Originally Posted by eleeski
I am actually quite surprised that there aren't asymmetrical skis dominating the market. It seems that optimal inside edge design would be different from optimal outside edge design. Ski to snow contact angles differ significantly from inside edge to outside edge. Perhaps high level racers use different tunes on various edges but I have never been offered such a tune.
Boot canting does offer a common customization. The idea of binding twisting in the mount position is really interesting. I always seem to run in a bit of a snowplow - would binding placement make me run straighter? It would be fun to try a side to side adjustable mounting system.
Waterskis have had asymmetrical designs for years - so the basic premise of VS is valid. But I have not been able to tell differences between the R&L skis even when switched. And I have been able to have fun finishing the day on one damaged ski - maybe snow skiers are too adaptable!
ScottyBob has been producing an asymmetrical design for years. He seems to have a following, but the design never caught on in a big way. http://www.scottybob.com/skiworks/ . Perhaps someone who has skied the design can tell us what he/she thinks.
Getting back to the OP, we all like--or would like if cost were no object-- a certain amount of customization to perform better in a given sport, feel good about ourselves and to set ourselves apart. Some manufacturers make ski boot customization easy (e.g., working with two different size feet), binding mounting positions can easily be changed using demo bindings, canting can come from boot soles or strips under the bindings, etc. But to what degree does the optimization matter? At some point the benefit from each additional level of customization adds very little. For example, moving my bindings forward 0.25 cm may not be optimal, but I'll simply unconsciously change my body position when skiing to compensate. It doesn't really matter.
Golf is another matter, because the idea is to swing a club over 100mph and hit a little ball in the center of a club face at the optimal angle that will produce an optimal trajectory of the ball. A guy with short or long arms has no trouble pole planting, but in golf those factors might require a lot of compensation in the swing.
I figure there are enough people who want customization for performance and vanity reasons, and if it can be produced someone will buy it even if it doesn't improve their skiing. Getting back to golf, look at all the people who own $400 drivers and $200 putters and haven't seen a drop in handicap! Just produce it and a customer will buy it.