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Picking The Right EYT Powder Ski/Kit

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  • Picking The Right EYT Powder Ski/Kit

    After the interesting thread on what makes a good modern resort powder ski seems to me it is a lot more tricky to pick a great touring powder ski/kit. First most skiers can't find demos so picking a setup relys on educated guess, tests and reports which often are bias. So, weighing the up and the down, considering the terrain and weather, how does one pick a great setup that owns the up and skis the down similar to a resort ski and doesn't cost thousands for exotic materials? Who has picked winners and who has picked losers?
    "Just say no to groomed snow"

  • #2
    here's what I did. i ID'ed the wanting for something different to descend the dense forested soggy cement where I sometimes find myself touring. i did some online research and found positive feedback about reverse camber skis for this type of snow. then i got super lucky i tried lightranger's praxis hybrids when he was out of commission due to a season ending injury to see if i liked the wide reverse camber concept for tele - i loved it! then i got resourceful via the internetz and found some (relatively) cheap older model dps lotus 138's for sale. for me, they have been awesome for touring in 3d snow, especially the dense forested soggy cement that originally triggered my quest.

    when i took some time off for new babies, i loaned the boards to a friend (who can pipe in if he likes). he did a ton of touring on them in 3d snow and then quickly found his own (used) pair of the same exact ski.

    the boards are relatively light for the ascent and exceed expectations for me on the down in any sort of BC 3d snow.


    • #3
      I don't usually want or need my BC skis to ski the same on the down as they would at the resort. I almost never ski as steep of slope in the BC at least in the winter as I do at the resort so the ski does not have to be as stiff or as heavy and damp. I am also more likely to want to milk the run with more turns if I just spent a couple hours climbing up it. My main BC ski is the BD Convert. I really like them but they are not stiff and the one time I skied them at the resort I did not like them at all. So far every time I have skied them in the BC I am quite happy with them. I think some of the DPS skis that are super light have little down side even at the resort. I might argue that my Wailer 112 RPC area better resort ski then they are a BC ski even thought they are very light for their size. I think the newer carbon skis from BD are still going to be a mostly BC oriented ski.

      The problem I have is the trade offs with a spring chute ski. Sometimes in the spring I ski a lot steeper lines and the approaches can be very long. I also like to be more aggressive in the spring. I am also at times carrying ski crampons, boot crampons, ice axe along with all my other normal gear so saving weight can be a big plus. So I have to decide to go super light and dial down the descents or bring a stiffer, heavier ski and deal with the extra weight.


      • #4
        I take the other side of the equation from James. I want a high performance ski that can handle the steeps. And if it's light enough, I'm ok with it for lots of other touring as well. The ski I am currently using more than anything else is ON3P Vicik Tour. It weighs a little more than the Convert at about the same dimensions. But it is a tenacious ski when you need edge power. It skis big so I bought short at 176. Took me three tries to get my bindings far enough back for the way I ski and considering I ski T1s in walk mode. I ended up at -3 with a pretty aggressive detune of the rockered sections.

        I would like a pair of Converts too, but no budget these days. I thought they skied great.
        Last edited by cesare; 5 May 2014, 02:30 PM.


        • #5
          Living in the SLC area, it is possible to rent/demo touring skis. But, I rarely do that. Instead I rely on being a late adopter and buy what has a good reputation around here (and usually what and when I can find it cheap). Right now my go to touring ski is a Voile Insane that I bought used. It is pretty hammered though, so new skis are on the list. I prefer a really light ski for touring, and do not typically charge hard in the bc, so my choices are narrowed around the really light skis. The Carbon Convert looks good, as does the Dynafit Denali and the Sportiva Nano. None of these fit the cheap or late-adopter criteria though. The Convert comes closest, and that is likely what I will end up with.


