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SIA '09 General overview on skis - Page 2

post #31 of 45
Thread Starter 
138-105-125, moderate T&T rocker, flex feels similar, no dead stuff in the graphics.

SJ
post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
138-105-125, moderate T&T rocker, flex feels similar, no dead stuff in the graphics.

SJ
Thanks SJ!
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExoticSkis View Post
... I totally agree with dawgcatching....there are all these great new "mid-fat", "fat".."really fat" models from tons of companies now...and some of them really are "passable"...or even "pretty darned competent" on the frontside groomed or hardpack surfaces...not just drifty, but definitely OK and fairly grippy. But get yourself back on a race-bred narrow waisted hard snow carver...and whoa nellie...REAL grip. REAL tracking. REAL ziing into the next turn at any speed you can cope with.

Just goes to show you...everyone needs a quiver with a few different geometries. Here in the land of bulletproof boilerplate (NE), the fatter skis are nice when there is some fresh snow...and when it's cut-up...but there is absolutely nothing like a race ski or race-carver to grip the fast and firm surfaces with confidence.

Many shops out West just won't stock a ski under 90mm waist anymore.
Sadly, some shops in the East are following the trend too. I see more and more intermediates now in the East on fairly fat skis that drift around nicely with very little effort, but in the late afternoon on the groomed slopes where most of these skiers frequent, they simply cannot grip the scraped-down, hard surfaces and many of them struggle to maintain accurate turns and control. But they love their skis..so that's the bottom line for them.

Manufacturers have a hard time with market trends and costs of retooling. I don't envy their dilemas!

Thanks for the insights....
Exactly! This has been a really interesting few months for me b/c I returned to skiing after 8 years off and have been playing with the new toys in various conditions at various kinds of mountains as I've had some opportunity travel west (and live east). The niche I'm having trouble understanding is the 80-86mm waist with carve oriented construction and shape. If I'm skiing on pretty hard and skied up snow, these just feel like such a compromise in quickness, rebound, and dynamism compared to my Tigershark 10s w/ switch let alone true race/race-derived skis. I can understand some of the beefier mid-high 70s that bring stability, longer turn radii and some crud busting heft esp for mountains where even on packed snow days, you'll encounter some old 3D snow. But once there's enough 3D snow to be looking for some extra float, don't you want to be on a ski with a construction and flex pattern that's more Grizzly than AC50? Just hard for me to see the place in a quiver for these 80-86mm carvers. And if it's a OSQ for the west, wouldn't almost every advanced/expert skier feel that once you've sacrificed the dynamism of a true narrow waisted carving ski, might as well sacrifice a little more of those characteristics and gain a ton in mixed condition performance? And for a OSQ in the east, why would you go any fatter than mid-high 70s? You're just not going to get enough true pow to make the sacrifice in hard snow performance worth it, right?

Am I missing something? I'm definitely new to all these choices after all the time off. But I'm LOVING my TS 10s on hard snow and have enjoyed demoing various mid-fats (84mm-96mm) out west. Looks like I may be getting some heli action in AK in April, so will have a chance to try true fat pow skis (and maybe some rockered and/or RC designs) then, which should be a kick for this former gate runner.

Interested in others' opinions on all this as I think about what skis to demo on future trips.
post #34 of 45
re-skier

the reason I own a Jet fuel (126-84-112 r= 20 @ 186) is for the range from hard snow to windbuffed crud. I don't like it on ice. (I grew up in Minnesota and don't quite care for ice anymore on any ski) and I don't like it in more than ankle deep snow.

But it is super quick edge-to-edge at upper speeds. Way too quick to actually fully commit to, actually. It's not quick edge-to-edge at lower or moderate speeds, however. But at upper speeds, that extra centimeter of width really adds some stability. The Jet Fuels are so stable at speeds, that I have yet to max them out.

I usually get going so fast while cranking 20m turns that I pull back. Going 50 mph and cranking (virtual) slalom turns without a flake of snow leaving the ground should NOT be so effortless. It gets scary watching my legs whip from side to side knowing that any mistake would result in a severe high-speed disaster.

I've never owned a carving ski so fat, and I've never owned a carving ski so stable that effortless speeds became fearsome.

I'll never go narrower than 80 again. IMO, the only place that narrower skis provide more quickness edge-to-edge is at lower speeds... when I'm not so interested in turning. Then again, like I said, I don't know how wise it is to be cranking 20m super-slalom turns at 50mph.

