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Fat Ski Can Be Amusing, Rockers Outright Hilarious

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Bridger Bowl got over 2 feet of heavy Mt. Hood powder Friday & Saturday.  I was out of town Sunday and showed up Monday thinking Schlauchman's Chair would have been all skied out so I headed out with my short crud busters (172cm Dynastar Mythic Riders - I'm 5'11", 180#.)  On my way up the chair to get to Schlauchman's I found out Schlauchman's hadn't been open all weekend so it had the 2 feet of two day old powder plus a couple inches that night, all unskied.

My initial thoughts were to head back in and get some other skis but I opted to head over and check things out before heading in.  I skied into the Schlauchman's area where I found a gully that only had a few tracks and found the Mythic Riders did great in the heavy, settled powder so I headed for the lift and rode up.

Watching skiers coming down as I rode up the lift was amusing.  Most of the skiers were on 100mm plus width skis with a large portion on skis in the 120+ range.  Their skis barely penetrated the powder and every time they hit a chewed up patch they were being knocked up out of the snow.  Skiers on rocker skis were having an even harder time and teleskiers on rocker skis look out of control with many of them falling.  Even some good skiers I recognized looked like intermediates on their megaskis.  I saw more people fall in one ride up then I usually see in an entire day.

I skied a couple runs with a friend on some 2010 Gotamas and he was exhausted after two runs from having to fight them in the chopped sections.  He had a hard time keeping up with me in the wide open unskied areas where conventional wisdom says he should have smoked me.  His comment before heading in from exhaustion was he should have been on his Head IM 88s.  I skied another run with someone on 2009 Katamas and he did even worse.

The funniest part of the day was I got comments in line about my shorter, narrower skis from guys on long, fat, rockered skis.  They couldn't understand why I would be on the skis I was & were even more confused when I said they should be on something that width.
post #2 of 15
Yeah, but I'm sure those folks on the fat rockers were having more fun than you, because their skis offered them a wider variety of turn options.

I went to Silverton Mt. for an early season unguided day.  It had been closed for a few days and it had not snowed during that time.  Conditions varied, but averaged about a foot of medium heavy untracked, which got skied into thick curd.  I was on my old K2 190 AK Launchers (90 mm waist), which are my deep snow rock skis. A large portion (possibly a majority) of skiers that day were on fat and rockered skis, and I honestly could not notice them having an easier time than me because of it.  The skiing was very good, but you had to apply a little force to the snow to push it around.  The rockers seemed to be bouncing around a bit, while my Launchers provided a smooth and sold bulldoze.  

Being a big guy, I like to use the resistance of the snow to control my speed, which enhances steep fall line skiing.  The fat rocker crowded had a tendency to skitter around on top of the heavy snow, giving them a completely different snow connection than mine, similar to what Rio experienced.  There were definitely some very good skiers working the conditions on big rockered skis, but my over all impression was that the super fat rockers were not giving most of the skiers a noticeable advantage over my traditional boards. I am sure that rocker would have been a real advantage in the tight trees, but I do not go to Silverton for the tree skiing.
Edited by mudfoot - 2/16/10 at 8:32am
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

Yeah, but I'm sure those folks on the fat rockers were having more fun than you, because their skis offered them a wider variety of turn options.
 

I think one of the biggest problems everyone was having was they had skis with huge turn radii.  Schlauchman's Chair has lots of steep & narrow terrain.  There is no way you're going to ski it with large sweeping turns.  In the lighter powder the skiers on mega-skis get through the steep terrain by what I call diagonal sideslips.  They complete part of their turn and when their skis are at about a 45 degree angle to the fall line they head straight downhill essentially sideslipping with their skis at an angle.  There was no way they could get away with that in the heavy, set powder.
post #4 of 15
 the problem is that heavy snow acts pretty much like hard pack in that the ski has little contact with the snow on an already short running length. Give me a tip rocker and you can keep the tail rocker. Not needed, no real advantage. I am very happy on my non-rockered, cambered fatties but I will hold any judgement until we start seeing more of the tip only rockers.
post #5 of 15
To paraphrase Maria Muldour, It ain't the ski, it's the skier.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

Give me a tip rocker and you can keep the tail rocker. Not needed, no real advantage. I am very happy on my non-rockered, cambered fatties but I will hold any judgment until we start seeing more of the tip only rockers.

This pretty much sums up my feelings.  I generally ski a long 100 mm waisted zero camber ski for deep snow, and the only improvement I can imagine would be just a little tip rocker, which  would enlarge the fore/aft sweet spot, thereby allowing allow me to go a bit shorter in ski length.  I think the K2 Antipiste, which is now extinct, and the replacement Koomback with a slightly wider than 100 mm waist, and just a tad of tip rocker have the powder/crud ski dimensions about right.  Admittedly, there are many options out there I have yet to try.
post #7 of 15
 Put me down for traditional camber underfoot with rocker in the tip only.  Add some metal layers for beef and damping.  I have not found a condition that those types of skis are bad at.  If somebody botches it up, it's not the ski's fault.
post #8 of 15
To quote basking robbins- "that's why they make 31 flavors......"   yup I can drive to work in a Ford f-150 or a Porsche 911 or a Prius.... all will get you there......  it just depends on what kind of ride you want.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

To paraphrase Maria Muldour, It ain't the ski, it's the skier.
post #9 of 15
Sounds like a good place for a Carve ski.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

To quote basking robbins- "that's why they make 31 flavors......"   yup I can drive to work in a Ford f-150 or a Porsche 911 or a Prius.... all will get you there......  it just depends on what kind of ride you want.....

 



 

and the road you want to drive?
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

Sounds like a good place for a Carve ski.

The snow reminded me of the powder you'd find on the Summit at Bachelor around spring break after its been closed for a couple days due to wind and fog.....its wasn't set up enough to prevent you from sinking in some but you never sank in very deep.
post #12 of 15
I have had a 2 early season days in the last 2 years where I switched form a praxis to a conventional fat because the snow was really warm, wet, and setup it can be simply too dense to be skied comfortably on the 136mm rockered boards. I like the skis to be able to sink in a bit becuase this provides some suspension while skiing over variable terrain. The rockered skis that fat will plane on top and skis like a hard pack mogul run  -- while a conventional fat or even a mid fat is proabbly going to give enough float and still still sink in a bit for suspension.
Edited by tromano - 2/16/10 at 12:52pm
post #13 of 15
How long was the lift line, Rio? It may not apply to a holiday like yesterday, but I've learned that the day Slushman's opens the Bridger lift is plumb empty and you have the runs to yourself. Not near the spectacle, of course, but you can get in a lot of great skiing without the peer review in the lift line. 
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
The lift line was 15-20 minutes, light for a powder day on Schlauchman's.  It got shorter after it was open for a couple hours......I think a lot of people weren't happy with the conditions and skiing.  Bridger was ski-up all day but it had been heavily skied out by Monday (though the Nose still had some nice pockets.)
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio View Post

I don't need fat ski's for pow....ROAAAAAR!

 


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