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Old Skis VS New: A question of POP

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
When skis get old an lose their "pop", just about any new ski of similar grade feels like a big improvement.

What is the chance that the infatuation with all the newest equipment offerings is strongly influenced by the fact that the ski we are replacing is just plan "worn out".

A fun test would be by the guy that bought "two pair of skis because he like them so much", take the old and used, and ski them along side the old and fresh, on the same day.

Has anyone?

CalG
post #2 of 16
Probably a lot of truth in that, as well as the fact that the new ski is more likely (though not always) tuned better.
post #3 of 16

Like a new pair of sneakers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy
What is the chance that the infatuation with all the newest equipment offerings is strongly influenced by the fact that the ski we are replacing is just plan "worn out".CalG
I would agree that this is the case for many people - especially those with a one-worn-out-ski quiver.

However, there are many that buy multiple sets of skis often enough (not going to name anyone ... like JimS or Banditman that seem to acquire a pair weekly) where this is not a factor - it comes down to the actual difference in the skis performance characteristics.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Woodee

My daily driver Volkl G3's, are just one of a four+ ski quiver. I know what you are saying about relative comparisons. Those G3's have so many days on them I should put them in the "rock ski bin" , I promise I will after this season.
When I get on the much less milage G4's, It's like a whole new ball game!

Regards

CalG
post #5 of 16
Conversely – did you ever have a pair of skis that got better with age? I had a pair of real race room (4 digit hand stamped serial numbers) 207 cm Dynastar Coupe du Monde GS skis that were a bear and a half to turn, but if you were on ‘em hold on because they were awesome! Only problem was being “on them” meant doing squats 3x a week so you’d be strong enough so that you wouldn’t get bucked off the sweet spot.

They got more manageable as they got more mileage, but ultimately became victim to the short ski “craze”.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy
What is the chance that the infatuation with all the newest equipment offerings is strongly influenced by the fact that the ski we are replacing is just plan "worn out".
It depends on what you mean by this. If you mean the "shaped skis" vs. the pencil skis, then the answer is, "No way." If you mean just similar skis that are older vs. newer, then this may have something to do with it, together with the tune.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy
A fun test would be by the guy that bought "two pair of skis because he like them so much", take the old and used, and ski them along side the old and fresh, on the same day.

Has anyone?

CalG
There should be a zillion racers who do this regularly. When I was racing on old Rossignol stratos I had race and training skis. After 20 days of skiing hard ice the training skis would be broken down to the point that the race pair seemed to be a different species.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
ssh

The original text indicated "skis of similar grade". That was to rule out the style, old vs new, straight vs shaped etc. I think you know.

Yea, racers are proof, but when we lesser gods go "demo" we might be inclined to forget what our present skis could do in thier glory days.

Wow, only 20 days! I'ld go broke!

I know that now that the pop has all leaked out of the G3's, consider them the ugly step sister. Anything could be better than these.

Yet, I held them so beautiful and vibrant in the flower of their days.

So>>>> Where does all the Pop go????

CalG
post #9 of 16
Sorry, Cal, that's not what I thought you meant by "of a similar grade"; I thought you meant the same type of ski (like a 1986 SL vs. a 2005 SL). Sorry; I missunderstood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalG
So>>>> Where does all the Pop go????
It's kinda like electronics: when you let the magic white smoke escape, it just stops working! The problem with skis is that you don't see it when the smoke escapes, and you think it's just extra snow...
post #10 of 16
Again, kind of like old sneakers. Yeah they feel comfortable and fit really well, but you don't notice how worn out they are until you get new ones.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
Conversely – did you ever have a pair of skis that got better with age?
Afaik, it´s the case with DH skis which need a year to be broken in and become really fast. If used in races only they keep their excellent properties for years and getting slightly softer they can even become faster.

The initial question of skis getting better with age (= usage) would IMO include some very stiff skis. They keep their excellent torsional rigidity and edge grip but at the same time can become more elastic and manageable.

I have a pair of very stiff racestock Dynastar GS skis. I was looking forward to making them softer through use and enjoying them better than when they were new.
Unfortunately, they are losing their camber instead (I reported about it in another thread). The miracle won´t happen and they will have to be sold before they reached the top qualities for me.

Otoh, my Heads GS have an incredibly long life limited by edges only. They really lost their stiffness and are a bit too soft now - which, to be precise, may be an advantage sometimes because it´s so easy to bend them that they seem to be almost slalom skis when pushed hard.
They are still great skis to ski free but they lack some of the pop - if you want/need it.

I can also imagine that for some less aggressive skier who finds the 21+ radius a challenge such a softer ski would be a good or even better choice.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by checkracer
Afaik, it´s the case with DH skis which need a year to be broken in and become really fast. If used in races only they keep their excellent properties for years and getting slightly softer they can even become faster...
Ha! Sadly enough I never got to experience this. As a poor ski bum/racer I only ever had one pair at any given time and I always managed to bend my DH boards ...
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy
ssh

So>>>> Where does all the Pop go????

CalG
It goes in shredded fibers....shredded wood core fibers, shredded glass and carbon. Take a brand new ski and flex it hard and you can hear the process beginning. Then think what a slope of icy moguls will do.

A lot of people think lack of camber is a good measure of a broken down ski. In my experience it is of little consequence...modern skis hardly have any camber to start with, and it only matters when running a flat ski. (Bent tips are another story). To me it is the broken down torsional rigidity which marks the decline of a ski.
post #14 of 16
Since I'm a light guy (135lbs), I prefer my boards to be broken down some before racing them, wich explains why I like Rossi . This is especially true in GS since I don't ski anything shorter than 185 (radius > 21), so I need a ski that can bend in order to accomodate my style of skiing*. Slalom I prefer something that has seen very little race use and I don't train on the same pair that I race on: race skis become training skis the next season, since slalom can really obliterate boards.*At least that's why I keep telling myself in the off-season to validate the purchase of used boards instead of new ones . In fact, as far as I can remember, I've never had new skis, not even as a child.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
Ha! Sadly enough I never got to experience this. As a poor ski bum/racer I only ever had one pair at any given time and I always managed to bend my DH boards ...
Who said I did? Unfortunately, it´s just a piece of knowledge I have from the luckier (better) ones or their servicemen.

Just one more point. The loss of stiffness and softer flex (which, as stated earlier, might sometimes be a benefit) also mean the loss of dampening qualities - which definitely is a drawback.
post #16 of 16
The most obvious manifestation I have ever seen of this was the original Dynastar Course Slalom (the gold one with the red plastic heart on the tip). After approx 50 days they just completely gave up the ghost with no edge grip. While they obviously degraded a bit over their life they just sort of fell off a cliff at the 50 day mark (most of the guys I skied with then were on the same ski and most had a similar experience).

I have never before before or since experienced such a noticeable change, you could hardly even make a stop on them!. I have to admit that I felt a little bit guilty selling them on to some unsuspecting party:
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