There have been a bunch of generalizations made about "fat" skis here. They are all long. They are all stiff. They are all soft. Etc. The truth is that fat ski designs are evolving at a rapid pace and even limiting the discussion to conventional shapes, people are playing with all kinds of length and flex and taper and radius variations. My "fat" skis range in radius from about 12m to about 20m. And taper ranges from about 10mm to 30mm. Length from about 160 to 183. You get the idea...
I fully expect that as they evolve, fatter skis will rapidly demonstrate far greater versatility than conventional midfats...
Originally Posted by Atomicman
exactly and I say that is absolute BS!!!! A 63-84mm waisted ski wil ski circles around 100+mm fat board on the groomed. and many skis narrower then 100mm waist, let's say 70mm to 85mm absolutely ski powder well. Are you going to ski pow on a 63mm slalom race ski and enjoy it, no, but you cannot lay down the kinda of turns on the groomed on a big fattie compared to that slaom ski either!
I suppose if you are in the Chugach range in AK thye have their place, but it sure as hell is not on the groomed runs of most resorts!
Big Fatties 100mm + are sort of good for powder (if you want to completly float on top of it).
I, and many other skiers, do not care if a 68 or 70 waisted ski can outperform a fatter ski under specific circumstances. Especially if we prefer to have the whole mountain available to us. And without getting a PhD in race technique. The truth is that many of the newer fat skis do "well enough" on groomers to be darn good fun - and are not that hard to carve given typical conditions here in the PNW. And for most of us, they make a dramatic difference in performance in deep or uneven snow.
Yesterday at Stevens, there was a ton of crusty wind buff (especially front side) and the groomers were cut up. But there were pockets of deeper variable windblown off piste. By 11:00 or noon, almost everyone on skis skinnier than 90 had packed it in. And those remaining were largely struggling on cutup groomers. Folks on fatter skis did not seem any worse off on the groomers. Off piste, however, was strictly the domain of fatter skis. I truly do not recall seeing much of anything under 90 or so off piste (Apache Chiefs, Guns, PRs, Seths, assorted other fat twins, etc., were spotted) - as well as a number of fat snowboards. From the lifts, you could see the vast majority of people on midfats who hopped off piste suffered miserably before ducking back onto the groomed. On the other hand, fatties let us find and take advantage of things like:
about 1:00 PM, we found this moments from a lift & lapped it 3 times...
(and yes, those are 160mm shovels on a 110 waisted ski
Even the fatties could sink & bog down some - but at least they'd surface again...
on the other hand, maybe everyone should strive for the bliss of carving 68s and leave those poor schlubs on fatties to their terrible fate
|But, fatter ski also open up al lot more terrain to lesser skiers that would have never ventured off-piste on a narrower ski in the past.
one of those "lesser" skiers. And I make no apologies for being fond of tools that let me access more terrain and let me feel that "flying" feeling in deep snow off the groomed. And even if I were not "lesser" - I suspect I'd still prefer relatively fat skis. Maybe I am interpreting it wrong, but the tone of your statement strikes me as pretty parochial and elitist. If the industry and ski areas were so conservative as to take this approach, there would not be a ski industry. Imagine the ticket window discussion - "I'm sorry, you are not good enough and cool enough on 210 straight skis to ski at our area...". Or - "no, you may not use those skis with sidecut at our elitist resort...". Sheesh...
Once again, I'm not saying thinner skis can't be fun. Or telling anyone to avoid using them. And I know my buddy Bob can use his "skinny" skis places where I'll struggle on any ski. But let's not create a false negative mythology about those fat boys. Especially as they continue to evolve...
oops - should I have done this on that "other" thread???