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Different technique for different skis

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm trolling for information again. I am in the happy position of starting the season with three pairs of skis, a skinny, a mid-fat, and a powder ski, and I'm looking for comments on how I should ski these different skis.

The thin ski is a Rossignol Cobra (177 cm, 100 mm tip, 65 mm, 92 mm tail), for ice and groomers. Next is the Salomon SuperMountain (186 cm, 110-78-100), as an "all-mountain" ski. Finally, the jewel in the crown in the Volkl Explosiv at 180 cm.

Reading the postings in here, and comments about and reviews of many diffent skis, I see that each pair of skis will have distinct characteristics that need to be managed differently (particularly considering that each ski should is meant for different conditions). For instance:
Would I use a different kind of unweighting with the Explosiv than with the Cobra?
Would I use more angulation in the turns with one ski versus the other?
Should I carry my weight diffently (more weight on the outside ski of the Cobra versus a more centered balance on the Explosivs)?
Does one ski have more tail pop (whatever that is)?
Which one is likely to be best mogul ski?

Of course, it may be a bit premature for me to be looking for this information. I've already go so many things going through my head that more information about things I should be doing might not sink in just yet. It's nice to know, though, how I should be skiing. Any advice would be appreciated.

I hope to go to Whistler/Blackcomb in December. Any suggestions as to which skis I should take (I'll probably take two pairs)? Also, if I make it to Montana for the ESA, which skis should I bring?

Now I've just got to find a pair of boots that don't hurt my feet...

post #2 of 10
For Whistler, I'd take the SuperMountains and the Explosives. The SuperMountains should be able to handle pretty much anything on that hill, and pull out the Explosives when it snows (or when you plan to avoid the groomed)
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking the Cobras will probably only come out when it's icy, or if I know I'm only going to try carving turns on groomed trails. They would have been perfect on my last trip to Sunshine, when it was concrete with a dusting of powder on top.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
No more comments?
post #5 of 10

I haven't been to whistler yet

But to add another thing to think/worry about. In a mountain with that much vertical, conditions can change a lot on the top half from the bottom half.

This, of course, would give you the situation where any single ski is going to be less than optimal for part of your top to bottom run.

In similar situations I've been in I've grabed my I75 Heads as they are not great at anything but pretty good at everything. So your all mountain skis might be the best fit.

(sorry my other post has become a black hole for other posters here, perhaps my post here will pop yours back to the top for more responses.)
post #6 of 10
For a specified type of snow, steepness, terrain (eg, rocks, chute, etc.), choice of line and speed, to first order, in a perfect world, you would ski all skis basically the same way (ie, weight more or less centered, two-footed skiing where you can, carve when you can, etc.).

The big difference that you will find is in the response from the skis. If I recall correctly, the old Supermountains were quite soft in flex. OTOH, Explosivs are quite firm flexing, so, in equivalent soft snow conditions, the Supermountains will want to turn on a dime whereas the Explosivs will want to make much larger turns.

>...Should I carry my weight diffently (more weight on the outside ski of the Cobra versus a more centered balance on the Explosivs)?...

This is less of a ski question than a snow question: If you are using the Explosivs (or any other ski) in deep powder, you won't have to worry about consciously making the above change in technique and weighting both skis equally because if you don't do this, one leg will go deeper and deeper into the snow while the other ski will ride up to the surface. You will probably make it 10 or 20 feet looking like a high stepping drum major until the inevitable fall occurs.


Tom / PM

PS - Yes there are subtle differences in the input you provide the skis, but discussing these would take more time than I have right now.
post #7 of 10

I understand if you come to Big Sky, you'll be driving, in which case you should bring 'em all. If room is an issue, leave the Cobras and bring the rest.
post #8 of 10
If I've been skiing a lot on my P60 SCs (11M turn radius) and try to make the same turn on my V-Pros (26M radius) I just tip over to the inside. Pretty embarassing. So yes, you may have to ski them a little differently.
post #9 of 10
The pilot is more important then the plane/planes!
post #10 of 10
What PM said is true. In a perfect world, the softer the snow, the fatter and softer the ski.

However, on a given snow condition, say groomed cords, the skis will ski differently. The fast, soft boards will be quick to react at slow speeds, but won't hold an edge well, and at higher speeds will feel really unstable, like they want to turn too hard or else fold in half under your feet. So in firmer conditions, ski them more slowly, applying less pressure at the bottom of the turn (try to apply more pressure right at the start of the turn, which will bend the ski more early in the turn and less near the end of the turn - basically, even pressure throughout the turn), and let them skid a bit more, even when they are up on an edge.

In softer conditions, a narrower, stiffer ski will tend to sink more and want to wander side to side more, so I tend to ski more with my boots locked if I'm on skis that are too stiff and narrow for deep snow. Depending on the pitch, in deep snow with stiff skis, you may need to carry a lot more speed and "porpose" more to get them up to the surface to change directions. This may mean more abrupt Z turning than you would with wider skis that float better. This is magnified by the fact that the soft snow may not be able to provide enough resistance to decamber the skis. So when put on edge, they won't create an arc, the way a soft ski would, which again, makes them harder to ski when they are submerged.

The mid fats are (obviously) a bit better as a single choice for all conditions, but will require a mild compromise at either end of the spectrum of conditions. They are great in snow that is soft, but not so deep that they don't find a somewhat firm base of support. On the other hand, they also aren't as good when the snow is really firm, because the edge isn't as far under your foot, and the wider tip and tail tend to twist out, decreasing the edge hold and edge angle at the tips and tails.
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