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Powder ski width

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I've started thinking about grabbing some new powder skis. I've been skiing Fischer Big Stix 110 and have loved them. Looking forward, I'm not sure what waist width I want to get. A few years ago I go lucky enough to hit a demo day at Cannon with over 20" of powder the night before. Everything I tried from Icelantic I loved. The Nomad 105 was especially nice in that afternoon as it just gobbled up the crud. The Icelantic Nomad 115 is also an option.

What is everyone else skiing?

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90 mm Nordica Steadfast. Or my older 100 mm Surface Watch Lifes. I can appreciate having more float but if that comes at the expense of added weight or a lot of extra stiffness I will stick to my dailys for powder. Here in the East we don't have wide open bowls where u are getting untouched pow for 500'+ vert at a time where u can let the skis run and float.

The pow gets chopped up quickly and once it does I like having a more all around ski

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I have Norica Vagabonds as a powder ski, which is 107. I probably should have gone with the 185 over the 177 or had the bindings mounted a bit further back. 90% of the time they offer sufficient float, but occasionally I do get tip dive and go over the handle bars. I have lost 20-25# though, so maybe that helps correct the problem for the upcoming season.

 

While I did use those skis about 10 times last season when I found myself in conditions deeper than 8", I would often switch them out for the Steadfasts half way through the day when things became mostly tracked out. They are simply much quicker edge to edge for charging variable snow and the bumps that quickly develop on storm days. At 90, the Steadfasts handle powder pretty well, they just require more work and focus, so I become fatigued faster than on the Vagabonds.

 

If I were to replace the Vagabonds, it probably would be with something like the Enforcer 110. I can't ever really see me needing to go wider than that for an EC powder ski.

 

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My Gotoma's are 107 but my Icelantics are 119......they can be a little work but certainly help with float.

The pioneers look interesting but I have yet to try......they do have different widths ! 96  and 109...edited width....they changed them up

Love the Icelantics, they seem bulletproof....so far

 

Edited by ABV

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Good feedback from xwhaler and DHS.  I got my Vagabonds (107mm underfoot) a few years ago (2014?) around the same time as DHS.  I've been doing more skiing out west than in the East in the last few years and I use them as a daily driver about 70% of the time in Utah and CO.  On firmer western days I've got some options in the 85 to 100mm range thanks to son's quiver. The Vagabonds are ostensibly my powder ski and work fine for me in ~12" or less new snow.  They are also good in soft spring snow and regular packed powder conditions.  Every ski is good in packed powder:-)  On deeper powder days (12" plus) the Vagabonds can feel a little wimpy (or is it me that is the wimp?) and I've been able to borrow something larger like Volkl One (116mm underfoot) from my son who instructs at Snowbird.   On a serious powder day at Snowbird most of the hard chargers are on 120-140mm skis, but I agree with xwhaler that those would probably be overkill for the East.  I skied one deep powder day with a strong skier at Snowbird who was on 142mm skis. He was skiing far better than me, but not without a lot of effort to manage those skis.  Bottom line for weatherman, current 110mm is not a bad number for eastern powder ski as it's wide enough for some float in 12" plus, but not too much of a dog to maneuver in other conditions.  If you're a fairly big guy the 116mm revision substraction might be good, but I don't know anything else about that ski.  

For Eastern skiing I have a newer 80mm ski and an old 94mm ski, but also sometimes have the Vagabonds although they usually stay in Utah.

Edited by JimK

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The Vag is soft. I think it has a foam core. The Enforcer 110 is the opposite end of the spectrum. I tried it last spring and fell in love. Unfortunately I have a hard time justifying the price tag -- $750 sticker though I could easily get 15% off that right now.

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I've gone through a bunch of skis in the past few years ranging from 90 to 100 to 115 underfoot.  I'm pretty satisfied with the Big Stix 100s.  For me they are the sweet spot between float and maneuverability.   For awhile I had Dynastar Huge Troubles at 115 underfoot.  They were an absolute blast in fresh pow and completely crushed choppy pow.  I wish I had kept them for that reason. But they were brutally unmaneuverable in the trees so I ditched them after a couple of scary crashes. 

