Are powder performance and groomer performance opposite ends of a
spectrum?  I've been wondering this lately.  I'm not enough of a powder
hound (yet) to know what makes a good powder ride.  I've got a pretty
good handle on hardpack carving though.  I'm thinking of snowboards, but
I would imagine the principles are the same for skis also.  Powder rides
  are usually wide and soft while carving tools are usually narrow and

I think I understand how width works here - narrow for quick edge to
edge, wide for float.  Where I get lost is stiffness and how it effects
powder performance.  I understand stiff carving gear.  If it's too soft,
you overpower it and either "fold the nose" or lose edge contact at high
speeds.  What about powder?  Can one ride excel at both carving and
powder riding?

I'm leaning towards no, but I don't have the knowledge to explain why.
My gear for this season includes a Prior Freeride board (rather stiff
board made by people known for their race gear) for the groomers and a
Burton Fish (a new, short, soft, fat nose / narrow tail powder board)
for trees and soft snow.  Last year I tried a Burton BMC as a do
everything board and found out that it doesn't have massive carving
ability.  I've done the hard boot / race board thing, so I understand
specialized carving equipment.  I've never ridden a specialized powder
board, so I don't know how a do-everything board compares at that.

Feel free to talk about skis or boards...  the principles should be the
same, right?


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