Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
The rec ski market has split with the race ski market. It started when Atomic powder plus skis became the tool for powder 8s competitions a long time ago but it wasn't until the Elan SCX that we saw wide tips and tails become the norm. Today we see skis that are 90 underfoot and that seems narrow to many, as do tips and tails in the 120-130 range.
I suspect skis will start to get less wide again as folks realize 80-90% of the skiing public never venture into the back country let alone to places like BC or Alaska. We also will see rocker become less prevelent and the manufacturers will sell the idea of early tip engagement as an innovation. Leaving specialty tools like powder skis (and race skis) as special order items for folks actually participating in those activities.
When all of that happens searching for wide powder skis will be like searching for narrow race skis now days, or for a pair of 204 slaloms from the 90's. I am sure some here will complain about not seeing their favorite type of skis on the racks of their retail shop. I am also sure some kid who is five years old now will ten years from now be calling many of us here grumpy old men. The Shoe on the other foot has always worked that way....
If I understand you correctly, I just do not see this.
Today's all-around skis in the 90-115mm zone are not designed simply with a focus on BC (in AK or otherwise). Nor are they powder specialty skis. Most are being designed as all mountain skis.
The design of camber/rocker profiles is reasonably well understood today. As is the relationship to width, taper, surface area distribution, etc. So why would designers make skis materially narrower, or reduce significantly the rocker, in their all-mountain/all-around designs? Are you suggesting they should reduce the quality of their customer's experience by making less functional skis? Should they dump metal edges and ptex bases as well?
There are variations on the theme that make sense based on region, personal preference, and intended use. But the reality is that 90 wide is not an adult "powder" ski by today's design norms. Nor is even 100... These are being designed as all-around skis that meet the needs of a whole lot of skiers.
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
I think the notion of buying better turns by buying new skis is part of the problem. It is hardly new for manufacturers to make such claims every fall. In some cases the new products are everything the manufacturers claims them to be. Other times those claims are egaggerations. Having seen fifty years of ideas come and go, I am sure I am not the only one to view those yearly claims skeptically. When we talk about wide skis, rocker has added back some of the maneuverability lost due to wider profiles. Ac40s had more float but handled like an suv compared to a slalom that handles like a sports car. Rocker helps but if you like the feel of a slalom ski nothing else will quite feel that way. The same can be said for a good powder ski in deep snow. Outside of their intended usage neither perform at their best though. For those saying they perform good enough for the average joe, I wonder why they feel compelled to suggest such things. Why make decisions for folk you know nothing about? Ghost loves carving arcs, as do many. Others prefer much softer snow. Still others like both equally well. It should be obvious no one ski would be a best fit for all of these folks. In the third case a couple pairs of skis might be a better choice. That being said, it is still the pilot, not the ski making the turns. The skis simply cannot correct errors made by that pilot.
Again, I disagree. Buying better turns is fundamental. The skis can't do everything, but the right tool for the job makes life a ton easier. And for most of us, more fun.
Skis can not "correct" errors made by the pilot. But they can certainly do two things. First, they can reduce the demands on the pilot. I mean come on - compare a powder newb on real powder boards vs SL skis trying to learn to ski powder. One set of planks delivers a day of smiles - the other a series of headers and tears. Likewise, modern all-around skis may give up a bit in some conditions, but they offer up a whole lot of "easier" across many conditions. A huge net positive. Second, they can mitigate errors. Why would you put an average skier on a ski that punishes the smallest of errors vs a ski that rewards good skiing yet forgives many mistakes?
No one ski is best for all conditions and skiers. But modern ski design is delivering skis that serve more skiers across a bigger range of conditions than ever before. If that is the "tyranny of the fat", then long live the tyrant.