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Trend towards wider skis- marketing hype? - Page 4

post #91 of 95
aside from the obvious "narrow skis are quicker" mindset, the argument is moot as a good skier on fatties will crush a mediocre skier on skinnies(and vice versa), when people ask me for a "quick" ski i ask "how fast can you move your feet?"

how fast is your bike? how fast can you pedal?
post #92 of 95

Getting fat....or not

I think we have to start with the premise that every ski dimension (length, width, sidecut, stiffness, torsional rigidity, etc.) is a compromise. Back before I switched to tele, I had a pair of 205cm Salomon 9000 GS skis. They would carve GS turns, but anything shorter would be skidded, not carved. They were stiff and narrow, optimized for wide radius turns at speed, good for groomed cruisers and OK for slashing through crudded up powder, but not so good for other conditions, especially moguls. Nevertheless, they were fun.

Now, even though I live back east, most of my skiing days are in Utah, and my current skis are about 180 cm by 130-98-120mm. They are fairly stiff, but with adequate width to float wonderfully in deep powder. The stiffness lets them blast through crud, and when I want, I can crank a carved p-turn or two when I get tired of dropping a knee on the run-outs. Again, however, these skis are a compromise. They are really not ideal for tight, icy moguls or the tight trees of MRG. If I spent a lot of time doing that type of skiing, I would consider a narrow-waisted, ski in the 175 cm range. Then there are snow-blades, which take the short-radius twitchy ski to an extreme.

At the other extreme are the backcountry skiers who prefer skis optimized to bottomless powder and who have the leg strength of a solid athlete. I have a friend who has skis that have a 130mm waist, skis 90% backcountry, and is very strong. He can handle them in-bounds, but that is not their strong point. Even further out the curve are skis like Spatulas, which have the inverted camber of a waterski, and pretty much the same width. These are pretty much useless on anything other than deep powder.

Then, there are the designers who have developed asymmetrical skis. The most extreme are the ScottyBobs, where the inside edge of each ski is a good 15" longer than the outside edge. G3 also makes an asymmetrical ski. I have tried the G3 reverend, and found it to be a surprisingly nimble performer.

I won't even go into the issue of weight and durability, foam-core vs. wood core. This may make a big difference for a backcountry touring ski.

All of these designs are attempts to optimize for one set of performance characteristics or another. It is hard to say which is better in the abstract. Everyone has to decide what they want to do with their skis, and buy accordingly.
post #93 of 95
Originally Posted by X-EastCoaster
Tom, if I were going <20 mph sure a skinnier ski would be fine....but I go much faster....have you ever skied the Legend Pro? any stiffish fat ski? If you have and you can ski them then you are probably a fairly good skier. I ski them because they give me a higher level of control in variable conditions....same reason Bode doesn't ski the same ski in the downhill that he skis in the slalom...because the slalom sticks would crumble under him in the DH....but which one takes more skill to turn??

If you are good and can ski a stiffer fat ski and make it snap turns on the groomers, why on Earth would you want a narrow ski? Have you ever gone 40mph+ in powder? Have you ever straightlined a 5' wide 40 ft long 45 deg chute to a chopped runout? Have you ever gone super fast in chop on a stiff, damp fat ski that you can still rail on the groomers? If you had then you would know...but until you do then you will never get it...

....yeah, an indy car is just a crutch so bad drivers can drive fast...

...no offense
Yeah... the fat skis do make these tasks much more accessible for the average skier. I too enjoy a fat straighter ski in the conditions you describe. However, people were doing this stuff on chop stix 20 years ago. Granted, straight skis were more difficult and less people were into straight lining at 40+ mph but some "good" skiers still got the job done.

The same people saying a skinny ski is a crutch for groomers could be accused of using a fat ski is a crutch for off piste skiing. There are a lot of "good" skiers skiing on/off piste on ski's less than 90mm. And, IMO of course, you ain't gonna rail 90mm+ fatty's like a 65mm-70mm skinny ski on the grommers no matter how good you think you are.

post #94 of 95
Originally Posted by X-EastCoaster
Check, Check & Check....that's groomers with my Big Daddys on

Seriously though...if you can angulate a stiffer fat ski enough (aka if you are a strong enough skier) they will make some pretty high quality arcs on the groomers at warp factor speeds...and really that is all we care about because we just use groomers to get back to the lift as soon as possible...

....I used to think EXACTLY like some of you folk....then I got used to fatter skis and I will never go back because when I do the skinny little sticks are plan old too easy and get knocked around too much to go fast in uneven terrain (and really aren't groomers pretty much uneven by 10am)...I use iM85s for really hard days but I now find myself using them less and less in favor of my Legend Pros (the most versatile ski on the planet btw)...

....different strokes for different folks though...it's all good in my book....but if one more old timer points at my skis and quips some retarded comment like "what's it like skiing on 2 snowboards" I'm going to follow him down the hill and spray snow at him with every turn : ...
I will say that I have tried to ski with X EastCoaster, he is the man who could do it. You don't want to mess with him.
post #95 of 95
Most people here are refering to themselves, their skis, and their abilities - as good, very good, or excellent skiers. We all have quivers, and we're all fanatics.

Originally, wasn't the topic about the direction of the "market" - i.e. all those intermediate folks out there who fill the chairlifts?

Those are the one's I've referred to; the one's who flail about on big skis that calmly ignore their riders.

As for the people on this board, I've no doubt that 90% could run slalom gates on Sumos.
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