Powder Skis/Reverse Camber Skis

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Re: re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby Skidog » Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:28 pm

jamesdeluxe wrote:So what does Skidog have to say about the Spats?


While Admin is VERY convinced that the reverse camber ski is just a fad, I have QUICKLY become a believer.

Today was my second day in a row on them (12-31-07). We found mixed conditions, but all very sweet cut up pow with pockets of untracked all over. The spats handled the chop better than any ski I have ever been on. They made skiing the deep snow and chop very effortless. You literally can't sink the tips and they float amazingly. They slide through the trees with no more than a shift of the feet. You ride across the tops of bumps and today I was able to crank up the speed a little and see how much I could handle, I know the ski can handle WAY more.

I have yet to hit any hardpack or ice, but I can already tell that those type conditions would make the spats VERY un-fun. I'll obviously need to ski those type conditions from time to time to access the good stuff that lies around alta, for short shots and quick traverses they'll be fine.

I was a skeptic, but no longer...I am less fatigued and my body doesnt ache near as much as I usually do after 2 deep days in a row...

Tomorrow (happy new year) is likely day three as there was a LOT of stuff alta did NOT open and there should still be plenty to be found....

More to come...but so far....im a convert and not the kind you might imagine living in Utah ;-) .

M
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re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jan 01, 2008 4:36 am

While I'm happy with my powder skis, they are 11 years old and I should be looking at newer designs. So I will follow the above debate between Admin & skidog with some interest. My personal opinion is that I don't want much sidecut for powder, to avoid the skis hooking into Sierra Cement. The reverse camber skis would obviously eliminate that issue completely.

But a typical lift served powder day has a range of conditions, and if versatility is significantly compromised with the reverse camber, I suspect I'll want a similar sidecut to my Chubbs, but with all dimensions 10+cm wider. Admin thinks I'll benefit from lower weight than the stainless steel. The stainless steel is great for plowing through crud, but I suspect many modern powder skis do as well.
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re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby tirolerpeter » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:08 am

I can't address the "reverse camber" issue having no experience with it, but I can attest to the value of reduced weight and my own powder/crud experience. Based on recommendations by Marc_C and Admin I went for Black Diamond Verdicts (wood core) in the 170cm length. I also mounted Silvretta Pure bindings and Scarpa AT boots. My guess is the total package comes in at half or less of the weight of my Volant(stainless steel cap)/Marker/Nordica gear. It has resulted in a huge positive difference in my skiing powder, crud and bumps. Despite lower weight and greater flexibility the Verdicts have no issue with crud or holding an edge on hard-pack. While I was initially a bit apprehensive about switching from the rock solid Volants, I soon learned to trust the Verdicts not to break loose despite increased "wiggle" at speed when carving. Even the reduced side cut doesn't effect turning on hard snow since they bend more when pressured.
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re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:08 pm

Admin has suggested the Verdicts to me. There were some deals earlier, but I need them in 180cm, which is undoubtedly the most popular length.
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Re: re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby Marc_C » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:20 pm

Skidog wrote:While Admin is VERY convinced that the reverse camber ski is just a fad, I have QUICKLY become a believer.


Here's something to consider - how many skis are available from how many manufacturers and of that number, how many are reverse camber? And how many years is it since the first ones hit the market? Compare that to the number of shaped skis available the year immediately following the introduction of the Elan SCX?

They are good for one thing and one thing only and pretty much suck at everything else. If you already have a sizable quiver and don't mind spending the money, they might be worth an experiment. I think you're foolish if you buy them as your sole powder ski.

Besides, I heard that in male skiers they tend to reduce testosterone, increase estrogen, and cause an increased likelihood to shoot blanks. Not that there's anything wrong with that, Sally. :P
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re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby Sharon » Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:29 pm

Well, it is surely nice to see my friends enjoying the greatest snow on earth and I'm also glad that it is piling up out there! I'm looking forward to skiing with y'alls in Feb.

I can assure you that 28,000 vertical of perfect powder is much less rigorous than in bumps, variable snow etc. I also remember skiing with a 69-year old local at Alta during the 2002 Olympics, and the more powdery the snow, the harder it was for me to keep up.


3 days of pure fluffy powder at Jay Peak and I was not at all sore.

2 days of skiing variable snow conditions, fresh wet snow, bumps left me very sore.

While I'm happy with my powder skis, they are 11 years old and I should be looking at newer designs. So I will follow the above debate between Admin & skidog with some interest.


