or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Traversing on shaped skis

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Boring question:

Does anyone have an opinion on the performance of shaped skis on steep very icy traverses as opposed to straight skis from 4-5 years ago?

[ October 03, 2002, 06:40 AM: Message edited by: TheRockSkier ]
post #2 of 10
Any of the newer skis I've experienced have better edge bite than any of the pre-shape skis I can remember. Now, I must add that my focus would be on GS/all-mountain kinds of gear, as opposed to slalom stuff. Every new pair seems to have improved edge grip.
post #3 of 10
Assuming equally cared for edges, my personal feeling is that as a group, old pencil skis are a hair better than more modern deeply sidecut skis on the straight line icy traverses that you asked about, but the difference between the two general designs in this particular skiing situation is really quite small.

The deep sidecut of modern skis gives makes them want to carve back up the hill unless you actively modulate edge angle and fore-aft pressure to keep them going in a perfect straight line while on edge. In my experience, these required microadjustments cause the ski to experience microscopic releases in its grip on the surface, resulting in a bit of an impression of "uncertainty" in the traverse, and that you might have to pay a bit more attention if you are on shaped skis.

When shaped skis first came out, had exagerated sidecuts like 115-60-112 and were extremely stiff (eg, red SCX monoblock), there was concern that a phenomena called "bridging" could occur on very steep slopes. Bridging is what would happen if the tip and tail of such a ski dug into the surface, but the ski was so stiff, and the slope so steep that the waist would not deflect downwards enough to contact the surface. This was essentially a theoretical concern and made moot by in the next generation as the skis were made softer.

On the other hand, there is a major benefit to modern skis in the situation we are discussing (ie, an icy traverse). The shorter lengths and generally softer flexes of modern skis tend to put more pressure on the surface directly underfoot, and this helps you dig into hard surfaces a bit more, and hence hold the traverse better. OTOH, if the surface is a bit uneven (rutty, chunky, etc.), then the longer ski tends to smooth out these irregularities a bit better than a shorter ski.

So, there are a bunch of positive and negative factors going on simultaneously, but IMHO, they almost completely cancel out in this particular situation, perhaps leaving a slight edge (pun intended) in favor of pencil skis (again, in just this one case). However, the slight advantage here does not come even close to making up for the overall benefits of shaped skis in almost all other skiing situations.

While the above discussion dealt with these two very broad classes of skis (ie, old vs new), OTOH, I think you will find much larger and quite noticeable differences within the highly differentiated world of shaped skis in the situation you asked about. The most extreme (and obvious) example would be to compare a modern wide powder ski with a modern narrow GS ski on the proposed icy traverse.

Just my $0.02,

Tom / PM

[ October 03, 2002, 08:51 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #4 of 10
I'm going to agree with PM. With the current crop of skis, you are required to make constant adjustments as described.

When in the danger zone, the fewer adjustments necessary, the better! But to my mind, I'd still stick with my shapes at this point. The traverse only gets you there, then you still have to ski it!

Point in case- skiing Mt Ruapehu in NZ. Some of the wickedest ice you'll find anywhere, while getting you to some of the most outrageous skiing anywhere!

post #5 of 10
it may be that my technique has improved, but it seems much easier to "pedal" with the downhill ski when traversing to keep ya going on today's skis.

of course the question references icy traverses & I have never skied east of Loveland, so you probobally need a ROCK of salt with my response.
post #6 of 10
You've gotta be kidding me...
post #7 of 10
No one mentioned the importance of sharp edges, and the technique of nnot doing anything too quickly or suddenly.
post #8 of 10
Is it just me or is this shape versus straight thing getting a bit over analized?
Alot of us covered all that terrain on straights and now on shaped , what you should do is just ski it on what ever your on !
But please no side slipping aloud.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Leeroy:
Is it just me or is this shape versus straight thing getting a bit over analized?
Alot of us covered all that terrain on straights and now on shaped , what you should do is just ski it on what ever your on !
But please no side slipping aloud.
Leeroy, this isn't a straight vs shaped thing, it is just a question regarding whether people have noticed a difference. It has nothing to do with not skiing particular terrain because you are on particular skis.

When you are involved in any sort of activity/ experience/ situation/ scenario etc do you ever ask the question 'Why'?

p.s. When I am next side-slipping I will be sure to do it quietly.


[ October 18, 2002, 01:40 AM: Message edited by: TheRockSkier ]
post #10 of 10
Rock , sorry if I rustled any feathers....twas not intended.
I guess where I was going with this could or should be a seperate thread.
Yes I do notice a difference but I tend to consentrate more on technique rather than the gear I'm standing on . There thats what I was meaning.
Carry on gentlemen.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion