Originally Posted by DirtViking
Why doesn't anyone make a ski like this? Maybe someone does????
In searching for a ski to fit the bill, it seems there's a void in the market. Something that is leans more toward the performance side, but retains the rental market durability.
My wish list would be as follows...
1. Super durable top sheet... kind of like the lizard skin that Elan puts on their rental fleet.
2. Edges that stay sharp longer. Maybe sharpen them every 2 weeks instead of every 4 days.
3. Bases retain wax longer.
4. Lighter weight - ski and binding combo. Asking a lot, I know.
5. Not rental market noodly
6. Mid-eighties waist
7. Short - medium turn radius
I guess it would be nice to find a ski that you could teach on, take exams on and would still take a beating along the way.
Is that unicorn out there somewhere?
Has a manufacturer ever built a ski like this? For the military perhaps?
Are there currently skis on the market that come close to fulfilling my wish list?
I'll defer to instructors on a lot of this, only add that
1) Far as I know, all edges are made of the same steel, same hardness, these days, and variance in width among rec brands is minor, some indies go for wider edges. But IMO if you don't want to sharpen your edges so often, go to a lower angle, say 1/2 instead of 1/3.
2) Stockli and some older Elan sheets are more durable IMO because they're metal imprinted with the design, no nylon or plastic. Otherwise, I've found that top sheets that already look distressed, like Blizzards during the Magnum 8.1/8.7 era, are the best bet; you can't tell new damage from old design. Also, caps don't tend to show cuts as quickly as sandwiches, but unclear if an instructor would want a cap ski.
More generally, I'd assume that top sheet damage you suffer is due to clients walking/skiing over your skis, not sure that'll ever get better. My kids still do it to me sometimes, and they're good skiers. But as you know, like freestylers, racers tend to be, ah, casual with the appearance of their gear. It's the bottoms and edges that count, not the tops.
3) Bases that retain wax will be bases that are softer, and therefore ding faster. Can't have it both ways. And wax hardness is temperature dependent. In general, your list suggests you might think about doing everyday tuning yourself, save $$ that way.
4) IME, Elans are the most durable normally priced ski on the market in terms of quality of construction. They're also to be had a decent prices about now. Stocklis are better but not to be had a decent prices. Blizzies hold up fairly well IME; you might look around for a new 8.5 Ti with the Blizzard worn-out design; I think they're still out there. Kastles hold up well but look terrible in a hurry because of the top sheets and are $$. I see a lot of instructors on Volkls, BTW, but suspect that's because of deals with the company rather than any super-durability.