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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
ok, I'm bored and find myself thinking of skiing and the new skis I want to get this season. I've been digging through any review I can find and am narrowing down the list to demo.

Several skis that look good have been reviewed as "not forgiving" or "demanding". The general comments I've read are that this means the ski requires perfect technique and will not respond well to less than good technique.

I'm having trouble getting a good feeling for what that means on the slopes. Could someone provide some specific examples of technique mistakes, how an unforgiving ski might react and how a more forgiving ski might react? I guess I assume that if I screw up, I'll be face first in the snow - on any ski.

Thanks for any input.

post #2 of 5
Ski reviews can often be misleading with the abundance of meaningless adjectives that they slip in between the words that are supposed to tell you what the ski is like on the snow. I think of a forgiving ski to be one that will transition from east coast hardpack to the bunches of cut up snow that we get on top of the ice, without losing an edge, burrying the tips, or otherwise throwing you off your line that you have picked through the mess. Granted the expert skier can pilot any ski through this mess. The forgiving skis let any skier attempt to ski conditions like this and actually allow them to do it successfully. You dont constantly have to be on the sweet spot of the ski to make it have edgehold and to make it turn. If you lose your focus on your upper body position or your fore aft movement the ski doesnt care. The skis wont run off with you and wrap the three of you around the closest hardwood, if you make a mistake or the conditions are less than desireable (ice to loose granular to slush back to ice - a typical east coast day). You will find skis out there the accomplish this same task with brute force, but they often leave the pilot feeling like he/she just spent a day snowboarding for the first time, because they require strength, attention, endurance, and skill.
post #3 of 5
OK, as an intermediate, here's what it means (plus a couple of personal examples)...
A forgiving ski is one where you can make a lot of mistakes without ending up on your backside - e.g. Crossmax 8. You get a bit too far forward, hey that's ok. Too far back, not a problem. The ski will cope with your inefficiencies. The drawback is that the increase in forgiveness means a loss of sharpness - so, if you're looking to drive hard out of a turn - forget about it. If you're looking for performance, or a ski that will give you good feedback as to what the snow is doing - you won't find much. Sometimes this is likened to a ski having a big sweet spot.
A ski which is not forgiving, or is demanding is one which takes work to ski it well, but it will reward you when you do. If you're not controlling it correctly, it will control you, throwing you out of turns, giving you more speed than you want, etc, but when you get it right, the feeling from it is great. (And in this case, for me that would be the Head WorldCup Race i, which I skied for a demo run last year. I got a massive adrenalin rush on a couple of turns as I powered through them, but the rest of the time, the ski was pushing me, and not always the way I wanted to go!)
I supposed you could say the choice is comfort or speed. Finding the right ski is like getting the right car. What are you looking for in it, and that will drive you towards the Ferrari or the Rolls Royce, then driving ability, price, insurance etc comes into it, so in the end you buy a 4 door auto sedan, or a 2 door sports coupe with a 6 speed stick shift.

Does this help?

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Helps a little. It sounds like what I was thinking. But I'm starting to think that the problem is that I just haven't skied anything that I would consider 'demanding'. I guess I'll just have to demo more...

post #5 of 5
I htink the new Volants are as forgiving as anything.. but I am biased. :
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