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Why are skis so heavy? - Page 3

post #61 of 134

It would be nice to spin off all this tennis stuff to another thread......

post #62 of 134

Why? biggrin.gif Thread drift is half the fun. It's not like anyone had anything original left to say about ski weights. And if you follow it, tennis racquet tech usually precedes skis tech by 5-10 years. So great crystal ball stuff...

post #63 of 134

I roll my eyes at this entire thread.  Generally, whenever I pick up a standard downhill setup, I think "Holy crap, this is ridiculous".  Not so much when I pick up my DPS Wailers with Dynafits.  So, I guess quit buying crappy skis.

post #64 of 134

Like bikes, the more you spend, the less you get. I like Colin Chapman's rule on increasing automobile performance.."add lightness".

post #65 of 134

Quote:

Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Why? biggrin.gif Thread drift is half the fun. It's not like anyone had anything original left to say about ski weights. And if you follow it, tennis racquet tech usually precedes skis tech by 5-10 years. So great crystal ball stuff...

Yeah that was a pretty good thread drift.

So what's the Basalt in racquets and skis for? Vibration absorption?


Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Like bikes, the more you spend, the less you get. I like Colin Chapman's rule on increasing automobile performance.."add lightness".

I don't see more expensive skis being lighter necessarily. Other than Mr. eyeroller's dps who makes lighter versions of their "hybrid" or less expensive skis. I don't see Kastle and Stockli as lighter nor any of the myriad small manufacturers products.

 

Goode made light garbage for a while. Supposedly Goode is back with quality products. dps had a lot of problems working out producing their carbon cap skis. They're expensive for a reason.
 

 



 


Edited by Tog - 4/23/11 at 7:29am
post #66 of 134

Heavy is good...heavy is reliable.

 

 

 

 

 

post #67 of 134

Only a Miata owner would quote Chapman in a flawed automotive analogy.  And with attempted Elan no less?  duck.gif

 

 

Really, if our "road" was not ice, slush, bumps and crud, less may be more but, a tricked out Jeep is better with winch and diamond plate. biggrin.gif

 

Europaphiles would be off piste in a Unimog or Pinzgauer.  cool.gif 

 

The Elite would take stockli in knowing that Chapman designed the chassis for the Volant of skis, the DeLorean that gave new meaning to getting to the powder since it came with a glove box full.

 

smile.gif

post #68 of 134

Tog, as I understand it, basalt can be decomposed into gold-colored fibers that can be woven into a cloth. Like carbon fiber. Or more accurately, like Kevlar since both are glassy. Problem racquets face is that you can't use mass to absorb shock. Or at least very much; difference between hacker and pro racquet weight is about 2 oz. So constant search for light damp materials. Claim is that basalt fibers are stiff like Kevlar, but can be "tuned" to eliminate particular frequencies of vibrations. Certainly a function of the molecular structure, then probably the dimensions of each fiber used in the cloth and placement; typically this stuff is spread around the 3/9 spots on the hoop and the upper neck. Need to look into that. So Fischer (of course, they messed around with tuning vibration patterns in racquets for years; I played with one just using carbon fiber and internal weights back around 2003) introduced the Black Granite No. 1, late 08, I think. Believe there was a Fischer with basalt before that, but can't recall the name. Wilson's BLX series came out around a year later. Fischer gave up tennis racquets last year, now Pacific uses their molds and patents. BLX's are doing well. Of course they're mostly carbon fiber, have heard the basalt is a small %, less than the 20% Kevlar used in many classic pro models by Head and Wilson.

 

You can feel the difference easily, touch damper, fewer high frequency buzzes when you strike off-center. But like a lot of other technology, subtle, and lot of different ways to achieve a similar effect. Doesn't add dramatic weight, BTW; tennis racquets don't use wood unless they're throwback models, and rarely fiberglass. So most racquets have to be weighted during production, in fact, to make them heavy enough, balanced correctly. Suspect use of perimeter internal weight bands in carbon fiber racquets is where Goode got the recent notion of adding same to the skis.  

