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Wider Under Foot?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all - first post, and sorry if it's been repeated.

I've always skied a narrow waist ski. Even my current ski, a vokl tiger shark, is relatively narrow.

Today we had a dump, so I tested some Kendos. They were great in the powder, bumps, and trees.

I can't wrap my mind on how they will be good on hard-pack, which is what we usually have here on the East coast. Maybe it's because my narrow skis take such little lean to get carving. Will I just need to be a little more aggressive to get on the edge? How noticeable of a change will that be?
post #2 of 7

fedad --

 

The Kendo is a great ski on hardpack.  It may not carve as well as some narrower skis, but will be much better on what you've already tried them on -- powder (you found some in the East?), bumps, trees.  My advice is: don't try to "wrap your mind" around it (the idea of a wider ski on hardpack) -- just go out get the feel for it.  About 5 years ago, on a ski trip out west, I gave my Volkl AC20s (74 waist) to my son and demo'ed the Head Peak 88 for the week.  After the first 2-3 runs, I didn't even notice the extra width when carving on groomed -- but I did notice how much better they were on crud, un-groomed, etc.

 

In addition to the Kendo, there are a lot of other really good 85-95 width skis for a variety of conditions in the East.  Poke around this site and browse the threads -- you'll see some of the same models being recommended frequently.  If you have the time, demo a few to get a sense of what works for you.   Have fun! 

post #3 of 7

I live in the east as well... every time I've gone to buy new skis, I've initially been disheartened to find that it's very difficult to find "narrow" skis for sale, let alone to demo.  And every time, I've found that ski technology has advanced to the point that I don't really notice much performance loss of wider skis on hard pack.

 

i.e., I've gone from low-70s to mid 70s to mid 80s to 90mm underfoot.  There might be some trade-off in terms of hard-snow grip, but the wider skis are so much more forgiving in softer conditions that they encourage some exploring in the ungroomed areas which (usually) aren't as icy as the scraped-down groomers tend to get.

post #4 of 7

Normally I ski a non-FIS SL ski because our hills are relatively short, and not a lot of snow, but a couple of years ago I decided to go with a second pair, wider underfoot, for the odd "pow" day and the spring crud. I ended up getting a pair of Elan 82XTi's. Competent carvers and wide enough to give some float. They are often the pair I reach for first on most days.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroGravity View Post
 

Normally I ski a non-FIS SL ski because our hills are relatively short, and not a lot of snow, but a couple of years ago I decided to go with a second pair, wider underfoot, for the odd "pow" day and the spring crud. I ended up getting a pair of Elan 82XTi's. Competent carvers and wide enough to give some float. They are often the pair I reach for first on most days.

 

I did the opposite. I have the Kendo, and just bought a pair of ~70mm SL skis for the small hill/crowded day situation. But by and large the Kendo is still my go-to ski most days.  

 

One note on the Kendo. As Jim says above, there are a lot of skis in the 85-95mm range, with a wide range of turn radii.  The Kendo is a longish radius ski, and I find that while it can ski short-radius turns it's not the ideal tool; it seems best in high-speed GS carving.  I demoed the Rossignol Experience 88 the other day (15m radius) and it's a lot more comfortable turning quickly.

post #6 of 7

I would emphasize the importance of radius rather than width in carving ability.

The Rossi Soul 7 is 106 underfoot with a 17m radius. The Blizard Cochise is 108 with a turn radius of 28.5. 

The difference--the Soul 7 widest dimensions are much farther from the tip and the tail, creating a much shorter carving profile. 

Stiffness and camber matter more than width as well. 

If you want to know how a ski carves either demo (best) or read professional reviews (next best) or amateur reviews, or ask on a forum (worst, unless you want to hear all possible answers from "terrible carver" to "best carver I ever skied"--mostly from people who have only that ski and haven't skied anything else in the last ten years, or demoed it once in the wrong length with a bad tune. . Look at camber and sidecut profiles on the manufacturer's site and also look at construction--core material and presence or absence of metal, to get an idea of what the ski might be like. You can't tell if all you look at is width underfoot.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

You are totally right.

 

I skied the Kendo more yesterday, and I'm starting to really like it.

 

I had 8 ft Tiger Sharks.  Long story short, I shouldn't have bought them.  They couldn't go as big as I wanted.

 

The more I ski the Kendo, the more I'm realizing that I need to buy the right ski for how I ski, not the kind of ski that matches what I had before.  What I had before was way way wrong.

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