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Seeking advice on off-piste skis / skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
drporat wrote:
@Old Fartbag, indeed. I tought myself to shut up if I can't find something good/useful to say.
It's against my inner nature but it's nicer this way.
That is, until I fall because a fat boarder decided to stop on my skis.

Seems fair enough to me.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@drporat, you are too polite

Do the Bash. It can never be a bad plan.
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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?
Just a thought. When you’re on your course you probably don’t want to be chopping and changing skis. It would be a good idea to be happy with what you’ll be using from the start.
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@drporat, Japan is all well and good, but it’s a long way to go. I understand it’s more or less guaranteed powder ... but still. (I also understand, despite Mike Pow’s protesting, that it’s not particularly steep, mostly).

Powder is not the be all and end all. (I can’t believe I just typed that!).

I have spent a week skiing hard pack in Utah. Admittedly I had a totally awesomely joyous day in Wyoming, one of the best. But a chum has driven from Jackson to California (or somewhere equally distant) because there was no snow.

Which is why powder chasing is a bit of a mug’s game.

But - for me - off piste is more about challenge, intellect, testing and remaking of skills and just being out in mountains, with fewer people. And fun with chums.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@under a new name, I totally respect that.
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@drporat, that said, a bluebird powder morning is quite the motivation after a big night out...

Morning of New Year’s day 2018 ... 15 cms fresh on a fresh base ...

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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Not much to add. Demo and figure out what you like and then buy something cheap in the spring. Also there is limited point in putting an alpine binding on skis for off piste. You will want to tour fairly quickly. Not necessarily very far but the ability to go up 300m from the lifts to reach untracked snow is invaluable.
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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!
under a new name wrote:
I have to admit I’m not entirely sure what the point of the Rustler range is - seems to broadly duplicate the Brahma/Bonafide/Cochise geometries.

But I haven’t investigated at all.


Really great skis. I bought the 11’s after testing in Jackson Hole and a female friend raved about the 9’s. Cochise had a reputation for being stiff. I can say that the 11’s have the perfect balance between stability on hard pack versus float in powder.

For a light guy like the OP the 9’s and 10’s would be worth trying.

“The smooth rocker-camber-rocker profile make it responsive and stable yet super playful in softer snow and powder conditions and on any type of terrain. The Rustler 11 is the ultimate resort powder ski”
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@BobinCH, So the Rustlers are a little wider and I guess a little softer than their All-Mtn siblings?
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under a new name wrote:
@BobinCH, So the Rustlers are a little wider and I guess a little softer than their All-Mtn siblings?


Yes. I would think a much more accessible ski than the Cochise
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@BobinCH, sound rather nice. Not sure the Cochise is all that much of a handful though!
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 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.
gorilla wrote:
Also there is limited point in putting an alpine binding on skis for off piste. You will want to tour fairly quickly. Not necessarily very far but the ability to go up 300m from the lifts to reach untracked snow is invaluable.


Perhaps with bindings like Shift now available. Not so sure before this. Reassuring to have a proper alpine binding in challenging off piste terrain!
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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
under a new name wrote:
@BobinCH, sound rather nice. Not sure the Cochise is all that much of a handful though!


I never tried them but thought they had a reputation for being very stiff?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@BobinCH, with you on the Shifts. I didn't think the Cochise had that sort of rep? Haven't skied them mind you.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Returning to your inquiry,@diaphon, I'll offer a different approach. Yes, try some different skis, they vary a lot. As you see, many opinions out there from informed people but yours is the one that matters. Demo days are great for this. But mainly, just get out there and practice with whatever skis you've got. Love the one you're with! No ski can substitute for reps. Force yourself to go get humbled in the crud for a portion of each day rather than giving in to the corduroy, and pretty soon you will notice improvement, and quadriceps. And stay in the fall line!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
These skis all sound incredibly exciting, and the photos of the off-piste runs look great. The whole thread has been very educational! @Scooter in Seattle, you make a good point - mileage off-piste will be a good guide. And@jbob's probably right to say that when I'm on the Snoworks course I should perhaps just focus on the course rather than on evaluating different skis. I'm going to be in Tignes for a few days before and a few days after the course, so I can swap out skis on those days (and indeed in the afternoon free-ski times after the course). I have a great list of skis to look at now, thanks all!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@diaphon, @Scooter in Seattle, does make a good point Happy

My first (full) season was probably my steepest bit of the learning curve so far - although I was on straight skis (Volkl detuned race, to the extent that anything was anything...) at one point our tame rental shop refused (quite reasonably) to rent us anything decent as the snow was so rubbish.

So I spent one week on 205cms Atomic ARC GS (the iconic "Red Sled") which were so knackered there was no plastic underfoot and unless you were carving pretty perfectly, the protruding edges caught on the snow - you soon learned when you weren't carving ... Shocked

And then two weeks on solid wood, 175cm Rossis, which one instructor was convinced were from 1956. (This was in 1988).

