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Fischer Watea 98 BC TT (Big Stix 98) - Where to mount for tele?

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  • Fischer Watea 98 BC TT (Big Stix 98) - Where to mount for tele?

    Hey there, hoping to get some advice on these skis...

    Over last summer, I got a pair of 2010-11 Fischer Watea 98 TT's for a great price, in the wrapper. I'm told they're exactly the same as the next year's Big Stix 98.

    I waffled mightily over whether to get them a bit short in 166 cm, or a bit long in 176 cm. I'm 5' 7" (170 cm) height, heavy at about 185 lbs (84 kg). Since this is my first rockered ski, and they're twin tips, I went a little long and got the 176. My boots are Crispi CXP (3 buckle). I have Voile Switchback X2's on them. The bindings are mounted so that the boot center line is 1.5 cm back from the center line marked on the ski.

    I took them out a couple of times. The front of the ski feels great. I like the rockered tips. But the tails of the skis feel like they're always in my way. In the bumps and trees, I feel like there's simply too much ski back there, always getting hung up on things. On the other hand, it could be my lack of good ski technique.

    So, my question... How far back can one go on a twin tip type of ski? I'm thinking of putting the bindings so that the boot center line is 3 cm back of the line on the ski. Is that too extreme?

    Edited to add: I got these for off-piste and bc. I have other skis for groomers, hardpack and spring conditions.

    Last edited by rongon; 20 February 2014, 08:07 PM.

  • #2
    Honestly, I would have mounted them with boot center over the mark. If they're getting hung up, it might be the twin tip you're not used to rather than excess length.


    • #3
      I agree with aw. It also sounds like the length is longer than you're used to. So, I'd give them several days and see how they do. And see the other thread -- generally, folks go on the line or up to 2 cm back (confirming you're all good at 1.5 cm behind the line).


      • #4
        The real question is if the alpine line on the ski is in a good location. I have no idea but if it is then what Airin said. I also think a tip rocker twin tip ski in a 176 would be on the very very short side for someone who weighs a 185 pounds.


        • #5
          I put the bindings back on the skis, with my boot's center 1.5 cm behind the alpine boot center mark on the ski, and attached some pictures. Please let me know if they look like they're in the right place.

          Re: length of skis vs. my (over)weight -- I know I'm porky. I was down to 170 lbs this time last year. I'm down to 180 now, but that's still not right. I'm only 5' 7" tall (about 170 cm). So the 176 cm length is just a hair over my head. My longest downhill skis so far. My Dynastar Legend 3800s are 172 cm and they still work well for me. I'm on the Ice Coast (NY State), and do a lot of thicketeering. Our "glades" are really "forest" here. Quick turns on skied out dust-on-crust is a commonplace in our bc. We have very few wide open descents in nice powder, without some hairball approaches.

          Oh yeah, I'm not an advanced skier, by bc standards. Strictly intermediate. I have a sense of adventure, but don't have the ski technique to match. I am good at survival skiing, tho'

          So... I choose my skis a bit short. Makes it easier to fit between the trees. But it's nice to have a big ski when I go out West, or on those rare days when there's been a foot and a half of heavy powder the night before.

          So, how does the binding mounting spot look? Does that look about right?
          Click image for larger version

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          Last edited by rongon; 2 March 2014, 09:44 PM.


          • #6
            Except for bizarre mounts, it's hard to say they look right or wrong. But, they look right. Now ski 'em and let us know. And good skiers are born from survival skiing -- cojones first, technique second.


            • #7
              Originally posted by dschane View Post
              Except for bizarre mounts, it's hard to say they look right or wrong. But, they look right. Now ski 'em and let us know. And good skiers are born from survival skiing -- cojones first, technique second.
              LOL, yeah. Well, survival skiing is my SOP.

              I spent the day skiing the big beasts at (gasp) Belleayre in the Catskills. The piste was nasty, but out in the woods there was a 2 foot deep, supportive hardpack with a nicely edge-able surface. So I spent the day in the woods.

              I think I see why these big-assed skis are the way they are. They just power through everything. They don't initiate as quickly as my skinnier sticks, but they compensate with raw power and extra float. I didn't notice the long tails in the trees, only on the piste and especially in moguls. They still feel like I'm way forward on the ski, but maybe I just need to keep centered over top of them. I had a hard time linking quick little turns with them, but I think that's just me not being able to put enough energy into them quickly enough.

