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  1. #1
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    True Rockered/Reverse skis - successor to Volant Spatulas

    I love my spats. I broke one and have a replacement coming. The world is right. But I wonder, is there a better ski for the same purpose?

    Over in the swap thread this came up and I decided to ask the question over here in Tech Talk.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliBrit View Post
    Just out of interest how do these bad boys ski compared to praxis pow boards?
    I am curious too. And I want to direct my curiosity to people that have skied spats extensively and also some other rockered boards without cambered or sidecut sections underfoot. Only true reverse.

    In depth comparison, here's the list I've got:
    Spatula
    Lotus 138
    Praxis Pow
    Armada ARG ??

    One thing I've always been curious about - you know how the tips taper on the spat? I feel like that allows me to easily twist around a heavy ski in tight turns due to most of the weight of the ski being underfoot. Is that really a big factor? Or is it mostly the dramatic rocker that allows the swiveling? The other skis have more snub noses/tails and I wonder how that changes the feel of the turn.

    I wonder if there is anybody that loves a really rockered skis for a variety of situations, including breakthrough slab and tight woods, and loves another ski better than the spat and has skied them both extensively. Why better?

    Another factor I think about is touring. I've got alpine demo binders on my spats, more weight! Haha, I occasionally boot them up to the top of some line, for the workout and of course for the ski down. But I wouldn't put touring bindings on them, partly because of the weight and partly because I guess I need a (small?) flat section underfoot for grip on the up.

    If it's not obvious, I'll say that I have a lot of skis, and this is at one end of the spectrum - a quiver ski. Also, I think one of the things I really love about the spat is the weight of it, the steadiness at any speed and any snow along with the ability to turn on a dime. I'm 5'8" 140 lbs so I understand some people (guys) wanting a bigger ski.
    Last edited by SheRa; 12-26-2014 at 06:02 AM.
    Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
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  2. #2
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    I had Praxis Pow Boards, & loved them until I bought a pair of Spats. I quickly sold my Praxis & bought up 4 pair of Spats. I think you are on to something with the taper statement. I think it changes the way the Spat skis over the others. The Praxis is wider at widest point, my knees would hurt after skiing them. The only time I don't like the Spats, is on a traverse.
    I would like to hear from y'all that have skied the ARGs. It & the Lotus 138 look the most like a Spat to me. I have never skied either. Thx.
    "... when I turn, I just hope it hits me in the face."--Shroder Baker/Under the Influence

  3. #3
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    go a pair of pure lotus 138's w/ dynawhompers the pair probably weighs less than a single splat w/ demo binders awesome touring rig but gets thrown around in cut up pow
    got 2 pair of splatula basically a spat w/ a cm added to the dimensions
    the soft pair is a tad soft for my liking has demo binders on em so others can use em
    the pair w/ carbon in em flexes and skis much like a spat they tape out tip to tail 5-6 cm longer than spats but still weigh less
    ive got dukes on em and aint wild about how they ski but not worth switching binders as i have the l138's for a rr lighter weight touring rig
    and they aren't bad for one n dones or slackcountry tours
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
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    ski on in eternal peace

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies so far, I am reading carefully. Also wanted to throw out there one season I skied a pair of Donner Partys and they were just too much work for me to turn. Too much ski.
    Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
    Henry David Thoreau

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheRa View Post

    other rockered boards without cambered or sidecut sections underfoot. Only true reverse.

    In depth comparison, here's the list I've got:
    Spatula
    Lotus 138
    Praxis Pow
    Armada ARG ??
    I've never skied Spatulas, but I had a pair of rocker 1 138s. I'm pretty sure they had a tiny bit of sidecut underfoot. Probably something like 60m or so, but still; not 100% reverse all the way through.
    Anyhow, the 138s were also very easy to throw around, but I think the rocker 1s had a lot more taper in the tip than todays 138s. I think low swingweight is the answer you're looking for. At least combined with a lot of rocker.

