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Fat ski acting up: suggestions?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I alternated last weekend between a pair of Dynastar Omeglass WC SL skis (13m radius, 65mm waist) and Salomon Twenty Twelve skis (~22m radius at 91mm waist). Conditions were manmade hardpack (think: edges didn't sink into the snow). Both the pairs of skis were tuned (by me, therefore equally good or crappy tunes) the day prior. The SL skis carved effectively in short and medium advanced parallel turns. The Twenty Twelves did not. Some observations: 

  • I had to really exaggerate tipping movements to put the fat skis on any edge. Moreover, it hurt my knees to do so. 
  • Tipping to a moderate edge angle took a lot of time, so at most I could make large radius turns. I could not carve a short radius turn on these. 
  • To create enough angulation to maintain balanced on the fat skis edge, I had to crank my hips in and my upper body over the outside ski unnaturally. 
  • The fat skis felt like they were torsionally deforming underfoot (flapping feeling). 
  • Skiing by pivoting the feet was simple on the fat skis. However, this resulted in skidding and the fat skis breaking away from the surface rather than steering. 
  • The fat skis came back to life through patches of soft snow and were able to carve. 
  • Intermediate parallel turns were effective at intermediate speeds on the fat skis.

 

When people talk about how great a fat ski carves, are they comparing fat skis to slalom skis? Are they carving on machine-made hardpack, or on Colorado packed powder? Are the people "carving" on this ski actually carving, or do they just think they're carving?

 

Is there a likelihood the mount point is set wrong? 

 

I swear these skis were a lot of fun as a demo on Whistler "hardpack" a few years ago. Surely my memory isn't so inaccurate...?

post #2 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

I alternated last weekend between a pair of Dynastar Omeglass WC SL skis (13m radius, 65mm waist) and Salomon Twenty Twelve skis (~22m radius at 91mm waist). Conditions were manmade hardpack (think: edges didn't sink into the snow). Both the pairs of skis were tuned (by me, therefore equally good or crappy tunes) the day prior. The SL skis carved effectively in short and medium advanced parallel turns. The Twenty Twelves did not. Some observations: 

  • I had to really exaggerate tipping movements to put the fat skis on any edge. Moreover, it hurt my knees to do so. 
  • Tipping to a moderate edge angle took a lot of time, so at most I could make large radius turns. I could not carve a short radius turn on these. 
  • To create enough angulation to maintain balanced on the fat skis edge, I had to crank my hips in and my upper body over the outside ski unnaturally. 
  • The fat skis felt like they were torsionally deforming underfoot (flapping feeling). 
  • Skiing by pivoting the feet was simple on the fat skis. However, this resulted in skidding and the fat skis breaking away from the surface rather than steering. 
  • The fat skis came back to life through patches of soft snow and were able to carve. 
  • Intermediate parallel turns were effective at intermediate speeds on the fat skis.

 

When people talk about how great a fat ski carves, are they comparing fat skis to slalom skis? Are they carving on machine-made hardpack, or on Colorado packed powder? Are the people "carving" on this ski actually carving, or do they just think they're carving?

 

Is there a likelihood the mount point is set wrong? 

 

I swear these skis were a lot of fun as a demo on Whistler "hardpack" a few years ago. Surely my memory isn't so inaccurate...?

91 mm is not that wide but it is still enough to make it harder on ice.

I think you are basically doing it right, but you really have to exaggerate all movements, in particular the angulation.

Also, when the skis act up it is easy to get into a semi-static mode of skiing, and this really kills ice grip. You need to be dynamic, light transitions, and heavy apex. 

 

Usually you find a binding that is not so good on fat skis. That in combination with higher torque due to the wide ski means there is a lot of slop  and you loose a couple of the much needed angles. When the pressure comes you loose the critical platform angle and the ski is lost.

post #3 of 23

are you going to be just as surprised when the salomon feels more capable in soft snow?

post #4 of 23
I'm wondering if you were tensing up the leg muscles when "trying" to carve with the wider ski? That would make it "feel" you were tipping, but actually limit the range of tipping.

You might need to alter the pressure points along the bottoms of your feet to address the change in performance between the two widths.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghosthop View Post

are you going to be just as surprised when the salomon feels more capable in soft snow?
Actually, I would be surprised if the slalom skis performed poorly on soft snow. But the slaloms are awesome in everything except hard bumps and cement. (The fat ski is nice in cement.)