Take my input with a grain of salt....when it gets deep I'll always rather be on a snowboard than skis!

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The Vag is soft. I think it has a foam core. The Enforcer 110 is the opposite end of the spectrum. I tried it last spring and fell in love. Unfortunately I have a hard time justifying the price tag -- $750 sticker though I could easily get 15% off that right now.


It is definitely a soft ski. I was somewhat surprised how much stiffer the Steadfast is. Usually as you go up in width in a particular series of skis, the wider you go, the stiffer. Not so with the Hell and Back series

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On 9/6/2017 at 8:10 PM, xwhaler said:

 Here in the East we don't have wide open bowls where u are getting untouched pow for 500'+ vert at a time where u can let the skis run and float.


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If you charge hard enough they will float on anything, or at least come off the surface. 

Love my Russian 110s. They ended up being my daily most days last year. I never felt like I needed anything wider. In terms of staying on top, the October and November storms at K in which they got 10" (with no base under) I was able to ski trails in the Canyon and Snowdon without hitting grass/what was beneath.

 

Edited by Flying Yeti

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Width of the skis is only one parameter and cannot be taken along. It's like comparing sports cars only by horsepower.

My go to Pow skis is only 100 underfoot. Maybe this surprisingly sound of some I had no problem floats probably only 3 to 5 inches deep on truly bottomless days

imo 110 I would go the widest as a daily driver here or out West. Well.... I should say not any 110 but MadRussian 110 lol

my new pow skis is 102 underfoot

 

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My Dynastar Cham 97 seemed to do pretty well in powder.  The shovel was wide and rockered really nice so that was great for front float - where they fell short was in the tail which was flat and not that wide so it would sink and smearing a surfy powder turn was work.  This year I am experimenting with the Salomon Rockr 2 that I got on the cheap and a used demo ski.  The design is interesting with it having different flex patterns on the tip and tail.  I am interested in giving them a shot.  I do plan on demoing other skis as well.  The one ski that I did like a lot was the Icelantic Nomad 105 but I skied on a non powder day but worked well as a daily driver.  Some of the highest rated skis for powder are in the 100-110 range.

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I have Norica Vagabonds as a powder ski, which is 107. I probably should have gone with the 185 over the 177 or had the bindings mounted a bit further back. 90% of the time they offer sufficient float, but occasionally I do get tip dive and go over the handle bars. I have lost 20-25# though, so maybe that helps correct the problem for the upcoming season.
 
While I did use those skis about 10 times last season when I found myself in conditions deeper than 8", I would often switch them out for the Steadfasts half way through the day when things became mostly tracked out. They are simply much quicker edge to edge for charging variable snow and the bumps that quickly develop on storm days. At 90, the Steadfasts handle powder pretty well, they just require more work and focus, so I become fatigued faster than on the Vagabonds.
 
If I were to replace the Vagabonds, it probably would be with something like the Enforcer 110. I can't ever really see me needing to go wider than that for an EC powder ski.
 
Sent from my XT1565 using Northeast Mountain Sports mobile app
 
 
 
 
I have a pair of 185s I would consider selling cheap to a friend!!

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13 hours ago, Infinite Dreams said:

I have a pair of 185s I would consider selling cheap to a friend!!

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Haha

Maybe I'll buy them from you next Tuesday on my anniversary.  See what my wife's reaction is and how solid our relationship truly is!

