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Please explain "too much ski"

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
In my quest to find the perfect ski I will demo on my next trip. I am a bit curious.... What is too much ski and how would effect the skier... I see posts related to this but I dont really understand..

I am a level 6/7 ish (hopefully an 8 after my next lesson ) and have no problem on groomed slopes....

Bumps, crud and pow are my next goals......

Why would I stay away from demoing the high end skis like for example: Volkl Allstar or an RX-9, or Ripstick,,, the list goes on....

Would these skis hinder improvement and make it more difficult or ?

Just curious,,,

Thanks

NNN
post #2 of 25
Too much ski = very small "sweetspot" - the point you have to balance on is very small, otherwise you are commanding the ski to do something.

Contrast to forgiving: errors in placing your balance point on the sweet spot are forgiven, not magnified.

Too much ski will likely hinder your development, because you will be not be able to make small balance errors without causing unwanted effects on the ski. Consequently, your desire to move will be affected -- the fundamental movements of flexion and extension will suffer. Obviously, that will hinder development.

OTOH, a ski that is too forgiving will not give you sufficient feedback to give you the complete story about your stance and balance issues. So, the "right" ski will give you feedback without punishing you. The advice to demo demo demo usually gives you a ski that feels really great, and hides all flaws. You need to look for a ski that you believe you can handle, but won't handle you - a ski you can drive that will not make you a passenger when you make an error.

Hope this helps!
post #3 of 25
Don't forget; the stiffness of the ski - requires more effort,energy to get it to perform; rebound energy - coming out of a turn or the bumps
post #4 of 25
Indeed, a ski that is "too much" will have a lower speed limit. It will not begin to perform until that speed limit is reached, and behave quite plank-like. If you can imagine doing stem turns on race stock GS skis on a beginner slope, you get the idea. Those skis will start to perform above say 30mph? Hope you like to ski at 60 mph, 'cause that's what the ski is designed to do!
post #5 of 25
There are advantages to having at least one ski that isn't "your max". For example, you will note most instructors don't go out with top-dog skis. That's because they have to go out and many times conditions and visibility aren't all that good so a less demanding ski allows you to function suitably in a wider range of conditions (as well as the lower speeds they are working at). The same is obviously true when on vacation and you can't pick the chamber-of-commerce days ... you just have to go out.

For example, while I can easily ski a B5, I went with an M11 (a notch down) just to avoid having to be attentive all the time.
post #6 of 25


or



or



or




For most people that is....
post #7 of 25
Maybe a weight training analogy might work…

Pick a dumbbell that you can easily curl - say 5lbs. What's it feel like to do one rep? Can you curl it all day without thinking about it? (Too little ski) How about 100lbs? Can you do a rep? For most people only if they swing it and put their back and legs into it. (Too much ski)

So, if you can curl 100lbs by whatever means possible, is it the right weight to train with? Yes if you want bragging rights that you can lift 100lbs. No if the real goal is to isolate and strengthen the bicep muscle. In a strongman competition, you'll be able to compete with 100lbs. In a weight lifting competition with strict rules designed to measure arm strength only, all the extraneous swinging stuff won't cut it.

There isn't a black and white answer. The ski you chose depends on your objectives, your weight, yada, yada…

I like to ski a very short SL ski (150/155). They're twitchy and don't allow a lot of room for mistakes - especially when ramping up the speed. They're highly maneuverable, yet not very stable (unless locked on edge ... when their bite is tenacious). Again, a question of objectives. Illegal by FIS standards, but fun to play with.

Too much ski - as in too long - puts more surface area on the snow and requires a lot more energy to "drive" it - especially twisting/rotary driving. A ski that is too stiff requires more energy to decamber it, which requires more weight and/or more speed to accomplish. Decambering and edging produce a tighter arc (turn).

Demo, demo, demo. What do you want your ski to do for you?
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thank you - Its now clear....

Golf analogy - Blade golf clubs - you can play with them but they are not as easy to hit as cavity backs...

I currently ski a Head IM72 @163 - (5'8/170lbs) - As my skills improve I am starting to understand my skiing style... Long arcs at fairly high speed .. I like the rush at warp speed

Although I really enjoy the Heads they are missing something. I think I would like a narrower waist to transition faster - but thats a total guess :

That in mind, I wanted to demo a "top of the line" carving ski with a 70mm or less waist - but something with some float and slow speed ability so I could cruise from time to time enjoying the view... I dont want to be "on it" 100% of the time....

The new 2007 Allstar Titaniums @ 168 are at the top of my list but I didnt want to waste my time demoing a ski that was "too much"...

Thanks again for the input
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by triplenet View Post
I think I would like a narrower waist to transition faster - but thats a total guess
The waist width has little to do with the "too much ski" issue as most people mean it. Too much ski usually means a non-forgiving ski in its class, for example a race-stock slalom ski when employed as a cruising ski is usually too much ski. The right ski might be an all-mountain ski with the same dimensions as the race stock ski. Fischer RX-8's are similar to slalom skis, for example. Wasit width is usually more closely related to the hardness of the snow you ski on. For those of us skiing on Pennsylvania Packed Powder (the kind of snow you can use the reflection from for shaving in the morning) narrower waisted skis seem to work very well, and are very quick. For those of you who are skiing deep powder and dodging tree wells, wide waist widths seem to rule. I seldom see powder, but I do have a pair of skis I like to use for fresh snow, AMC 76's wit a 76 mm waist. They still work well on firm snow, but lack the zip of the RX-8's on firm stuff.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
I agree that the waist has nothing to do with too much ski... I was responding to the question "what do you want your ski to do" ...

I see myself being on the front side 90% of the time - so a dedicated carver would be my immediate goal....

But not a ski that needs to be turning 100% of the time and has a wide speed range and some float... The Head is most of that but just not quick edge to edge.... I purchased without demo - I want to take my time now and find the right ski...

Thanks

NNN
post #11 of 25
triplenet I think youlll find as you improve your skills that the things you say about your ski are completely untrue because there isnt a ski under 85 in the waist that it slow edge to edge its just the skier who doesnt yet have the skill to make the skis do what he wants and at your current level you should be more interested in your technique.

Another way to describe a ski that is too much ski for you is that you can go down slopes on it and even maybe make turns on it but if your not doing what the ski was meant to do making the turns the ski wants to make at the speeds the ski was designed to ski at then its too much ski for you even if you dont even realize it in other words even if you paid for a lot of ski it doesnt mean you are skiing it properly and theres a lot of skiers out there who buy skis for the way they make the skier look when theyd be a lot better off learning how to turn and how to balance and how to make the right moves on the snow.
post #12 of 25

Level II+ and the sweetspot on a Fisher Race SC

Although I do not slalom race, I ski in those conditions i.e. icy, steep and short. I thought it would be more fun to get the Fisher Race SC -- then a "All Mtn Ski" (as is common here) for the small hills of Michigan -- so that I can rip alot of turns before I'm back on the lift.

Do you guys think the Fisher is too much ski for an upper level II skier? We do not have the luxury of "demo, demo, demo" of multi brands of high end skis as is common out west etc.. Thanks and sorry for thread jack.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
You need to look for a ski that you believe you can handle, but won't handle you - a ski you can drive that will not make you a passenger when you make an error.
So true

Also keep in mind that because the skis get progressively stiffer as the length increases, a top line ski in a shorter length may be just right for you, while a longer length is too much ski...it takes you for a ride. An example might be a rec slalom ski in 165 or 160 cm is good for you, but 170 or 175 cm just doesn't perform for you--all depending on your weight and energy level. The test when demoing...which ski puts the biggest smile on your face.

The best ski reviews I've seen are on Peter Keelty's techsupportforskiers.com subscription web site. Well worth $20 for anyone considering buying skis. Peter individually answers questions for subscribers.

I like narrow waisted skis just about everywhere. I like my Head Supershapes with 65 mm waist on everything from hardpack to a foot of fresh snow. I only get out my fat boys when the snow is likely drifted more than a foot deep. The narrow waisted ski makes it much easier for you to put the skis on edge every time you're skiing on a base, even if it is a soft base. Head i.XRC 800 are an excellent all-round ski for intermediates to advanced skiers. With length, go short. I got some for my wife, 156 cm, and tried them myself. I'm 6', 205#, and those skis really held an edge and were carving machines for me. Of course, not stable enough for a skier my size at speed (170s would have been just right), but great for a lighter skier and not too much for a developing skier.

Mallard, that Fischer sounds like a likely choice if you get the size that is best for you...again, think short. What is your weight and height, and do you consider yourself a hard charging skier or an easy going skier?


Ken
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mallard View Post
Although I do not slalom race, I ski in those conditions i.e. icy, steep and short. I thought it would be more fun to get the Fisher Race SC -- then a "All Mtn Ski" (as is common here) for the small hills of Michigan -- so that I can rip alot of turns before I'm back on the lift.

Do you guys think the Fisher is too much ski for an upper level II skier? We do not have the luxury of "demo, demo, demo" of multi brands of high end skis as is common out west etc.. Thanks and sorry for thread jack.
If by Level II you mean you have passed or can pass a Level II skiing test from PSIA, then you are really an American Teaching System (ATS) level 8 (dynamic parallel turns on blue and msot black terrain almost all of the time) or higher skier. If you are an ATS level 2, then you are just learning your first wedge turns. A Fischer Race ski is too much ski for a level 2 ATS skier, and not too much for a level 8 skier.
post #15 of 25

I could charge more...

