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What's the narrowest ski in your quiver?

Poll Results: What's the narrowest ski in your quiver?

 
  • 60% (42)
    80 mm. or less
  • 5% (4)
    81-85 mm.
  • 15% (11)
    86-90 mm.
  • 4% (3)
    91-95 mm.
  • 5% (4)
    96-100 mm.
  • 2% (2)
    101-105 mm.
  • 4% (3)
    106-110 mm.
  • 1% (1)
    111-120 mm.
  • 0% (0)
    121-125 mm.
  • 0% (0)
    126-130 mm.
  • 0% (0)
    >130 mm.
70 Total Votes  
post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

As a companion to the widest-ski poll, what's the narrowest ski that you still use?

post #2 of 38

Elan 88 xti works for Mammoth

post #3 of 38
65mm Stockli Spirit SC. Got them a year ago for $99 smile.gif very useful for hard pack days when off piste is unfriendly.
post #4 of 38

I have a pair of 72 waist Atomic Beta 9.22's, but they are just for total hard snow minimal coverage rock skis- I skied them once last year.

 

The "narrow" ski that gets more use is my set of 189 K2 Kung Fujas (95 waist).

post #5 of 38

I have three pairs of skis that fall into the "80mm or less" category!  Blizzard slalom skis, Blizzard 7.2 something-or-the-others and my rock skis (Blizzard 7.6).

post #6 of 38

Flawed poll.  Really.   It looks like you only copied the fat ski ranges from the other thread.

 

65 for the Volkl P50 F1s, although I don't use it much.  I regularly use the Fischer WC SC at 66 mm.

post #7 of 38

Volkl SL's  64mm or so.

 

JF

post #8 of 38

Elan Magfire 78

 

Early season WROD tool

post #9 of 38

Rossi 167 SL, 65 mm or so

 

Rossi 185 21m-era GS (though this one is actually ~24 m), also 65 mm or so. This ski is almost magical in its grip-to-stiffness ratio BTW.

 

Head 210 i.SG, 68 mm

 

Salomon 220 DH, 65 mm. I almost never break these out, though, as my speed limit is lower than it once was and falls between the limits of the Rossi GS and the Head i.SG.

 

Going off on a tangent, I think that there will always be a place for narrow skis. If you want to crank seriously aggressive turns (lateral accelerations well in excess of 2G) at speed then it helps to have the edge as close to underfoot as possible. The skier's tib/fib and boot cuff act as a lever to bring the ski up on edge, where the mechanical advantage of that lever is inversely proportional to the ski width underfoot. You therefore ideally want long lower legs (unfortunately I'm challenged in that respect due to what my wife nicely describes as "peasant genes") and narrow skis.

 

Also, for speed events you need a long ski for stability (DH never went below 215-218 cm, even before the FIS imposed minimum length and sidecut limits), and if those long skis were fat they would be unmanageable

On a distantly related note, speed-event skis (SG and DH) have fairly unique construction and flex patterns. If you've never ridden one then it's hard to explain the degree to which they silently "eat up" chatter and bumps and make it almost feel like you're skiing in slow motion. That's one experience that I don't care to ever give up.

 

Among wider skis that I've tried the Volkl AC50 is decent and rips perfectly competent arcs on all but the hardest snow. There are probably some others out there that I haven't tried that are at least as good. I'd guess that Nordica and Stockli would have some standouts based on previous experience and knowledge of their respective constructions.

 

To put this all in perspective, I consider my 184 cm Volkl Kendos to be marginally acceptable in terms of hard-snow performance, when tuned with 1/3 bevels and no detuning inside the contact points (though it's an amazingly competent crud-cutter when skied properly). The edge-feel from my Super-7s is depressing in anything that isn't powder, and most other fatties that I've tried feel downright awful.

post #10 of 38

198 cm P40F1 (66 or 64 don't even remember exactly), 186 Salmon 2V, 188 Volkl P40F1, just broke one Stoekli 186 Laser GS (the other still useable...but too old) all 64-66some wide at the waist.

post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickjchase View Post

Rossi 167 SL, 65 mm or so

 

Rossi 185 21m-era GS (though this one is actually ~24 m), also 65 mm or so. This ski is almost magical in its grip-to-stiffness ratio BTW.

 

Head 210 i.SG, 68 mm

 

Salomon 220 DH, 65 mm. I almost never break these out, though, as my speed limit is lower than it once was and falls between the limits of the Rossi GS and the Head i.SG.