          • #6
            My G3 Soulflys are a perfect spring/summer condition ski and I love them for corn. I like them for powder ok but would like something with a little more flotation for deeper days. The struggle I have with them in deeper snow is occasional tip dives when the snow isn't very supportive or is variable. Something with early rise tips and a little more underfoot, yet still pretty light would be great for winter tours. I've been keeping an eye out for just the right deal on the right ski when I'm feeling flush but so far the timing hasn't worked for me.
            I'll keep watching and reading threads like this to keep abreast of what's working well for this niche.


            • #7
              Originally posted by cesare View Post
              I would like a pair of Converts too, but no budget these days. I thought they skied great.
              As soon as they release them for general sale I am gong to pick up the carbon version. So if you can handle the 465 holes that are drilled for the Freedoms and the 186 length I am going to sell the old ones and might be willing to give you the local friends discount. Although I imagine you can get a pretty good deal at Wildy X.

              All the guides at Selkirk Mountain Experience were on the Denali's and really like them. I am not so sure on the Nano. I think they are to narrow with to much rocker. If the website is accurate they have a square tail and a ton of tail rocker and quite a bit of tip rocker. They have the same tip rocker as the Hi 5 and I thought that was to much.
              Last edited by James; 5 May 2014, 03:09 PM.


              • #8
                This was my backcountry "ski du jour" this season, in the East.

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                Volkl Nunataq, 178 cm, 107 waist. Dynafit Vertical STs
                For my weight I should probably be on something longer, but the shorter skis are really nimble in tight glade runs. They hold well on hard snow too, at the resort. Carve nicely when you find the sweet spot for moderate speed skiing.
                Flying with them is much easier, weight wise than my longer 185 cm Amperages, which I took out West in January.

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                For spring snow, firm conditions (and maybe a Haute Route trip next year?) I got these 178 Cham 97 HM. Very quick edge to edge, and they hold surprisingly well on hard snow with a stiff tail, though I haven't toured on them yet. 2255 grams a ski with binding. And with the Vertical ST I can easily remove the brakes, I put on for resort skiing.
                Boots for this AT skiing, Scarpa Rush.

                My dream money-no-object touring ski? La Sportiva Vapor Nano. 1200 gms for the 180 cm ski. 130-103-120, not a noodle ski.
                Last edited by chamonix; 5 May 2014, 08:34 PM. Reason: added AT boot


                • #9
                  James, I'm not at wildy anymore, which means my quiver is set for a while. But thanks for the offer.


                  • #10
                    Maybe add the rig(bindings/boots) as well as the ski as most often that's what makes the difference between so so and very good.

                    For me and Lynn and I guess I will speak for her too we are more concerned about the up and having a setup that will climb steep, deep, slippery and crusty snow. We get out a lot, back to back days and arn't going to work to exhaustion so just not willing to haul heavy gear. OTOH, we both like to ride big skis on soft snow and powder. Her go to powder setup as well as any day the snow is not firm or corn is some 172 BD Converts/Geas/Speed Radicals. She is around 15# total less skins. For her this is a very good setup, maybe it could be lighter but she can climb and ski with the boys and nobody has to wait for her. My EYT powder setup is second generation 185 BD Justice/ TLT6/Speed Radicals, total weight 16# less skins with tongues in the boots. This is a big ski and light. It has two personalities. If you demoed it at a resort or got a pair and wanted to resort ski even on a powder day, you would hate the ski, me too. If you climbed with the skis on firm snow or firm slippery sidehills, you would hate the ski due to cap const and no vertical sidewalls. However, it is a very good deep snow tool in the BC, pretty good on BC not so deep too. Rocker for climbing and agile skiing wild snow. Ive had the skis for three seasons and not certain about next year, thinking about some BD carbon Mega Watts and drop down to 178. I think it would be a more all around for me and better for trees. Or, be happy with what I have which is good.

                    As far as tele gear, we both have Vector BC's/T2 Ecos/X2's. I like mine a lot, Lynn is luke warm on hers as she thinks they are slow. Spring skis? Lynn, BD Voodoos/ Geas/TLT Conforts, Me, Volkyl NanuQ's/TLT6/Speed Radicals. Both setups are very good on corn, firm and Spring pow too.

