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Pros and Cons of wide and narrow skis??

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Can some of u guys share ur wisdom on this? I use Line twin tip and they aint narrow but I see other people with the same length as mind but atleast 50% wider I forgot the brand but those skis care chrome.....whats the benefit? I know narrow are not so good on soft stuff but I like it alot on icy surface. Would this be true for a wide ski? if so why would u want a narrower ski?

thx!
post #2 of 20
A more narrow ski will be quicker edge to edge. A wider ski possibly could resist twist better and provide a more crisp edge bite on really hard snow. Generally a wider ski will plow through crud and float in deeper snow better than a more narrow ski. So if you ski on generally smoother surfaces and like to make a lot of quick, little turns, you'll enjoy a narrower ski more than a wider ski.
post #3 of 20
IMO about every 5-6 mm in the waist of a ski changes it's charcter. Narrow waist-Short turns lower speed (Harder snow conditions). Wider waist-Open turns faster speed (softer conditions). I like a mid-fat waist with a radical sidecut creating a short raduis ski. Atomic Metrons are an example of this type of design.
post #4 of 20
I find that waist width affects edge to edge response more than anything else. In addition, the wider the waist, the less leverage you have on an edge for a given angulation/pressure. Narrower-waisted skis feel more nimble to me, and they tend to bite harder with less effort.

What's good about width -- of course it would be stability and float. Wide skis can gobble/ride crud that would destabilize narrower skis.

Both types of skis have their place. For carving on hardpack, I would choose narrow waisted skis with a radical sidecut. For crud, powder, and general all-mountain capability, I would go with a wide waist. For even more versatility, go with a wide waist + a healthy sidecut. It really provides a lot of pluses with very few negatives.
post #5 of 20
At what width roughly would you say the edge to edge response becomes noticeably slower? For example, how would a HEAD Monster 72 cope with this as it seems to be an in the middle ski for piste and off piste skiing?
post #6 of 20
for me at least
it seems like it runs in ~10mm to notice a drastic difference in the amount of time or effort it takes to get from edge to edge

ie
67-78 I noticed a difference over this range, but still not "slow" edge to edge at 78.
82-90 Surprising difference between 82 and 90.
I really think somewhere around 85-90 is where I start to notice Ive got wider skis on in terms of quick turn transitions on hardpack and off-piste performance.
Above that I cant really comment.

for reference the skis Im comparing are
67mm waisted k2 apache crossfire
78mm waisted salomon scrambler 10 hot, rossi b2, and k2 apache recon
82-85mm waisted salomon 1080 foil
85mm k2 public enemy
89mm head mojo90
90mm salomon 1080 gun

still waiting to get some some fatties 95-105mm wide
post #7 of 20
it's not waist only. it's sidecut, torsional stiffness, longitudinal stiffness.

some 90mm waist skis are easier to handle than some 65mm waist skis, for some skiers in some terrain that isn't deep pow.
post #8 of 20
64mm-70mm not much difference. Anything over 74mm in the waist I notice a difference in edge to edge response and a more stable platform. HEAD Monster 72 should be a very good all around ski. But that's just MO. In short the narrow the waist the more diligent the operator needs to be.
post #9 of 20
Great thread and addresses the question I've been wondering about recently. If you're going off-piste, say the various runs off KT at Squaw, even long after a snowstorm, are you better off on the 68mm ski or a 78mm, considering the different sorts of snow one typically encounters?
Which will handle the bumps and undulating terrain better?
post #10 of 20
Just my opinion, but I think people are putting too much emphasis in the waist measurement. To expand on what Uncle Crud said; flex, sidecut, torsional stiffness, length, mounting point and probably other things that I'm forgetting are going to have a pretty big impact. A stiff Volkl Explosiv w/ a 95mm waist holds a pretty good edge on hardpack compared to noodly 65mm waisted beginner/intermediate carver.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonFreeman
At what width roughly would you say the edge to edge response becomes noticeably slower? For example, how would a HEAD Monster 72 cope with this as it seems to be an in the middle ski for piste and off piste skiing?
It's really a relative thing -- compared to what you're used to. What are you skiing on now?

I noticed a "lag" going from 66 to 76 mm. 10mm is a big difference, even visibly. I am guessing if it was less than 4-5mm it would be harder to notice.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffW
Just my opinion, but I think people are putting too much emphasis in the waist measurement. To expand on what Uncle Crud said; flex, sidecut, torsional stiffness, length, mounting point and probably other things that I'm forgetting are going to have a pretty big impact. A stiff Volkl Explosiv w/ a 95mm waist holds a pretty good edge on hardpack compared to noodly 65mm waisted beginner/intermediate carver.

