Originally Posted by Garrett
Um, no. Skis rockered for a considerable portion of their length will always blow on hard snow compared to skis that aren't. For trivially simple reasons: Fully rockered skis will always require careful centering and have lousy edge grip. When you pressure the tip or tail of a rockered ski you dramatically shift the center of pressure on the edge with a small movement. Not good for control. A flat/cambered ski with a long rockered tip/tail is just a crappier/heavier version of a short ski on hard snow, with lots of material vibrating freely without contact with the snow surface to damp it. (Ex: Hold a cambered ski against the wall. Pull the tip and let go. Do this with a long rockered tip. Guess which one is damped better.) None of these simple realities are going to magically change when you make the skis of something else.
My initial response was in response to what I interpreted as a statement about conventional skis that were worn out or bent.
However, I think you are underestimating what can be done with "rockered" designs. Will they have more of a tendency to have floppy tips when running flat on hardpack? Looks like it. However, on anything other than hardpack, the running length effectively increases as the ski (even flat) pressures into the snow. Also, consider the impact of where and how steeply the rocker rises -- and how it relates to sidecut - in the case of a Hell Bent style ski for example. Given the right sidecut and rise, it won't take much angle to engage the rockered component as part of the carving edge of the ski. It may take some technique modifications. It may never match a "stiff" cambered ski on glaze ice -- but the right designs combined with appropriate technique may well break through some stereotypical expectations. My inuition is that some much more all-around designs will come out of this.
It'll be interesting to see what happens as people start using more, and more kinds of, "rockered" and even "flat" skis this year.
Oh, BTW, I think this is an interesting little video. Don't let the fatness of the ski (or its particular orientation) make you lose sight of the interesting parts of the discussion...