Except me. Although I now know that the 188cm may be a bit of an outlier, and the raves are about the shorter variants. IMO (I ski the 178 and it feels BIG), the 188 must be for former NFL linemen who still have knees.
A large conventional shovel does not necessarily float. It will track more emphatically and with more inertia than a smaller conventional shovel, but on its own, the camber will direct its force down, rather than up...I prefer to think of rocker as pre-decambering. You start with a tip that's already going in the direction you want it to -- up, instead of down. OK, this is where ya lose me. Perhaps because you're talking about a form of early "rocker" that's fairly rare (think Volkls, which are not ruling the waves these days, Praxis Pows, coupla others that sell very low numbers), while everyone else is talking about "front rocker" or "mustache rocker" or "early rise." (Think Automatics, Bibby's, Rocker2's, 112RP's, Lhasas, Squad 7's, etc.) And you're using Shane's well known explanation which actually loses much of its relevance for any form of "rocker" that isn't a full, convex curve that has its apex in the middle of the ski.
Once you make a ski flat in the middle, or give it any camber at all, you have two or more contact points that are being pressured downward. As those points press into the snow, its resistance will actually bend the tip or tail curvature more acutely upward. So by pressuring almost all current modern rockered skis, you increase attack angle (below). That helps lift a bit. BTW, same thing for traditional tips, just less change, partly because of the shape of the curve but I'd guess mostly because it takes more force as the contact points go further out from the middle. You're right about flex, IMO, as the contact points get further away, more flex helps solve the force/distance issue.
Here's what I understand of the physics: Early rise etc. changes the attack angle, which changes the coefficient of lift: Cl = 2 * pi * angle (in radians). That changes lift: L = .5 * Cl * r * V^2 * A
So we're really just talking about different curvatures in the front third of the ski, right? And maybe the back third. We also are not talking about traditional tips having reversed lift, eg, down instead of up. Just a bit less lift than early rise, which is a bit less than pronounced rocker. In fact if you look at the equation, velocity (V) and to a lesser extent surface area (A) washes out most of the impact of coefficient of lift. Want a traditional ski to plane? Pick up the pace. Or get it a cm wider. So I do not see much revolution with camber. Rockers typically have less than a traditional ski. But so did many traditional powder skis. Think fat twins. Or Head Standards. In fact, recall that old wood skis were viewed as better in powder as they lost camber. So not disagreeing that some decambering is a good thing, just that it's either a new idea or one that requires all or nothing.
Also agree, some decambering will change the amount of force required to finish the bend. And Shane's waterskis require even less. (I waterski, so can relate to the comparo.) But assuming you're running at one speed, and whether it's just at the mathematical middle or at two contact points or five, at whatever distance, the tip and tail will be pressured up when you push down in the middle, no?
Now if you want to argue that everyone should be on Shane's saucer, all good, but design ain't going that way...Nor are the newest rockers as uniformly stiff as a few years ago because people are realizing that stiffness tends to limit your ability to bend the ski. Shane thought skidding/smearing/sliding was the most reasonable way to ski powder, using the waterski analogy, and maybe it is, maybe it isn't, realize it's very popular these days and can be great fun. Obviously, it's not always the most efficient way to ski all the other variable snow we find in places that don't have unlimited deep powder. So I think most people want to be able to do both.
Now the integration of contact points and sidecut with tip rise, that's more intriguing IMO...
True enough.....there are some very nice slightly wider and/or marginally rockered, wider skis. I ski about all of them every year and appreciate them tremendously and yes, there may be a marginal improvement in in softer snow and at the trails edge. But.......they really don't hold a candle to the real deal fully cambered and or narrower skis. (I'll grant ya the MX 78 although when I went back to back with the RX12 the MX felt really great but the RX made me go.......YOWZERS!!!!!) This is utterly true.
...Very nice ski but my skirt wasn't ruffled. Personally I am so glad, unpleasant image.
But in January when it's cold, the sun is low on the horizon & there has been no natural in a week......I'm going to the rack and grabbing one of the skinnier offerings if I'm going for a few runs before work. Skis like those have the technical capacity to tell me without question when I'm doing things right and when (mostly) I'm not. Indisputable. My only question is whether OP is gonna have as many of those days in his place as you do in yours...
I demo'd the Kastle RX-12 skis last year and felt they weren't as stiff as a race ski, and not as wide as an all mountain ski. In softer snow they carved well, on ice they had limited grip, but it might have been the ski's tune was limiting the grip. I have found the RX to be less a racing surrogate than the grippiest all around carver I know. Emphasis on "all around." My G-Powers are a touch more ice skates, but are less versatile everywhere else. I suspect the R-Powers, coupla narrow Nordicas are even grippier and even less versatile. Life's all about tradeoffs. If you pay attention to the RX's edges, and really let the tips know you're there, they're all you'd want outside a race course, IMHO.
If you are willing to spend the money, Kastle MX78 all the way. They carve and grip nearly as well as a race ski, and are sooooo much more versatile. As it has been said, I'm not sure that a race ski is even ideal for you if you are going to be strictly on soft Colorado groomers. I say you give up the minimal amount of added grip of a race ski and get something that will rail the groomers just like a race ski but that also will be able to do many other things for you (crud, a little bumps, etc.). Unless you're on Eastern boilerplate at times, I don't see much of a need for a race ski. SJ's not advising race skis, just serious race carvers. Big diff. But agree that the MX78 is a very versatile ski. The new MX83 looks pretty sweet too, as does the Nordie FA 84.
Edited by beyond - 9/21/12 at 8:34am