 

Been meaning to try a Shogun to see if I can notice the basalt, but have some issues now with personally using Salomon. 


Edited by beyond - 4/23/11 at 10:33am
post #69 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Why? biggrin.gif Thread drift is half the fun. It's not like anyone had anything original left to say about ski weights. And if you follow it, tennis racquet tech usually precedes skis tech by 5-10 years. So great crystal ball stuff...


Yeah, that was quite the extended tangent, and I apologize -- but it's true that there is a lot of crossover, not only Howard Head but the same companies looking for the same properties with the same materials.

 

post #70 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Heavy is good...heavy is reliable.

 

 

 

 

 


Well played.  If only you had a caravan in periwinkle to sell to me...  I may have to settle for some red or yellow 112RPs, damn.

 

post #71 of 134
Thread Starter 

Ressurecting my old thread:

 

I was bummed to miss the Gathering Demo day at Rose yesterday. So I threw my credit card at Mountain Mike's (it cut my walk to the slopes with skis on my shoulders in half) and did my own demo day.

 

Rossignol S7 (170 something - at the smaller end for my weight) were the recommendation for the freshies. Excellent  choice (but the weight hurt my shoulder on the way to the lift). The skis were smooth and steady. They turned quick and lead me safely through the crud. They even worked well in the back seat (critical for my skill level). So why did I HATE these skis? OK I had a hard time getting air (any air!) and if I got in trouble I had to be patient and ski myself out of the trouble. But for a ski with so many stellar traits, it felt so wrong for me. Maybe it was the weight?

 

So I traded them in for some Salomon PBRs (170something again). Completely different feel! Airborne, all the time.Tight slalom like turns on the front and locked in Gs turns with the weight a bit back. A little unstable - always. Reasonable float in the few patches of fresh we found. While the skis were kind of lacking in every objective trait, I loved them! The feel was light and challenging. It took a lot of skiils to make them do what I wanted - maybe that was why they were so fun. This ski should lose some weight though! I threw a weeniecopter and had to wrap so hard I was seeing stars. My twisters were so weak I couldn't count the negative GNAR points. And I got so tired from throwing around heavy skis that I had to quit early (actually Red Dog was shut down for winds). Why is a ski with a light feel so physically heavy?

 

Is it the ski design or the weight? And if you make a ski with a light feel (like the PBR) why would you make it physically heavy?

 

FWIW, earlier in the season (on manmade snow) I demoed some Head race slalom skis (they promised me Bode had ridden them?). Ungodly heavy. Sluggish and unresponsive in the turns. But I have never had a ski hold so well on boilerplate. Plus, if I worked at it I could turn these skis faster than I needed to. If I didn't hate groomers and ice so much I'd buy a pair in a minute. I loved  (and hated) these skis. I wonder how a lightweight version would work.

 

The boot shop next door had some sweet ultralight Praxis skis. But I couldn't bring myself to shell out the big bucks they wanted for these skis (yet - I'm working on it). Ultralight costs money - maybe this killer heavy thing is a money deal?

 

Insomniac rant - but maybe some manufacturer will read this and try to lighten up the offerings and save my strength.

 

Eric

post #72 of 134

If skis are too heavy, you're skiing too slowly.

If you can't ski do tricks.  duck.gif

post #73 of 134

I hated the first goodes I tried but the DPS are truly well skiing skis if you want light and well performing and damp enough to rattle your teeth when conditions are less thamn ideal look there.

 

 

 

 

post #74 of 134

I feel the same what about the Lhasa Pows by PM Gear.  Amazingly light for a 191 cm ski that is fairly wide.  I am so used to fat skis breaking my shoulder when I carry them, that I almost can't believe how light these skis are.  Not to mention, they really do rip the POW.  I don't do a ton of AT skiing, but I could see how this would make a big difference if you are hiking any major distance. 

post #75 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

Insomniac rant - but maybe some manufacturer will read this and try to lighten up the offerings and save my strength.