Also to note in the realm of fat skis...I was working a lot less than Pam. I have much fatter skis than she does and I believe they really make it so much easier. She skis on older model Teneighty's and I ski on the Pocket Rocket, both made by Salomon. She was always sweating and working much harder when there was fluffy snow. I believe she should be looking for a pair of real fatties. I think we should start a thread on fat skis. It would be nice to hear what people have to say about their powder skis.

I LOVE my Pocket Rockets in the powder. They suck when it isn't powdery. My all mtn "mid fats" are the Salomon Scream LTD. They will do ok in powder but are definitely more work than the Pocket Rockets and they are still fatter than Pam's Teneightys.
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Re: re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby Skidog » Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:23 am

Marc_C wrote:
Skidog wrote:While Admin is VERY convinced that the reverse camber ski is just a fad, I have QUICKLY become a believer.


Here's something to consider - how many skis are available from how many manufacturers and of that number, how many are reverse camber? And how many years is it since the first ones hit the market? Compare that to the number of shaped skis available the year immediately following the introduction of the Elan SCX?

They are good for one thing and one thing only and pretty much suck at everything else. If you already have a sizable quiver and don't mind spending the money, they might be worth an experiment. I think you're foolish if you buy them as your sole powder ski.

Besides, I heard that in male skiers they tend to reduce testosterone, increase estrogen, and cause an increased likelihood to shoot blanks. Not that there's anything wrong with that, Sally. :P


Ill set up a rear view mirror so I can see you coming down the hill...... ;-) . Goof all you like...but I think this is a trend that is only going to continue.

I do agree that they have not hit the market like the traditional shape ski, however with todays variety of skis the "quiver" is more than likely in the average skiers grasp. At this poin almost all manufacturers that I know already have or will be releasing a reverse camber ski in the VERY near future.

Take a look around the mountain next time you're up....you'll see more of them than you think. I think this "fad" is here to stay..

All you naysayers...I don't want to hear anymore from you until you have actually SKIED them....can't make an informed opinion until you have the FACTS..not HEARSAY.

M
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Re: re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby Skidog » Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:28 am

Sharon wrote:
I LOVE my Pocket Rockets in the powder. They suck when it isn't powdery.


Wow this surprises me. I have the GUNS. They are 90mm underfoot. That is slightly bigger than the Pocket Rockets I believe and they aren't nearly fat enough for out west. They work..but I HAVE TO WORK....I think of them as my all mountain ski.

I skied them many times at Killington on hardpack/blue ice, and found that while they didnt perform like a 70mm waisted slalom ski they performed well enough that I could use them all over and still be good for an decent east coast dump...Here in Utah...I needed something MUCH fatter....I think once you find the sweet spot on those Pocket Rockets you'll find they are a little more manageable all mtn even in the east.

Give it a shot.

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Re: re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby tirolerpeter » Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:20 am

Tony Crocker wrote:Admin has suggested the Verdicts to me. There were some deals earlier, but I need them in 180cm, which is undoubtedly the most popular length.


I did consider the 180 cm length, but since the trend has been to "shorter" skis I went with the 170's. In retrospect, I would go with the 180's since I find them so light and easy to handle. Nevertheless, I am very pleased with what I have now and enjoy them immensely!
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re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby J.Spin » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:46 am

Aren’t the reverse-camber and/or the reverse-side cut skis based on water ski designs? It always seemed to me that they should work well in powder, although I’ve never tried them. I think one shortcoming of the reverse camber designs might be for skinning though. From what I’ve read, one of the initial reasons for putting camber into skis was for travel – if you don’t have camber in your ski then traveling on them in soft snow is akin to constantly climbing out of a hole, and more effort is required. For lift, snowcat, helicopter etc.-served skiing though, I wouldn’t suspect that issue would come into play too often.

As for the effort required and impact on the body with regard to skiing powder, I’m definitely in agreement with Tony. It has got to be the least rigorous of any type of skiing that I can think of as long as you’ve got the technique down. It takes so little energy to squiggle turns though untracked powder compared to what one has to do on chopped-up snow, bumps, or even groomed snow where one has to use their edges. It makes sense to me, because powder skiing allows for tons of slop compared to skiing on other surfaces. Personally I find that a day of untracked powder hardly feels like a workout compared to an equivalent day on other surfaces, which may be one of the reasons it’s so much fun. But, from skiing so much with Ty in the past couple of seasons I can see that powder is still more work for him than the groomed slopes – he knows it as well and will head to more packed snow when he needs a rest. He’s getting there, although I’m not sure at what point in the future he’ll cross that threshold.

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Re: re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby Marc_C » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:05 pm

J.Spin wrote:Aren’t the reverse-camber and/or the reverse-side cut skis based on water ski designs?

IIRC, the original idea/prototype was indeed a water ski; experimented with in Alaska by, uh, Seth Morrison maybe(???)

