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Skis for big guy - East Coast, Pow, Tight Trees, slow ride

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi, new member. I'm aware that much of this has been discussed before because I've been reading for several hours. The only difference in my requirements is that I'm definitely a slow-rider... and I'm very interested in riding with rando boots, although I can definitely stick with alpine boots if I had to.

 

6'2, 220 lbs, East Coast.


 

I ski mostly intermediate hills because I hate speed and the snow is almost always better. I ski the edges where the snow is thicker.


 

  • I hate speed

  • I hate hardpack to the point I'd rather work hard in heavy sludge

  • I am very comfortable in powder and love it in part because it allows me to go slow

  • If I'm not in powder, I love carving with no tail sliding

  • If I'm in powder I'm ok with wide turns but prefer tight parallels turns


 

The trees where I ski are tight... like 3-10 feet for the ones that would hurt, often times with skinny saplings in between them... but.. that's where the pow is. It's not as if they're impossible to ski, but I want to ride as slow as I can, which I think means less float than if I were in open powder.


 

So, for a ski, I'm thinking very short, and very fat that are (in order of importance)

  • Excellent in tight trees (powder... I won't be in trees unless it's the good stuff)

  • Good carvers with short turn radius.

  • Passable on hardpack/ice, but I plan on avoiding it.

  • Don't care a wit about high speed stability – it's all about the slow ride.

  • Not doing bumps unless there is a foot of fluff on them.
     

The only skis I've ridden in the last 10 years (aka my quiver) are:

 

Ski Length Tip Mid Tail Radius
Head XRC 170 112 66 98 15.4
X-Scream 195 106 68 96 22

 

The skis I've come up with as candidates, mostly 160ish/170ish:

 

Ski Length Tip Mid Tail Radius
Icelantic Shaman 161 / 173 /184 160 110 130 12 / 15 / 18
Phantom Crystal Ships 160 / 180 162 113 154 11 / 14
PMGear Bro 164 / 174 125 99 114 25.4 / 28.6
Salomon Pocket Rocket 175 122 90 115 15
Voile Insane 161 161 131 95 121 15.7
Voile Insane 172 172 138 100 128 16.4
Voile Insane 183 183 150 108 140 16.7
Line Prophet 100 165 / 172 134 100 125 17.7
Line Prophet 90 165 / 172 125 90 113 14.2 / 16.1
Vokl Gotama 178 137 106 122 26.1
Rossi S3 168 128 98 118 23
Dynastar Mythic Rider 172 122 88 110 20
Black Diamond Megawatt 178 147 120 126 38

 

I'm leaning toward Icelantic Shaman (161 or 173) and Line Prophet 100 (165), Voile Insane (161or 172).

 

Any words of wisdom on skis? Also, any special considerations regarding rando boots with such a set up?

Thanks in advance,
Dave


 

post #2 of 14
Wow....I'll bet that your head hurts.

The ski that I know of that will best meet most of your criteria is the Salomon Czar. It is quite wide (111mm) with a long tip rise, (rocker) and a firmer midsection and tail. The rocker would allow you to get something closer to the right size and still have it very manuverable. The Czar is probably the best intro to new powder ski shapes and technology that I have been on.

SJ
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
You got that right... my head does hurt :)

Since you mentioned 111 at mid, I'm taking it to mean that you're suggesting 182 cm since the width apparently varies with length.

@182cm  132-111-121 Radius 44.7

I'm concerned about the lack of tight turn radius, but if it's truly incredible in the trees my on-piste days might be over anyway.
post #4 of 14
If you want the shorter ski, then go with the 173 and it's 108mm waist. BTW.......ignore the published turn radius as it has little to do with anything in the case of this ski. FWIW, I ignore turn radius and dimensional minutiae almost entirely. When I'm testing skis, I try to discern the overall personality and various capabilities of the ski. With the exception of pure smooth surface characteristics, I find that statistics matter almost not at all.

The Czar is super nimble and fun for a ski as big as it is.

SJ
post #5 of 14
 I'm not sure I comprehend a ski like the Czar for this.

It may not fit the carving bill, but if you want super nimble, super easy ski in the context you describe - the 179 Pontoon would be hard at to beat. As of the other night, on sale at Evo, Start Haus, etc. for sub-$500.  A Praxis Powder or ARG would blow your mind as well. None fits the traditional carving mold. But all three are nimble beyond belief in soft snow. Another couple to contemplate would be the EP Pro (sub $600 at Evo) or Hell Bent 

Personally, I don't understand going halfway with rocker when discussing a topic like tight tree powder skiing. A fully rockered and reverse or hybrid sidecut ski offers insanely more control than anything else in that situation. Especially at lower speeds.

FWIW If you are really curious about the Crystal Ships, I have a pair NIP that I'd let go for something silly cheap. They were created to do exactly what you are interested in doing. Where you want to do it. And will carve well on a moderately soft bit of snow. That said - in terms of performance in the here & now, they are a step down from the other skis I mentioned (and their close relatives). The price would be right though ;)
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

 I'm not sure I comprehend a ski like the Czar for this.

It may not fit the carving bill, but if you want super nimble, super easy ski in the context you describe - the 179 Pontoon would be hard at to beat. As of the other night, on sale at Evo, Start Haus, etc. for sub-$500.  A Praxis Powder or ARG would blow your mind as well. None fits the traditional carving mold. But all three are nimble beyond belief in soft snow. Another couple to contemplate would be the EP Pro (sub $600 at Evo) or Hell Bent 

Personally, I don't understand going halfway with rocker when discussing a topic like tight tree powder skiing. A fully rockered and reverse or hybrid sidecut ski offers insanely more control than anything else in that situation. Especially at lower speeds.

