Originally Posted by Ron White
A lot depends on the length of the ski, compared to the weight of the skier. ...
That follows my experience. In the mid-80's I had a pair of the proto-type, race-room (black/grey) Rossi 4's (I believe that Authier made them for Rossi). They were stiff, lousy in the bumps, but held ice really well over the years and for countless ski days. Each year I demoed many new skis and deemed them inferior. Then, one day I tried a regular pair of Rossi 7S's and realized that the 4's had passed their prime. Was it the 4's wear or the improved technology of the 7S's? I don't know, but in one run I knew to my bones that the newer ski was better. This experience has been repeated many times since, but I can usually ski wood core skis at least 100 days before bending or core-shotting them. (Full disclosure: You don't want to buy skis from me, as most have become junk.)
There again, perhaps there was once a bullet-proof ski manufactured. Most seasons I usually see more than one person on an old pair of Olin Mark IV's, which are circa 1984. The owners ski well and seem happy with them.