Not fat; big boned...
It's not only a ski issue, it's a technique issue. If one learns to hop and pivot as the goto technique (since the 60s), which is still clearly dominant out there, then the mushier, fatter and rockered the ski, the better, because of the reduced edge engagement - which edge engagement just gets in the way.
A cambered beginner ski is so soft, just standing on it turns it into a rockered ski, with no chance of carving the tip and tail even at 10mph and it's soft torsionally as well, comparable to say a stiff 90-110mm. But pray tell - what's the average radius of a 100mm ski, that some seem to think beginners should learn on? And at what speed does it turn at that radius... since we're talking students here? And how long and wieldy is it?
And seriously - looking around, how many skiers to you see cleanly carve blue runs? What about blacks? Maybe I do need better beer goggles... because I see few carving blues in balance and VERY few even attempt a clean carved run on blacks?
And again, there are skis for conditions: there's fat and rockered boards made for downhill in Alaska in meters of powder, with a central bindings mount to spin off a 50ft rock, which is not something i'll ever do... and there's slight rockers on mid-fats, to help with once-every-two-seasons 4 inches in the west etc. And then there's the ice skates made for the average conditions called "re-freeze" in some parts... but as far as beginners go, short light skis with short radius will rule because they turn quickly at no speed at all.
This is is exactly what Blistergear advises all beginners -- to start skiing on a 100 mm waisted skis (see post 106) I 've never heard anything more ridiculous then that !
When you ski steep terrain you bend your knees. You weight and unweight. You tuck your downhill knee under your body as you turn to drive your turn. You keep your skis as close together as you can.
When you ski moguls you absorb them with your knees. You use the mogul to control your speed and to turn on. You pull your skis up and around the mogul. You keep your skis together.
The best ski for steep skiing ever made is arguably the 1993 Volkl VP19 Vario. The best mogul ski ever made is arguably the 1994 Dynastar Vertical Assault. Someone who is 6'3" tall and weighs 190 lbs should ski a VP19 Vario and Vertical Assault that are 195-205 cm long.
Hardly ridiculous. How often do you ski where?
Granted there is regional variation in what makes the most sense. And differences in personal goals and preference. But even at Vail where the OP teaches, I'd not consider a sub-100 OSQ. And I'd likely go way wider. The kind of silly about "two days a year" that pops up here seems terribly regionally biased. Again, every year is different, but in the PNW, 10- 20 or more legit inbounds pow days a year is hardly a stretch goal most years. I have skied a week of legit powder days in a row at Vail. And Vail groomers are maintained such that a well designed 115+ ski is plenty fun and plenty controllable on the groomers. Softer snow is no rarity many places.
A 90 mm wide ski would be an okay OSQ in the pacific northwest where folks can expect to ski 20 powder days a year (does that still hold true these days?) and also get to ski back country/side country.
Originally posted by Clink83 "I skied full time on a 110mm ski 5 days a week for about a month, and they carved just fine. Even the big powder boards will turn fine."
I guess it depends on where you set the bar for just fine; I skied everything from big icy moguls at Tremblant to 35 feet of untracked snow on the Backside of Mt. Washington BC for years on 68 mm wide SG skis. They skied "just fine". Mogul skis, and powder skis would have skied a bit better than "just fine" in those conditions.
Food for thought on the lesson side... http://blistergearreview.com/recommended/skiing-101-the-best-skis-for-beginners I hope no heads explode.
There are lots of reasons to go narrower or wider. But most skiers most places I've skied are not well served by going "narrow" and conventional camber. Unless their aim is "technical skiing" or to focus specifically on carving groomers. Furthermore, I've seen no evidence that skiers on such skis are, on average, any more in control than those on more modern designs. In fact my observations make me believe that just the opposite is true. Since modern designs tend to be more forgiving of sliding as a technique component, they are more controllable by the "average" skier - who likely will never learn to carve well regardless of the skis they are on. The folks on the slopes who tend to scare me the most are my age peers on 70-something carvers & who think they are racers...
Heh, the folks that are on wide reverse cambered skis that are too long for their ability and have no control tend to scare me the most. Those are the people I will tend to say to them.."you go first" because I want to keep them where I can see them..in front of me.
This is a coaching / instructing area talking about fat skis and no one can comment on our young people using fat skis for frontside terrain? We take all kinds of shots on these guys for their style/equipment, how do we get them to change or even try? 95 % of us commenting I'm sure are over 45, most of us way past, what about our youth? Or is it just gone?
Seth ( like and respect what you have to say ) write something about our youth, challenge the dads,coaches and instructors!!!
One of our coaches told me about one of these same guys running into him today. It resulted in a broken nose for the knucklehead. I don't wish ill on anyone but it is hard to feel sorry for someone out to hurt others. Thankfully our coach was not injured by that idiot.
It depends what you understand with "it can handle hard snow" and "will turn fine". Yes you can make it down, even in ice, you can even ski easily, but like it or not, there's no way you can ski it hard and push it as I would want to push it. So no, it's not that I think it won't handle hard snow, I >KNOW< it doesn't handle it. At least not the way I want ski to handle hard snow and ice ;)
Markojp I completely agree. Both, narrow and fat skis are great. But none of them are great in all conditions. I admit I spend most of time on race skis, even though I would wish I could spend more time on fat skis, but if there's no proper conditions, I'm not going to take out powder skis, just to look cool in lift line, when waiting to get on top of icy groomer. :) And unfortunately I'm not living in place, where it would be dumping half meter powder every day... sometime I wish I would but I'm not.
So I still think there's no single ski to fit everything. And unless you live in place where you have only ice or only powder, you need more then just a pair.