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What makes a good crud buster ski???

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of Volkl Super Allstars, length 182, and they are wonderful for carving down the hill - fast.  But I get thrown around whenever I hit any powder or even chopped up crud.  I understand the aspects of a ski that makes a good carver, sidecut and stiffness, but what makes a ski good for crud?

Is the theory to plow through it or float over it?  Prefered sidecuts?  To rocker or not?

Thanks

Minnskier
post #2 of 35
Look at the formula for the Explosiv.  A little width, and metal.  Lots of metal. 

And strong legs.
post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnskier View Post

I have a pair of Volkl Super Allstars, length 182, and they are wonderful for carving down the hill - fast.  But I get thrown around whenever I hit any powder or even chopped up crud.  I understand the aspects of a ski that makes a good carver, sidecut and stiffness, but what makes a ski good for crud?

Is the theory to plow through it or float over it?  Prefered sidecuts?  To rocker or not?

Thanks

Minnskier
There are about as many theories on what makes a good crud ski as there are about what it "crud", but I'll throw out my own opinions.

First of all, I really believe that HOW you ski crud is much, much more important than WHAT you ski it with. 

The variablility of chopped-up snow is what seems to cause the most trouble for many skiers.  That feeling of "scooting" when you come out onto a scraped-off area and of almost going over the handlebars when you come back into the denser stuff is what seems to bother lots of people.  Having your weight on your heels or even further back amplifies the problems, so I believe it's absolutely critical to ski crud with an aggressive approach and with your weight centered or even slightly forward.  You also need something that's been called "functional tension" here on Epic.  The only way I can describe that is that you're always driving the ski forward so that the ski cuts THROUGH the clumps and piles and scraped-off spots rather than being deflected by them.  Strong technique and attitude will go a long way toward making nearly any ski "good" in crud.

That said, I think there are some general characteristics that make some types of skis better in crud than others.  Unfortunately, some of those characteristics run counter to what makes a ski really nice in deeper powder.  For crud, I like a fairly stiff flex with a moderate (at best) sidecut.  I think soft-flexing skis are deflected more by variable snow and I think that a wide tip relative to the waist and tail also result in the fronts of the skis being easily bounced around.  I also don't think that hugely-wide skis are great for crud because they're not blasting through the snow rather than floating over it.  Others disagree strongly with this opinion, but that's what's great about skiing.

I'm not a huge fan of rockered skis for crud (I'm much more of a fan of them for powder), but I've promised myself that I'm going to be more open-minded about that this winter.  To me, a rockered tip translates to a softer-flexing front of the ski and I don't like that much.  We'll see as this winter moves along.

For me personally, the Head iM 88 was probably the best pure crud ski I've ever been on.  Fairly stiff, sidecut over 20m, damp as can be, and it would cut through practically anything.
post #4 of 35
Bob -- thanks.   I had the same question as the OP.   Follow-up question:  for someone like me, who may get only 1-2 short ski trips a year out West, aren't I more likely to hit crud (or similar) than powder?  If that's the case, maybe my next skis should tend toward being crud-busters -- which should probably also work for the "ice-skating" down the slopes that we do here in the East.  If I happen to catch a good powder day out West, I can demo a powder ski.  Thoughts? 
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnskier View Post

What makes a good crud buster ski???

A good crud skier...
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Bob -- thanks.   I had the same question as the OP.   Follow-up question:  for someone like me, who may get only 1-2 short ski trips a year out West, aren't I more likely to hit crud (or similar) than powder?  If that's the case, maybe my next skis should tend toward being crud-busters -- which should probably also work for the "ice-skating" down the slopes that we do here in the East.  If I happen to catch a good powder day out West, I can demo a powder ski.  Thoughts? 

I have always thought that powder is ephemeral and even a bit over rated.  I ski crud almost everyday, I love crud!  Given that crud is much harder to ski than powder and much more common, I have always favored the "crud buster" type of ski.  I own a lot of skis, but am not an advocate of maintaining a large quiver.  It seems like the "quiver" guys are always worried about whether they are on the "optimum" tool for the day.  The realality on a big mountain is that you will ski a lot of different conditions on the same day.  Powder turns to crud here very fast.  I have skied a fair number of skis, but am a long way from having tried them all.  Some of my favorites over the years...  Volkl Snowranger, Volkl G4, Nordica Hotrod series Top Fuel - Jet Fuel - Hellcat, Volkl Gotoma.  These skis are all torsionally stiff with moderate sidecuts.  They are all heavy because they all have metal.  The Gotoma is the softest and the Nordicas are the stiffest.  IMO the Goats are the best ski I've ever owned.  The Nordicas come in both metal and carbon fiber versions.  I've only skied the metal versions which are all very stiff and powerful.  OK in powder, awesome in crud and hardpack, OK in bumps. I think they would be great in the east and pretty darn good most of the time in the west.  I liked what Bob said about functional tension and always driving the ski forward.  I think Weems would call this "Will".  I would add always looking ahead, way ahead down your line and maintaining some momentum.  A nice round mid radius turn can really chew through some vertical with out tiring you out or allowing too much speed to develop.  IMO the key is to maintain a constant rate of speed while always actively guiding both skis through an arc.  Skis on edge and turning get deflected much less than flat unpressured skis.  
post #7 of 35
OP, you have the idea. the carver or race slalom ski is softer in the middle and the tip and tail are stiff and lively to initiate and finish turns with rebound. This characteristic translates to tip and tail over reacting to crud. GS skis are flexed differently, stiff in the middle and softer at the ends, if the word soft can be applied at all. that's how is was; is it still true? I'm not sure.

CA, I would add to crud-busting construction of metal and wood, a layer of rubber. A good crud ski is siff AND damp. Legend Pros, B-Squads for example. The tip on the explosiv works crud with stiffness, but it is not particularly damp.

Most days, things go from powder to crud in a couple hours. (just read TPJk's post and it's total truth. we ski a wide range of conditions on big mountains every day, exactly right)

AND ^^^^^, it's all about stance. (Tahoe skiers are said to do a 'gorilla turn') the name says it: strength and stance

.
post #8 of 35

I concur with everything said, however last season I skied the Bro 183 stiff which has no metal in ALOT of Mammoth crud,(which can be fairly stiff) and found that it could Really blast well..  Became my "GO TO" crud ski last year..  You can really drive that ski hard, but I find it's not for the faint of heart, must bring your A game with that ski..  Others I really liked were the old im88's and Legend pro, both awsome as previously stated...

post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Bob -- thanks.   I had the same question as the OP.   Follow-up question:  for someone like me, who may get only 1-2 short ski trips a year out West, aren't I more likely to hit crud (or similar) than powder?  If that's the case, maybe my next skis should tend toward being crud-busters -- which should probably also work for the "ice-skating" down the slopes that we do here in the East.  If I happen to catch a good powder day out West, I can demo a powder ski.  Thoughts? 

Hi, Jimski.

Yes - I think you're far more likely to experience crud skiing than pure powder.  Even when you happen to be lucky enough to be at someplace like Alta on a powder day, by afternoon you're most likely going to be skiing crud rather than powder.  That's part of the reason that I've always been much more concerned about how a ski performs in crud and junk and bumps and even groomers because practically ANYTHING works well in good powder.

Like tpj and davluri say, a lot of us who are lucky enough to live in resorts where powder skiing happens on a regular basis don't buy skis based on what they're like in perfect powder, we buy ones that work well once that new snow is chopped up.  The heli guys are the ones who can get away with "dedicated" powder skis.

One slight caveat to that is the fact that at most resorts where powder skiing is possible, those demo powder skis go out really fast and it can be almost impossible to demo them on a powder day.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post



CA, I would add to crud-busting construction of metal and wood, a layer of rubber. A good crud ski is siff AND damp. Legend Pros, B-Squads for example. The tip on the explosiv works crud with stiffness, but it is not particularly damp.



.

I didn't even think I needed to mention a wood core, I assumed that was implied.  But yes a ski that is good in crud is very damp, usually because of a layer of rubber. 

