Originally Posted by Bob Barnes
Welcome to EpicSki, JDGin--and welcome back to skiing!
Lots has changed in the last decade, but some things never change! The fact is, deep-sidecut "shaped" skis are designed to carve much more easily than the old straight skis, but the outcome, and the techniques involved, are fundamentally the same. Carving once required extraordinary skill, strength, and athleticism, but the new skis do it well with far less edge angle, less pressure needed to bend them, and less speed required to generate that pressure. If you once carved well, you'll find the new skis just make it easier.
However, since it was truly the realm of experts to carve consistently on the "old" skis, very few skiers actually did it. Even advanced skiers typically used a technique more suited to creating skidded, braking turns. If your "old" habits were more of this type (and without knowing you, I'd have to say the odds are pretty good), you'll find that you need to make some real adjustments to get the most out of--or even to enjoy--today's high-performance carving skis.
Don't let that stop you, though. If you "were" a strong skier, get good skis. But I strongly encourage you to find a good instructor (and not just a "strong skiing friend") to help you connect to your new equipment, to help you identify and correct any bad habits that will slow your progress, and to smooth your transition back to the sport.
all the above is completely valid, good analysis.
AND, I will add this for detail on your OP question,and base it on the fact that I am your age and experience and have blended old school with new school ski technique with favorable results.
Some companies tend to design a ski that is easier to execute smearing, braking turns on, and this is a plus for many skiers. The super side cut ski (42+mm boot to toe, 30+ to tail) will "hook-up", meaning the inside edges (tails mostly) grab the snow strongly and do not break loose for smearing (scrubbing speed). This is good for shaving seconds of a GS run, or making pretty turns on blue groomers, but can be deadly in a real life situation involving steep, technical terrain.
Back on task, Dynastar has been making many models with the sidecut modified in the tail, that is: the difference between under the boot and at the tail is less great (roughly 20mm)than the typical carver (Volkl AC3 for example), (around 30mm) This formula is a great compromise, allows for old school check and platform method, and gives away little in carving performance at the same time.