Very interesting, great to play on, if a tiny, weeny bit masochistic. At least they had metal edges and a plastic base.

What doesn't kill ya', etc.
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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?
@under a new name, completely agree about there being some value in having to cope with imperfect equipment. I have a friend who keeps trying to convince me that we should be skiing in full tweed!
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As for imperfect equipment, I heard this story, maybe its true: Didier Cuche (Swiss World Champion Downhiller) retired some years ago, and as the story goes, a day or two after his last race there was some sort of celebration, for which Cuche appeared on snow in period costume and ski equipment, meaning in relevant part, mile-long wood skis with no edges, bear trap bindings and lace-up leather boots. And World Champion Didier Cuche could barely stay on his feet! Admittedly it was on super-hard snow, but still: the gear we have...what the pioneers of the sport would've given for it!
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@Scooter in Seattle,

Like this?


http://youtube.com/v/lFllPxLEEd0
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@Tom Doc, yes sir! Fun, good of you to post that. Dude was as strong as an ox and looked like we all looked and felt when we were novices.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Scooter in Seattle, he was game to do it. Makes you appreciate modern equipment.

My first ever day's touring was with UCPA a few years ago, and one of the Swedes in the group had done a few days before - in his National service. On wooden skis with no edges. Character building!
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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!
@Tom Doc, I looked for that clip and couldn’t find it, well done! Amazing what a difference equipment makes, watch his leather boots wobble in their bindings.
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diaphon wrote:
@Tom Doc, I looked for that clip and couldn’t find it, well done! Amazing what a difference equipment makes, watch his leather boots wobble in their bindings.

I think a lot lot skiing back then was done on unpisted terrain, where edges were less important. You earned your run, by hiking up.
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Old Fartbag wrote:
diaphon wrote:
@Tom Doc, I looked for that clip and couldn’t find it, well done! Amazing what a difference equipment makes, watch his leather boots wobble in their bindings.

I think a lot lot skiing back then was done on unpisted terrain, where edges were less important. You earned your run, by hiking up.

Race courses were prepared by sidestepping up, there were no piste grooming machines. The slope that he is skiing on will have been prepared by injecting water into the snow.
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rjs wrote:
Old Fartbag wrote:
diaphon wrote:
@Tom Doc, I looked for that clip and couldn’t find it, well done! Amazing what a difference equipment makes, watch his leather boots wobble in their bindings.

I think a lot lot skiing back then was done on unpisted terrain, where edges were less important. You earned your run, by hiking up.

Race courses were prepared by sidestepping up, there were no piste grooming machines. The slope that he is skiing on will have been prepared by injecting water into the snow.

Exactly my point......still difficult though.

A bit like putting someone who has only skied on a modern 165 Carving ski, with a Radius of 13m, on a set of 2m straight skis (r=60m?).....or only skied off piste on 110mm width complete with reverse camber, on a Straight Ski with 62mm width.
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 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.
diaphon wrote:
@Tom Doc, I looked for that clip and couldn’t find it, well done! Amazing what a difference equipment makes, watch his leather boots wobble in their bindings.


Scary!
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 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
Tom Doc wrote:
@Scooter in Seattle,

Like this?


http://youtube.com/v/lFllPxLEEd0



Wow, a video of @Alastair Pink before he took up telemarking. Cool.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
"No matter what people say, 90-100mm skis for piste is like going with tractor to F1 race track"

"In my humble opinion, anything wider than 80 is so boring on piste that it will spoil your day. "

I used to think like this, especially after trying Rossi sky7 hds, ok on deeper but horrid on piste.

I did my research, looking for a wide ski with a small turn radius & bought some 95mm skis with a 16m turn radius, ok, they chatter a bit when carving hard black runs but on gentler runs & softer snow they are fantastic carvers, the extra width allowing me to get the ski almost perpendicular to the snow in the turns. It took me a few weeks to really tune myself into them after skiing skinnies for 30+ years but I will say my 95mm skis are fantastic piste skis.

With me at 90kg the 95s still sink a bit offpiste so I'm looking at the Nordica Enforcer 110s.

A lot of the wider skis are 23m+ turn radius, I would have to try some to give a true opinion but I suspect that I would be bored on piste.

I'm not entirely convinced about length recommendations, again, I want to try identical skis in different lengths, my instinct says if you want big high speed turns, go long. If you like quick, super agile turns, in & out the trees & bumps, go short.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Check out the list of Snoworks partners, their recommendation will make some sense then wink
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@chocksaway, that's a fair point but in their defense, Snoworks hasn't recommended the Salomon ski over other skis - it just happens to be the only ski they make available for hire.

In fact I haven't even committed to the Snoworks course yet, so if anyone thinks I should reconsider please do let me know! I think there are a lot of off-piste instruction options in Tignes.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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diaphon wrote:
@under a new name, completely agree about there being some value in having to cope with imperfect equipment. I have a friend who keeps trying to convince me that we should be skiing in full tweed!


