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Which width touring skis (90 vs 98mm)?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

Having been dabbling in Alpine ski touring over the past few years, I'd now like to buy my own.

The two skis that I've (hopefully) narrowed it down to are the Kastle TX90 and TX98. In a 184cm/188cm length respectively there is only 50g/pair weight difference and £0 price difference between the two, which leads me to my exam question:

Q: Is there a disadvantage in going with the wider ski?


Note that this would be primarily for Alpine Touring (I have a pair of Bent Chetler 120's with Shift bindings for any Canada/Japan backcountry excursions)

One thing that I could foresee is extra drag created by having a wider skin profile (but potentially offset by less pressure over the ski width)?

Appreciate any comments/advice on this - I've been flipping a coin over the past fortnight, and am now very confused!!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@FatalSaviour, doesn’t it depend on what your primary aim is, ski touring for the ups or ski touring to get to the fresh powder downs? If it’s the latter take a look at these?

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=142582&highlight=
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 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?
@FatalSaviour, depends on the type of touring - if short skins on soft snow in mid-winter to access powder then wider, if long skins in spring then narrower as wide skis on an icy refrozen skin track aren’t much fun.
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@FatalSaviour, I have the TX98 and they are a very versatile ski and have served me well in all conditions so far this winter , wouldn't want to be on anything much slimmer when there's fresh snow , the narrower ski would be marginally faster on the up and being shorter would be a bit more manoeuvrable in tighter sections when bushwhacking out of trees lower down , I also find cutting my skins very close to edges so early morning frozen skin tracks are not so bad , don't think 8mm makes that much difference , but with the tx98 the extra width in the tips defo helps in the deeper snow on the downs
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
90
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I too doubt you’ll notice the difference much.

FWIW, I tour on an 81 waist and MrsA is on 76. These were on the narrow side when we bought them 5 years ago but these days seem miniscule - but they still work.

IMV, waist is just what you’re used too. More important is weight (or lack of) and sidecut radius - which needs to be large (> 20m).
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altis wrote:
and sidecut radius - which needs to be large (> 20m).


Why would radius need to be large?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thank you for all the responses thus far all - it’s certainly aided in the decision, although I have to say I’m still a little on the fence!

I should also have mentioned that I’ll be looking to pick up a pair for the wife as well - id assume that we’d probably want to get the same width waist, but I am a good 30 KG heavier than my better half, so I’m not sure if that would push me towards a 98 and her the 90...

Most of the touring I’ll be looking to do would be hut to hut in the Alps - last month, we did a long weekend in the silvretta with no fresh snow and with Dynastar Tour 82 skis.

What I hated most was the tendency of those skis to break through the crust at points, which I thought might be mitigated by a wider ski (I stand to be corrected however!).

I am unfortunately on the heavier side of where I’d like to be right now (105KG) and I have to be honest, the uphills were a bit of a slog. Both pairs of skis are a similar weight to the Tour 82s we used, albeit hopefully with a lot more downhill ability (my wife absolutely hated the chattering on the Dynastars!!)

Many thanks once again!!
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@FatalSaviour, you get the 98’s and get her the 90’s. Job done.
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BobinCH wrote:
@FatalSaviour, you get the 98’s and get her the 90’s. Job done.

+1. It's that simple.
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If you are touring for turns go for 98. If you are just going for the journey/longer distances then 90.

I say buy my Mythics! Smile https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=142623 Happy to take offers on price.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Themasterpiece wrote:

Why would radius need to be large?

As FatalSavoiur has found out with the Tour 82s and their 16m radius, heavily waisted skis are a 'mare on breakable crust - and not so nice on icey rising traverses either. Something more like straight planks make life easier.

Experienced tourers tend to go long for extra float but this requires some skill - and flexibility - when it comes to kick turns. Sadly, there's no perfect solution.
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If I would need to pick just a single pair, then I would go for wider. Wider (not super wide) can still ski sort of ok on hard surface, while narrow don't ski anywhere good on deep(er) days. Ideally you would have 2 pairs, one for deep days and one for spring corn/ice. Personally I have 3, 85mm for hard conditions and long tours on something that's max 30cm deep (Rossi Seek7 ski surprisingly good in not so deep pow, even if only 85mm), 106 for normal ski touring powder chase, and 120 for lift assisted freeride. I know it's a bit lot for normal skier, but it's a bit easier if you get those skis for free Wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I'd go 90 for late season hut to hut touring.
100+for early season powder hunting
98 is a compromise if you want one ski for both.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just looked at my log for the season.

Circa 50 days ski touring

2 sorties on 88's

8 on 100mm

2 on 115mm

Rest on 108mm*

As you say you're 105kg so I would go as large as possible.

But as others have said does depend on what type of touring you're doing, and how good your shite snow technique is Laughing

Narrower skis will not perform in the croûte as well as wider skis, likewise in heavy snow.

*Black Crow Atris with Tectons, not exactly a classic touring setup but as I tend to be a tad stronger on the up than most of my contemporaries I can get away with them.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Don’t keep a log, but around 25-30 days for me, 2/3 on 108mm, 1/3 on 117mm, there were still days where the snow was rubbish that I wished I was on the 117’s!!! Seen plenty of people struggling to get down on narrower skis and I’m willing to take the extra weight on the chin! Mind you, the 108’s are only around 2300g, Faction Candide 3.0 with Dynafit Speed Turns........
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Consider ski length if your routes will require lots of conversions. They’re easier with shorter skis. I noticed a real difference between my old Mythics 184 and the new Camox Freeride 178 - easy as pie with the shorter Camox. If you’re not doing lots of conversions, then as long as you like...
Touring with wider skis you notice, when not breaking the trail, that your skis can struggle to sit in established narrower tracks and on slopes you will have edges overhanging - small consideration.
2/3 on 96s
1/3 on 112s
0/0 on 124s - not good value for money
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 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?
It really depends on year and conditions for me. This year we had relatively low amount of snow down here in SE Alps, so in my case I was about 60% on Rossi Seek7 (85mm), 35% on Rossi Super7 (120mm) and some 5% on Rossi Soul7 (106mm). Last season was completely different and I spent 90% on Super7. So I would say it's impossible to say on general, as things are completely different from one year to another, and it doesn't depend so much on you but on conditions mother nature gives to you Smile
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@Grinning, sorry but what's a conversion Puzzled

Do you mean kick turns?
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@Weathercam, I reckon that's what @Grinning means, Googled it tho and came up with zilch.......
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Isn't a "conversion" putting on or taking off skins ?
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http://youtube.com/v/2JD0ATvSJHw


http://youtube.com/v/i7VrGhgSPww
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
altis wrote:
Themasterpiece wrote:

Why would radius need to be large?

As FatalSavoiur has found out with the Tour 82s and their 16m radius, heavily waisted skis are a 'mare on breakable crust - and not so nice on icey rising traverses either. Something more like straight planks make life easier.


That’s not something I heard before. Must be why I’m so rubbish on breakable crust on my Line Sir Francis Bacons with 17.7m radius Toofy Grin
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Well I've ski toured with a lot of Frenchies over the years and I've never heard the term Puzzled

Trust them to come up with a name like that Laughing

No doubt Davidoff will disagree Toofy Grin


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Thu 18-04-19 20:13; edited 1 time in total
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@DB, ah, if I'd Googled it in French it would've worked! Seriously no mention of it with an English search........
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The principle is language independent Very Happy - it’s easier with shorter skis
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