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Short skis still....hmm. Suck?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
So I've got 4 days in now. One thing I'm starting to notice is that skiers have shorter skis. I'm riding up with this guy the other day. He's not quite as tall as I am (I'm 6'2"), but he's skiing on a pair of 160 super side cut skis. Then I start looking around and I see more skiers on short, super side cut skis. With most skiers, their skis don't even come up to their necks. Here's what I'm thinking.

1) Skiers tell me that the reason why they like these skis is because "...they're easier".

My thought is that if you ski on short skis, what happens when the conditions are funky, or you go anywhere else but groomed runs? Short skis sink in powder and they bounce around in powder chop.

So I guess "easier" works (not really, more on that coming) for me as long as the skier has no desire to be an "all mountain" type. Because, once they put on longer skis, they will find that they're not as good as they believed. Making turns on short skis is mucho easier than making turns on longer skis. So, are they cheating themselves? Wouldn't it be better to learn how to make turns on longer skis? Or, is "all mountain" giving way to "all carving"?

2) This year I couldn't find my favorite ski; Head Cyber X-60 in a 190. I had to scramble to buy a pair. They changed the name of the ski to XP-60 and the longest it comes is a 184.

So is the industry getting away from "all mountain" and heading into "all carving". Is this carving phenom really good for the sport? Will there be more carving parks and fewer glades? If so, I'm friggin pissed. Do I need to start saving some money so I can buy a ski area, just so I can be sure I have the terrain I love?

3) Or, is the industry just trying to get skiers to buy more skis? Short skis for carving, longer skis for off-piste, fat skis for powder, blah bla blah. If so, this doesn't add up at all! Because, I'm thinking that there aren't very many skiers who; A) Care enough about the sport to own more than one pair of skis, or B) Can afford more than one pair of skis.

If this is what they're thinking, it's no wonder they don't make any money. Because, the market for skiers who own more than one pair has to be miniscule. Now that I think about it, if you judge ski manufacturers by their web sites, they really don't get it. Because, most I've seen are the worst -- anywhere.

4) Okay, all the world cup skiers have these super short skis -- but that don't make it right.

I'm with Bob Beattie. I think that there should be a minimum length based on height and weight. What I see on the world cup slalom circuit isn't skiing, it's skating. Short skis just make skiing easier, which means training isn't as hard and technique isn't as important. Sorry. Nothing good comes easy. You want to win? Get up earlier, stay up later.

5) Okay, I admit it -- I'm becoming a purist (snob?).

I see all these skiers clunking up from the parking lot armed with their short skis and Harald's books. Sure, the 6'2" guy with 165 skis is going to have a much better time than on 190's. But as soon as he ventures away from the groomed, he's in trouble. He's now dangerous to himself and to others, because he's been brainwashed into believing that his short, shaped skis will get him to skiing heaven.

This isn't my summary, but it's fodder for sure.

Is my pal Harald really my achilles heal? Will I end up cursing him in years to come? For fewer glades? For not making better skiers, but for making more skiers that are in my way, clogging up the hill, traffic and lift lines?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 28, 2001 08:17 AM: Message edited 3 times, by SCSA ]</font>
post #2 of 48
Hey WaCKo
Shorty slalom skis are fun in powder.
Therefore your whole rant is pointless.

post #3 of 48
PURIST? Looking for a pair of 190's as 6'2" hardly qualifies. I know a guy who is 5'9" and hardly weighs anything, without a speck of athletic talent... and he is convinced that his 212cm Head Radials (circa 1989? with the low-profile down-hill tip) are the last great ski. he literally will not even think about skiing anything else. Cores are dead, bases paper thin, been re-mounted something like four times now. It's hard to watch, but he would qualify as a purist. A pretty dumb one at that. He claims that when these are done he will mount up the pair of Atomic Red Sleds (215's)he has in his basement. They are still brand new in the plastic. It's sad really. I've also seen him riding his black Dynamic VR-27's recently I think they are 208's and they probably weigh about 17 metric tons.

