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"All Mountain" Fattitude

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

For quite a few decades Powder Magazine was the bible for ski reviews, but over the last 10 years has become as lame as all the others. This year's equipment issue had 15 "experts" pick their favorite skis (kind of) in various categories.  What baffled me was that in the all-mountain category, the average waist width was 106 mm, with over half the skis being 107mm or wider.  Am I still thinking old school, or does it actually make sense to have 105+ skis for your everyday all mountain ski?  Obviously, it depends on the mountain, but it seems to me the Powder Mag equipment issue information is pretty useless.

 

Has the all-mountain category actually transcended the 105mm barrier?


Edited by mudfoot - 9/29/10 at 8:44am
post #2 of 37

My all mountain everyday ski has 110mm at the waist (Rossi Ravyns).  They ski well enough on the groomers, which i usually only ski at the end of the day, and they skis well enough on moguls which i try to avoid.  They busts through the crud great and skis pow well.  I  ski in the PNW (mostly Mt Baker) where we get a ton of fresh snow and we don't get a lot of icy days so it makes sense.  For where I ski and the kind of skiing I enjoy, I don't think I'd own another all mountain ski under 100mm for a long while (maybe when I'm more focused on groomers). 

post #3 of 37

Ummm, you did notice the name of the magazine, right?

 

Last season, my daily drivers were my 112mm-wide 190 Moment Rubies.  I only went narrower early in the season, icy days, and days when I hadn't had a chance to wax them.

 

They wouldn't have been my daily drivers in the East, but in Tahoe...

post #4 of 37

Segments are so blurred and reviews have gotten ridiculous trying to pigeon hole a ski in a category. Keep everything under the manufacture and posts the skis strengths and weekness's and let the skis stand on their own. There are so many great skis that fall through the cracks because they never get a chance to be reviewed with these magazines limiting guidelines for what is allowed. 

post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post

Ummm, you did notice the name of the magazine, right? 

 


Yeah, but they had other much wider picks for the powder and dream trip categories.  I am wondering if people will read the article and think that if they can only afford one pair of skis, they need to go at least 105mm.  Maybe that is actually good advice, but that's the point of my post.
 

post #6 of 37

 

 

Quote:

Has the all-mountain category actually transcended the 105mm barrier?

 

In their eyes, obviously yes. For the rest of the industry....not as much.

 

 

Quote:

..........actually make sense to have 105+ skis for your everyday all mountain ski?

 

Strictly preference and location. If one lives in a big snow/wet snow region, and has a priority for skiing those conditions....sure. If one is only going to have one ski....sure. If one can have more than one ski.....maybe not.

 

But then of course......you know all this already don't you??

 

SJ 

post #7 of 37

not knowing the "inside" story but if like a lot of other reviews, the manufacturers submit certains skis for review, if powder asked for skis in those ranges, that could be the story. I do recall seeing the Sentinal in that category which is 95.  If you look at the park section, you will see a bunch of non-park specific skis in there like the slicer, Kung Fujas, tahoe and others, it's almost like the mid-90's ski's intended to be more all mountain eneded up in that category.

 

post #8 of 37

It is impossible to know the category a ski fits for a person unless you know how many pairs of skis they intend to own and ski, as has been stated.

A reviewing group should define each category, perhaps they did?

For my definition of all mountain, I'd ideally have something high 70s to mid 80s, like the early model Stockli Stormrider Scott Schmidt, mid 80s

Also, not enough people are skiing terrain so difficult that they have to have an appropriate ski, as in steep, narrow, firm. Bring a flacid fatty in there and see how things go.

Or is it a fashion thing, fat skis to go with baggy pants, kinda, baggy skis then.

post #9 of 37

West/Colorado all-mountain 85-105

 

East/central all mountain- 70-85

 

and many will argue extremes to all above......

 

post #10 of 37

Quote:

Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Segments are so blurred and reviews have gotten ridiculous trying to pigeon hole a ski in a category. Keep everything under the manufacture and posts the skis strengths and weekness's and let the skis stand on their own. There are so many great skis that fall through the cracks because they never get a chance to be reviewed with these magazines limiting guidelines for what is allowed. 

 

Ski Canada Mag. sort of does that, segmenting skis in several categories like skier style (Power/Finesse), skier weight (light/heavy), etc.  With the ski magazines becoming so lame, we are back to demoing everything or asking guys like you for advice.



