Recommend a powder ski for an ex-racer

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by Jamey, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Jamey

    Jamey At the base lodge Skier

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    Looking for a ski recommendation to make powder days fun and help bust through choppy conditions. I'm tired of getting beaten up on my race boards on ungroomed terrain.

    Uses: trees and powder days

    Primary Location: Mt Bachelor and Mt Hood (Oregon)

    History: I grew up skiing on the east coast and raced in college. Moved west after grad school and experienced my first powder day last year. I've been muscling through on my SL boards, but bit the bullet and demoed a pair of 172cm Rossi Soul 7 HDs on a recent trip with a few feet of fresh snow. For the first time, I wasn't miserable at the end of each run and wishing for ice instead.

    Overall, I enjoyed the Soul 7s: lightweight, decent float, good maneuverability, ok edge hold getting back to the lift, a little chattery (maybe a bit longer would have been better?)

    Stats: 5'7" 135lbs male

    Will be keeping my SL and GS skis for non-powder days

    Thanks for the help
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  2. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

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    The Souls sound too short. That’s the same length I would ski at 5’2”/featherweight, strong skier (but definitely not as fast/charge-y as my ex-racer friends).

    Are you looking for a good everyday-fat western ski (10Something is primo for the PNW) or a true powder ski that’s 115-130 underfoot?

    And do you want to maintain the smeary-ness & maneuverability of the Rossi’s (something like a Black Crows Atris, K2 Pinnacle 105, Backland 107, QST 106 comes to mind) or something built for the aggressive, heavyweight, power skier (ie the Black Crows Corvus or Blizzard Cochise)? There are a few options that sit a little in between - I’d put the Rustlers, Enforcers, and 100eight in that category.
     
  3. Thread Starter
    TS
    Jamey

    Jamey At the base lodge Skier

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    In my mind, something 105-115mm sounded about right as I still only get a handful of powder days per season and they could double as crud busters. Then again, this was my first time skiing something over 70mm in over 10 years so my perspective may be a bit warped. Also, the concept of a fully rockered ski sounds extremely squirley on anything but deep powder, but maybe I just need to try one (the 100eight caught my eye in that category). Naturally, with a racing background, something with a bit more bite catches my attention.

    The Rossi's were a spontaneous demo after a day in knee deep powder on my SL boards so my options were limited, but they were still such a dramatic improvement so I'm in the market. I'm hoping to demo a few more before the season ends then keep an eye out on the used market in the offseason.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  4. SpikeDog

    SpikeDog You want Big Air, kid? Skier

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    A little off topic, but how many colleges have race programs these days? There must be literally thousands of ex-racers from the East coast out there.
     
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  5. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

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    Hit Meadows for their March demo day or pop up to Crystal for theirs. If you're not sure how you feel about full rocker or tip taper or five point side cut, it makes it really easy to get on a lot of different setups. You don't really have enough time to feel out which ones you like best, but you definitely learn which ones you can't click out of fast enough. Even if you don't try everything, it's easy to fill in the gaps once you find a few you like.
     


  6. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Putting on skis Skier

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    4Frnt Devastators?
     
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  7. Slim

    Slim Getting off the lift Skier

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    I should just put “What @Analisa said” on copy-paste. ogsmile

    Aside from that, if you are only 135 lbs, and have race bred technique, I bet any number of 95-105mm wide skis would offer you plenty of soft snow performance, while still be a lot lighter(a trait you mention as a positive), without giving up strength (you mention crud-busting).

    Also, on not-so-fresh-snow days, a slightly narrower ski will be easier to fit in the moguls (you mention trees, with no fresh snow, trees are just moguls with poles stuck in them).

    If you want to start getting an overview, it’s hard to beat the Blister Buyers guide . It is a large overview of skis, arranged on a spectrum.

    Ski essentials also has some “group overview” videos where they line up about 10 skis in a class and show the range.
     
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  8. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    A Soul 7 is about the last fat ski one would recommend for an ex racer.
    Bonafide, nordica enforcer 100, 104 (new), even 93 for an all around.
    Older kastle fx104, (if bargain hunting)

    I think the question is do you really want a "powder ski" or something fatish that's good in cutup? The Bonafides, enforcer 93 might do just fine.
     
  9. Superbman

    Superbman Getting on the lift Skier

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    if you can find a slightly used Icelantic Shaman 184cm, you'd be happy. Actually, at your weight, you can grab the new 173cm Shaman Chronicles. I ski with three ex-racers who destroy the off piste...all on shamans.
     
  10. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    At 135 pounds, you might look at carvey women's powder skis.

    The softer flex will help them plane better in the pow.

    The carviest pow ski I've been on has been the Fischer Ranger 115, but I fear it would be overly stiff for your weight.
     
  11. Ron

    Ron Don't judge a ski by its width underfoot! Pugski Ski Tester

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    you really have two classes of "powder" skis. the first is a ski that will float in up to. a foot or so but is much more of a directional charger, like bonafide, New Liberty Evolve 100, Nordica 100, the second class is going to be the more surfy, loose. these are going to have more rocker, more flex. examples, are Liberty Origin series, Head Kore, Sali QST, K2 Mindbenders, Moment Deathwish or Wildcats, ON3P Kartels or BG's or even a BentChetler 120 .

