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  1. #1
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    For ya Spats lovers

    I have fallen in love with this ski. I have read a bunch of reviews and posts about them and I haven't heard much about how they handle on ice. The fact that you don't carve makes me wonder if ice is a no-no with these (I know they are a pow ski). Also the whole slide turn, is that basically just kicking your tail out to the side. So instead of rotating your ankles like when you carve, you just rotate your whole foot left/right to turn? (If 12 is heading straight down the hill and you want to turn right, then you just turn your feet towards 1 or 2 o'clock?) So is it worth spending the rest of my ski budget on these bad boys? Also how does the whole warranty issue work with these since they are not made any longer and if something happes. Shit out of luck? I have a pair of PP and would love to make those my early season skis and get a new pair (spats?) for the rest of the season. What advice would you give it a young magg.
    Last edited by tranzformer; 11-29-2005 at 10:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Also, how accurate is Mental Floss? I read through it and if it 50% true, I need these skis.

  3. #3
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    basically you just ski like normal in powder, and butter all over on freshly groomed.

    sliding down a groomer totally sideways at 20mph is WAY more fun than you think....
    Last edited by marshalolson; 11-29-2005 at 11:28 PM.
    go for rob

    www.dpsskis.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson
    basically you just ski like normal in powder, and butter all over on fresh.

    sliding donw a groomer totally sideways at 20mph is WAY more fun than you think....
    So you would say give it a go?

  5. #5
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    chicago/michigan? where do you ski?
    do you have some non-pow skis? im guessing PP is powder plus? these will not be fun as an everyday ice ski in michigan.
    i like you fell in love with them last year and got a pair, havent got to use them much but when i did they are pretty cool. id say mental floss is pretty damn accurate

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson
    basically you just ski like normal in powder, and butter all over on freshly groomed.

    sliding down a groomer totally sideways at 20mph is WAY more fun than you think....
    until you catch an edge which results in a beat down. it is fun, but a bruised rib and sore back muscle is not cool
    More fucked up than a cricket in a hubcap

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnay
    chicago/michigan? where do you ski?
    do you have some non-pow skis? im guessing PP is powder plus? these will not be fun as an everyday ice ski in michigan.
    i like you fell in love with them last year and got a pair, havent got to use them much but when i did they are pretty cool. id say mental floss is pretty damn accurate
    I ski out west and I plan on working at a ski resorts after I graduate this year. I have Volkl G4's as my all moutain ski and some K2 Escape 5500 for groomers. I don't ski here in Michigan. I guess I see the Spatula as a long term investment.

  8. #8
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    I bought a pair last season, best decision I made. Warranty is a big issue. I cracked the core of mine after 3 days, still skiable, but I can't return them, and will likely buy a replacement. Skiing in the west, they're a good buy, hardpack isn't a big issue, how much hardpack are you skiing on a pow day? It's doable, you can carve them, but they slide real nice. Get them.
    Go Sharks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crinkle
    until you catch an edge which results in a beat down. it is fun, but a bruised rib and sore back muscle is not cool
    crinkle, you fucking beater... you gotta grease THEN stroke
    go for rob

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highway Star
    The spatula is going to be obsolete very shortly.
    meh, I'd say "obsolete" is a little strong, they work extremely well for a specific purpose and will continue to do so.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highway Star
    Keep in mind K2 will be offering the "pontoon" in a couple months, and several other companies are offering simliar reverse camber/tapered skis. The spatula is going to be obsolete very shortly.
    Pontoon - Not here yet, don't know when it will be. Also, it's not reverse sidecut. The narrower tip makes the Spat the best crud ski ever.

    Birdos - 1300 CHF = $1,000 US at current exchange rate

    DP Lotus 138 - $910

    Until the prices come down for the others and I read some reviews on the Pontoon, I'm sticking with Spats.

    They're definitely skiable on anything but pure ice. Then they get really sketchy. Any ski that fat does, but the Spats might be a touch worse.

    As for warranty, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Fluffballs' case was a rare one. This is one of the most bomber skis out there. Volants were known for the amount of abuse they could take and the Spats has proven to be just as durable as the other skis. The only other issue would be delaming of the topsheet. I've seen it happen only once with this ski. A local shop sent lph's in for warranty last year and Atomic actually came through. I'm not saying you'll have the same luck, but it's worth a shot.
    "I knew in an instant that the three dollars I had spent on wine would not go to waste."

  12. #12
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    That's a reasonable point, but at the same time I'm keeping mine and continue to consider snagging another pair for backup. One of us is more right than the other I'm sure, and it may well be you.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highway Star
    Do you have powder pluses already? How long are they and how are the bindings mounted? You may want to consider mounting them centered and back from the line.
    Yeah I have the powder pluses. They are a little short for me 165, but for my first pow ski it was fine, espcially since I got a good deal from mntlion. That is one reason I really want to get the Spats. They will be a ski that I will be able to ski for a long time. The 165 PP is a little short, but it is fun for early season when I don't care if I hit some rocks. The 186 length of the Spats would be perfect for me and give me something to "grow" into and continue skiing for as long as they last. (The mount for the PP I believe is centered, but not sure if it is back from the line).
    Last edited by tranzformer; 11-30-2005 at 10:57 AM.

  14. #14
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    in terms of blowing your wad on one pair of skis, getting some 180 PP's and some 180 explosiv's at the same price as 1 pair of new spats is an option.


    otherwise, spats are SUPER FUN
    go for rob

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  15. #15
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    http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40357
    get there from mntlion: 183 RD heli dog 95mm waist $150
    or these: 170 heli star (ubber fat 115mm) $200

    and find some 180 PP's (maybe...) then you will have the ultimate quiver.
    go for rob

    www.dpsskis.com

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highway Star
    How big are you? I have my 180 PP's mounted at -2cm, centered (not asym), which gives them way more tip and makes them ski much bigger.
    5'11 175-180ish.

  17. #17
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    check out this thread on the Spatulas from last winter:

    http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26223

    again while the Spats are fun in deep pow, they would sometimes freak me out on the groomers back to the lift. i grew up ski racing on New England blue ice, so "smearing" or "buttering" my turns on the groomers is just not my thing. i know McConkey also spent lots of time racing back East (we went to rival racing academies and squared off against each other every weekend), but obviously he figured out adjusting his style with the Spatulas. just my opinion...

    i would have kept my Spatulas if i could... but i had to sell them to make room for some Mantras and Sumos

  18. #18
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    By having to turn with skidding on these skis, how responsive are they compared to a ski that you have to put on its side to carve with. Will skidding be a little slower to turn and less responsive since you dont have the edge and weight/force in the ski. I know that skiing packed snow and pow are different but I am still curious about the responsiveness of them. Also just to make sure I am good on this, I do have a legitimate reason to want another pair of skis right? My girlfriend just doesn't understand even when I try to explain how my skis are totally different.

    Have:
    Atomic PP (165)-even though it is short, I still love it and would love a 180. I would end up using this for the early season and when ever I would like to enjoy the feeling of driving a Cadillac down the hill.

    Atomic G4-This is my go-to ski which will see most of the time unless it is a pow day.

    K2 5500-Basically useless now. Loved the ski while I was in the stage of getting into skiing. Don't know what to do with it.

    Need:
    ??????- So I am left with a spot for another ski. I understand all the downfalls of the Spatula and I realize it is a very specific ski. Even after considering these things, I still love the design. It makes sense to me and I like how unique the design is and that it isn't a mass produced ski. Or should I wait until the end of the Summer and see what has come out in the mean time and make a decision then, eventhough I might very well go with the Spatula anyways?
    Last edited by tranzformer; 11-30-2005 at 02:00 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranzformer
    By having to turn with skidding on these skis, how responsive are they compared to a ski that you have to put on its side to carve with. Will skidding be a little slower to turn and less responsive since you dont have the edge and weight/force in the ski. I know that skiing packed snow and pow are different but I am still curious about the responsiveness of them.
    In pow I find them more responsive than other skis because you have more surface area, you're not dipping and 'giving ground' as much. They truly are like water skis in that they rip pow, but you can smear as well. I find myself continually able to make turns in tight high speed situations that I am not able to do on other skis.
    Go Sharks.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluffballs
    In pow I find them more responsive than other skis because you have more surface area, you're not dipping and 'giving ground' as much. They truly are like water skis in that they rip pow, but you can smear as well. I find myself continually able to make turns in tight high speed situations that I am not able to do on other skis.

    I need to read through Mental Floss again, but it seems like you would use a lot more energy by having to skidd turn than carve by shifting body weight. But I know MF says it isn't so.

  21. #21
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    Get some Sanouks's. I am sure you will be happy on them in Powder, and won't catch an edge like a snowboarder on the groomers.

    With that said I have never skied on the Spats, and they could be like a million times more fun in powder than Sanouk's.
    "Steve McQueen's got nothing on me" - Clutch

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranzformer
    I need to read through Mental Floss again, but it seems like you would use a lot more energy by having to skidd turn than carve by shifting body weight. But I know MF says it isn't so.
    just pick up a pair and ski them. you can read all about them and try and figure out everyone's take on the ski.... but you gotta just try them out and see for yourself. there are sooooo many variables that you'll get a ton of different opinions.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crinkle
    until you catch an edge which results in a beat down. it is fun, but a bruised rib and sore back muscle is not cool
    For what it's worth, I rode the Spats every day there was any type of (relativelY) fresh snow (blower pow, glop, wind-buff, cut-up, crud, etc.) @ Squaw last season, and they rocked. Sure, they takes a little getting used to on harder surfaces...but I never caught an edge and got dumped like what can happen on a snowboard. They're fat, but they're still skis.

    You'll "survive" the ice, not enjoy it. As for the packed stuff, I think you'll either adapt and find it different but fun -- or not really adapt and "survive" that, too.

    I found them very maneuverable in just about every other type of snow -- and really stable for stomping landings.

    If you can find 'em for under $400, I'd go for it. Otherwise, I'd say they're not really worth it...esp if living east of the Rockies.

    (Also note: I grew up skiing on east coast ice, so I'm no stranger to skiing that stuff -- but I'm also not a pro racer.)

    They're a really FUN ski, but if you're wondering about carving with them, it ain't worth it. They are a dream in deep (+ heavy) snow.

    (Caveat: These days I mostly ride Spats, Explosivs, and Pocket Rockets and lightweight Dynafits...depending on whether I'm inbound, through the gates, or on a short- or long-tour.)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by onehotchili
    just pick up a pair and ski them. you can read all about them and try and figure out everyone's take on the ski.... but you gotta just try them out and see for yourself. there are sooooo many variables that you'll get a ton of different opinions.

    Its gonna be hard to try a pair out. Especially since they aren't being produced any more and that I won't be able to demo them. Basically I just have to decide to get them or not (and wait until the beginning of next season when I would really use them).
    Last edited by tranzformer; 11-30-2005 at 06:16 PM.

  25. #25
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    By Mr. McConkey Sking Spatulas Part 1

    Mental Floss
    A guide to the Volant Spatula, the world’s greatest powder ski.

    By Shane McConkey

    Important!

    You really should read this before you ski on your new Spatulas.

    Keep this guide so that you can refer back to it after you have tried the Spatulas. It will help remind you of certain things you will need to know.

    CONGRATULATIONS! You have just purchased the most progressive invention in the history of powder skiing since the original fat skis were invented. These skis will change the way you thought you were supposed to ski powder, minimize the effort you put into your skiing, and greatly improve your powder skiing experience.

    The following is meant to give you some idea of what the Spatulas are all about, why they are shaped the way they are and how to ski them.
    First of all, in order to clear your mind and attempt to make sense of all this, take most everything you have ever learned about skiing and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Or at least in the garage next to your shaped skis. Why? Because:
    1. Side cut is NOT good in powder.
    2. Camber is NOT good in powder.
    3. Carving is NOT necessary in the powder.
    Simply put, if you want to maximize your abilities in soft snow you do not want to use the same tool as you would on any kind of hard, groomed or compacted snow.

    How to ski your new Spatulas
    As you well know your new Spatulas have a very unique almost bizarre shape. It is important for you to understand the adjustments to your skiing technique you will need to make in order to ski them well. Don’t worry! Its easy. Many people may get intimidated by the progressive shape of the Spatula and think that it takes an expert to know how to manage them.

    Not true! These skis will make powder skiing much easier for even the least experienced beginners. Actually the opposite concepts explained here will be much easier for a beginner to grasp than an expert conditioned to use their skis the way they always have. The expert will have to open their mind and be prepared for some very different concepts. Or simply, they must floss their brain!

    Ski on both feet!

    Put your weight a bit more on two feet throughout the turn instead of mostly on your downhill ski. This will help you stay afloat and facilitate sliding when you need to. You will also be able to load up your downhill ski as you normally would in most soft snow situations but knowing how and when to use both feet will greatly increase your abilities with the Spatulas. Sun crust and wind affect are prime examples of when to use both feet. In these conditions the Spatulas will blow your mind. Normally these conditions would require you to slow way down and be very careful not to hook a tip. Not anymore. Ski on two feet and let ‘er rip!

    Open it up!
    Your powder skiing experience is about to change dramatically. It will become much easier for you to maintain control at higher speeds. If you were the type of powder skier who used to make lots of slow, little bouncing up and down turns then you need to try going faster. Open it up and go for it! You can still milk the powder slowly if you want but after you get the hang of hauling ass you won’t want to putt around anymore.

    Slide instead of carve!
    Yes, believe it or not this is something that you should be trying to do in the powder. Sliding will be the most difficult of Spatula techniques to learn but you should be able to get the idea in time. Even if you never attempt to learn slides you will still be able to blow doors on everyone else without Spatulas. Who knows, you might just naturally start doing them anyway. The more dense and compacted the snow is the easier it will be to perform slides. Sliding will greatly improve your maneuverability and control. Begin your powder turn and then instead of hitting your edges hard to carve a turn, stand up on two feet and let your skis slide or skid diagonally across the fall line. It will be harder to perform a slide directly down the fall line. Start off doing them diagonally.

    Trade skis with a friend for a run.