 

post #11 of 37

What is "All-Mountain" anyway???

 

It used to be all of the in-bounds mountain, now it's a ski for all of the mountain in-bounds or out, powder or groomer.... Fatter with some sidecut is better in this situation IMO.

 

"Big-mountain" tends to be the bigger, deeper, out of bounds stuff only.... not so useful on the groomers.

 

I've seen "All-mountain Carve" being used for the more "East-coast friendly" designs...... 

 

So i think the use of the description has changed as much as the width of ski in the category.

 

post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

 

 

Quote:

 

In their eyes, obviously yes. For the rest of the industry....not as much.

 

 

Quote:

Strictly preference and location. If one lives in a big snow/wet snow region, and has a priority for skiing those conditions....sure. If one is only going to have one ski....sure. If one can have more than one ski.....maybe not.

 

But then of course......you know all this already don't you??

 

SJ 


I know that I cannot and do not want to carve on a 106mm waisted ski all day, so my question is really if the industry has gotten to the point where it no longer considers carving necessary for "all-mountain skiing"?  Yeah, it comes down to personal preference, where you are skiing, etc., but has Powder Magazine impliedly declared the death of the need to learn a carved turn to ski the entire mountain?
 


Edited by mudfoot - 9/29/10 at 1:11pm
post #13 of 37

it does not. If you live near a mountain that gets tons of snow and lots of ice and you ski tons of powder, then yes having a ski that big as your daily driver makes sense, and i envy the man who can make that claim, but it doesnt make that powder ski an all-mountain ski. i tried having a 95 mm waist as my everyday all mountain ski out here on the east coast, and it did not work. i dont care what anyone says anymore, any ski with a waist over 90 mm is going to seriously sacrifice performance on the groomers. Thats not to say there aren't some mid-fat to fat skis that can lay down a nice carve on soft groomed snow, but when it comes to hardpack, a ski that big just can't do it. and forget about performance on ice.

 

hopefully someday though i'll be proven wrong!

 

And sadly it does feel like carving is starting to be considered an unnecessary skill. I love skiing powder and bumps and trees as much as anyone, but i also love the feeling of a cleanly carved turn, theres nothing else like it. i really hope that in 10-15 years when the current generation of newschoolers, and freeskiers grows up, the carved turn isn't a thing of the past.


Edited by SBVT - 9/29/10 at 1:15pm
post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 

Fear the Smear!

post #15 of 37

I dont want to ski 106 under foots on the groomers all day either. I guess what gear you want for All mountain skiing depends on the mountain. But for most places in UT skiing groomers all day is not all mountain skiing.

post #16 of 37

 

Quote:
Thats not to say there aren't some mid-fat to fat skis that can lay down a nice carve on soft groomed snow, but when it comes to hardpack, a ski that big just can't do it. and forget about performance on ice.

Wrong! You obviously haven't skied them all.

 

I used to think as you do, and I will agree that narrower waisted skis are better for harder snow, but my Machete FBs (94mm waist) carve hardpack so well I used them for our race league instead of my Superkarves, and the race course is set on a block of manmade "snow". Zero problems carving them or holding and edge, my racing improved notably once I parked the 65mm Supercarve Legends.

 

post #17 of 37

Sometimes it is simply the motor not the tool.

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

Fear the Smear!

 

hahaha, yes. its the kind of thing that gives me nightmares.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post

 

Wrong! You obviously haven't skied them all.

 

I used to think as you do, and I will agree that narrower waisted skis are better for harder snow, but my Machete FBs (94mm waist) carve hardpack so well I used them for our race league instead of my Superkarves, and the race course is set on a block of manmade "snow". Zero problems carving them or holding and edge, my racing improved notably once I parked the 65mm Supercarve Legends.

 


no, i haven't skied them all, or many at all really. maybe yours is the exception that proves the rule?
 

post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SBVT View Post

 i really hope that in 10-15 years when the current generation of newschoolers, and freeskiers grows up, the carved turn isn't a thing of the past.


Just as an aside, but I thought that recreational carving was a new thing in skiing. In the old days before 1993 or whenever, that no one -- or at least hardly anyone besides top racers--  could actually carve a turn since the skis were all 205cm long and straight. Perhaps I am just misinformed as this was before I got into skiing much.
 

post #20 of 37

I think it's a fashion trend.  Fat is in.  Manufacturers need to sell skis.  We had the new short radius skis; now we have the fat skis.

 

No I have not skied the new supposedly great at carving ice fat skis.  However, after riding a Honda CB750, Yamaha R6 and Honda Interceptor, I don't need to ride the GoldWing to tell you that it won't be the best bike to take to a race track.  In my experience, things are already becoming a little less satisfactory in the high performance department on hardpack and ice when I go from an SS speed to an SS magnum.   Yeah, yeah, I know; it's the Indian, not the arrow, but you can't ignore the physics of a ski that is under torsional load needing some flex and having a different effective edge angle at the tip than under the boot.  It makes a difference if you are carving a high-g edge-locked turn on a really hard surface, and some people like to do that, even if they are not racing anyone.

 

Two mitigating factors that allow the 105 to be an "all mountain ski"

 

1)  It does depend a great deal on which mountain.  If you are skiing in a typical sloped skating rink with rocks in Ontario, then a 68 mm ski will be fine.  Less force is required to tip it to a big angle as you lever it against the ice, and so long as it's not too short for you and you have some skills, you can handle a foot or two of snow with no problems.  If you are on a mountain with deep snow, even on groomers just weighting one side of your foot is enough to tip the skis to any angle you want, so you don't really notice the width when carving.

 

2) It depends a great deal on how high a performance level you will be satisfied with from your "all-mountain skis".  Most people cannot pull 2 or 3 g turns and cannot really carve a pure edge-locked turn anyway.   They are happy making easy-peasy turns with lots of speed control smears down the blues.  The performance is called good, but it's really "good for an all-mountain ski", not good compared to a race ski.  People aren't expected to exert high performance demands from their all mountain skis.

post #21 of 37

this was before my time too, but what you say sounds about right. i am exaggerating a little here, of course carving isn't going to die completely, but as ghost says the new trend certainly seems to be towards fat skis and powder instead of skinny skis that kill the groomed.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post




Just as an aside, but I thought that recreational carving was a new thing in skiing. In the old days before 1993 or whenever, that no one -- or at least hardly anyone besides top racers--  could actually carve a turn since the skis were all 205cm long and straight. Perhaps I am just misinformed as this was before I got into skiing much.
 



great post. i think i am one of those people who expects/wants a high level of hard snow performance from their all-mountain ski, hence the reason i bought a pure carver to use on those days when i just want to rip. i have a friend who races, and i got tired of slipping and sliding behind him on my all-mountain twin tips while his edges held perfectly on the ice, skiing looked a lot more fun for him then for me. now i know its a lot more fun having edge grip on ice instead of just sliding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

I think it's a fashion trend.  Fat is in.  Manufacturers need to sell skis.  We had the new short radius skis; now we have the fat skis.

 

No I have not skied the new supposedly great at carving ice fat skis.  However, after riding a Honda CB750, Yamaha R6 and Honda Interceptor, I don't need to ride the GoldWing to tell you that it won't be the best bike to take to a race track.  In my experience, things are already becoming a little less satisfactory in the high performance department on hardpack and ice when I go from an SS speed to an SS magnum.   Yeah, yeah, I know; it's the Indian, not the arrow, but you can't ignore the physics of a ski that is under torsional load needing some flex and having a different effective edge angle at the tip than under the boot.  It makes a difference if you are carving a high-g edge-locked turn on a really hard surface, and some people like to do that, even if they are not racing anyone.

 

Two mitigating factors that allow the 105 to be an "all mountain ski"

 

1)  It does depend a great deal on which mountain.  If you are skiing in a typical sloped skating rink with rocks in Ontario, then a 68 mm ski will be fine.  Less force is required to tip it to a big angle as you lever it against the ice, and so long as it's not too short for you and you have some skills, you can handle a foot or two of snow with no problems.  If you are on a mountain with deep snow, even on groomers just weighting one side of your foot is enough to tip the skis to any angle you want, so you don't really notice the width when carving.

 

2) It depends a great deal on how high a performance level you will be satisfied with from your "all-mountain skis".  Most people cannot pull 2 or 3 g turns and cannot really carve a pure edge-locked turn anyway.   They are happy making easy-peasy turns with lots of speed control smears down the blues.  The performance is called good, but it's really "good for an all-mountain ski", not good compared to a race ski.  People aren't expected to exert high performance demands from their all mountain skis.

post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

West/Colorado all-mountain 85-105

 

East/central all mountain- 70-85

 

and many will argue extremes to all above......

