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fatter skis change technique? - Page 3

post #61 of 81

   In all seriousness, guys. To my mind it all comes down to the right tool for the right job. Your not gonna show up to a slalom race on fat skis (unless your delusional)..same can be said for a "Steep and Deep" (love that Miller flickicon14.gif) line--fat NOT skinny. Your also probably not going to show up for a ballroom dance wearing a toga and smoking a cigar (well, maybe you wouldbiggrin.gif).

 

   zenny

post #62 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

   In all seriousness, guys. To my mind it all comes down to the right tool for the right job. Your not gonna show up to a slalom race on fat skis (unless your delusional)..same can be said for a "Steep and Deep" (love that Miller flickicon14.gif) line--fat NOT skinny. Your also probably not going to show up for a ballroom dance wearing a toga and smoking a cigar (well, maybe you wouldbiggrin.gif).

 

   zenny

 

The hill which hosted my night league races this year is also home to some local high school's race leagues as well.  I was there one afternoon and watched some of the high school kids.  Some were really good, some, ummmmm, not so much, and there was one guy racing slalom on fully rockered fat skis.  Needless to say, his time sucked, but he somehow managed to stay in the course.

 

It was near the end of the season; not sure if he was just having an "f--- it" moment, or if he had been doing that all season or what the deal was.

 

As for the "crashing a ballroom dance wearing a toga while smoking a cigar" challenge...  Pics or it didn't happen everybody.  We have our summer challenge.

 

popcorn.gif

post #63 of 81

Well for what it's worth, my days training this season with the Mammoth Master's program on SL and GS skis seems to have improved all my skiing. But I use the same movements in the slalom course on the skinny SL skis as I do on my Blizzard Bonafides (98 underfoot), Kastle MX88's and the DPS 112RP's I demoed last week in Alta powder (112 underfoot).

 

Training gates on skinny skis changed my fat-ski free skiing off-and-on-piste skiing for the better - and my fat skis all work better after training with the coaches. This is probably because a few fundamental basics of skiing have been improved during the race training - staying out of the back seat, turn initiation, still upper body, keeping my mass projected forward down the fall line, etc.

 

The fat skis just take a bit more time to engage and they're more forgiving. But to this racing NOOB the fundamental movements feel the same.


Edited by calisnow - 4/16/13 at 12:22pm
post #64 of 81
The width of the ski has nothing to do with how "modern" it is... my 80mm skis are just as modern as my 98mm and both are more modern than my 90mm backcountry ski;)

I truly believe that wider skis, over 90mm, can inhibit learning progression. It is not really the width but rather the giant sweet spot that accompanies these skies that does so. I prefer the precision and feedback of skis around 80mm; thus, I tend to reach for them most days. I encourage students looking for progression to do the same. That being said, I'd much prefer to have a low-skilled advanced skier on a 100mm ski during a guiding lesson. Difficult snow and terrain is not the place to learn the basics, and wider skis with big sweet spots can mask all kinds of deficiencies in challenging conditions.

Thus, it really depends on your skiing and learning goals. If you want to progress your general skills, choose a ski that will reward you for proper technique and will talk back when a wrong move is made... generally narrower. If you want to experience the great outdoors and explore unfamiliar terrain, a ski with a stable platform and big sweet spot will give you the confidence to do so... generally wider and softer.
post #65 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssm949 View Post

The width of the ski has nothing to do with how "modern" it is... my 80mm skis are just as modern as my 98mm and both are more modern than my 90mm backcountry ski;)

I truly believe that wider skis, over 90mm, can inhibit learning progression. It is not really the width but rather the giant sweet spot that accompanies these skies that does so. I prefer the precision and feedback of skis around 80mm; thus, I tend to reach for them most days. I encourage students looking for progression to do the same. That being said, I'd much prefer to have a low-skilled advanced skier on a 100mm ski during a guiding lesson. Difficult snow and terrain is not the place to learn the basics, and wider skis with big sweet spots can mask all kinds of deficiencies in challenging conditions.

Thus, it really depends on your skiing and learning goals. If you want to progress your general skills, choose a ski that will reward you for proper technique and will talk back when a wrong move is made... generally narrower. If you want to experience the great outdoors and explore unfamiliar terrain, a ski with a stable platform and big sweet spot will give you the confidence to do so... generally wider and softer.


seems to me the best advice is to get 2 skis. A sub 85mm and a >105mm and then you only use the fat one off piste.

post #66 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonFreeman View Post


seems to me the best advice is to get 2 skis. A sub 85mm and a >105mm and then you only use the fat one off piste.

