or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Ski weight deflation

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

In the past week, I've had cause to learn some factory specified weights on several skis (various brands), and compare them to the "real" weights, meaning weighed by myself or people here I trust. The differences are startling: "Official" reported specs were from 10% to 14% lower than actual weight; typically 250-350 g per pair. The discrepancies were always in the same direction; factory reports were lower than "real" weights.

 

That doesn't mean much for groomer performance, but can have an small but noticable impact in soft snow and bumps, and the unsprung weight obviously means more for AT and tech set-ups where you have to walk; people routinely worry about that much difference in binding models, for instance.

 

I might just attribute this to business as usual, except that it isn't. Back in the day, when magazines published physical data on skis, as did most makers, I did the same thing with my own gear over the space of several years, and the differences were trivial. My old Gotamas, for instance, were 30-40 g heavier than the factory specs, inside of 20 g to the magazine specs. And in a few cases, my measured weights (on a scale accurate to 20 g) were lighter than the factory's claim. So I'm wondering if the grade deflation has gotten worse because the New Hot Thing is AT. Problem with that hypothesis is that very few people who buy skis with AT gear actually ever leave the ropes or skin. And manufacturers know this. So why bother to lie if you may get caught?

 

Now what I'm curious about is other's experience. Is this systematic across the industry, or in your experience are some brands worse offenders than others? Who can we believe? :eek;) If the systematic bias is not systematic, that means some brands should make out like bandits if they're truly light instead of marketing light. 

post #2 of 5

Interesting!  Thanks for doing the work, beyond!

 

When I research skis, I normally figure weight as a factor.  If I'm looking for a crud buster, I'll look for something heavier.  If I was looking for an AT set-up (which I never have) I would look for something lighter.  As a general rule, I prefer lighter skis for various reasons; easier to carry, easier on the lift, quicker on the snow, etc.  Some of these reasons probably have no basis in reality but are merely a perceived attribute, but still hold an importance to me.

 

So, while ski weight is a factor, it only is so in a relative sense.  If all manufacturers understate the actual weight by 10-14%, then the weight they publish are still relevant even if not accurate.  I can't think of a time where I've ever said to myself "I won't by that ski because it is over 2250 gm/ski."

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO661 View Post
 

So, while ski weight is a factor, it only is so in a relative sense.  If all manufacturers understate the actual weight by 10-14%, then the weight they publish are still relevant even if not accurate.  I can't think of a time where I've ever said to myself "I won't by that ski because it is over 2250 gm/ski."

 

Yeah, it's the relative that I'm interested in. If everyone's off in the same direction, no biggie. But if some brands weigh what they claim, and others don't, it's worth knowing. 

 

As far as buying,this is less relevant for groomers. But if I'm looking for a ski I'll be skinning in, then yep, much over 200 g does make a difference. That weight is at the end of a very long lever, so the force required to move it is magnified, and you're pushing it uphill at say 10,000 feet altitude, sometimes well down in settled snow, repeat several thousand times. And one such model I looked at was 500 g (1.1 lb) heavier than claimed. Several were over 300 g. That amount will impact how I feel at 4 pm, IME. Maybe not a deal breaker but if two skis are comparable in all aspects except weight...

 

Ideally, what I'd like to do is compile a list of offenders. :D

post #4 of 5

Blister reviews, among others, weigh each ski in a pair.

post #5 of 5

Light is the new wide... :rolleyes

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion