The "puny" stuff works reasonably well, however any lock can be cut if you know how to approach it.
Probably 85% of theft is snatch and grab of unlocked skis and that's what the $20 lock guards against.
Had a few bad boys try to break my Krypton and they really beat the shizz out of the top sheets yanking and twisting but the thing held. How they did this on a Sunday with a few hundred people milling around and nary a word to the Sheriff's officers (Montage/Sno PA), has county police that hang in the lodge and bar, is another issue.
Cutters .... most thefts like this are done by an organized crew who go area to area in a van. They are pros and there is little you can do short of chaining your skis to a tree with a rabid pit bull. They have good gear and move fast ... in .... nab a dozen and out ... then down the road to the next area.
Best thing .... if you are going to stop (Jer .... shut up ...
) .. for lunch, do it fast and early where you can see your skis and get a table before the noon mob hits.
Also, avoid areas like Klingtontown where they don't give a rats adz what goes on. The last time I was there ... they didn't even sell locks in the shop (the one time I forgot mine).