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Ski Sizes in 5 Years?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
In recent years, we've seen skis mushroom in size.

Average western skis are now in the 80mm to 90mm range. Big rigs have ballooned to widths of 140mm, with tips in the 170mm range. Snowboard'ish.

Rockers have added to the specialization.

Where'll we be in 5 years?

Will the supertanker trend continue? Will rockers overtake?

Or, will narrow become the new fat?
post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
Seriously. Nobody has an idea?

No opinion leaders with inside info or leading indicators?

You'd think something is boiling the vats of ski vendors.
post #3 of 15
No insight, just a wild guess.

The return of the return of the medium-long radius long skinny deep snow ski 170 to 190 cm, 104-68-90. People who need fat skis to ski deep will be ridiculed as JONGS.

Only the ski will be instantly adjustable electronically for flex from soft for slow speeds and bumps to stiff for ripping high speed turns.
post #4 of 15
I wish I knew what styles of skis will be popular 5 yrs from now, I would start my own ski company and rake in the cash.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
No insight, just a wild guess.

The return of the return of the medium-long radius long skinny deep snow ski 170 to 190 cm, 104-68-90. People who need fat skis to ski deep will be ridiculed as JONGS.

Only the ski will be instantly adjustable electronically for flex from soft for slow speeds and bumps to stiff for ripping high speed turns.
+1 but longer. Longboard comeback. maybe something also would pop the tais up to twins only when turning switch.
post #6 of 15
Maybe they can bring back safety straps
Got an emoticom with a ski whacking someone in the back of the head? This isn't that different I guess
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
No insight, just a wild guess.

The return of the return of the medium-long radius long skinny deep snow ski 170 to 190 cm, 104-68-90. People who need fat skis to ski deep will be ridiculed as JONGS.

Only the ski will be instantly adjustable electronically for flex from soft for slow speeds and bumps to stiff for ripping high speed turns.
I think you're partially right.

Girth on some big skis have hit the limit of functionality. Some folks make thorough use of ultra-fats and full rockers. In the right hands, and right conditions, they're indispensable.

For others, huge skis are like having a sock in your pants; impressive but not functional.

I expect the pendulum will swing back, as people conclude 140mm-waisted skis don't cure cancer.

The big ships will still be there. But their allure will lessen as more people try them, and realize their limitations.

Same with full rockers. Unless you're Shane McConkey, or own a snowcat, it's a lot of $$ for a narrow application.

I'm guessing that partial rockers, like ObSethed, will become more common.
post #8 of 15
In five years we'll all be snowboarding. Trust me on this.
post #9 of 15
Materials and technology will work with where the shapes can go. I think the changes in the next 5 years will have more to do distribution and manufacturing. We will loose some of the smaller names producing their own skis and be gobbled up.
post #10 of 15
Manufacturers will all take a page out of Apple's playbook and sell direct with 'factory Stores' in key areas. Prices won't come down.

Mountain demo centers will be the only chance for consumers to handle skis before purchasing. manufacturer's websites will begin to contain more useful information for the consumer, but it will only help within the brand. Smaller company's will begin to get squeezed out of the equation, either by attrition or merger.

The rate of innovation will slow down.
post #11 of 15
My guess is that in five years the trend will be towards narrow because narrow is different and those on the "cutting edge" always have to be different. Then we can enjoy the curmudgeonly rants of those people still clinging to their fat rockered skis while wearing their duct taped jackets bitching about those feet -together non-traditionalists carving past them.
post #12 of 15
5 years from now? Let's look at where the last 10 years have taken us:

Shaped carvers allowed 'the masses' to finaly progress beyond intermediate skier.

Mid-fats allowed 'new expert' skiers to explore off groomed slopes.

Fat skis allowed exploration of 'out of bounds terrain' for the masses of 'all mountain experts'.

Fat Rockered skis allow lower fitness level/ skill level skiers to access steep powder terrain.

Next 5 years?

Well, now that everyone can ski steep powder, there won't be much untouched powder left, will there? People on fat rockered skis will begin to bump into one another on what is now steep mogul runs, as they search for edge to edge quickness to deal with these mogul runs they will begin to look at narrower waisted skis. After a couple of long mogul runs these skiers will look for 'something less physically demanding' because 'my knees aren't as young as they used to be' and they will try to get away from the crowds skiing moguls 'OB' and will venture back on-piste, where the fresh courdoroy is. Narrow skis with sub 14m turn radiuses will gain dominance.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
5 years from now? Let's look at where the last 10 years have taken us:

Shaped carvers allowed 'the masses' to finaly progress beyond intermediate skier.

Mid-fats allowed 'new expert' skiers to explore off groomed slopes.

Fat skis allowed exploration of 'out of bounds terrain' for the masses of 'all mountain experts'.

Fat Rockered skis allow lower fitness level/ skill level skiers to access steep powder terrain.

Next 5 years?

Well, now that everyone can ski steep powder, there won't be much untouched powder left, will there? People on fat rockered skis will begin to bump into one another on what is now steep mogul runs, as they search for edge to edge quickness to deal with these mogul runs they will begin to look at narrower waisted skis. After a couple of long mogul runs these skiers will look for 'something less physically demanding' because 'my knees aren't as young as they used to be' and they will try to get away from the crowds skiing moguls 'OB' and will venture back on-piste, where the fresh courdoroy is. Narrow skis with sub 14m turn radiuses will gain dominance.
An interesting viewpoint.

I haven't thought much about it, but you're right. Deep snow was once the domain of true experts (remember how we oooh'd at the first Warren Miller films).

Nowdays, any skier over level 2, and even novice snowboarders can play in the fresh. Powder, at most resorts, is decimated within an hour. Even BC has become increasingly populated.

Although we now have the best tools ever for deep-snow skiing, such snow is increasingly difficult to find.

I agree that this dynamic, as much as technology, will affect tomorrow's skiing frontier.
post #14 of 15
I can't speak to the East, but for the conditions that I encounter in Tahoe (and occasional trips to Utah), a ski with a 75mm or narrower waist is more of a specialty ski than my 136mm-wide Praxis Powders. Last season, I spent 4 out of 5 days on skis with an 84 or 99mm waist, despite having three pairs of narrower skis ready to go.

Human anatomy -- in particular, shoulder and pelvis width -- suggests that skis with 170mm-ish tips and 140mm-ish waists may already have hit (and possibly exceeded) the maximum. So I don't expect the outliers to change much.

We still have a ways to go for mean and median widths, however. I took a leap of faith when I jumped from a 69mm-wide ski to a 99mm-wide ski as my everyday ride, without demoing. I knew almost immediately that my concern was misplaced. Many remain reluctant to make even a smaller leap, however. That suggests to me that there are still people who went 10 or 15mm wider with their last pair of skis, but may have another leap ahead of them.

I think that five years from now, the everyday skis of most reasonably serious skiers will range from 80 or 85mm to 105 or 110mm. Maybe 75-90mm for those who only ski in the East.

I also expect that at least nominal length will make something of a comeback, having swung too far in the shorter direction. This will be tempered somewhat by changing construction and design (upturned tails, softened tips, rocker) that mitigate many of the disadvantages of longer skis while maintaining their advantages, particularly in softer snow.

And true powder will remain the province of those willing to brave the storm, to hike, or to spend on heli and cat skiing.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
In five years we'll all be snowboarding. Trust me on this.
I think in 5 yers there will be fewer snowboarders based on the decline in the popularity of skateboarding. It is also getting too mainstream to be "hip". I'm guessing that the trend will go towards snow bikes.

That's really hot in Japan lately. I also see lots of kids on Craigslist wanting to trade skateboards for BMX bikes.
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