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Rocker in the Bumps = Substantial Technique Change?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Since more and more "all-mountain" skis are coming with tip or tip and tail rocker, I am interested in what people see as the implications of taking a rockered ski (both tip and tip/tail) in the bumps, and how camber or no camber comes into play in that situation.

 

My experience is pretty much limited to tip rockered skis, which initiated turns more easily, and smoothed things out, but the negative was that the lack of tip pressure resulted in the bumps not slowing the ski down, so my usual technique of getting on the ski early and carving around the bump necessitated buttering the end of each turn with the tails to maintain speed control. I know you can take a full rockered ski and pivot slide your way through the bumps, but I am trying to find out if it can be done without adopting a new type of turn.

 

I am interested in your impressions of the pluses and minuses of rocking in the bumps, and technique changes required.  Do you find it easier or harder to ski bumps with rockered skis?  Why?

post #2 of 17

I tend to avoid firm bumps like avian flu, and if I'm in them I roll them methodically, but my impression has been that the difference between some "early rise/mild rocker" fronts and a traditional is not enormous. Maybe a touch more conscious pressure at tips if that's what you like. It may depend on the rocker design. So for instance, old and new MX98's do not demand significantly different strategies. And I had no problem carving a low, extended rocker curve like the Bushwacker in irregular blue run bumps, although it's more fun to pivot them cuz they're so light. OTOH, I've noticed that more "traditional rocker" skis like the S7 pretty much want to either windshield wiper bumps or you have to just use the middle of the ski, very neutral stance, at which point it feels like carving a 130 cm that's weirdly slow edge to edge. Kinda fun but IMO not relevant to why we choose a 115 mm powder ski.  

 

So may also be dependent on width. I tried a mild rocker 78 mm ski last season, not my cuppa tea because the front felt vague starting a  carve. Yet same design, construction, and brand in 98 felt incisive carving . Obviously have different expectations for narrower skis, semi-conscious changes in technique, notice different attributes. But overall, since I'm more of a pivot/roll/absorb person in bumps anyway, will take the easy initiation and stability over the speed control. 

post #3 of 17

Good topic Mudfoot.

 

The first thing I noticed on my tip rockered K2's in the bumps was that I could confidently point them into the crest, & they would just roll over the top.  My S7's are quite manageable & even fun in powder covered old bumps, haven't really skied them in firm or slushbumps.  Like beyond  says, they will carve a conventional turn pretty well but you do need to remain more centered & be patient for the arc to engage.

 

A 100mm+ width is not what I would choose as the ideal bump ski.  It would be interesting to try some of the narrower rockers in bumps, like the S3 or something similar.  I agree that there are probably some tactical & technique tweaks to be made, but I think they would be quite fun.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your inclination) we don't get too many bumps where I ski.  I may post in this thread again once I give it some more thought.

 

Thanks,

JF

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

So with a full rockered ski like the S7, I imagine they would allow you to more easily stay forward in the bumps, but what happens if you do get your weight back?  Is there anything there to support you?

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

So with a full rockered ski like the S7, I imagine they would allow you to more easily stay forward in the bumps, but what happens if you do get your weight back?  Is there anything there to support you?

Like I said, I haven't skied a lot of bumps on them.  This was one of my major concerns about tail rocker though, especially after some of my bros had some complaints during their first season on Kuros.  The thing I like about tail rocker is how easily the tail will release from the turn.  It is virtually impossible to get stuck on the tails like I have found in years past with some stiff tailed skis.  The original Dynastar 4x4's of 10 or 12 yrs. ago come to mind.  I have not encountered the expected difficulty of "wheeling out" on the tail rocker except early on in a couple of extreme (if I can use that word in its proper context) situations.  With that said, I think the rockered tail in a narrower ski might work quite well in the bumps, especially for a lower level skier.

 

Your comment about "staying forward"...  I think, IF you stay forward, it is less likely to get jarred by sudden changes in terrain like bumps, ruts, or moguls.

 

JF
 

 

 

post #6 of 17

I have both the Rossi S3 and S7.  Both are rocker tip and tail with camber underfoot.  The twin tip rocker makes them very slidy and friendly in bumps and trees.  The S3 is 98 underfoot, so it's more nimble than the 114-waist S7.  No real problem if I get back; there's enough ski under me before the tail rise.  If I was so far back that I was all the way onto the tails, I'd be a mess no matter what ski I was on.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

Your comment about "staying forward"...  I think, IF you stay forward, it is less likely to get jarred by sudden changes in terrain like bumps, ruts, or moguls.

 

JF
 

 

 


I am used to forcing myself forward in the bumps to keep my tips on the snow, and to keep returning my weight to the center of my skis. This is hopefully a subtle move, but that is more or less what is going on every turn in big bumps. It sounds like with a full rocker you have to stay centered on the ski to carve with the small cambered section.  So if you move forward or backward you lose your carving ability, but not the ability to swivel and slarve.  Is that correct?
 

 

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post


I am used to forcing myself forward in the bumps to keep my tips on the snow, and to keep returning my weight to the center of my skis. This is hopefully a subtle move, but that is more or less what is going on every turn in big bumps. It sounds like with a full rocker you have to stay centered on the ski to carve with the small cambered section.  So if you move forward or backward you lose your carving ability, but not the ability to swivel and slarve.  Is that correct?

I think I follow what you're saying.  Perhaps I should've put the emphasis on STAY instead of IF.  The movement fore & aft can be even more subtle ie. it is easier to stay forward.  The difference is that IF your re-centering move gets a little too far aft you won't be stuck there.  I find that I can easily pivot (if that is the right word) back to center from the backseat without the stress that would be encountered on traditional tails.  So yes, I believe you are correct.

JF
 

 

 

post #9 of 17

Let me add:  As far as carving, I don't think you loose the carving ability it is just more like being on a short SL ski.  There is not a lot of length for fore/aft leverage.

Hope that is making sense.  Again, the width of most rockered skis is what I would consider the detriment in the bumps.  A lack of lateral quickness so to speak.

 

BTW, there is a lot of underfoot camber in the S7 as compared to a ski like the Cochise or Bonafide, others that I have skied on.  Now that I think about it, I did ski some big, steep bumps on the Bonafide this summer on Climax at Mammoth.  They were awesome!

Mammoth day 2 006.JPG

 

Mammoth day 2 008.JPG

JF


Edited by 4ster - 8/23/11 at 6:58am
post #10 of 17

I found my S7s to be pretty good in the bumps.  I didn't really change my technique around the ski.  I've found that the S7 allows for sloppy technique, but performs best with accurate and "technically correct" movement patterns.  I ski pretty much the same way on all my skis.  They all work for me in all conditions.  Some are just easier than others in some situations.  

post #11 of 17

^^Oooops, had to edit my last post.  I guess those were the Blizzard, Bonafide I skied at Mammoth.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

I found my S7s to be pretty good in the bumps.  I didn't really change my technique around the ski.  I've found that the S7 allows for sloppy technique, but performs best with accurate and "technically correct" movement patterns.  I ski pretty much the same way on all my skis.  They all work for me in all conditions.  Some are just easier than others in some situations.  


I have the same impression as TPJ, just blend things a little differently depending on the conditions & what ski I am on.

JF

 

 

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

I think I follow what you're saying.  Perhaps I should've put the emphasis on STAY instead of IF.  The movement fore & aft can be even more subtle ie. it is easier to stay forward.  The difference is that IF your re-centering move gets a little too far aft you won't be stuck there.  I find that I can easily pivot (if that is the right word) back to center from the backseat without the stress that would be encountered on traditional tails.  So yes, I believe you are correct.

JF

 

Bingo!  That's just what I was looking for.  Thanks 4ster, you gave me exactly the info I was seeking, without me knowing precisely what I was looking for.  I also appreciate everyone else's confirmation that a technique change is not required.  icon14.gif

 

Skiing at Telluride, Taos and Crested Butte (all of which do not get the huge snowfall you get in Utah) I end up skiing a lot of big bumps.  They all also have great steep powder/crud skiing, as well as ripping groomers, so trying to find a serviceable all-mountain ski is tough, but bottom line foro me is that it has to ski bumps well.  I have one pair of tip rocker skis, which I love, but I do not particularly like in the bumps, but that is because the tails are too stiff.  I am looking at getting a softer full rocker and I'm trying to figure out how they would work in the bumps.  The recovery move you described tells me that my fears of no back end with tail rocker are negated by their rear swivel ability.

 

This forum really is a gold mine of information.  Thanks to all of you for your insightful comments.

post #13 of 17

Well I did have visions of the "near death experience" once on the S3's when I got way in the back seat.  Scared me enough to not let it happen again!  It was a pretty weird sensation wheeling along on about an inch of a turned up tail.  OTOH, I probably would have rodeoed 6' in the air if I had been on my 160cm SL's

eek.gif

JF

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

As they say, rockered skis are a "looser connection to the snow."  I'm sure that leads to all kinds of new sensations, both good and bad.

post #15 of 17

I have limited experience with rockered skis on bumps (that will change substantially this next season) but my initial impression from a few demo runs was that the rocker made them much easier.   Now, that may have to do with my technique, which I'm sure isn't the best on bumps, so a real bump pro may have a completely different reaction.

post #16 of 17

I remember the first time I ventured into some bumps with rocketed skis, it was one of the early Palmer skis at the Stratton Trade show. While I wasn't scouting out the bumps, I recall thinking.."This should be interesting.." and it was...The early rise in the tip allowed the ski to approach and rise over the bump effortlessly and the tail released very easily. I was pleasantly surprised how easy they were to ski in the bumps. I will add, I am a competent bump skier and while some skis are better than others, I don't rely on a ski to be a crutch to ski bumps better. 

 

4Sters's pictures are on my Bonafides, which with its early rise tip and tail along with underfoot camber is a great combination for an all mountain ski that is good in a multitude of conditions as a western ski. The Bushwacker @88mm underfoot could be considered the eastern complement. 

post #17 of 17

I do not make any technique changes really. The bushwacker is a great bump ski, as is the bonafide.

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