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Straight(er) skis coming back?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I just noticed that a couple of days ago, over on rec.skiing.alpine, somebody mentioned that they were privy to early design drawings for the 2004 skis, and that longer (207-ish) models with more moderate sidecuts than those in recent production were in the plans. Apparently, the target market was advanced skiers cruising around 30-40 mph. Amidst all the noise on that forum, I couldn't find any follow-up to this post.

Anybody know anything about this?

Tom / PM
post #2 of 41
I don't know anything about this, but I think it's a bad idea. Everyone these days (from beginners to world cup racers) are on short skis. They are much more versitile then straight skis. I don't see a big market for the new designs. Just my thoughts [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #3 of 41
Was the author of the comment WhosThatGirl?

Long skis are only for insecure little men.

post #4 of 41
Depends on what you mean by short. The best skiers I know are on 190 to 200cm skis with some shape but not a lot. You see expert skiers already knew how to turn before these new skis came out, they now do it with less energy spent. Not that they don't ski on shorter skis, most have several pairs of skis, and depending on the conditions choose which to use that day. The ski industry has made specific skis for specific conditions, thus skiers buy more than one pair of skis, making ski companies happy. I have eight pairs of the new skis, so it worked on me. So if you think everyone is on shorter skis you are partly right, everyone is on shorter skis compared to their old equipment.
post #5 of 41
Most of the best skiers (world cup racers) are using 155-160 skis with huge side cut for slalom this year. In the past the used skis 20-30 cm longer. Even the GS racers are on much shorter skis. I agree with you that people are skiing on shorter skis then they were (which is what i meant to say in my first post). I don't see what your trying to get at when you mention about ski companies producing different skis for different conditions.

BTW: I don't think all expert skiers already knew how to make great turns before the "new" skis came out. From my own personal experiences, i think that the "new" skis have made me an expert skier, and racer.

[ June 15, 2002, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: 9.12 skier ]
post #6 of 41
I think that certain types of skis such as gs skis you will be seeing a slightly smaller sidecut while in freeride and slalom skis you will be seeing a larger sidecut. If you look at the dimensions on salomon's GS skis for nest year it is 100 66 93, quite a bit more moderate than other gs skis that are offered out there. the skis still turns like a shaped ski because it is able to flex into a turn shape just as easy as a more shapely ski. I dont think that we are going to see companies go one way or the other, but they will adopt different side cuts for different purposes. So you may see GS and powder skis out there with smaller sidecuts while you see slalom skis and freeride skis with tip dimensions in excess of 110mm - it all depends on what terrain youre skiing and what you want out of your skis, and i think ski companies are now more than ever offering some more specialized skis for one task or another, in addition to their all mountain models. For example, next season companies are offering skis with a slalom sidecut made for all mountain use - but intended primarily for use on groomed slopes. Its possible that we could see more traditional lengths put to better use now but i dont think that skis will revert to straight skis again, but as the technology in skis grows, merely new shapes will be designed that work better than the old ones.
post #7 of 41
I believe that the shorter ski / shaped ski is here to stay but I think the length issue will not be resolved for some time. I would not be surprised to see some reverse shift back to a longer ski for specific situations.

Current ski shapes and materials primarily allow for a shorter ski length due to the increase in effective edge contact with the snow surface. (I'm sure that there is a more approprate technical manner to describe that attribute.) This attribute provides a greater level of stability relative to ski length and is most relevant in a carving situation.

