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Why are skis so heavy? - Page 5

post #121 of 134
Thread Starter 

Is the general public being limited in the choices to only the heaviest and most stable skis? The shops on the mountain have only been able to offer me rather heavy skis as demos. While I am slow by the standards of skiers on this board, I am faster than most skiers - even at Squaw. I have enough skills to ride the heavy skis. Perhaps a developing skier would progress and enjoy more with a ski that was lighter - but my experience is that those skis are hard to find.

 

The Praxis skis were a buddy's personal skis. Olympic Bootworks doesn't rent skis (although they do sell unique skis). Starthaus (who I haven't rented from yet but was steered there for more light choices) is a well stocked retail outfit with unusual high end offerings. Yeah, the stuff I prefer is out there - if I really work at it. It may be holding back many aspiring skiers that these wonderful skis are so hard to get a taste of.

 

I may be wasting time here but the banter is fun. I hope Salomon pays Beyond well to be patient with me!

 

Eric

post #122 of 134

 

Is the general public limited? Not at all. Many of us prefer a ski with some mass and find that gravity is all too happy to help them down the hill and over/through everything that gets in their way. I like light skis for touring. The snow is inevitably smoother than most in area conditions so deflection isn't as much of an issue for off piste skiing as it ever is within or immediately adjacent to a ski area boundary.

 

You've spent several pages asking what one questions would have answered. For example, "My local shop seems to only stock heavy skis, but I'm a weight weenie and specifically want a light ski like my old Goode's that I absolutely love. What's out there?" Your insistence that all skis were heavy earlier on was driven by simply not being aware of what was on the market, or doing a simple web search. 

 

I punched in 'light weight skis' and got a link to Lou Dawson's site:

 

http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/at_article_big/at_article_big.html

 

This would have turned me on to looking at skis marketed for BC skiing, and you're right, a typical ski shop wouldn't stock them, but there are shops in Tahoe that cater to this ski demographic and have plenty of product available for you to try. 

 

It took several pages for you to acknowledge that you didn't know what you didn't know, and now you're finally figuring out some skis that might work for you, and that's good! It just could have been painless and much quicker with the right question and less insistence that what you wanted didn't exist. smile.gif


Edited by markojp - 3/23/12 at 9:51am
post #123 of 134



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

Is the general public being limited in the choices to only the heaviest and most stable skis? The shops on the mountain have only been able to offer me rather heavy skis as demos. While I am slow by the standards of skiers on this board, I am faster than most skiers - even at Squaw. I have enough skills to ride the heavy skis. Perhaps a developing skier would progress and enjoy more with a ski that was lighter - but my experience is that those skis are hard to find.

 

 

Eric



I don't think that a newer, developing skier would necessarily be helped by lighter skis. I think a more damp, stable platform is actually more what they need under foot. And if the walk from the parkng lot is the issue than drop them off and lock them on the way in.

 

post #124 of 134

Look, eleeski, this is clearly more about your own discovery process. So go to Backcountry Magazine's website or finding a copy of their fall gear reviews. They post weights. Or Wildsnow's website. There are a ton of light skis out there, and more, not fewer, in the works. Not just indies, but mainstream companies: Volkl, Atomic, Black Diamond, K2, Kastle, and starting next year Blizzard all make wider skis under 8 lbs a pair that are aimed at AT but do fine for skiers who value the sort of skiing and terrain you do. And a number of larger indies, like PM Gear, Prior, and ON3P are making high carbon content lightweight versions of their normal weight fatter skis. You already know about DPS. You may not realize that several brands are now utilizing basalt, which is way lighter than fiberglass plus resin, touch heavier than carbon fiber (2.6 vs. 1.8 g/cm3), better tensile strength than either, and far superior at absorbing shock than either. Also far cheaper than carbon. 

 

So where's the problem outside of your own experience walking to the lifts? it's not about choice, because choice is out there, and it's not about some conspiracy to dupe god-fearing American skiers into heavy slug skis, because most companies are smart enough to detect changes in the market long before you or I, and they'll make skis out of balsa wood and styrofoam if people will buy them. Let's see who buys basalt skis like the Shogun made for several years by Salomon and now skis like the Outland series by Dynastar. 

