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Tips for skiing in deep/powder/off piste snow

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mike Pow wrote:
kitenski wrote:

Horses for courses, and why the "all mountain" ski sells so well (but also why many snowheads have multiple sets of skis)


Laughing Laughing Laughing


Yep, one pair of skis for the front legs, and another pair for the back legs... wink
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Quote:

110mm soft rockered off piste ski will eat up heavy powder and generally suck on firm icy pistes.

@kitenski, Ski the 118mm WD Ragnarok CL and get back to me on that one...... wink its my one ski quiver this last 2 seasons, the 108's haven't even seen the outside of the garage never mind the airport. As you know I don't do sub-100 and don't feel to be struggling on pistes hard-pack or icy, nor heavy pow at end of March.
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Markymark29 wrote:
Quote:

110mm soft rockered off piste ski will eat up heavy powder and generally suck on firm icy pistes.

@kitenski, Ski the 118mm WD Ragnarok CL and get back to me on that one...... wink its my one ski quiver this last 2 seasons, the 108's haven't even seen the outside of the garage never mind the airport. As you know I don't do sub-100 and don't feel to be struggling on pistes hard-pack or icy, nor heavy pow at end of March.


I'm sure it'd be "ok" but hard work on old knees. One of these days I'll ski with you and we can see! I certainly was surprised how well my Whitedot R.98s were on a Scottish piste this year, but my volks were so much more snappy and responsive when I took them out in the afternoon (mind you they were then harder work when a nice untouched fresh pitch opened up at 3pm!!)
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I was out in Val Thorens last week, mostly on a pair of Director 171s. They are a fine example of a "soft rockered off piste ski" at 107mm, but on the morning hardpack they are more rattly than a rattly thing. I have learned to take my Atomic AMs (84mm) out in the morning if I've been kicked out of bed early, and then swap at 11-12ish when the snow softens.

Riding them back to back showed up how I have to ski bumps "properly" on the Atomics, where the Directors are more "what bumps?!" Toofy Grin and definitely more fun in the slush. It was also noticeable how much more lightly I skimmed the top of the snow on them, compared to the trenches left by large blokes on Rags Laughing (For those who are not aware, Ragnaroks are only available in 190, which is no use to a tiny person like me, despite ongoing pressure for me to take a pair out Shocked )

I also took a pair of R98 167cm out earlyish morning to see how they performed. They are way better on hard snow than the Director, but as the stiffness was at the top of my limit, I struggle to see the use case for a pair in my quiver. If I was out in the deep soft stuff, I'd want the Directors without question.
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kitenski wrote:
out of interest, what width would you put on for kids mucking around to the sides of pistes after fresh snow?? I'm away this New Year with my 18 year old and 15 year old, but fairly light and athletic and I'd be interesting in hiring them a wider set if the conditions pan out....


I got my daughter who is 16 a pair of Vokl Kenja's in 90mm for that purpose, she's quite light but a strong skiier. For her she was transitioning from race skis but found the move to 90mm width perfect, allows her carry on carving while having more than enough float for all off piste activities (we generally stay close to lift served for all our off piste gnarrrrr). She is as happy as a pig in muck with them.
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coddlesangers wrote:
kitenski wrote:
out of interest, what width would you put on for kids mucking around to the sides of pistes after fresh snow?? I'm away this New Year with my 18 year old and 15 year old, but fairly light and athletic and I'd be interesting in hiring them a wider set if the conditions pan out....


I got my daughter who is 16 a pair of Vokl Kenja's in 90mm for that purpose, she's quite light but a strong skiier. For her she was transitioning from race skis but found the move to 90mm width perfect, allows her carry on carving while having more than enough float for all off piste activities (we generally stay close to lift served for all our off piste gnarrrrr). She is as happy as a pig in muck with them.


That reminds me that my wife who is pretty light (58 kg) skis everywhere on and off piste on Line Pandora 95s. She's been absolutely in love with those since she first got them last season. She sold her previous off-piste Atomic Century(s) immediately after testing the Pandora. She finds them so much more nimble (even though they are only 5 mm narrower) and loves the way they ski on-piste too. So much so her Volkl Fuego piste carvers are now up for sale too after literally zero use this season. So she's happy with the one ski for all right now - but again I should emphasise that we only ever ski out in BC soft snow.
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Quote:

@kitenski, Ski the 118mm WD Ragnarok CL and get back to me on that one...... its my one ski quiver this last 2 seasons, the 108's haven't even seen the outside of the garage never mind the airport. As you know I don't do sub-100 and don't feel to be struggling on pistes hard-pack or icy


Of course you can ski them on piste but if you cant ski a firm piste much better on a piste ski then you are doing something wrong!
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@jedster, I only ski pistes to get to other stuff by choice so ok itís a compromise I guess but Iíd prefer to be on wider less railed skis on piste than be flailing about in the powder on a pair of race skis. Iím not about to open the age old debate of one over the other suffice to say you choose your weapon at daybreak and live with it. Iíve never in all the years of skiing felt the need or wanted to ski a dedicated race or carver ski. Each to their own, itís a personal choice.
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@uktrailmonster, we rtied the 90eights and while not burly enough having come off 2010 Mantras, we both rather liked them and I thought theyíd make a rather versatile ski for e.g. demos, etc.
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I think one of the problems with hiring and swapping in and out is 1) hassle, 2) knowledge and 3) availability. It's all very well saying try this and try that but hire shops are going to have a limited range and if you aren't really au fait with what you want, need, what might work for you are blundering about wasting everyone's time.
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@Layne, yeah.
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Maybe Verbierís not representative but the shops stock a good range of freeride skis. One of the bigger shops - Ski Service does free ski tests every 2nd Sunday from its Ruinettes branch (on the piste) where you can try Faction, DPS, Volkl and Kaestle among others.

Possibly as a result of this my last 4 ski purchases have been Faction, DPS, Volkl and Kaestle 🤣🤣🤣

The guys in there know the skis well so easy to ask for recommendations - maybe start with ďwhat do you recommend to make me look good on a powder dayĒ 😉

Engelberg has a similar shop up the mountain where I tried a bunch of powder skis a few years back. In Cham, Dynastar have a test centre up the mountain at Lognan.
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@BobinCH, you're not going to let this go are you.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Layne, or you walk in and ask for some >100mm rockered off piste skis and see what they have! Not really that much hassle IMHO

@BobinCH, I can feel a Verbier weekend being due for next season! I'd love to try out some DPS skis....
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kitenski wrote:
@Layne, or you walk in and ask for some >100mm rockered off piste skis and see what they have! Not really that much hassle IMHO.


Try doing that on a powder day though... If I was going to carry one pair of skis with me, it would be my powder skis. You can pick up decent Groomers \ All Mountains from pretty much every hire shop these days, >100mm fully rockered, not so much.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

@jedster, I only ski pistes to get to other stuff by choice so ok itís a compromise I guess but Iíd prefer to be on wider less railed skis on piste than be flailing about in the powder on a pair of race skis. Iím not about to open the age old debate of one over the other suffice to say you choose your weapon at daybreak and live with it. Iíve never in all the years of skiing felt the need or wanted to ski a dedicated race or carver ski. Each to their own, itís a personal choice.


Yeah I take my more pisty skis out when I know the off piste is well and truly skied out and/or the conditions on piste are nicer than the ones off piste. Powder days are the best part of skiing but when the off piste is a bit meh linking short carves on a hard piste is very satisfying (and more challenging really). I had an afternoon in April when the wind had closed a bunch of high lifts, the avalanche risk was 4 and it had rained at lower altitude. ESF left the gates in on the piste they use for race training after their lessons had finished. Spent the afternoon hammering the gates and as someone who has never raced I have to say it was great fun and a good technical challenge. Would have been much less rewarding on soft snow skis
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RichClark wrote:


Try doing that on a powder day though... If I was going to carry one pair of skis with me, it would be my powder skis. You can pick up decent Groomers \ All Mountains from pretty much every hire shop these days, >100mm fully rockered, not so much.


In a nutshell the problem. Despite the wide ski revolution, rental shops remain pretty conservative as befits the majority of their customer base (who aren't serious enough about skiing to invest in their own kit). So if you want reliable access to something truly all mountain (which for a reasonably sized adult male is now around or over 100mm) you need you own skis. Once you have them it's unlikely you are going to be chopping them for something skinnier on a hardpack day vs "making do".

Note I am saying true all mountain which means everywhere not "marketing all mountain" which means groomers and a little dabble off the side if you are feeling brave. No offence intended if the latter is what you do, realistically it is a huge slice of European skiers, particularly those with young kids or nervous spouses etc. The good news is that there are a huge number of skis tailored to exactly this.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, how many average jo once a week holiday skiers outside of keen snowheads spend > 40% of a ski holiday off piste?? I think that's my main issue, shops don't need to rent 100mm skis to folk who "pretend" to ski off piste, but in reality don't and end up straightlining pistes on flappy rockered skis is becoming more of an issue!
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@kitenski, I agree. And that is why I believe that if you are serious about skiing off piste you probably have to invest either in skis more suited to it or at least in enough awareness and shoe leather to find a rental shop providing good enough equipment. I'm not wishing to undermine the value of instruction but good instruction combined with good tools is better I believe than even the best instruction. There is so much snobbery around "good skiers can ski anything on anything" it acts as a barrier to getting out and having the most fun as soon as possible for the majority.

Coda - everytime I ski a piste I become abundantly aware of the number of jokers who ski fast but without total control regrdless of what's on their feet. Man those piste things are dangerous - why do people like them so much?
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Layne wrote:
@BobinCH, you're not going to let this go are you.


Itís easy to make excuses. If youíre motivated it isnít very difficult as I tried to illustrate. No surprise that ski shops in Verbier/Engelberg/Chamonix cater to a different client than the average. But the Ski Service shop at Ruinettes where I send our friends has loads of pairs wider than 100mm (although 1 less since I bought their pair of 🥄ís 😉) - you donít get many narrow Faction and DPS skis and theyíve got Mantras and Confessions, Kaestle BMX 105ís and 115ís, Scott Cascades, Blizzards etc. Even more choice in the shop down the mountain. Mountain Air has a similarly broad and fat selection.

Spent a weekend in Jackson Hole recently and it was similar, tested BC Atris, Volkl 100eight, Blizzard Rustlers and something else I cant recall in 2 days skiing.


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Wed 25-04-18 12:21; edited 1 time in total
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Not too many skinnies here in the Faction row...


Range of DPS in the free test rack
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Couple more thoughts:

#1 Seems to me everybody is talking through their own situation rather than thinking about the situation of others. I get the feeling BobinCH is considerably richer (both financially and time wise) than I am and aside from his regular haunts of Verbier/Engelberg/Chamonix pops over to Jackson Hole for the weekend. That's not a dig and I honestly have no problem with it. Equally if someone lives in BC and has access to West Coast powder every weekend. Again, it's all good. It's just not where I am coming from.

#2 I agree you mustn't have a closed mind. I have been behind the curve a little myself, partly through ignorance, partly through the restrictions placed on me. And I am amazed when I am out and about some of the kit people ski on. Regardless of their ability they would enjoy life a lot more with something more better and/or more modern. But by the same token, you have to be realistic about their situation, knowledge and what is possible. If I am Joe Bloggs on a weeks holiday in a standard European ski area with limited finance and skiing lift served off piste I am in a different place to many others on this thread.
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under a new name wrote:
@uktrailmonster, we rtied the 90eights and while not burly enough having come off 2010 Mantras, we both rather liked them and I thought theyíd make a rather versatile ski for e.g. demos, etc.


Yes, the 90Eight is definitely a soft snow ski and not really a crud-buster like the Mantra or Blizzard Bonafide. Although they have beefed up the construction slightly this season (mine are the originals from a couple of seasons ago). They are excellent as an everyday ski out in BC and the least tiring ski I've ever owned, partly because they are so light and partly because they turn so easily and can carve or slarve on demand without any fuss or drama. The only downsides I've come across are weak sidewalls (not a good rock bashing tool) and getting bucked around a bit too much in dense chop. But can't really fault them for an everyday easy going ride on or off piste. It's got to be one of the most user-friendly and versatile skis on the market today.
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@Layne, The hire shops everywhere that I ski in France seem to have plenty of pairs of Soul 7s.
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@Layne, I agree to some extent that bob's "evidence" is not altogether convincing - if I had to draw up a list of top 10 places where fat ski rentals were freely available Verbier, Cham, Eberg, JH would likely feature high on it. Whereas let's say a pistencarvin place in the Dolomites would be far off.