 



My thoughts as well, this is how it should be. But with new sidecuts, and rockered skis, it's more or less how the skis feel rather than how fat they are. My father used to ski on skis that were over 220 cm long (for downhill, not jumping...). Times change, I guess.

post #23 of 37


 

 

 

Quote:

Quote:Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post


I know that I cannot and do not want to carve on a 106mm waisted ski all day, so my question is really if the industry has gotten to the point where it no longer considers carving necessary for "all-mountain skiing"?  Yeah, it comes down to personal preference, where you are skiing, etc., but has Powder Magazine impliedly declared the death of the need to learn a carved turn to ski the entire mountain?

 

 

The industry is far smarter than that.

 

BTW............Powder magazine is not the ski industry. They have their editorial veiwpoint as does Freeskier. Neither one represents any sort of consensus within the industry either now or for the immediate future. The ski industry will follow whatever fad sells but they also will not abandon what works.

 

SJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #24 of 37

I just bought a 87mm waisted ski as an all mountain ski.  My current powder board, is 102 underfoot.  I bought the 87 because last year I realized how much the 102 sucks as an "all mountain" ski.  Next year I intend to buy an even more powder specific ski in the 115-120 range, so who knows what will become of the 102.  I also have a 67mm for going really fast.

 

post #25 of 37

A buddy of mine was one of the Powder mag "draft pickers". Within the rules of the game, he picked what he likes to ride. Turned out that his "powder ski" pick for the magazine is in fact his "daily driver" - and it is well beyond 105... And rockered. His AM pick was a svelte 115 at the waist. This will be his 5th season using a fatter rockered ski as his daily driver. He is a heck of  a skier. If the other draft pickers are even close to his ability level, I'd take their evaluations seriously.

 

Obviously there are lots of variables in the equation. But in my world, an "all mountain" ski is likely to be fatter than 105 and definitely rockered. I don' think it is just a fashion trend. I believe in 5 years (maybe sooner) no one will think twice about this. 

post #26 of 37

I had a post written, but since I haven't seen the Powder mag reviews, I think I will just do this .

JF

post #27 of 37

Who cares what works on groomers? anything works on groomers. What does it matter what you ski in Washington? Anything works in Washington. Be real. Take your soft rockered fatty to Cham on a firm day and then write a review.

post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post




I know that I cannot and do not want to carve on a 106mm waisted ski all day, so my question is really if the industry has gotten to the point where it no longer considers carving necessary for "all-mountain skiing"?  Yeah, it comes down to personal preference, where you are skiing, etc., but has Powder Magazine impliedly declared the death of the need to learn a carved turn to ski the entire mountain?
 


the thing is 105 mm and below skis can carve hardpack fine. Id agrue there are some 120 mm skis that can carve as well but i think 105ish is the upper limit for what my knees can agree with.

 

98mm skis(with rocker) east coast groomer, if this isnt a carved turned I dont what is.

25542_343671413356_505253356_3449098_5883708_n.jpg

 

the thing is when skiing I tend to not ski where carved turns are wanted or needed. IE not on groomers.

post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

 But in my world, an "all mountain" ski is likely to be fatter than 105 and definitely rockered.



In your world you get more snow than anyone else's world. Do you think that maybe your experiences with about ski equipment could possibly vary from those of people who live in other parts of the world?

post #30 of 37

When did "all-mountain" become a synonym for "daily driver?" Few years ago I spent most of a trip to Sun Valley/JH on Goats. Coupla years later, Lhasa Pows at Telluride. So these skis were my daily drivers. Worked fine, each time. I carved both of them whenever I wanted to, admittedly in big arcs and on fairly forgiving snow. If they were the only skis I owned, I would probably extoll how well they handled groomers and other lift served stuff, just because you wouldn't expect that from a wider ski.

 

But in no way shape or form would I consider them "all mountain." Which for me means a ski that will perform equally well (or badly) on hardpack, in bumps, and in powder. As good as Goats or Lhasas are on groomers, anyone who thinks they are as good there as in 8" of fresh, or that they handle ice and bumps like a Kastle MX88 or Blizzard 8.7 are off their meds. 

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