Go with the "short ski" flow. They are every bit as capable in powder, crud, bumps and corn... and more so on groomies. Being a purist is fine, you can catch me in the bar after the day is done, cuz me and my shorties are gone! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #4 of 48
NordtheBarbarian, I think he has somewhat of a point here. First off, I would like to say that I think a 190 is a short ski. But I ski on a 188 for most of my genreal skiing and upper level classes, and a little shorter ski for teaching certain types of classes. I do have to agree with SCSA, that I think ski manufactures are going a little bit overboard with shorter and shorter skis. Although, I will probably climb onboard a par of 165 slalom skis and go for a ride this season just for the heck of it. But right now, I can't see myself buying a pair. The sad thing is, and I think this is what SCSA is refering to, is that he can't even get a pair of the skis at the length he likes, because they don't make them anymore. And I think I'll find myself in that same boat before long. Who knows though. I may find that I like the really short skis. But I'm going to keep a couple pair of my longer skis in good shape just in case. ------------Wigs
post #5 of 48
SCSA, here's the thing: if people are truly follwing Harb's instructions, they will be able to handle any condition with short skis. Because that is what Harb does. And I tested some Atomic Beta 9.18's in a 170 length in some heavy duty crud, and they did fine (that was 5 years ago). And also, the most popular skis nowadays have about a 70mm waist, which for most skiers, is more important than the length. Don't get caught up in the macho length thing. Harb doesn't!
post #6 of 48
Thread Starter 

You said it best awhile back. Something like this:

It's ironic, isn't it? On the ski hill, men are proud of short!

So, size really does or doesn't matter?
post #7 of 48
Part of the super-short thing is like glm, allowing people to learn to employ ski design easily so they can do it when they get on an appropriate length. Of course, with shorty SLs that isn't really the case. I have seen some very experienced skiers unable to reap the benefits of new design until they went to a 150-160 for a week and then got back on their new skis. It was simply because their new skis were still too similar to their old ones to help them change movement patterns.

The all-carve comment may mean that you are on skis for a niche different from what you are using them for. Though I have found the XPs to be great all arounders. All mountain skis can be had in longer lengths, but they are in a different niche, not aimed toward carving on groomers. As a 6'5" 220 man who skis the xp-80 184 I am more than satisfied with the length of that ski, it's stability and its all-around performance everywhere. I do however have longer Phats for longer Phatter terrain etc.

Your comments lead me to believe you probably carve less than you think you do, as scrubbing sideways gives skis a more unstable feel. You may ski in the back seat more than you think you do as well, this stiffens the lower leg joints, causing skis to vibrate and bounce around due to the lack of a suspension system to absorb energy.

Longer ones will only exacerbate the prob, making you more likely to turn & scrub and balance back defensively instead of tip & carve.

Go supershort for a week or two and really learn to use ski design and learn to actually maintain contact with the fronts of your boots. Get your cuffs straightened up so standing taller doesn't pressure the backs of your boots. You'll like your boards a lot better afterwards.

We have a Saying where I'm from..

"It's the skier, not the ski."

Kinda gives...
>>Topic: Short skis still....hmm. Suck?<<
...That a different effect, eh?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 28, 2001 09:54 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Roto ]</font>
post #8 of 48
I found an exchange we had in February to be particularly interesting regarding the short ski movement: Ski Length Discussion
post #9 of 48
The shortest skis I ever owned is the Atomic BetaCarve 9.26 in 200cm length, my first shapers, and I have no trouble skiing them anywhere, though my age is creeping up, I'll be 70 in a few month, and I was told that shorter skis will extend my skiing life.

The opportunity came in Lech this March when I rented 180 and 170 skis and to my surprise they did everything I wanted from them. I could cruise or I could work them very hard.

So, I bought Atomic 11.20s in the 170cm size.
They are being mounted right now and I will ski them this Winter, though my 200s will go along, just in case.

But everyone predicts I will never go back to them. We'll see.

post #10 of 48
SCSA yah said:
>>So I guess "easier" works (not really, more on that coming) for me as long as the skier has no desire to be an "all mountain" type. Because, once they put on longer skis, they will find that they're not as good as they believed. Making turns on short skis is mucho easier than making turns on longer skis. So, are they cheating themselves? Wouldn't it be better to learn how to make turns on longer skis? Or, is "all mountain" giving way to "all carving"?<<

It is much easier to use rotation/pivoting to initiate turns on shorter skis but much harder to keep the short skis stable in the turn. If you are a sperm turner you will like the handling of the short skis but don't for a minute think that longer skis are easier to ski technically well. Most advanced skiers don't really control the finish of their turns and therefore find the long skis to be more stable (larger sweet spot) and easier to use. The ideal long ski candidate, is an advanced skier who initiates his turns well but basically parks and rides the center of the turn (no steering)and uses a very short traverse to set up the next turn.

Roto, "Its the indian not the arrow"

post #11 of 48
Hey, whatever floats your boat, you know? Somehow, there's something in the human spirit - and I'll exclude no one, not even me - that says, "Hey, I like it this way, so now YOU like it this way, or else you're WRONG! STUPID! LAZY!" Whatever. Another thought: "Easy" is an easy word to abuse. As one of the converts of Rev. Pierre, eh! to the short ski phenomenon, I definitely have found my 160 T-Power Rossi shorty slaloms to be "easy" to turn - on groomed snow - but not any easier than a wet blanket on icey steep uneven bumps - not for me, anyway, and I am THE consumate incorrigible epitome of mediocrity on skis. I also have found my shorter skis absolutely impossible - for me, anyway - in anything deeper than half a foot, and in chopped crud they just feel no damned good. That's why I went out and [y're darned right, SCSA] bought ANOTHER pair of skis that are longer and wider and love fluff and crud. My current holy grail is that elusive "middle ski" that does it all. About the racers: I myself don't really care. It's a game, and the game is whatever you define it to be. For all I care, race on foot long runners - sure, do a downhill on 'em - or have a slalom where no pair of skis under 215 cm is allowed. I really don't care. However, if I DID care, I'd want to let nature take its course: The game is to slide down the course faster than the others. Choose you own weapon. Each type of change has its trade-offs. In my search for tennis competence, I have closeted the longer stiffer racquet with the larger head [great power, larger sweet spot, and has that extra reach] for a racquet that is shorter, more flexible and has a comparatively smaller head. Why? it gives me more control of my shot placement, and I can make up for the difference in striking [the sweet spot], power and reach by putting more into my effort. I will admit that toward the end of a long match or tournament, when these aging muscles have grown even weaker, the thought of an "easier" racquet does cross my mind - but hey, as I said, there are trade-offs. By the way, SCSA, another great troll. You sure know how to be controversial and draw attention. Might say you're the Bill Clinton of EpicSki, and, like Bill, you also manage to get away with it!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 28, 2001 12:42 PM: Message edited 1 time, by oboe ]</font>
post #12 of 48
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pierre eh!:

Roto, "Its the indian not the arrow..."

...who is responsible for hitting the mark.
post #13 of 48
Roto, I am not sure I follow. I was giving a different version of you're "It the skier, not the ski".
post #14 of 48
My point is that wacko is making a arguement based upon the "fact" that short skis are not good all-mountain skis. How does he know this he hasn't tried them.
post #15 of 48
Thread Starter 
By no means am I pointing my finger at those and saying, "Hey stupid with short skis". Not at all.

One point I was trying to make is that I'm disappointed I can't buy the skis I love -- that there are fewer longer skis.

Another point is that I'm wondering if the short ski thing really is in the best interests of the sport. Or, is it just ski manufacturers selling more skis.

Finally, I know plenty of good skiers who fancy short skis from time to time. I have some (180's).