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I love my dps wailer - 112 underfoot. It is great unless you are snorkeling. They are getting old now, but still great given I barely use them. Dps is worth a look imho

Edited by kdaffy

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I picked up a pair of Volkl Kuros a couple years ago. They're insanely wide, 132 underfoot. They're really big mountain skis, not powder skis, but I'm happy with them. They're pretty stiff, metal top sheet. They do ski chop well, and are pretty fun on anything but ice. Much better in powder than anything else I own.
0d7c6d30db09d25c4dcf420ccb626507.jpg
Here's one of them next to a water ski the shop happened to have on hand. The water ski is a tad wider, but the Kuro has more surface area. I haven't tried them on the lake yet. I would like to get towed behind my buddy's snowmobile on them sometime.

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Those are awesome [mention=267]Cornhead[/mention]. 

 

Thanks, I ski Snow Ridge in North Central NY quite a bit. They average more snow annually than Stowe. Lake effect storm totals of 2ft + are common. Snow Ridge is not steep, baring the ravine extreme skier's left, a short, but fun part of the terrain. The vertical drop is only 500ft. Snow Ridge is the only place I've ever become stuck in the snow while skiing. It was opening day December 13th, 2013. They opened with 54".

 

It was one of the most surreal experiences of my skiing life. They groomed one groomer width swath on the edge of the two main trails. You had to pick up speed on the swath, cut into the snow, and then get back to the groomed before you ran out of kinetic energy. I made the mistake of heading straight down the middle of South Slope early in the morning. I slowly came to a stop. I was on 98 underfoot Mantras. Now what? Take my skis off and try to slog to the groomed swath some 50 yrds away? Leave skis on and work my way over? This is what I did. It was torturous. Wiggle one ski up towards the surface, step on that ski, now the other ski was behind me under 4 ft of snow. Wiggle that ski towards the surface, step forward, repeat for a half hour until you reach the swath. Twice ski patrol stopped uphill of me on the swath and just watched me for a couple minutes saying nothing. They just wanted to make sure I could make it out. I collapsed on to the groomed when I finally got there, drenched in sweat, grateful that I didn't have the big one. I rested for a few minutes before heading downhill. I don't think taking my skis off would've been any better. It is counterintuitive, but if I had it to do over again I'd take my skis off and follow my tracks back uphill. Overcoming gravity would've been easier than overcoming 4 ft of snow.

 

Finally a boarder made it all the way down. You could now use his track to maintain forward momentum. You didn't have to stay in his track, just stay close and use it to regain speed when needed. It was nearly impossible to get up if you fell. I helped several people get up throughout the day. Ski patrol spent the day trying to find the skis of those unlucky enough to become separated from their skis, I didn't see them find any.

944af64ea6265858744cc0273452f5d0.jpgb6da0d5ad9ed39ac3a2fd14f21c1ab74.jpg95d16b250232d458dc75920159d76dda.jpg

Anyway, the Kuros get a workout at Snow Ridge often, and I haven't gotten stuck on them. I was happy to have many occasions to use them elsewhere last year, and I'm hopeful they get used often this season. I skied McCauley Mountain in Old Forge for the first time last season. On my second visit they got 2ft of LES overnight. McCauley has the steepness Snow Ridge lacks. They are further away from Lake Ontario, so the don't get as much snow, or as often as Snow Ridge, but when they do, it is sheer bliss. Amazing tree skiing too. It happened to be a Friday, Friday's lift tickets are $12. Undoubtedly the best $12 purchase of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 9/7/2017 at 10:07 AM, Cannonballer said:

I've gone through a bunch of skis in the past few years ranging from 90 to 100 to 115 underfoot.  I'm pretty satisfied with the Big Stix 100s.  For me they are the sweet spot between float and maneuverability.

I'm on the Big Stix 100s as well and completely agree. I'll easily buy another pair once my current pair expires.

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20 hours ago, Cornhead said:

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, I ski Snow Ridge in North Central NY quite a bit. They average more snow annually than Stowe. Lake effect storm totals of 2ft + are common. Snow Ridge is not steep, baring the ravine extreme skier's left, a short, but fun part of the terrain. The vertical drop is only 500ft. Snow Ridge is the only place I've ever become stuck in the snow while skiing. It was opening day December 13th, 2013. They opened with 54".