However, aggressive off-piste skiing in changing terrain / snow conditions does not always allow one to take advantage of the increased edge contact. In those situations, a longer ski may still provide more stability. At that point, you are actually debating the shorter ski's secondary attribute (more agility) against the longer ski's stability / beef.
post #8 of 41
World cup skiers use short skis for slalom, but their skis get longer from GS to Super G to DH, and from race event to race event even. World Cup slalom is a specialized discipline that now requires a special ski, like your name sake. A modern bump ski is for the condition of skiing bumps, fat ski is for powder, and a GS ski is still the best all mountain ski. That's what I mean by different skis for different conditions. It use to be all you needed was a good GS ski to ride the whole mountain.
Of course experts made great turns or they wouldn't be experts. What the new shaped skis has done has allowed many skiers of lesser abilities to improve simply with technology. I've seen this result here in Aspen many times, in fact the technology is so good many skiers are getting in over their heads and have gotten hurt, but that's another story
post #9 of 41
I see what what your sayin now. Thanks for the explaination. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #10 of 41
Whaaaaaat? They're coming back?????!!!!!


Seriously, there's a market, 15-20% based anecdotally.

Bring 'em back, baby, bring 'em back!!!!!!!!

Fox, wasn't me. I only harangue here.
post #11 of 41
I suspect that there will be straighter GS skis for next season. Most of the GS skis made the last couple of years have too much sidecut for the new FIS regulation. Radius must be greater than 21 meters. That is hard to do in a shorter length without reducing sidecut. The Solomons with the wider tails were not legal at a 172 length.
post #12 of 41
What is the exact address of the rec.skiing.alpine? I wasn`t able to get into it.
post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 
rec.skiing.alpine (aka, RSA) is not the URL of a website. Rather, it is the correct full name of a Usenet newsgroup.

By your question, you must not be familiar with this part of the internet, so let me offer some advice: Newsgroups are the "wild west" of the Internet. Lurk before you post anything, and never *EVER* use your real name or disclose any real world information that could be used to trace you. In particular, RSA has been the home of a 3 year old vicious battle between certain individuals. Don't accidentally walk into the middle of it, and/or don't think that a few witty or logical postings from you will be able "fix" the problem there. Even more to the point, for the last few years, it has NOT been a useful source of skiing info.

That said, if you still want to access RSA or any other newsgroup, the easiest way is to go through Google which will allow you do do so using a familiar web interface:


Go to "browse groups" and find the group(s) of interest.

Tom / PM

[ June 17, 2002, 12:56 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #14 of 41
I do most of my skiing on straight skis. Chubbs.
post #15 of 41
I think this is just a marketing ploy by ski companies That Have wearhouse after wearhouse full of old straight skis they can'nt get rid of. They will just sandblast off the old graphics and apply new groovy graphics. Then tell all the park and pipe riders that these are the hot new thing. show some post adolecent with more testosterone then brain cells getting big air while flashing gang signs on his new way hip 210's pipe rockets. The next thing you know the wearhouse is empty and The next season short wide skis are Back In
post #16 of 41
I can't help but wondering if this may be related to some of the protests that have been filed by the racers in the speed events.

After a few bad crashes last year many of the racers have petitioned the FIS to limit the sidecut in Super G and DH.

Our own Bode Miller indicated that he would not compete in the speed events till the cut was reduced.

With a few exceptions, most of us will never know that kind of speed. My prediction is that changes in side cut will be minimal, changes in torsion and flex will.
post #17 of 41
Trust me there are not a lot straight skis sitting warehouse waiting to get sandblasted. They have all been bought by big box retailers to sell to guys that"will never ski anything shorter than a 200". Usually speaking with a Germanic accent and telling the staff that Herman Maier(sp) still skis on 215s. Wooden shoes,wooden head,wooden listen.
post #18 of 41
Take a look at the Ski Racing web site (also referenced) in an earlier post.

The 2003/04 skis for the speed events will have a reduced sidecut.
post #19 of 41
Our own Bode Miller indicated that he would not compete in the speed events till the cut was reduced.

Can you tell me where this information came from?
post #20 of 41
On my opinion, This topic is not about "What ski are better" but "How looks ski market today".
I'v been in Europe last winter and seen lot of
pretty good skiers who speaking at French or
German "without accent" and still like claassic
It just fun for them. Thay use to.
In general lot of of skiers are longtime
intermidiates who don't really like change their
Or, what about telemrk? Are They doing wrong turns?
It is all about fun. :
post #21 of 41
FIS mandates certain sidecuts/lengths/for all disciplines. I have a feeling that Bode will ski on whatever ski Rossignol gives him. I didn't mean to imply that the accent precluded having fun, just that when 90% + people that try new technology come back saying how much their skiing has improved it gets a little depressing to have some guy spouting off about things he knows nothing about. Things change I'm pretty sure that there is no one here using a Commodore 64.
post #22 of 41
Things do change. However, some innovations that were quite popular at the time were later discarded and tons of scorn heaped on them.

The demise of those innovations were accompanied by a return to something very close to what existed prior to the various great leaps forward. Witness Rear Entry and the Near Knee-High boots as well as GLM skis. All were ultimately discarded in favor of a return to the status quo ante e.g. Four buckle boots, conventional length skis etc.

I'm not predicting a return to what was before with skis. However, the FIS is moving towards longer minimums in the technical skiing events. I also note, for example, that Stockli has a 204cm all mountain ski for 2003.

It is probably safe to say that the jury is still out regarding where on the length/side cut continuum in each ski category the shaped ski revolution will cluster around during the next few years. In the meantime all this innovation provides some great excuses to buy new equipment.
post #23 of 41
Considering the number of "straight" skis in the rack at most hills we can only hope that more people use this excuse to buy new skis. I don't like to us FIS as an example of how skis are developing because their formulas are more often than not the result of some legal worries as opposed to the desire for higher performance skis.For all you gearhaed/racer chasers out there here are the FIS mandated criteria for 2002/3 and 2003/4(bare minimum check other links for details)2002/3 DH men/women sidecut radius 40m
SG men/women sidecut radius 33m
GS men/women sidecut radius 21m
SL men/women min. length 155/150
In the past the radius had to be marked on the topsheet either in indelible marker or as part of the factory graphic. Which meant that the actual radius of the ski didn't always coincide with the graphic(now there is supposed to be a machine or formula that the race referee can use to check skis in question much like the boot height measurer)
2003/4 FIS Guidelines
DH Men Min. Length 215 Radius 45m
DH Women Min. Length 210 Radius 45m
SG Men Min. Length 205 R33m
SG Women L200 R33m
GS Men L185 R21m
GS Women L180 R21m
SL Men L165 no radius sussested
SL Women L155 no radius suggested

Where this gets fun is for the "recreational skier". On any given rack there are shape skis available with sidecut radii of 11m to 20m and freeride skis that top out at around 35m. Why are the best technical skiers in the world (WC) being limited in what they can ski, when any person can walk in off the street and buy skis with more advanced geometry(and more lift, another FIS issue).
Rear entry boots...the marketing companies dream. Easy to get on(possibly), warm(sure as warm as a piece of plastic and some insulation can get) and performance too(Marc Girardelli wins the overall WC on them, Scott Schmidt jumps 100 foot cliffs etc.). In the end we all come back (some never left) to four buckle overlap, most of the new soft boots are some form of 4 buckle so hopefully we don't see rear entries resurface.
Knee highs, well of course you need that much leverage to turn a 210 with no sidecut.
GLM (graduated length method) a teaching tool to get more people on the hill faster. Actually a great idea that rode the crest of the fastest growing winter sport. Then all those new skiers had kids and quit, or didn't have kids and started saying "long skis truck, short skis suck" and assorted other pearls of wisdom. If you go to the good ski schools around the country they are using the new version of GLM from at least 3 of the major manufacturers.
Holy long post, sorry.
post #24 of 41
Knee-High boots disappeared from retail shelves for the same reasons that ski length/side cut is now being looked at by the FIS - namely injuries. It hard to grow or sustain a sport, which is dependant on large numbers of participants, when the equipment required to participate is viewed as inherently dangerous.