My favorite skis are great crud skis.  192 Elan 777s.  But they subscribe to the formula:  wood core, sidewall, dampening layer, all sandwiched between two sheets of metal.  But they are not light, and you must be a strong skier to drive them.
post #11 of 35
 How did I forget to mention Wood Core?  All my favorite skis are wood core.
post #12 of 35
One demo day wth crud conditions, I demoed two Volkls. 5 Star, and AC30, both in a 175. The 5 Star was the worst crud ski I had been on since my ST Comps, and the AC 30 the best crud ski since my G-31s. So you can use that for reference as your Allstars are the 5 Star current model.

see also discussion of GS based flex and Sl based flex pattern and distribution

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnskier View Post

I have a pair of Volkl Super Allstars, length 182, and they are wonderful for carving down the hill - fast.  But I get thrown around whenever I hit any powder or even chopped up crud. .......
Minnskier
post #13 of 35
TPJ and Bob -- Thanks! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post

One slight caveat to that is the fact that at most resorts where powder skiing is possible, those demo powder skis go out really fast and it can be almost impossible to demo them on a powder day.

 

This might have a hidden benefit: will force me to get moving earlier in the morning.
post #14 of 35
The most accurate post here is #3 but there is other good input here as well (except the part about the Gotama having metal......it doesn't) But no matter.

As in all equipment related things, crud skis and skiing are a balancing act with the necessity for the skier to pick the proper priorities. For example, the factors that turn a ski in 3D snow are primarily related to flex and secondarily to sidecut. More of either of those two things, makes the ski easier to turn. However, more of those same two things makes the same ski more prone to deflection as well. Width is a factor as it relates to sidecut but float is not real operative in typical crud situations so (within reason of course) it becomes a rather distant third in importance.

So.....at slow to moderate speeds, a softish sidecutty ski can turn very easily in 3D snow. If the same skier on the same ski and same day raises the speed, the ski starts to feel hooky and/or gets knocked around more. So, if you take away sidecut and add stiffness, the ski stabilizes, but you need to add speed (to get it to flex) or muscle power.

Some of my own favorite crud skis include the Dynastar Legend Pro or Mythic Rider and the '09 Blizzard Argos. As much as I admired my older Gotamas, they were not a match for those three in crud. IAC, how a skier blends the ingedients produces the final recipie that works for him/her but there is no set, magic answer.

SJ
post #15 of 35
 Jim...  Your right about the metal in the Gotoma.  I wondered for a second as I wrote that, but then thought I remembered cutting through metal when I whacked the tails on an older pair of goats.  Now I remember that the metal was in the pair of G4s that I did my practice cuts on.  Sorry for the bad info.
post #16 of 35
I'm not sure you're wrong the first time. The earl Goats, black with a buddha, made in Germany, had metal. I'm not positive but I remember the ski, had a sharp upturn tail that year I think.

It was later models, like the gold one, that were glass sheets, not metal, and all models after.(note the binding release on the later glass models) but I could be mistaken.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

 Jim...  Your right about the metal in the Gotoma.  I wondered for a second as I wrote that, but then thought I remembered cutting through metal when I whacked the tails on an older pair of goats.  Now I remember that the metal was in the pair of G4s that I did my practice cuts on.  Sorry for the bad info.
post #17 of 35
agree and agree, and another element of a crud ski is the tip. (no sexual cracks!) The first day out on the B-Squads was deep powder on the heavy side. The first thing that was obvious was that I could just let the tip cut and plow through everythinhg, I didn't have to give it a thought and therefore found myself  looking farther forward and therefoe having a lot of fun. That Rossi Shark nose was an early early rise tip with extra metal and damp layers. Most fun ski in crud of all.

so what about ski tips: L.P.s have the large round, rossi shark nose, and fisher hull. any critiques of those designs for crud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

The most accurate post here is #3 but there is other good input here as well (except the part about the Gotama having metal......it doesn't) But no matter.

As in all equipment related things, crud skis and skiing are a balancing act with the necessity for the skier to pick the proper priorities. For example, the factors that turn a ski in 3D snow are primarily related to flex and secondarily to sidecut. More of either of those two things, makes the ski easier to turn. However, more of those same two things makes the same ski more prone to deflection as well. Width is a factor as it relates to sidecut but float is not real operative in typical crud situations so (within reason of course) it becomes a rather distant third in importance.

So.....at slow to moderate speeds, a softish sidecutty ski can turn very easily in 3D snow. If the same skier on the same ski and same day raises the speed, the ski starts to feel hooky and/or gets knocked around more. So, if you take away sidecut and add stiffness, the ski stabilizes, but you need to add speed (to get it to flex) or muscle power.

Some of my own favorite crud skis include the Dynastar Legend Pro or Mythic Rider and the '09 Blizzard Argos. As much as I admired my older Gotamas, they were not a match for those three in crud. IAC, how a skier blends the ingedients produces the final recipie that works for him/her but there is no set, magic answer.

SJ
 

Edited by davluri - 11/12/09 at 7:43pm
post #18 of 35
There's an earlier stage I call "cut up powder" -- I'm wondering if you guys include that in "crud".  In those conditions I find very little sideways deflection but the front-back jerkiness everytime you cross a packed bit can get annoying.  The time I really noticed this I was on my Rossi B3's (83 mm width).  We decided to demo skis and the smoother ride on wider skis (100 mm class -- Mantras, Enforcers, Coomba for me) was really noticable.  I found that smoother ride a lot more fun -- needing a lot of  that "functional tension" gets old after awhile. 

THe next day was probably more what people mean by crud -- some packed, some loose chunks, some soft patches.
post #19 of 35
. more core strength needed in the skier than the ski!
Edited by davluri - 11/12/09 at 8:51pm
post #20 of 35
World's best crud ski: Stockli XXXL!  Or perhaps the Pro Rider/XXL.  But, a couple of those skis are close to 2x4 stiffness, and not all that functional in bumps, to say the least. I think a stiff ski with a wide enough footprint tends to do well in crud, especially if you are skiing big turns at GS speeds.  Keep good core tension, your hips up over your toe-piece with your feet pulled back (functional tension, again  mentioned above) and let 'er rip!  Most of today's mid-fats tend to be more than passable in crud, so I think much of crud success comes down to being balanced, and able to release at the end of the old turn. 

I agree with Bob: pretty much anything works in good powder; if you are skiing in-bounds, crud performance is typically a much more important selection criteria and likely to be encountered most days.  Given the choice, I would much rather grab a powerhouse crudbuster (that still will float more than adequately in deeper snow) rather than a super-fun deep snow ski that gets bouncy and loses stability in challenging crud and beat-down snow conditions.   

Full selection of 2015 skis available right now from Dawgcatching.com.  PM for current deals and discount codes: save up to 25% on mid-season deals. 

Reply
post #21 of 35
I think that tripple XL ski is pretty much the Scott Schmidt of the grey and yellow flame model (around 90mm?). It is the ski of choice for many Tahoe every-day-skiers, for its power,and long radius.

Funny thing. I had Kaestly Metal skis in the mid 60's in Europe. Then the new thing was glass/metal, livelier, Fisher Superglass replaced the Kaestle's. Those metal skis are pretty similar to the metal sandwich skis today weren't they?



Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

World's best crud ski: Stockli XXXL!  Or perhaps the Pro Rider/XXL.  But, a couple of those skis are close to 2x4 stiffness, and not all that functional in bumps, to say the least. I think a stiff ski with a wide enough footprint tends to do well in crud, especially if you are skiing big turns at GS speeds.  Keep good core tension, your hips up over your toe-piece with your feet pulled back (functional tension, again  mentioned above) and let 'er rip!  Most of today's mid-fats tend to be more than passable in crud, so I think much of crud success comes down to being balanced, and able to release at the end of the old turn. 

I agree with Bob: pretty much anything works in good powder; if you are skiing in-bounds, crud performance is typically a much more important selection criteria and likely to be encountered most days.  Given the choice, I would much rather grab a powerhouse crudbuster (that still will float more than adequately in deeper snow) rather than a super-fun deep snow ski that gets bouncy and loses stability in challenging crud and beat-down snow conditions.   
 
post #22 of 35
 I don't claim to be an expert in ski design, but the skis that were very good in crud for me were fairly wide, fairly shallow sidecut, and moderate-to stiff flex.  Stiffer skis plow through crud better, shallow sidecut does not hook up, and wider ski just does not get bounces around too much.  Having a heavier and damper ski helps too.  My Mythic Riders are seriously great in Tahoe crud and conform to the formula:  stiff, 21m sidecut, 88mm underfoot.  
post #23 of 35
I'll go with massive, fairly stiff, and relatively long.
They don't really need to be wide, but I suppose all else being equal the wider one will have more mass.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caucasian Asian View Post




I didn't even think I needed to mention a wood core, I assumed that was implied.  But yes a ski that is good in crud is very damp, usually because of a layer of rubber. 

