Originally Posted by qcanoe
Chemist, the skis you're coming off of are something like 13 years old, give or take a year or two.
13 years ago, I was writing client-server code in VB6, and websites as a player in the average Joe's daily life were just emerging on the horizon. Netscape was the browser of choice. (Anyone remember Netscape? Anyone?) Now, I might have developed some sound general programming habits and instincts back when I was using those tools. And for the most part those general habits and instincts will serve me well in today's radically changed landscape. (In fact, these skills are precisely what some of the young guns are missing ... a familiar theme in the human lifecycle for millenia. Right, moms and dads?) However, if I'm still using those old tools exclusively, and living in the mindset that gave birth to them, all the good general habits in the world will not allow me to go beyond abstract speculation and comment meaningfully on the tools and practices of 2014. Before I can do that I have to get my hands dirty with the new stuff and write a bunch of "hello, world" apps and understand in some organic way what people who are actually using the new patterns and tactics are talking about. It can be fun to engage in abstract un-grounded talk idly, but you can't expect people who have been clicking into the newest gear on a daily basis to bear with your hypothesizing beyond a certain point.
With this in mind, to the extent that you're sensing a certain amount of impatience from some posters, it's can be explained in part as follows: It is TOTALLY FINE and wonderful to say, "I love skiing soft snow on my 13-year-old slalom skis." No one who is really a skier is going to argue with that. We all love skiing. Period. Of COURSE you experience that activity as fun. However, it's an entirely different thing to imply that those skis are in any aspect particularly GOOD in those conditions, because we've all been through the technology progression already, ahead of you, and therefore know first hand that in the context of today's ski technology those are probably about the last skis we'd pick if we had a choice.
qcanoe, here on Epic I've interacted with you on several previous occasions, and I've always found you to be a really nice guy. Plus I've also admired your clear-headed, reasonable posts. And of course it's nice to hear from you. So I don't want to give you a hard time here. But in this case, maybe because I'm tired, I just have be direct and say I think you've misread me.
The issue I've had here is not what you think it is. I understand that sometimes people do get exercised or impatient in arguments. I have no problem with that. For instance, I'm currently debating the Affordable Care Act and the federal shutdown with a friend that's at the opposite end of the political spectrum from me -- and you can imagine how intense that gets; makes our discussions here look like a walk in the park. But the difference is that, as intense as that subject matter gets, it's friendly and never personal. The problem I have with a few individuals here (certainly never you; and most here have been quite nice) is not that they're arguing against me strongly on substance -- I don't mind that at all. Rather, it's the bad behavior -- the general pejorative language that does not advance the discussion and serves no purpose other than to act as a put-down ("by that twisted logic.....", "I doubt you understand very well how skis work", "wrong on so many levels", etc.), as well as the name-calling, which I'm not even going to bother giving ink to. For some reason, the mere mention that I used to ski off-piste on 62 mm skis is so personally offensive to some that it sends them into conniptions! This stuff is childish and counterproductive, and has no place here. To quote an earlier post from Dr. Phil(plug), "Lets keep the name calling and finger pointing to a minimum and respect others views and just have a discussion."
Also, I'm not arguing for using old-technology SL skis off-piste; I'm just asking what new-technology stuff would have that capabilities my SL skis provided that I found useful. Besides, I needed to tell people what I've been using thus far. After all, I would think that, before providing me with recommendations for off-piste use, folks would want to know what I'm using now, no? To use your software analogy, it's as if a scientist from the 1980s showed up at my door and said he wants modern software to do his calculations. I would want to know which old tool he's using, and how he's using it, which tells me a lot about his needs. If he's using a calculator, that means he's doing numerical work, and would probably want MatLab. If he's using pen and paper, that means he's doing analytical work, and would probably want Mathematica. And of course I have to demo, as you say, but I can't demo everything, and it's thus useful to get some beta beforehand -- not just about what to demo, but how to use them to ensure you're giving the skis a fair shot. That's my purpose here. To the extent it seems like I'm arguing the point, it's just me trying to make sure what they're recommending really corresponds to the capabilities I seek. And I've learned a lot. I'll note others have also said they found the discussion useful
Finally, you wrote: "However, it's an entirely different thing to imply that those skis are in any aspect particularly GOOD in those conditions, because we've all been through the technology progression already, ahead of you, and therefore know first hand that in the context of today's ski technology those are probably about the last skis we'd pick if we had a choice." I think those who insist that, because I think an SL ski can be good good off-piste, I must therefore lack a proper appreciation of the new technology, doth protest too much (and are maybe missing something themselves). Bob Barnes, who I would assume is amply versed in current ski technology, has had this to say (this is from March 2011):
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes
One more recommendation for the versatility of a race stock slalom ski here. It is what I ski on the majority of the time, and what I chose today for the heavy and variable spring conditions off-piste at Copper Mountain, as well as Snowmass and Aspen Highlands a few days ago. I'm 6' 1" and ski a 165 cm slalom--doesn't provide much forgiveness for getting rocked fore and aft, and surely there are easier skis to ride in the heavy chop. But I've always preferred the feel of a race ski, even back in the "straight ski days." Nothing else provides the sensations of a race ski. Not only are they narrow, allowing them to be rolled effortlessly onto edge, but they are also heavy, with full race plates and bindings. Light skis are all the rage today--they pivot more easily--but the inertia of heavy skis helps them drive through chunks and crud without getting slapped all over the place.
On the other hand, please beware of what I'm starting to recognize as the "slalom ski syndrome." [Here he discusses injuries one can get on SL skis if you're not careful.].....
So slalom skis can be highly effective all (or most) mountain tools. But please treat them with respect!
Note that the purpose of that quote is merely to say that having an appreciation for the use of SL skis off-piste doesn't equate to a lack of understanding of the new technology -- it's not to start an argument about what's better!
Edited by chemist - 10/9/13 at 10:02pm