  6. #6
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    When the Praxis pow came along with a 195 length, I sold my first Spatulas to get them. I thought they'd be more stable fore/aft. They weren't - they didn't do anything better than the Spatulas, and may have actually been heavier. Sold them and tracked down some more Spatulas.

    The Praxis and Spatulas are the only full reverse /reverse skis I've had.

    I have several pair of Lotus 138s, and the original pointy tip version is the closest to an improved Spatula. They have a small section of sidecut though, so technically, they are not full reverse/reverse, like you specified. IMHO this is a better design than full reverse sidecut - more stable on groomers or edging on steeps, but still so minimal sidecut that you can throw the skis fully sideways and slide, if you want.

    All the 138s are lighter than the Spatulas or Praxis. In a ski that wide, it makes a difference to how tired my knees get.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  7. #7
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    Also, it's the huge rocker that allows the "pivot on a dime" feel of the Spatula. The pointy tip and sidecut taper don't seem to be the key; the later versions of the 138 (with the fatter tip, so less taper from center to tip) also pivot fast.

    These aren't everyday skis for me, or even chopped up crud skis. Flat camber or reverse camber transmits too much impact straight up through my boots - though the skis cut through chop well, I feel like I get worked by the impact a lot more than on skis with some camber.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  8. #8
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    The 182 Pure 3 era Lotus 138 is what you're looking for. The redesign of the 138 that took place between 12/13 and 13/14 (13/14 is the same as 14/15) brought back more pronounced taper in the tip, along with spooning for a sublimely intuitive ride. They're extremely stiff, so if you're less than 6 feet tall, they are very stable at high speeds, and the Pure 3 laminate give them a much more planted ride in chop than the previous versions. There's a valid and legitimate reason that DPS' reverse/reverse (ok, not fully, but close enough) skis share many on snow characteristics with the Spatula, despite the wildly different construction...

    Their skis may be nauseatingly expensive and not particularly durable, but there is little doubt in my mind that DPS produces the most refined and dialed powder skis on the market in terms of shaping, rocker profiles and construction.

    The only caveat, as you know, is that any R/R ski will make you a worse skier in the traditional sense, as you need to know nothing about how to properly initiate a ski turn to have shitloads of fun on them. I always notice I ski like a beater on something with traditional sidecut and camber after a few days on a ski like the Spat or 138. However, the tradeoff is completely worth it.
    Last edited by glademaster; 12-26-2014 at 09:31 AM.

  9. #9
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    I think an ON3P Pillowfight cross shops against a Lotus 138 pretty well. Less so a Spatula, so it might be one step removed from your needs. Something to consider on the fringe of the group at any rate.

  10. #10
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    lots of good info here,

    if you are looking for more of a daily ski, with a bit of the spat feel, check out the 4frnt Hoji as well, similar slidy/smeary feel, but less powder only.


  11. #11
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    anybody skied the Down V? Reverse/flat camber, bit narrower at 117...link
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

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  12. #12
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    on3p C&D comes to mind. 127 underfoot. Reverse/reverse tip (with RES) and a bit of side cut behind the binding. Otherwise just about full on reverse reverse. Comes in a 193 and a chick size.

    No need for an extra cm of width. Floats fine. First edition kills small families with ease. Current set up are for a more playful brand of sociopaths. Best dedicated powder ski IMO. Second might be the spur, then the renegade.

    But I think camber goes over well in skis.


    Down V looks interesting

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by XavierD View Post
    on3p C&D comes to mind. 127 underfoot. Reverse/reverse tip (with RES) and a bit of side cut behind the binding. Otherwise just about full on reverse reverse. Comes in a 193 and a chick size.

    No need for an extra cm of width. Floats fine. First edition kills small families with ease. Current set up are for a more playful brand of sociopaths. Best dedicated powder ski IMO. Second might be the spur, then the renegade.

    But I think camber goes over well in skis.


    Down V looks interesting
    By first edition you mean the original from the first production year? I have a pair of those as my dedicated pow ski, but as good as they are in good snow and open terrain they are demanding in tight trees / skied out / variable. Was planning to try out the Protest next year, but if you're saying that the newer C&Ds are more playful then that might be an option as well.

  14. #14
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    The Down V has been discussed here on TGR a couple of years ago.
    Brilliant ski.
    Imho the one that behaves most like the Spatula of those the OP listed.
    That being said the lotus138 design and build is superior if you have enough soft snow.
    Crud, breakable crust etc the Down V rules. In part because of being narrower but also because of build.
    Sadly discontinued due to lack of sales.
    fwiw.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    These aren't everyday skis for me, or even chopped up crud skis. Flat camber or reverse camber transmits too much impact straight up through my boots - though the skis cut through chop well, I feel like I get worked by the impact a lot more than on skis with some camber.
    Concur with this. If I'm not in top shape, a day on my Praxis Hybrids (before they were called Protests) works the hell out of me.

    Mine are full reverse, most Protests are not. They have the tiny bit of sidecut like the rest of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sf View Post
    By first edition you mean the original from the first production year? I have a pair of those as my dedicated pow ski, but as good as they are in good snow and open terrain they are demanding in tight trees / skied out / variable. Was planning to try out the Protest next year, but if you're saying that the newer C&Ds are more playful then that might be an option as well.
    First Edition I guess was the wrong words. I mean the first year that got RES, a 193, and 128mm under foot. It had the Chinese obituaries and deamon skulls on the top sheet. I still own a pair and its a beast.

    The newer ones are significantly more playful design. Much more of a powder specific ski than the model you have (first production year, 191cm variety), which I would compare closer to the current 191 Billy Goat as a general powder/soft snow charger than the current C&D. ( I still think of your model as the Great Scott).

    Keep in mind we are talking about ON3P here, not Line/K2/Armada. so playful is relative.
    If you like most ON3Ps, current Blizzards, and pre-cham Dynastars, as I do, they are plenty playful.


    Down V looks pretty darn cool. I've only seen one pair of Down skis in the flesh, and never skied any but looked to be a good company to pay attention to. The V appears to be missing from their current website though.

  17. #17
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    Me = mediocre non-charger. But get out a decent amount. Mostly lift served. A little skinning. A little heli. Most days on maritime snow. But mix it up...

    I have used all generations of Praxis Powder Boards, and a pair of L138 Red lines bunch. A little messing about on ARGs. Also a bunch of time on Protests, Pontoons and Kuros. Sadly, have never tried spats - kind of kicking myself for not grabbing some cheap NIP ones a couple years ago - just 'cause.... Such is life.

    At this point, I use current generation Powder Boards for this sort of thing. Or Protests if a bit more variable stuff is expected. The current Powder Board is not wildly reverse sidecut. It is almost more straight sided in the mid section. Makes it way more forgiving than previous generations in cutup or firmer conditions as you can sort of use the edge when you want. I also like it in layered snow - the broader surface reaching a bit more more forward lets the "bow stay up" a bit more than more extreme tapered tips. There seems a slight compromise in pivoty-ness due to this. But really tiny. The ones I have been skiing are a couple years old - but current shape. This year's builds are incredibly light and a bit stiffer by intent. The lightness probably enhances the pivot thing a bit. Very appealing IMO.

    The Redline 138s I had were fun. But more demanding with respect to wanting a bit of a charging style. And really major overlap with the PBs. I just preferred the Powder Boards in the end. We had some ARGs in the house a while back, but no one in the family liked them over the others on my list. They seemed more "particular" and much more challenging on harder snow. Not that they were bad - just ranked lower in comparison by all in the family who used them. My own reaction may have been influenced by my 200+ pounds....

    FWIW, the Pontoons and Kuros killed it in multi-layered breakable snow. But IMO were not quite as nice feeling in better snow. That said, my current Powder Boards do a super job in the layered stuff that tends to cause headers - just not as braindead simple as the big tipped tapered things.

    In the end, it is the Powder Boards for me on the best days. The combo of design, build quality, bombproof durability, and price is mighty tough to beat IMO. Lots of personal "taste" involved as there are clearly a decent number of decent skis trying to play in this space these days - though few real R/R.
    Last edited by spindrift; 12-26-2014 at 01:13 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by XavierD View Post
    The V appears to be missing from their current website though.
    Quote Originally Posted by rabbit View Post
    Sadly discontinued due to lack of sales.
    Bummer... I love my spats, but these look interesting!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by XavierD View Post
    First Edition I guess was the wrong words. I mean the first year that got RES, a 193, and 128mm under foot. It had the Chinese obituaries and deamon skulls on the top sheet. I still own a pair and its a beast.

    The newer ones are significantly more playful design. Much more of a powder specific ski than the model you have (first production year, 191cm variety), which I would compare closer to the current 191 Billy Goat as a general powder/soft snow charger than the current C&D. ( I still think of your model as the Great Scott).

    Keep in mind we are talking about ON3P here, not Line/K2/Armada. so playful is relative.
    If you like most ON3Ps, current Blizzards, and pre-cham Dynastars, as I do, they are plenty playful.


    Down V looks pretty darn cool. I've only seen one pair of Down skis in the flesh, and never skied any but looked to be a good company to pay attention to. The V appears to be missing from their current website though.
    Yeah, Great Scotts. Absolutely a beast at times, but some of my best days have been on those skis. Still not sure about size though. The 193 C&Ds sounds pretty big for tight and steep trees. 187 Protests sound more manageable, especially since I plan to downsize the quiver a bit next year, both in number of skis and length of the respective skis. That's for another thread though.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    The 182 Pure 3 era Lotus 138 is what you're looking for. The redesign of the 138 that took place between 12/13 and 13/14 (13/14 is the same as 14/15) brought back more pronounced taper in the tip, along with spooning for a sublimely intuitive ride. They're extremely stiff, so if you're less than 6 feet tall, they are very stable at high speeds, and the Pure 3 laminate give them a much more planted ride in chop than the previous versions. There's a valid and legitimate reason that DPS' reverse/reverse (ok, not fully, but close enough) skis share many on snow characteristics with the Spatula.............
    This is because Mr. Peter Turner is the engineer/designer that worked for Volant that worked with Shane on the Spatula, is the same man working with Stephan at DPS now.
    I also had a pair of Donner Party's, I sold them after 2 days on them, nothing like the Spat. They were too hard to pivot. I currently have a pair of Countdown V, they don't ski like the Spat either. I was hoping they would b/c they are narrower & lighter. They are just a little too stiff. They need a softer flex like the Spat. I agree w/ MntLion about the Hoji. I would like to hear from y'all that have experience on the ARG. What do they ski like?
    "... when I turn, I just hope it hits me in the face."--Shroder Baker/Under the Influence

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    The 182 Pure 3 era Lotus 138 is what you're looking for.
    I'm not sure that size ever got built in anything but hybrid.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticketchecker View Post
    I'm not sure that size ever got built in anything but hybrid.
    I'm pretty sure they're currently producing the 138 in a 182cm and a 192cm length. In fact, the 182 is available on their website, and there's a pair of them sitting about 12 feet to my right as I type. They no longer build any Lotus series skis in Hybrid; Pure only. I can't provide any assistance when it comes to finding a pair for less than retail, but it is definitely a ski they are building and selling.

  23. #23
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    Glad my question spurred all this great discussion, thanks! This is a really cool interesting thread. I have a pair of 190 powder boards from 2 years ago I have never skied yet due to terrible Tahoe conditions. Had some protests before that. Would love to get some time on these then try some Spats.

  24. #24
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    I have some freshly remounted 196 carbon protests that I hope to bring out Sunday...
    wait!!!! waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait...Wait!
    Zoolander wasn't a documentary?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    I'm pretty sure they're currently producing the 138 in a 182cm and a 192cm length. In fact, the 182 is available on their website, and there's a pair of them sitting about 12 feet to my right as I type.
    Cool, I had the hybrid the first year they offered 182. The pure never got made then and I didn't love the hybrid in that ski so I sold them. 192 soon come....

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