The real trick that we are missing with off piste in the discussion so far is mileage. I've seen some sHs come on leaps and bounds simply by their willingness to get off piste in all sorts of crap at every opportunity. Augmented of course by lessons but definitely not exclusively in lessons. Skiing crap is ultimately what makes you a strong and versatile off piste skier and in time better able to read the snow to get better turns out of what is available. Now that will always be a barrier to the 1 week a year joe - Why should I struggle in that junk when there is a perfectly good piste here?
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The excuses never end. I ski in Verbier. The examples were just to show it isnít just Verbier where this is possible. Maybe itís harder elsewhere but itís not that hard. No ski holiday is cheap, and you have to rent from somewhere - just spend 5 minutes googling the resort youíre going to and pick a decent shop (and book online for a discount - iíll even give you a 20% code for Verbier). And you donít need to be rich to enjoy a free ski test 😉
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Layne wrote:
Couple more thoughts:

#1 Seems to me everybody is talking through their own situation rather than thinking about the situation of others. I get the feeling BobinCH is considerably richer (both financially and time wise) than I am and aside from his regular haunts of Verbier/Engelberg/Chamonix pops over to Jackson Hole for the weekend. That's not a dig and I honestly have no problem with it. Equally if someone lives in BC and has access to West Coast powder every weekend. Again, it's all good. It's just not where I am coming from.

#2 I agree you mustn't have a closed mind. I have been behind the curve a little myself, partly through ignorance, partly through the restrictions placed on me. And I am amazed when I am out and about some of the kit people ski on. Regardless of their ability they would enjoy life a lot more with something more better and/or more modern. But by the same token, you have to be realistic about their situation, knowledge and what is possible. If I am Joe Bloggs on a weeks holiday in a standard European ski area with limited finance and skiing lift served off piste I am in a different place to many others on this thread.


You can add #3 people do quite often buy skis that are serious overkill for their actual usage. I see an increasing trend of people punting around (and often with very limited skill) on seriously fat fully rockered skis in conditions that really don't favour them at all e.g. on hard-packed groomed pistes. Now before anyone suggests they are just heading off to some gnarly powder stash, 99% of them really are not doing that at all. They've simply watched a few extreme ski videos and decided that they need to have the biggest skis possible. When really most of them would be better served by a typical mid-fat AM ski - but which might seem less cool and not quite do it for their egos. Just sayin....
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BobinCH wrote:
The excuses never end. I ski in Verbier. The examples were just to show it isnít just Verbier where this is possible. Maybe itís harder elsewhere but itís not that hard. No ski holiday is cheap, and you have to rent from somewhere - just spend 5 minutes googling the resort youíre going to and pick a decent shop (and book online for a discount - iíll even give you a 20% code for Verbier). And you donít need to be rich to enjoy a free ski test 😉

I'm not sure if you are being serious or not. I am not making excuses.

The "no ski holiday is cheap" statement reminds me of some prick who was on here a few years ago saying that if people didn't have plenty of disposable income they should find another sport. And no I am not saying you are prick. Rather that you can ski quite cheaply if you care to and/or need to.

I don't rent as a rule. Partly through cost - as we drive we pay no ski carraige and I DIY service them (there are 4 people and the two children have skis and a board, partly through convenience and partly just as a matter of choice. That's not to say I wouldn't if I thought it made sense. Per se, I'm not financially hamstrung.

Finding a decent hire shop, yes probably isn't that difficult. And yes, no doubt they will have some fatties/options. But my scepticism radar tells me that the range and availability will be limited no matter what you say. When I was looking to buy some 4/5 seasons different shops had only some of what I was thinking of buying. Not that this alone dimisses the idea. Far from it. It's just to note that it isn't necessarily that simple.

I don't believe I've ever been in a resort when there has been a ski test going on. I tend to ski Christmas and when the schools break up in March.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Iím quite clearly not advising an intermediate skier to go out and buy some powder skis. Iím saying that when conditions allow consider renting some fat skis in order to enjoy the powder rather than struggle in it. If you recall, pre the thread drift, that is the situation the OP was in. As was said above, if youíre in France Rossi Soul 7ís are everywhere. Just trying to counter balance the old school thinking on here. Struggle on with your all mountains, get some lessons etc. There are alternative paths to enjoy powder with modern skis... thatís all
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@Layne, in fairness, all of, and at least,

Chamonix: Concept, Sanglard, Echobase, Coquoz, ...
Morzine: FB Freeride, Beanies
Champoluc: all of the shops I think

Have broad and deep selections of wide to v wide skis to rent and test. I do not have current knowledge elsewhere.

