What floats your board?

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lilcliffy

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What floats your board?

Postby lilcliffy » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:07 pm

I don't know how much you weigh (me: 185lbs)- but my personal experience and testing is that I do not generally notice any difference in flotation between my 54mm-waisted E99s and 60-62mm-widthed skis (e.g. Eon/E109).

However- width is not the only dimension that affects flotation- flex matters as much:

-my 210cm Combat Natos (62mm) offer just as much flotation as my 195cm Annums (78mm)- due to the flex offering full-length stability in deep snow (though the rounder flex of the Annum makes them easier to turn).

-my 210cm Combat Nato (62mm) offers MUCH better flotation than the wider 195cm Epoch (68mm)- again due to flex (though again, the rounder flex of the Epoch makes them easier to turn).

-my 205cm Eons (62mm) and E109s (60mm) are absolutely useless in truly deep snow as their flex is completely unstable- they are both actually worse in truly deep snow than the narrower E99 (54mm)! (though again, they are easier to turn than the E99)

-my 188cm Storetind (68mm) (FT68) offers as much flotation and stability as both the 210cm Combat Nato (62mm) or the 195cm Annum (78mm) (and the ST offers MUCH better downhill performance than the Annum- with more sidecut, tip rocker, and torsional rigidity (the Annum is a wet noodle under pressure)).

Bob's description of the flotation of the Falketind 62 suggests that its very stable flex supports more flotation than its meager 62mm waist would suggest...

Now- this has to be taken with a grain of salt as always- that grain of salt is CLIMATE.

I must be clear that I get a LOT of snowfall in my local climate- BUT, the majority of that snow is heavy and moisture-rich, and many of the heavy-snowfall storms are associated with high winds. My "deep" snow does not match the profile of true "champaign" powder snow that one gets in the western dry mountains. Even when I do get that bottomless dry powder it rarely lasts more than a couple of days, before it consolidates.

So- my point is that- due to supportive flex- my 68mm Storetind (FT68) offers even more effective flotation than my 78mm Annums- and, as such, it is really the most flotation that I need in my local climate- even in 130cm of fresh snow (which is what we got last week)! I cannot speak to whether the ST/FT68 would be enough flotation for that deep dry pow one gets in the dry western mountains!

I should also point out that when I do get that bottomless dry powder snow, my 210cm Combat Nato actually is more stable and supportive than the very soft round-flexing Annum...(though again the Annum is easier to turn)

So- at this point- in the moisture-rich extreme North-east, I find that my 68mm Storetind (FT68) is all the flotation I need in my deep snow.

What floats your board in your local deep "pow"?
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Woodserson

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Re: What floats your board?

Postby Woodserson » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:46 pm

Great post! Is this in reply to my question about my day breaking trail in 3' of new snow?

Describe the Nato Flex a little more if you could. Stiff all around? Soft shovel? Same with the Storetind.

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lowangle al

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Re: What floats your board?

Postby lowangle al » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:10 am

lilcliffy wrote:I must be clear that I get a LOT of snowfall in my local climate- BUT, the majority of that snow is heavy and moisture-rich, and many of the heavy-snowfall storms are associated with high winds. My "deep" snow does not match the profile of true "champaign" powder snow that one gets in the western dry mountains. Even when I do get that bottomless dry powder it rarely lasts more than a couple of days, before it consolidates.


I would say my snow sounds similar to yours. The difference in what ski we prefer for floatation is more determined by the reason we want the floatation. It seems you want float to facilitate the tour, I want it to facilitate the turn. First of all I like the feel of big skis in light fluffy powder. Because of their large surface area they are more responsive in light snow than a more narrow ski. Secondly I like the security I get in stiff powder and crust where catching an outside edge is my concern. The higher I can stay in the snow the more I can stay out of the stiffer layers under the surface that are hard to turn in. Big skis smooth out the ride making a lot of poor conditions more skiable.

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fisheater

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Re: What floats your board?

Postby fisheater » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:03 pm

I am just not blessed with that deep snow. I can't remember having more than 18" of powder snow, if the snowpack is deeper there would be a consolidated base. So with my snow pack, and my terrain, my skinny Falketind 62 is a nice ski. Now I do have wind/sun crust snow. After skiing the FT 62, I am starting to ask myself if the combination of rocker and flex that I enjoy so much in the FT 62 is similar to that Voile "magic" I have read about.

I have been reading for a couple of years that the Vector tours nicely for turns. As I respect the guys that are writing those things, I believe what is being written. I think I get it now, but I still think it best to ski a skinnier ski if the downhill allows. I am still trying to wrap my head around the love of the waxless versions of these skis, but here is a link to a thread that discusses primarily waxless skis, but also discusses ski width. The width discussion is primarily from a western perspective.
http://www.backcountrytalk.earnyourturn ... Fishscales

For where I ski, I can do quite well with a relatively narrow ski with well designed flex and rocker. I believe it overall it out performs a much wider ski (S-112) on both the up and down. In Fischer's defense, Wood's has a thread demonstrating the evolution of the S-78 to the current T-78. Perhaps that design offers improved performance both up and down?

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Re: What floats your board?

Postby Lo-Fi » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:57 pm

Cliff, your question got me thinking. My personal pre-occupation is touring for turns. I live in the hills so I try to squeeze every turn I can out of the terrain from out my back door. Having started tele skiing in ‘80s, I’ve skied my share of skinny skis, but the only thing that floats my board now are fat 98mm waisted boards. I’m currently on 162cm Koms and they float and turn like nothing I’ve skied before (except the similar Vector BCs). That other thread that fish refers too helped consolidate my view about how short, fat skis are so effective. I’ve said it before, that the Koms are like having flying-saucer sleds strapped to each foot - they pivot like crazy. I had to try to capture this, so I did a quick ski out to make this gif: I’m going super slow, in saturated, almost slushy heavy snow and yet I am able to (I hope it shows) slither out the wriggliest of wedge turns between the trees...

Image

They are an incomparable tool to pick your way down through the bush, and in actual, real soft winter snow, at speed, they are heavenly.

The thought of now trying to arc (respect to greatgt/Teleman) long, skinny skis just can’t compete.
.

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lowangle al

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Re: What floats your board?

Postby lowangle al » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:04 am

Lo-Fi wrote:Cliff, your question got me thinking. My personal pre-occupation is touring for turns. I live in the hills so I try to squeeze every turn I can out of the terrain from out my back door. Having started tele skiing in ‘80s, I’ve skied my share of skinny skis, but the only thing that floats my board now are fat 98mm waisted boards. I’m currently on 162cm Koms and they float and turn like nothing I’ve skied before (except the similar Vector BCs). That other thread that fish refers too helped consolidate my view about how short, fat skis are so effective. I’ve said it before, that the Koms are like having flying-saucer sleds strapped to each foot - they pivot like crazy. I had to try to capture this, so I did a quick ski out to make this gif: I’m going super slow, in saturated, almost slushy heavy snow and yet I am able to (I hope it shows) slither out the wriggliest of wedge turns between the trees...

Image

They are an incomparable tool to pick your way down through the bush, and in actual, real soft winter snow, at speed, they are heavenly.

The thought of now trying to arc (respect to greatgt/Teleman) long, skinny skis just can’t compete.
.


I've got the same skiing backround and I agree with everything you say.

I think there are two kinds of xcd skiers, ones that want the lightest gear to do the job and ones that want the MOST capable ski to do the job. Once you get used to wide skis you don't want to go back.

I don't think the T4, vector and three pin is a heavy set up compared to my leather boots and old skinny skis.

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lowangle al

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Re: What floats your board?

Postby lowangle al » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:06 am

LOfi are they the same woods from your powder videos?

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Re: What floats your board?

Postby Lo-Fi » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:50 pm

lowangle al wrote:LOfi are they the same woods from your powder videos?



Yep. It’s all within 15minutes out my door. Generally, kind of impenetrable 2nd growth hardwoods with a million face-whipping saplings in-between everything. Still fun though!

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lilcliffy

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Re: What floats your board?

Postby lilcliffy » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:08 am

In my OP I was just pondering flotation as a single factor in ski performance.

What I was pondering is that there are actually very few days per season where I could really use a true "powder" ski- whether that is in a distance-context (where the turn serves the tour) or a downhill context (where the tour serves the turn). Although I consistently have deep, soft snow to ski on- my Combat Nato, Annum, Storetind, and Kom all offer more than enough flotation in my typical local deep, soft, moisture-rich snow.

Lo-Fi your videos and your experiences with the Kom match mine- it is an absolutely incredible backcountry downhill ski- especially for skiing tight lines in the forested hills of the Northeast. I have been charging, carving and smearing lines with the Kom that I cannot even dream of with longer, narrower, more distance-oriented XCD skis (not that that should be a surprise to me or anyone else). And the Koms stiffer and more torsionally-rigid flex puts every downhill-oriented "XCD" ski that I have ever tested to shame (e.g. Guide/Annum, XCD 10th Mtn/Epoch. SB-112, SB-98). The terrain and forest your are skiing in matches mine.

I do find the Kom a bit wanting however if I want to cover some miles to reach some sweet ridges/ravines that have no road access...This is where a ski like the Storetind comes in...The ST is a real bit of magic...The ST is more efficient than the Kom over distance...And the ST is too an amazing downhill ski...If the Kom is more maneuverable than the ST (not sure about that), it is only because it is much shorter- the ST- with all that tip rocker- is incredibly easy to turn. And with a stiff flex, the torsionally-rigid ST holds one hell of an edge...

At 98mm underfoot, my intuition tells me that the Kom should be a better downhill ski in deep snow than the Storetind (68mm)...With full-on spring skiing here now I shall probably have to wait till next season to confirm this. What I can say is that the Kom is more of a smeary turner than the Storetind- the ST really does want to carve...

Regardless I must admit that I have VERY limited use for a wider ski than the Kom at this point in my life. As I am unable to travel for skiing- I must happily accept the local snow conditions, which rarely require more float than the Kom/Storetind offers.
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lilcliffy

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Re: What floats your board?

Postby lilcliffy » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:42 am

Woodserson wrote:Great post! Is this in reply to my question about my day breaking trail in 3' of new snow?

Yes- in part- HBS' pondering about getting a wider ski than the Nansen also made me try to assess and articulate this...

As far as breaking trail in 3 feet of new snow- I currently have the following skis that can do this effectively:
1) 210cm Combat Nato (62mm): best XC performance, with resultant downhill limitations.
2) 195cm Annum (78mm): better downhill than Combat Nato, but with its very soft round flex can develop the old "pool-cover" syndrome when XC skiing in very deep soft powder snow.
3) 162cm Kom (98mm): superb downhill performance- superb flotation and trail-breaking tip- but, VERY slow XC ski due to its very short length and almost no camber.
4) 188cm Storetind (68mm): superb downhill performance- surprisingly stable flex in deep snow (despite its meager waist)- much more efficient XC ski than the Kom.
5) 145cm Hok: excellent float and trail-breaking, but very slow.

Everything else I have sucks in truly deep snow (Eon/E109/Epoch)- they just don't offer enough float and a stable enough flex. The narrower E99 actually performs better in truly deep snow than these wider midwith touring skis. (Though I wouldn't take the E99 over the Combat Nato or Storetind in deep snow).

Describe the Nato Flex a little more if you could. Stiff all around? Soft shovel? Same with the Storetind.

The secret to the deep-snow performance of the Combat Nato is stability. It has a XC ski flex pattern, with a marked, stiff camber-and-a-half flex underfoot, that preserves a "wax pocket" when gliding forwards. The tip of the Combat Nato is broad and elongated and works like a snow plow. The tip is definitely softer-flexing than the rest of the ski, but despite this, there is a full-length stability to the flex of this ski- when I stride forwards in deep snow, I can feel the full 210cm of this ski supporting me. For comparison, the tips on the almost identical-dimensioned Eon and the E109 are VERY soft, and there is no measurable full-length stability to either of these skis. In deep snow the tip of the Eon/E109 offer no stability and support- the Eon flexes like a bow with a stiff middle section (like a softer version of the Glittertind)- the E109 tip rises to the very top of the snow, leaving the rest of the ski behind- miserable. (That being said- when the snow is not too deep the E109 is a dreamy touring ski in hilly terrain- it is an absolute delight to turn. If the Ingstad offers the full-length stability of the Storetind- with the rockered tip of the E109...any conclusions Johnny?)

The Storetind is a bit of magic. It is a stiff, single-cambered ski, with a lot of both static and Nordic-rocker in the tip. The ST is stiff and supportive throughout its length, it is also torsionally rigid. Like the Combat Nato I can feel the entire length of the ST supporting my weight as I stride forwards. At 188cm the ST offers very noticeably more XC glide than the stubby Kom. And with all that rocker, point the ST downhill and it is an absolute dream downhill ski. If the 162cm Kom is more maneuverable than the ST, that is likely only true in very deep snow. The Kom is more smeary than the ST. The ST likes to charge and carve- but with all that tip rocker, turn initiation and turn radius on the ST is incredible.
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