Mr. Gonzo and I have an on going feud from another thread. He thinks I’m a poser and braggart, and I take issue with that.
The skis I’m talking about are the type of all mountain ski that I would want to take out for that “average day in vt/nh”, where you encounter packed powder, skied off sluff/ice, sheet ice, moguls, etc, on a decent sized mountain that does have some steeps and some fairly open terrain. I will usually ski Cannon and Stratton this year, weeknights at Wachusett.
For instance, I skied a pair of Volkl Vertigo G3’s last night in a 184 cm. It fits me in stiffness. To make this ski stable though, the designers had to make it very damp and quiet, leading to a lack of "feel" or feedback from the ski. The stiffness and lightweight made it get kicked around at moderate speed running straight. It was much more solid in a carve of course, and could support a solid GS turn at a pretty good clip, but nothing bigger. This is the kind of ski that would greatly benefit from a Vist plate, but that also increases the underfoot weight and makes for even a more detached feeling…….I just don’t find that much fun…..
Contrast that with the 195 X-Screams I skied. Only 11 cm longer? Big deal you say? They are slightly heavier in both swing and underfoot weight, but not by much. Due to the longer length and less sidecut, the ski can be a little softer, and be less damp, which gives me several things. More stability at speed, both in a straight line and in a long carve, tends to not get knocked around as abruptly, is more versatile in different carved turn shapes and getting out of a carve and into a speed check, the liveliness (or less dampness) lets me feel what the ski is doing as it interacts with the snow. Also, I actually think I prefer the feel of the X-Scream to the crossmax 10, because of the more direct contact with the ski from a normal binding, which also makes the ski a little stiffer - in the middle (not necessarily a bad thing because their both a little soft). I’m sold…..
I always thought “weekend warriors” were inherently not experts, but enthusiasts nonetheless. I think you could be an expert and only ski on the weekends if that’s how your job is. You can also be an expert and ski on the east coast.
I got a pair of race slaloms specifically for making carves at the local ice hill.