Originally Posted by mudfoot
"Stifness of the tail of the ski although an aspect that goes into all of this, is not the main contributing factor nor does it dictate radius of your turn more then then the sidecut radius and taper angle.
Tail stiffness is more about fore/aft balance. tail stiffness is more about a kick or acceleration at the end of the turn creating the need to recenter fore/aft." Atomicman
My personal experience seems to dispute this. If you complete your turn on a ski with a soft tail you will continue to carve around in a smooth arc. On long very soft tailed skis I can rear back at the end of the turn and actually tighten the arc by punching the flex of the tails. To me a stiff tail ski robs you of the last 1/3 of your turn by interrupting the arc by pushing you straight. You say it simply accelerates the skier at "the end of the turn," but to me it in fact prematurely ends the turn whether you want to or not and therefore lengthens the arc. I think soft tails allow you to tailer the arc of your turn to a much greater extent, in any kind of snow condition.
I grew up when the only high performance skis were racing skis, which all accelerated you out of the turn, and in my opinion way too many skis still suffer from that design. I generally turn to slow down, why would I want a ski that accelerates me out of every turn? If I hear a ski has "snap", "pop" or is "lively," I generally avoid them. Give me an old Atomic "dead sled" or a Volant any day. I realize my personal preference is not the norm.
I appologize for my rather strong come on, but you can probably tell that this has been a crusade of mine for most of my ski career. It comes down to personal style. Stiff tails are fine if you want to attack the mountain, but I guarantee you that you will run out of legs before your run out of mountain for the day. I can take my soft tails, work them into the trough of a mogal or a crud or powder turn, and use the flex of the ski to do the work of both turning and slowing me down, and the sidecut of the ski has almost nothing to do with it. So at least for me, I think that tail stiffness is the main contributing factor to the radius of the turn. Bad skiers spend too much time with their weight on their tails, but many good skiers don't spend enough time there because their choice of equipment punishes them for it.
I never said stiff tails was a good thing or that I liked a ski with a stiff tail. I also have never equated the words, pop, snap or lively with the tail of the ski.
From the description of your skiing , we are going to have to agree to disagree. you are merely manipulating your fore/aft balance to weight different parts of the ski to accomplish the end result.
I am talking about the natural unmanipulated (skiing centered) natural turn shape. So you can see why the shape of the tail is so important. A larger tail forces you to finish across the hll more (this is just an undeniable reality)
I pay more attention to where and what my skis are doing from the center forward. the tails just follow! I am more interested in how the tip and forebody reacts in a trough, crud or powder.
Skiing from the tails seems counterproductive IMHO.
The only reason to be on your tails is to accelerate out of a turn. (Racers do this all the time).
So I would agree we have very different styles of skiingI I let the sidecut and edge angle do the work! I am almost never on my tails and if I am I normally recenter ASAP!
Good skiers stay off their tails because if you on your tails you are out of balance and can't use the natural shape of the ski to turn and carve clean turns.
Sorry but IMHO Volants were the most boring, dead old man's ski I have ever skied on, & it had nothing to do with the tail!