<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TheRockSkier:
For example, you don't have to have the latest tennis racquet to love tennis and the sensation you get when you hit the ball well do you? Same goes for ski length. Certainly, the sensations might be slightly better or different if you had the latest racquet, but what you have is great also.
It is unrealistic that every skier can afford to keep up with changes in ski tech. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Newbie here, maybe 10-12 days on snow lifetime. I had to comment once tennis came up (since that's my main sport). While the first level of "gearism" is just like in any other sport - game off the shelf, there's also a reverse thing going on in tennis - so called "player's" frames have very few bells and whistles. Anytime a manufacturer adds a feature or discontinues a previous "player's" model, there's lots of teeth gnashing and assorted other complaining. Of course, this sort of thing gets carried away, and now there's a hot market for rackets made 20 years ago from a specific factory - since the current versions of the same stick "just don't feel the same." Summary? Macho men play with sticks that are far too small and far too heavy for their abilities (though the demands of the macho stick will eventually make them get better - or get another stick).
Many even look wistfully back at the days of wood (there are even some all-wood tournies, though few and far between).
Further, there's been a trend for the last five year or so toward "comfort" or more muted feeling sticks - which makes more serious players cringe, since "feel" is what we all strive for in the first place. In fact, its a badly kept secret that the latest greatest rackets that the pros play with are usually the same thing they've always played with, only with new paint jobs (with the exception of Pete Sampras, who won't even allow paint jobs).
Basically, it boils down to casual player's needing game-improvement or 'tweener (part player part game-improvement) wands to give them enough successful sensations to want to continue playing the game.
So we continue the analogy to skiing. My girlfriend and I ski once a week at bear mountain - I'm on blues, she's almost there. Took advantage of Sport Chalet's recent blow out sale and got put in atomic 170 7.18's/solomon evolution 9.0 for me, rossignol 150 cut 10.6/solomon performa 6.0 for her. We're casual skiiers who are sick of renting - and we got away with two packages for less than $800 total. I'm exicited to take the gear out for the first time this weekend, and ashamed to admit how often I've been checking the snow reports. Makes me happy at least - and if I get really obsessed and I can always blow more money on going macho, right?
Anyway, you guys have a great (and addictive) sport. Its nice to see that gearism is alive and well in sports other than tennis, too.