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language -- "damp", "pop", "hollow", etc.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Can someone help me with common language for ski feel?  I'm struggling to interpret others' use of terms and fit it into my own experience.  For instance, some people seem to feel that "pop" is antithetical to "damp", but I don't see them as antonyms, but different characteristics. 


I own Dynastar 4x4 and would call the ski "damp, but powerful, with a fair bit of pop out of the turn".  It seems a really great ski for the East and I like the damp, non-vibrating feel.

In Utah, I tried out the Volkl Bridge and liked it.  It felt fine (wonderful even!) on creamy new snow, but felt a tad "hollow", "light", "stiff"(?) on the groomers.  It had plenty of pop and was quick, but I wanted a "heavier" or "damp-er" feel when I hit hardpack. 


Do these words make sense?  Would someone know what they mean?  I'm looking to describe a ski I want, and I need the right vocabulary.  For instance, I want both "pop" and "damp".  I'm looking for a ski that has muscles, but soaks up vibration.  I don't want "limp", which some people seem to interpet as "damp" (K2). 



post #2 of 6


I confess I don't understand what _you_ mean by "hollow".     


About the only skis I could think of applying that term to would have been some Hexcels and some Fischer aircores; but I suspect that what I would mean by that term is likely different from what you might mean.



"damp", "heavy", "stiff", "light" I do understand, and I would probably use similar words as you do for the 4x4.


"limp" -is- in my vocabulary de facto damp but is more specifically antithetical to words like "powerful".     I would use that word on some older Fischers and some older Bluehouses and maybe some older low-level Rossis.   "limp", imo, also carries a subtext of "weak in torsion".


"damp but powerful and solid" would seem to me to be in the hunt for the sort of characteristics you're after?

Edited by comprex - 3/21/11 at 8:32am
post #3 of 6

My understanding of the terms has always been:


Damp = An over all ski quality created by its construction that makes it soak up vibration giving it a smooth quiet feel that some people love, and others call a "dead" feeling. 



Pop/Snap = Relates to the over all camber of the ski and the stiffness of the tail, which allows the ski to be loaded up with energy and then released to pop or snap you out of the turn, and hopefully into the next one.


In my experience the qualities are not mutually exclusive, but not usually both found in large amounts in the same ski.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you so far.  "Hollow" is a word I actually adopted from another poster.  I wouldn't have used it, but I'm struggling to find the word for what I didn't love about the Volkls.  They seemed light, skittery, transmitted a fair bit of vibration on real hardpack.  It didn't effect how well they carved, but I didn't really feel as secure or rooted as I might wish for.

post #5 of 6

I hear what you are saying about "hollow". Many Volkl's have a "hollow", "brittle" or "ceramic" feel and/or sound on harder snow.  Must be a product of construction and/or materials.  Although, when on edge they are very solid and offer good grip in these conditions.  IMO it would be a unfair to characterize this sound and feel as instability, because in general Volkl skis (especially the higher end models) are not unstable and they are high performers, and have good quality construction.  I sometimes wish for a little more dampness in Volkl's line, but many people kind of like them the way they are, it's just their "flavor".  We all have preferences on the "feel" of skis.  In this time of convergence of design features, it is nice to have the subtle differences of "feel" between brands.

post #6 of 6

I consider my Fischer RC Pros "poppy," like a slingshot.  They are "stiff," "strong," "rigid," and "stable," yet still can "chatter" over icy/rutty terrain.  Part of being "stiff" means I don't consider them "damp," yet they are very "smooth."


I'm looking for a word to describe MAGNETIC edge hold.  I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the concept of "edge hold" and "damp" at the speeds I am skiing and the snow conditions I'm skiing it over.


Also, I'd like to explore further the triple-point between "edge hold," "stiffness," and "rigidity."  Just b/c something holds edge doesn't mean it's going to give you a smooth ride.


On the other hand, my K2 raiders are "damp," "limp," "soft," "weak," "smooth," "creamy," "rubbery," "jelly-like" and "unresponsive"


Then my Progressor 7+ I'd say are "stiff," but NOT "rigid," and "poppy," yet the "chatter" on those is taken to the extreme, making it "brittle," and "weak."  Yet if you hit the sweet spot, there is still a modicum of "pop" to it.

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