                    A little excessive? maybe we both haven't worked in 14 years and play everyday, not even going to talk about our windsurfing/kite gear.
                    "Just say no to groomed snow"


                    • #11
                      I am less fussy over the weight of the boots because to date there is no carbon version of boots like there are with skis or the newer Dynafit AT boots. I am almost always on a pair of TX Pros in the BC. I also think the boots are the most important piece of gear for performance.

                      I ski Freedoms most of the year in the BC because I am on NTN and don't fully trust the TTS system yet. Sometime in the next week or so I will switch to a Movement Logic X (4.5 pound per pair) and my TX boots with TTS. This is definitely a trade off set up for weight versus performance but I guess so is my other set up it is just more on the performance side.

                      I think the skis have come along way in closing the weight /performance gap. I think with a more burly toe piece and longer springs the TTS system would be another bug jump up. Now we need a tele version of the Spectre or Dynafit carbon boots.
                      Last edited by James; 5 May 2014, 05:21 PM.


                      • #12
                        Well,.... my choice for a winter touring ski is tempered by a few different things.

                        First, I ski with a bunch of fit younger guys. They fly uphill. The lighter my gear, the less chance I have of being very far behind them.

                        Second, I tour with Scarpa Tx's which are lightweight, soft, and great to climb with, but they aren't going to drive my 192 cm, voile drifters (128 underfoot) powerfully downhill.

                        Third, superfat skis, no matter how light they are, also present a lot of surface area to collect snow when climbing, and that adds even more weight to drag uphill...

                        So, I bought the 185cm G3 zenoxides (pre-carbon lamination) as a compromise ski. It's fat enough to float my 210lbs at a reasonably moderate descending speed in 3D snow, but they are not so fat that I am dragging 10lbs of snow uphill when I am skinning. They are 105 underfoot. They work ok. There's nothing special about their shape. G3 took a standard GS shape and added a little early tip rise. They also have too much camber, so they are slower to unweight than a stiffer, lower cambered ski.

                        I see from the other powder ski thread that there was a picture of G3's ski for next year. They finally followed the trend of most of the other manufacturers and added some tip taper to their ski tips.... and carbon fiber to their layup.

                        The zen's work ok, but they aren't in a class with some of the better shapes of some brands of skis on the market.
                        the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile


                        • #13
                          Here is that picture of the new G3 skis

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tele.skier View Post
                            ... superfat skis, no matter how light they are, also present a lot of surface area to collect snow when climbing, and that adds even more weight to drag uphill... The zen's work ok, but they aren't in a class with some of the better shapes of some brands of skis on the market.
                            ^^^ Agreed, 'tis a big part of why I think 90ish is fat enough, although I can be persuaded to used a ski in the 105ish range for super fluffy days (mornings). Agree the Zen's are good, but not earth shattering. For a lightweight, mid-fat they do pretty well.

                            Generally a powder ski for earning turns must/should have a fair amount of rocker in the tip. Not so much for flotation when turning, but for floating to the surface when breaking trail. It's why the Cham HM97 is a fave, even if it isn't very light. Light for an alpine ski, but not that light compared to the Zen, or La Sportiva's Nano, or BD's Carbon Convert for next season ()

                            ain't no turn like tele!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chamonix View Post
                              Here is that picture of the new G3 skis

                              The tip taper really balances out the straight line stability of a ski. My voile drifters have that shape and they are the $hit.... They are very stable going straight in deep powder, but once you angulate them a bit they slash across the fall line aggressively. I think G3 is going to score big time with that line up.. especially if those skis are a lightweight carbon fiber lay up too... and reasonably priced...

                              Dostie, when you weigh more than 200lbs, you'll need a little floatation...

                              A few buddies have newer black diamond touring skis. It looks like BD got their powder ski tip shape right... (to me)
                              the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile