Originally Posted by fatbob
Leads to the obvious question as to why have rocker at all? In 2D snow the tip forward of the contact point isn't really doing anything BUT only if you are really technically precise, otherwise it is there to smooth the entry into contact where things are less precise. I've never really skied "piste rocker" but on a rockered snowboard it is noticeably easier to avoid catching an edge so I'm guessing the piste rocker avoids hook up until the edge is properly engaged when the skier goes in tip heavy.
But I guess the real reason for "piste rocker" is that a lot of snow isn't 2D for long and soon gets cut up, softened, redistributed and rocker tips do engage in all of that increasing the engaged edge and providing more stability and "punch".
So are the reasons for avoiding "piste rocker" that you like tips hooking up early and your typical snow conditions don't really soften off?
I just prefer having the "tip" in contact with the snow at initiation. When I purchased my first rockered ski, the lack of a tip (widest point up in the air and not contacting snow) made for a different turn feel, but the real reason I got turned off to full sidecut rockers skis is in 3d snow was the tip would grab at unexpected times causing a loss of control. I seemed to have more trouble with this on rockers skis than full-camber powder ski (Atomic Sugar Daddy that I retired).
Going to 5 points, I found all of the no-catch powder experience I hoped I would get with rockered skis, but to my immense suprise, I also found a tip! Granted, the tip on skis with a 130 cm running length is pretty close in, but you can feel it and you can throw weight into that corner and drive the ski in a way that I couldn't quite do.
As to what benefit "piste rocker" has when the tip is tapered back, I would still expect it to be more forgiving in more cut up terrain and 1-3" type snow days.
Originally Posted by NayBreak
Now we're getting somewhere. Shorter ski with it's 'tip' at the camber point on piste, longer ski with its tip out of the snow off piste. This belongs on narrower skis. That's why skis aren't just getting fatter and fatter at this point. And why camber is shrinking rather than rocker is growing.
You don't need all that much camber unless you design the ski to need all that camber by placing its tip engagement at the end of the ski, which of course has the effect of getting developing skiers to buy skis short. And that kills them in 3D snow, leading to terminal skill development plateaus. How many people here learned to ski off piste on short fully cambered parabolic skis? It is fine to go back to 200cm+ GS days, but today a 6' 180lb male might start on a sub 160cm parabolic ski. That snow better be smooth if that guy wants to be out of the snowplow that he is using to deal with a complete lack of fore/aft balance in 3D snow.
Why not start them on a longer camrock design and teach pivoting and spin control (yes, park type skills) rather than camber control in a wedge?
Isn't the broader goal to maximize length without the ski skiing 'long'?
I really think we will see a lot more of this type of stuff- it makes a much more versatile ski without giving up much at all. Imagine going back to 2005 (when Pocket Rockets roamed the earth) with any of the crop of modern 98-ish waist skis. Heads would explode.
The nice thing about those tapered tips is they are still user friendly (the aren't going to catch because they angle away from the snow) making for a more controllable ski, all without losing a tip that you can really throw weight into to engage that turn. In my eyes, this is what we are going to see the future look like. I would be surprised in a few years if you could still even buy a ski where the widest part of the shovel was not at the base contact point.