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A lively ski?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have seen in many places that a ski is advertised as being lively. What exactly is meant by this?
post #2 of 23
In lay terms, I believe its the "pop" you feel at the end of a turn.
post #3 of 23
"Lively" can relate to a couple of qualities of a ski, but as Gobucks said it usually refers to the kick you get from the ski at the end of the turn, which is generally a function of a stiffer tail. Some skis you can put into a turn and they will literally launch you into the next one (think Bode Miller in a slalom course), and others will not give you any push at all but instead come out smoothly. I shy away from "lively" skis and would rather have one that lays there on the snow until I make it do something, but others consider it an essential quality. It is really a matter of personal preference.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobucks
In lay terms, I believe its the "pop" you feel at the end of a turn.
I completely disagree - that's not how most of us define "lively" on this board.

A lively ski is one that transmits much more of the snow "feel" and terrain to the driver. The opposite is a damp ski that "absorbs" more of the vibration and terrain changes without impacting the driver as much. Think of lively as a high end sports car with a tight suspension (lots of road feel) whereas a damp ski is more like a luxury sport coupe or sedan.

Pop on the other hand refers to the amount of energy a ski will return to the driver depending on how much energy was put into the ski during the turn. Generally skis with a stiffer flex pattern provide more pop than softer more forgiving skis, but this really depends on how that flex pattern is tuned down the length of the ski.

BTW - Ron LeMaster's book "201 Essential Things Every Skier Should Know" does a great job defining these ski feel terms we throw around on this board. It might be worthwhile to build and include our own "Glossary" of ski terms in the FAQ for the gear section.
post #5 of 23
Noodler, If I understand your post correctly then you are saying that "lively' is the opposite of "damp," which I don't think that I completely agree with. If a ski is not damp then it will certainly feel alive because it will be more chattery and nervous, but "lively" to me has always meant a ski that pushes back as opposed to one that doesn't, which relates more to flex than dampness or lack thereof.

You are talking about feel and I am talking about the way the ski reacts, which are not the same thing (but both componets of "lively"). It may be contrary to how most of the members here define it, but I would say that Bode Miller skis on skis that are very damp and very lively, which are opposites that could not coexist in the same ski under your definition.

The funny thing is, I have a feeling that you and I would completely agree if a particular ski was lively if we both tried it.
post #6 of 23
agreed.

"lively" in the extreme = nervous, skittery, unstable. lively skis feel like they have an inherent Tweaker personality.

generally it's the opposite of damp.

tail pop/kick: POWER, not liveliness. and to some extent it also determines forgiveness... more tail pop/kick/power, less forgiving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler
I completely disagree - that's not how most of us define "lively" on this board.

A lively ski is one that transmits much more of the snow "feel" and terrain to the driver. The opposite is a damp ski that "absorbs" more of the vibration and terrain changes without impacting the driver as much. Think of lively as a high end sports car with a tight suspension (lots of road feel) whereas a damp ski is more like a luxury sport coupe or sedan.

Pop on the other hand refers to the amount of energy a ski will return to the driver depending on how much energy was put into the ski during the turn. Generally skis with a stiffer flex pattern provide more pop than softer more forgiving skis, but this really depends on how that flex pattern is tuned down the length of the ski.

BTW - Ron LeMaster's book "201 Essential Things Every Skier Should Know" does a great job defining these ski feel terms we throw around on this board. It might be worthwhile to build and include our own "Glossary" of ski terms in the FAQ for the gear section.
post #7 of 23
If you guys are right, then "lively" is a totally negative quality, which is not how I have always understood it.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
If you guys are right, then "lively" is a totally negative quality, which is not how I have always understood it.
I agree.

In my mind: lively = energetic = rebound
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
"lively" in the extreme = nervous, skittery, unstable. lively skis feel like they have an inherent Tweaker personality.

generally it's the opposite of damp.
A couple of examples to the contrary: The RX 8 and Dynastar's SkiCross 10.