 

Going off on a tangent, I think that there will always be a place for narrow skis. If you want to crank seriously aggressive turns (lateral accelerations well in excess of 2G) at speed then it helps to have the edge as close to underfoot as possible. The skier's tib/fib and boot cuff act as a lever to bring the ski up on edge, where the mechanical advantage of that lever is inversely proportional to the ski width underfoot. You therefore ideally want long lower legs (unfortunately I'm challenged in that respect due to what my wife nicely describes as "peasant genes") and narrow skis.

 

Also, for speed events you need a long ski for stability (DH never went below 215-218 cm, even before the FIS imposed minimum length and sidecut limits), and if those long skis were fat they would be unmanageable

On a distantly related note, speed-event skis (SG and DH) have fairly unique construction and flex patterns. If you've never ridden one then it's hard to explain the degree to which they silently "eat up" chatter and bumps and make it almost feel like you're skiing in slow motion. That's one experience that I don't care to ever give up.

 

Among wider skis that I've tried the Volkl AC50 is decent and rips perfectly competent arcs on all but the hardest snow. There are probably some others out there that I haven't tried that are at least as good. I'd guess that Nordica and Stockli would have some standouts based on previous experience and knowledge of their respective constructions.

 

To put this all in perspective, I consider my 184 cm Volkl Kendos to be marginally acceptable in terms of hard-snow performance, when tuned with 1/3 bevels and no detuning inside the contact points (though it's an amazingly competent crud-cutter when skied properly). The edge-feel from my Super-7s is depressing in anything that isn't powder, and most other fatties that I've tried feel downright awful.

 

 

I just wanted to tell that the physics does nt agree with your narrow is always better for high G force turns, you can tip a wider ski over further because you will not boot out.

 

My narrow skis are 88mm Brahmas

post #12 of 38

67mm here.

 

Wider skis, presumably "all mountain" models that espouse being a great all-around tool, simply cannot touch the feel and performance of a skinny ski......in certain conditions

 

Skinny skis absolutely, unequivocally, undeniably have a place in the market.  BUT............so do wider ones as well

 

 

Love my 67mm skis.  And love my 98mm ones too.  Different tools for different conditions.

post #13 of 38

MX88's at both SLC and WB.

 

Something like a 70 (Dynastar Skicross 10's) stored on least coast, but haven't used them for a couple of years.

post #14 of 38

I know someone here that has something valid and relevant in the 40s.  I'm surprised no smart asses have posted their XC gear yet though..

post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

 

 

I just wanted to tell that the physics does nt agree with your narrow is always better for high G force turns, you can tip a wider ski over further because you will not boot out.

 

My narrow skis are 88mm Brahmas

 

No, physics does agree with me. It's simply an optimization problem that has a lower limit, that I didn't bother to spell out because I had better things to do. Leverage and also surface friction favor narrower skis (this is the optimization part) but as you point out some bad things happen when the ski gets *too* narrow (this is the constraint part). Boot out is mitigated both by modern binding plates and abducted boot designs, and is a non-issue at the ~65-70 mm waist widths that I was talking about in my post. Did you see Ligety booting out when he had those 35 m GS skis up at >75-degree edge angles last season?

 

On a related note: Did anybody else notice Ligety's blog post where he claimed that he was actually faster (in back to back runs on the same course) on this season's 35m narrower-waisted skis vs. the previous season's 27m wider skis? Does anybody else have a theory as to why? I personally think it's a combination of the fact that he skis a rounder line that benefits from (or is at least not penalized by) larger sidecut radius, plus the friction benefits of lower surface area...

post #16 of 38

Stockli Laser SC 63mm

post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scavenger View Post

Stockli Laser SC 63mm

 

Ditto

post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickjchase View Post

 

No, physics does agree with me. It's simply an optimization problem that has a lower limit, that I didn't bother to spell out because I had better things to do. Leverage and also surface friction favor narrower skis (this is the optimization part) but as you point out some bad things happen when the ski gets *too* narrow (this is the constraint part). Boot out is mitigated both by modern binding plates and abducted boot designs, and is a non-issue at the ~65-70 mm waist widths that I was talking about in my post. Did you see Ligety booting out when he had those 35 m GS skis up at >75-degree edge angles last season?

 

On a related note: Did anybody else notice Ligety's blog post where he claimed that he was actually faster (in back to back runs on the same course) on this season's 35m narrower-waisted skis vs. the previous season's 27m wider skis? Does anybody else have a theory as to why? I personally think it's a combination of the fact that he skis a rounder line that benefits from (or is at least not penalized by) larger sidecut radius, plus the friction benefits of lower surface area...

 

 

 

ummm honestly Ligety is raised up on perfectly hard injected snow. The surface we all ride on right?

 

before you speak out and tell me I am wrong you should first figure out the exact reason in physics why I am wrong. Which you can not figure out because it DOES NOT exist.

 

Balancing is harder on wider skis and it requires more strenght to get up on edge but once you get a wide ski up on edge the leverage into the snow is much greater than a narrow ski.  most wider ski do not do well on hardpack because most wider skis are not torisonally rigid and/or have rocker, and they generally have longer sidecuts. These are all facts  If you had someone build you say 2 skis identical sidecut/lenght/and stiffness per width and varied the waist width. the wider skis would carve better. It could be tested.

 

 

The reason for narrow waist width in racing are rules and not what works better. in the case of the longer skinnier skis being fast(Which please 2mm skinny whoopdie freaking doo) is because the straight sidecut is faster for someone who knows how to ski it.

 

so your wrong until you can prove whats optimal,that unless you have the time to figure out why my view point is wrong.

post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

 

 

 

ummm honestly Ligety is raised up on perfectly hard injected snow. The surface we all ride on right?

 

before you speak out and tell me I am wrong you should first figure out the exact reason in physics why I am wrong. Which you can not figure out because it DOES NOT exist.

 

Balancing is harder on wider skis and it requires more strenght to get up on edge but once you get a wide ski up on edge the leverage into the snow is much greater than a narrow ski.  most wider ski do not do well on hardpack because most wider skis are not torisonally rigid and/or have rocker, and they generally have longer sidecuts. These are all facts  If you had someone build you say 2 skis identical sidecut/lenght/and stiffness per width and varied the waist width. the wider skis would carve better. It could be tested.

 

 

The reason for narrow waist width in racing are rules and not what works better. in the case of the longer skinnier skis being fast(Which please 2mm skinny whoopdie freaking doo) is because the straight sidecut is faster for someone who knows how to ski it.

 

so your wrong until you can prove whats optimal,that unless you have the time to figure out why my view point is wrong.

 

When you began your post with "I just wanted to tell that the physics does nt agree with your..." I took that as inviting debate (i.e. as indicating a willingness to both argue and be receptive to counter-arguments), so I responded in kind. I'm very sorry that I offended you by doing so.

 

I think we agree more than you realized. If you go back to my original post, you'll see that I prefaced all of my remarks with:

 

"Going off on a tangent, I think that there will always be a place for narrow skis. If you want to crank seriously aggressive turns (lateral accelerations well in excess of 2G) at speed...".

 

I probably should have explicitly stated that that implies a fairly hard surface, as soft snow gives out under those sorts of turning loads. I therefore agree emphatically with what you wrote above: Narrow skis are optimal for hard-pack (though not just for injected snow - I've raced on plenty of non-injected but hard courses, and the same constraints apply there).

 

Up until this year the FIS rules only specified *minimum* waist widths, not upper limits. If wider skis had been faster then racers would have been free to use them, and yet they did not. See page number 4 (actually the 11th page in the PDF) here: http://www.fis-ski.com/data/document/competition-equipment_1213_aug12.pdf. Note the column for "COC L&M, FIS L&M" as that one shows the pre-2012 rules (FIS-level racers were give an extra year under the old rules).

 

Ted Ligety posted on his blog that he wanted to adopt the narrower skis a year early, during the 11-12 season, but the FIS wouldn't let him. He had clearly determined by that point that narrower-waisted skis are faster: http://www.tedligety.com/blog/35-meters-of-irony/

post #20 of 38

Patrick has it right.  From the point of view of an engineer, the physics favour the narrowest ski that you won't boot out with on a hard surface.  Somewhere between 65 and 70 is ideal for high speed high g turns on hard snow and ice, for a couple of reasons.   Any engineer or physics teacher should see this right away.

 

To help understand this, consider that you have better control over any tool when you grip it closer to the working edge.  Ever put a dipstick back in to the hole it came from?  It's easier to do with a short dipstick than with a long one, or easier if you grip it near the end.  When pulling a nail with a crowbar, you have more pull on the nail if the nail is closer to the fulcrum - crowbars have a short reach between the nail and where the bar touches the board, make that length longer and it takes more force to pull the nail.

post #21 of 38

Fischer Big Stix 7.6 are my narrowest skis. The name seems to be sort of an oxymoron.

post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickjchase View Post

 

 

 

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

 

 

So from an engineer's perspective...ahem lol...Well if the wider skis can dig in snow more than a pair of skinnies, then they will create a larger contact surface with the snow and can hold track better. So I think Josh has a point. But I think Patrick has a point too because how much better can a pair of wider skis hold on rail compare with a pair of narrower skis depends or how much the skis can dig into the snow and create a somewhat solid snow surface that is parallel to the ski bases to support the g-force (let's call it a "carving platform", I have no idea what it should be called so bare with me).

