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The "lost" ski waist width: 70-79mm - what's the point? - Page 3

post #61 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

 


 

I have no idea what you're getting at on points #2 or #3.

 

#2

The 77mm ski may not be much *floatier*  but it will be *smoother*.   

 

What does that mean?

 

Say you are on edge and your ski smacks into an incompressible object like a death cookie at the midline of the ski.

 

For any given height of death cookie, the net edge angle change is less than with a 68mm ski, meaning the required corrective input is smaller also.

post #62 of 104

I don't think the 70mm - 79mm range is lost at all. I've actually been looking for a ski in the upper end of that range for awhile. I'll either end up on something that is an 82 or a 78 waist.

post #63 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

 

I think that's a pretty good one-ski quiver for a hill like Madesimo most seasons. This year, with all the snow we've had (HAVE I MENTIONED HOW MUCH SNOW WE'VE HAD? AND MORE IS ON THE WAY), you might have wanted something wider, but 78's pretty good. Best runs of my season (so far) were on the 76's I use for touring.

 

They did not save me from panting behind you like a Basset Hound trying to keep up with a Great Dane

in all that pow, though 

(I'm still ashamed)

post #64 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

 

It's about where you are willing to make the compromise - if you cherish the ungroomed and deeper stuff then I guess you're more willing to make that compromise for the groomed stuff.

Pretty much where I'm at.  I like to play in the ungroomed, so if I have to work at all, I'd rather work on the groomer on the way back to the lift (not that it's really that much "work").  Hence my move to fatter skis.

 

I agree with the thought that if you're a good skier you should be fine skiing ungroomed/powder/all conditions on skinny skis, but it also applies in the opposite direction: if you're a good skier you should be fine skiing groomers/hardpack/all conditions on fat skis.

 

post #65 of 104


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobody View Post

 

 

 

They did not save me from panting behind you like a Basset Hound trying to keep up with a Great Dane

in all that pow, though 

(I'm still ashamed)

I think you were just overdressed. Need a jacket quiver.
 

post #66 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by faisasy View Post

 

 I agree with the thought that if you're a good skier you should be fine skiing ungroomed/powder/all conditions on skinny skis, but it also applies in the opposite direction: if you're a good skier you should be fine skiing groomers/hardpack/all conditions on fat skis.

 

 

The logical error I see in the whole thread thus far is that we are all-too-ready to accept 68mm as 'skinny' skis. 

 

Anyone else consider that rather arbitrary?

 

Now, consider why the thought of skiing 35mm-  45mm-  or 55mm- waist skis doesn't really appeal to you.   Is "float" really the issue?   I submit not.

 

The moment we determine a good reason to ski a 68mm ski over a 45mm one you also justify 78mm ones.

post #67 of 104

1.  Doesn't the answer to the question (whether a 70-79 mm waist ski is needed) depend to a great extent on whether we're talking about a multi-ski quiver or a 1-ski quiver?  If the latter, then I think Davluri hit the nail on the head: go for the "all season tire". 

 

2.  Noodler, in your initial post, your premise was "if you're just going to be ripping groomers all day" (or something like that).  In my limited time as a skier, it seems that many places don't groom all that meticulously (OK, I haven't been to Okemo or Deer Valley, where they apparently use Brylcream on the slopes).  Also, I haven't seen too many groomers that stay groomed for very long.  It seems to me that your premise that a 68 mm ski is better only applies if the slope starts and stays well groomed.

 

3.  What the heck do I know?  Apply appropriate discount factor to my points.       

 

 

post #68 of 104


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

 

 I guess it partly comes down to the skiers' ability to handle variable and deeper conditions on a narrower ski. 

I skied Friday with a guy on really light AT gear,skis definitely in the low 70's.  We did a lap in the side country before the lifts opened, then spent the rest of the day skiing knee deep in the woods, as well as windpacked, rime and crusted above treeline.  I was on skis 90 at the waist and couldn't shake him.  We skied top to bottom most runs.  He never has made any noise about wanting other skis.

post #69 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

 


 

I think you were just overdressed. Need a jacket quiver.
 

 

He doesn't have one?    He is Italian, yes?

post #70 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

 

 

 

He doesn't have one?    He is Italian, yes?

 

Hahahah. Yes, I do have an ageing jacket quiver, and yes, I was overdressed.

As a matter of fact, I still am.

With about 8 kg of fat!

 

post #71 of 104


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

 

 

 

The logical error I see in the whole thread thus far is that we are all-too-ready to accept 68mm as 'skinny' skis. 

 

Anyone else consider that rather arbitrary?

 

Now, consider why the thought of skiing 35mm-  45mm-  or 55mm- waist skis doesn't really appeal to you.   Is "float" really the issue?   I submit not.

 

The moment we determine a good reason to ski a 68mm ski over a 45mm one you also justify 78mm ones.

Interesting thought.  I've never seen a 35 mm ski, but I have a quiver XC skis.  My skating skis are 43mm at the waist.
 

 

With light XC boots I can hold those on edge just fine.  I even take a run down the mountain from time to time.