 


Funny to bump this, given next season's crop of lighter skis. IMO it's physics colliding with economics. Given the materials companies use, including carbon, lighter = less damp/more oscillation. Go to more exotic materials, more stability for the same weight, and more $$. (Although I'd take a hard look at Basalt.) So how much more are you willing to pay to baby your shoulders? 

 

One idea: More ski = more weight. Recall that there's a reason park skis are typically in the 80-90 range. Suggest you think about going narrower, learn to ski powder with 95-105 skis like everyone did a decade ago, and decide whether you want light or damp (although Kastle manages both, sorta, with their new freestyle line, but there's that $$ thing again). Another idea: Suck it up, money-wise, and email Folsom or Wagner. They can custom build you a ski that's pretty light but about as stable as the materials allow. Third idea: Moan about how your skis can't do everything everywhere just the way you want them to. That'd be my call...

 

post #76 of 134

I'm amused at the cries of "they are heavy when I carry them".

post #77 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post

I'm amused at the cries of "they are heavy when I carry them".

or "heavy when I throw them around" when describing their skiing performance.

Seems to me if you throw your skis around to "turn" you're not turning.

I only worry about the weight of skis I drag uphill under my Dynafits.
post #78 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

 

FWIW, earlier in the season (on manmade snow) I demoed some Head race slalom skis (they promised me Bode had ridden them?). Ungodly heavy. Sluggish and unresponsive in the turns. But I have never had a ski hold so well on boilerplate. Plus, if I worked at it I could turn these skis faster than I needed to. 


You resurrected your thread - I'll resurrect the drift.  ;-)

 

I remember the first time I ever hit with a Pro Staff 85 (sq in model - Sampras' stick). Not only did it feel *really* heavy, but on top of that it's "head light", so the player really has to generate the power. It felt like a 2x4 - sluggish and unresponsive! It felt like sh*t, that first hit. But some time went by, and being a big Sampras fan at the time I gave it another try, ended up buying one, adjusted to it and played happily with that model for several years. Very, very solid feel.

 

It's all very subjective, and each to his/her own, but I guess if you have/develop the strength and technique heavy can be a good thing. Was wondering about that recently with regards to something like the Volant Chubb maybe still being a good choice for skiing in certain conditions.

post #79 of 134
Thread Starter 

Ghost, tricks are for kids! I want to stay a kid!

 

Beyond, if this year's crop of skis is lighter, I'm even more hurt I didn't get to Rose to the demo days! I use Boron fibers in the waterskis I build - yes they are expensive - but they work. Maybe I should take some to Goode or Praxis and get a custom ski. Or try one of the light offerings (thanks for the recommendations Josh and Lockandload)

 

Epicimmortal, I have a 10 minute walk to the slopes. Ski weight when carried DOES matter to my use pattern.

 

GrizzledVeteran, if my skis change direction they turn. Period. Whether I carve, slide or throw them around, they turn. Being able to throw the skis around adds one more dimension to my skiing.

 

JCski, I'm not a pro (I can't believe they are pros - I'm way better than them). Perhaps weight can have learned skills to become an advantage. But should the casual skier have to really learn that much and are the advantages realizable? I play a much better game of tennis on my lightweight raquet. There are far more important skills for me to learn to improve my game than learning to handle a heavy raquet. Same with skis? Of course, if I skied a lot of groomers and boilerplate, those Heads would certainly be worthy of consideration. I do wonder if the desirable characteristics are due to the weight or other design factors - and how much fun a light version would be.

 

I went out today on my Goode ~95mm waist in heavy powder. I was taking a lesson (for line cuts) with an incredibly skilled skier. He was faster than the instructor! And the steep pitches he asked for were GNAR steep! I was able to keep up by using every advantage I could find. I probably could have made 95% of the turns using the form the S7s excel at (and I might have looked better). But that other 5% of the turns needed something unusual to keep me in one piece. The light weight and light feel of my Goodes worked to my advantage today. And it was a lot easier to do the hiking with light skis. I'm still sold on light weight skis.

 

Eric

post #80 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

GrizzledVeteran, if my skis change direction they turn. Period. Whether I carve, slide or throw them around, they turn. Being able to throw the skis around adds one more dimension to my skiing.