 

Then we will be talking about how soft the snow surface is and how easily the surface of the snow can be shaped to construct the platform for supporting the g-force. So on hard groomed surface and ice, IMO the wide skis will not perform better than the skinnier ones because the nature of the surface would not allow a pair of skis (any pair with the same edge sharpness. Unless you have laser edges or super razor sharp edges on the fat ones that cut through ice like butter then maybe...) to reshape the surface too much to create the supporting platform for carving. To put it in another way, the carving platform they created are roughly the same size, and the wider skis cannot gain a much larger contact surface area over a pair of narrower skis, and thus, cannot support a higher g-force without skidding. So the extra width cannot display the advantage. With that condition, the wider skis are in a further disadvantage since the skier has to work harder to get them on edge, and to do quick edge to edge transition. So in this type of surface condition (which I believe is the typical condition for racing), the narrower skis have advantage. Well of course they cannot be too narrow otherwise the skiers would boot-out, and not be able to achieve a high edge angle.

 

Then when the surface condition changes, to a degree where the wider skis can create a large contact surface to sit on (can utilize the larger base area compare with the narrower ones) when carving, then the skinnier ones are in a disadvantage. So we are talking about the soft(er) snow condition. Under that condition, the snow is soft and can be pushed around easier. The wider ones can distribute force over a larger base area, thus less pressure on the snow and less likely to push the carving platform away (causing skid) and more likely to have the snow support a higher g turn. Then let's look at the narrower ones. The narrower ones (same length as the wider ones, of course), in comparison and relatively speaking, has less base area, and will exert a higher pressure on snow to push the platform away, thus unfortunately they actually support less g force when carving. Of course one can achieve the same base area by increasing the length of the narrower skis to compensate, but there is a reason why not many people are still using those old school skis (in the "200 club", with length exceeding 200 cm...) nowadays. In this type of snow condition, the quickness of the skinny ones are not so obvious since the snow is soft, even the fatter ones can still achieve moderate quickness with ease due to the snow underfoot is soft and easily shaped. 

 

Just discussing. 


Edited by LaserPower - 5/4/13 at 9:26pm
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by near nyquist View Post

Elan Magfire 78

 

Early season WROD tool

These are my "powder" skis.       smile.gif       I usually ski on a Fischer WC GS 27M. I think they are 68 at the waist.

post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserPower View Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

So from an engineer's perspective...ahem lol...Well if the wider skis can dig in snow more than a pair of skinnies, then they will create a larger contact surface with the snow and can hold track better. So I think Josh has a point. But I think Patrick has a point too because how much better can a pair of wider skis hold on rail compare with a pair of narrower skis depends or how much the skis can dig into the snow and create a somewhat solid snow surface that is parallel to the ski bases to support the g-force (let's call it a "carving platform", I have no idea what it should be called so bare with me).

 

Then we will be talking about how soft the snow surface is and how easily the surface of the snow can be shaped to construct the platform for supporting the g-force. So on hard groomed surface and ice, IMO the wide skis will not perform better than the skinnier ones because the nature of the surface would not allow a pair of skis (any pair with the same edge sharpness. Unless you have laser edges or super razor sharp edges on the fat ones that cut through ice like butter then maybe...) to reshape the surface too much to create the supporting platform for carving. To put it in another way, the carving platform they created are roughly the same size, and the wider skis cannot gain a much larger contact surface area over a pair of narrower skis, and thus, cannot support a higher g-force without skidding. So the extra width cannot display the advantage. With that condition, the wider skis are in a further disadvantage since the skier has to work harder to get them on edge, and to do quick edge to edge transition. So in this type of surface condition (which I believe is the typical condition for racing), the narrower skis have advantage. Well of course they cannot be too narrow otherwise the skiers would boot-out, and not be able to achieve a high edge angle.

 

Then when the surface condition changes, to a degree where the wider skis can create a large contact surface to sit on (can utilize the larger base area compare with the narrower ones) when carving, then the skinnier ones are in a disadvantage. So we are talking about the soft(er) snow condition. Under that condition, the snow is soft and can be pushed around easier. The wider ones can distribute force over a larger base area, thus less pressure on the snow and less likely to push the carving platform away (causing skid) and more likely to have the snow support a higher g turn. Then let's look at the narrower ones. The narrower ones (same length as the wider ones, of course), in comparison and relatively speaking, has less base area, and will exert a higher pressure on snow to push the platform away, thus unfortunately they actually support less g force when carving. Of course one can achieve the same base area by increasing the length of the narrower skis to compensate, but there is a reason why not many people are still using those skis (in the 200 club). In this type of snow condition, the quickness of the skinny ones are not so obvious since the snow is soft, even the fatter ones can still achieve moderate quickness with ease due to the snow underfoot is soft and easily shaped. 

 

Just discussing. 

 

Reasonable analysis. However, length is no match for width. If you do the arithmetic, depending on your starting width, it'll pencil out that you need 10 or 15 or more cm of length to equal the surface area gain of 10mm of added width. So to get the surface area of a middle of the road soft snow ski, you'd need something like a 220 or 250 cm long "skinny" ski. Or even longer...

post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

 

Reasonable analysis. However, length is no match for width. If you do the arithmetic, depending on your starting width, it'll pencil out that you need 10 or 15 or more cm of length to equal the surface area gain of 10mm of added width. So to get the surface area of a middle of the road soft snow ski, you'd need something like a 220 or 250 cm long "skinny" ski. Or even longer...

Thanks for the comment. Yea I know that...That was partly joking tho...But that was also partly the reason for the early "200 club" skis (Where everyone want a pair of 200 cm or more in length, much like the recent trend (or just past) of everyone want a pair of 120+ width skis IMO...). I should probably elaborate~

post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

 

Reasonable analysis. However, length is no match for width. If you do the arithmetic, depending on your starting width, it'll pencil out that you need 10 or 15 or more cm of length to equal the surface area gain of 10mm of added width. So to get the surface area of a middle of the road soft snow ski, you'd need something like a 220 or 250 cm long "skinny" ski. Or even longer...

 

No argument here - That's why I have 117 mm Super-7s and a variety of mid-fats in addition to my assortment of hard-snow (racing) skis. I used to have this pair of 213 cm Wolf SGs (the yellow ones - actually rebadged Blizzard SGs) that were a complete blast on windpack and other mid-density show, though...

 

Just to be clear, while I can't speak for other people, everything I've said in this thread has been specific to skiing on relatively hard snow.

post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickjchase View Post

 

No argument here - That's why I have 117 mm Super-7s and a variety of mid-fats in addition to my assortment of hard-snow (racing) skis. I used to have this pair of 213 cm Wolf SGs (the yellow ones - actually rebadged Blizzard SGs) that were a complete blast on windpack and other mid-density show, though...

 

Just to be clear, while I can't speak for other people, everything I've said in this thread has been specific to skiing on relatively hard snow.

 

Yep. Just some fun general analysis that looks into different conditions that we engineers and physicists all love~cheers! 

 

What are we talking about before? Narrower skis? oh right I just got a pair of 84 waist for front side all mountain use...Can't really justify getting more than 2 pair of skis myself tho...Felt that is too much trouble and I will have huge issue in deciding whether I should use my 84 mm or 70 mm if I have more than 2 pairs with waist width that close...

post #28 of 38

All things being equal (primarily speed and path), wouldn't a lower radius be the simplest way to achieve higher G forces?  Same speed pushed into a tigher radius would equal higher forces, would it not?

 

The simple way to look at this is exaggerate it for effect: a 40MPH turn at a 60m radius isn't gonna feel like much G force.  But what about 40MPH at an 8m radius?  That would probably move your insides around.

 

Simple.

 

 

Do I get a cookie for solving the debate?

post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerbob View Post

All things being equal (primarily speed and path), wouldn't a lower radius be the simplest way to achieve higher G forces?  Same speed pushed into a tigher radius would equal higher forces, would it not?

The simple way to look at this is exaggerate it for effect: a 40MPH turn at a 60m radius isn't gonna feel like much G force.  But what about 40MPH at an 8m radius?  That would probably move your insides around.

Simple.


Do I get a cookie for solving the debate?

Well if the radius is different, how can the path be the same lol? Sorry not trying to be nit-picking. I get your point. Theoretically yes but I thought we were talking about whether wider skis or narrower skis performs better in racing? Are you talking about having a pair of narrow skis with ridiculously large tip and tail to have a ridiculously small radius side cut lol?
post #30 of 38

Two things to keep in mind. 

1) to pull more Gs without the ski sliding up out of the groove it's carving you have to tip the ski more.

2) Tipping the ski more dials up a tighter turn, and an even tighter turn with a smaller radius ski.

The longer radius GS ski can hold the line at speed to pull a high g-turn when tipped to or beyond the needed critical angle.  Tipping a SL ski to the angle needed to hold that  high G GS turn, will have it dial up a SL turn that it can't hold.

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