Originally Posted by segbrown
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh
Also I really do wonder if I "need" to replace my 170 Icelantic Gypsy with a 180 ...
You're truly serious? What do you think I might learn? I ask because it's unlikely I'd ever buy or even demo anything like that. I ski in Colorado and spend as much time as possible in soft snow and terrain. Flying down a groomer is certainly fun, but it's not where you'll find me if I can help it.
(Ugh. Needed to go to bed 2+ hours ago. I came home while my husband stayed at the bar with friends he saw as we were walking out. I'm not intentionally staying up for him, but apparently I can't sleep till his happy ass gets home safely.)
I wouldn't .. you ski a lot of trees, and the 170 is still technically taller than you, right? Keep skiing them, you'll know.
As for a skinny ski, what I did was buy a really cheap one. We ski in the same area, more or less, so I know what you're saying. I use mine maybe a half dozen days of the year, and they are definitely fun. Just don't go spending $800 on them -- which is tough, because the best ones are darn pricy. I really really liked the Head Supershapes I tried a few years ago, but just wasn't going to shell out that much money on something that I'm skiing on because conditions aren't optimal. I don't know, something wrong with that.
(Did MrBounce ever make it home?? )
Yeah, 170 is marginally taller than me. They do have lots of rocker, so I dunno if that means I could go longer even for trees. I spend at least some time in the trees any day I have my powder skis out (any day the trees aren't behind a rope, really). Sometimes all day, especially if it's windy or poor vis.
I agree it's hard to picture buying a carver for crappy days, despite all logic. If you'll recall, last year I meant to do that (actually meant to buy a true bump ski) but then redirected and got "The Ski" instead because I just couldn't picture actually going that far. The other thing I noticed is it's not like you can actually carve on the WROD - too crowded to ski at speed, and at least last weekend, it was slush after the first run, anyway.
Do you think a carver would help me in trees that have had no fresh snow and are basically just hard (by our standard) bumps with extremely assertive turn enforcement? Certainly my slarvey 110s are not my favorite in that condition. I'm not sure anything would be, though.
(DH got home shortly after I posted the last time. Safe and sound and smelling of beer. After he got home, I was able to sleep. I dunno why I couldn't sleep till then; maybe just because it was such an unusual event. I knew he didn't have a car and wouldn't ride with a drunk driver, either.)
Originally Posted by nwjg
My wife asked the same thing until she demoed some Head i.sl skis. She had to have a pair. 65mm under foot, 11.5 radius. She calls them her "talking skis" as they communicate very clearly how shi is doing with your technique. In the back seat? They let you know right away. Initiating properly? They tell you. Not only are skis like this a hoot on the groomers, the things you do to make them work right get you in the habit of working all of your skis better. Early season when the off piste is too thin and you are stuck on groomers most of the day is a good time to demo a pair of narrow carvers. They are not for everyone though. If you tend to lean back and crank the tails around to turn and are unwilling to change your technique, you'll hate them immediately and will be unlikely to ski more than a run on the more "racey" versions.
I'm always working on improving my technique, and I don't crank my tails around so much these days, anyway. They sound like fun, but it's just again such a very specific and short time in my season. Early season, sure. Maybe once in mid season. Late season, it's too slushy to want a carver. Also DH may divorce me if I bring more skis home; it's unclear. When I think about buying a carver, I always go right to "well, if I can budget in a new ski, I could get something I *really* want instead ... ooh look at those pretty fat skis over there ..."
And I'll admit that they just. aren't. *sexy*. to me.
As for using them specifically to improve, every ski can teach you something, but I spent years on carvers and don't feel the need to have them as a teaching tool. I have no doubt they would teach me something in deeper snow, but I am not a masochist.
Originally Posted by chemist
Actually I was. You mentioned being interested in continuing to improve your skiing and, speaking for myself personally, I've found a narrow, highly shaped carving ski, initially used on groomers, is the best tool for developing solid turn mechanics, which I can then apply all over the mountain, including to wider skis in soft snow (or, if I choose, to narrower skis in soft snow; I have 116 mm Volkl Ones, which are a blast, but here I'm on 62 mm slalom skis: http://www.epicski.com/g/i/80367/avatars/sort/display_order/). For those that ski in the East and Midwest, where most of their skiing will (whether they like it or not) be on hard snow, this is a natural path. However, you ski out West, where you ski soft snow whenever you can. But how often is this? If it's half the time, then the other half the time you're going to necessarily be on groomers (or in moguls), where you should get better performance from a narrower ski -- and maybe, just maybe, the reason you don't like skiing groomers is you don't have the right tool for the job :). From your description of your lifting you sound like a serious athlete, so I would think it's at least worth giving this a try. [See also the 2nd para. of this post: http://www.epicski.com/t/129323/rant-overselling-wide-skis/150#post_1774258] Having said all that, I understand it does take a certain amount of dedication to this particular goal -- which may not be your goal -- to follow this route.
Nice pic! Do you mean you're on the 62mm on that steep? I respect that. I just don't want that. I honestly also wouldn't be pointed quite so directly down the fall line.
Honestly, I ski terrain of some sort, whether actual soft or crud, well over half the time. Partly that may be because on weekends with no new snow, I might stay home for the weekend and catch up on things I don't get to do while skiing (laundry, bills, sleep ...) But also, @nwjg was talking about skiing in Utah. While Utah gets great snow, it is also lower altitude and I think can get skunked with warmer temps. I ski Breck most of the time; we don't get refreeze as a rule, and all that wind people complain about often fills in the upper mountain overnight. sshhhh.
I think your last sentence may be key, and I don't think it's just for skiing. I am also someone who drools over mountain bikes, but is left cold by road bikes. I think this may be a similar dynamic and a completely irrational reason for carvers to leave me cold.