Me: 40 years old, advanced skier, get in about 20 days a year. Grew up skiing on the east coast, been skiing last 8 years in PNW.
Recently owned skis: Salomon 1080 Gun, Dynastar Mythic Rider, Salomon X-wing Fury, Rossignol S-3
First off, to each his own. If you enjoy your fat rockered skis, I truly am happy for you. I do think there is a place for these in an advanced skiers quiver, especially at a bigger mountain. What I guess I am complaining about is when I walk into a ski shop and see them pushing fat and rockered skis on your average skier. From my experience, based on the skis I have owned and demoed:
1 - Rocker makes it more difficult to properly carve a ski. Carving is not the only way to turn a ski but it is a core skill that all skiers should have. It seems to me rocker is mainly useful when you are going off-piste or skiing powder. These are not the conditions most average skiers actually ski.
2 - Wide skis are more difficult to carve than skinnier skis.
3 - Wide skis are more stable. This can be good or bad. The extra stability means you can go down faster with fewer turns. (For me, they "shrunk" the size of my local hill. But that is just my personal taste. )
In my humble opinion:
Daily ski for East coast - probably should not exceed 85 and do not need rocker at all.
Daily ski for West coast - varies a lot depending on local hill, but if you are hitting a lot of groomers 80-95 width seems to be the sweet spot. If you are mostly off the groom, maybe 105-110.
For powder - go as fat and as rockered as you want
Just my 2 cents.
(Caveat: I haven't skied all the latest designs, so maybe the manufacturers are figuring out how to get a rockered ski to carve, for example, I hear good things about the new Blizzards and with the S-3's Rossignol has sort of figured out a compromise design.)
Edited by Medium Al - 3/22/13 at 3:30pm