I've been skiing for about 32 years, I took a break from skiing almost 20 years ago to start snowboarding and switched back again to skiing as ski design improved. Like many of you (I assume), the appeal to own a pair of short WC style slalom skis was irresistible, allowing the skier to turn with little to no effort. I've been skiing on <15m skis daily ever since. (I do own a few pairs, WC SL, GS (>=27m) and a pair of Mantra's for trips)
However, over the last few years I've felt a strong desire to work harder on my skills progression so that I can eventually attain my level 4. This year in particular I've been working hard on my body position and posture and I've found through demo days and some longer skis that the short radius skis available these days seem to inhibit a skiers ability to learn correct form and just let the ski do the work instead.
Most notably, consider the requirement to exaggerate angulation while demonstrating intermediate parallel. If you've skied modern SL's, they have a tendency to want to hook up at the higher edge angles generated through angulation, especially at lower speeds. In order to increase slip, it's necessary to reduce edge angle and angulation, which of course doesn't demonstrate very well.
We've had quite a bit of thaw and freeze cycles at my local hill this winter, so I pulled out my old WC GS skis for free skiing last weekend and I've since decided that a longer ski (27m is still tooo long for me as a daily driver :) allows me (forces me) to angulate more to increase edge angle and bring my turning radius down to closer to what I expect in my daily grind.
Fishing around, I've found quite a few level 4s that skis on Masters GS skis as their ski of choice, and I've decided to make that change myself, aiming for +-20m skis. As an eastern skier, we don't recognize those long floppy things westerners use as skis.
What have your experiences been over the last 10-15 years as our technology has changed?