 

How often do you get over 6" of new snow in Quebec, and how many runs do you get before it's all skied out? From what I remember from my Quebec skiing days, the answer to both is "very few". I'd actually say 85mm is enough for 95% of skiing time in Quebec for the average skier. On the other hand, if you have the money and sufficient skill to ski something 90+, it doesn't hurt on those rare big dump days. 

post #67 of 81
When I returned to snow after several years of being away from skiing, my first pair of skis was/is my 92mm K2 Outlaws. So that's my personal baseline for an all mountain midfat. When I demo skis I'm asking myself what this demo pair can do that existing pair doesn't.

I then picked up a seldom-used pair of 65mm Stockli's for hard pack and ice. The techniques I use is the same, but the degree of responsiveness and edge control is different. I really like having a skinny carver as an option, very different tool, very fun in its own way.

Now that I've been teaching I have used both to teach my kids classes as well as adults. I think for never-evers and beginners, modern shaped skinnier front-side oriented skis are better to learn to use their edges and transition from wedges to parallel stances. Once they're ready to advance a bit it's good to have a width that allows a greater range of surface conditions without making the activity too hard and discouraging. I'm thinking 82-90 or so. I realize that 88-98 is a common range but a lot of people who buy 98 wide seem to use them mostly for front side.

I also just bought Head Rev 105's, which are actually very turny and have a radius smaller than the 92mm Outlaws. I doubt I'll teach on them if it's a hard pack day, though I probably could. The Outlaws will still be my primary teaching ski (partly because I don't want kids to ski over the topsheets of my new Rev's).

Now that I have the Rev 105's I'm thinking I could use a good carving/bump ski, something 80-85 instead of (or in addition to) the Outlaws. Actually I want a Hart to go along with my Head.

For myself I think I'm on the side of using skinnier skis as a training tool in mixed conditions. It requires, for me at least, to really work on good technique and tactics. When I switch back to the middle or wider part of the quiver it's more rewarding. My .02.
post #68 of 81

Back in the day my son jumped on his Pocket Rockets and ran thru the gates on powder day when he wanted to ski powder instead of showing up for training. The coach was impressed that he wasn't that much off his normal pace.

 

I think it's about having the proper tool for the job.

 

When I see some of my Instructor buddies out free skiing on powder day's, they are on fat skis like the rest of us.

post #69 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Really... Yet another fat vs skinny ski thread. Can we talk about who's better, racers or freeskiers again?

Haha, all these threads that get full of drama are basically just semi veiled 'I'm better than you' claimfests anyway.  

post #70 of 81

I happen to be one of those ski instructors you noticed on thinner skis.

 

One benefit of fatter skis is that they will enhance your tendency to keep your feet apart in turns. I had to relearn the sport, being older and accustomed to the collapsed knee comma type position. My race skis were enablers (in a bad sense). A fat ski forced me into more independent foot/knee motion and helped me to recognize the importance of edging on my uphill ski in the initiation phase of my turn.

 

I have two "fatties", both of which are in the low 80's under foot. I use quotes around "fatty" because by today's standards, they are not even considered "mid fat". I personally find the need to go no fatter than this, even when the powder gets very deep.

 

The tradeoffs:

 

It is easier to change edges when the distance under foot is less. On my race skis (66 to 68 under foot), I can subtly switch from one edge to the other with only the slightest change of balance. Hence, in a tight mogul field, I can easily make two direction changes when fat ski skiers are committed to one. I can ski a tighter line closer to the fall line (if all goes well).

 

The problem is that my racing skis are stiffer and they tend to throw me more forward or backward in the bumps. The narrower underfoot dimension requires that a ski be slightly stiffer in order for it to ski smoothly. I find that I can make the fore and aft adjustments in order to compensate for the thrill of being able to change directions on a dime. In fact, if you watch a good skier on race skis on the flat you will notice subtle fore and aft balance changes indicating that he or she is "working" the fore section of the ski in the initiation phase and the aft end in the finish phase of a turn. Such motion has elegance.

