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Is rocker or extra width better?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

This may or may not ignite some debate!

 

Clearly if you have the luxury of skiing thigh deep pow day in and day out a ski that is both wide and rockered will be sic.

 

However, unfortunately most of us mortals don't get that choice every time we ski. We get some blessed days of pow pow every now and again, but must spend the rest of our time finding left over stashes in the trees, dealing with tracked out gunk or railing groomers waiting for the next round of fresh...

 

So if we have a 1SQ, enjoy skiing groomers but live for the days of pow/trees side/back country. How do we compromise? With the new technology, so many skis are great in the all-mountain category.

 

I'm wondering what people think is more important or beneficial in seeking a "do-it-all" (within reason) ski. Extra width, or a little rocker?

For argument's sake. Personally, I consider stuff around the high 80's to about 100 waist as the best "all-mountain" category. I know that in itself will cause debate - but let's just think of that for now. So would someone who wants this blend of decent performance, non-chore hard snow cruising but float and fun off trail be better off going with something that is mid to high 90s waist with traditional camber, or can you get away with a little narrower waist (mid to high 80's) if you have a bit of rocker?

 

Do you think the float of a mid-80s rockered ski is as good as a mid 90's cambered ski?

Is the only TRUE blend to go with something in the "new era" design of mid-90s waist, tip/tail rocker and camber underfoot?

 

What's your take? Where do you invest - width or rocker?

post #2 of 11

I''ll preface this by saying I've yet to ski any rockered skis yet, but based on reviews I've read, I think I'd go for extra width.  If I'm off-pow, then I want stability at speed and I can carve fine all day on skis in the 90's.

 

post #3 of 11

Suck it up and get a quiver going...

 

Three pair is a good start. WHY would you want to compromise? Besides a pure powder ski will double nicely for surfing spring corn too.....

post #4 of 11

IMO you're posing the wrong question in the wrong year. As of 2011-2012, there are a slew of mildly rockered skis from the mid 80's up, and many of them give you both your cake (grip and carving) along with eating it (pow performance) so the choice isn't between rocker and width, but what width you want with your rocker. Go take a look at the new 8.1 and 8.7 Magnums, or the Bushwacker, or the BMX88, for instance, compare to the majority of rockered designs in the 90's by the same companies and others. In fact, rocker gets down into the 70's now, and works better than you'd predict, although the market is different than pow fanatics. And on the other end, it's getting hard to find traditional curves in skis over 110. 

 

Second, pow performance IMO is more about flex pattern, camber, and shape than width. There are plenty of "big mountain" designs in the 105+ range that are mediocre in pow at the speeds mortals ski because they're so stiff. Conversely, plenty of 80-something's that are so-so at carving because they're not stiff enough or have enough sidecut. And then there are skis like the MX88, that has neither rocker nor width, but does pretty well in soft snow because of the cutways and shape. 

 

Last, some of this depends on snow. If I'm skiing Sierra Cement, I want rocker and some stiffness to pound it into submission. It's dense enough to float a high 80's ski decently, a high 90's ski really well. If I'm skiing Utah champaign, I want width and some softness, since I'll sink further and it's so light I don't need to worry about my tips so much...

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

Suck it up and get a quiver going...

 

Three pair is a good start. WHY would you want to compromise? Besides a pure powder ski will double nicely for surfing spring corn too.....


Sure - I'd love 3 pairs of skis. Unfortunately not everyone skis enough, or has the resources to be able to justify 3 sets of skis. Plus - who wants to travel with 3 sets of skis - are you offering to carry them for me (and pay baggage feesredface.gif)?.
In terms of compromise, it's not like we are choosing between a pair of 190 no side-cut 60mm skis and a pair of Liberty mutants (140+ waist bananas!). With modern design, the gap in compromising is getting smaller - so for those of us who can't (or don't want) to have multiple skis, I thought this discussion would be insightful.

 

Beyond - brought up a great point in terms of flex pattern... am I reading too much into it or putting words in your mouth if I think it sounds like you lean more towards some of the softer all mountain models - e.g. park/all mountain like Salomon Twenty Twelve, Volkl Bridge, Scott Punisher type or even the ones designed for both intermediates to expert, like the newer Atomics (Access, new Theory) or Rossis (S3) which are a bit softer than some of the crazy pro/powder skis out there? I think I'm tending to like your analysis... 
 

 

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBean View Post



. With modern design, the gap in compromising is getting smaller



That type of statement only has a chance of being true if one assumes the outside of the envelope is either  staying constant or not developing enough.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBean View Post

Do you think the float of a mid-80s rockered ski is as good as a mid 90's cambered ski?
 


No, but you might end up with a better ski powder ski anyway.

post #8 of 11

I'd say a little extra width on traditional camber with some early rise but not full rocker... which is what most of the all-mountain ski seem to have these days.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBean View Post

 

Beyond - brought up a great point in terms of flex pattern... am I reading too much into it or putting words in your mouth if I think it sounds like you lean more towards some of the softer all mountain models - e.g. park/all mountain like Salomon Twenty Twelve, Volkl Bridge, Scott Punisher type or even the ones designed for both intermediates to expert, like the newer Atomics (Access, new Theory) or Rossis (S3) which are a bit softer than some of the crazy pro/powder skis out there? I think I'm tending to like your analysis... 
 

 

Thanks. Yeah, flex and shape are key. May be reading too much into it about softness though. I'm light, and don't ski super fast, so someone else's soft may be medium to me. OTOH, I want a softer ski for trees and bumps than I would for maching chop. And IME the pattern of the flex (front, tail, progressive etc) is more informative than just calling a ski "soft" or "stiff." For instance I like progressive releasing tails, while a majority of skiers seem to prefer more stiffness and pop.

 

Of all the skis you list, only one I think I'd want to pay for (say 1/2 price) is the S3, which is nice for trees, although wouldn't turn down a Bridge - quite a bit stiffer - if someone offered me one. Of the 94- 98's out there that I've skied, current MX98 (medium stiff) would be my fav, but it has a light, forgiving tip and tail. The One (medium soft) IMO is the best out there in trees/bumps, and the Stockli Stormrider 95 (stiff-ish) is the best for mashing variable snow but its rocker makes it a lot more versatile than the older DPS/SS. Also have a feeling I'd like the Bonafide and Spire, but haven't skied either. More generally, beginning to question the need for seeing 88 as the widest for carving, so wonder if I really need anything between 70-ish and 95-100. Everyone has their own envelopes, of course. 
 

 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

 

Last, some of this depends on snow. If I'm skiing Sierra Cement, I want rocker and some stiffness to pound it into submission. It's dense enough to float a high 80's ski decently, a high 90's ski really well. If I'm skiing Utah champaign, I want width and some softness, since I'll sink further and it's so light I don't need to worry about my tips so much...



IMHO modern ski technology has made the term "Sierra Cement" meaningless (which should not be construed to mean all snow is the same). 

 

post #11 of 11

^^^^ Interesting POV. Sorta agree, but having grown up in Sierra Cement, not sure rocker has completely conquered it. I still prefer a beefier ski for denser snow. A softer rocker ski, like the S7, still gets kicked around in denser west coast crud at moderate speed. Or at least did for me last season at Whistler. But it's perfect for a place like Snowbird. Also I was thinking more about float, which can be seen as balanced lift, so function of surface area, skier mass, velocity, attack angle of shovel, and density of snow. Or to get less geeky, denser snow supports more of you all on its own, so less need for the ski to be wide. Lighter pow, reverse is true. 

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