern that is conducive to modern fatter ski design. In that world, even a smaller person (male or female) is likely to have a place in their quiver for a well designed ski decently fatter than 100.
post #16 of 22
She's in a maritime climate with dense snow.  That's the environment in which rockered and full reverse camber skis were born.  That isn't a coincidence.
post #17 of 22
That Volkl 188 might just be a Jr Super G although I don't remember that length. IIRC they made a 185 and a 192 or somesuch. They do change this stuff sorta without rhyme or reason soooo.....could be. IAC, I think she could go +20 over her GS skis pretty easily. The typical 195/6 is a 33m radius and has a flex that is built with her weight in mind.

SJ
post #18 of 22
 I think tat Prophet 90 will be all the ski she needs, but.... some rocker would be fun. I say keep the 90s and see if yo can get her on some demos she might like a ski with tip rocker, might like a full reverse camber, who knows?
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
So much good advice, thanks.  I'm looking at S7's for myself, would it be a mistake to put her in S7 176's?  Or should I stay with a women's ski, in a Rossi or some other brand?  Hard to resist the rocker shape from all I've read.

And Jim, thanks for the SG input.  Adult or junior?
post #20 of 22
195/6 is a Junior Super G. Flexes vary with the brand but they are built for J-3's. Adult SG's start @ ~~ 201 for women but even though she's theoretically big enough to consider it, I don't think I'd go there until she gets some FIS experience. They are substantially different than the Jr. SG's.

Keep it reasonable.

SJ
post #21 of 22
If she's already got a 90mm ski, and she is a strong kid with excellent skills, and you are looking for something fun for really deep, heavy, wet snow days, you should be looking at something ultrawide and rockered/reverse cambered.

I don't think a full-on reverse-reverse design makes much sense for Crystal, given the frontside cat tracks and the icy bump runs that develop on the way to the Northway lift, so the Praxis Powder is out.  This also argues against the Kuro and the Pontoon, at least to some degree. 

I'd actually suggest the 175 Movement Flyswatter.  It's super wide at 125 underfoot, features early taper in the tip so it won't be hooky, but enough sidecut to make it manageable even when the conditions go south.  Actually, the things rail in hard snow.  But only get it if she likes attention, like being cheered when she skis under the lift.

More conservative choices include the Line Pandora, Rossignol BC110 Voodoo, and Armada JJ, which are all 110mm +  skis.   They are more versatile, but lack a bit of the crazy fun factor of the Fly Swatter.

(The Pandora is the prettiest of the lot, if that matters.  Your daughter is a teenage girl, so it might.)

The Kiku is a great ski, but it's only 106 at the waist.  She might love it, but then the Prophets would likely get dusty.  Same goes for the Volkl Aura.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by obssd View Post

So much good advice, thanks.  I'm looking at S7's for myself, would it be a mistake to put her in S7 176's?  Or should I stay with a women's ski, in a Rossi or some other brand?  Hard to resist the rocker shape from all I've read.

And Jim, thanks for the SG input.  Adult or junior?

If you think 176 will be too big, they make that ski in a smaller size - http://www.rossignol.com/US/voodoo-pro-bc-110_F0510_product_ski-women-skis-freeski.html
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