Both very lively in terms of energy and rebound. Neither have a damp feel to them, but you'll never hear them described as unstable at pretty much any speed.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
If you guys are right, then "lively" is a totally negative quality, which is not how I have always understood it.
I disagree.

analogy: race cars have very small turning radii at the wheel. their steering can be described as quite nervous and lively, because the more gross-scale moves that we use in passenger car driving would send the car into a multispin. at the same time, the steering feel of a race car is NOT negative, degraded, inferior.

finesse skiers who ski with a very light touch probably would find lively skis more to their taste.

liveliness is more a matter of taste, and less a matter of "high performance or not".
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13
A couple of examples to the contrary: The RX 8 and Dynastar's SkiCross 10.

Both very lively in terms of energy and rebound. Neither have a damp feel to them, but you'll never hear them described as unstable at pretty much any speed.
lively ski with small sweet spot: unstable under all but the best of techniques.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
lively ski with small sweet spot: unstable under all but the best of techniques.
You're 1 out of 2 in that analogy. True for the SC 10, but the simple fact I can ski the RX 8 proves it has a huge sweet spot.
post #13 of 23
Maybe from the original poster's perspective it means: a lively ski could have power OR road feel - try to read between the lines and draw inferences accordingly.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyro
Maybe from the original poster's perspective it means: a lively ski could have power OR road feel - try to read between the lines and draw inferences accordingly.
or both!

all the power and feel in the world won't matter if you aren't able to stand on the sweet spot, though!
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach13
You're 1 out of 2 in that analogy. True for the SC 10, but the simple fact I can ski the RX 8 proves it has a huge sweet spot.
that's what I said about the WC SC.:
post #16 of 23
I think this thread is a prime example of why it would benefit EpicSki to have a glossary to define ski terms used to describe their characteristics.

I went back to the Ron LeMaster book this morning and found that Ron actually implies that "lively" refers more to ski rebound than to ski feel on snow. I'm not sure I agree with this, but I can now see where the confusion could definitely creep into conversations regarding skis.

I'll talk to ssh and HeluvaSkier and see if we can't come up with something that everyone mostly agrees on and then post it as part of the FAQ.
post #17 of 23
I agree, Noodler.

might be good to qualify "lively" -- in relation to what feature of a ski? stability? power? energy? sweet spot size?
post #18 of 23
I was thinking we could even develop a ski review "template" and post it sticky at the top of the Gear Review forum. That might lead to more consistent information being put into the consumer level reviews we all submit.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
lively skis feel like they have an inherent Tweaker personality.
that thar's a keeper.

would a, say, more laid-back ski feel like it's right outta the humboldt woods?
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan
that thar's a keeper.

would a, say, more laid-back ski feel like it's right outta the humboldt woods?
yup, but you'd have to imagine that the woods have turned the ski into a sort of The Hulk/Tommy Chong hybrid. don't get the Humboldt ski into dangerous terrain, it gets much stronger and more powerful and indomitable.
post #21 of 23
To me lively describes a ski that is not very damp. A lively ski can have a huge sweet spot and be quite stable as well.

For example Elan is well known to make lively skis that "stick" to the snow - as many reviewers say. The HCX Hyper and the old M662 fit that description very well.

To me Lively = Lotsa feedback.
post #22 of 23
lively- Alive -quick- as opposed to dead.
It moves easily, turns easily and quickly, has rebound. As opposed to a big lump of lead.

Livelyness and stability often result from different properties of the materials. Materials put in to kill unwanted movement (vibrations, uncontrolled oscilations) often dampen the wanted movements too, but not always. Skis are much better designed in this respect.

Lively and stable at most speeds- Fischer RX8
Very stable, but dead at less than 30 mph - Kästle SG skis.
Lively at all speeds, but not stable at 50+ mph Salomon Equipe 10 SC.
post #23 of 23
Ghost, I'm with you on those descriptions.

Of all the skis I've owned or spent demo time on, the most "lively" of all was the Salomon X-Scream Series, followed by the Salomon SuperAxe Series 2V.

some skis feel lively only when you're on their sweet spot. the '00 Volkl Vertigo G30 springs to mind here.
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