Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Playful vs Directional skis

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm looking at adding a pair of wider (105-110 mm waist) all mountain skis to my quiver for use in softer snow conditions both on and off piste. Given that I have a fairly traditional skiing history and don't venture into the Park or ever ski switch, the obvious choice would be a sensible directional ski like the Volkl 100Eight, Head Kore 105, Salomon QST 106, Enforcer 110 etc, etc, etc. But I just can't help looking at "jib" skis like the K2 Marksman and Line SFB. I actually have a pair of the older 2012 Line Bacons and find them a lot of fun both on and off piste, providing the snow is reasonably soft. Given that I have other skis for piste and harder snow conditions, do I really need a stiffer, directional wider ski or am I crazy to be considering jib skis at all? What attracts me to them is their ability to pivot through tight tree lines, forgiveness in soft bumps and their general playfulness at relatively low speeds. I do like to slash and smear turns off piste, but then I do appreciate decent edge hold and stability when pushing on more.

So I was wondering how skis like the Line Bacon, K2 Marksman compare against more "serious" but still relatively playful skis like the Black Crows Atris and Volkl 100Eight? I think it's a given that the latter type of ski is going to be more stable at speed and hold an edge better on piste or any hard snow, but are they going to be as much fun and easy going when skiing more moderate slopes in soft conditions, bumps and trees etc? I'm starting to think that the more all mountain orientated jib skis are a good choice for an everyday fun soft snow ski. Or are skis like the latest BC Atris just better at everything except in the Park? For clarity, what I definitely don't want is a super stiff directional charging machine like the Head Monster 108 or a flippy-floppy noodle of a park ski. So it's more a question of where do the stiffer, more serious jib skis meet with the new generation of lighter, rockered directional skis?
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@uktrailmonster, isn't your answer "moahr rockare"?
snow report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@under a new name, come again?
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
There's plenty of peeps out there that love the attributes of a twin rocker, playful ski, yet who never land switch in pow like Pollard Wink
Our Director model is a prime example of this, a ski that's playful but can still suit a directional skier and who's style will change with the mounting point. Some directional skis are on the playful scale, take the new Blizzard Spur for example, whilst others are decidedly chargey like the Monsters you mentioned, but overall I'd say the industry is trending towards the playful light end of the market at the moment, for example I think Head have discontinued the wider Monsters for next season.
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@uktrailmonster, more rocker.
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@the_doc, Thanks for the info, that's kind of what I was thinking. I never ski switch and rarely leave the ground, but I do definitely prefer skis that can carve or smear as you please, while easy going enough to ski all day without fatigue. My 2012 Line SFBs are my favourite skis for playing around mellow terrain on a powder day, although they are not as light as some of the latest skis. Last season I added a pair of Volkl 90Eights to my quiver and ended up using them pretty much all the time, simply because they are so light and easy to ski all day. But I still sometimes miss the more surfy feel of the SFBs in soft snow.

I'm not that surprised to hear that Head are retiring the bigger Monsters. They're certainly too much ski for my taste and I'm not exactly a lightweight or timid skier. It must be a very niche market for those now there are so many lightweight and versatile wide skis to choose from. I guess the roaring success of their new Kore series has seen off their more traditional Monsters.

So my shortlist is currently:-

K2 Marksman - easy going, relatively soft, super playful, soft snow only.
Volkl 100Eight - relatively light and slightly rockered directional ski. Looks like it could work well in a wide variety of conditions, but maybe not so playful.
Black Crows Atris - looks like a serious off-piste machine with a contemporary rocker profile and relatively forward mount.
Salomon QST 106 - seems like a decent all-rounder in this width.

There are many other skis that I could throw into the mix, but these are the ones catching my eye. Unfortunately meaningful demos are not feasible.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@under a new name, I got it!
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
under a new name wrote:
@uktrailmonster, more rocker.


All the skis I'm considering in this class have a reasonable amount of rocker, but probably quite different stiffness profiles. I'm just wondering where I need to be on the curve. I'm fairly big and heavy at 88kg, but I don't ski overly aggressively and prefer more technical lines to all-out charging, especially off-piste. If I was down at say 70 kg I would have no worries in choosing a ski like the K2 Marksman with a relatively soft flex, but I'm worried I might just be too big for it at 88 kg. I can accept a compromise in stability at high speed, but I do want something supportive enough to get through chop at a reasonable pace without folding. At the other end of the scale, I don't want a demanding ski to drive all day. I'm lazy and like an easy ride! My Volkl 90Eights are just about stiff enough (perhaps borderline in crud) and my 2012 Lines are a pretty good compromise , although a little heavy by comparison.
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@uktrailmonster,

rocker is not just about jibbing or skiing backwards it is about making it easier to pivot, drift and float.

Having skied rockered skis only in the last couple of years, I'm not surprised the industry has gone in that direction - they are fun and easy to ski. The only downside is that they are less rewarding if you want to ski technically and precisely on hard pistes but as we know, few recreational skiers really do that.
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
jedster wrote:
@uktrailmonster,

rocker is not just about jibbing or skiing backwards it is about making it easier to pivot, drift and float.

Having skied rockered skis only in the last couple of years, I'm not surprised the industry has gone in that direction - they are fun and easy to ski. The only downside is that they are less rewarding if you want to ski technically and precisely on hard pistes but as we know, few recreational skiers really do that.


Yes, I agree. All my current AM skis have rockered tips and tails and no question they are better for it. It's more the softer flex of jib type skis I'm not that sure about. Skis like the Line SFB are actually not all that soft and quite capable of caning it through all sorts of chopped up snow. But they're not so stiff as to become hard work. What I don't have much experience of are the latest crop of wide lightweight "directional" skis aimed more at the traditional skier, but with contemporary rocker profiles. Are they basically similar to more stout jib skis like the Line SFB sans twin-tip or are they generally still stiffer and less playful? It seems like there is more overlap than a few years ago when "Freeride" skis were generally pretty serious directional chargers (Head Monsters, big Kastles etc) and jib skis were mostly soft and flappy. Now some of these latest jib skis appear to be getting stiffer, while the more directional offerings seem to be getting a bit softer and adding more rocker. Even Kastle seems to have embraced rocker with their FX series in recent years.
latest report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
ah - got it
If you've got rocker, is stiffness really a problem?
@the_doc, posted already but I thing redeemers (which I have) are stiff underfoot but softer at the tips. The stiffness doesn't stop them from being super playful IME
snow report     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
jedster wrote:
ah - got it
If you've got rocker, is stiffness really a problem?


I think you can still go too stiff for a "fun" ski, regardless of rocker. But that's sort of what I'm trying to figure out (and probably the industry too). Whenever I've owned or tested really stiff, powerful skis I've always found them hard work and generally not that much fun on anything other than smooth pistes or their utility in ploughing straight through crud. In good snow off-piste I much prefer skis that conform more to the surface lumps and bumps i.e. softer flexing. That's why I moved to skis like the Line SFB in the first place, but now when I look around I see lots of AM/freeride skis that look pretty similar apart from the twin-tip.
ski holidays     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
uktrailmonster wrote:


I'm not that surprised to hear that Head are retiring the bigger Monsters. They're certainly too much ski for my taste and I'm not exactly a lightweight or timid skier. It must be a very niche market for those now there are so many lightweight and versatile wide skis to choose from. I guess the roaring success of their new Kore series has seen off their more traditional Monsters.
.


I always saw the market for Monsters as being hardcore pistencarvers who reluctantly acknowledged that a bigger ski might help in offpiste conditions but weren't actually ready to commit to something that would be fun rather than than a fattened up pistencarver. Or genuine balls out chargers who generally get their skis for free anyway.
snow report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:


I always saw the market for Monsters as being hardcore pistencarvers who reluctantly acknowledged that a bigger ski might help in offpiste conditions but weren't actually ready to commit to something that would be fun rather than than a fattened up pistencarver. Or genuine balls out chargers who generally get their skis for free anyway.


That and people just thinking that they need a "big expert" ski for their ego. I've seen plenty of intermediate sliders on such skis and no end of guys lining up with 120+ mm Alaskan peak slayers after 10 cm of fresh snow in resort. A lot of marketing and ego tripping going on for sure. But many of those people now have the option of much lighter wide skis that might actually ski a lot better for an average skill level, while still massaging their egos to some extent. I've been there myself and come out of the other end wondering what I was thinking. But some of the latest fat skis actually look pretty sensible for playing around on moderate off-piste terrain.
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
So are we saying (reading between the lines) that I definitely should buy that pair of BC Camox I have been hankering after...?
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@uktrailmonster, where does a DPS Wailer 112 fit in this classification? Or even the 124’s? I would call them playful compared to a Faction Prime or Volkl Confession which are much more “directional”. Despite skiing plenty of narrower skis I keep going back to these as giving up little on the piste but being much more fun off it - irrespective of fresh powder or not.
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Don’t know if this helps, but like you I love the 90eight. Tried Atomic Automatics (118) didn’t like them on or off piste. Also have Icelantic Shamans (112 fully cambered) love them on any kind of soft snow, but hard work on hard pistes. Come to the conclusion that 90eight does it all for me. Mind you the only slashing I do is after a few beers.
snow report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
mistral wrote:
So are we saying (reading between the lines) that I definitely should buy that pair of BC Camox I have been hankering after...?


Looks good to me. If I didn't already have my Volkl 90Eights I would be taking a serious look at the Camox as a similar do-it-all kind of ski.
snow report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
BobinCH wrote:
@uktrailmonster, where does a DPS Wailer 112 fit in this classification? Or even the 124’s? I would call them playful compared to a Faction Prime or Volkl Confession which are much more “directional”. Despite skiing plenty of narrower skis I keep going back to these as giving up little on the piste but being much more fun off it - irrespective of fresh powder or not.


I've always been intrigued by DPS skis, but whenever I see them in real life the rocker looks massive. If I could demo them I would for sure, but they're too expensive to consider buying blind. I had a chat to a guy on the chair at Christmas who was sporting a pair of 112s and he was singing their praises. He had the full super light carbon version too.
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
BertieG wrote:
Don’t know if this helps, but like you I love the 90eight. Tried Atomic Automatics (118) didn’t like them on or off piste. Also have Icelantic Shamans (112 fully cambered) love them on any kind of soft snow, but hard work on hard pistes. Come to the conclusion that 90eight does it all for me. Mind you the only slashing I do is after a few beers.


The 90Eights are a great versatile ski for sure. I've put maybe 50 or 60 days on mine now and skied them in all sorts of conditions without any drama. But I do feel like something a bit wider and floaty for soft off-piste conditions and something that can handle heavy chop a bit better (without going for something too heavy/stiff/damp). I'm effectively looking to replace my Line Bacons (108 width) with something more current and perhaps a bit less "jibby". I'm keeping my 90Eights for now as my everyday ski for average conditions.

I'm now thinking of taking a chance with the BC Atris. The spec looks spot on for what I'm looking for and I'm quite keen to try a BC ski anyway. I'm just a little worried that they might be a little on the stiff side for what I'm used to, but only one way to find out. Now can't decide between the 184 and 189 cm. At 6'1" and 88 kg I'm thinking I should go for 189s, but I'm thinking the 184s might work better in trees and tight technical lines. My Lines are 184, but measure more like 182 and feel borderline short with a near central mount. My 90Eights are 184 too (longest they make) and they feel just fine. But as I'm going to use these mainly in deeper snow and they have more rocker, I think sizing up makes sense. So 189 it is I think!
latest report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@uktrailmonster, I opted for the Black Crows Atris Birdie as a big all mountain ski this season (I'm only small and female). I'm used to skiing much narrower unisex performance and race skis all mountain but wanted a playful, agile and stable ski for powder and chopped snow days. I did not want a flappy twin tip...

I know it's a slightly softer flex than the Atris but I'm amazed at it's performance everywhere! It floats, skis crud and chopped snow easily without getting deflected and throwing me round, skis tight lines and steeps, skis bumps but perhaps most surprising is the performance on the piste. It has remarkably good grip for both long and short turns on pretty firm pistes. I love it! It meets my criteria perfectly and I can see myself skiing it in variable snow and different terrain more than I imaged I would with a 108 underfoot ski. The Atris also has a nice flex and my other half has ski envy and is now thinking of getting a pair too...
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@uktrailmonster, at 88 kg you should be on the 189. I am 80 kg and on the 184. I think any more weight and I would have tip dive issues. You will need the additional tip length give the relatively forward mounting point. In one of the recent Blister podcasts Julien Regnier talks about sizing the Atris. It is worth a listen if you think you are between sizes.
snow report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@juliad, thanks for your thoughts. Sounds encouraging that it works well in a wide range of conditions. I've more or less given up with narrow race oriented skis, partly because I like the way modern wider skis perform on piste and partly because conditions are usually on the soft side where I ski (Interior BC). I find it a lot of fun ripping soft groomers on wider skis and less demanding than a more dedicated GS type ski. If it ever gets too icy I just go for a coffee instead!
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
mistral wrote:
So are we saying (reading between the lines) that I definitely should buy that pair of BC Camox I have been hankering after...?


Yes! Do it. Love mine! Laughing
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@uktrailmonster, i had the chance to try and became hooked. Now have 3 pairs! The new Alchemist construction is ace. Atris was also on my list but rented a (badly tuned) pair in Chamonix which put me off.
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@BobinCH, Yeah it's amazing how a bad tune can ruin a ski completely. Think I'm going to give the Atris a try anyway and see how it goes. I read the reviews on Blister and a few other places and they all seem very positive. I'll be out in BC again at the end of March, so probably get to test them in spring slush and perhaps the odd late season powder day if lucky.
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@uktrailmonster, fwiw Weathercam loves his Atris's............... Seems to ski OK on them too Very Happy
latest report     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Tried the Atris in 184 and Volkl 100Eight in 181. Much preferred the Atris. Smooth everywhere, tail kicked me a few times. Still misses the light energetic feel of the DPS Alchemist for me but half the price. 100Eight was more directional, damped, not for me. Got the Blizzard Rustkers tomorrow am...
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
gravity-slave wrote:
mistral wrote:
So are we saying (reading between the lines) that I definitely should buy that pair of BC Camox I have been hankering after...?


Yes! Do it. Love mine! Laughing

Looking at the tech spec after my post elsewhere regarding the turn radius changing on different lengths of the same ski, BC appear to widen the tips & tails of this ski as the length increases to keep the radius the same.
latest report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Skied the Blizzard Rustler 11 today and it was great. Thought the 180cm length they had might be short (also cones in 188 apparently) but loved them.

No idea if this is reliable but they seem to agree...
https://freeskier.com/stories/top-30-big-mountain-skis-2017-2018

If you can find this ski, try it!
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@BobinCH, Many thanks for your reviews. I went with the Atris 189 in the end as I've heard they ski a little short and I'm a fairly big guy anyway. I figured the 100Eight would be more directional and your comments support that. The Rustler 11 was on my shortlist, but too many skis and not enough time! I got a really good deal on the 2018 Atris with a few minor top sheet scratches, so pretty happy with that. Looking forward to taking them out to BC in March. BTW your appt looks really cool!
ski holidays     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy