Japan ski

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Budgiesmuggler, Apr 20, 2017.


    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    I'm looking for a power/big mountain ski for off piste skiing in northern hemisphere, usually Japan but sometimes NA and Europe.

    Current skis are Blizzard Bonafide which I love for everything except pow where they don't float much and ice got to seriously lean back to keep thrmmmoving.

    I also have a pair of Praxis GPO which I took to Japan in 2016. They didn't float well, really hooked up on slow turns through trees (maybe due to the amount of snow and size of the ski), and I had to ski with an aggressive weight forward. The result was I felt I had not much control on the ski when it got steeper.

    I'm not a big guy - 175cm and 75kg so is this experience going to be the same for all wider pow skis?

    I'm looking at the Armada JJ - not usually the sort of ski I go for but I know people rave about it's Japan performance and i demoed it in Australia a couple years ago and quite liked it even on groomers.

    Also looking at Blizzard Cochise or bodacious which are the bigger models of the Bonafide.
    Froff Life

    Froff Life Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    The Fischer Ranger 108 Ti looks reallllllyyy nice. Only 3mm wider underfoot than the Cochise. You can find the Rangers for a decent price online too
    :thumbs: Dumph and Budgiesmuggler like this.
    DPS Driver

    DPS Driver Dedicated Member

    Un-matched and light weight. My DPS side-kick is smaller than you & he steers his Wailer 112's in a 178cm through anything in Japan or Canada without any issues.
    :thumbs: nrcd, Marc8491927 and Budgiesmuggler like this.
    Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    I'd pick the 112s over the rangers or bonafide for Japan. Mind you, if I were to take a DPS ski to Japan it would be a pair of 120s, 138s or if I had the balls a pair of spoons.
    :thumbs: DPS Driver likes this.

    PMG Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold


    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Season Pass Gold

    You(or perhaps I should say "I") really don't need skis as wide as that in Japan.... anything around 110mm is as wide as you need IMO.
    Depends more on the shape than 3-5mm either way.
    :thumbs: Born2ski likes this.
    DPS Driver

    DPS Driver Dedicated Member

    Well this is, as you say totally your opinion.

    Over the 15 seasons i did in Japan across both Honshu & Hokkaido I skied everything from 76mm underfoot to 149mm (The Spoon - TPhat) and had a ball on them all.

    Your ski preference also depends on what type of skiing you're doing. For me rarely does piste come into consideration but it is a reality so you do want something that can handle the piste, as most off piste is accessed from a resort base. Generally we're moving across the ground at a decent pace, so I want something to handle both tight spaces and speed off piste. Based on my experience anything under 110mm is a waste of time. My two favourites are my 115mm RPC's and my Lotus 138 Spoons.

    So whilst we all might have an opinion they are based on our own skiing preferences. My wife for example is more than happy with a pair of W99's or C95's because it suits her skiing preference.

    Sure you don't need anything over 110mm but as I say to my kids all the time, "needs and wants are two separate beasts".

    Annabuzzy Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    I can only talk around my personal experience. You're considerably lighter than me. The widest skis I've used in Japan are 99mm underfoot and I found them fine, including in waist to chest deep snow. Mind you, on one particularly deep day (one) I thought extra width would be helpful.

    I am coming to the view that top profile, extent of early rise, tip and forebody flex and flex generally are as important as width alone for predicting soft snow performance.

    To be honest I would have thought 98mm underfoot is pretty wide for a 75kg body, but they are pretty stiff skis. I remember I also didn't like the tip dive on my Line Supernatural 100's which are reputedly similar to the Blizzard's, so I "feel you"!!!

    Have you thought about mid 100's skis like the Salomon QST106, Head Core 105, K2 Pinnacle 105 etc that are lighter and softer flexing? Reputedly they offer similar off piste performance to other, stiffer, skis with another 10mm width on them.

    Anyway, nothing wrong with the JJ. A friend skis them and loves them. I'd guess he's around 85kg and a very strong skier.

    Rimey Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    I'm 75kg, 180cm and my DPS W112 Pures (184cm) are just perfect in the pow.
    They turn by themselves, so are perfect in the trees.
    Piste, no problem.
    In the last three years they've made my trips to Hakuba (x2) and this year, Chamonix.

    Float. One day in the pow in Italy, this year, I remember playing with my weight forward on the ski.
    I got my tips just under the snow surface so they'd spray a little, rather than the full face shot.
    These W112s are fun.
    :thumbs: DPS Driver likes this.

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    I'm thinking a mid 100 may be too similar to the. Bonafide at 98. I agree they're skiable and fun in pow but I'm not "skiing" them I'm riding the tails to keep the tips up.

    Have done some reading and wailer sounds interesting.whats he difference between pure and hybrid in how they ski?

    CarveMan aussieskier.com Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Strongly agree with this. You will see that the industry has backed off on the really big 120+mm wide skis.

    My ideal Japan ski is 115-120mm wide, front and rear rocker, directional, tapered tip profile and pretty soft. JJ fits this profile, as does the K2 Pinnacle 118, Black Crows Anima, Salomon QST 118.

