I agree that the materials themselves have been directed at making a lighter (Ghost), thinner (Zen) but but not very much at all when you make a direct comparison. The advances in material use was more significantly directed at making a that is absorbent of all small frequency vibrations while retaining or increase the snap to the overall ski.
Making a ski with a softer longitudinal flex with more torsional rigidity primarily comes from not the materials but the construction design and more specifically how the materials are inlayed into the ski by proportion and direction.
I believe that lighter skis were more of a sales point than something that made a performance difference in anything other than mogul, powder and back country. For the Ice Coast, we like our skis heavy, damp and snappy.
Exhibit A: (Volkl explains it better than I can)
Our 3D.RIDGE technology – now found in everything from the V-WERKS KATANA and BMT to the ultra-light VTA88 LITE touring ski, the RTM high-end models and 100EIGHT/90EIGHT – is quite probably the most extreme and effective construction technique that exists currently.
It has become a symbol of Völkl lightweight construction. The distinctive characteristic of this technology is a raised central ridge that sharply levels out toward the edge, both in front of and behind the binding. This reduces the inertial mass around the fulcrum to a minimum and significantly enhances the agility of the ski. At the same time, the center ridge allows for a precise dimensioning of the hardness distribution, which leads to an especially harmonious flex on the ski. Despite the weight savings, the 3D.RIDGE ensures that there is no compromise whatsoever in the ski‘s durability and elasticity.
UVO dampens disruptive vibrations that constantly emerge as a result of varied terrain and uneven ground. The free-floating mass of the UVO follows the ski’s vibrations and counteracts them effectively. Because the greatest amplification of vibration occurs in the ski’s shovel, the UVO is positioned close to the ski’s tip for more effective minimization of the vibration phase. 3D dampening means that jolts and vibrations are handled from all directions (360°).
The result: the ski’s edge contacts the snow surface for a longer period and interruptions are minimized. The ski then holds edge grip more effectively. The ski does not lose any liveliness since the UVO technology has its own completely free-floating mass. This differs from previous systems, which were attached to the ski at a fixed point and thus functioned solely along the Z axis (along the direction of travel and ski’s length). Another even more important benefit of UVO technology is the fact that ski and binding can be produced in an even more lightweight version, which promotes greater performance and agility.
TIP & TAIL ROCKER:
WHAT IT IS: A slight rocker bend in the tip and tail, complemented by traditional camber under foot.
WHAT IT DOES: With a slight rocker in the tip and tail, combined with a classic camber profile under the foot, Völkl engineers have created the ideal blend for frontside carving. Easy, smooth turn entry and exit, with acceleration and rebound as well. The new Extended Tip/Tail Rocker features an elongated rocker profile beginning in front of the toe piece and ‘extending’ toward the tip. A prime example of all elements of ski design coming together, the extension of the rocker allows a stiffer tip flex and more open sidecut radius, promoting stability, turn initiation, and playfulness ALL AT ONCE.