Originally Posted by Betaracer
There are no slow skis, just slow skiers. technique plays as large a roll on how skis glide than just the tune.
If you're doing turns, technique is dominant over ski "speed" (indeed, other characteristics of the ski may be more important than its "speed"). Just running straight down the hill, the ski speed becomes considerably more important, though it depends on some other variables:
- The faster you're going, the more important a good tuck becomes (I guess getting into a tuck is part of "technique").
- The faster you're going, the more other wind-resistance issues become important, like baggy clothes vs. DH suit.
- If there are bumps or rolls, how the skier handles them can make a difference. At one extreme, if they're big enough that the skiers get significant air, technique may be determinative, if only because the person with bad technique will probably crash. Even small rolls matter, though: minor things like shifting weight fore-and-aft can matter, as well as having enough "looseness" to let the ski stay flat on the snow laterally.
I don't know that you can really put a percentage on "technique" vs. "ski" in any conditions, since you're really trying to describe a ratio between two different measurements, one of which (technique) has no meaningful scale of values.
A World Cup downhill racer will beat a person who's never skied before with any ski that will slide, if only because the other guy will probably fall within a few feet.
At speeds above, say, 40 mph, a person who tucks with his hands against his belly and his shoulders up will almost always be slower than someone who knows how to tuck.
If the two skiers both have a pretty good idea what they're doing, and they're not (i) going so fast that tiny differences in position hugely affect air resistance or (ii) going over bumps, the faster ski will win virtually every time.