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Mid-Fats - Magic Dimensions

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased a pair of mid-fats, with: 128-85-112 dimensions.

I researched other mid-fat models, and found that a surprising number share virtually the same dimensions, including:

Salomon X Wing Fury
Volkl AC50
Rossignol Zenith 15
K2 Xplorer
Watea 84
Blizzard Magnum 8.7
Atomic Crimson TI

All are popular skis and most are within 1mm (2mm at the most) of each other in each dimension.

In no other category do you find such convergence. Even frontside groomers, with less surface area, feature more variability in size than mid-fats.

It's interesting that 128-85-112 suddenly become the "magic number" for mid-fat designs.
post #2 of 14
I disagree a little bit, Captn. I think in the 105mm underfoot range has become quite crowded. In addition to the Gotama...almost every manufacturer has a ski with a very similar set of dimensions..to the extent that this might be the new "fat"-midfat. It also seems to me there's a bunch of skis around 90mm and that is also a crowded grouping as well...thoughts?
post #3 of 14
All the segments are crowded.
post #4 of 14
I think you may be looking at it backwards. Isn't it really a magic turn radius, regardless of waist width? I think this works in the 85-105 waisted skis, but breaks down on both ends of the spectrum.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
If you look carefully at the numbers, there's not even two skis with 105 mm waist measurements in the "Big Mountain" category, let alone the same throughout.

In fact, you rarely find two skis in the wide, or super-wide category with even one measurement in common.

In the "Front Side" category, only the Fischer Progressor and Kastle RX are within a few mm's of each other.

Yet, in the "All Mountain Expert" (or, mid-fat) category, fully 1/3 of all the skis are within 1 or 2 mm's of each other, in ALL THREE dimensions.

The mid-fat category is unique in this regard.
post #6 of 14
I'd guess that it's more about competition for market share than a "perfect" shape and size. There may be few skis that are exactly 105, but a whole bunch are between 100 and 108. IMO within a range that narrow the shape, flex pattern, and materials of a ski will create the differences in performance or "feel," not the exact waist width. Keep in mind that as you get wider, the addition of a few mm is a smaller % of the total width or SA, so 100-105 not as big a deal as say, 63 vs 68.

Also consider the number of skis bunched around 88-90 mm, 78-79 mm or 66-68 mm. Magical? And seems like more tip to tail taper is becoming popular, which may help condense the possible measurements.

Or maybe it's as simple as who makes the molds and presses that manufacturers use. Doubt each makes their own, but may be wrong.

Less clear how these initially become defined as "segments," (really more "clots", like on a freeway, since the distribution is pretty continuous) although agree they are in terms of market.
post #7 of 14
I think you may be looking at it backwards.

The skis -could- be wider in the waist if the manufacturer wanted to invest in molds over 130 mm wide to clear the tips.

130 mm-wide molds and under-20m published radius -> mid 80s waist.


The reason frontsiders can be so highly variable is that their tips are way under the mold limits.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
It's true that waist measurments tend to "clump" around certain ranges (you only have so many mm's to work with).

And, it's true that's a lot of "Big Mountain" skis with waists in the 100 to 108 segment.

Yet, in these cases, the tip and tail measurements are all over the map, even if the waist measurements are close.

In the mid-fat segment, it appears that 1/3 of the vendors used virtually the same mold.

It's the alignment of the entire ski shape, not just the waist, that makes this: 128-85-112 measurement at bit peculiar.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
It's true that waist measurments tend to "clump" around certain ranges (you only have so many mm's to work with).

And, it's true that's a lot of "Big Mountain" skis with waists in the 100 to 108 segment.

Yet, in these cases, the tip and tail measurements are all over the map, even if the waist measurements are close.
Because there isn't a mandate to meet a specific published radius.

People buying big waisted skis do not use published radius to gauge their turns.

