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Please Recommend a Ski

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

 

This is my first post at Epic ski.  I’m looking for a ski to use when I head out west.  I plan to ski primarily double blacks and some trees, and so I was thinking that I probably need something soft, light, and easy to turn.  If it works on the groomers, that’s a bonus, but not my main concern. 

 

From reading the posts, it seems as though people really like the Mantra and Watea 84.  These are two very different skis, and I really don’t know what type would work best for me.  I'm guessing that the Mantra is a heavier, crud buster type ski that may be a lot of work to manage down steep and tight spots, and the Watea is less floaty but may be more nanageable?  The more I think about this, the more confused I get!  Please help.  Thanks.

 

BTW, I’m 30 years old, 5’9, 150 lbs, level 7 skier.
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimfromNY View Post

Hi Everyone,

 

This is my first post at Epic ski.  I’m looking for a ski to use when I head out west.  I plan to ski primarily double blacks and some trees, and so I was thinking that I probably need something soft, light, and easy to turn.  If it works on the groomers, that’s a bonus, but not my main concern. 

 

From reading the posts, it seems as though people really like the Mantra and Watea 84.  These are two very different skis, and I really don’t know what type would work best for me.  I'm guessing that the Mantra is a heavier, crud buster type ski that may be a lot of work to manage down steep and tight spots, and the Watea is less floaty but may be more nanageable?  The more I think about this, the more confused I get!  Please help.  Thanks.

 

BTW, I’m 30 years old, 5’9, 150 lbs, level 7 skier.

Jim, you may not have anyone answering you. 

1. first post, you are skiing double blacks, trees and you are a level 7 skier.

2. Some here on epic may see that question/answer/explanation as Trolling etc.

3. Really an impossible question to answer; a) no one here really knows how you ski,  b) what ski you're on now,  c) where in the east you ski,  d) where in the west your're going to ski,  e) does the doub le black really rate that designation.  Some of the facts are double diamond skiers  range from Gapers to Jongs and double black designated runs vary considerable from no big deal to really big deals.
Personally I have met several people over the years who stated, I ski double blacks and don't know anyone who said that who is a good skier.

WELCOME TO EPIC !    Take the above as well meant prose and restate your question to include some background on you, your ski's, Height, weight, years skiing, where you ski, where and when you're going west etc.
post #3 of 24
I ski DBD, wait a minute...............Oh shoot we don't have any DBD 
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input.  Not sure what 'trolling' is, but all I really need is to know if there's any advantage to having a midfat - 85mm or so - ski in the conditions I described above (steep and tight), over a wider ski such as the Mantra.  I've been skiing for 8 years now, skied 30 days last year, and do so mostly in western NY (read no powder).  I'm aggressive and ski the steepest groomed and ungroomed stuff I can find around where I live, but I realize that is nothing like what I will encounter out west. 

I hear a lot about wide skis, but I'm not sure that it will be right for me given what I intend to ski.  Hope this clarifies my question.

Thanks again,

Jim

post #5 of 24
Not sure how much help I can be, since I haven't tried these skis either.

Nevertheless, from what I've read the Mantra is a little too stiff to be the ideal powder ski, but is good at higher speeds and doesn't do so well at other speeds, while the watea 84 works at all speeds, suposedly.  So if you plan on skiing those lines and steeps at high speeds, the Mantra would be better, but if you plan on skiing at high speeds and other speeds as well, the watea is the better choice.  Of course a strormrider or LP would be better still at speed, again from what I've read.

If it were me, I would keep my mantras and rent a few demoes. 
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Ghost.  If the Mantra isn't good at slow speeds, that would be a concern.  I need something that's easy to use.  Can anyone with experience with the Mantra confirm?
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimfromNY View Post

Thanks for the input.  Not sure what 'trolling' is, but all I really need is to know if there's any advantage to having a midfat - 85mm or so - ski in the conditions I described above (steep and tight), over a wider ski such as the Mantra.  I've been skiing for 8 years now, skied 30 days last year, and do so mostly in western NY (read no powder).

What have you been skiing that is "such as the Mantra", and where, and what did you like and what did you not like?
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
I've never skied on anything as wide as the Mantra, so I'm afraid they would feel like I'm trying to turn a boat (probably my imagination).
post #9 of 24
Sounds like the Watea 84 would be a safer bet for you.

Don't turn the skis.  Let the skis turn you when you tip them, and if needed, bend the tips as you tip.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Ghost.
post #11 of 24
Don't thank me too soon.  I haven't skied any fat skis.  The Watea 101 might just be your best bet for powder.
post #12 of 24
I picked up a pair of Salomon Lords this year and I am very happy. I wanted a powder/backcountry ski that would handle tight trees well and the Salomon is fitting that very well so far. They have a slight tip rocker so they are great in powder at only 88 under foot. They also do very well on the groomers and carve very easily and hold and edge very well. I have the 185 and I am 5'11" 165lbs. The 185 is great since the tip rocker makes it ski groomers like a shorter ski. Then the extra length gives me great float in powder.
post #13 of 24
You can't go wrong with the Watea 84....you're light, and this ski will be a good eastern ski on everything except glare ice...and will also be good when you ventured West where softer snow is the rule....

I would suggest the 176cm length...I'm 5 lbs heavier than you and found the 176 to be ideal...and also something to grow into...your next ski could be the Mantra if you feel underpowered on the W84...

my .02
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the information.  I probably would have bought the W84 in a 167 to make it quicker turning.  Is the consensus then that I should stay with something like the W84 or the salomon for what I want to do?

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
BTW, not sure why my font is larger than everyone elses.  Sorry if that's annoying anyone.
post #16 of 24
What is unclear to me is whether this going to be your ski for both the east and the west or are you intending to buy just for the western trips? So naturally, your challenge is to balance the Yin and Yang of east vs. west. Certainly eastern snow is (on average) harder but it's not glare ice all the time either. By the same token, western snow is a more mixed bag but is on average, softer. Western snow is however not deep powder all the time (despite what it says in the brochure) So................

I have owned both the Mantra and the Watea 84 and would summarize them this way......

Mantra: A stiff, wider ski that is not particularly good in soft snow but certainly has power and speed capability especially in cruddy conditions.

Watea 84: A softer easier going ski that is quite good in softer snow (esp. considering it's rather narrow width), is very comfortable in bumps, but is challenged by very hard snow.

A more apt comparison would be the Mantra vs. the Watea 94. IME the 94 beats the Mantra hands down as a western ski esp. for your weight.

SJ
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you, SJ.  That's very helpful.  Just to clarify, I'm looking for something for Western trips only.  The reason I hadn't considered the W94 is that I heard the front of the ski is shaped like a boat's hull and it doesn't want to turn quickly.  I need a quick-turner for steep, narrow, ungroomed lines.  Thoughts?
post #18 of 24
 I tried the W94 last year (thanks SJ!) and that ski is definitely not hard to turn, in fact it is one of the easiest wide skis to turn, incredibly light and playful, but not whimpy, a fantastic carver for a 94mm ski.  I liked it a lot, certainly better than I liked the Mantra.  My gripe with W94 was that it was downright scary in frozen cruddy snow on that day, and we get that here in the West fairly regularly.  If you are skiing Western double blacks, you may need a ski that is first and foremost stable and W94 is decent, but not great in that department.  But if you want a quick turny and playful wide ski for a lighter skier, W94 should be high on your list. Other skis that come to mind and have roughly similar dimensions are: Dynastar's LPR and Mythic, Nordica Enforcer, and Head John/Mojo94. All will be more stable at the expense of playfulness.   SJ may also be able to recommend a Blizzard model, I am always confusing them (and I have not tried them personally so I should shut up).  Keep in mind that I am much heavier than you are (6", 187lb), so that may skew my preferences some. 
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 

I appreciate everyone's help.  My original concern was that 95mm may be too wide for my intended use, but I think I'm hearing that it's the right width range?  Stupid question: what do I give up in soft snow that an 85mm does well? 

Haven't heard much about any of the skis you've mentioned.  Any thoughts on pros/cons of each?

post #20 of 24
The range of mid 80's to mid 90's can all work for you. This subject can get into the realm of circular discussion but in general the differences can sometimes be more about flex, sometimes more about width.

So....comparing the two Wateas for example, the flex is very similar so there the width plays the deciding factor in making the 94 better in deep snow but naturally a little more cumbersome as far as quickness.

Comparing say the Watea 94 to the Mantra (~~ same width) the flex is the difference. The Watea has a more user friendly flex especially for softer snow. As a side bennie, the flex makes the Watea easier to turn in tight spots or at moderate speeds. The tradeoff is greater stability in higher speed ranges for the Mantra.

SJ
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
That makes things a lot clearer, thanks.  Would it make sense to own both the Watea 84 and the Mantra, or are they too similar? 
post #22 of 24
IMO....no it wouldn't. What you'd have is a wider ski that's not real great at soft snow and a narrower ski that's not real great on the hard stuff. My own take is that whatever your widest ski is, it should be your best ski for soft or deep snow and whatever your narrowest ski is, it should be your best ski for hard stuff.

So I guess if you wanted two and you wanted a Fischer and a Volkl, you should flip your thinking and get a Watea 94 for softer stuff and a Volkl AC 30 for harder snow. However, don't use indecision as an excuse to buy two skis. You need to be a little more rational than that. There are a bunch of skis that can offer a combination of qualities that would fit your original premise. Given your soft snow requirements, the Watea 94 is your better bet from Fischer. Don't worry about the boat hull it is there but it is marketing blather with no major up OR downside.

SJ
post #23 of 24
NY in the West.   No one here knows how you ski/how you will ski on your trip or what kind of ski you will like.  the Wateo 94 is a good ski but that doesn't mean you will like it.  Go west Demo ski's until you find what you like not what I like or anyone else for that matter. We all have our own skiing idiocycrasies and that is what will determine what you really like.  DEMO you will save money in the long run.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Great advise, thanks.  I appreciate everyone's help. 
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