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Wider Not Always Better than Narrow

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
As I was using my new skis for the second time last weekend, it dawned on me that since the turn radius and length of these and my other skis were nearly identical, I could perform a little wide vs. narrow test (maybe more like medium versus narrow).

The weapons:
*04/05 Atomic Metron M:11's 162cm 12m radius 76mm underfoot
*04/05 Fischer SC 160cm 12m radius 66mm underfoot

The conditions at Belleayre (NY) were a couple of inches of fresh wet snow on top of a pliable base. Some corn, some mashed, some crud; generally great spring conditions as the snow was soft but hard enough to carve and there were some great soft bump trails.

I started off on the Fischer's and then switched to the Metrons after a couple of hours. I know this sounds crazy, but the Metrons felt slow/hard to turn compared to the Fischer's. For those that don't know, the Metron's are usually correctly termed a "turny" ski. There's just something about the edge-to-edge quickness of a narrow ski that can't be duplicated. (Yes, I do know how to carve turns correctly.) Better for zipperlines as well.

That being said, the Metrons are still very competent and turny and would be my choice for a one quiver EC/WC ski. Though, the Fischer's could do the job for a one quiver EC ski South of Northern VT. It just makes me hesitate when I here about all these 85% EC skiers buying 85mm skis.
post #2 of 17
doesn't surprise me one bit...both 12 m radius skis. Of course, you're going to be flailed for attacking two sacred cows, Metrons and fat skis.
post #3 of 17
Gotta love those SCs
post #4 of 17
There are other differences between those two skis besides width, namely, flex and swing weight. A lot of what you are feeling could be attributed to those things.

YOT
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungOldTimer
....swing weight. A lot of what you are feeling could be attributed to those things.
I'm not buying the swing weight theory. The assertion here was "carving". If carving, swing weight should not matter a whole heck of a lot within normal ski weights and surface conditions.
post #6 of 17
This "news" comes as no suprise. And the Metron is neither a fat nor midfat ski.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
I'm not buying the swing weight theory. The assertion here was "carving". If carving, swing weight should not matter a whole heck of a lot within normal ski weights and surface conditions.
If he was reporting exclusively on the carving performance of the two different skis, I would agree completely with you, but I don't think he asserted this.

While he did say, "as the snow was soft but hard enough to carve", and "Yes, I do know how to carve turns correctly", he also mentioned zipperlines and soft snow.

Since he didn't explicitly say that his report on the ski was based only on when he was using it to carve, and since for most people, the vast majority of their turns are skarved or smeared, I would bet you that his, and most people's, impression of a ski's performance is an overall feeling, not just their impression of the skis while doing pure carves.

Heck, even people who think they are carving well enough to post pictures of themselves for MA often show buckets of snow flying sideways out from under the tails of their skis in the bottom of turns, so you know they are not carving even when they are trying hard to do just that.

Since he presumably is still around, let's just ask him.

YOT
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Carving with maybe some light scarving. Hard to tell exactly unless someone has a video camera on you. I generally put down rr tracks with occasional evidence of spray in some spots depending on the tightness of the turns - shorter always have a higher steering component.

I did mention bumps only for comparisons sake where the Fischer's are better. I don't even try to carve on bumps - that messed up my bump skiing for a whole season.
post #9 of 17
Interesting. Thanks.

So ...as he drops back five and punts ... what's the difference in flex between those two types of skis?

YOT
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Fischer's are stiffer but not dramatically so. Biggest difference is that the edges really seem to bite in more on the Fischer's (binding height doesn't seem much different - higher ski w/ smaller plate vs lower ski w/ higher plate). Guess I'll have to wait until next year to test that theory on the hardpack - again, the Metrons are no slouchers there either.

TakeControl - What would you consider them? My old Atomic 9.22's were considered midfats at the time and they were 70 something at the boot and much less in the tips and tails. There's a lot of surface area on them and they ski powder FAR better than the 9.22's.
post #11 of 17
Unclear about relationship between flex and subjective sense of "energy," but I'd bet that the big difference you feel is attributable to narrower skis having more "pop" in the second half of the turn. Dunno why (engineers?), but other Epic threads mention this, as well as greater control over the carve.
post #12 of 17
I was out in some corn at Sunday River, I found the narrower skis were getting sucked in, where my slush puppies (FB's) would go over everything. Sorry, I will still err of the wide side.
post #13 of 17
Wow - so many variables involved here that you really can't take anything away from this observation other than "goldsbar prefers the carving feel of his Fischers over his Atomics in the particular conditions of that day".
post #14 of 17
5 years ago, 76mm would've been considered midfat. Things change. That's a carving ski now, with some benefits in the crud and bumps.
post #15 of 17
Both are great skis. The narrower ones will certainly be faster edge-to-edge. The feel is different, and personal preference plays in here.

There is no panacea in skis or anywhere else. The SC is a great ski out here, too (I skied bong's last week and they were a lot of fun!).
post #16 of 17
goldsbar,

Anyone who questions the superiority of the Fischer SC over the Metrons in short, fast SL turns, needs to get their skills checked. Comparing a SL specialist with a "Jack of all trades, but master of none" in short, fast turns is simply not a fair comparison. You felt exactly what you should be feeling.

I switch between my midfat and SL skis all the time and the difference is clear as daylight.
post #17 of 17
66-70 as a carver, 74-82 as an all mountain, 87-95 as a powder/resort ski seems to work best. Can they perform well in the other catagories? Yes. Will they perform as well? No. All things being equal a 80mm ski won't be as quick as a 69mm ski. Period.
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