Thanks for the ideas all. I'm sure a better driver could ski them better; was more curious if it's possible to ski them well on eastern hardpack. Anyone have video of someone skiing a fat ski well on eastern hardpack?
post #6 of 23

Metaphor, 

 

I spent 95% of my days so far on my slaloms, the other 5% on my Kendos.  I would say your observations are spot on.  I never would have believed that a 2cm in width would make such a huge difference but it really does.  Everything feels like it is in slow motion with the Kendos.  Once, I am accustomed to it, it is fine.  But man........... that first run or two is like WTF?  And the Kendo is no slouch.  

 

I do not feel it in the knees, but I know that it is putting more pressure on them.  Going fatter is even weirder.  I have some 105s underfoot and that first run feels like I am going to tip over.  Second run and it is all good.  With that said, I love the slaloms.  Everything is just there in an instant.  Well, everything goes bad in an instant as well :)

 

Pete

post #7 of 23

Hi Met,

I think you've hit on some of the "narrow ski/fat ski" argument that continues to rage here.

First of all, narrow slalom skis will definitely carve more readily and effectively than wider skis on the kind of snow you describe.  But... as Ghosthop points out, the wider skis will probably feel much more comfortable in softer, deeper snow.  

 

Another issue is that I see you're writing from Ontario.  "Hard pack" has a variety of connotations depending on where you're from and what you have experienced.  Man-made hardpack in Ontario is probably a LOT different than the "hardpack" you experienced in Whistler.  

 

Finally, reference points are important.  If you only ski wider skis, the Salomons might well feel fine.  But if you've just gotten off the Dynastars, they might well feel like semi-trailer trucks.  An Audi A6 will feel pretty athletic on the road compared to a GMC Suburban...but pretty porky if you compare it to a supercharged Mini-Cooper.

post #8 of 23

Using the fat skis on "manmade hardpack" is like driving carpet tacks with a sledge hammer.  Wrong tool for the job.

 

Picture your ankle as a simple ball joint.  Maybe make a simple sketch.  Draw the angles from the ball joint to the edges of a narrow ski and to the edges of the wide ski.  The wider angle means that it is much harder to get the fat ski up on its edge to the same angle you can get the narrow ski, and the leverage working against you makes it much harder to hold the ski on up that edge.

 

Were you driving your knee toward the hill to put the skis on angle?  Bad dog.  Knees aren't made to bend sideways.  Roll the inside ankle to edge that ski, and to impel the body to the inside of the turn, and do the rest with your body position of angulation and counter.  Here's Marcel Hirscher showing his straight outside leg:

post #9 of 23
1) Those are not fat skis.
2) You can't expect a 22mm ski to carve short or medium radius turns well. You can get them to do do medium radius turns, but it requires speed. That used to be a GS radius. I don't think anyone would complain that a GS ski doesn't carve short radius turns.
3) yes, you can carve, as in lay railroad tracks, on a 90mm ski on hard snow. I do it on a regards basis. You're comparing a SL ski to a park ski, that's not going to be a good comparison. If you want to rail turns that's not the ski for that.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
 

Were you driving your knee toward the hill to put the skis on angle?  Bad dog.  Knees aren't made to bend sideways.  

 

That's true, and I avoid twisting the knee joint (at least I avoid doing so intentionally). Using regular but exaggerated tipping movements hurt my knees. I believe someone here (Bob? Jamt?) made a nice diagram of how as the ski fattens, the forces fall to one side of the knee, which is more stressful on the joint. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

1) Those are not fat skis.
2) You can't expect a 22mm ski to carve short or medium radius turns well. You can get them to do do medium radius turns, but it requires speed. That used to be a GS radius. I don't think anyone would complain that a GS ski doesn't carve short radius turns.
3) yes, you can carve, as in lay railroad tracks, on a 90mm ski on hard snow. I do it on a regards basis. You're comparing a SL ski to a park ski, that's not going to be a good comparison. If you want to rail turns that's not the ski for that.

 

Mr. Clink, my daily driver is a 65. My backup is a roomy 71 cheater gs ski. My normal terrain is ice. To me, 91 is fat! Also, the twenty twelve is marketed as an all mountain ski. I'll give you that Salomon tried to create the marketing message that it's the ideal ski for every skier (including park).  But here's where the burr under my saddle comes from: People, retailers and even ski review magazines claim the twenty twelve is a great ski for carving on hardpack.

 

"Absolutely, confidently say you will rip that ski and it will NEVER let you down.  Trees, Bumps, Deep, Drops, etc... But the most amazing thing is how it carves.  It can carve anything."

