Great question! The 70 mm mark seems to be the "mid-fat Mecca" - less than that, and you head toward leaving mid-fat territory. More than that, and [while you still may be in mid fat city] you start approaching just FAT. Here's the scoop: As you may have noticed, skis that are narrower underfoot are quicker turners ede-to-edge. Skis that are wider underfoot seem to be slower edge to edge even when they can turn fast and sharp in one direction. Think about it: Have you ever ice skated? Now, think about being on a skating rink. You have ice skates on your feet. You skate. Do you even THINK about edge-to-edge quickness? I don't think so. Now, imagine that you are on the ice rink on SKIS - say they're skinny skis of any sort, skinnier than you'd actually use for alpine skiing. Now, you MUST think about edging. Now, imagine that you are on a ski that's three feet wide. Imagine, how the HELL you're ever going to get that sucker on edge?!!!! Get the picture? The wider the ski, the more effort you need to get it on edge. However, there's a bright side: When you learn how to edge skis and change edges, everything becomes easier. You get on those skis with waists of 69 mm, 70 mm, or 71 mm, and you can make those suckers TURN! Even edge to edge. Demanding? Well, sure, they "demand" more edging than a ski that's considerably narrower. But once you have felt that sensation of how to edge 'em, they become preferable to the narrower skis, because they go anywhere, do anything, and the feeling of freedom is as good as it gets. As the icing on the cake, they tend to be more stable, and you can let them run faster and still feel quite comfortable. You feel that you're on a more solid platform and can tackle tougher terrain. That's my read on the subject, Pete, and I hope others also will post their own impressions. And thanks for asking the question - it's a really important part of choosing a pair of skis and learning skiing technique. I love to talk about equipment, but please bear in mind: Without technique, the ski is nothing. If you can find an instructor who knows how to communicate with YOU, that person is worth more than any pair of skis on the planet.
post #31 of 47
3/15/02 at 8:14pm