To the original question, race skis - and skis based directly on them - strike me as having two characteristics that make them irrelevant, at best, for most of us recreational skiers. First, as noted earlier in the thread, they are incredibly specialized. Second, a case can be made that they are seriously lagging wrt the design curve. At least in terms of what matters to rec skiers. And maybe what should matter to racers as well (but that's just speculation). Which leads us to:
Originally Posted by Walt
As for the Spatula's importance, well, get back to me when reverse-sidecut, reverse-camber skis are the norm. So far, I've seen more ski-bikes than Spatulas.
If you literally mean Spatulas, that's not surprising since there were only about 2000 (depending on who you believe) made over half a decade ago. And as far as I can tell, most of them live in UT, CA and WA. If you are talking about immediate descendants & close relatives of the Spat - then you must not be where much is happening. Last season, the lineup at Alta was full of Praxis, Spatulas, Hell Bents, Pontoons, etc... Likewise, hit any of my local hills on a powder day and you'll see plenty of these designs.
And this year an assortment of rockered, hybridized and flat designs will be just about everywhere. I know the rough profiles of what people at three shops will be using (a major national specialty shop on each coast plus my local shop). In all three cases the shop folks using mainstream brand skis will likely be favoring EP Pros or Hell Bents as their main day to day ride. And as of a few days ago, EP Pros and Hell Bents had accounted for the majority of ski sales at my local shop so far this season.
This year look for Salomon Lords, Czars Ladies, etc. K2 Pontoons, Hell Bents, Obsethed. Volkl Kuro and Chop Stick, Line EP Pros and P130s, plus a variety of skis from DP, PM Gear, Praxis, Moment, etc., etc. Rossi Huge Troubles and Volkl Katanas are relatively flat designs but probably exist because of the non-cambered experiments triggered by the Spat. And so on...