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Multiple alpine ski categories are confusing - Page 2

post #31 of 53

Of course there can (and may already) be some exceptions to these guidelines which should be reviewed on an as needed basis.  When I said I "generalized" the data I was implying that there were a few cases where a ski is literally 1mm outside the range, but clearly belonged in the former (or latter) category.  Those should be fairly obvious since most manufacturers produce their skis in a "series" targeted to one of these categorizations.


Edited by Noodler - Fri, 06 Feb 09 00:33:35 GMT
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

Thanks, my friend... outstanding!

 

Let's get started with this. We can tweak if we need to. Do you think that waist sizes will be an ongoing measure of differentiation (other than the "mine's bigger" syndrome, of course!)?

Based on the statistical data - waist sizes are clearly one of the key differentiators that these stores/sites are using for their categorizations.  Even the manufacturers' marketing follows these same trend lines.  Of course things have gone wider over the years as the technology has allowed, but I believe we are now at a point where those dividing "lines" will be fairly static going forward.  The technology for the ski constructions has allowed the progression of the widths using traditional ski shapes.  What's more interesting now is where some companies are going with non-traditional designs (like the Fly Swatter, Spatula, Pontoon, etc.).  Those types of designs may prove challenging to categorize since some almost incorporate two skis in one (double cambered so that they can ride groomers fine, but include rocker for powder "surfing").

Thanks, Noodler, that's what I was wondering. I didn't know if they were likely to keep going on that path, forcing us to change the descriptions and having the historical definitions be confusing.

post #33 of 53

After looking at some of the review threads I believe that one of the bigger controversies for EpicSki folks will be some of the older skis that fall into the 75-79mm realm that many think of as their all-mountain or all-terrain ski.  That's really an area that most manufacturers have redefined in the past 3 years once they were able to build skis wider without losing the torsional stiffness to hold an edge.  If they had that technology years ago I doubt they would have pushed the idea that a ski with a waist in the 70s was an "all mountain" ski.  At least not for western use.

post #34 of 53

Okay, so at this point, I've gone through almost every product page in the ski category.  Given Noodler's general guidelines for waist, I moved some of the skis around.  It's likely there are a few that need to be moved (given my general lack of expertise of ski design), but just drop me a line and I can take care of it easily.

I did put (basically) verbatim Noodler's descriptions of each category in the little description below each sub-category just to be a bit more clear about what people will find. 

 

Along the side of the whole "Alpine Ski" section, I could also add in an "About Alpine Skis."  It could be something about skis in general, details about how the descriptions and waist measurement definitions aren't hard and fast...basically whatever you like to help folks orient themselves to the category.  It would be in the right hand column and look something like this (see right):

 

Just let me know what you'd like that description to be and I can pop it right in.

 

post #35 of 53

Thanks, stins... let's take a look, guys!

post #36 of 53

Just wanted to let you know that I've been re-thinking the ski categorization stuff and have made some changes in my own data.  Do what you want with this, but after reading more skiing information, skiing more, and running through my own quiver on the slopes I felt that some changes needed to be made.

 

The big issue is that I believe my initial stab of using 15mm increments at the waist width is not granular enough to accurately represent the different types of skis we have.  I also think that the original cut-off points we're incorrectly positioned (and possibly a bit geocentric to Western skiing ).

 

I have arrived at these new changes:

 

1. Dedicated groomer/frontside/carving ski - 74mm or less waist width, 16m or less sidecut radius

2. All-terrain ski with a groomer bias - 75mm - 84mm waist width, 16m - 20m sidecut radius

3. All-terrain ski with an ungroomed bias - 85mm - 94mm waist width, 20m - 24m sidecut radius

4. Big-mountain ski - 95mm - 104mm waist width, 24m - 30m sidecut radius

5. Powder Specialty ski - 105mm or greater waist width, 24m+ sidecut radius

 

 

post #37 of 53

Why do the categories have to be mutually exclusive?  It could be set up so that all categories could be available for each ski, and you could check whatever boxes the ski could belong to.  A  K2 PE/Extreme could  then appear in mogul skis, Park and Pipe, Freeride, as many categories as someone wants to put it in.   Make the categories dependent on the equipment instead of the other way around.  Simply have check boxes for all categories available when entering data for a particular piece of equipment and the ability to check several if need be.  Then that equipment would show up in all those categories when someone is browsing them

post #38 of 53

^^^ 

Yeah, what he said.

