I have heard that some manufacturers adjust the sidecut in their skis to keep the turn radius the same no matter how long they are, and others just let the turn radius change as the ski lengthens. At least that's what several dealers told me. How odd. Seems like the industry would be served well if they standardized this, to avoid customer confusion.
I have 154s. Thus the short turn radius of 12.3. So I guess the question is, which is better, my ski with a short turn radius, or another ski with a short turn radius.
I can carve just fine when the turn is wider than that, but I skid in the gates when the turns are short. On a blue or black slope freeskiing, I can sometimes carve very tight turns and feel the rebound and keep the skis on the ground and just keep going, slicing through the hardpack, but other times I can't do it at all. I'm not able to do it on a race course yet. Not enough hours practicing. So, if it's maybe my technique, then I'd rather wait (save money) and see if I can get myself to initiate those turns earlier and more effectively on the skis I've got. But if it sounds like the ski itself is holding me back, then I'll be looking for USED skis at a nice reasonable price, not new ones. My budget just doesn't look that generous at this time.
Last year at a local swap I saw something labelled "race skis" for $279.00, used only 5 times. I remember the bindings were raised, the graphics looked recent, and the skis were long. I don't know if they were race stock, or the "friendly" race skis we are talking about, but this season I'll know more about what I'm looking at. I would rather spend less, but don't know if that is possible.