 

Face it, this is about whether the average groomer skier wants super light skis, cuz otherwise there's no incentive for stores to carry them. I've actually talked to several owners this month about this, just curious, and the answer was a flat, consistent "no demand." A good store will carry one or two lighter weight models if there's any market for AT. Some small bodied female skiers apparently also seek really light skis. Otherwise it's just dusty inventory. Most places don't carry Goode, for instance, because Goode skis have truly sucked in the past, and no one wants them now, even if they're better. Increasingly places that serve powder skiers are stocking DPS because they're significantly better, but I don't know too many people who have reported that DPS skis are money on hardpack. Intermediate to advanced skiers do not want to choose between getting jolted by irregular groomer surfaces or learning to dance and toss. (And how many expert skiers in fact would fit your style of lotsa turns and fear of speed, realistically?) The market want right now is for rocker, which if you think about it, takes care of most of the issues you raise. Planes sooner, turns easier, less effort. No need to sacrifice stability on the alter of lightness. 

post #125 of 134
Thread Starter 

Technology now allows significant weight reduction in sporting equipment. While the best weight might not be the lightest, lightweight certainly makes it easier to get out (yes, the walk across the parking lot is a factor - especially to someone who isn't the best shape). Lightweight equipment takes less energy to handle (F=MA, sorry couldn't resist) so maybe a skier will be able to put more time on the hill. And I'd rather have the developing skiers be focusing on turning a lot than having a nicely damped ski that helps them straightline the hill (for my safety?!). I want to see the hills with lots of improving skiers turning on it. I still think light weight will help and I still remember days with lighter skis for the general public.

 

Skis are designed and hyped by young, strong and talented skiers. Weight is not a critical issue for them. Shops respond to the hype and offer the skis in the video playing in the background. That creates the demand. The rockered skis, shaped skis, fat skis and stable short skis are true technical advances worthy of the hype. Agreed! Weight is just a construction factor - with performance tradeoffs. Not really hype worthy and hard to singlehandedly drive a demand. Unless the skiing population is is aging or becoming more sedentary (wait, the population is aging and becoming more sedentary - but that's not a glamorous reality).

 

The lightweight Marker adjustable binding is a very popular binding. Posters here (the patient ones?) are pointing out light performance skis that are available. Cool and thanks. Some lightweight products exist. This thread has been a fun and valueable activity for me. 

 

Any contacts or sources for basalt? I'd love to try it in a waterski!

 

Eric

post #126 of 134

Weight is not the enemy. The skis weigh what they need to in able to perform for the task at hand. The mass of a ski actually helps you in many types of snow. They can (and do) make lighter skis, but with that comes compromises in how they ski.

 

And if carrying those skis across the parking lot is the problem, as said before , you can drop them off and lock them up near the base lodge in most cases. However, if your fitness is so poor that carrying your skis is too much work, then you already are fighting an uphill battle with your skiing...

post #127 of 134

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

Regarding my style (or lack therof), sometimes I do ski smoothly. But when that obstacle jumps out in my way, the skis will get thrown around as needed to avoid a situation that I am not comfortable with. A true weakness of my skiing shows up in my inability to ski super fast. I do lots of turns to keep my speed down. Speed doesn't excite me, it terrifies me.

 

This, in a nutshell, is why you're sooo far out in left field about what most skiers want or would do better with. Check out the intermediates whizzing past you. They want a ski that absorbs the jolts, forgives their backseating, and makes them feel like heroes without having to really do much. They're not interested in Dancing With Marmots. OK, now check out experts whizzing past you. They can do most anything they want, but they seek a ski that can hold up to their demands, which will include high speed arcs, landings off pillows, irregular surfaces backside, some beer club racing, all without losing their fillings. Yes, in certain soft conditions, for certain finesse skiers, that can be a light ski. But for most days, a very light ski is simply answering a question that no one's been asking. Except you and some 50 lb juniors. Seriously: Move away slowly from the edge of the reflecting pool. 
 

Incidentally, added to your previous mistaken assumptions about there being no light skis out there, or skis getting heavier recently, two exciting new factual errors: 1) skis are not designed by young guns. They're designed by middle aged engineers and former racers or pros who huddle with marketing and finance guys. The young guns simply hype the skis they're under contract to hype. No one gives a rat's rear about weight per se; they care about demand, supply, and performance, perhaps in that order. 2) The middle aged sedentary skiers you think you speak for have been gaining on average 10 lbs per decade since they were 20. So they are looking for skis that can support their weight gracefully, at speed. Ah, your beloved F=Ma again, only the epidemiological reality is that M keeps increasing. So the a doesn't have to, and the F is just fine, thanks.