J.Spin wrote:It always seemed to me that they should work well in powder,...
Apparently, very well, esp. if you listen to the youngsters like Skidog who ride them, but so-so to extremely poor in anything else.

J.Spin wrote:I think one shortcoming of the reverse camber designs might be for skinning though.

That's a hoot!!! I might pay to watch someone attempt it!
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Re: re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby Skidog » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:29 pm

Marc_C wrote:
J.Spin wrote:Aren’t the reverse-camber and/or the reverse-side cut skis based on water ski designs?

IIRC, the original idea/prototype was indeed a water ski; experimented with in Alaska by, uh, Seth Morrison maybe(???)

J.Spin wrote:It always seemed to me that they should work well in powder,...
Apparently, very well, esp. if you listen to the youngsters like Skidog who ride them, but so-so to extremely poor in anything else.

J.Spin wrote:I think one shortcoming of the reverse camber designs might be for skinning though.

That's a hoot!!! I might pay to watch someone attempt it!


In fact if you take a minute and go over to one of those "other" message boards you'll find that many many are skinning on the reverse cambers.

I also have had a chance to let the Spatulas run on "groomed" terrain and while they are more work on groomed terrain and MUCH slower than a normal cambered ski they are quite manageable on the hardpack..

THEY SUCK IN THE BUMPS.

M
M
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Re: re: Alta, UT 12/30/2007

Postby Marc_C » Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:35 pm

Skidog wrote:In fact if you take a minute and go over to one of those "other" message boards you'll find that many many are skinning on the reverse cambers.

Well, yeah, but by the same token, I can use my cordless drill to hammer nails.
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re: Powder Skis/Reverse Camber Skis

Postby Tony Crocker » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:07 pm

I think the reverse camber might be like the original asymmetric Powder Plus skis from the early 1990's. They made powder much easier but were a PITA in any kind of packed snow. The Volant Chubb was the first powder ski with some versatility.

Given the likely specialized nature, I would strongly recommend anyone considering a reverse camber ski to demo first, and in a resort with a mix of powder, chopped and packed conditions.

I'm surprised by Sharon's comments about the Pocket Rockets. I knew a very strong skiing couple in NASJA from Reno who used them as their everyday ski. Adam demoed the Pocket Rockets and though I would like them a lot, but said they were too soft for him.

For me, I do have sympathy with TRam's comments. Before fat skis every powder day was a crapshoot for me. If the snow was reasonably light and consistent I did OK. If it was heavy, variable, wind-affected, etc., my legs would be trashed before lunch.

Since powder days are rare and valuable, I usually have the attitude "If it's not broke, don't fix it" about sticking with the Chubbs. Last February one of them needed repair at Wiegele and I used their free demo (Atomic Heli Daddy, 129cm at tip and 107cm underfoot I think) for a 27K day there. I could tell they were lighter, but only condiered them equal to, not any better than the Chubbs. And I was on the Chubbs for the qualitatively better heli day (much steeper and deeper) with Chugach Powder Guides in March.
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Re: re: Powder Skis/Reverse Camber Skis

Postby Skidog » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:25 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I think the reverse camber might be like the original asymmetric Powder Plus skis from the early 1990's. They made powder much easier but were a PITA in any kind of packed snow. The Volant Chubb was the first powder ski with some versatility.

Given the likely specialized nature, I would strongly recommend anyone considering a reverse camber ski to demo first, and in a resort with a mix of powder, chopped and packed conditions.

I'm surprised by Sharon's comments about the Pocket Rockets. I knew a very strong skiing couple in NASJA from Reno who used them as their everyday ski. Adam demoed the Pocket Rockets and though I would like them a lot, but said they were too soft for him.

For me, I do have sympathy with TRam's comments. Before fat skis every powder day was a crapshoot for me. If the snow was reasonably light and consistent I did OK. If it was heavy, variable, wind-affected, etc., my legs would be trashed before lunch.

Since powder days are rare and valuable, I usually have the attitude "If it's not broke, don't fix it" about sticking with the Chubbs. Last February one of them needed repair at Wiegele and I used their free demo (Atomic Heli Daddy, 129cm at tip and 107cm underfoot I think) for a 27K day there. I could tell they were lighter, but only condiered them equal to, not any better than the Chubbs. And I was on the Chubbs for the qualitatively better heli day (much steeper and deeper) with Chugach Powder Guides in March.


I agree...demo if you can before buying......im a gear WHORE so...I just buy then re-sell if I dont like...I have the pow + too but thats waiting for binders, and will likely be demo binders as i'd like to share with visitors.

M
M
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