But these same folks are experts -- they know exactly how to use the skis. The skiers I see getting on these super short, super powerful skis, don't have the proper skills or training. That's what I mean when I say they're dangerous to themselves and others. This, is not good. Agreed?
post #16 of 48
SCSA, I am pretty tall (6') and not all too heavy (155 lbs, but gettin alot stronger), and I ski on 190 Head SuperCross Ti's. Although I would NEVER even think of skiing something shorter than a 186 or so for freeskiing, really short skis are real fun for carving (not your garden variety carving, getting real low with your knuckles dragging and pulling HUGE G-forces).

But I agree, for anything other than that they're useless. But again, that kind of carving is great fun. Those really short skis are like short twin-tips - great toys but not what you'd want for skiing the whole mountain.

Oh yah, and who's this Harb guy?? I've heard people talk about him and his 'technique', but other than that I don't know anything about him. Is he nothing more than a marketing pawn for the short ski movement?

SCSA, one more thing - I hate you, why do you get to go skiing while I have to look at the great conditions at my resort while I wait for their new gondola?!? :

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 28, 2001 07:54 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Mike B ]</font>
post #17 of 48
Pierre eh,

post #18 of 48
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pierre eh!:
Roto, I am not sure I follow. I was giving a different version of you're "It the skier, not the ski".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry, I'm getting paranoid. Need a reality check.
post #19 of 48
Thread Starter 

Another skier on Super Cross Ti's - me too. Shish! Don't let the secret out.

To answer, "Who's this Harb guy"? check out www.harbskisystems.com

Let us know what you think.
post #20 of 48
I've only read a bit, but his system seems to make some sense so far. Some of the downsides I saw in his system are - too much emphasis on carving (from the little bit I've seen, I may be wrong), and the instructions are a bit complicated for my liking (I ski more by instinct). Not too bad though... But not for me.
post #21 of 48
"...not good for the sport". What do you mean "the sport"? Sliding downhill on snow is "the sport". I've seen this done on all manner of things, the basic test of success being pleasure. There are short skis made and intended for use by experts, and there are short skis made and intended for use by mediocre skiers such as myself. Frankly, I was ready to throw in the towel and quit skiing, and the shorter skis have kept me in "the sport". Being 60 years old, a mediocre skier and a mediocre athlete, I'm happy to have all the help I can get, and further improvement with instruction may not have as much of an impact on me as I would prefer. I notice also that there are skiers with various kinds of problems, including serious so-called disabilities, and they use whatever equipment worksfor them. Try going to Sunday River, for example, and watching a guy ski on one ski - because he has one leg. Or watch a kid in a sled, with ski-outrigger poles in his hands, having a ball in the terrain park, and he has use of neither of his legs. Just because some of us are not visibly disabled doesn't mean we don't have our problems, and shorter skis have helped us enjoy this great sport of sliding downhill on snow. What is your huge problm with these concepts, SCSA? Just what do you propose? It appears from your posts that you are not aware that there are things about skiing you just don't know. There's nothing wrong with stiring the pot to get a good debate goiing, of couse, but your posts would be more valuable, I think, if they sprang from at least some humility to which we all are entitled, even you.
post #22 of 48
y'all are really overthinking this...
post #23 of 48

I'm going to slide into this discussion by asking you a question. I see in another thread that you have a pair of Head WC SL TI's in a 180 (I do, too). You mention in that thread that you really wish they made that ski in a 187.

What is it, exactly, that you feel the additional 7cm would do for you?

More stability at speed? Perhaps, but I've skied those skis at speeds *way* above what I would think a "super-slalom" would be capable of. As far as I'm concerned, they're full-on rock solid. (Just for background, I used to race quite a bit and can still ski my 225cm Atomic AF's fairly comfortably. I'm not unfamiliar with stability at speed.)

Flotation in powder? Maybe a little, but then this isn't the ski I'd pull out for a day of skiing 2-plus feet of new snow.

What else?

Aside from stability or flotation, is there something else that more length provides (other than impressing people when you stand in the tram car at Jackson, Snowbird, or Squaw)?