Never in 31 seasons has "be careful" been my mantra of the season for those days I spend on groomers.
post #35 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Re-Skier View Post
........But once there's enough 3D snow to be looking for some extra float, don't you want to be on a ski with a construction and flex pattern that's more Grizzly than AC50? Just hard for me to see the place in a quiver for these 80-86mm carvers. And if it's a OSQ for the west, wouldn't almost every advanced/expert skier feel that once you've sacrificed the dynamism of a true narrow waisted carving ski, might as well sacrifice a little more of those characteristics and gain a ton in mixed condition performance? And for a OSQ in the east, why would you go any fatter than mid-high 70s? You're just not going to get enough true pow to make the sacrifice in hard snow performance worth it, right?
There is a lot to address here, but one of the first things is to clear up the Grizzly vs. AC-50 thing. Both are hard snow technologies and construction. The switch and/or the extra few mm of width are relatively meaningless in deeper snow.

Next is the adv/expert skier thing. Not all folks that categorize themselves as such really ski off the trails or in deep snow very often. Therefore, that skier who pictures himself as an "all mountain" skier and who wants a 50/50 ski......may actually appreciate the grip and dampening of wider carvers more than the flatter skis. BTW...(flat) in this context refers to a ski with basically a "flat" layup rather than the big shoulders, heavy damping, binding rail, deep sidecut, etc. etc. setups as found on the wide carvers. In general and without being specific, the flat skis are more supple and nimble off trail and in deeper snow, but lack the grip, dampening and power of the carvers...regardless of the relative widths.

So is an 85mm carver as quick and fun as one that is 70-75mm? Generally........nope. Is an 85mm carver as nimble and easy going off trail as an 85mm flat ski? Generally.....nope.

For many skiers that use the self descriptive terms advanced or expert, the priority is groomers or shallow crud etc. The wider carvers are just fine for that. As in all things, this comes down to priorities and compromises.

SJ
post #36 of 45
Excellent clarification SJ.
post #37 of 45

Is it just a trend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
dawgcatching, I agree with you and ExoticSkis that nothing works on hard snow like a narrow wasted race type ski, and I certainly have not stopped skiing my sub 80s, it just looks like the market and the masses are heading that way right now. Like Disco, 70s width skis will undoubtely come back into favor. I remember the first day I couldn't walk into a ski shop and find anything longer than a 185, and I fear the day is coming in the near future when they stop stocking anything below 80 mm width.
:It may be a trend..., but why do my 76mm waist Elan M666's carve/edge better than any 65mm ski that I owned in the past and why do I keep meeting folks at Mary Jane (think huge and not always soft bumps) that say their Volkl Gotama's (or something of similar girth) are their "everyday skis"? I for one don't have any nostalgia for those (name a brand) 195cm SL's I skied in the 70's. In fact, my next everyday ski will have an 80mm+ waist that carves on hard CO snow nearly as well as my Elan M666's (but does nearly everything else much better, which is what I prefer skiing anyway). OTOH I doubt that the Volkl Gotama's will ever become my everyday ski either. Skis and skiers get more diverse as the days go on....
post #38 of 45
Thread Starter 
Your 666 and many other skis in that width range simply have better and more refined technology than some of the other skis you are comparing to. The narrow waist alone does not gay-rone-tee great grip or the proper balance of dampening. Of course top end skis of those widths will by design, usually have the best technologies there is to offer in those areas.

Why are people using Gotamas or whatever as everyday skis? For a few, there might be a bit of cool factor involved, but for most it is just priorities. Those folks are willing to sacrifice the best performance they could get for a non snow day in favor of a ski that will deliver the best performance they can get on snow days. Everybody makes those compromises depending upon their own perceptions of what conditions they will see.

SJ
post #39 of 45
I can certainly enjoy sub 80mm waisted skis, but unless it hasn't snowed for a long, long time and everything is very hard snow mine never come out any more. I knew something was up when my Telluride skis became 84 waisted M:EXs. It has always been a dilema picking a ski for there because is has the steepest groomed runs, the biggest bumps, the tighest trees, and the most mixed snow conditions of any place I ski. Trying to find something that would do it all at T-ride has always been a challange, but my M:EXs can rail the hardpack at 40 mph, ski the tight bumps, and handle the mixed snow conditons, even if it dumps a foot.