 

Glad we've supplied you with a fun and valuable activity. After you've looked into the formal definition of narcissism, suggest you find your own Google list of basalt suppliers. Unless it'd be more fun and valuable if we did it for you... roflmao.gif

 

post #128 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

Weight is not the enemy. The skis weigh what they need to in able to perform for the task at hand. The mass of a ski actually helps you in many types of snow. They can (and do) make lighter skis, but with that comes compromises in how they ski.

 

And if carrying those skis across the parking lot is the problem, as said before , you can drop them off and lock them up near the base lodge in most cases. However, if your fitness is so poor that carrying your skis is too much work, then you already are fighting an uphill battle with your skiing...


No kidding to the bold!

I cannot believe that the issue of carrying skis across the parking lot is even a remotely serious aspect of this discussion!  Wow!

 

While untracked powder is what the bulk of us prefer, most of what I actually do ski on a day-to-day basis is sliced & diced, chopped up crud with some degree of crustiness to it.  For those 80% of the time conditions, I find a burlier ski just peachy.....and I'm certainly not young (47), especially strong (165 lbs), or all that talented (middling Level 8).  I also ski what I find works for me, not what the ski porn in the shop is subliminally suggesting I should be skiing.

 

post #129 of 134
Thread Starter 
Weight per se may not be the enemy, but excess weight is.
The style of skiing that heavy skis favors is not a style I prefer. It tends to go along with the groom everything approach too many resorts practice. Red Dog and Granite get sweet bump lines in the afternoon, the next morning it is flat corduroy. Fact, heavy skis cause grooming!
Backcountry skiing favors light equipment. So at least I will be able to still find light skis. Does anyone really enjoy lugging heavy skis around?
Eric
post #130 of 134

I normally carry TWO pair up from the parking lot....so I guess that I don't mind.

 

Heavier built skis are for far more than groomers. In tracked out snow, crud, variable, refrozen and even moisture ladden fresh, they really do work better, for me at least in New England.

 

If you want to ski BC skis as a primary resort ski too, have at it. That's why they make so many choices!

post #131 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

Weight per se may not be the enemy, but excess weight is.
Eric


This is the main problem I have with the Rossignol & Dynastar integrated Look PX bindings they are heavy for the sake of being heavy. The PX's as a binding are inefficient that way, not only are they heavier that most other manufacturers  offerings, they have a higher swing weight making them feel even heavier. 

 

post #132 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

Fact, heavy skis cause grooming!  -  Huh???
Backcountry skiing favors light equipment.  -  Yeah.....for the ascent.
Does anyone really enjoy lugging heavy skis around?  -  I've honestly never given it a second's thought.  When ski shopping, I've never said to the shop guy, "Yeah, I'm sure they rip it up and all, but how are they when it comes to carrying them to the lodge or back to my car?"
Eric


 

post #133 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

Weight per se may not be the enemy, but excess weight is. But what's "excess?" An "extra" 6 oz? 12 oz? lb? How do you determine what's excess and what's necessary? I know, anything that isn't made of carbon. rolleyes.gif Seriously, I realize you're not into operationalizing any of your claims, but how would you determine "excess?" Take the lightest ski made and assume it's the gold standard? What if it isn't a ski most people like for their purposes? Still the gold standard? What's "heavy?" Anything your shoulders don't like?
Fact, heavy skis cause grooming! This is moronic. Ski shape, high speed quads, and skier preferences for smooth surfaces cause grooming. Back in the day, on skis just as heavy or heavier, there was no grooming. Largely because folks took 50 m to turn, and the line to the rope tow only allowed 6 runs a day. Do you seriously think that a 185 lb male skiing on an "extra" lb of ski/binding is going to cause bumps, and the same weight guy next to him on 1 lb lighter skis won't? Learn that one in engineering school? 


 


Edited by beyond - 3/24/12 at 4:03pm
post #134 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post


This is the main problem I have with the Rossignol & Dynastar integrated Look PX bindings they are heavy for the sake of being heavy. The PX's as a binding are inefficient that way, not only are they heavier that most other manufacturers  offerings, they have a higher swing weight making them feel even heavier. 

 


I'm no fan of PX's either, can't say if they're heavy for the sake of being heavy (Pivots are also heavy, and no one complains), but unclear about how mass around the midpoint of the ski is going to do much to ski swingweight. After all, your foot and boot are part of that system too, and weigh a lot more than any binding.  It might affect it a touch, but nothing like a few extra oz will do out at the tip or tail. Now if you want to argue for extra mass out at the end of the leg during a turn in soft snow, angular momentum stuff, or trying to take air, that's worth thinking on. 

 

Don't encourage him...not all trolls are outsiders. 

 

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