Period., huh? Well I guess that settles it. Apparently when I throw my skis sideways and "hockey stop turn" a bunch of Zs into the snow, that's "turning" too. Same with when I toss my skis into the back of my truck... they "turn" in the air!

And condolences on the 10 minute walk, that clearly means you should buy skis for the walk-in rather than how they work on snow.

Period.
post #81 of 134
Thread Starter 

GrizzledVeteran, who says my light skis don't work on the snow?

 

My point is that all types of turns are useful. A jump turn hockey stop can sometimes save me. Maybe it isn't pretty turn but if it gets me to cool parts of the hill, I will use it.

 

I was bragging about the 10 minute walk. What could be better than being that close to Squaw?

 

Eric

post #82 of 134

If you're having trouble turning the Head iSL WC skis, then it's technique, not the ski.

 

Sounds like you'd be very happy with a good touring ski and dynafit binding/boot system. You can put together a silly light rig that weighs about 1/2 of the standard alpine set up. 

 

To correct an old post about AL honeycomb, Hexcel was the first ski manufacturer to use the technology which was originally developed by 'Parsons Corp.' for aviation applications (helicopter blades) in the mid 1960's. What Hexcel got right was torsional stiffness and good edge hold in their competition models. Weight also mattered for the early free stylers doing ballet and arial work. What they got wrong was stability at high speeds.

post #83 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

If you're having trouble turning the Head iSL WC skis, then it's technique, not the ski.

 

Sounds like you'd be very happy with a good touring ski and dynafit binding/boot system. You can put together a silly light rig that weighs about 1/2 of the standard alpine set up. 

 

To correct an old post about AL honeycomb, Hexcel was the first ski manufacturer to use the technology which was originally developed by 'Parsons Corp.' for aviation applications (helicopter blades) in the mid 1960's. What Hexcel got right was torsional stiffness and good edge hold in their competition models. Weight also mattered for the early free stylers doing ballet and arial work. What they got wrong was stability at high speeds.


Agree with the bolded part.  It's like complaining that the car is too heavy to turn, but you haven't tried turning the steering wheel. 

On the other hand if you're challenging your reaction speed by playing mogul tetris, light skis like Rossignol WC SLs,  will let you go faster than heavy skis, when you have to suddenly reset an edge.

 

post #84 of 134

Personally, I think skiis have gotten too wide. For a typical 200 lb, 6' male a 180 ski is fine but they dont have to be so wide. I remember skiing on narrow skiis and they worked just fine. They worked fine in powder too. I am talking about an all terrain type ski. Why have skiis gotten so wide? Did they pass a minimum width rule in racing or something?

post #85 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

Ghost, tricks are for kids! I want to stay a kid! Good luck on that one. Always enjoy seeing a middle aged guy trying to be 20.

 

Beyond, if this year's crop of skis is lighter, I'm even more hurt I didn't get to Rose to the demo days! I use Boron fibers in the waterskis I build - yes they are expensive - but they work. Maybe I should take some to Goode or Praxis and get a custom ski. Or try one of the light offerings (thanks for the recommendations Josh and Lockandload) No need for custom. If you think DPS makes oppressively heavy skis, time to hit Lake Mead for some R and R, forget the white stuff. Seriously, go read some physics, figure out why skis have a limit to how light they should be. Ain't just materials.  

 

Epicimmortal, I have a 10 minute walk to the slopes. Ski weight when carried DOES matter to my use pattern. IMHO this may be the single funniest criterion for choosing skis I have ever heard.

 

GrizzledVeteran, if my skis change direction they turn. Period. Whether I carve, slide or throw them around, they turn. Being able to throw the skis around adds one more dimension to my skiing. Well, according to the dictionary, yes. And you can also stop midslope, take off your skis, place them going the other direction, and step back in. Easier if they're lighter. But do not try at home if home is a 40 degree chute. In most places I ski, the ability to make certain kinds of turns well in certain kinds of terrain not only determines your skill level, it may save your bacon. My 9 year old can "ski" double blacks. That does not make him an expert, nor does it make him safe on those double blacks. He does enjoy it, though, so I guess I should let him.

