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How much shorter and fatter?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Anyone out there having stability issues with their short AM's? Reading about how excellent B-5's, Nordicas etc. are at at WC slalom lengths makes me wonder how much shorter we can go before the tradeoffs get weird.

Tradeoffs: Less and less forgiveness in fore/aft balance, tails that refuse sliding into a new radius mid-turn, thus less capability in bumps, trees, or any other natural object that intrudes on our medium to long radius troughs.

Tests seem to be saying as much; almost all the top reviewed expert skis this year, whatever mag, are praised for long radius chops, stability at speed, energy. Over and over. Literally could only find mention of bumps, short turns, or quick maneuvers in intermediate ("sport") models. In fact, we're specifically warned off bumps or low speeds for many "award-winning" AME and AMP models.

Apparent conclusion: Experts are defined by long fast turns on predictable slopes. Hmmm. Guess experts don't ski in Vermont much, or at places like Aspen Mountain or Taos, or through the bottom third of nearly any inbounds bowl in existence that devolves into sawtooth bumps and ruts in the trees. Maybe tag teams of intermediates on on old K2's take over.

Not saying you can't ski icy bumps or trees on a Top Fuel or a B-5. I do them on my 6*. But I have a different conclusion: Ski resorts are supported by aging intermediates and snowboarders, both of whom like groomed. So ski resorts increasingly iron out the bumps, turn ever steeper runs into corduroy so intermediates can believe they're handling black diamonds, so boarders can scrape pack into glaze way up the mountain. We all see this.

What to do with better skiers? Shunt them off to the parts of the backside not also packaged for intermediates/boarders - noticed how Vail is increasing its groomed acreage in the back bowls every year? - or just make groomed sexy. Manufacturers help by creating skis optimized to carve at Mach 1, mags say that's what experts want, and we're all happy. I guess...
post #2 of 6
Nice rant.
post #3 of 6
Have you met mtbakerskier?
post #4 of 6
It's true... The Man's ultimate goal is to take all the fun and enjoyment out of life so that man kind is dumbed down to mediocrity. Within a few seasons all skis will be designed for intermediate skill levels, unless you ski on skis that have a waist over 100mm. Then you will be banned from ski areas and have to hike for your turns, but that will be okay with you because you won't be supporting corporate america. Another reason this won't bother you is because moguls, tree skiing, and any other ungroomed terrain is already in the process of being outlawed by a mass of brainwashed intermediate skiers with thick wallets and diversified portfolios. True expert skiing will now be relegated to soft carpet-like groomers, that are groomed 5 times a day to ensure that no skier has to encounter any type of terrain feature.

Now that I have set the drag... the wait begins.


post #5 of 6
You forgot to mention that the runs will be 500m wide.

I think they are catering to the young speed freaks who don't have the patience to learn how to ski well before they can ski fast...and trying to broaden the base of support beyond the physically gifted, so that even a clutz can enjoy skiing and will spend money at the resort. People don't generally enjoy falling down.
post #6 of 6
I agree. I went too far when I got my first pair of Metron 11's. I go the 162's..too short. The 172's...much better. So yes, you can go too far.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › How much shorter and fatter?