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Experiencing Powder skis on Powder Days???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am an eastern shorter radius skier. In ski selection, I've not owned a ski that would hold up in powder (until a resent purchase) , and, reasoned that if I really hit a good powder day, I'd rent a powder ski.

Last week, I skied Jackson Hole/Targhee for 4 days of new snow, up to 10", using Kastle MX88's that are brand new to me. I really liked this ski in all conditions. In lesser amounts of new snow, including a day that was described as Jackson's best powder day of the year, the ski works far better than I can ski it, I did not find it wanting for anything.

Saturday, JH was blessed with 14" of new snow and surpassed the previous "best of season day". I rented a Salomon Czar, 105 waist, rockered tip. I took it out in the conditions it was made to ski. In deep slightly heavy pow coupled with low visibility, it takes time to become familiar with the total experience. The Sali performed very well in keeping on top of the powder, and, again it was limited only by the skills of the person driving it. This is not a review of the Sali, which was the first 105 waist ski I've ever been on. It was surprisingly versatile outside of unbroken powder and was OK in packed areas. The "OK" is a comparison to the MX88's.

As the day progressed, I kept wondering if the demo experience, was just an experience, not worth repeating. If I skied JH on a daily basis, I'd have a Sali, or one of it's cousins, in the quiver. But in this case, I can't help but conclude, I'd rather be on the "devil I know". If my regular ski was something less than the MX88 I was on, maybe I'd have a different experience. Also, needing to be factored into consideration is that my body was tired at the end of a physically demanding week.

RachelV was in our group, and, she rented wider skis for pow, and, really liked the added performance of certain skis. So my experience is not the same as hers.

There are no absolute truths in any of the above, just sharing an experience. What do you think?
post #2 of 7
It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. I can put in a screw with a butterknife if i need to, but a screwdriver does it a little better.
post #3 of 7
I think there are a few things going on here:

1) You had a ski that you really liked in the Kastle, at 88mm wide it's no slouch in softer snow, especially if you are used to a short carving ski (which you seem to imply).

2) There are diminishing returns as you add width. Going from low 70's to high 80's will 'feel' like a big leap in performance but probably won't feel very clunky. Going from the low 70's up to a ski that is 88ish then to the 105+ range will probably leave one saying "this isn't a whole lot better in the soft, but it sure is worse out of the soft". This goes away as you get used to wider skis... but I really feel that there is a few sweet spots for width range and there should be a 'law of diminishing returns'... there could be a cool math formula and everything.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson Rockwood View Post

I think there are a few things going on here:

1) You had a ski that you really liked in the Kastle, at 88mm wide it's no slouch in softer snow, especially if you are used to a short carving ski (which you seem to imply).

2) There are diminishing returns as you add width. Going from low 70's to high 80's will 'feel' like a big leap in performance but probably won't feel very clunky. Going from the low 70's up to a ski that is 88ish then to the 105+ range will probably leave one saying "this isn't a whole lot better in the soft, but it sure is worse out of the soft". This goes away as you get used to wider skis... but I really feel that there is a few sweet spots for width range and there should be a 'law of diminishing returns'... there could be a cool math formula and everything.

Well stated!

I like the "Law of Diminishing Returns" concept.
post #5 of 7
I think most everyone can understand your experience, but 10"-14" is not that much powder.  Although I do agree that there is a point of diminishing returns, 105mm+ skis really come into their own on something deeper.
post #6 of 7
Originally Posted by DtEW View Post

I think most everyone can understand your experience, but 10"-14" is not that much powder.  Although I do agree that there is a point of diminishing returns, 105mm+ skis really come into their own on something deeper.

 
I've always been told that anything less than 12" (or 10" or 14" depending on who's doing the talking) is "New Snow" and anything more is considered "Powder".

 

In fact, I just heard this recently after a 5" dump and many people were talking about how excited they were to ski in powder.  A local was nice enough to enlighten them with this "golden rule"

post #7 of 7
Actually the diminishing returns theory is false. Ski performance is nonlinear. For me, 200lbs, in UT snow an 88mm under foot does not provide enough float for anythign but traditional 2-foot evenly weighted platforming skiing. Going from 88 to 105 give me the option me change from that to ski much more modern 1 footed technique the same as on a groomer.  When I go up again to a 136mm fun shape I can ski however I want slarving and slashing at will I never even ahve to think about balance.
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