post #39 of 53

Thirded.

post #40 of 53

Noted. Thanks.

post #41 of 53

Imagine a gear wiki where someone could just tick boxes and search for:

 

Published radius    [  17  ]  to   [   22 ]  m

Waist size            [  72  ]    to [   84 ] mm


Model lengths avail  [  148 ] to [ 156  ] cm

Brands                 [any]

Model year           [2005]  to [present

 

And then just browse through the results.

 

 

Wouldn't that be nice?

post #42 of 53

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

 

Imagine a gear wiki where someone could just tick boxes and search for:

 

Published radius    [  17  ]  to   [   22 ]  m

Waist size            [  72  ]    to [   84 ] mm


Model lengths avail  [  148 ] to [ 156  ] cm

Brands                 [any]

Model year           [2005]  to [present

 

And then just browse through the results.

 

 

Wouldn't that be nice?

The new advanced search dynamic combo and list boxes eBay has are pretty sweet.

post #43 of 53

On second thought, what's the point of having categories if a ski can be in all categories? We're trying to differentiate between classes of items in the taxonomy, right?

post #44 of 53

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

On second thought, what's the point of having categories if a ski can be in all categories?

 

If a ski can be in all categories but isn't there must be a reason for that, eh?   Like a general consensus that it is completely inappropriate for that use?

 

If you want a true taxonomy, then categorize by criteria that are based on the ski ONLY.   Like the above waist/published radius/fun shape.

 

A category set of skis based on useage is not a true taxonomy because it involves the unknown variable of the user.    

 

  If you want a true analogy, what you've got here is a "taxonomy" of sharks based on which ones can bite you off Capetown vs. which ones can bite you off Cape Fear vs. which ones can bite you off Big Sur.

 

post #45 of 53

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

On second thought, what's the point of having categories if a ski can be in all categories? We're trying to differentiate between classes of items in the taxonomy, right?

 

There are several skis that are a good fit in more than one different category equally well.  I'm not saying they belong to or should be put in each and every category available, just the couple where they do fit well.  Back to the K2 Public Enemy example:

 

When entering that or any other piece of equipment have a check box for all categories a similar piece of equipment could conceivably belong to.  For skis it would be something like:

[ ] All Mountain skis

[ ] Bump skis

[ ] Carving skis

[ ] Powder skis

[ ] Racing GS

[ ] Racing SL

[ ] Racing SG

[ ] Racing DH

[ ] Park and Pipe

[ ] Telemark

[ ] Touring

 

I would check boxes for All Mountain, Park and Pipe, and Bump ski  because I think the PE should show up when you browse any of those categories.  I wouldn't check any of the racing ski boxes because I wouldn't want folks to see that when browsing the racing skis. There are probably other skis folks would want to check as All Mountain, and Carving skis, but not Park and Pipe and not Bump skis.  Hence the ability to check one or more category for each ski/piece of equipment.

 

Make sense now?

 

 

post #46 of 53

What's the waist of the ski? That's how I understand the current ski categories are set up. As a matter of fact, we inherited the current categories from the BC.com catalog, which we can dump wholesale into our system all pre-categorized (tagged), illustrated, and described.

 

post #47 of 53

I believe the PE is an 80 waist twin   Waist size is certainly a fair descriptor, but once again, check boxes would be nice.  I understand if you aren't building the database you will be limited to the characteristics of the database you are pulling in.  Anal data geeks like me would actually use a data export (to excel or text) tool and carve the info up however it works best for me.  I don't buy new gear at all so I'll stay out of the gear review stuff going forward, I just thought I had an idea of what the others were getting at and tried to communicate it.

post #48 of 53

Then it's all-mountain.

post #49 of 53

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

What's the waist of the ski? That's how I understand the current ski categories are set up. As a matter of fact, we inherited the current categories from the BC.com catalog, which we can dump wholesale into our system all pre-categorized (tagged), illustrated, and described.

