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Describing Skis

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey guys I this is a branch off another thread where I was asking for ski advice. I hear a lot of terms thrown around when people  are describing skis.

 

Some examples are:

 

Dampness

Playfulness

Liveliness

Stiffness

etc. (please fill in any I have missed)

 

I was wondering what these terms mean to you, how they relate to what you feel when skiing, and in what situation you want more or less of these.

 

Interested to see if everyone sees these things the same or if there is varying opinions.

post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

Another question along these lines is how does turning radius effect the type of turns you can make with that ski?
 

post #3 of 13

Dampness = opposite of Liveliness, lack of snowfeel - how much terrain variation do you feel under your feet?

Liveliness = opposite of damp, lots of snowfeel

Playfulness = a combination of lightweight and lots of rebound - easy to boost off of every little terrain variation

Stiffness = combined with dampness, how fast you can go before deflection occurs, also stiffer skis will hold an edge on hard snow at higher speeds - the ski can flex too much, causing inconsistent/vague edgehold

 

Turn radius and stiffness interact to determine how quick a ski can turn when on edge. A soft ski can be bent more, creating a tighter radius, a stiff ski can be bent less, and maintain a longer turn radius better at higher speeds. An infinitely stiff ski can only be turned, on edge, the radius at which the sidecut is set (of course, you can always feather the tail to reduce the radius).

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much Brian, this is extremely helpful. Very much appreciated.
 

post #5 of 13

Other terms that you missed included beginner/intermediate to advance/expert skis.

 

These along with the terms also determine that performance that you will get out of the ski.

 

Beginner/intermediate skis tend to be softer and forgiving.  The advantage is is that as a beginner, you don't have the strength/technique to flex the ski.  The second part also ensures that the when an error is made the ski feathers (release the edge) and prevents an unexpected response.  Both of these characteristics start to hinder and work against you as you improve or are above ski well beyond the level of the ski as you overpower it and it doesn't respond (by feather off) as expected.  This in turn discourages proper technique.

 

Advanced/expert Skis tend to be stiffer and very responsive.  Because of technique and strength you can flex and turn the skis as designed.  Additionally the ski response immediately to this input.  Down side, you have to know what you are doing and if you make a mistake the ski will do what it was told do and you will eat snow (especially if you are still learning).  Also way the description for race skis is usually "unforgiving for non racers" as most don't expect the immediate response that these skis can give.

 

The set of skis in between these ranges vary on a sliding scale between these characteristics (and in most cases there is significant overlap in the middle sets)

 

It is important to understand that this applies only the each group of skis in the same group and is not a cross group comparison.  That is a whole other issue and terminology set and characteristics.

 

Hopefully this helps.

post #6 of 13

What's really interesting is that I was going to post some descriptions to the descriptions and realized that I may be using new descriptive words that may just be more confusing than the first descriptions.  

Now I'm confused. biggrin.gif

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

What's really interesting is that I was going to post some descriptions to the descriptions and realized that I may be using new descriptive words that may just be more confusing than the first descriptions.  

Now I'm confused. biggrin.gif

Don't feel bad, I think we all are.....It's called Marketing!

 

I think I'm going to stick to simple descriptions....I got skis, they go fast and turn lotsbiggrin.gif Now if only the temps would drop so that we can go and ski frown.gif.

post #8 of 13

To further muddy the waters:

 

% of tail and tip rocker

Camber vs flat vs rockered

Freeride vs all-mountain vs big mountain

 

While the first two are relatively easy to define, the last group are rather nebulous marketing terms. that is to say, they are the same only different.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Oldschoolskier- While I understand the distinction and that companies will put advanced/beginner on certain skis, but after a point I feel like you just have to find what skis suit your style because many expert skiers will chose a softer ski for certain conditions.

 

Trekchik- We are all confused!

 

asp125- The one nice thing about those first two is at least they can be measured and quantified. The last is just just up in the air of course.

post #10 of 13

I attended the Next Level Camp with Ingrid Backstrom and Jessica Sobolowski last weekend. 

Ingrid and Jessica Rip on their Volkl Gotamas

 

I skied on my 170 Blizzard Dakotas

They were Awesome!!!

 

biggrin.gif

 

awe·some  

/ˈôsəm/
 
Adjective
  1. Extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.
  2. Extremely good; excellent.
 
Synonyms
dreadful - formidable - redoubtable - terrific - awful
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

I attended the Next Level Camp with Ingrid Backstrom and Jessica Sobolowski last weekend. 

Ingrid and Jessica Rip on their Volkl Gotamas

 

 

 

 

 

(psst, they were on Katanas)

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post

 

 

 

(psst, they were on Katanas)

Doh!eek.gif

You're right!

They were Volkl's and they were BIG!

(there's another descriptive word) 

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeSki View Post

Oldschoolskier- While I understand the distinction and that companies will put advanced/beginner on certain skis, but after a point I feel like you just have to find what skis suit your style because many expert skiers will chose a softer ski for certain conditions.

 

Trekchik- We are all confused!

 

asp125- The one nice thing about those first two is at least they can be measured and quantified. The last is just just up in the air of course.

FreeSki - Point well made, description was intended only to give an idea of what the terms mean.  Ski and boot selection are still based very much a personal preference, more so with the higher level skiers as they know what they want and expect from the equipment (and in most cases likely have experience the various levels/types of equipment so they actually know what works best for their style and conditions).

 

What is interesting is that when people ask for help in selecting equipment that there seem to be two groups.

 

First Group (limited experience), questions is usually phrased something along the lines "I'm looking for equipment, help!"

 

Second Group (experienced), question is usually phrased "Here's what I'm using currently, like/dislike these characteristics, here's my stat's, here's what I want to achieve, so what would you recommend from similar experienced skiers?"

 

The first group is usually a q&a game and then general recommendations could maybe made.

 

The second as now we can use the terms that the more experienced skiers understand, it is easier.

 

Sorry I've digressed a little in including all equipment in the reply, but I thought it was applicable and your comments and initial statement bring very valid points of education for the first group.

 

G

 

(Based on the temp's in my area of the great white north, do grass skis count in these descriptions wink.gif ?)

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