    My question is I read in your post you demoed a SoulHD in SEVERAL feet of powder. Although we all wish for every day to be several feet of pow, what are your realistic expectations of the ski? As a racer, I would imagine you can handle just about any ski but you may prefer the more directional charger. Let us know.
     
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  12. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    Ditto and the Kore 105 or greater, Icelantic Nomad, J SKi The Metal, etc. The list can go on for ever. :)
     
  13. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    IMHO the Head Kores are too stiff for you.

    I would check out skis like the Kastle BMX105, Black Crows Navis, Dynastar Legend 106, Salomon QST 106, Armada Tracer 108 etc.
     
  14. Ron

    Ron Don't judge a ski by its width underfoot! Pugski Ski Tester

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    Kores are no more stiff than many you listed and ski very well. as a racer, he can most likely handle a ski with more stiffness.
     
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  15. SSSdave

    SSSdave life is short precious ...don't waste it Skier

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    We are almost the same height weight and so is Tricia so read her reviews. Am not a gear person thus not personally familiar with current model skis. Your answer somewhat depends on how you want to ski fresh powder. Given your region at resort altitudes has even heavier powder on average than Tahoe, you might go with a bit firmer all mountain ski.

    The Soul 7 you demoed is evolved from and very similar to my 2012 S7. A soft powder ski with an even balanced flex for bouncing in its center and an all mountain style shovel/tail. There seems to be 2 basic powder skiing styles on fat skis in this era, the majority tend to turn less glancing off the snow surface from turn to turn with higher speed longer turns. Especially popular with pro all mountain skiers in their commercial videos. Also popular with many non-advanced skiers that do not have skill skiing powder direct fall lines and instead tend to somewhat traverse diagonally across snow without turning much at all. A minority, especially we older folk that learned to ski on narrower classic skis, may prefer slower shorter turn bouncing. It is ok on tracked out cut up powder but not the ideal tool for a range of powder. My current thread with pictures shows I do so with the best:

    https://www.pugski.com/threads/dodge-ridge-31-fresh.14075/

    In the past I owned wide tank-like Volant Chubbs so understand both styles. And much prefer the visceral sensation of relaxed bouncing S-turns. Some will whine about that style requiring too much effort and energy but that is mainly an issue of technique. Same thing with bump skiing haha. I readily efficiently ski long fall lines in powder in a relaxed balanced pleasurable manner. However with denser higher water content snow preventing my S7's from getting much into snow such is not ideal as it picks up too much speed and would prefer mid fat all mountain boards. In Sierra Cement like with this current storm, I simply don't bother skiing unless am skiing during the actual storm while the crystals are still loose.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  16. S.H.

    S.H. USSA Coach Skier

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    I believe there are 23 NCAA Alpine programs (14 east 9 west).
    There are about 128 schools with USCSA Alpine programs across the country for 2019.

    There are a handful of schools with both (e.g., UVM, Dartmouth, SLU, CU, DU) where the USCSA team is a club unaffiliated with the NCAA program.

    USSA registrations from the East dwarf the other divisions, I'm fairly certain. So yeah, there are (and there will be).
     
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  17. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

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    I wouldn’t write off anything as too stiff until you do some more demoing. If you were an intermediate, sure, but there are a lot of shades of expert. Plus some manufactures scale their core and size so that the shorter sizes flex a little easier. Like, the Bonafides and Brahmas are “big, strong, aggressive dude” skis, but when you get down to the 166 size, it’s not built for a Clyde. (But likewise sometimes the scaling can be a little awkward where the reference ski at 185 might be a winner, but might not get that perfectly translated down to the 167). I get the whole “that’s an awful lot of ski for you, little lady” a lot, but as long I don’t have to push the sizing in order to ski the opening size for some mens’ skis, there’s typically no problem with them feeling overwhelming or overly cumbersome.

    I wouldn’t go much softer than the Souls (like I’d skip the TST/JJs, Candides, whatever ski is the “brother” to the Maidens). There’s a lot of powder out here in the PNW, but sometimes it’s on top of a rain crust where you’re skiing ice by the end of the day, or fresh snow gets hot and heavy as the day warms up (or it's good at the summit and manky at the bottom). The people I know who have a 90ish crud ski and a 110+ powder ski are usually doing a lot of mental calculus around which ski works best when the snow's going to be variable. Find you a ski that can do both. (That being said, add the Legend X 106 to your list as well).
     
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  18. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Do they have any experience on any other skis?
     
  19. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    No, just race skis and a 172 Soul 7. Op is around 135#, 5'7".
     
  20. Thread Starter
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    Jamey

    Jamey At the base lodge Skier

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    As several of you mention, some all around performance is important due to the variable conditions and the realistic situation that I can't base my work schedule around powder days. My primary goal is to make powder skiing fun while maintaining some performance in crud and groomers. If I end up lucky enough to ski powder all day long a bunch of times per year, then I will consider something more dedicated. With this in mind, something stiffer with a bit more control would probably be better. I'll have to ask around and see what is available at my local shops to try.

    The Shamans look like they would be a fun ski, but I have to wonder why it seems like every current powder ski has rockered tips...would love to try it if I can find one though.
     

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