Quote:
It's the alignment of the entire ski shape, not just the waist, that makes this: 128-85-112 measurement at bit peculiar.
Imho, it's the alignment of the -tip- widths that you should be looking at. Once you have that maximum, once you choose to meet a published radius, and once you decide to make an AM ski instead of a fat SL, the waist and taper are set.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Imho, it's the alignment of the -tip- widths that you should be looking at. Once you have that maximum, once you choose to meet a published radius, and once you decide to make an AM ski instead of a fat SL, the waist and taper are set.
Of course, once one dimension is selected, and a radius perscribed, the other two dimensions are a given. The arc follows the radius.

Regardless of how the shape is derived, the only point I'm making is that about 1/3 of the vendors in a given segment have settled on the same formula for "all conditions" skiing.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Of course, once one dimension is selected, and a radius perscribed, the other two dimensions are a given. The arc follows the radius.

Regardless of how the shape is derived, the only point I'm making is that about 1/3 of the vendors in a given segment have settled on the same formula for "all conditions" skiing.
Ah, I thought you might look to extrapolate to future possibilities, i.e. continue along the probable path used to set the shape.

Has anyone here skied a hard carver with 135++ tip, i.e. fatter tip than Enforcer/Phantom 95?
post #12 of 14
Boyz'n Girlz.................put away yer calipers..............it dont matter (very much)

The overall personality of a ski is a complex cocktail that includes every facet and factor of ski design. The fact that a number of ski makers have settled into a relatively narrow set of dimensions within a given waist width parameter is just a fairly random circumstance. It is not a definitive number, not a trend, not anything else to get up a sweat about.

Shape is a give and take. When you add or subtract a few silly millimeters, you won't radically change the ski. You'll gain something here, give it back over there. In the grand scheme.....IT DON'T MATTER NONE A-TALL. It is the mix of other factors that determine the personality of the ski.

Eggggzample:

The Fischer Watea 84 and Volkl AC-50 are fairly close in overall shape, yet vastly different in personality. That's why I call one a soft snow biased ski and one a hard snow biased ski.

Annuder:

I like the Line P-100 a lot. It is a very good all 'rounder for the Western skier. For my tastes, I like my Volkl Gotama better, but it has little to do with the waist width and more to do with the straighter shape. (the Got is less twitchy)

Now a dose of heresey:

Although I like the P-100 a lot, I think the new Atomic Snoop is an even better all around choice. Straighter shape, a flex balance that is a fit for me, nice grip underfoot but less in the tip and tail make the Snoop a wonderful (if underhyped) choice. Having skied both in the conditions one would usually ascribe for a Western 50/50 ski, the overall balance of the Snoop is better for me regardless of how deep the snow. If choosing between those two, I'd choose the Snoop every time and twice on Sunday.

Put away yer calipers fercrudsakes............

SJ
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
I kinda like my calipers - pointy and precise.

Your points are valid. There's a LOT more to ski design than dimensions. I'm not suggesting dimensions alone define the ski.

Only, that otherwise random data appears to converge on a point.

They say intelligence is the ability to detect patterns in chaos. When a distinct pattern emerges out of otherwise far-flung criteria, is it just coincidence?
post #14 of 14

Good point Strato

I think cap strato makes a good point. Why fight it, it's interesting. SJ adds the next important detail, and voila, we're all more informed.
Obviously, there's a feeling that the 85mm formula is a "magic" one to accomplish the attributes/tradeoffs the manufactures are seeking in this category of ski. I think it's, in part, that 85mm or so feels less planky on firm snow than 90mm. There's a big diffence in feel there. So beyond that dimension you're really entering a new "big mountain" or "off-piste" category.
I want my hard(er) snow ski to feel even less planky and quicker than the 84mm Watea I tried the end of last season, which is why I'm excited to demo the head 78 and 82, dynastar 8000 and the watea 78 this season. Why not narrower yet? Because we're still all-mountain skiers and need to ready for anything!
Waiting for the snow.. A few years ago we were in 3 ft of powder at Suger Bowl on Halloween!
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