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  1. #1
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    Powder Touring Skis 2019 edition

    The last thread on this died a couple years ago so I am starting a new one. I am looking for new winter touring skis, I have in bounds skis: Super Goat and Goliath, and spring touring skis ZG95 so these need to excel at touring for powder (PNW heavy type) and can suck at other things. I am 6'3" 200lbs and like to go fast but am also scared of avys so spend a lot of time in trees. I like skis that go straight but can pivot easily and allow a more forward stance in powder. I like long radius skis and pintails, I don't like short radius skis with lots of tail rocker. Ideal specs: 110-120mm, 190ish, 1900-2000g/ski. Will be mounted with dynafit type bindings and driven with hawx 130s. I am also cheap and prefer used skis.

    Skis I am considering:

    Lhasa 191s: I have a pair mounted tele and would buy another set if I could find them for a reasonable price

    ON3P Steeples: A bit heavy and hard to find, also expensive.

    Praxis WooTest: Seem polarizing, would love to try before I buy.

    Lotus 120s: Seem like a good fit can be found reasonably priced.

    Praxis GPOs: Possible a bit less powder focused than ideal, heavy unless I find a carbon UL set

    G3 Sendr112s: Sound interesting, not too many pairs around

    I am also considering moving the mount back ~1.5cm on my current skis with custom toe adapter plates which will help with ramp on my bindings and possibly allow me to ski not in the backseat. Skis are Caravan semi-customs ~135-112-130, I liked them tele but not so much alpine and they are pretty swiss cheesed and worn out.

    Let the jong show begin.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I had a pair of carbon GPOs. Wasn't impressed with them as a touring ski. Too much side it for my liking. I really like the 4frnt hoji as a pow touring ski.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlh View Post
    Skis I am considering:
    Atomic Bent Chetler 120? Black Crows Anima Freebird?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    I have 187 GPO's with a standard (MAP? Enduro?) veneer layup. They are great skis but not pow skis. In fact I'd say most skis with a similar waist width are floatier, but also less versatile.

    I also have 182 UL GPO's in a flex 3. These are great pow touring skis, at least for CO where we're reduced to skiing low angle trees for most of the winter. 100+ days and they still kick ass in non-resort snow, which, where I tend to ski, features plenty of wind effected snow, but little refrozen crap. They're a good match with SSL 2.0's and F1's. If I were touring on Hawx XTD's and skiing faster on steeper terrain I might want something stiffer. If they ever die I may replace with 182 UL's with CCR (full rocker) in a flex 4.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    523
    GregL, you like Noctas as well right? Those are light enough to tour on for me and Iím considering them, l124 alchemists or custom ul veneer protests for a dedicated deep snow powder touring ski that Iíll also ski inbounds on deep days the couple of hours before its tracked out.

    Right now I have 187 enduro veneer gpos and agree with isbd above. Really versatile ski and pretty fun in powder, but more of a wide all-rounder. Itís actually a pretty great travel touring ski, but Iím going to sell it eventually and have a quiver of two 10x and 12x touring skis, one thatís similarly versatile but lighter and one thatís better in pow but less versatile.

    Carlh, I responded to you in the l120 thread, but that ski really does sound like what youíre looking for. I just saw somebody selling it in gear swap with vipecs yeah?

  6. #6
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    Mar 2009
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    Vwerks katanas in 190 seem like they fit the bill dead on. Hard to find cheap.

    Bmt 109 in 186 prob has the chops to do what you want and I have seen some used ones well priced here, but on the low side of your specs

    Bmt 122 in 186 also possible. I have a new pair, could possibly sell, but not dying to do so at a bargain basement price.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    ... have a quiver of two 10x and 12x touring skis, one thatís similarly versatile but lighter and one thatís better in pow but less versatile.
    Yeah, I have Zero G 108's for non-pow days and Zero G 85's for covering long distances. Just about a perfect combo for me. First time I've ever had zero desire to mess with my touring quiver. My standard GPO's are resort skis. I'm toying with the idea of replacing those with something more pow specific, but I worry I'd regret it. In the past when I've replaced a ski I love because of "fit" in the quiver I've generally regretted it.

  8. #8
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    Jan 2014
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    I don't know anyone who has skied the Black Diamond Helio 116 and didn't love its weight to skiability.

    But all those people are in CO and smaller than you. Hand flex is stiff enough, but I'm not sure it'd be enough ski for the PNW heavy snow.

  9. #9
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    The 120s with vipecs are what made me start the thread, deciding on what they are worth to me and if I want the vipecs or if insert them and continue to swap my speed turns.

    Good feedback on the GPOs, sounds like they are off the list.
    BMTs/Vwerks look fun but expensive plus questionable mount patterns.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlh View Post
    ON3P Steeples: A bit heavy and hard to find, also expensive.
    How do you figure regarding price? No more expensive than other skis on the list. ON3P offers about the best bang for the buck new skis out there, but maybe you are referring to the fact that they would only be a used option and hold value....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3PinGrin View Post
    How do you figure regarding price? No more expensive than other skis on the list. ON3P offers about the best bang for the buck new skis out there, but maybe you are referring to the fact that they would only be a used option and hold value....
    I am cheap and shopping used ON3P + out of production = expensive. New the skis are reasonably priced in stock configurations but a BG tour core is still heavier that I want to drag up hill. Volkls have the same issue. The Lotus have only recently come down into my bottom feeder price range. The helios look good but I would prefer a size up

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlh View Post
    I am cheap and shopping used ON3P + out of production = expensive. New the skis are reasonably priced in stock configurations but a BG tour core is still heavier that I want to drag up hill. Volkls have the same issue. The Lotus have only recently come down into my bottom feeder price range. The helios look good but I would prefer a size up
    That makes sense. Iggy had a new pair of 116s he found in storage a while back, might pm him if you think that is a considerable option. Will be heavy though, as you said.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlh View Post
    I am cheap and shopping used ON3P + out of production = expensive. New the skis are reasonably priced in stock configurations but a BG tour core is still heavier that I want to drag up hill. Volkls have the same issue. The Lotus have only recently come down into my bottom feeder price range. The helios look good but I would prefer a size up
    Geo and the boys at Down mentioned they could maybe do another group buy this year. The CD114L in 189 would probably fit your description pretty well.
    https://www.downskis.com/shop/countdown-114l-2018

    No experience with the 114, but the 104L is a really nice ski. Price is good too.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    31
    Got the lotus 120s this year, and love them for pow, and chop. I am somewhat conservative backcountry so most of what I have taken them on has been bowls/trees not charging down some 50 degree couloir, but for everything I need they are great.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jorion View Post
    GregL, you like Noctas as well right?
    Yes, best pow ski in the business IMO, though there are some serious challengers coming next season.

  16. #16
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    Lots of awesome pow touring skis these days, but to me it always begs the question: how wide of a ski do I want to drag uphill? I've had a ton of fun on the ZeroG 108 so I would be more inclined to get something like similar in width (110ish underfoot) but a touch more rocker than 120 underfoot.

    Lhasa Fat carbon
    Faction Candide 4.0/5.0
    Faction Prime 4.0
    BD Helio 116
    Atomic Bent Chetler 120
    Atomic backland 117
    Moment Wildcat Tour
    DPS Lotus 120 sp
    Praxis RX/Quixote/Protest UL
    Down CD114L
    BC Anima Freebird
    Volkl BMT 122
    Armada ARV JJ 116 UL
    Armada Declivity X (for next season)

    I'm sure there are more I'm missing. Some of these do have more sidecut than you might like, but it's a start.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Lots of awesome pow touring skis these days, but to me it always begs the question: how wide of a ski do I want to drag uphill? I've had a ton of fun on the ZeroG 108 so I would be more inclined to get something like similar in width (110ish underfoot) but a touch more rocker than 120 underfoot.
    Totally agree with Auvgeek here; unless I was planning a two week touring trip to Japan in January, the Zero G 108 is as wide and as heavy as I'd choose for self-powered skiing for my normal routine.

