Originally Posted by freeski919
The implication you are putting forth is that ski length is somehow related to skiing ability. In other words, shorter=worse, longer=better. My assertion is that ski length has nothing to do with skiing ability, and everything to do with the job the skier wants the ski to do. Short skis have a place in everybody's quiver, not just beginners.
No, this is no more true than the straw-man argument that I am biased towards carved turns as better. My daily driver ski is a 118 waist 5 point ski with a flat camber, with a giant amount of rocker in the tip and tail Its a 189 ski with a 130 cm running length. I ski someplace with 1600 acres, 1000 of which has no cut runs, 400-450 inches of snow and basically 2 runs on the mountain groomed each day. Sure sounds like I am a carving purist, eh?
My point was, and remains, that for a DEVELOPING SKIER, skiing a ski significantly shorter than manufacturer recommendations is a way to stay a terminal intermediate. I did not say that everybody that skis short skis is an intermediate. I didn't say the only proper way to turn a ski was to carve. I've said the opposite repeatedly, but I guess I need to do it again, eh?
Under proper instruction, somebody can ski almost any length ski and learn to ski it properly. However, a developing skier left to their own devices on really short skis can find that skidding the ski as the only ski movement is easier than learning other ways to turn the ski, they fall into the habit, repeat it for years, and find it really really difficult to move out of it once it has been ingrained- terminal intermediate skier. I threw out that I think around 90% of skiers skiing really short skis are doing so because they do not know how to effectively turn a ski. I would say 80% of people skiing most mountains on an average day do not know how to effectively turn a ski, so I don't think 90% is really that far out there. I've heard the 80% sentiment repeated all over this board. Most skiers in the real world are not expert skiers like most of the skiers on this board. Before somebody jumps onto the next straw-man argument, I'm not really sure I would lump myself into the expert skier category.
What I find in real life is that many skiers do not know what they do not know, and they chose skis that work for their ski style. If their skiing ability allows them to turn a ski only through a skid movement, they will chose skis that respond best to this- generally short skis.
Once again for the peanut gallery, I don't think there is anything wrong with an expert skier on short skis. I don't think the epitome of skiing is railing groomers. I think it can be equally bad for developing skiers to be on skis far longer than recommended, but I think a true expert will know exactly what they prefer to ski in what conditions.
What I do think is there are a lot of people out there who are skiing skis shorter than recommended because they can only skid the ski and are choosing equipment that makes that easy.