TimothyD11

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Respectfully request guidance on selecting the right powder skis. I'm a 185 pound 5'9" mid level skier that usually skis about 10 days a year in the east and 10 days a year in the west. I'm hoping to bump up the days I ski out west in the coming years. I am currently able to wait for what looks to be the most snow-packed week and then go at the last minute, so I'm looking to get one more set of skis appropriate for me, my skiing level, and those conditions. I have the Mountain Collective pass and I will be continuing to get it every year. I particularly like Alta, Powder Mountain, Jackson Hole and Grand Targhee, places that have a reputation of getting lots of high quality snow. I prefer being off piste in fresh snow on moderate terrain in nicely spaced out trees. The current skis I have which I intend to keep are Salomon Enduro RS 800 Ti skis, Salomon Rocker 2 90 skis and Nordica NRGy 100 skis. I'm considering one of the following, in the order of the way I am leaning (actually it's the first two I REALLY like and am having a hard time deciding upon, the third and fourth could be appropriate but they are currently third and fourth choices)

1) Atomic Backland FR 109
2) Salomon QST 106
3) K2 Pinnacle 105

and

4) Rossignol Sky HD

Full disclosure, which many of you may see if you frequent both forums, I have a similar thread at another forum, which shall be unnamed for now, but it seems to be in vogue to behave like a 13 year old over there and I cannot get a straight answer from anybody there.

Would appreciate any advice on skis, and no lectures on not needing skis or not being a good enough skier to justify getting skis or whatever!
 

Philpug

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Full disclosure, which many of you may see if you frequent both forums, I have a similar thread at another forum, which shall be unnamed for now, but it seems to be in vogue to behave like a 13 year old over there and I cannot get a straight answer from anybody there.

Can too-oo....;)

Actually, I like your top thee and no a bad choice in there. If it came down to graphics between them, go for it. The last two make your Sally and NRGy100 superfluous though.
 

Mike Thomas

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Yeah, 3 good choices. My only thought would be that you could go one step wider for a 'powder ski'... If you don't mind travelling with two pair of skis.

In that case I'd add-
Nordica Enforcer 110, Blizzard Rustler 11, maybe a Fischer Ranger 115. All will handle mixed snow, but if you get skunked you'd want a more versatile ski with you.
 
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TimothyD11

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Yeah, 3 good choices. My only thought would be that you could go one step wider for a 'powder ski'... If you don't mind travelling with two pair of skis.

In that case I'd add-
Nordica Enforcer 110, Blizzard Rustler 11, maybe a Fischer Ranger 115. All will handle mixed snow, but if you get skunked you'd want a more versatile ski with you.
I'd have to get a two pair hard shell case for checking on flight, and cost may be an issue too.

I get what you are saying, but would those wider skis be appropriate for a guy somewhere between intermediate and advanced? They are probably too much ski for me. I guess I'm looking for a forgiving intro powder ski.
 

coskigirl

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I love my Backland 109s. They are freshly tuned and heading to Alta with me on Monday with hopes of catching some leftovers from the weekend storm.
 
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TimothyD11

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Can too-oo....;)

Actually, I like your top thee and no a bad choice in there. If it came down to graphics between them, go for it.
Do you like one more than the other? Why or why not? All 3 make a good "intro" powder skis for that guy in between intermediate and advanced?
 

fatbob

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Strictly speaking your shortlist aren't powder skis but at 185lb you can probably get away with it.

From your list I'd pick Backland. Skied the QST's skinnier brother and found it a bit meh!
 

Mike Thomas

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I get what you are saying, but would those wider skis be appropriate for a guy somewhere between intermediate and advanced? They are probably too much ski for me. I guess I'm looking for a forgiving intro powder ski.
People aren't buying wider and more rockered powder skis because they are harder to ski...
 

BMC

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To be honest making a recommendation would be easier if I knew what other pair of skis you intend to take with you.

If you’re taking your Nordica NRG 100’s none of the skis you’ve mentioned are particularly differentiated. If you’re taking the Salomon Rockers 90mm or narrower then you have some differentiation.

The QST 106 gets excellent reviews as a powder (and all mountain, but especially powder) ski, so of your list that’s what I’d suggest. By all accounts it skis like a much wider ski in powder.

Incidentally while I haven’t skied the QST 106 I have skied the 99. Its definitely very forgiving off piste and I can attest it gives the support of a wider ski in powder. I can only imagine the 106 is much the same but of course floatier as it is 7mm wider.

If it was me though with your current Quiver I’d be looking for a somewhat wider ski - at least 110mm but more like 115mm. There are lots of skis in this boat but you could consider the QST 118, the K2 Pinnacle 118 and any number of similar skis.

Just as an eg my everyday travel ski is a Salomon QLab 103mm underfoot. It covers virtually anything. As it is stout it carves anything short of ice. And the Salomon profile is forgiving off piste. My next step up (in width) is 115mm underfoot. I think much less than that you’re not really going to feel much difference between the skis. Just as a further FYI my next step down is 88mm, again around 15mm differentiated.
 
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TimothyD11

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To be honest making a recommendation would be easier if I knew what other pair of skis you intend to take with you.
I appreciate everyone's help.

Being that I travel by air I will be bringing only one set of skis with me.

And I usually only go when there is a forecast for a lot of snow.

And so I'm looking for something that leans towards being a powder ski without getting something too much wider than I've even been on.

I think my first two choices are the ones, I'm just having difficulty deciding between them. I don't think either would be inappropriate, I'm just seeking the advice of people that have hands on experience with either or both of them.
 

François Pugh

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You should add the Völkl 100-eight to your list. I have not tried the 100-eight in real powder, but it did ski well in deep snow in the trees.

Also if bringing only one set of skis, it kind of depends on personal preference. How much do you value your deep snow in the glades and off the trails verses hard snow performance?

For me, if I could bring only one set of skis to a snowy western resort, I would take Ripstick 96 or similar. A compromise between hard snow performance and deep snow fun and easy. I found the 96 did require more skill in the woods, but I may have had them on the wrong feet. :eek:.
 
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Philpug

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You should add the Völkl 100-eight to your list. I have not tried the 100-eight in real powder, but it did ski well in deep snow in the trees.

Also if bringing only one set of skis, it kind of depends on personal preference. How much do you value your deep snow in the glades and off the trails verses hard snow performance?

For me, if I could bring only one set of skis to a snowy western resort, I would take Ripstick 96 or similar. A compromise between hard snow performance and deep snow fun and easy. I found the 96 did require more skill in the woods, but I may have had them on the wrong feet. :eek:.
Then why not the Ripstick 106?
 
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TimothyD11

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Then why not the Ripstick 106?
Well, if that ski doesn’t have a stiff flex pattern, would be forgiving for a mid level skier and would be great in powder for it’s waist width I can consider it, or add it to my other 2 choices to make me even more indecisive!
 

silverback

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For where the op wants to ski, a one oh something doesn't sound right to me. If he is charging cut up open bowls at Targhee that is one thing, but for slow tree skiing I'd go wider.

If I'm skiing fresh snow in the trees at those resorts it is almost always on my DPS 112rp pures. I wouldn't go any narrower that that or you'll have trouble keeping enough momentum in flatter sections. Lighter construction is nice as the skis get this wide if you want to ski all day.
 

Analisa

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Skied them both back to back. The Backlands in 175 felt a lot longer than the QSTs in 174, and the QSTs felt a touch softer. I also noticed that the Backlands are thicker from base to topsheet, and I can't put my finger on how it changed the snow feel, but I didn't like it quite as much, especially once I was on the groomer back to the chair.

They are similar enough that I don't think you can make a wrong choice. I'd probably shop on price if I couldn't demo.