I agree, but if you held everything else equal (or factored out ski construction), the waist width would be one of the biggest factors in edge to edge response and leverage/pressure on the edge. Unfortunately, we rarely (if ever) can make such a direct and simple comparison. So you still end up dealing with overall ski feel where width is but one of many factors.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219
I agree, but if you held everything else equal (or factored out ski construction), the waist width would be one of the biggest factors in edge to edge response and leverage/pressure on the edge. Unfortunately, we rarely (if ever) can make such a direct and simple comparison. So you still end up dealing with overall ski feel where width is but one of many factors.
Yeah, I guess I just feel some people are missing out on potentially great skis for themselves by going with the "I don't want to exceed XXmm in the waist" or "I don't want anything under YYmm".
Disregarding the extremes, I think a lot of people who ski 70/30 or 60/40 groomed to off piste may find that, if they don't set an arbitrary limit on waist size, may find the right ski is wider (or narrower) than they ever would have thought.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffW
Yeah, I guess I just feel some people are missing out on potentially great skis for themselves by going with the "I don't want to exceed XXmm in the waist" or "I don't want anything under YYmm".

I agree.
post #15 of 20
Wide skis much better: in crud
: powder
: More stable
Wide ski not as fast edge to edge but edge hold can be great once on edge.
Balance is better or easier on fatter skis.
Narrower skis can use a more beefy construction and not be super heavy.
Quiver!!!!
post #16 of 20
I guess more of you need to ski the Volkl AC4. I tune my own skis. My AC4's are quicker edge to edge then my Volkl AX3's. Both skis are tuned the same. Both are 170cm long. AC4 with PCOS, AX3 with 1300 Piston. The 125mm tip really gives me a great feel on the snow. I find that I can switch the 82mm waist from edge to edge in less then the lenght of the ski, just like my P60 SL in 165cm with PCOS binding and AX3. I will go as far as saying the 165cm Pocket Rockets are as quick. For hard snow, I have skied across blue ice on the AC4 and they didn't even flintch, you could see where the two edges tracked in a arch. I tune, 1 base and 3 edge from tip to tail.

I demoed the Rossi Z9 last weekend and found it slow and hard to get it to turn at slow speeds. I believe it is 126/74/105 I skied it in 170cm. Some people like that ski. I didn't.

Like some of the others have said. A lot of different things affect how a ski feels to different people.

That why we say, Demo, Demo, Demo.
post #17 of 20
Max, Ax3 a great ski. I'm mad I sold mine. But very little side cut compared to ac4. I love my mantras very quick edge to edge but all thing equal a more narrow ski will be quicker.
But of course a fat ski can be quick.
P.S. how did you learn to tune?
post #18 of 20
I have a few friends they I have tuned for over the years. One is now at Burke Mt Acedemy. It was her tip to go with a 3 degree edge. The "not detuning" came from the kids when they were in Okemo's race program. Along with thoughts on how to get the most out of a shaped ski. I will say you need to get used to the sharp tip. If your not real good becareful, the tip is quick. You'll want to walk into this. I have recently been tuning Rossi Z9's for a young Ski Patroller, she also came from 1 or 2 years in Okemo's program and has been in college for a few years. I'm walking her into the no detuning. If your ever at Okemo and see a Patroller who looks like a Mogul Champ, that's her. I've watched her ski moguls blind folded. Amazing bump skier.

If I mess up a tune, I get instant feed back. Luckily that doesn't happen very often.
post #19 of 20
I ski alot with my Wife and Daughter. As a result, i find myself "cruising" quite a bit as they are not much into fast speeds. I spend alot of time darting in and out of the trees. Last year I was on my Crossmax 9's and demo'd a pair of 1080's. I could not believe how stable the 80mm waist for when I was just cruising. They peformed great in the trees, and could carve good enough for me. I bought a pair and have not looked back. I still have the Crossmax's, but they do not see as much action.
post #20 of 20
I am going to give an answer that everyone else hasn't given. Everyone is partially right about edge to edge quickness... but that is nothing can't go read in the Ski or Skiing buyer's guide. The issue that a wider waist presents is that it is much farther from your boot, thus much more difficult to get it up on edge to begin with. Once it is on edge, it is usually difficult to keep it there - especially on hardpack. As uncle crud mentioned, there are other factors that come into play that may make or break a ski in various conditions. Rolling a wide waist from one edge to the other can be done just as fast as any ski out there, but the issue comes in that most skier's cannot actually get a waist over 85mm up on edge. If you are looking to learn to carve or are not proficient at carving, an 80mm waisted ski isn't going to teach you unless you already know how to force a ski on its edge and use the side cut. Once the ski becomes significantly wider than the base of your boot, you start to feel the difficulty of getting the ski on edge.

We could go on for hours about the pro's and con's of each waist width, but common sense will give you most of them... Your main goal should be to figure out what qualities are important to you, and then try a range of waist sizes to see how you react to each one. You will know when you have gone too wide and need to turn back...

Later

GREG
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