Originally Posted by Head first
To be perfectly honest I've never taken a tape measure and verified it. Next week I'm at Lake Louise, I think I'll give it a measure and report back. I think I can, but we'll see.
I don't know if I should even dignify Highway Star with a response. You don't even know who I am. How can you assume to know whether I can carve a turn or not? I could defend myself, but I am not going to waste my breath.
Well then, please out yourself. If you're a top-top instructor, then maybe we have something to discuss.....but it's sounding like you're the one who should be doing the listening here....I take instructors to school here all the time, you are not the first.....I've be screaming bloodly murder about sidecut and waist width around here for 2+ years, and opinions have changed.
What you describe about weighting the rear of the ski to get a longer turn doesn't really hold much water.
Yes, I fully understand that sidecuts have variable shape and different radii through the length of the ski....we just don't typically go into that level of detail when discussing sidecut depth. My powder skis have a roughly 40m sidecut in the tip and 100m sidecut in the tail (mucho taper), so yes, I could carve a very long turn off the tail that would be longer than the listed nominal sidecut (40m).
However, on a normal ski with a roughly symmetric sidecut shape, riding the tail isn't going to get you a signifigantly bigger turn....and certainly not out to any size you want, especially on SL skis. Assuming you're making a real turn with at least 30 degrees of angulation, you're still going to be scribing an arc that's smaller than the sidecut radius........otherwise you're scarving.
Simply riding the sidecut with virtually no angulation is going to get you the biggest arc....and you can weight front, center or rear all you want, but it's not very good turning, and it's kind of lame.
Fact of the matter is, once you take a 12m ski and start getting it up to speed, it becomes extremely easy to start over skiing the sidecut. Above 30 mph, the combination of speed, body angulation and required turn shape will cause everything to fall apart, and you'll be scarving down the hill.
The shortest radius ski I own is 19m....and I start overskiing the sidecut at around 35-40 mph. They straightline comfortably up to around 50+ mph, but they won't carve at that speed. A 25m ski is much better if you are going to be spending alot of time in the 30-45 mph window, and a 35m ski is best in the 35 to 60 mph range. I own multiple pairs of freeskiing midfat and fat skis with radii from 22m to 35m, and powder skis with 40m+ sidecuts. Not to mention DH and SG skis. SL skis are virtually useless to me.
At the end of the day, it feels alot better to take a large radius ski and bend it into a tighter arc, than deal with a tight sidecut that is too easily overskied. That's why I say you should be chosing a sidecut radius based mainly on how fast you are intending to ski. If you spend most of your time on flat groomers below 30 mph, then a 12m ski is fine. But if you're an aggressive skier who hits 40-50 mph fairly often, a 20-25m ski is going to be much better for all around freeskiing.