 

"Handles powder fine, easily busts through crud, swings around relatively easily, and is an excellent high-speed carver"

 

"Carving: 4.6 points out of 5"

 

 

So if this ski, which is so amazing for carving, feels like crap on hardpack (to someone who has plenty of experience on actual carving skis), I can't understand why anyone would choose to ski a fat ski on hills that only have groomers. Further, I'm confused as to how the skiers identified above claimed it's a good carver. Sure, it might be better than a park noodle at carving. But that's still like claiming Arby's is fine dining because it's better than McDonald's.

 

(Really, this whole fat ski thing was just an experiment. I didn't really expect the twenty twelve to ski well on hardpack, but I was willing to give it a go for a laugh based on the comments in that other "tyrranny of the fat" thread. It just surprised me how un-versatile it felt.)


Edited by Metaphor_ - 1/7/16 at 8:26pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post


Actually, I would be surprised if the slalom skis performed poorly on soft snow. But the slaloms are awesome in everything except hard bumps and cement. (The fat ski is nice in cement.)

Thanks for the ideas all. I'm sure a better driver could ski them better; was more curious if it's possible to ski them well on eastern hardpack. Anyone have video of someone skiing a fat ski well on eastern hardpack?

 

A few years back I was in the Alps and it was dumping. As always I was skiing on my FIS RD SL skis. Blizzard back then. Just for the heck of it I rented a pair of Scott midfats. Cant remember the width but they were a lot wider than my SL skis. Anyway, we did a video, cant find it right now, of me skiing the exact same terrain with both skis. Chopped up crud. From looking at the video you cant see any difference. However, there was a very big difference. The Midfats had tiprocker and ever time that wide showel hit a pile of snow they wanted to go over it. That started to hurt my knees. Right under the patella. My slaloms just went right through. Much more effortless and less wearing out my knees and legs.

 

Im not a big fan of wider skis as some of you might know and on a hardpack groomer I choose a SL ski over a wide ski any time. Powder is different. On the other hand, you cant compare a 22R to a 13R.

 

T

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

That's true, and I avoid twisting the knee joint (at least I avoid doing so intentionally). Using regular but exaggerated tipping movements hurt my knees. I believe someone here (Bob? Jamt?) made a nice diagram of how as the ski fattens, the forces fall to one side of the knee, which is more stressful on the joint. 



Mr. Clink, my daily driver is a 65. My backup is a roomy 71 cheater gs ski. My normal terrain is ice. To me, 91 is fat! Also, the twenty twelve is marketed as an all mountain ski. I'll give you that Salomon tried to create the marketing message that it's the ideal ski for every skier (including park).  But here's where the burr under my saddle comes from: People, retailers and even ski review magazines claim the twenty twelve is a great ski for carving on hardpack.

"Absolutely, confidently say you will rip that ski and it will NEVER let you down.  Trees, Bumps, Deep, Drops, etc... But the most amazing thing is how it carves.  It can carve anything."

"Handles powder fine, easily busts through crud, swings around relatively easily, and is an excellent high-speed carver"

"Carving: 4.6 points out of 5"


So if this ski, which is so amazing for carving, feels like crap on hardpack (to someone who has plenty of experience on actual carving skis), I can't understand why anyone would choose to ski a fat ski on hills that only have groomers. Further, I'm confused as to how the skiers identified above claimed it's a good carver. Sure, it might be better than a park noodle at carving. But that's still like claiming Arby's is fine dining because it's better than McDonald's.

(Really, this whole fat ski thing was just an experiment. I didn't really expect the twenty twelve to ski well on hardpack, but I was willing to give it a go for a laugh based on the comments in that other "tyrranny of the fat" thread. It just surprised me how un-versatile it felt.)
Why dont you ski a 90mm ski with metal in it on hard snow then? Go take the Kastle mx88 for a ride, it should suit your tastes.
I ride a 90mm ski (with metal) on mostly groomers because i can hit the hard groomed runs in the AM, and later in the day i can jump off on a secret stash and get some windloaded pow turns down an open face at the end of the day.. Its not that shocking really.
post #13 of 23
It's just physics, wide skis takes longer to put on edge and is not as torsionally rigid.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

Why dont you ski a 90mm ski with metal in it on hard snow then? Go take the Kastle mx88 for a ride, it should suit your tastes.
I ride a 90mm ski (with metal) on mostly groomers because i can hit the hard groomed runs in the AM, and later in the day i can jump off on a secret stash and get some windloaded pow turns down an open face at the end of the day.. Its not that shocking really.