 

It was one of the most surreal experiences of my skiing life. They groomed one groomer width swath on the edge of the two main trails. You had to pick up speed on the swath, cut into the snow, and then get back to the groomed before you ran out of kinetic energy. I made the mistake of heading straight down the middle of South Slope early in the morning. I slowly came to a stop. I was on 98 underfoot Mantras. Now what? Take my skis off and try to slog to the groomed swath some 50 yrds away? Leave skis on and work my way over? This is what I did. It was torturous. Wiggle one ski up towards the surface, step on that ski, now the other ski was behind me under 4 ft of snow. Wiggle that ski towards the surface, step forward, repeat for a half hour until you reach the swath. Twice ski patrol stopped uphill of me on the swath and just watched me for a couple minutes saying nothing. They just wanted to make sure I could make it out. I collapsed on to the groomed when I finally got there, drenched in sweat, grateful that I didn't have the big one. I rested for a few minutes before heading downhill. I don't think taking my skis off would've been any better. It is counterintuitive, but if I had it to do over again I'd take my skis off and follow my tracks back uphill. Overcoming gravity would've been easier than overcoming 4 ft of snow.

 

Finally a boarder made it all the way down. You could now use his track to maintain forward momentum. You didn't have to stay in his track, just stay close and use it to regain speed when needed. It was nearly impossible to get up if you fell. I helped several people get up throughout the day. Ski patrol spent the day trying to find the skis of those unlucky enough to become separated from their skis, I didn't see them find any.

944af64ea6265858744cc0273452f5d0.jpgb6da0d5ad9ed39ac3a2fd14f21c1ab74.jpg95d16b250232d458dc75920159d76dda.jpg

Anyway, the Kuros get a workout at Snow Ridge often, and I haven't gotten stuck on them. I was happy to have many occasions to use them elsewhere last year, and I'm hopeful they get used often this season. I skied McCauley Mountain in Old Forge for the first time last season. On my second visit they got 2ft of LES overnight. McCauley has the steepness Snow Ridge lacks. They are further away from Lake Ontario, so the don't get as much snow, or as often as Snow Ridge, but when they do, it is sheer bliss. Amazing tree skiing too. It happened to be a Friday, Friday's lift tickets are $12. Undoubtedly the best $12 purchase of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my [device_name] using http://Northeast Mountain Sports mobile app

 

 

 

Too much snow to move? Sounds terrible. I'm not sure how you survived.

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On 11/24/2017 at 5:57 PM, Weatherman said:

Too much snow to move? Sounds terrible. I'm not sure how you survived.

Does pay to know the terrain when the snow is really, really deep.  The deepest fresh powder I've been in was 25 inches first thing in the morning at Alta, with another 8 inches by mid-afternoon.  On one run, a friend who is 6'2" tried a different way in between groomers on the lower side of Collins.  Looking back I saw his head suddenly drop as he reached a dip.  Luckily another friend was behind him.  Snow was at least 5 feet deep as I understand it.  Took a LONG time for him to get going again even with help.  Even though he didn't have to look for a ski.

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I have a pair of Black Diamond Amps that are 110. They float and bust through chop and crud with ease. They aren't bad on groomers either. They are very light. Once the season gets going I use them most of the time. early season I like using them when they are blowing snow but my other pair are only 80 underfoot and they work better on East coast thaw/freeze.

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3 hours ago, Smellytele said:

I have a pair of Black Diamond Amps that are 110. They float and bust through chop and crud with ease. They aren't bad on groomers either. They are very light. Once the season gets going I use them most of the time. early season I like using them when they are blowing snow but my other pair are only 80 underfoot and they work better on East coast thaw/freeze.

That's always the difficulty I have early season. The skis that handle freshly blown manmade the best often suck at the ice that usually accompanies it. The solid metal camber skis that I'd want for ice aren't as much fun in the fresh manmade straight from the gun. 

Edited by Jully

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