    Just to compare what you used to ski on to what you have now. I guarantee you will only try this once and then you will keep your Spatulas for yourself!

    Floatation and Sliding
    In order to better understand why the Spatulas are so efficient the two most important concepts to grasp are flotation and sliding. In a ski world where everyone is constantly thinking power, pressure and carving it may seem like a crazy concept to accept almost the opposite theory. Then again soft snow is pretty much the opposite as hard snow. Retraining your mind that sliding not carving is actually a good thing is a very hard concept for many people to swallow.

    A ski which is fat under foot will float much more than a ski which is narrow under foot. A ski with reverse side cut will give the skier the ability to slide their turns where as side cut will force the skier to sink and carve. Reverse side cut combined with decamber immediately puts the tip and tail higher than the waist of the ski as well as pulls the edges of the ski away from the snow leaving the point of first contact with the snow at the waist of the ski. When you set your skis sideways to start a slide there is much less ski at the tip and tail to catch the snow and prevent the slide. It also helps to eliminate catching your downhill edges and stuffing it. The Spatulas are also twin tipped. This helps immensely for initiating a slide. Expert skiers can use the twin tip to ski and land backwards if they wish. Skiing backwards in the powder will be surprisingly easy compared to any other twin tipped powder ski.

    In virtually all situations you will still be able to carve your turns. The Spatulas simply give you the option to initiate a slide or to scrub speed by sliding similar to how you would do it on the groomer. Why is it so easy for snowboarders to scrub speed in the powder? Why is it so easy for them to make turns and go fast when skiers are laboring slowly down the hill? Why do snowboarders use less energy than skiers in the powder? It is a simple matter of flotation. Snowboarders are always on top of the snow. Skiers are mostly down in it. The Spatulas will give you all the benefits of snowboarding’s floatation and ease as well as satisfaction in the fact that you are actually on skis and still have all the luxuries and mobility options that skiing offers.

    Reverse Side Cut
    For normal skis side cut is used to make it easier to turn. You simply roll the ski on edge, add some pressure to the ski and it carves around. In recent years ski manufacturers have been adding significant amounts of side cut to their skis greatly facilitating the ski experience for everyone. This is true. ON HARD SNOW!

    In powder or soft snow side cut creates two distinct negative effects:

    1. “The Pool Cover”- Your weight is directly on top of the narrowest part of the ski. This type of weight distribution immediately puts you in a sinking into the snow situation similar to what happens to the pool cover when you try to run across it. This causes your tips and tails to float but the center of your skis where all your weight is sinks, bogs down and then you must plow through the snow. You will be forced to carve every turn and expend a lot of energy bouncing in and out of the snow.

    Sinking/carving = Bad. Floating/sliding = Good.

    2. “The Unstable Hooker”- Skis become very unstable and much more difficult to control. In sun crust or wind affect you may have noticed the occasional Unstable Hooker. This is when you start a turn and your downhill ski hooks fast and hard up and across your uphill ski. You cross your tips, step on your downhill ski with your uphill and then stuff your face into mountain. Or at high speeds you may have noticed your skis trying to swim around a bit making it hard to control as you try to keep your tips up and out of the snow. The solution to this in the past has always been to maintain a wider stance in powder and to slow it down a bit.

    Fortunately now you can use your Spatula to dish out a good spanking to that Unstable Hooker and Pool Cover. The reverse side cut of the Spatulas immediately sets you afloat on top of the snow allowing you to initiate turns and negotiate everything you encounter much more easily without having to labor through it. Reverse side cut also eliminates the instabilities commonly encountered with “shaped” skis in the soft snow. You will notice little or no Unstable Hookers and you will be able to enjoy a much more relaxed stance in variable snow and at high speeds.

    You will also notice that the Spatulas feel much lighter while on your feet than other skis of similar surface area. Try swinging them from side to side while on the lift. This effect is created by the reverse side cut. It gives them a very light swing weight. Normal skis with side cut have a weight distribution which puts the bulk of the skis at the tips and tails. The Spatulas are the opposite. The bulk is at the waist. The Spatulas are a lot of ski and there is a lot down there stuck to your feet. However, they will feel much lighter and more maneuverable than you can imagine.
    Decamber
    On normal skis camber is used to add power and extra pressure to the tip and tail of the ski. This gives the ski stability, strength and helps it initiate a turn. It also and adds power through the arc of the turn. This is true, ON HARD SNOW!

    In soft snow camber has these negative effects:

    1. “The Sunken Plow” – Tips and tails are constantly trying to dive down into the snow. No matter how much you load up the skis with pressure or how soft the skis are the tips still always want to dive lower than the waist of your skis. This causes excessive unweighting or bouncing and leaning back onto your tails. It puts you in an unbalanced position. The point is to get up out of the snow not down in it.
    Last edited by MTT; 11-30-2005 at 06:23 PM.

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