Originally Posted by diesel47
What are the characteristics of carving skis usually? How much sidecut? Are they generally stiffer or softer? Waist length? etc?
Carving was all the rage a dozen years ago, and most manufacturers had a line of "carving" skis that were intended to make railroad track arcs on groomed snow. They came aimed at various skill levels from beginner to expert.
Industry trends have changed, and what's "in" is going off trail into the trees and powder. You don't really carve in that situation, and the skis for that are designed differently.
They still make skis that are primarily intended for making railroad track arcs on groomed, but today these are mainly race skis. The skis marketed to (for lack of a better word) lesser skill level skiers aren't carvers anymore.
So, if you are looking at anything made in the last 5 years, the general characteristics of "carving skis" is that they are stiffer with a waist width somewhere around 70mm. Sidecut radius varies from ~12 meters for a slalom ski to more than 30 meters for an FIS legal GS ski. They have a lot of torsional rigidity, which means they tend to hold an edge rather than skidding - this means it's more difficult to ski them by skidding them around than for a more forgiving ski.
Do you really want "carving skis"? My hunch is probably not. I love my (recreational version of) race skis, but they are not for everyone.
I demoed the Escape many years ago, and it will most certainly carve, but you have coax it a bit to make it do it. Bottom line is that while you are due for new skis, the skis are not what's preventing you from carving. Take a lesson if you want to learn how to carve. And when it comes time to replace your Escapes, hit the demo hut and try several different kinds of skis to see what you like.