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If you've ever had the embarrassing experience of getting your body fat tested by total immersion in deep water, you learned an interesting fact of life: Fat floats. While body fat floats in water, what we call “fat skis” will float in powder. This is why powder skis, which are often referred to as “phat skis,” are characterized by their 88mm or larger waistlines.
Since deep powder snow has similar qualities to water, it's not surprising that powder skiing has been compared to surfing; some powder skis even look like slimmer versions of surfboards. In fact, many of the powder ski designers for Salmon Skis are actually avid surfers, windsurfers and wakeboarders. As such, they design powder skis that are flexible. Just as a surfboard has to flexible enough to allow the rider to experience feedback from the waves, a powder ski must be flexible enough to let the skier feel the feedback from the soft snow. If the ski is too stiff, this will not happen.
Keep in mind that while racing is about speed, powder invariably slows the skier down. Skiing powder is about savoring every moment as you float through the snow. While a racer might use the stiffness of a ski to make things happen, a powder skier uses the width of the ski to let things happen. Every manufacturer offers a variety of powder skis, including free ride specific companies like Armada and Line.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|