I ended up with the Atris since I was going for a one ski quiver and it had an edge in the crud & groomers. I'd add them to your list too. They're a little pricier at MSRP, but they sometimes pop up at an awesome price.
 
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TimothyD11

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Skied them both back to back. The Backlands in 175 felt a lot longer than the QSTs in 174, and the QSTs felt a touch softer. I also noticed that the Backlands are thicker from base to topsheet, and I can't put my finger on how it changed the snow feel, but I didn't like it quite as much, especially once I was on the groomer back to the chair
Men’s versions or women’s versions?

So the Backland felt longer? Due to less tip and tail rocker?

I have read that the QST 106 holds up on piste a little better than the Backland 109.

Maybe that should be the deciding factor since both are supposed to be great in powder, and the QST 106, according to what I read, float as good as a lot of skis considerably wider than it.

Then again, both are supposed to be very good in powder, and as long as neither are too awkward or clumsy on piste back to the chair......

But I was going to get a 182 if I got the Backlands, and a 181 if I got the QST 106...but if you say the Backlands felt longer I wonder if that is something I should consider when choosing a size.
 

Analisa

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Men’s versions or women’s versions?
Men's for the QST & Backland. Opening size for the Atris was a little long. Could be the rocker, or some manufacturer measure length before they press and some companies press then measure. I don't think the QSTs ski especially short, but if your sweet spot is in between, I'd size up. The QST is the same as the women's Stell outside the topsheet and interestingly gets much more consistent praise from the women's side. On the men's, it's a little more mixed, which leads me to think rounding up helps, or for an especially strong/heavy/advanced skier, consider a different ski like the enforcer 110.

Being between intermediate & advanced and being a vacation skier, the 105-112 range is a great one to look at with versatility. I agree 120mm+ is fun for a deep pow day, but even living close to my home mountain and getting 40ish days a year, it's a setup I can generally do without or demo when it's really deep. My boyfriend skis a pair of 120 waist Bents as a daily driver & wishes he'd gone a little narrower for his primary ski.
 

François Pugh

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Then why not the Ripstick 106?
If only one ski, I would want to be able to pull more gs on the hard snow (should that be all that's available) than the 106 could deliver. If ONLY skiing deep snow in the trees the 100-eight (108 mm waist), full rocker, no meta,l Völkl seems hard to beat. On the groomed, it will carve and handle speed predictably; it just can't make high-g hard turns and takes a lot of real estate to stop.
 

icedevil

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I wouldn’t dismiss the idea of traveling with two pairs of skis, especially for longer trips. A soft rolling bag and two pairs of skis will be well below the airline weight limits. Adding a second ski doesn’t really amplify the things that make flying with skis annoying - whether I have one or two pairs in my bag I’m still getting in the same people’s way while moving through the airport and still struggling to fit into rental cars. Being able to bring two pairs would give you more flexibility in selecting a true powder ski.
 

BMC

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I wouldn’t dismiss the idea of traveling with two pairs of skis, especially for longer trips. A soft rolling bag and two pairs of skis will be well below the airline weight limits. Adding a second ski doesn’t really amplify the things that make flying with skis annoying - whether I have one or two pairs in my bag I’m still getting in the same people’s way while moving through the airport and still struggling to fit into rental cars. Being able to bring two pairs would give you more flexibility in selecting a true powder ski.
I agree with that (although mostly don’t follow my own advice!!!).

I think the two ski Quiver is worthwhile if you anticipate having one or more very deep powder dumps during your trip. If that’s the case you can justify a specialty ski (a powder ski) in addition to the all round ski.

If you don’t expect a very big dump then the all round ski should be sufficient.

What the all round ski might be would depend on destination but as mentioned I’m generally on a 103mm wood core double metal laminate ski when travelling. When in Australia (my home) my all rounder is 88mm underfoot wood core, double metal laminate ski.

I definitely DON’T want the powder skis to be super beefy though. Beefy enough, but more forgiving than my other ones.
 

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