Originally Posted by mike_m
HS: The skis I mentioned are marketed as "Expert carving skis." Whether true experts would ski them is not the point. Of course a true expert will gravitate toward a midfat or wider ski if it is his/her only ski, especially if most of his/her skiing is done outside of the east. Some people also have more than one set of skis, and one set will be narrower-waisted and biased toward carving on the groomed. Those are the skis I was discussing. Your reply had nothing to do with my premise or my suggestion.
Mike, I'm telling you your premise is flawed...please re-read your original post....you say nothing about carving vs. "normal" fat skis....simply "expert":
Originally Posted by mike_m
It's recently struck me how many people I know, and many posters on this forum, automatically gravitate toward whatever is the hot "expert" ski of a given season. Last year, for instance, two that come to mind were the Volkl Allstar and the Nordica Mach 3 Power. Great reviews in the mags, many great reviews here in the forum. I skied both and found them to be very burly tools that most skiers under 190 pounds probably could not bend nearly as much as they were designed to be bent in a turn. Now, I'm 165 pounds and have been teaching full time for 10 years. I think I'm a decent skier who has some idea of how a ski is designed to be used. I got them to perform, but wouldn't want to work that hard all day! I wonder how much of buying these skis is an ego thing on the purchaser's part. How many of you who tried (or bought) the Allstar or Mach 3 Power, for instance, tried the next ski down in stiffness in the line?
I just got back from the trade show at Keystone. Demoed a lot of next year's skis. Just for fun, I tried all of the Dynastar Contact line: 9, 10, and 11. These are fairly narrow-waisted, non-race Dynastar skis geared toward skiers who stay mostly on groomed or hard-packed slopes. I was surprised by what I found. The 11 was a wonderful ski: powerful, precise, carves well, but wants to be worked. The 10 was similar, but a bit more user friendly. The surprise, to me, was the 9. It's marketed to intermediate-level skiers and submitted to the magazines as such. I skied it down Go Devil (a steep, slick, hard-packed run where races are often held) in the tracks of a pro racer doing GS race turns, and it never missed a beat. It was also easy to turn at moderate speeds, light under foot, but never washed out. It was great in bumps. In other words, this would be an ideal everyday ski for anyone from PSIA level 6 up to expert who skis mostly groomers, but I bet VERY few posters here have ever considered even trying it.
I guess my suggestion is not to necessarily limit yourself to the skis reviewed by the mags or elsewhere as "expert." You might find the ski that a 200 pound ex-racer likes and can bend into a turn with relative ease on one test run may not be the ski you want to ski all day, every day. Try the ski with a similar sidecut and construction that doesn't have the extra layer of metal. You might be pleasantly surprised!
Of course people are over-geared. It's been that way forever, and it has nothing to do with expert skis or epicski.
Some people want the "hot" ski on the market for whatever they are into - carving, powder, etc - regardless of their ablity to ski them. The 6* seemed to be super popular in that regard for a number of years....every well heeled intermediate gaper was on them around here, yet few carved on them.
Some people will get put on "too much ski". Either too long, too stiff, too heavy, etc. This has little to do with what ablity the ski is geared towards. If you're finding that those top end skis in the larger sizes are too much ski for you, look for a high end ski that is meant to be skied in longer lengths while having a softer flex and lighter weight, but still offering high end performance.
The flip side to this is that some skis have a very wide performance window, and can be skied by a lower level skier effectively, providing them with high performance, while still being considered a high end ski in the hands of an expert. Perhaps carving skis only have a small performance window, which is not suprising.