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Performance of the low rise tip design (almost flat ski profile)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I was speculating how this design (as in Gotama) will work on packed snow with bumps and uneven terrain. Wouldn't the tip lift the critical part of the fore-body of the ski off the snow right at the instant you want it to grip the snow? A conventional tip is out-of-the-way, letting the broadest part of the forebody engage the snow first to start the turn. Talking only of fairly firm snow. I know the design is Powder-specific, but every ski is going to be used in every condition from time to time, just moving around a mountain with variable conditions, and for skis in the approx 100mm width, they will be on packed bump conditions a lot. The design is fairly new, so it may not be completely analyzed yet.

post #2 of 10

Your post brings up an issue that has been on my mind since the emergence of tip rocker skis, and which I recently had a chance to test on my own boards.  As a big guy I have always relied on tip pressure to moderate my speed in deep or heavy snow.  I love it when the snow is a little thick and I can ski the fall line altering my speed by minor fore/aft weight adjustments, but I bought some tip rocker skis that do not have that quality.

 

Last weekend I chased a storm in SLC and had 40" of new over 3 days. Lots of deep snow, with some windblow and everything from bottomless to sun thickened crud.  I have two pairs of skis with very similar profiles, sidecut, length, tip and tail rise, and both have camber.  The major difference is that one has a soft even flex, and the other tip rocker and a stiffer flex, which is somewhat necessary to compensate for the rocker.  I switched back and forth each day between the two pairs skiing multiple snow conditions on both.

 

Whether in deep powder, crud or moguls the softer pair would engage the tips, causing resistance that would slow me down and also help bow the flex of the ski to slow me down even more through the turn.  With the other pair the tip rocker would hit the powder, crud or mogul and more or less float right over it.  The rocker made them turn quicker and more easily, but there was no resistance to slow me down, or to help the ski flex to also cause some deceleration.  The tip rocker makes the skis much faster, which is fine is some limited situations, but generally I see speed control as a desirable feature of turning.

 

Bottom line is that the softer flexing non-rockered skis were much easier and more relaxing to ski in all situations.  The rocker tips smoothed things, but it was to the point of making them so fast that I felt I was having to fight gravity and speed all the time, which required much more attention, and quite a bit more effort than the traditional skis.  I have always thought that tip profile and fore-body flex is the most important feature in a ski's personality, but the new rockered skis have essentially taken that out of the equation.

 

I like to sink into the flex of the ski and possibly work the back end through the finish of my turns, whether in bumps, pow or crud or groomers, but with my tip rockered boards they seem to be off looking for the next turn just about the time I start to relax.  Yeah, they have more turn shapes, but I need those to control them, which is something that is not necessary on my traditional skis.  Taking the tips out of major play by adding rocker is definitely a two-edged sword.

post #3 of 10


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

... With the other pair the tip rocker would hit the powder, crud or mogul and more or less float right over it.  The rocker made them turn quicker and more easily, but there was no resistance to slow me down, or to help the ski flex to also cause some deceleration.  The tip rocker makes the skis much faster, which is fine is some limited situations, but generally I see speed control as a desirable feature of turning.

 

Bottom line is that the softer flexing non-rockered skis were much easier and more relaxing to ski in all situations.  The rocker tips smoothed things, but it was to the point of making them so fast that I felt I was having to fight gravity and speed all the time, which required much more attention, and quite a bit more effort than the traditional skis.  I have always thought that tip profile and fore-body flex is the most important feature in a ski's personality, but the new rockered skis have essentially taken that out of the equation.

 

I like to sink into the flex of the ski and possibly work the back end through the finish of my turns, whether in bumps, pow or crud or groomers, but with my tip rockered boards they seem to be off looking for the next turn just about the time I start to relax.  Yeah, they have more turn shapes, but I need those to control them, which is something that is not necessary on my traditional skis.  Taking the tips out of major play by adding rocker is definitely a two-edged sword.

 

I have been finding the same thing. At times I have started just skimming over the top of stuff, going mach schnell -- unexpectedly, because it is snow that usually slows me way down, so my old habit is to power through it. Yes, I can fix that with turn shape, but not sure I want to. One kid on a lift was asking about the tail shape of my S7s, saying he heard they were that way so you could sink them quickly to slow down. Which I hadn't thought of, but it makes sense, and you know what, when I started thinking about it, I was doing that at times. I didn't really like that I was doing it, though. But you start skimming along the top, and you have to throw em sideways and down in there to slow yourself. It works, but....

 

Anyway, I got some skinnier skis (98) instead. They still have a minor tip rise, and I have done the same thing once or twice (gotten them up on top of crud and just starting flying), but not like the 110s.

 

(... I should add, it was the only way to ski on crud with those, I thought, at the length I had them, because if I went slower and didn't get up on top, it hurt. Too much deflection. There is probably another way to do it right, which I never figured out, but I might qualify as an old dog with old tricks. )

post #4 of 10

Have you skied the Elan 1010 (now Olympus)?

 

Its just about flat, ie like an old ski that has lost its camber. I think you would like what that skis does, and does sooo easily.

 

The softer early rise tips and increase width do lead to many more skiers simply leaning back and straightlining like a skipping stone...

post #5 of 10

Seg:

 

I do not have a pair of full rocker skis, but I have heard of the maneuver (turn) you are talking about on the S7, ON3P Billy Goats, and other pintail rockers. You throw your weight back and inside to quickly dump speed.  You can ski the trees fast, but quickly smear off speed in case of an emergency or tight turn.  It sounds like a very useful trick that is not available to users of other type skis.

