Lou - it's good to see someone bringing a wealth of experience to epicski.
Yes, I'm aware that most center mount points are picked by ski testers. Continuing down that logical path, shouldn't those testers be pretty consistant in how they ski, and thus which mounting points they pick? I would assume the testers are serious skiers or pro's with a modern, well developed ski technique? Thus, even if I have a short boot sole, but I'm used to skiing on a normal mount point, shouldn't I like most skis on the normal mount point? For skis that I might like behind or ahead of the normal mount, shouldn't there be a trend for similar types of skis made by the same manufacturer? I can tell you that I like the 185cm Salomon Pocket Rocket and 188cm Gun Lab both mounted -1cm from the line, the stock mount feels to forward to me. Ditto for dynastars.
The only pair of modern Atomics I have floating around are the '07 Big Daddy....which is as far from a race ski as you can get. I measured the mounting point vs. CRS, and for my boot size, the CRS/BF mount would put me around +1 to +2cm off the line, roughly. For the average tester with a 27 or 28 mondo boot, they would be almost exactly at CRS/BF.....which I find quite interesting.
I've been following the feedback on the new '07 BD over on TGR, and the advice over there seems to be to mount back from the line, around -2cm. This is coming from someone who has skied and tele'd almost every different version of the BD, with various mount points. The feeling was that the tip of the ski is too soft for that mount point, and wanted to fold up too easily....even at slower speeds. I certainly don't want a ski that I feel like I'm about to go over the bars on all the time.....or any time for that matter.
Compared with the older skis, the '07 BD is mounted the same distance from the tail, but is 190cm vs. 193cm. 845mm for the '07, and also the '05 and '06 models which are 193cm. However, the even older plated version, '04 and previous, is mounted further back, at 828mm. Now, why did they do this? Well, I'm going to guess it's because the softened the tips for '05, and that overall people got used to skiing on skis that were more foward mounted. The '07 took this even further, moving up the mount relatively forward, while making a narrower tail and soft tip to keep the tips floating.
Even though I'm going to be skiing these in tight east coast trees, I'm still leary of mounting on the line, and will probably go back at least -1cm, but probably -2cm. I have no problems turning big skis, and I'd rather have something that I don't have to excessively lean back on when charging variable snow...I do not want any sort of sensation of being too forward on the ski or that I'm about to go over the bars.
What do you think?
Also, I was wondering what you thought of true turntable bindings (like Look P18's), and how they effect ski flex, ie. softening the tail? Given how they effect ski flex, do you have a general recommendation on shifting a mount point forward or back to accomdate this?