I'm stumped.

post #24 of 48
I do believe tht some people have deffinitly "over thought this" subject. Although it is necessary for the opposing "long ski" argument to actually try skiing on a new short slalom ski or another shorter type of ski. These skis are absolutely a blast because they do whatever you want them to do. Granted you arent going to take them out on a powder day and rip up 2' of fresh, but through cut up crud my t-powers would do just fine, in fact keep up with most anyone. The only thing they did not excel at other than pow was crud that was very heavy, as they are tossed around easier than a long ski. SCSA, i dont want to turn this into a competition but i guartuntee that most fo the guys (and girls)here on this forum that ski short skis could easily keep up with you on your long skis if you decided to make a run through the trees. The idea behind the short skis is to make skiing easier and more fun. On the other hand it is rather simple to see who knows how to actually use the shorties versus those who dont. Skis are all of the sudden going shorter (especially race types) because they can accomplish the same task as long skis, but make it much easier.

If i were not skiing in the east, maybe my opinion would differ, as longer skis are better put to use in western conditions, but i would still have a pair of shortys to ahve fun on, and deffinitly for racing.
I do have my long skis for freeriding and off piste skiing, (179cm, and yes thats long considering my size so i dont want to hear it). Its not important to be abel to say well i ski a 190cm ski, its more important how you ski on that 190cm ski, and most of all how much fun youre having on it. When you compare a 190 X60 to (im guessing youd be on a 174 t-power viper) and rossi t-power viper in cut up crud or the beginnings of moguls, after you ski those short skis, you'll never touch the X60's again for those kinds of conditions... unless youre planning a day of skiing deep powder, crud, trees, groomed, and a few bumps (which we dont have the luxury of doing here in NY). I dont think that skiing is moving to only groomed snow, i just think that the industry is realizing what people actually need versus what they think they need on the snow. A good example is the salomon pocket rocket, if i were goign to get that ski id be on a 175 (i think anyhow) for a fat powder ski. Personally id rather have to move that ski around rather than something that is twice my height. All in all, my short skis could do essentially the same thing as your long skis with about half the effort and for me twice the fun. And fun is what this sport is all about.


ps. As for the ski industry, people having more fun on shorter skis = more $$$, that one id say is pretty simple.
post #25 of 48
right, what helluva skier said
post #26 of 48
Oboe, once I was skiing at my local resort, and several times saw this one skier with only one leg, and he was rippin sh!t up!!! I mean, he was one of the strongest skiers I've seen, not to mention I've seen disabled skiers doing amazing things in the movies, dropping cliffs, straitlinin stuff, etc...

As for the short skis, it all comes down to skiing style and where you ski. In the east I would probably be very content with a race ski in a 170-180 (maybe even a 160 slalom ski), but in the west (well, Rockies really) I love my 190 boards.
post #27 of 48

Give short skis a chance. Rent them one time and try them out. You will see that a 190cm shaped ski (especially damp skis like the X-60 or X-80 or the Super Cross) could never pump out quick, crisp, short carved turns like a short SL ski. You can still go back to the longer skis, but I think you will appreciate the unique characteristics of a short ski.

MikeB said ... really short skis are real fun for carving (not your garden variety carving, getting real low with your knuckles dragging and pulling HUGE G-forces). But I agree, for anything other than that they're useless

Hmmm, the way I look at it, long, shaped skis are an overkill in all conditions except deep powder and high speeds.
post #28 of 48
You'd be very surprised at the radius of turn a Super Cross Ti in a 190 can turn (of course this is angling as much as is possible, knuckles dragging).
post #29 of 48
Hack skiers on dwarf skis totally destroy moguls. The ski industry went through this in 1975. Remember all the flailers on the Olin Mark IV's creating completely unskiable lines? They're back trashing the mogul fields at a ski area near you and this time, they have enough edge hold that you can't sneer at them.

Bring back the "minimum length 200 cm" runs.

post #30 of 48
You pig, you're onna them people who use to spit on us from the chair when I was trashing the bumps on my 160 cm Olin Mark IV's with Burt Bindings. I was over on the dark side in 75. We sure made some real stair steps! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
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