 

My "fatties", although ever so slightly slower for edge change, tend to absorb the troughs of the bumps because they are softer. Also, these skis, although the overall snow contact area (which would be measured in square centimeters) is greater than race skis, are quite a bit lighter than race skis. This is, as Martha Stewart would say, "A good thing".

 

What was at one time a concern for me was that I assumed some of these fatter skis, because they were lighter, would be "squirrely" or dangerous to ski at high velocity on ice. I have been pleasantly surprised by the Volkl AC 40, the Atomic Stomp, and the Stockli Sormrider AT. All are roughly 184 in length. None of them misbehaved radically at 40 plus MPH - no significant chatter. I'd prefer to be on a race ski. But they did OK.

 

As for powder ... anything over, say 15 inches. I'd prefer to put the race skis away. But, even when conditions are bottomless, I do not find it necessary to go more than 80 under foot. I also find it inessential to mess with reverse camber ... at least until I own my own helicopter.

 

What is worthwhile remembering in the snow starved 21st century is that the vast majority of our inbounds as well as out of bounds skiing today occurs on firm snow. Deep powder is highly ephemeral. Arrange your ski quiver accordingly.

post #71 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post

I know people here love to act like skiing well is some zen secret that can only be earned by years of tedious drills, and spending a lifetime in lessons. But it's hardly rocket science. I laugh when I watch people spending all day on some silly drill when they could be applying, and honing the technique they are working on by having fun skiing.

Just a comment about drills from an ex-athlete. Are you sure you're not just defending your own history here? Drills aren't zen secrets; they're just about muscle memory. Take apart a complex movement - say skiing or hitting a tennis ball or swinging a golf club. Eg, motion analysis. Do a localized, short exercise that will require the same muscles to fire in the same way that they need to for that segment of the whole movement. Say a falling leaf on skis, or just the top arc of the tennis serve, or just the uncocking of the wrists in a ball strike. Do it as close to the same way over and over until you can stop thinking it through, have an "aha" moment, and your body just does it correctly after that. Move on to the next flawed segment. Not like it takes years, either. 

 

May not be rocket science, and may make you laugh, but good luck on a GS course unless you can hold a full arc either direction on one ski without concentrating on it. And that same skill can save your bacon on an icy no-fall chute outback. Or in wet heavy powder in trees. More to the point, unclear what the difference is between a "silly drill" and "applying, and honing the technique." The drill's more efficient at isolating the specific mechanics that need help, but both take place on skis, both involve sefl-awareness of body mechanics, and both (gasp) can be fun. Dunno, maybe it's the delayed gratification thing. We can't take the discipline to learn one single thing well, gotta rush on to the next. 

 

IMO drills work for anyone, any age, any skill level. Russians start their tennis kids at age 3, for instance, but limit full swings and competition to much later, since we all tend to take shortcuts in order to "win." Watch the average self-taught intermediate get down a black run, and you'll see all the ways they're sabotaging their mechanics, and developing habits that will hold them back later on, in order to say they're comfy on expert runs. (Speaking as someone who went that route.)  snowfight.gif

 

OK, now back to the fruitful and novel debate about ski width...rolleyes.gif

post #72 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Z Taos View Post

I happen to be one of those ski instructors you noticed on thinner skis.

 

One benefit of fatter skis is that they will enhance your tendency to keep your feet apart in turns. I had to relearn the sport, being older and accustomed to the collapsed knee comma type position. My race skis were enablers (in a bad sense). A fat ski forced me into more independent foot/knee motion and helped me to recognize the importance of edging on my uphill ski in the initiation phase of my turn.

 

I have two "fatties", both of which are in the low 80's under foot. I use quotes around "fatty" because by today's standards, they are not even considered "mid fat". I personally find the need to go no fatter than this, even when the powder gets very deep.

 

The tradeoffs:

 

It is easier to change edges when the distance under foot is less. On my race skis (66 to 68 under foot), I can subtly switch from one edge to the other with only the slightest change of balance. Hence, in a tight mogul field, I can easily make two direction changes when fat ski skiers are committed to one. I can ski a tighter line closer to the fall line (if all goes well).

