Me: Female, 5’5, 195 pounds. My daily driver is the 2014 Line Sick Day 110 @ 172. I ski almost entirely at Breckenridge, where I ski most everything except the hike-to. My favorite run is Joker. I like CJ’s in great conditions, but most days I’m exploring trees more than steeps. Until recently, my daily driver was the Line Celebrity 100 @ 165. I haven’t skied anything narrower than that in several years; didn’t seem like I needed it.
A day at Mary Jane schooled me in bumps, and I thought maybe a narrower ski would serve me better for early season WROD, hard snow days, and bump progression.
(What’s weird is, the Mary Jane bumps are a lot harder for me than the bumps I usually ski at Breck - for example, Southern Cross or High Anxiety. My husband proposes that the skiers at Mary Jane take more of a direct fall line approach, so the troughs are more vertical. A friend proposes more or less the same thing - that Breck skiers tend to create more uneven, “open bowl” style bumps. In any case, Mary Jane bumps are a revelation - as in, the book of revelations. *sigh* )
So anyway, I saw @Philpug's endorsement of The Ski and went for it. I chose the 165 length rather than 175 because, hey, this will be my “bump” ski.
Full disclosure: My first day on The Ski was rough before I even got onto the snow. I fell on the ice in the parking lot several times, and saved myself from falling several more times, tweaking my back in the process. So I was a bit of a wreck, maybe, before I even got started.
Observations on hard snow: These skis felt great on hard snow. Where I would expect to struggle for grip on my wide skis, The Ski felt great. No surprise there. I kind of wanted it to be a little longer, too - but again, no surprise there. I got these puppies so that I could conquer the bumps. I did notice I caught an edge here and there.
Observations on the bumps: These skis .. didn’t actually feel any easier in the bumps than my fat skis. I just don’t think I’m competent enough in this arena for the particular ski to matter. One big difference, though, is that I’d already lost all my confidence, because -
Observations in soft/settled snow in the trees: These skis terrified me. I’ve learned to ski this sort of terrain on wide skis that happily smear for me. The same movements that control my direction and speed perfectly on the fat skis, had me aiming straight for trees I’d meant to steer above, or simply diving and falling over. I suspect this is exposing some of my bad habits, or at least habits that only work with certain shapes of skis: throwing my skis sideways to turn or avoid a tree. Sudden movements. Smearing, smearing, smearing.
I mean, I knew they’d be different after several years of fat skis. I didn’t anticipate just HOW different and how LITTLE snow it took to make the point.
I’m not saying it’s the skis; I’m certain it’s me. And I’m also certain that if I can figure them out, I’ll have improved my skiing technique, as well. I just really didn’t expect that this particular ski would prove so challenging for me. I didn’t realize just how much my skiing has been aided by/tailored to the shape of ski I’m used to. Although it dovetails nicely with an instructor’s recent observation that my still upper body stops at the waist, and that I’m using my hips instead of rotating my femurs - why didn’t anyone explain this to me before?? It’s suddenly clear to me what I need to do to improve. And I’m betting the fat skis make it easier to get away with that bad habit, because they don’t dump me on the snow when I ski that way.
I’m looking forward to getting these out some more. I didn’t expect it, but I think these skis may improve my skiing - not by “helping me ski moguls,” but by training me to ski a little better.