My favorite skis are great crud skis.  192 Elan 777s.  But they subscribe to the formula:  wood core, sidewall, dampening layer, all sandwiched between two sheets of metal.  But they are not light, and you must be a strong skier to drive them.
 

for mere mortals the 184cm old 777s are awesome skis as well. The 192 777 are one of the few skis I have ever skied that were actually scary for me to ski on. Could have been the flat light but that thing is one tough mother. Race stock 205 SG skis are much more managable IMO and that is saying something.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnskier View Post

I have a pair of Volkl Super Allstars, length 182, and they are wonderful for carving down the hill - fast.  But I get thrown around whenever I hit any powder or even chopped up crud.  I understand the aspects of a ski that makes a good carver, sidecut and stiffness, but what makes a ski good for crud?
 

Two things: mass and dampness.

The Supersports are a lively, (relatively) lightweight ski.  The characteristics that make them "pop" from one turn to the next on the hard is the same thing that makes them bounce around in the crud.  As others have said above, they're just not very good crud skis.  (I have a pair myself and love them for what they do, but good performance in crud is not one of them)

The AC "Unlimited" series is much more damp.  So is the Tigershark line.  They're also heavier.  A heavy massive ski has more momentum and is less likely to be thrown around than a lighter ski.  It's amazing how much difference a few pounds can make.

Personally I've never understood why "lightweight" is a positive characteristic for a binding unless you're hiking for your turns.  I prefer heavy "demo" bindings 'cause the extra mass helps with the crud busting.

While it's true that the driver has a lot to do with how the ski handles in crud, I can tell you that the ski can make a huge difference while the driver remains constant.  A couple of years ago I bought a pair of Dynastar Omecarves - lightwiight turny carving skis.  They worked great on the groomed, but had on dampness at all.  One day on a whim I brought out my old skis (Volkl P50s) at the end of the day when the snow had been pushed around.  The difference was like night and day - it felt as if they had run a groomer over the hill; the little speedbumps that were bouncing me around on the Dynastars were irrelevant - the Volkls sliced right through them like they weren't there.
post #26 of 35
 What do you all think of Volant Chubbs as a crud buster?
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

 What do you all think of Volant Chubbs as a crud buster?

yep, and the spatulas as well are great as long as you not hitting hard bottom.
post #28 of 35
I have to disagree on the Spats (or most rockered powder skis?). They are exactly what sucks in crud, if that crud is at all set up. I've seen it, man. They flap around like crows wings (huh?). They have no drive as they are pre-set to deflect upward. I see guys flapping around and I think: man, I hate skis to do that more than anything.

Crud definitions are vague, like BP said; the degree that the cut up snow has set up (effect of weather and temp) determines how rough the crud is. so, new fluffy crud; old, set-up crud (most Sierra Crud)



Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post




yep, and the spatulas as well are great as long as you not hitting hard bottom.
 
post #29 of 35
Crud is alot of different stuff. You have soft crud and stiff crud.

I like the praxis as long as its soft (includign crusts over soft stuff). I think they are as good as anything in soft crud snow. Eventually once the snow gets more setup they have too much surface area and give a rough ride where you have to absorb every lump like its a mogul.

I also like the im88 and im103 in crud that is a bit stiffer.
post #30 of 35
I'm with Dawgcatching, the Stocklis. I have the XXLs and they work very well in the crud, as do my Watea 84s. I find these skis work very well (not only for crud but other condtions) for my size and ability which I think makes a big difference as well.  .5'11" 155# Level 9.

Although they are not a good ski for me otherwise, probably the best crud ski I have been on was the AC40(haven't skied the AC50.) As said, crud does vary.
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