Originally Posted by newfydog
Camber does not mean squat.
I've had dead old skis with every millimeter of original camber still there.
I think it is in broken down torsional rigidity. That is tougher to measure and compare to a new ski.
OK, I had a chance to actually test my huffing and puffing.
I picked up a pair of 180 cm Atomic R:11 at the ski swap for $30. I had a pair which I liked but gave to my brother-inlaw. I figured he could use them when he comes up, and I might use them some myself. The tops were fair-good, bottoms very good, except for some horrific rounding of the edges at the tips.
Fernie opened with pretty thin snow, just some crusty crap up high, with the option of the WROD or downloading a lift to get to the bottom. Good time to use the brother-inlaw's skis.
Upon further inspection, the skis were not that great. The bottoms were real good and sharpened up nicely, though fixing the tips took some time. The problem was that they were dead flat, in fact, when squeezed they had a little tip splay. Zero to reverse camber.
I have two pairs of a ski made by Dynamic with the exact same cut and similar flex to the R:11. The new pair grips like ice skates. I skied the old pair to death, and while they still have all their camber, they have no grip left at all, No matter how sharp, they ski like crap on ice. How would the flat Atomics do?
Well, they had great grip. They may have been a bit wandery on the flats, but having grown up on long skis with grooves all modern skis feel that way to me. On edge they held great, carved nice arcs, with good rebound and pop.
I figure whoever sold them beat the crap out of them in the bumps. With the uber dulled tips he never did get enough edge to break down the torsional rigidity. Just went slap slap through the bumps 'til the ski was flat and a bit bent, then dumped them for the next victim.
The skis were great for the crusty snow, and after I figured out where the rocks were, I switched to my slalom skis for a control point. They have huge camber by today's standards and they skied the same as always, and didn't feel like they had way more life or grip than the $30 specials.
I guess I could put the camber-but- shot Dynamic on one foot and the flat- but-live Atomic on the other, but I'm pretty sure I can tell without that exercise that camber is not the key to how much life a ski has left.