Originally Posted by snala
I agree, that's why I was suggesting the Flex indicator too (same as Powderjet) as it would cut through some of the mis-information that some shops unfortunately seem to dish out and you could narrow down what you would be keen on demoing to save time and disappointment.
An example this year at Whistler, "AC30's aren't that stiff, that's why they are a good all mountain ski" and then the next shop "yep good edge hold, a stiff groomer ski, because all Volkl's ski stiff". We couldn't demo them either at that stage so one of them is going to be wrong and would you buy based on that?!
I don't think it's over analytical either as you are really buying custom tools to suit something very personal in the way that people ski. People reading this type of forum would agree with that fully I'd imagine, just look at the discussions around ski widths for a start.
So sure, two skis from from two brands with the same sidecuts and flex indicators would probably be very similiar to ski therefore marketing, $$ or graphics might be the only differance then. Good for us, fight it out manufacturers. But with different shops and even countries having different brands and the customer not being able to necessarily get at all brands of skis wouldn't narrowing it down further this way be a good way to target what you want to buy and therefore read a review of? i.e if I can't get a MX78 what's the same or a very close ski from another brand, maybe a Supershape Titan etc etc??.
The question about the Ac30 is easily answered here without flex numbers. Actually there's lots of info about that ski from user reports.
Shop # 1 is right, Shop #2 is generalizing and saying nothing about the Ac 30.
With 100 + models to test, it's unlikely Ski mags will subject each to flex tests. I still like the idea.
"Ski Testing: Art, Science, or Fantasy Reporting?"
Skiing Heritage Journal, Sept 2008 pg. 25 by John Fry and Doug Pfeiffer
Unfortunately, you can't really see the graphs and reprints of the articles it talks about in Ski Magazine. But it gives a decent overview.
Interestingly, they developed tests to predict the performance of skis. This was dropped in 1976 when K2's skis that the Mahres were winning on didn't match the predictions.
This guy, Mark Waechter, does flex testing for cross country skis. Could probably design an alpine machine.
Here's another site, these guys sell a flex tester for #$@% nordic skis.
DS Nordic Ski Flex Tester II
Conceived by Ernie Day
Built by John L. Stephens, PE
So with all that, there's a thread on this topic from '09:
Ski Stiffness Index
And in there was a link to a ski flex test from 07/ '08. It's a Norwegian Site.
It's pretty slick. Skis appear on the left (click the pagey looking symbol), you check the box and the flex curve appears. It works in Adobe Reader.
You can compare the Volkl Katana/Gotama/Bridge flexes with all sorts of other skis.
Edited by Tog - 4/12/11 at 9:20pm