  18. #18
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    I hear the lighter and smaller argument and would be happy with a ~110w ski but I don't see many options for that with a long radius, slarvey rocker profile and available for the price I want to pay in a length I want (~$300-400 and 188cm+). BMT109s 186s seem closest but I think they will ski too short. Keep in mind I am not small and have supergoats as inbounds skis. If anyone wants to prove me wrong please send links

    I also tend to do shorter days right now due to other obligations so would prefer awesome coming down to lighter going up and can always take my ZG95s if I want to swap that tradeoff.

  19. #19
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    ^ if you can wait for the group buy, the Down CD114L in a 189 will be right around there in all your requirements, price as well (more or less)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mall walker View Post
    ^ if you can wait for the group buy, the Down CD114L in a 189 will be right around there in all your requirements, price as well (more or less)
    They mentioned another possible group buy this year if people can get it organized.

    I do wish they'd bring their Long Radius Concept to some of the Countdown series. I get that the 25m is well suited for a ski that may see some inbound action, but the CD104L and CD114L are going to be mostly off piste, and that LRC concept looks awesome for them.

  21. #21
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    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    Totally agree with Auvgeek here; unless I was planning a two week touring trip to Japan in January, the Zero G 108 is as wide and as heavy as I'd choose for self-powered skiing for my normal routine.
    Thatís what I mostly arrived at as well, except I am trying to go to japan two weeks every winter and then there are a few days every winter in the Sierra when I want to tour when itís dumping multiple feet and I need something that floats at low to moderate speed. Iíd probably only use the Nocta/protest/whatever five to ten days a season, but thatís ok.

    Those days where youíre excited to ski moderate trees during or right after a huge dump and the skis just wonít float and youíre just pointed fall line slowly molassesing downhill are what Iím thinking of. Thereíve been a bunch of days this year I was way undergunned on the gpos.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    I've had a ton of fun on the ZeroG 108 so I would be more inclined to get something like similar in width (110ish underfoot) but a touch more rocker than 120 underfoot.
    I'd go this route for a coastal snowpack, or anywhere buried facets aren't the norm. But fat is faster when you tend to stay under 30 degrees until March, and the annoyance of sidehilling with fat skis rarely comes into play. When I have a chance to ski steeper, stable pow I just take the Zero G 108's.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlh View Post
    I hear the lighter and smaller argument and would be happy with a ~110w ski but I don't see many options for that with a long radius, slarvey rocker profile and available for the price I want to pay in a length I want (~$300-400 and 188cm+). BMT109s 186s seem closest but I think they will ski too short. Keep in mind I am not small and have supergoats as inbounds skis. If anyone wants to prove me wrong please send links

    I also tend to do shorter days right now due to other obligations so would prefer awesome coming down to lighter going up and can always take my ZG95s if I want to swap that tradeoff.
    Not sure how you define ďlongĒ
    But if you can find a used pair of 187 Praxis MVPs, they have a 26m radius and a very slarvy rocker profile.
    wait!!!! waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait...Wait!
    Zoolander wasn't a documentary?

  24. #24
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    I'd love to see a "compromised" version of a BG tour - something in the 8.5 Lb. range (i.e. lighter than the tour). It's never gonna happen.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  25. #25
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    Jan 2011
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    To the OP. I'm 5'11" and 210-220 so understand about the needs of a full size dude vs. the jr. petites that abound on this site. The ski that I've been using that describes your needs is the BMT 122. Checks all the boxes and they are tragically going away. Took mine to Japan last year for lift assist touring and they were perfect. I've found that most of the usual boards used by our smaller brethren tend to fold or sink when conditions get funky or too deep so be forewarned. For instance, at the NW demo last week I took the G3 SENDr 112 188's through Bomber Bowl in deep 3D snow and sent the tips right to the bottom when I started getting after it. The 122 is a ski that guys our size can ski without the brakes on. Do surprisingly well in sub-optimal conditions as well. Might say that I'm a total BMT fan boi. After trying a lot of shit I own the 94's, 109's and 122's. If you like reverse camber skis, they are the shit. Katanas kick ass too. FWIW, have also enjoyed Lhasa 191 and 196, just don't like making kick turns with a 196!

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