 

Salomon had an experimental "Raid Ski", a short (about 140cm)  metal edged ski for raid racing.  It is 65 under the foot with a lot of sidecut.  It comes with the BC binding and the idea is to skate on it.  The only problem is that with the Salomon Raid XC boot, (a nice xc touring boot) it is impossible to keep it on edge. Picture a speed skater on 65mm skates. With the same boots I can easily hold the 43mm ski on edge.  They work so well I mounted some of those bindings on an  xc racing ski for spring corn tours.

 

So why is 65-75 a good width for an alpine ski?  I think it lines the edge up with the cuff of the burly plastic boots we use, and you can hold an edge without fighting the leverage.  Once the edge is out past the boot sole leverage becomes an issue.

 

I also have a pair of old metal edge telemark skis, from the days when running gates on tele skis was a big deal.  They are 55mm, and I could hold an edge with leather tele boots.  It is interesting that tele skis didn't get wider than that until they invented plastic tele boots.

post #72 of 104

 

Another question:

 

  Can skier ability/experience/sheer effort do more for:

 

     a "skinny ski" in powder

  

     or

 

     a "fat ski" on hardpack?        (ignoring which terrain the skier actually prefers)

 

Some people claim to like their skiiny skis just fine in powder.  

Most acknowledge that their fat skis are ok on hardpack.  

 

For me, I can't make a fat ski come alive on the frontside.  But i can get it on edge (slowly) and skid it, and go fast.  It takes a positve experience to an acceptable experience

 

But a skinny ski, for me, in powder, and even the navigation _can+ become difficult/frustrating, and i find myself traversing and fighting the flow.  This takes a great experience to a slightly frustrating experience.

 

Hence my quiver:  66+/- frontside (RX8, Speedwave 12)   Watea 94 backside.

 

 

IF i had to have only one ski it would around 75-80 (East, low vert / low snow area), or 85-90 (west/bigger mountain, high snow )

 

post #73 of 104


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by docbrad66 View Post

 

 

Another question:

 

  Can skier ability/experience/sheer effort do more for:

 

     a "skinny ski" in powder

  

     or

 

     a "fat ski" on hardpack?        (ignoring which terrain the skier actually prefers)

 

Some people claim to like their skiiny skis just fine in powder.  

Most acknowledge that their fat skis are ok on hardpack.  

 

For me, I can't make a fat ski come alive on the frontside.  But i can get it on edge (slowly) and skid it, and go fast.  It takes a positve experience to an acceptable experience

 

But a skinny ski, for me, in powder, and even the navigation _can+ become difficult/frustrating, and i find myself traversing and fighting the flow.  This takes a great experience to a slightly frustrating experience.

 

Hence my quiver:  66+/- frontside (RX8, Speedwave 12)   Watea 94 backside.

 

 

IF i had to have only one ski it would around 75-80 (East, low vert / low snow area), or 85-90 (west/bigger mountain, high snow )

 

Doc, your post is entirely too logical and honest for this forum.  Common sense and truth don't make the internet go round.
 

post #74 of 104
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

 

So why is 65-75 a good width for an alpine ski?  I think it lines the edge up with the cuff of the burly plastic boots we use, and you can hold an edge without fighting the leverage.  Once the edge is out past the boot sole leverage becomes an issue.

 

This thought was part of my initial premise regarding how skinny should you go - what's ideal?  I felt that the boots we use really drive this point and thus answers both the "why don't we go even skinnier" question and the why compromise and go wider than the most efficient width a boot can drive.  I was assuming (with what little of my physics I remember) that a ski width that is closely aligned with the boot sole width would be the most "efficient" size as far as edge pressure goes.

 

Also, we have the whole "booting out" issue with narrow skis.  The stand height you would need to prevent boot out on a 45-55mm ski would probably be ridiculous (and unsafe).  I have a 55mm stand height (FIS legal) on my Elan S12 (66mm underfoot) and it works great, but I can't imagine being much higher off the snow.

post #75 of 104

This was addressed higher up, but I don't think boot sole width is really relevant.

 

Ice skates have boots with soles that are about as wide as ski boots, but "skis" that are, what, maybe 3 mm wide?

 

Of course, if you used a skate blade in anything like "ordinary" ski conditions, you'd find yourself immobile, standing on the equivalent of a stake in the ground.

 

There have been some absurdly narrow skis that have been at least tried as prototypes, or even marketed, without success. There are a few factors that combine against the advent of a ski narrower than the mid-60s:

 

- As already noted, it's got to float at least on hardpack, unless it's intended for an incredibly special use.

 

- When it comes to the one incredibly special use where a very narrow ski might be successful -- slalom racing on injected, or very hard, snow -- FIS rules set a minimum width at 60 mm. Yes, some race stock skis apparently flirt with that limit. Indeed, on rare occasions, racers are disqualified for violating it. Chemmy Alcott, for example.

 

- In order to keep the boot off the snow, you need more elevation. Again, there are FIS rules that limit it, plus there's a tradeoff, as a high, narrow support starts to have more in common with walking on stilts. What works fine on flat ice at skating speeds doesn't work on a bumpy hill at the much faster speeds of skiing.