Skis tests tend to be end and early season (for obvious reasons)
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Quote:

truly all mountain (which for a reasonably sized adult male is now around or over 100mm)


what does "truly all mountain" mean?
Loads of people ski the whole mountain really nicely on skinnier skis than that.
I'd hate people to think they have to stick to the pistes if they have less than 100mm underfoot.
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@BobinCH - who's talking about anything old school in this thread? Maybe your definition of "old-school" is a bit different to mine. But I do agree Soul 7s are easy enough to rent in most places and would be a reasonable choice for a powder day. But there are also plenty of modern AM skis in the 90-100 mm range that would work just fine too and especially in beginner off-piste territory. I really don't think it's such a big deal with modern skis that all have rockered tips and tails and decent width underfoot. It's more a matter of spending more and more time off-piste rather than stressing about how wide your skis are (unless you really are on some seriously skinny old-school planks or super short race carvers with holes cut in the tips!).
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@jedster, Iím with you. My FIS SLs were truly all mountain, 63 underfoot and 165 length.
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jedster wrote:
Quote:

truly all mountain (which for a reasonably sized adult male is now around or over 100mm)


what does "truly all mountain" mean?
Loads of people ski the whole mountain really nicely on skinnier skis than that.
I'd hate people to think they have to stick to the pistes if they have less than 100mm underfoot.

Sorry to pump my own witterings but I said this on page 3:


I think some clarification is required here on a few counts:

#1, nobody is suggesting people ski powder on old style skis, nor is anybody suggesting people ski powder on slalom skis or piste orientated skis.

#2, an all mountain ski to me is a compromise ski that is made to perform reasonably well on piste and reasonably well off piste. For skiing on piste there will be better skis and for skiing off piste there will be better skis. But I've read quite a few people that when on top performing all mountain ski will end up always taking out that ski because leading on to...

#3, my skiing day, and I expect for many, is likely to be a mixed bag - piste, powder on piste, crud, chopped powder, refrozen crust and if I am lucky some proper powder.

#4, you can't compare heli skiing or Jappow to an average day in the Alps. In those circs sure a super wide proper pow ski makes sense. Also if some unfit middle aged guy with plenty of cash goes Alaskan heli skiing then it makes sense to get a playful, wide as you like, punter ski. But the OP and I suspect the far majority of people start off dabbling of the side of the piste in Europe. Ideally they will still be in the relatively early stages of their progression in on piste or general skiing. It's never too early to start dabbling IMO.


I ski on Cham 97's as a point of reference.
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under a new name wrote:
@Layne, in fairness, all of, and at least,

Chamonix: Concept, Sanglard, Echobase, Coquoz, ...
Morzine: FB Freeride, Beanies
Champoluc: all of the shops I think

Have broad and deep selections of wide to v wide skis to rent and test. I do not have current knowledge elsewhere.

Went to the Beanies website: they have packages called: Adrenaline, Intense, Active and Zen (in price order). When I go for the most expensive (Adrenaline) it says This range is made of:

VOLKL RACETIGER SL (2018 / 699Ä )

EXONDE XO77 ( 2017 / 1000 Ä ) / XO 87 ( 2017 / 1000 Ä )

ROSSIGNOL Strato ( 2017 / 850 Ä )/ Bota ( 2017 / 850 Ä )

HEAD PREMIUM ( 2017 / 1050 Ä )

DYNASTAR MYTHIC ( 2017 / 1050 Ä )

Are any of these suitable? I've no idea...

under a new name wrote:
Skis tests tend to be end and early season (for obvious reasons)

Which means not accessible for most people.

Apologies, I know I am making excuses again rolling eyes rolling eyes rolling eyes
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Quote:

But the OP and I suspect the far majority of people start off dabbling of the side of the piste in Europe. Ideally they will still be in the relatively early stages of their progression in on piste or general skiing. It's never too early to start dabbling IMO.


Yes and they should feel free to do that on 80mm skis too.