Rear entry boots like conventional skis work well for some and you can still see some folks skiing in them. Rear Entry boots were slop buckets for many and they were never widely embraced within racing circles or by most other expert skiers for that matter. They ultimately proved an innovation failure.

GLM worked only as long as skiers stayed on short skis. They tended to be very squirrelly at speeds much above those that novice skiers attained.I suppose that had to do with the design constraints of the time. Cliff Taylor is long gone from the scene and so is the movement he founded.

I am not disparaging innovation by any means. I'm just suggesting that the jury is still out on the optimal side cut/length per category of ski given existing technology and other considerations at this period of time. Last season many were predicting that mens slalom skis would move from 155cm down to 150cm this season. Instead they are headed somewhat in the other direction to 165cm. Retail ski trends could move towards longer and/or straighter-or maybe not.

I do not suggest that we will find ski manufacturers sandblasting the graphics off mid-1990's skis although some might if they really thought they could get away with it.
post #25 of 41

Bode will ski on what ever Rossi gives him for SL or GS....... but ..

Will Bode be in the speed events again?

I believe his comments were published in Ski Racing Magazine, other than PSIA, it's pretty much the only reading that I get to do.
post #26 of 41
Sorry, I will try to find out. Maybe he will be like Tomba and Grandi and only do the occasional SG.
post #27 of 41
Yes, I have it on good authority that there is a factory opening in St Moritz that is going to be exclusively producing straight skis in 227cm only, fluro pink and green mono-skis, one-piece suits (based on the Bogner mould) and rear-entry boots.
post #28 of 41
From what I saw of the new generation Volant line last spring, everything was going shorter, wider, softer, and deeper side cut, and I expect that this is where the other brands aimed at recreational skiing are still going.

As for the FIS, World Cuppers ski on specialized equipment that meets needs which are quite different from those of us mere mortals. A World Cup slalom ski, for example, is not the same as what you would buy at Gart Brothers, and would make no more sense for all mountain recreational skiing than a Formula 1 car for street use. It would be fun to try it though.

That said, I know quite a few people who say they will never give up their traditional long straight skis, but they are old enough that they don't represent much of a future market for new traditional skis.


[ August 10, 2002, 12:56 PM: Message edited by: JimL ]
post #29 of 41
StraightER skis are of course all relative. I'm sure the market and recreational skier and pro and competitor markets are going to offer a wide range of sidecuts and lengths based on the event/market/need. The main thing that is cool is that the "cap was blown off" . . . the companies can experiment from a pure physics standpoint rather than needing to pick a "religion" as was happening in the early days of shaped ski introductions.

As somebody who VERY much resisted shaped skis from what I now realize was an ego-motivated reasoning (though I had complex and well founded arguments) -- I'm like a reformed smoker now, I suspect pure misplaced ego motivation from anybody disliking shaped skis now.

I've definately been full circle on this, I had articles published where I trashed shaped skis for a couple of years, and the articles with the complete opposite stance.

Now I think that the market has been cracked open to experimentation, the coolest thing would be if we could have everybody somehow sample skis "blind" so that they just see what suits their strengths/deficiency's/"style" and are not motivated by ego/cosmetic issues.

Whole thing reminds of me how silly all those like Honda Civics and Chevy Neon's with racing stripes on them look! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #30 of 41
Good call Todd. Skis arent changing really, just evolving. Since shaped skis became mainstream companies have experimented wiht different shapes and constructions - everything from salomons prolinks to heads x frame to k2's peizeo electrics and mod construction... the list goes on now we have heads i technology... Skis are evolving and in this evolution - new shapes will become available. At this point they arent going one way or the other but are getting better. My previous post i think i did say that some race skis are getting narrower but my guess is that it is a result or the needs of racers right now. the slalom skis for next year are getting some what rediculous tip and tail sizes (fischer for example). All of these changes and innovations are the result of skis changing to benefit their users. Ski companies have the liberty of any shape they want at this point and are finally beginning to implement this in their line.
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