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Narrow(er) Makes Comeback - Again

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I get emails from realskiers.com and thought this was interesting:

 

"Last week I spent three days immersed in the annual ski show in Denver and, like many of my brethren, almost as much time trying to travel home.  (This edition of the realskiers newsletter is a day off schedule due to the health-sapping rigors of these endeavors.)  

 
After sifting through the catalogs of 14 major brands, culling and categorizing over 260 models we expect to cover for 2017, a most interesting and welcome development emerged from the data: most new models next year will be less than 85mm underfoot, a significant slimming of America's ski silhouette."

 

Must say, a trend that actually makes some sense.  I've skied at Elk (PA), Hunter (NY) and Belleayre (NY) so for this year; all areas known for 400+ inches of fresh powder - that's cumulative for 20 years.  This year has been horrendous, yet I've seen several skiers on wide, near full rocker skies.  I get that for a quiver, but on boilerplate?  Seems to indicate these people don't have a quiver and they've chosen a ski that's optimistic even for a travel ski.

 

Guess this is just another wide-ski bashing thread, but thought some might find the actual ski trends interesting.  FWIW, I have a pair of Q98s and love them.  Demoed 115s and loved them during a Alta powder day.

post #2 of 17

Presumably they needed to make new models because youzall weren't buying the old skinny models.  Can't see there's anything to complain about here and it'll hopefully reduce the whining about how no one makes skinny skis anymore.

post #3 of 17
Just like mountain biking...
post #4 of 17

I thought mountain biking was all about Fatbikes these days - they're even  seemingly taking off in unsnowy Europe (ehich must be more fashion than function) - are you saying 26ers & hardtails are coming back in?

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post
 

I thought mountain biking was all about Fatbikes these days - they're even  seemingly taking off in unsnowy Europe (ehich must be more fashion than function) - are you saying 26ers & hardtails are coming back in?


Yeah, it's all marketing and cycles..fat bikes are already slowing down..they had 29's, now 27.5's..who knows what's next.  Probably back to 26ers and hardtails.  Same thing with road bikes..suddenly fixies were popular again..every hipster doofus in the city had a fixie..  Enduro mountain bikes, freeride mountain bikes..who knows.  Ride what you like but I hope people see through the marketing nonsense.  Hopefully when someone says a 73mm ski is good for groomers they won't get shouted down by the 120mm minimum crowd..

post #6 of 17

Damn, that pendulum never stops swing, does it?

 

Remember: anything worth doing eventually gets taken to a ridiculous extreme i.e. the point of significantly diminishing returns ...... and then we start all over again!

post #7 of 17

i don't think it's about a pendulum swinging or returning to reason.  It is about that segment of the market not being updated much in the past few years.  The market has been in wider skis so that's where the R&D has been mostly.  Things are good in the 90+mm market.  The narrower stuff is mostly out of date so now they're coming out with updated narrower skis.  Head had some last year with the Instinct series and others are following along this year.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Lutes View Post
 

Damn, that pendulum never stops swing, does it?

 

Remember: anything worth doing eventually gets taken to a ridiculous extreme i.e. the point of significantly diminishing returns ...... and then we start all over again!

 

I am completely ready for the 45mm-59mm market to be updated; I mean it's been 20 years already :p

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

i don't think it's about a pendulum swinging or returning to reason.  It is about that segment of the market not being updated much in the past few years.  The market has been in wider skis so that's where the R&D has been mostly.  Things are good in the 90+mm market.  The narrower stuff is mostly out of date so now they're coming out with updated narrower skis.  Head had some last year with the Instinct series and others are following along this year.

 

 

The narrower stuff is/was mostly our of date?  not sure if that's entirely accurate, since I  only started skiing narrower skis (< 90) in the last 6 years or so, but it sure seems like there's been more than enough options in that period. And if true, then perhaps it was because the pendulum of interest/consumer dollars had swung elsewhere?:D

post #10 of 17
So I just went into a shop and was shown nothing under 90. The only narrow skis they have are the racing skis. The 80s are the lower end models that they sell to beginners. I'm keeping my 76s for those hard pack days and picked up a 90 for soft days and out west.

FYI 27.5+ is the new mtb wheel size.
post #11 of 17

After skiing about 20 days on my new Latigos (78mm under foot) I went back to my Slalom skis to check them out, 63mm underfoot.  The Latigos haven't come off the rack since (except today in 8" of powder when I used the Soul 7's.)

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by voghan View Post


FYI 27.5+ is the new mtb wheel size.

 

You haven't escaped the pendulum - 650b was the 1950s french rando wheel size (on dirt roads).

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

After skiing about 20 days on my new Latigos (78mm under foot) I went back to my Slalom skis to check them out, 63mm underfoot.  The Latigos haven't come off the rack since (except today in 8" of powder when I used the Soul 7's.)

Why? Just because of the number? Must have been other issues.

To the main topic, maybe because of the low snow seasons the last few years? And next year they'll be back to wider? (Well, things are good here compared to last year.)
post #14 of 17

Most ski resorts in the west sell untouched powder through their imagery on their social media feeds when in reality even during a powder day powder gets destroyed in a few hours in the resorts. Most people end up skiing chowder and crud and moguls in the advanced and expert runs. Once runs get moguled up they do not get skied that often in fact they are most of the time empty. So you get most people skiing on groomed slopes which at the end of the day get pretty slick. Hence quick skis that hold an edge are quite fun in the resort. The narrow high performance skis rule there and glad to see more choices. 

 

Those who love the trees and steep expert terrain need to deal with moguls even in tight areas so a quick and easy turning ski that goes over the rough stuff is desirable. In the Alpine wind buff and windblown is the norm so a wide ski that can also hold an edge and carve is desirable. 

 

I love wide skis that can still carve and are easy and quick turning. Thankfully there are some great choices out there. 

 

Regarding MTB wheels. Find the Fat Bike fad pretty silly although I am curious enough that I might rent one just to try it. I starting cycling with a 26 mtb hardtail but sold my last MTB (a 26er full susp.) many years ago and just stuck to road cycling which has not changed much at all. Now they are trying to push disc brakes and stuff but I stick to the classic setup. 

post #15 of 17
post #16 of 17

Some changes are a big improvement, some are smaller. For Mtn Bikes, Disc Brakes, BIG improvement, 27.5" wheels, smaller improvement. For Skis bigger sidecut to make getting the ski on edge and carving a turn, big improvement, rocker, to my mind is a smaller improvement. As for width, it just depends on where you ski, what part of the country, what parts of the mountain. I am in the Seattle area where we tend to get heavier wetter snow. I am on Ski Patrol and around 100mm underfoot seems to be most patrollers everyday ski. In other parts of the country I am sure the right answer is something else. 

post #17 of 17
Fat bikes are all the craze here. Most trails are year round here so you can ride your fat bike all year. Since bikes are so expensive, people will but a good fat bike instead of having two bikes.

As for skis, it doesn't feel like there are a lot of middle of the roads 70+ width skis. You either find a pricy race ski or a skinny version of a much higher quality ski.
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