              I really don't like the way they ski on groomers, but I gotta say that they ate up the terrain in the woods. I had fun even though it was a bitterly cold, raw day with hard snow.

              I think I'll leave them the way they are and get used to them. Thanks for your encouragement, gents.



              • #8
                Last year's cheap ski experiment was a pair of Fischer Watea 98 BC TT. Here it is almost a year later and I can say without reservation that I just don't like them. Maybe I hate twin tips.

                This year I bought a pair of Dynastar Cham 87 High Mountain in 172 length (on soopah-sale with extra coupon discount).

                Comparing the Watea 98 to the Cham 87 HM it's obvious that the Watea 98 is a noodle. Very, very, extremely soft. The Cham HM is way stiffer. Maybe what I didn't like about the Watea was that I was squashing it out, being that I am, er... heavy. (5' 6" or 169 cm height, 180 lbs or so).

                I have a pair of Dynastar Legend 3800 in 172cm length, from about 10 years ago. They're only 75mm in the waist, but I've skied them a lot. They're a bit softer than the Cham 87, but not by that much. They are definitely stiffer than the Watea 98.

                Question -- Is it generally accepted that for non-aggressive, mostly bc skiing in the Northeast, Ski Length ~= Skier Height? (Subtract a couple cm for lighter skiers, add a couple cm for heavier or more aggressive skiers)

                I know that you're supposed to figure the ski length based on skier weight, not height. BUT... In the East, in the trees and with such variable (often icy) conditions, my Watea 98 experiment turned out to be a disaster. I was so happy to get back on my Dynastar 3800 172s. What I'd like is something that skis similarly to the 3800s, but with 85 to 90mm underfoot. Cham 87 HM in 172 length? What sayeth you? Yay or nay?



                • #9

                  I skied the Cham HM 97 in a 184cm length. 15 lbs less, and I found they were the right size for me. If I were to get them again (I might) I would go a bit smaller, say 179cm (or whatever is closest to 180cm or less). The Cham series ski short in hard snow because of the rocker in the tip, and full size in soft snow. So I'd say the 172 sounds short, but maybe not for the thickets you have to contend with back E. The only thing I didn't like about the 184 was they were a bit long when doing switchbacks on the skin track. That's when I wanted < 180cm. For that, <175cm is probably a good call for you.

                  ain't no turn like tele!


                  • #10
                    Thank you Mr. Dostie!

                    It seems everybody who would know agrees, 172 is as short as I should go. Time to get some bindings and mount em up. That'll give me something to do while it's raining (groan).


                    • #11
                      To wrap this one up...

                      I returned the Cham 87's and bought a pair of Cham 97 HM's in 172 length. Had them mounted up with a pair of AXLs and took them for a spin on the slopes of Big Mt in MT. Then I came home to ski the Monday leftovers at Mad River Glen.

                      Long story short: At this stage in my skiing life, I love these skis.

                      First off, the AXL is a great binding. Powerful, yet very smooth.

                      Second off, these new rocker-tip, progressive-shape skis sure are way different than anything else I've skied. You were right, the 172 length skis like a much shorter ski on piste and hardpack. I think that will be OK for me, as I won't be looking to tear up the place in any kind of hard conditions. This is meant to be an East Coast powder ski, and a quick turning, slow speed ski for negotiating Eastern steeps.

                      I like the pintail, and found it stiff enough for making 'rooster tail' stops. The Watea 98's raised tail always seemed to wash out on me. It was very soft. I like to have a stiff tail to work with, and the Cham 97 delivers that for me.

                      I can see being able to make quick little stops and turns in very tight spaces on these planks, which will be good when I take these things out into the Adirondack bc or up to Mt Washington. It's certainly a big, heavy plank to be touring on, but for short, steep tours they'll be a blast.

                      The cool thing about this ski is that it makes powder and bumps almost too easy. This is by far the most self-image enabling ski I've owned yet! I had to go back to my weenie XCD boards to remind myself that I have a lot to learn.

                      I'll say that this is a great ski for developing skiers to use for gaining confidence in deep snow. It just skis so easy.

                      I could see skiing the 178 length, but I'll live with this for a while. I'm very happy with it.
                      Last edited by rongon; 24 February 2015, 05:54 PM.