Originally Posted by CerebralVortex
I didn't see any qualifying statements like this in the article. I just saw a statement saying that, when speed combines with rocker, you get out of control skiers, and Seth and his colleagues are afraid of these meat-missiles. This implies that people skiing with any sort of speed on fat skis are out of control and thus a threat to everyone else.
And even if he doesn't mean to imply that, the article is written in a way that allows the target audience (angry people who don't use wide skis and are looking for their opinions to be validated) to jump to that conclusion.
Rants like these facilitated in the widespread negative opinion about snowboarders, which led to places like Alta and DV banning snowboards. I don't want a similar thing to happen with wider skis.
"When speed combines with big rocker, you get 18-year-olds going 40 knots
with only 100 cm of edge on snow. What feels like a turn may not generate
enough grip to change trajectory, and that could have dire consequences. My
ski-school colleagues are terrified of the meat-missiles hurtling”
So the preceding two sentences to the first introduction of "meat missiles", sets up a description of "meat missiles", 18 year olds going 40 knots on 100 cm of edge not having enough edge grip. Taken literally we could outlaw all 18 year olds on wide skis, or perhaps take it too far and outlaw all 18 year olds on the slope. But really, is a 19 year old ok when all 18 year olds are dangerous? How about 17 year olds? Rather than get bogged down in the exact logistics, let's just assume that the author was using the 18 year old example as a symbol to represent immaturity, irresponsibility, rambunctiousness, and inexperience, in other words, an intermediate skier skiing out of control.
Let me summarize the arguments.
1. Many people are not on skis with optimum edge grip despite skiing on icy runs. True.
2. Powder skis have their place where they are optimum. True.
3. There are dangers on the slope that are made worse by having the wrong equipment for the conditions. True.
4. Implementation and learning of some advanced skiing techniques do better with a certain ski construction. Yes.
5. It’s hard to find in stores narrow traditional camber skis. True.
6. A narrow ski has more range than many may believe. Likely.
These points are obviously true and non-controversial. People say the best defense is an offense, so let me go on the attack now. Reciprocally, let me make some baseless claims projecting intent not there. Why are simple metaphors and allegory so difficult to interpret? Every time you read such benign articles in Ski Magazine, do you get so inflamed and consumed by paranoia? If so, this must be a terrifying world for you, but I bet not. I believe the issue is that this author is here discussing it. I am really stunned at the accusations of ego for posting his article. It’s just a different medium. He could have written a similar post instead of that article as a thread starter. It’s no different, but saves time instead of writing it twice. My guess is that many of the accusations come from jealousy. Here’s a technical editor from “SKI”, a writer for “Ski Magazine”, a book publisher, and an accomplished ski instructor right here to discuss with us. But, it seems some are more intent to “put him in his place”. My guess is that by bashing him you feel better about yourselves, but this is just the way it seems to me, so I know it’s an improvable, baseless, perception. But, I do struggle to understand how some of these responses seem to miss the boat.
1. You’ve never entered the same information in two different media? I have, As long as copyright laws allow, this is the way to do it.
2. You’ve never been completely bored on hard pack, because you have no edge grip, and then search out whatever possible ski will make that slope fun? I have, this is why I understand ski construction for edge grip and the implications.
3. Have you ever taught your 3 year old daughter to ski and have tried to protect the most precious thing in this world to you from collisions? I have, I ski like Jupiter intercepting all asteroids heading for earth. I stick out the elbows for the real jerks. I’m the center, she’s the quarter back. It’s a real problem out there, and the one’s skiing fast and sliding out of control appear to me the worst.
4. Have you ever had a demo shop recommend to you a powder ski only to find that it gives absolutely no edge grip on the groomers on that day and there’s not a drop of powder? I have.
5. Have you ever tried to continue a skiing style when the trends have moved on? I have.
6. Have you ever experienced the advantages of engaging the tip? Last year I went on super short skis to make it easier to work with my children, and I discovered that without that long tip to reach out and engage in the pocket in the moguls for direct line skiing I couldn’t do as much. When you give up that strong tip for various reasons it’s not without tradeoffs, and this is true not just for carving.
So, I have had direct experience with every aspect of this article and see that it is completely reasonable. The unreasonable things are many of the assumptions that are clearly not in the article, and not intended by the author. The ski is a tool. It's paramaters can be changed, but with tradeoffs. This article discusses what we give up by going to wider skis designed for powder. You absolutely give up things with a wider ski, but you also pick up things, and the author has shown to me that he is completely aware of all the things you gain with a wider ski and accepts it's use in our resorts. There's nothing to worry about. No one is coming to take your skis. But, we might have world peace if we could only understand and be aware of when a wider ski is a bad choice.