 

JCski, I'm not a pro (I can't believe they are pros - I'm way better than them). Perhaps weight can have learned skills to become an advantage. Yes. But should the casual skier have to really learn that much and are the advantages realizable? Yes. if not, why are you hanging around a site for serious skiers? By definition we want to get better.  I play a much better game of tennis on my lightweight raquet. Have your elbow check back with us on that in a few more years. Light racquets have to be stiff to give any power back. And stiff-light is a formula for PT. Stiff-light is also why DPS's can get pretty jolty on firm surfaces. Again, hate it how physics intrudes. There are far more important skills for me to learn to improve my game than learning to handle a heavy raquet. Same with skis? In both analogies, you miss the salient point. You don't learn to use a heavier racquet, or skis (and not sure the two sports are good analogies, even with similar tech), because they're heavy. You learn because their design - which happens to include a bit more weight - provides other advantages. And by the time you graduate to a heavier racquet, your neural timing, skill set, and small muscle development have kept pace, so it doesn't feel terribly heavier, just more solid at strike. Hitting a good return from a serious server doesn't require a nice light racquet head you can accelerate at the last second, because you started your swing when you were supposed to, instead of after the ball crossed the net. Again, you're really saying more about your level, whether in skiing or tennis, than the gear. Nothing wrong with that, I'm a classic tennis hacker myself who's too old and too time starved to get anywhere. But neither of us should try to extrapolate our own deficiencies to global premises about technology. (Which your probably excellent water skis also encourage you to do.) Of course, if I skied a lot of groomers and boilerplate, those Heads would certainly be worthy of consideration. I do wonder if the desirable characteristics are due to the weight or other design factors - and how much fun a light version would be.

 

I went out today on my Goode ~95mm waist in heavy powder. I was taking a lesson (for line cuts) with an incredibly skilled skier. He was faster than the instructor! And the steep pitches he asked for were GNAR steep! I was able to keep up by using every advantage I could find. I probably could have made 95% of the turns using the form the S7s excel at (and I might have looked better). But that other 5% of the turns needed something unusual to keep me in one piece. The light weight and light feel of my Goodes worked to my advantage today. And it was a lot easier to do the hiking with light skis. I'm still sold on light weight skis. We know.

 

Eric



 

post #86 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

 

I was bragging about the 10 minute walk. What could be better than being that close to Squaw?


Right now, not much, if anything! On that I'm sure everyone is in violent agreement!  ;-)

 

For that walk...

 

SkiZ.jpg

post #87 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradokid View Post

Personally, I think skiis have gotten too wide. For a typical 200 lb, 6' male a 180 ski is fine but they dont have to be so wide. I remember skiing on narrow skiis and they worked just fine. They worked fine in powder too. I am talking about an all terrain type ski. Why have skiis gotten so wide? Did they pass a minimum width rule in racing or something?



Yes, but it required skill, that had to be built up with a few days of practice.  I just spent the day skiing on an old skinny skis (190 cm Volants. 68 mm waist) after the first big storm we've had in many years.  I have skied deep snow before (the kind where trying to recover balance by stepping on a ski sinks it and trips you up), but not lately.  It took me about an hour and a half before I felt confident, and even longer before the run through the deep snow and tight trees seemed like a good choice of run.   

post #88 of 134
Thread Starter 

Coloradokid's comment about the width of the skis is an appropriate thread drift. Many of the marketing issues that generate heavy skis lead to fat skis as well. Is performance really the driving force in these changes?

 

There were some great skinny (and light ) skis which might be better performers than the elite modern offerings - or at least the skis I've been demoing recently. The snow and the mountain haven't changed - nor have the KT lines. Styles have changed but I'm not sure it's an improvement. Old Ski Magazine covers showed symmetrical figure eights down a pitch, now it's one flattened out "C" turn nearly straightlining the same image. Have we traded skill for speed? OK it takes a lot of skill to go fast but I personally am too old to go that fast.

 

Beyond, the physics of skiing supports a light skinny ski. Skis need to change direction - often quickly. Light skis will do that easier. So will a skinny ski. Obviously the floatation over the snow gives an advantage to a fat ski - but you want the skinniest ski that will float over the conditions you are dealt. Tradeoffs will have to be accepted to get a versatile ski. Increasing your skill level may allow you to get the best results from a wider heavy ski but we may have gone too far - 100 wide is skinny?! 

 

There's another thread about the best skis of all time. Many on that list were light skinny pure race skis. I owned K2 710s and K2 4s, light skinny skis ridden by others to great competitive success. And enjoyed by myself.

 

Eric

post #89 of 134

el, even Glen Plake has joined the 21st century. Modern skis are not just a marketing scam. I skied race stock Rossi's as a jr that were state of the art in their day. Thought they held great, the whole deal. Sure, skied powder in them, etc..., but I can tell you that my current straight from the average joe warehouse Rossi E98's hold much better and are a by far more versatile ski than any race stock ski 30 years ago. The K2 4's you mentioned were not a traditional straight ski like the K2 710's. I would have skied the E98's for GS in a heart beat had they been available. Light skis change direction quickly if you're primarily using rotory movements to change direction rather than edging and pressure. And no, 100mm is not skinny. Anything under 85mm west of the Mississippi is skinny. smile.gif  Among most people I know out here that make some $ skiing, most are on anything from 85 to 105 for their daily ride. A mid-fat if you will. Subtract 10mm for the east coast. The big skis only come out of the garage when it's truly 3D skiing. You're right, in 2D conditions, they hurt my knees, but then again I'm old these days.

post #90 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by eleeski View Post

There were some great skinny (and light ) skis which might be better performers than the elite modern offerings - or at least the skis I've been demoing recently. Then you've been demoing the wrong skis. Even allowing for you stirring the pot here, it's just silly to argue that we'd all be better off on Stratos skiing powder or crud or slush or...wait. Are you secretly one of those old school nostalgia guys who thinks his WC SL's are perfect for freshies in the trees? I used to ski 6*'s everywhere. I'd rather eat hairballs than go back to those days. And it was a rec cross ski, not even the real deal. Are your water skis the finest 1970 design money can buy? No, didn't think so...

 

Beyond, the physics of skiing supports a light skinny ski. Not unless you stopped reading once you got to the section on swingweight, and said "Aha! I knew lighter was better!" If you had proceeded to the next page, you'd have encountered a whole world of physics involved with rebound forces from the surface, ski inertia and impacts, lift and float, and various other reasons why skinny works very well on smooth firm surfaces but not soft variable surfaces, and why light only works on fresh low density powder. 

 

There's another thread about the best skis of all time. Many on that list were light skinny pure race skis. I owned K2 710s and K2 4s, light skinny skis ridden by others to great competitive success. And enjoyed by myself. OMG! Are you saying this with a straight face? If so, then for sure go to fleabay and buy up a bunch of classic WC race skis, plenty around for a song, dump whatever you currently own, and enjoy. I have a pair of 203 Rossi 7S's, really nice shape, that I'll let you have cheap. BTW, try weighing some of the "best skis of all time." I had a pair of VR17's that were about as thick as two modern skis glued together, weighed and flexed roughly like that. The skinny oldies worked, at least in the context of what they were used for (not the range of stuff we ski today) because they were long, stiff, and relatively heavy. If you made them short and light, you'd have a real mess in most conditions, let alone for racing. You forget that these lists are, like all good GOAT lists, in historical context. We only had two choices: If you wanted to ski soft snow, you choose a GL design. If you wanted groomers you choose a SL design. I bought one of the first "all-mountain" skis (a Volkl Snow Ranger) and it was a ground-breaker for a reason. You could actually take it into light powder and turn it quickly without heroics. Or jumping. It changed how many of us thought about non-groomed. 

 

Glad you like light skis, but you're on the wrong track trying to connect that argument to skinny skis. Or racing skis. 

 



 


Edited by beyond - 3/5/12 at 4:17pm
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