I'm new to the forum, but I came across this discussion because I was curious to see who else is out there on straight skis.
Why do I ski them?
1. I got talked into a pair of shaped skis (185cm) and found them horridly unstable at speed. To be fair, I have not been on a lot of shaped skis, but the experience put me off.
2. I learned to ski in Vermont in the 1980s on very narrow trails, and I still tend to do quick turns. I found the shaped skis locked me into an arc much tighter than I wanted. I like being able to use the bend of the ski to change my radius of turn, and I tend to ski in a very narrow area down the trail.
3. I live in New Zealand these days which is a great place to trash skis, so I don't like to spend a lot of money on kit that will potentially have the bottoms ripped out by rocks.
4. I can carve these skis, so "carvers" don't have a lot of appeal. Also, on steeper stuff with packed snow, I find more often than not I am trying to bleed off speed, so I'd be skid turning no matter what to slow down.
5. Most importantly, I have a lot of fun on them.
I currently have 5 pairs of skis, all bought for between $5-$20, all in amazing condition. My favorites are 200cm Volkl Rentigers, which I'm guessing are mid-80s vintage. Actually, I can honestly say in all my years of skiiing, these are hands down the best pair I have ever owned. I was amazed to find them and whoever had owned them had not done a lot of skiing since they still had the camber of new skis.
It is interesting the reactions I get. Older skiiers tend to get it even if they have switched. I did a few runs with a guy in his 60s the other day and though he was on modern skis, you could tell his technique came from straights. He was SO much more fluid than anyone else on the mountain.
Certain people my age (42) and younger seem to get almost annoyed. They tend to be very pedantic types who will laugh at your gear and at you along with giving lecture on how much of a luddite you are until you smoke them on the trail; then they get pissy. It's almost like a religious conversion to them and I have just insulted their god. I don't understand this. Why do certain people have such a problem with how I choose to ski? Why do they care?
To be fair, New Zealanders aren't nearly as bad as Californians about this.
As the great Glen Plake said: "Short skis suck, long skis truck!"
Here is a fun site of like-minded retro nuts:
However, my love of old skis does not extend to boots. Thank God rear-entry's have gone the way of the Dodo! :-)
Hate to break it to you, but those guys aren't retro nut's. That is Skier666's trip report blog. And that was just long board day.