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Short skis, slalom skis- any thoughts BetaRacer?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Can a short slalom ski provide inherant short turn versatility for a non-racer, who skis the whole mountain? I ask this question particularily in regard to the new Atomic 9.12 Betarace. This ski is, I believe, 115-65-100. Would the broad front shovel and the absence of a truly narrow waist provide aggressive short turn ability while simultaneously permitting satisfactory performance in crud and perhaps even powder? I ask because, although I am certainly no racer, I ski endless short turns, on and off groomed, down the bumps, through the trees and into the steep and narrow. (I previously used ModX 181cm, but despite the ski's overall excellence, endless short turns were hard work and missed short ski manoevrebility). What is your opinion? I'm 51yrs, 5'9", 160lb and ski difficult terrain, but not necessarily with aplomb.Thanks.

post #2 of 4
I also will be interested in the answer to this question. My Rossi T-Power Cobra X in 160 cm is a truly great ski - except in deeper snow. It's 103-65-93, and I'm wondering what difference the broader shovel and greater taper angle of the Atomics might make.
post #3 of 4
65cm is still a bit narrow for powder but it can be done. Just a bit more speed required. I read an informed opinion about shaped ski myth having more floatation. The argument was The shaped ski has about the same sq. cm's as its counterpart straight ski of 15 cm longer. Therefore there is the same square "footage" so to speak and therefore ssame floatation. let's take this argument further from the sublime to the ridiculous just for fun.: Using this argument, let's make a ski which is 3cm's wide (about one inch) and stretch the ski as long as it takes to aquire the same sq cm's of a decent powder ski. According to this line of thinking this new ski should float in powder as well as the powder ski. Maybe my understanding of the law of physics is way off, but I think that new ski would sink like a rock in powder! Do I hear an Amen?
Yes a narrower ski would float ok but it would take more speed to keep it up on top. I think the width of the shape ski is what does it, contrary to the informed opinion I read a while back. We need the sideways sq cm's for floatation in powder not length of cm's. i.e. placement is important. Bad analogy here, but it's like a bare foot water skier at high speed is a bare-footed water skier until he slows donw. Then he becomes a bare-footed swimmer! (or diver)
These Atomics should be fine in short turns. I must admit my ModX's are incredible in the short turn as well as carves. Are these the Atomics with the 17mm riser plate? Thisis great for edge pressure but the higher you get the slower it will be from one edge back to the other.
Here's a question to consider, and one which I don't have the answer to (perhaps we can all figure it out together). In powder the skis tend to go into a reverse camber or curve. The wide shovels (tips) float up but the narrow waist might just plow through. This may cause you to slow down. whereas speed in powder is one's least concerns it still is nice to scoot a bit. Perhaps a ski wider at the waist and a bit stiffer would be the ticket? A MOD X Pro or Bandit XX or XXX? K2 had a great powder ski called the Explorer 2yrs. ago. I wonder if they have something like that out now. Bob

Life's a pain... then you nap. Cat philosphy
post #4 of 4
It is up to the pilot to determine if a ski will work for intended conditions. That said, there is no reason why the BetaRace 9.12 will not work in softer snow. I use my Race 9.16 everywhere, and though they aren't the right skis for powder, I can ski them there. I use 180cm 9.16s, which are 10cm longer than optimal for racing.

A ski that we have had great feedback from, including some top level instructors and coaches, are the SmartZone and the SmartZone PC. When designed originally, they were intended as an intermediate skis. The PC (powerchannel) is the stiffer version, and a blast in all conditions other than very aggressive skiing. A 16meter turn radius with a 70mm waist makes for easy carving and great float.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Short skis, slalom skis- any thoughts BetaRacer?