I get the feeling you aren't familiar with our eastern hardpack.

Here's what I was skiing Monday night after rain and hard freeze. Those are actual grape to fist sized ice balls, hurts like hell when one flew up and hit me in the leg above boots.

1_zpsca0g9hhq.jpg~original

2_zpsz2hgsvxv.jpg~original
post #14 of 23

thats pretty awful snow even by low-precip eastern standards.  They don't really make a ski for that condition..they only make skiers who can ski them.

post #15 of 23

A 90mm ski can work just fine on ice. I skied a Nordica Steadfast yesterday at Stowe on the day after a big rainstorm and a late freeze. Keep them sharp and don't expect them to perform the same as an SL ski.

post #16 of 23

Isn't this a bit of a non thread - wider non-carving specific softish ski not anywhere near as good on hard hardpack as a carving specific short radius stiff ski?

post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

Isn't this a bit of a non thread - wider non-carving specific softish ski not anywhere near as good on hard hardpack as a carving specific short radius stiff ski?

 

That is true! But if you read through the 18 pages of the Tyrrany of the Fat thread (warning: probably only interesting if you're smoking some really good stuff), you'll come across some people who feel wide skis are a real treat on eastern hardpack groomers. Then if you read the reviews for the twenty-twelve, you'll find skiers falling over themselves over its hardpack performance.

 

The whole fat ski gong show leaves me scratching my head. I'm just trying to share some perspective and possibly learn something from those wide ski experts. 

 

and without this thread we wouldn't have gotten @jzmtl 's crazy hailball hill pictures!

post #18 of 23
The hardpack performance reviews probably aren't from the east lol. My "fat ski" is Head rev 80 pro, only 80mm under foot. This season I started on it because of the abysmal conditions so I don't have to worry too much about edge/base damage. The first day I switched back to TT80 it was a shock how much faster and more powerful it is, almost sent me flying because I wasn't expecting the rebound at end of a turn. Took me a day or two to get back in the game, and now I love the feeling again.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

 

That is true! But if you read through the 18 pages of the Tyrrany of the Fat thread (warning: probably only interesting if you're smoking some really good stuff), you'll come across some people who feel wide skis are a real treat on eastern hardpack groomers. Then if you read the reviews for the twenty-twelve, you'll find skiers falling over themselves over its hardpack performance.

 

The whole fat ski gong show leaves me scratching my head. I'm just trying to share some perspective and possibly learn something from those wide ski experts. 

 

and without this thread we wouldn't have gotten @jzmtl 's crazy hailball hill pictures!

But the whole point is that everyone is subjective to a greater or lesser extent - to one person good on hardpack might mean "livable with given it's primary intended use elsewhere" where a dedicated east coast ice carver couldn't tolerate anything less than top end performance.  Which is why the whole trying to categorise or demonise people based on the skis on their feet is so stupid or why moaning about ski selection available is just sour grapes, all it means is that your specific biases aren't aligning with the market as a whole.

post #20 of 23
You don't need reviews to know how well a ski does on certain conditions. Just about any ski made in 2015 will carve wonderfully on soft, fresh snow. If it doesn't have metal in it, most of the time it's not going to hold an edge on hard snow.
On the flip side a ski lime the old blizzard bodacious has metal in it, and will hold an edge on refrozen spring snow at 120mm ish underfoot. Look at how the ski is made, not how wide it is.
Edited by clink83 - 1/14/16 at 6:44am
post #21 of 23

The best performing hard snow skis are race skis.   Race skis need to perform at a very high level, and once you have enjoyed skiing at a high performance level you just want more of the same.   Once you have enjoyed riding a sport bike around corners at speeds and g-forces that would equate to going 3 or 4 times the recommended speed around those caution 40 (25 mph) kph speed limit corners, you're not going to be satisfied with driving a minivan around ordinary highway curves with a speed limit of 80 kph (50 mph) at 80 kph.

 

Of course you can't miss what you've never experienced, so lots of fat ski aficionados are perfectly happy skiing their 120 mm skis on boiler plate, just like lots of law-abiding folk enjoy driving a minivan on the highways and byways within the recommended speed.

post #22 of 23
It could also be that demo days tend to be in the spring, which allows you to slay the refrozen crap on powder boards. It's a better test of their capabilities anyways.

My autocorrect sucks, BTW.
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Clink, thank you for the reminder about materials factors. (I had forgotten!) And thanks to ghost for the reminder around context.
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