 

The problem is that my racing skis are stiffer and they tend to throw me more forward or backward in the bumps. The narrower underfoot dimension requires that a ski be slightly stiffer in order for it to ski smoothly. I find that I can make the fore and aft adjustments in order to compensate for the thrill of being able to change directions on a dime. In fact, if you watch a good skier on race skis on the flat you will notice subtle fore and aft balance changes indicating that he or she is "working" the fore section of the ski in the initiation phase and the aft end in the finish phase of a turn. Such motion has elegance.

 

My "fatties", although ever so slightly slower for edge change, tend to absorb the troughs of the bumps because they are softer. Also, these skis, although the overall snow contact area (which would be measured in square centimeters) is greater than race skis, are quite a bit lighter than race skis. This is, as Martha Stewart would say, "A good thing".

 

What was at one time a concern for me was that I assumed some of these fatter skis, because they were lighter, would be "squirrely" or dangerous to ski at high velocity on ice. I have been pleasantly surprised by the Volkl AC 40, the Atomic Stomp, and the Stockli Sormrider AT. All are roughly 184 in length. None of them misbehaved radically at 40 plus MPH - no significant chatter. I'd prefer to be on a race ski. But they did OK.

 

As for powder ... anything over, say 15 inches. I'd prefer to put the race skis away. But, even when conditions are bottomless, I do not find it necessary to go more than 80 under foot. I also find it inessential to mess with reverse camber ... at least until I own my own helicopter.

 

What is worthwhile remembering in the snow starved 21st century is that the vast majority of our inbounds as well as out of bounds skiing today occurs on firm snow. Deep powder is highly ephemeral. Arrange your ski quiver accordingly. Apparantly you were not at Crystal Mt., WA this season, 471" of total snowfall this season. Global Warming..............................BSmeter.gif

post #73 of 81

No, Atomic, bs is finding an outlier that's fully within a models' predictions and claiming it shows the model's wrong. Used with great success lately by politicians catering to people who believe the earth was created in 4004 b.c., Welfare Cadillacs are everywhere, and nothing good can come of condoms. Our brains like to find data that support what we already believe, no matter how much other data contradicts it.

 

Global warming models have virtually nothing to do with single seasons at single resorts. But that's OK, you and the other flat worlders keep culling out examples of how wrong scientists are. Would be endearing, actually, if it didn't have such consequences for my kids' kids. nonono2.gif

post #74 of 81
FWIW, as a PNW native, we used to get a lot more snow in Bellevue and Seattle when I was a kid. My dad was ski patrol director at Mt Pilchuk; Pilchuk closed in the late 70's partly due to poor snowfall compared to when it opened. My neighbors tell me there used to be snow all the time out in the rural Snohomish county area where I now live. Very little to none most years nowadays.
post #75 of 81
Well...ahem. I still don't think fat skis and global warming are correlated. But maybe I missed something. Regardless, very good thread on fat skis, technique and oh yes, now global warming. I luv you guys.
post #76 of 81

I think even skiing on straight skis would be good to start, or a narrow shaped ski.  What the instructors used I don't think matters.  I like my ski which is 95mms, I can pretty much do whatever on it.

post #77 of 81
Current take away from thread:

(Fat Ski Lover) = Doesn't Care About Global Warming

(Skinny Ski Afectionado) = Concerned Citizen of Planet

(Fat Ski Lover) = "Drills Are Stupid"

(Skinny Ski Afectionado) = "Drills Are Important"

(Fat Ski Lover) + (Skinny Ski Aficionado) = 2 x (Not Rocket Scientist)
Edited by Tog - 4/24/13 at 11:18pm
post #78 of 81
I finally get it.
Fat skis cause global warming.
I won't wear them again...at least until next season.
And I promise to use my skinny race skis more often. Scout's honor.
post #79 of 81
And for goodness sake, wear a helmet!!
post #80 of 81

To address the original question I find that when maneuvering for position in crowded lift lines--KT on a storm day being the prime example--fatter skis make stealth sliding between 2 people or between a person and the ropes much more difficult, especially if they have fat skis as well.  Instead shoulder and pole technique must be used.  Carrying a large radio and announcing that they just opened Headwall also works.

post #81 of 81

if we get a May dump over 10" then global warming is on hold long enogh for me to bring out the fatties, otherwise likewise they'll stay in the vault till next year.

 

Two cents on the other part of the thread is i ski the fats just like the medium, forward stance, ride them like they are 78 under foot and your on groomers.

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