    Overall I think the Blizzards are a little stiff for Japow, I think they're better in a steeper situation like Jackson / Snowbird / Tahoe etc etc.
    DPS Driver

    DPS Driver Dedicated Member

    Let's skip forward into this year the:
    • Pure is now the Alchemist
    • Hybrid is now Foundation
    Alchemist (Pure) is stiffer, lighter and more lively. They hold a solid edge and give you plenty of rebound out of a turn. They will hold a better edge than anything in a similar width and at a lighter weight due to the carbon fibre construction.

    Foundation (Hybrid) is silkier, still lively but not as dialled up as the Alchemist, still light weight due to the bamboo core and more forgiving than the Alchemist.

    I hope this helps.

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    Any thoughts on the JJ for Japan?

    I demoed in NZ about 5 years ago on hardpack and they surprisingly were a lot of fun.

    CarveMan aussieskier.com Moderator Season Pass Gold

    JJ is standard issue powder rental ski in Niseko, we sell tons of them after people get back & have fallen in love.

    craighelo Active Member

    The JJ is a ski that puts a smile on your face as soon as you click in and has you looking for jumps and deep powder stashes.

    Zimboo Addicted Member

    So IMO if you do your homework (away from what is cool and sells in Australia / USA), you will find that the Fischer Rangers are magic skis full of the latest tech with the biggest bang for your buck!!! I just purchased another new pair for 299 Euro ($420 Australian) which wifey will bring back in September! Interestingly, Fischer came down from 122mm max waist width last year to 115mm this year.
    :thumbs: Pez likes this.

    Dumph Active Member

    Big fan of the Fischer Ranger 108 nomination, amazing ski and you can find if for incredible value. Unbelievable. I've got the 180 which is good for Japan and tight trees but if skiing bigger lines more open terrain would go for the 188.
    :thumbs: Pez likes this.

    Beerman Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    Too many good skis, not enough ski days..................:(
    DPS Driver

    DPS Driver Dedicated Member

    I'd prefer not to make comment about other skis. Some are great and some are good. There's not many bad skis made these days. Suffice to say that my offsider and mate who helps me with DPS demo days was on a pair of JJ's prior to moving across to DPS. He loved his JJ's.
    After his first run on a pair of DPS Wailer 112's he said, quote "these kill the JJ's". His words not mine.
    That first season when he went back to Canada he stopped a few people on DPS. One guy he'd seen just tear apart Powder Assault in the North Bowl at Revelstoke. The guy pulled up next to him and Chocko asked what he thought of his skis, the guy gave a two word answer...."Life Changing"... and skied away.

    bluess57 Active Member

    Btw there's been a pair of dps wailer 112rp @178cm on gumtree in ACT region.
    Might be worth investigating.
    I have no affliation to seller.

    expatgm Active Member Season Pass Silver

    Hi David on the DPS site they don't specify the weight of the Alchemist Ski, I'm guessing it's a tiny bit heavier than the pure3 ( not that it would make any difference in my case) Also what's the go with the binding riser plates on the Alchemist ski.

    Ajmit321 Active Member

    I got some never used 116 mm Factions for sale for $400 in Vic.........................

    Budgiesmuggler Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    I'll hang out for $200 in June :)
    :thumbs: Ajmit321 likes this.

    Ajmit321 Active Member

    Yep probably a wise idea ha ha

    Annabuzzy Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    So long until we can indulge our Japan skis in Japanese snow. Soooooo loooooong. Boo to that.

    I do have some Line Supernatural 108's "lined up" to use in Niseko next year and can't wait to see what they're like. I have to confess though I'm getting excited for what I'll be skiing on in Oz from June to October. Which will be Brahmas as an everyday ski and some Salomon QLabs for new snow days.

    craighelo Active Member

    and level9 have them for US$299 with $29 shipping https://www.levelninesports.com/fischer-ranger-106-ti-skis

    Zimboo Addicted Member

    If we are talking apples for apples then this is not correct compared to my post. The 106 ti you are quoting is 3 seasons old. I was talking about our last seasons model (current model in Nth hemi) which has Carbon and Aeroshape. Further improvements!!!
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017 at 8:49 PM
    :thumbs: craighelo likes this.
    DPS Driver

    DPS Driver Dedicated Member

    Hi expatgm, I don't actually know what the weights are for each new Alchemist models. We've gone quite a bit beyond weight with this ski but I believe they might be a tad lighter than the Pure 3. It's funny at DPS we don't talk weight much at all and so the conversation has never came up to date with Alchemist because it was so much of a quantum leap in dampening and that's been the whole story.

    I'll explain why I think they're a bit lighter and it's to do with your second question. The flex is a critical component of the damper ride and ski contact with the snow. We've narrowed the profile of the Alchemist and semi capped the sidewall. The riser plate as you call it is actually a mounting plate to bring the ski back to the required width (thickness) to hold the binding. So there's a bit less Aspen in the core and bit less sidewall hence weight should be slightly reduced.

    We're not telling anyone how we managed to get the ski so damp (for a pure carbon fibre ski) but it's something we've been working on for three years. It's way out there as far as ski manufacturing is concerned and we don't want to give away our competitive advantage just yet. If you've skied our Pure3 then jump on a pair. You will be blown away at the difference. I think Darryl has his stock landed in QT if you want to see them in the flesh.