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This ski requires input: what does "input" mean?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

"This ski requires input". I recently ran across this concept of input when talking about a certain ski. I don't have a clear understanding of what this means and am very curious about it.

 

Does it refer to a particular ski functioning at it's best if the skier sends a higher level of direction to it in comparison to other skis? Which would entail that in order to work in synchronicity with a given ski, the skier needs to have a more refined feel for the particular ski. I'm just grasping at straws here and don't know what it means, but the question really interests me and I would appreciate any elucidation.

 

Thank you!

post #2 of 26

i would interpret it to mean that you have to be firm with your movements in comparison to other skis, which might require less "input".

 

I would pick apart that you chose use the term "direction" as how you are thinking skis turn.  
The primary way a modern shaped skis turns is not by pivoting to change the ski's direction; (although that skill has it's uses).

 

The modern shaped ski is intended to be turned by tipping and (sometimes) pressing the ski into the snow.  So this ski requires either more of a "tip" or a harder "press" before it turns comparatively to other skis.

 

Car analogies suck, but you can maybe think of a car with a heavy steering wheel and stiff pedals.  But if you're driving your car by sliding the tires around and not using the steering wheel; then it's lessons on carving with the modern shaped ski you need to pick up first.

post #3 of 26
I would also assume that it means it's not "forgiving" and requires a decisive driver.
post #4 of 26

Just shorthand for a ski that will spank your ass if you treat it like a bog standard rental ski which pretty much people just stand on and scuff around and they'll more or less do what was intended.

post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post

Just shorthand for a ski that will spank your ass if you treat it like a bog standard rental ski which pretty much people just stand on and scuff around and they'll more or less do what was intended.
^This.
post #6 of 26

Many times I have seen/heard this on a a carving ski of some sort; front side carver, race ski (recreational or FIS) etc.  Many skis today have some sort of design (or marketing hype) that makes them (at least sound) easier to ski.  "Requires input" does not have such features.  It probably has no rocker, early rise, double deck, flex this or that.  It is a ski without any training wheels.  You can either use it or you can't.

 

I usually get this feeling when I'm on my race skis.  Stay focused and drive them.  No riding.  I think one time I referred to it as the difference between juggling bowling pins and juggling chain saws.  Same skill set but one has you're undivided attention.

post #7 of 26

^^^^ This. Focus and attention: if you're easily distracted, interested in the scenery, or just mildly lazy, skis requiring input tend to make you pay the price of such inattention.

post #8 of 26

I think "requires input"  needs some context to be properly defined here.  I think every ski "requires input" (what a crappy business speak term that is) in order to turn.  I have had skis that required more attention to be paid and rewarded relaxation or sitting back with a quick ass on ground input. 

post #9 of 26

Maybe, but ^that is also the road to overthink and over-analysis.    If the object of a review is to give a quick impression, then adding context and qualifications kills the object.      Adding context and qualifications is, further, redundant to the reader's knowledge of the reviewer, acquired through reading other reviews and mapping them against the reader's own experience.   

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 

I guess what still puzzles me is what the difference might be in using the term "input" instead of the typical recommended skill level for a particular ski. Anyway, it's summer, so I think about things like this… thanks all.

post #11 of 26

 

It's independent of  nominal skill level.   Neither the L6 nor the L8 can park and ride a ski that 'requires input'

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by green26 View Post
 

I guess what still puzzles me is what the difference might be in using the term "input" instead of the typical recommended skill level for a particular ski.

post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 

Ahhh ha - says my brain. got it now.

post #13 of 26

An absurd but semantically correct example of a low-level ski that 'requires input' would be an intermediate-flexed /straight/ ski, say  a Rossi DV6 or an Elan MBX 14PL from the early 90s.     

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 

So I wonder what input would mean when used in the context of a Bonafide or Mantra for example these days. Just pondering. Although the above comments are pretty good and clear explanations of the basic idea.

post #15 of 26

It would mean that more monitoring and adjustments, meaning applications or retractions of force, are required to make the Mantra do what you want, than say the Bonafide. And both would require more than say a Sollie of the same width. IMO "input" is a great term because it isn't confused with weight or stiffness or any of the other terms that are innate to the ski itself. A light or soft ski can still require lots of input depending on its design and mission and the terrain. And many heavy stiff skis don't require a lot of input because skiers can just ride them and let the ski do the work. 

post #16 of 26

OK, let's say skier is on a ski that "requires input" but skier doesn't put any input in.

 

 

Anyone want to take a stab at explaining what happens then with short turns, long turns, slow speeds, fast speeds, soft snow, ice??

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

OK, let's say skier is on a ski that "requires input" but skier doesn't put any input in.

 

 

Anyone want to take a stab at explaining what happens then with short turns, long turns, slow speeds, fast speeds, soft snow, ice??

 

Maybe depends on the skier's natural stance.  I'd assume the skis just keep going whichever way they were pointed and don't really turn at all.

 

From the L&AirC's definition, potentially the no input causes them to catch edges and you get crossed tips or 1 ski goes 1 way, other ski goes the other.

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Lutes View Post
 

^^^^ This. Focus and attention: if you're easily distracted, interested in the scenery, or just mildly lazy, skis requiring input tend to make you pay the price of such inattention.

How about "unforgiving of mistakes"?   Or "requires a skilled pilot"?   Wouldn't that be a better way to put it?

post #19 of 26

All skis require input. They are inanimate objects that otherwise just sit there. 

 

Nowhere does Needs Input imply more or less difficult, unforgiving or forgiving. 

 

Needs input is a useless term! 

 

Many other words are available to accuratley describe what a skier must do to make a particular ski work to it's potential. 

 

Needs Input is not one of them!

post #20 of 26
In decent conditions, my TSTs, for example, will make something resembling a turn - one that feels good, moreover - if I just sorta kinda lazily tip them and hope for the best. They reward almost any kind of effort by bending and surfing. Ooh, that was fun! I can do this skiing thing! That's why I have them; I'm all about fun.

I have other pairs of skis that will hold on bulletproof snow at high speed, which is its own kind of fun. But I need to ski them the way that they want to be skied in order to achieve that fun. If I don't, I get pushback - a turn that feels like I got a bad shopping cart at the supermarket.

You don't go on Jeopardy unless you can automatically phrase your response in the form of a question. It's awkward at first, but that's how the game is played. That's a game that needs input.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

All skis require input. They are inanimate objects that otherwise just sit there. 

 

Nowhere does Needs Input imply more or less difficult, unforgiving or forgiving. 

 

Needs input is a useless term! 

 

Many other words are available to accuratley describe what a skier must do to make a particular ski work to it's potential. 

 

Needs Input is not one of them!

 

I understand what you're getting at, but I don't agree.

 

This is just my opinion, but some models are "forgiving" enough that almost any motion or pressure will bring the skis across the fall line in a "turn" that points the user in the other direction.  Again, I could be wrong, but some easily-skidded, low-camber, wider, softer, soft-snow skis fall in that category.  No matter whether you use forward pressure, backward steering, hop-hopping, or just shoulder-yanking jerks, the ski will come around and slow your progress (which is the primary goal of a control-your-speed turn).

 

To me, anyway, a ski that "needs input" wants the user to to place pressure on the ski in a certain place at a certain segment of the turn or the ski WILL...  NOT...  RESPOND.  At least in the traditional definition of the word.

 

Personally, I like "input required" skis.

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

OK, let's say skier is on a ski that "requires input" but skier doesn't put any input in.


Anyone want to take a stab at explaining what happens then with short turns, long turns, slow speeds, fast speeds, soft snow, ice??

Using my example, probably nothing horrible. Many folks that ski aren't giving the ski the input the ski was designed for. I can stem a turn on a race ski or even just skid. Hooking an edge usually has more to do with the tune than the skis geometry.

More than likely, you would look like someone on a high performance ski that is skidding turns. Sort of like the old guys (as in even older than me) driving sports cars I see on the way to work. They're still only going 35mph but they sure do look cool cool.gif

We can argue semantics but we didn't pick the wording for the description. Were just explaining what it means (i.e."cant" sometimes means cuff alignment).

If they are actually carving but not driving the ski, they'll probably feel it doesn't want to let go and takes too long to turn.

As Aman said, all skis require input. It's the type of input that changes with that description.

How many times has someone told you how great their skis carve and they are so happy with them and their decision to buy them, when in fact you know they have never carved a turn...ever.

If they are only using the back half of the ski and skidding turns, they won't notice a thing. They will be happy and come ski again and that is the important part. We need skiers like that because it makes me look good tongue.gif

Ken
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
 

 

I understand what you're getting at, but I don't agree.

 

This is just my opinion, but some models are "forgiving" enough that almost any motion or pressure (this is where you go haywire, how is this undefined ambiguous input gonna make the ski  "COME ACROSS THE FALL LINE"?  on the contrary, it takes very specific input to make that happen not just any old input, and Input Required still omits the degree of input or the accuracy of input required))will bring the skis across the fall line in a "turn" that points the user in the other direction.  Again, I could be wrong, but some easily-skidded, low-camber, wider, softer, soft-snow skis fall in that category.  No matter whether you use forward pressure, backward steering, hop-hopping, or just shoulder-yanking jerks, the ski will come around and slow your progress (which is the primary goal of a control-your-speed turn).

 

To me, anyway, a ski that "needs input" wants the user to to place pressure on the ski in a certain place at a certain segment of the turn or the ski WILL...  NOT...  RESPOND.  At least in the traditional definition of the word.

 

Personally, I like "input required" skis.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

 
OK, let's say skier is on a ski that "requires input" but skier doesn't put any input in.


Anyone want to take a stab at explaining what happens then with short turns, long turns, slow speeds, fast speeds, soft snow, ice??

Maybe depends on the skier's natural stance.  I'd assume the skis just keep going whichever way they were pointed and don't really turn at all.

From the L&AirC's definition, potentially the no input causes them to catch edges and you get crossed tips or 1 ski goes 1 way, other ski goes the other.
I experienced the latter when I demoed Volkl Kenjas about three months into my skiing career. I just could not stay on top of them. All skis need input, but when it's a caveat it really means "needs coherent or skilled input" to perform well; although I was strong and determined I would make some random move and they would fly off in one direction while I went another.

I now know and love a pair of Kenjas, and the difference is that although I still suck I have a clue how to communicate with them, so they're willing to okay with me.
post #25 of 26

For me when I see a ski described as "requiring input", I interpret it as a ski that constantly needs accurate input.

 

The ski needs accurate input because it is unforgiving in either flex, camber, stiffness, or any combination of those. A more forgiving ski will do more or less what you intend even if the input isn't spot on. an "input required" ski will not. You do it right, or it doesn't happen on those skis.

 

It's also one that needs constant input. You need to be actively working the skis at all points in the turn. You can't just change edges and let it ride through the apex to the next transition. You need to be always feeding input into the ski, otherwise the ski will take you for a ride, most likely on your back or your head.

 

Sure, a reviewer could put that the ski "requires constant accurate input". But those are extra words that are more or less assumed already. And magazine space is limited, as are most skiers' attention spans.

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
 

 

I understand what you're getting at, but I don't agree.

 

This is just my opinion, but some models are "forgiving" enough that almost any motion or pressure will bring the skis across the fall line in a "turn" that points the user in the other direction.  Again, I could be wrong, but some easily-skidded, low-camber, wider, softer, soft-snow skis fall in that category.  No matter whether you use forward pressure, backward steering, hop-hopping, or just shoulder-yanking jerks, the ski will come around and slow your progress (which is the primary goal of a control-your-speed turn).

 

To me, anyway, a ski that "needs input" wants the user to to place pressure on the ski in a certain place at a certain segment of the turn or the ski WILL...  NOT...  RESPOND.  At least in the traditional definition of the word.

 

Personally, I like "input required" skis.

This is how I understand it too.

 

I'm another who likes "input required" skis and the use of the term in reviews as it is a signal that once I am familiar with the ski I know what action is required to elicit the response I want.

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