 

 

I thought I recognized the look.

post #50 of 53

Hello there, new at this forum while i was looking information about ski categorization. 

What i had in mind is that waist is a basic specification not only for the torsional stiffness  , but also for the edge to edge performance. Although manufacturers have developed new tecnhologies for tortion regadles of the ski waist,  still edge to edge perfomance can not be bend by this inovations, meaning that as the ski is getting fatter there is ALWAYS an increase on slow transition ! which is the basic factor on ski style.

 

What you think of this ? (i have to say that i totaly agree with noodlers' posts. )

 

Nice forum, good to be here !

post #51 of 53

Fidd - welcome to EpicSki (especially if you're going to agree with me!)

 

Personally I'm still wrestling with the whole issue of categorizing skis.  We have those who basically want to remove categorization and just have the searches use specific ski characteristics, those that want a ski to be able to fall into multiple categories, and some who still want to put each ski in a single specific category.

 

For me the jury is still out even though I've contributed ideas bending towards all 3 of these directions.

post #52 of 53

Yeap , i think your list above is perfect !  (i ski a lot in europe, and i 've been an  instructor  for 10 years- now i want to edit a simple quide for a frineds shop in my home country ) :

 

"  .....1. Dedicated groomer/frontside/carving ski - 74mm or less waist width, 16m or less sidecut radius

2. All-terrain ski with a groomer bias - 75mm - 84mm waist width, 16m - 20m sidecut radius

3. All-terrain ski with an ungroomed bias - 85mm - 94mm waist width, 20m - 24m sidecut radius

4. Big-mountain ski - 95mm - 104mm waist width, 24m - 30m sidecut radius

5. Powder Specialty ski - 105mm or greater waist width, 24m+ sidecut radius......."

 

Of course there are some issues that you already mentioned , but they come ...second. 

Considering the basic principles of biomechanics on alpine skiing , your placement  is much more than a simple brief and of course intersubjective.  Last but not least , if manufacturers  construct models with long waist that they will not  effect transition at any kind of ski terrain  ,well.... thats a diferent issue, of course we all know that this is impossible  , we can not have it all in one piece ...

 

thanks for you info Noodler.

 

post #53 of 53

Hey EpicSki dudes.  I like your site!  You definitely list most of the best extreme terrain, and lots of ball busters and butt tightening lines. 

 

First, regarding your rating of Ski Areas with EX terrain, if in Summit County you're going to list the Lake Chutes at Breckenridge, as this makes sense, then you'd also have to put A-basin's upper east wall on your map.  I dare you to drop into the Second Notch from the summit and not rate it more severe than any Lake Chute, Breckenridge run. 

 

Enough on that, as it takes me to this interesting topic.  Yes, alpine ski categories are flat out confusing across the board. 

 

For example, you can go to many areas and see double black and not realize you're heading over to 50 -60 degree chutes.  Okay, yes, you'd have to ignore a plethora of other warning signs, but I see big caution and hazard signs to sleeper terrain, too. 

 

Of course, looking down a true in-bounds extreme line from the top shoud give every gumby a clew, but it doesn't.  While filming at the Breckenridge Lake Chutes over the last few weeks I filmed no less than 8 falls that exceeded 400-500ft.  Fortunately, most of those marvelous double black experts survived falling from the cornice to the valley floor.  Again I have to agree with your blog topic, "Alpine Ski Categories are Confusing, for sure."  Why not go to triple black diamonds for 50-60 degree terrain between rock bands that run for more than 700ft?  Well, ski areas have their little motives, including being scared to admit this to the general public, so it's not likely to happen. 

 

For that reason, I propose referencing the R and D Wildsnow Rating by Dobson be applied to true inbound EX terrain, so there is at least some shread of comparison to off piste terrain hazards.  If we do a bit of that type of communicating, fewer double black experts that spend 2 days skiing a year will drop into a bad inbound spot, all the while knowing that yes ski patrol does dynamite in-bound ex slopes for safety, and will hall a sorry ass out of places like Corbits if an accident happens.  Good topic, yes evolution in gear should be followed by an evolution in communicating an extreme ride.

 

http://www.steepchutes.com

 

Cheers, good blog!

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