I'm one of those guys who learned to ski on the straight "skinny" skis back in the seventies as a teen. I'm getting back into the sport now and am trying to come to terms with the new technology. I thought it was just about a new way of turning with sidecut, but the variables seem almost endless. I guess that some of this is real and some is marketing.
I'm sure I've missed a few, but apart from the obvious length and sidecut radius, we now have waist width, progressive side cut, variable flex, camber, reverse camber, rocker, early rise, effective edge, torsional stiffness and skis built upside down. Even length has become confusing because some of these features change the effective length in varying skiing conditions?
I presume that some of this technology is good for skiers trying to improve and some of it is aimed at, and only useful to, experts. I also presume that some of the technology may even be detrimental to beginners, or even, to experts.
Forgive me, but let me use a golf analogy. A lot of the new golf technology is geared towards allowing the average golfer to have a better chance of hitting the ball straight. So the manufacturers try to make "forgiving" easy to hit clubs, with big sweet spots, that get the ball up quickly and straight. These are great for average golfers but bad for skilled golfers who actually want to shape the flight of the ball. They would rather use older clubs that allow them to use their advanced skills, like muscle back irons. I'm wondering if ski equipment has the same issue?
Here's the question;
As an intermediate/advanced skier, what technology should I be interested in, or avoid. What is going to help or hurt me?
For reference, I'm forty nine, but very athletic (martial arts), 5'9" and 168 lbs. I spend most of my time on the blue/black groomers and bumbs. Due to multiple knee surgeries I'm more into controlled turns than maximum speed and bypass the terrain park. I can handle a little air by accident, but don't go looking for it. I mainly ski in Arizona, so get a lot of early ice and late slush. I don't have the resources to chase powder, so if it happens it's by chance. I will get to ski Wolf Creek the week before Xmas this year, weather permitting.
I got about twelve days in last season after a thirty year layoff and made it from the bunnies to the blacks by the last day, on rental skis. Remembering that length sacrifices speed for mobility, I took the shortest skis they would rent me, I think they were 140/150 ish.
I wasn't specifically looking for ski recommendations, more technology advice, but would be happy for any input or suggestions you guys have. If this season goes well, I'm hoping to invest in skis when the time is right.
Sorry for the long post. Hope it makes sense.
Edited by flow dab - 9/12/12 at 10:25pm