Sure a 70s waisted ski might carve the groomed (and occasionally the bumps) a little quicker, but if you are talking actual all-mountain skiing then 80-90 is where it's at with todays skis, at least in the Rockies. 70s are becoming quiver skis like 90s used to be. I have skied from New Mexico to Canada this sesaon and I definitely see the two ski quiver moving to 80-90 eveyday, and 100+ (maybe way plus) for powder days. The majority of 70s waisted skis are older models on occasional skiers that haven't upgraded in a few years, but when they do it probably will be with 80+. I'm not putting down the 70s, but personally I no longer have the need, and it seems like I'm off the back of the trend to wider boards. My friends are ripping the East and West Drains on Mantras and Apache Chiefs and I'm starting to think my M:EXs could be a little wider.
post #40 of 45
If anybody is still debating the width issue, please ride a Hellcat.

Every year, I am blown away by a wider ski's performance on hardpack.

This year, the Hellcat was the shocker.
post #41 of 45

2009 bandit b2

SJ,

What can you tell us about the successor to the Bandit B2? I saw some pics of the new ski.

I have the '07 b2 and love it. Hope the ski won't be stiffer or less agile than my b2.

Thanks!
post #42 of 45
edge to edge a narrow waisted ski will always be quicker. It's general physics. You just don't move as far to get to a higher edge angle. As far as edge grip, technology comes into play here. new technology, better materials, can make a huge difference.

I still love skiing my 64 and 65 underfoot skis almost everywhere. I'm bucking the trend. My fattest ski is 74 under foot!
post #43 of 45
I also own the '07 Rossi RS race stock SL (155 cm, 62.5 mm waist)). I skied both the B2 (174 cm, 78 mm waist) and SL on the same hill. The snow conditions were the same on both days: man made snow, groomed. I have at least 40 days on my SLs. I was shocked at how well the b2 can ski.
Pivot/skid turns: there was absolutely no difference between the turns i made with the b2 and the ones made with the SL. Edge hold? To my surprise, it was always there.
I even thought about selling my SL until i tried to carve. No contest here. It isn't made for carving SL turns. For the rest there is no need for the SL because the SL is stiffer and glides faster than the b2 so you have to work harder to make the same turns. It accelerates very fast and there is no time to relax on the SL.

There is one more slope i want to test the b2 on. If it holds there, it will be my ski for all conditions except deep powder. I will have another ski for carving.
post #44 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sywsyw View Post
SJ,

What can you tell us about the successor to the Bandit B2? I saw some pics of the new ski.

I have the '07 b2 and love it. Hope the ski won't be stiffer or less agile than my b2.

Thanks!
It is called the Phantom 80 and although it is a wood core and slightly heavier, it doesn't give up much at all in nimbleness. In fact, this ski was a nice surprise at the on snow demo. It is a nice upgrade.

SJ
post #45 of 45
Quote:
:It may be a trend..., but why do my 76mm waist Elan M666's carve/edge better than any 65mm ski that I owned in the past and why do I keep meeting folks at Mary Jane (think huge and not always soft bumps) that say their Volkl Gotama's (or something of similar girth) are their "everyday skis"? I for one don't have any nostalgia for those (name a brand) 195cm SL's I skied in the 70's. In fact, my next everyday ski will have an 80mm+ waist that carves on hard CO snow nearly as well as my Elan M666's (but does nearly everything else much better, which is what I prefer skiing anyway). OTOH I doubt that the Volkl Gotama's will ever become my everyday ski either. Skis and skiers get more diverse as the days go on....

Agree here...not necessarily re:the 666s since I haven't skied them but the 80-90mm skis (more freeridey types for me) just rip the groomers unless its full on bullet-proof and have great flex patterns for bumps. Fresh snow has got to be wider 100+ if you want to really ski off-piste in fresh snow and get some real float.

I don't ski in the east so I might get a carver if skied there but--as long as I ski in the west--the quiver is an 85mm...a gotama or equivalent and maybe one bigger for bottomless days (more rare then i'd like). But again, this is all philosophy, I like short turns and can angulate a ski quite well..but would get bored if that's all I did all day. I like to be playful, jump, ski a variety of stuff and the newer skies just make it all so much more possible...IMHO.
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