 

For the record, I did not intend my post to denigrate rockers, just an observation on the loss of a ski characteristic I have always valued. 

 

MF

post #6 of 10

 

I recently tried an early rise ski for the first time, a Ninth Ward, don't remember the model but it was around 90 width. At the time, I thought it was the worst ski I'd ever been on and that was after I rewaxed it and fixed the edges a bit (got some money back from the shop for my trouble); it was no fun on anything groomed, not bad in bumps, and though I hoped it would, it didn't me at all in 3-D snow (not much float and difficult to manage once submerged).

 

I'm not sure I'd ever really like this particular ski (on top of everything else, it lacked any kind of pop) but maybe next time I try something of this ilk, I need consider some changes in technique.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

Seg:

 

I do not have a pair of full rocker skis, but I have heard of the maneuver (turn) you are talking about on the S7, ON3P Billy Goats, and other pintail rockers. You throw your weight back and inside to quickly dump speed.  You can ski the trees fast, but quickly smear off speed in case of an emergency or tight turn.  It sounds like a very useful trick that is not available to users of other type skis.

 

For the record, I did not intend my post to denigrate rockers, just an observation on the loss of a ski characteristic I have always valued. 

 

MF


Yes, it is very useful. But I found in certain conditions that I was sometimes skiing in this herky jerky manner, speed up, slow down, speed up slow down, having a hard time regulating, I guess. LIke when people step on the gas in between stop signs, then have to throw on the brakes immediately. I don't get that.

 

I really do see the point of these skis ... I was demoing a pair of longer JJs at Beaver Creek a few weeks ago, in Stone Creek. They make perfect sense for jumping off things in steep trees. I came around a tree and realized I needed to either stop or drop. It was only about 5 ft down, not much, but I am not really a hucker, lol. I kept going, landed, turned and sunk my tails, kept going, and voila, I got it. It was actually really fun. But I don't plan on making that a habit. I don't really like skiing trees fast, either. I used to  do it, but I'm more careful these days.

 

By the same token, I do ski faster than most of the female contingent I ski with -- so I can understand why women have overwhelmingly loved this type of ski. You don't have to ski very fast to get up and out of the snow, and that seems to be an issue with slower skiers (getting bogged down in deep snow). This fixes that. I NEED to be bogged down, a little. ;-)

 

Sorry davluri for the hijack ... I just recognized something in that second post that I had experienced ...

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

I do not have a pair of full rocker skis, but I have heard of the maneuver (turn) you are talking about on the S7, ON3P Billy Goats, and other pintail rockers. You throw your weight back and inside to quickly dump speed.  You can ski the trees fast, but quickly smear off speed in case of an emergency or tight turn.  It sounds like a very useful trick that is not available to users of other type skis.

I do this all the time in the trees with my BGs. It's amazing how quickly I can stop or change direction in an emergency... or just for fun. You can see how quick you can shut it down (for fun this time), starting at about 2:00 in this video:

 

 

This only works in soft snow, however. When using this technique at Crested Butte this last weekend with only 4" on top of hardpack, where the terrain is super steep and super tight with rocks and trees everywhere, it didn't work as well as I was used to. This created a scary moment now and then, when I couldn't quite shut it down as quick as I normally could (having a full tail would have worked better - a stronger edge to dig in).


Edited by Brian Lindahl - 3/7/11 at 2:21pm
post #9 of 10

Hi all,

 

I'm new to the forum, but have read threads here for a while. I thought I'd weigh in on this discussion, having just ventured into the rockered (early rise) tech.

 

I've been skiing first year 183 Gotamas for 6 or 7 years, whatever it's been. They are traditionally cambered, pretty stiff and I ski them every day. I'm 200#'s, 5' 10" and ski the Tahoe area 75+ days a year. I got the Gotama's as a powder ski, but found that they really shine in the crud and perform well even on the ice we had in January. My wife got me a pair of 185 Volkl Kuros for the new year, and after sitiing and looking at them for 6 weeks, the snow returned.

 

I wasn't sure about the early rise, and whether it would handle well at speed and/or firm conditions. These skis rock! I'm able to rip the pow, zip through the trees and lay down about 2" deep tracks when I get back on the groomers. They take a little adjustment in how I ride. I tend to get in the back seat, due to really old habits, but I'm strong enough to deal with it. I find that these skis really respond well to being skied dead center. Volkl has a video that is pretty accurate regarding how they matched the early rise and the sidecut for very effective handling. In carveable snow, I think they might even outprform my Gotama's.

 

I've been skiing since wood skis and leather, lace-up boots and have a hard time moving forward technologically, but I am quickly becoming a convert.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Good analysis guys.

I was thinking about the effect of the flat tip, the tip that only rises about an inch, though it has a tip (rounded) shape, and how that is going to be affected by the snow before the shovel or widest point of the fore body. It has one effect in powder, another on packed snow.

We have always made that turn with flat tailed and turned up tailed skis (decades before rocker) and call it a "wheelie", a tool to drop speed in a hurry to avoid smashing tip first into a rut or sharp gully or drift or change the shape of a turn suddenly.  It is not necessary to have a pintail, but it is the reason I would not buy a symmetrical ski if I didn't ski switch, giving up that tool to some extent.

 

The SSH, with a flex that easily reverses camber without being soft (some additional flex in the middle of the ski), has both dynamics: the tip pushing through the snow, and the ski arcing in soft 3-D snow. 

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