FWIW If you are really curious about the Crystal Ships, I have a pair NIP that I'd let go for something silly cheap. They were created to do exactly what you are interested in doing. Where you want to do it. And will carve well on a moderately soft bit of snow. That said - in terms of performance in the here & now, they are a step down from the other skis I mentioned (and their close relatives). The price would be right though ;)


you recommendation would be great if already had something like the Katana, NightTrain, The one, or basically something that doesnt kill you on hardpack. trust me on this you will find hardpack on powder days here at stowe. 


I would say the hellbent and EHP are more along of the lines of what would be good here, or S7.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

 I'm not sure I comprehend a ski like the Czar for this.

You might be correct.....unless of course you consider what the OP asked for. (See points # 2 & 3 on his wish list).

SJ
post #8 of 14
Rossignol S3, probably the 177cm.  it's good on hardpack, will carve super short radius turns at lower speeds and will ski well 'in' the snow a little, where you end up on anything at low speed. It is insanely quick, the only place I don't like mine is at high speed on hard snow. 
post #9 of 14
powder + S3 + 220# probably equals fail... 177 probably is probably double fail

BWPA's suggestion of an S7 is very plausible
Edited by spindrift - 3/9/10 at 7:18pm
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post




You might be correct.....unless of course you consider what the OP asked for. (See points # 2 & 3 on his wish list).

SJ
 

Speaking of that reading thing... I did. Some of those items are reasonably "conflicting". However, there is a clear set of top priorities. I'd bias toward that. OTOH, I'll take everyone's word wrt to the hardness and amount of hardpack. So I may well have tilted too far one way. Still - the priority list screams for a ski that is fully rockered and is north of 110 underfoot. And likely "moderate" length. The combo of powder, trees and slow would still have me looking at my initial list... plus the 188 S7. 

just my .02

Of course, as I said, if he wants a Crystal Ship... ;)
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies. I'm taking all the recommendations into consideration (and putting my head at risk for more pain.

Yes, there are a few conflicting requirements, and I'm leaning toward recommendations toward the powder/tree side of things.

I don't have a lot of demos available to me, and that doesn't help. I've never been on a ski even close to any of those mentioned.

A cheap pair of crystal ships might be a good start to getting my feet wet, actually.

I'm still reading and doing my homework as much as possible. I'll update the thread if I ever make up my mind ;).
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post


powder + S3 + 220# probably equals fail... 177 probably is probably double fail

BWPA's suggestion of an S7 is very plausible
 
Spindrift, what part, exactly, of 'East Coast' do you not understand? If the OP skis in the east (as he states) he is rarely skiing more than 12" of fresh snow, and that would be rare. He will be skiing 4" to 10" of snow over an 'affected snow' base in the trees, or, as he clearly states "on the edges of trails where the snow is thicker". He wants to ski the edges of eastern intermediate trails... read his post, pay attention and stop assuming anyone who says 'powder' is talking about Mt Baker. He is also stressing slow speeds and quick turning, skis like an S7 require a bit more speed to work and will suck on an eastern groomer, same with Hellbents and EP Pros. We are looking for a ski that will provide some float at very slow speeds and also will turn easily at slow speeds... and he also wants a ski that can carve on groomers. Yes, you can carve turns on skis like Hellbents and S7... if you generate a ton of edge angle, that requires momentum.

S3, his size and weight say '186'... but "slow on the edge of Intermediate slopes" says '177'.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson Rockwood View Post

He will be skiing 4" to 10" of snow over an 'affected snow' base in the trees, or, as he clearly states "on the edges of trails where the snow is thicker". He wants to ski the edges of eastern intermediate trails...  He is also stressing slow speeds and quick turning, skis like an S7 require a bit more speed to work and will suck on an eastern groomer, same with Hellbents and EP Pros. We are looking for a ski that will provide some float at very slow speeds and also will turn easily at slow speeds... and he also wants a ski that can carve on groomers. Yes, you can carve turns on skis like Hellbents and S7... if you generate a ton of edge angle, that requires momentum.

S3, his size and weight say '186'... but "slow on the edge of Intermediate slopes" says '177'.

 

That sounds about right, although I don't seem to have any trouble with generating momentum on the intermediate slopes so edge angle might not be a problem on the groomers. The most definite requirement in the tree pow is enough float at slow speed to be able to execute quick turns. Rossis being a little more mainstream than some of the others... maybe I can actually find pair to demo. I'm going to find out.
post #14 of 14
 Being a big guy myself, lets just say heavier than you, and being PSIA Level III and having spent most of my life on the east, and 2 years full time on the snow in Steamboat, I know a thing or two about eastern friendly soft snow skis.  I ski the Prophet 100 in a 179 and love it, however, a 90 would be a little more trail friendly and still ski and float great, plus it is very turny.  The Prophet Flite is a 90 with Fiberglass (next year's model) and is a little more turny/lively than the Prophet 90 (because the Prophet has metal.

I'm surprised the Extreme is not on your list, it's 85 under foot, and still very soft snow friendly but it will excell on trail, it actually has phenomenal edge hold for a twin.  Also, if you can find an old Seth Pistol (95mm) or a Seth Viscious (98mm) would fit the bill as well (and would be pretty cheap)
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