Originally Posted by Adie
My concern is that a huge number of skiers of all levels insist on going fat and yet make only the occasional forray away from groomers or well skied unpisted runs. I really don't see the need for 90mm+ in these most regular situations. I'm sure they would be better served by a more responsive and nimble ski that will optimise their skiing in the conditions they most frequent but will be fine for their gentle off piste ventures.
Just getting back to the OP.....we're not talking about truly fat skis as everyday skis, Right? (over 110mm). At 90mm, we're talking about what has become the all-purpose mid fat. Today's (as in 2013) 90mm ski (give 9mm or take 5mm) is really a great ski. Yeah, 7 or 8 years ago, skis of this width had limited appeal on piste, but all last season, every ski I got on in this width (I work in shop part time: Spent time on Elan, Rossi, Hart, K2 and Fischer skis)-I was blown away at how well they performed on harder snow and groomers. factor that in with the edge they deliver in trees and crud, it's no wonder these have become the dominant ski on the mountain for the masses.
Are they the equivalent of a true hard-snow performer??..No. BUT neither is a 79mm waisted ski...if hard snow arcing on bullet proof surfaces is your fetish () you should be on a race worthy slalom ski with a waist of less than 70mm with a plate and race binding, and good stiff boots.
I should add today's boots and wider bindings add a lot to the dynamic envelope of 90mm skis as well. Skis in this size are popular not because of some mass hypnosis plied by evil marketing companies over a sheepish skiing public, but rather the demand is high among people who have actually used these skis and discovered how versatile they really are. These are the good ole days, and the possibility of a 1 ski quiver for a strong skier has never been more promising.
Oh, and the completely non-scientific, anecdotal complaint about fat skis causing more accidents and leading to a wave of recklessness is spurious myth that just won't die.