My kids started skiing off piste on kids race SLs.
At Easter my friend's daughter - a 14 year old, 5 week skier who is strong and athletic (no lightweight - 55kg I think) was on skis with a 68mm waist and spent whole days skiing off piste with us in 30cm of fresh. Yes she was underskied. Definitely. Yes she'd have done better on something fatter. But she had great fun and learned a lot. Of the 3 adults and 3 children who were having a whale of a time in the powder only one of us (me) was on something >100mm. Others would have been 68/78/80/92/96.

Don't get me wrong - I really like skiing powder on fat skis but let's not give people the impression that only "experts" can have fun in the powder on <100mm.
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Quote:

But the OP and I suspect the far majority of people start off dabbling of the side of the piste in Europe. Ideally they will still be in the relatively early stages of their progression in on piste or general skiing. It's never too early to start dabbling IMO.


Totally and they should feel free to do that on 80mm skis too.

My kids started skiing off piste on junior FIS SLs.
At Easter my friend's daughter - a 14 year old, 5 week skier who is strong and athletic (no lightweight - 55kg I think) was on skis with a 68mm waist and spent whole days skiing off piste with us in 30cm of fresh. Yes she was underskied. Definitely. Yes she'd have done better on something fatter. But she had great fun and learned a lot. Of the 3 adults and 3 children who were having a whale of a time in the powder only one of us (me) was on something >100mm. Others would have been 68/78/80/92/96.

Don't get me wrong - I really like skiing powder on fat skis but let's not give people the impression that only "experts" can have fun in the powder on <100mm.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
BobinCH wrote:
Iím quite clearly not advising an intermediate skier to go out and buy some powder skis.

I think this is confusing.

#1 First of all intermediate seems to be talking the ability level of the skier which we've ascertained is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is whether they are or aspire to ski off piste.

#2 I thought we were talking about all mountain fatties. I thought that you could get 120 wide ski's that were actually good on piste.

BobinCH wrote:
Iím saying that when conditions allow consider renting some fat skis in order to enjoy the powder rather than struggle in it.

Not sure anybody has ever disagreed that isn't an option or part of the solution. Merely that be a full solution or the only solution by itself.

BobinCH wrote:
If you recall, pre the thread drift, that is the situation the OP was in. As was said above, if youíre in France Rossi Soul 7ís are everywhere. Just trying to counter balance the old school thinking on here. Struggle on with your all mountains, get some lessons etc. There are alternative paths to enjoy powder with modern skis... thatís all

I'm not sure anyone is out to counter your counter. I'm certainly not. As above I was just saying it was not necessarily the only or best solution by itself.
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Some friend and I ski tested lots of wide skis in the powder pre xmas last year because people say they are so much easier and better and we all agreed we were happier on a ski with 85-90mm waists. I personally own a Scott the Ski (all mountain) which I use exclusively and get on a lot better in powder with those, than Rossignol Soul 7's. It could just be my lack of ability, but I was with a really good off-piste skier who also didn't like the wide skis.
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doddsie wrote:
Some friend and I ski tested lots of wide skis in the powder pre xmas last year because people say they are so much easier and better and we all agreed we were happier on a ski with 85-90mm waists. I personally own a Scott the Ski (all mountain) which I use exclusively and get on a lot better in powder with those, than Rossignol Soul 7's. It could just be my lack of ability, but I was with a really good off-piste skier who also didn't like the wide skis.


That doesn't surprise me at all. Once you get into the super-wide category, you are carrying a lot of ski around for probably no good reason in many scenarios. Even dedicated powder skis themselves have recently started to get slightly narrower again in an effort to save weight and make them more versatile. A few years back the really big mountain skis were in the 130 mm+ territory, but now seem to be mostly sub 120 mm, with many fine options in the 100-110 range. There are plenty of exceptions of course, but the trend seems to be toward slightly narrower width again. Even starting to see that trend with AM skis, with next year's Mantra going from 100 to 95 mm. I can think of a few other similar examples of skis being trimmed down and still performing just as well or even better in powder. Rossi Soul 7s are a marmite ski for many. Haven't tried them myself, but I know others who have with mixed results. I was skiing with one guy who was trying them out and he wasn't exactly raving about them compared to his own 100 mm Atomics. Half the battle is being familiar with your own skis, whatever they are. I've said it before in this thread, but I'll happily ski any powder with a big smile on modern 100 mm skis or even 70-80 mm skis at a push (not the latter by choice though) and I'm certainly not a skiing god by any means.
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