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Best snow plow skis

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just curious if anyone has found different skis that make for an easier snow plow. I'm currently on Rossignol Experience 88s. 178s. Coming off an ACL/MCL injury and am having a heck of a time with snow plowing down steeper terrain. Trying to stretch out my hips and legs as much as I can but I'm curious if anyone has found skis that have given them a bit of help. Thanks!
post #2 of 17

Why are you trying to snowplow?  Sideslipping is so much more effective.

post #3 of 17
The narrower the ski, the easier they are to get and keep on edge (i.e. it takes less force, especially on the knees).
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Part of the skills test our mountain requires. Thanks for the guidance Cheizz. I sort of figured that was the case.
post #5 of 17

Are they really requiring you to run sleds using a snow plow?  I skied a lot on the 178 E88, I didn't find it harder to wedge with than other skis.  Try using a lower edge angle and a smaller wedge.  You will have more stopping power and better control with less wear and tear on your body using both skis in the side slip/pivot slip method when running sleds.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
You can run sleds however you see fit but to get online as a patroller, they have to know you have the ability to snowplow whenever necessary. The test is a top to bottom snow plow, fast walking pace down a long black diamond. No stopping. Yes, most people side slip down steeper terrain once they're past the test. I get why it's important. It's a skill I want in the tool bag even if I mostly side slip.
post #7 of 17

That just sounds painful.  Try using the smaller wedge and lower edge angle.  If you are allowed to make some sort of turn, switch from carrying the load a bit more heavily on one leg then the other using small direction changes.  It would be like a subtle edge check as you switch from one side to the other.  If you blend it well it won't look obvious, you will stay close to the fall line, your speed will remain fairly constant, and you won't burn your legs out quite as fast.

post #8 of 17

In the past, I've found it's the boots (or cant angle) that make it easier or more difficult to snowplow

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

Just curious if anyone has found different skis that make for an easier snow plow. I'm currently on Rossignol Experience 88s. 178s. Coming off an ACL/MCL injury and am having a heck of a time with snow plowing down steeper terrain. Trying to stretch out my hips and legs as much as I can but I'm curious if anyone has found skis that have given them a bit of help. Thanks!

 

Is the snowplow difficult because of lack of control?  (boots at fault)

Or because of quad pain?  (not boots)

Loose boots (which have air over the instep, and/or air along the sides of the feet) will make holding the snowplow and controlling the tipping difficult.  

post #10 of 17
E88 is a common PSIA L2/L3 exam ski in the west. There is precise wedging involved.. Tough love, but iys the Indian in this case, not thw arrow.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Haha. It is most definitely the Indian. I was just curious if I was putting myself at a disadvantage with wider skis. It's all in muscle strength and hip flexibility right now. It'll happen in time with some work.
post #12 of 17

I'm interested that a couple people have mentioned a smaller wedge with a lower edge angle.  I'll have to give that a try this weekend.  Perhaps I'm not understanding it, but wouldn't that result in significant acceleration on a steeper slope?  I'm trying to picture it in my mind, and to me it seems that to get the same braking with a smaller wedge, you'd need to increase your edge angles?

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

FWIW - I just stuck with the E88s, standard edge angle and got thru the test this past weekend. 

 

Stretching and strengthening is what got it done, not the skis. 

post #14 of 17
Seriously? Sounds like your evaluators need to attend a ski trainers workshop and update their evaluation criteria. Forcing you to snowplow top to bottom on a black diamond is asinine. Your go to move needs to be the side slip/emergency stop, not the snowplow. What they are doing is reinforcing a bad habit. When I evaluate I need to know you can do an emergency stop whenever necessary. I will be a happy evaluator the day I see someone go through the exam without using the snowplow at all. Our (Patrollers') reliance on the wedge as a primary means of control needs to die.

A gliding wedge is perfectly acceptable on mellow terrain, but my opinion is that we only allow a wedge to be the method of control on steeper terrain as a concession to people who have refused to modernize their technique along with the changes in ski shape.

I ran up against some backward thinking instructors when I went through OET. Full disclosure: I was a ski instructor before I became a patroller. The season after I passed the OET evaluation I became an OET instructor.

If you can pivot slip effectively there is no need to be able to snowplow top to bottom. In fact, it's preferred that you side slip and use a pivot slip for direction changes rather than to use a snowplow or throw a wedge into your transitions (this is where I fought with my instructors. I was doing the pivot slip. they weren't capable of making a transition without using a wedge. Therefore, I had to ski at a lesser ability to "pass" their evaluation).


Quote:
Originally Posted by OSP VT View Post

You can run sleds however you see fit but to get online as a patroller, they have to know you have the ability to snowplow whenever necessary. The test is a top to bottom snow plow, fast walking pace down a long black diamond. No stopping. Yes, most people side slip down steeper terrain once they're past the test. I get why it's important. It's a skill I want in the tool bag even if I mostly side slip.

Edited by dwnhlldav - 3/19/16 at 3:54am
post #15 of 17

This whole snowplow thing is a form of hazing.

Many patrollers who can manage any terrain with a loaded sled never snowplow.

post #16 of 17

It all depends on the steepness of the slope.  Below about 20 degrees, it's easier to snow plow, but a gliding wedge won't keep a loaded toboggan moving slowly; it has to be a snow plough (large V and skis on big edge angle).  Above 20 degrees (give or take), you need to side slip if you don't want to gain speed.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BinghamtonEd View Post
 

I'm interested that a couple people have mentioned a smaller wedge with a lower edge angle.  I'll have to give that a try this weekend.  Perhaps I'm not understanding it, but wouldn't that result in significant acceleration on a steeper slope?  I'm trying to picture it in my mind, and to me it seems that to get the same braking with a smaller wedge, you'd need to increase your edge angles?

I agree! While I routinely encourage beginners to reduce their wedge size and go with lower edge angles (aka gliding wedge), the friction that comes with higher edge angles (aka braking wedge) is needed if you are required to straight line at a slower pace.

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