Ken,

I'm 6' & 200 41yrs. Ski 40 days. Thinking of 165's, which is considerably shorter than my Nordica SUV 10's. I am comfortable on a high speed carve on the longer ski becuase when I get a little lazy or tentitive I get in the back seat a bit, but there is enough ski back there to keep things on carve and get me back on the tongues. I'm told that these "fishers (all SL's)" really get squirley if your not burying the shovel.....Nonetheless, they will probably make me a better skier if not more precise....Agree?
ps- have you ever seen an advanced skier too far forward in a steep?

Sorry about the symantics on Level II, I was incorrectly refering to the binding release setting...I comfortably ski all terrian except steep bumps which I found myself in several years ago at Blackcomb and they went on forever. I knew then what a big difference it is between advanced and expert.....
post #16 of 25
NP on the confusion among Type II, Level 2 and Level II. The industry has developed similar names for different concepts. At least it isn't as bad as being confused whether we are overreacting to a domestic dispute in which a child was taken or overreacting to a mistranslated middle eastern document, as happens when there is an "amber alert.".
post #17 of 25
Too much ski can be too stiff or too long or both, either for your ability or your intended use.

A Suzuki 1300 Hyabusa is too much motorcycle for riding up mountain bike trails. A Yamaha R6 is too much motorcycle for a 1st time rider on any road. A suburban is too much SUV for driving through tight twisty trails in the woods.

If the ski is too stiff for the speeds you want to ride at, it's too much ski.
If a ski is too stiff for the soft deep snow you will be using it in it is too much ski.

My betters tell me that beginners make mistakes and "give instructions" to the ski that they really don't want the ski to follow and a forgiving ski will just ignore these instructions, but too much ski will follow the instructions and put the skier on his rear. I think people should just give the right instructions to the ski and learn through consequences, but enough about me.

Mallard, I think the Fischer Race ski isn't enough ski for you. You probably want the WC SC or RC (depending on radius). These are still not as much ski as the SL or GS.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post


I've got a pair of these (in a 193, no less) and they're really not as bad as people make them out to be. They are unbelievable heavy tho...
post #19 of 25
I know ive skied on this years vesion. theyre nice but def too much ski for some. I have heard that the older ones had some serious quality control problems, any truth?
post #20 of 25
Alledgedly, the topsheets delammed easily. Haven't had any problems with mine tho.
post #21 of 25
I personally believe that demoing anything, regardless if it ends up being too much or too little is NOT a bad thing. How else are you going to know whether a ski is or isn't too much?

I rode the Head iM88 last season. Too much ski for me. I rode the Volkl Explosiv last season. Again, too much ski for me. Rode a ton of others that were "meh" and some that were "yeah!"

I ended up with Karmas, Mantras, and a small company ski called the AK No Ka Oi ( i also ended up with a Titan 8 and Armada AR5, but the former are still unmounted and the latter are awaiting a buyer). I still find little nuances with the three active skis in my quiver and they may very well be "a little too much" for me, but I'm also learning how to dial them in and keep them dialed in (I have only been on "shaped" skis for 3 seasons now).

I think I may have been buying skis that are bit over my head, but I think via demoing you really figure out which skis are totally over your head and which ones you'll be able to tread water and eventually master.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
I've got a pair of these (in a 193, no less) and they're really not as bad as people make them out to be. They are unbelievable heavy tho...
My first post - here comes!

I've got these in 183 with Salomon 912s - and they indeed weigh a ton. But, if you get some speed in them, they do nice long GS or superG turns even on very hard snow, not speak of crud and soft in the offpiste.
post #23 of 25
I have the regular Titan nines, not the Pro's and even they are pretty beefy. I have them mounted up with some Salomon 977E metal bindings and yeah they are heavy too. Almost the opposite of my Goode Visions.
post #24 of 25
Many skis are "too much ski" up to some speed. For example, if I tip my SC's at 5 mph, not much will happen. At 20 mph, a lot will happen. On the other hand, my Metron M11's will start ripping at a fast walking pace. The top speed limit is then of course higher or lower all other factors such as side cut being equal. Some skis certainly seem to have a bigger sweet spot (ideal speed range) than others.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
I have the regular Titan nines, not the Pro's and even they are pretty beefy. I have them mounted up with some Salomon 977E metal bindings and yeah they are heavy too. Almost the opposite of my Goode Visions.
the titan pro's are supposed to be the stiffist retail ski made.
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