You know the esteemed Mr Pink and I claim my £5.
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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?
I have Nordica Enforcer 100s and definitely recommend them. Just feel right, and been around a while so you may be able to get some of last year's cheap Wink
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Quote:

still sink a bit offpiste


That is what is supposed to happen. You don't get thigh deep powder unless you are actually in it... duh.

My first skiing was 1970 on a pair of Fischer "Blue somethings" at 105cms with "bear trap" (??!?) bindings and welly boots*.

The next trip I graduated to lace up boots**. We were all fascinated by the cool shaggy haired Aussie instructor who had plastic (!) clip up (!) race boots. Which hurt so much he only used them to show off in the car park. I suspect he had quite a ripe "social" life that season.

* true
**true also
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
gorilla wrote:
Also there is limited point in putting an alpine binding on skis for off piste. You will want to tour fairly quickly. Not necessarily very far but the ability to go up 300m from the lifts to reach untracked snow is invaluable.

Not so sure about that...?
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Tom Doc wrote:
@Scooter in Seattle,

Like this?


http://youtube.com/v/lFllPxLEEd0


Those skis have metal edges. Here is some footage of Emile Allais on essentially the same kit, the front binding had been replaced with a little Look toe piece that can release in a fall, or not.


http://youtube.com/v/79JD3LZqKwM

the edges screw onto the skis and can be replaced if damaged. Cuche needed to adapt his style a bit although skiing a race prepped course isn't a great idea on that gear (even for a snowhead on modern gear for that matter).


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 23-09-19 9:29; edited 3 times in total
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@motdoc, I still use my approx 11 year old Enforcer 98s. Love em.
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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!
@Layne, that does make sense and I do think my ultimate goal is to do some ski touring. What do you all think about the Shift bindings? Seems like a good choice as I'm likely to be mostly downhill-oriented but will enjoy some hikes up.
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diaphon wrote:
Everyone, I'm a bit at sea on this issue, and having spent far too much time reading reviews and looking at videos, I'd like to just get some advice from people that know.

I'm starting to get interested in more serious off-piste skiing, and am considering the Snoworks course in Tignes this December. They recommend (and hire out) the Salomon QST 88, but given that I'm already planning 2 other trips this winter, and given that I want to be off-piste much more often, I think it makes sense to buy.

My current skis are the only ones I've owned, they're 2013/14 Rossi Pursuit 16's, 163cm long and 74mm wide underfoot. I bought them as a beginner when we lived in New England and I've really loved them, they are fun and they carve reasonably well. I don't mind that they're probably too short for me, or that they are beginner skis - I've hired skis many times and rarely found something that I have as much fun on as my own. Downsides are that they're heavy to carry around (they have metal layers) and when I'm skiing really fast they don't inspire total confidence. But I don't strongly feel that I need another piste ski.

From all of the reading and Internet research, I like the looks of the Blizzard Rustler 10, the Nordica Enforcer 100, the Fisher Ranger 98 Ti, and the Salomon QST 99. I wonder if any of you have a few on this list?

For background, I'm about 6' tall and 155 lbs. I think I'm a good intermediate skier - I'm comfortable on any of the black runs that I've come across, I can (ungracefully) get through well-formed mogul fields, and I have a bit of experience in deeper, soft Colorado snow. I maintain my own skis (so I already have all the equipment for that) and I already carry a ski bag when I travel, so it wouldn't be too difficult to add a second pair of skis.

I've demoed a few soft-snow oriented skis with mixed results. I tried a Rossi Soul 7 in 2015, it was amazing in really soft snow but horrible on anything mixed. I also tried a Blizzard Bonafide in 2015 and found it acceptable, not amazing - I didn't feel much of a relationship to that ski, it was a bit boring. I know it gets incredible reviews, though, and I just think maybe I'm not skilled enough to get more out of it. I've skied a Rossi Super 7 in 2016 and 2019, the first time in deep powder I loved it, the second time on mixed snow I hated it.

I'm going to try to get to Octobertest in Hemel Hempstead, but with family commitments it's going to be somewhat difficult. It would be great if anyone has ideas in the meantime. Thank you!


Much below 100mm and you won't get much better off-piste performance. Much above 100mm and you'll start noticing the lack of piste performance (if race carving is your thing).

QST99, Enforcer 100 or Rustler 10 would all work well and are all great skis.

QST is probably the easiest going of the bunch, by which I mean more on the fun/playful end of the spectrum than technical, and a bit more outright offpiste shaping rather than widened piste ski geometry. I suspect they'd be the better option for you and the easiest to learn and experiment on. I think Sky7 is the Rossignol equivalent - a little softer IIRC and might therefore lose a little piste performance.
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tangowaggon wrote:

With me at 90kg the 95s still sink a bit offpiste so I'm looking at the Nordica Enforcer 110s.

A lot of the wider skis are 23m+ turn radius, I would have to try some to give a true opinion but I suspect that I would be bored on piste.


Haven't heard anyone saying 20m+ radius GS skis are boring in piste wink

Big turns are fun too!
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