 

- Angulation. The effect of angulation is to tip the ski so that it is more inclined than it would be if it were perpendicular to the line from the foot to the center of mass. The effect, in addition to changing the angle at which the edge meets the snow, is also to bring the edge more directly beneath the center of mass.

post #76 of 104


 

Quote:

Also, we have the whole "booting out" issue with narrow skis.  The stand height you would need to prevent boot out on a 45-55mm ski would probably be ridiculous (and unsafe).  I have a 55mm stand height (FIS legal) on my Elan S12 (66mm underfoot) and it works great, but I can't imagine being much higher off the snow.


 

You know, a few years ago a Swede was using clap style speed skates mounted on his XC skis for the sprints.  He was four inches above the ski.

post #77 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

 

Also, we have the whole "booting out" issue with narrow skis.  The stand height you would need to prevent boot out on a 45-55mm ski would probably be ridiculous (and unsafe).  I have a 55mm stand height (FIS legal) on my Elan S12 (66mm underfoot) and it works great, but I can't imagine being much higher off the snow.

 

That's about what I have on my 45mm waist  Elan Stealths; for the 35mm set look at what the Anton Gliders are up to. 

 

 

post #78 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

 
 

You know, a few years ago a Swede was using clap style speed skates mounted on his XC skis for the sprints.  He was four inches above the ski.

 

 

Cado Motus (the folks that used to be Mogema) are now selling this over-the-counter.

 

http://www.cadomotus.com/shop/default.asp?s=2741E2AB018A42A09EF33BA97D2500B1&art=11

post #79 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

 

 

 

I know, I know, but with the snow you guys have been getting lately it's like you're almost participating in the same sport we do out here in the West .

Don't be fooled; pictures from back here are doctored in Photoshop to magnify height of small hills and undulations. Stowe actually has 120 feet of vertical. 

post #80 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by docbrad66 View Post

 

 

Another question:

 

  Can skier ability/experience/sheer effort do more for:

 

     a "skinny ski" in powder

  

     or

 

     a "fat ski" on hardpack?        (ignoring which terrain the skier actually prefers)

 

Some people claim to like their skiiny skis just fine in powder.  

Most acknowledge that their fat skis are ok on hardpack.  

 

For me, I can't make a fat ski come alive on the frontside.  But i can get it on edge (slowly) and skid it, and go fast.  It takes a positve experience to an acceptable experience

 

But a skinny ski, for me, in powder, and even the navigation _can+ become difficult/frustrating, and i find myself traversing and fighting the flow.  This takes a great experience to a slightly frustrating experience.

 

Hence my quiver:  66+/- frontside (RX8, Speedwave 12)   Watea 94 backside.

 

 

IF i had to have only one ski it would around 75-80 (East, low vert / low snow area), or 85-90 (west/bigger mountain, high snow )

 

 

I think that Doc is making an excellent point.  With a little extra effort, an expert skier can make a skinny ski work in powder or a fat ski carve the front side.  Are 63mm-68mm waisted skis ideal in soft snow?  Absolutely not.  And while you can certainly carve a ski that's 105mm underfoot, a gs ski would be a far better choice.

 

But to go back to the OP's question, what is the point of a ski with 70mm to 79mm waist, especially with manufacturers making "carving skis" that are 80+ underfoot?  I can come up with at least 4 situations where a waist in the 70s might be more appropriate.

 

1. Intermediate frontside ski - While a waist in the 60s is more appropriate for a pure carver, a skidded carve becomes more difficult.  A ski in the 70s won't give up that much carving performace, but with the right dimensions should make for a less grabby ski.

 

2. Mogul oriented frontside ski - The OP even suggested this.  Unless you want a full on mogul ski, it might be hard to find a good bump ski.  But I've skied a few skis with waists in the 70s (like the Stockli XL or the Kastle MX78) that made for great bump skis while still performing on the rest of the hill. Sure, you can ski a mid-fat or even a fat ski in the bumps, but I definitely prefer something much narrower.

 

3. Little mountain all mountain ski - So you ski at a neighborhood hill in the east with 1000ft of vert?  Don't feel like skiing a full on carving stick? A ski in the 70s might make the most sense.  If you ski 100% groomers in a place where a pow day is a couple of inches at best, there is no reason to have a ski over an 80mm waist.  But if you want something a little more mellow than a carver....

 

4. Park & Pipe - Although most park skis are now venturing into the 80s, for certain riders a ski in the 70s might work better.  For Prezling rails and riding pipe, a ski with a waist in the high 70s might work better than something fatter.

post #81 of 104


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSkiMogul View Post

 

 

1. Intermediate frontside ski - While a waist in the 60s is more appropriate for a pure carver, a skidded carve becomes more difficult.  A ski in the 70s won't give up that much carving performace, but with the right dimensions should make for a less grabby ski.

 

2. Mogul oriented frontside ski - The OP even suggested this.  Unless you want a full on mogul ski, it might be hard to find a good bump ski.  But I've skied a few skis with waists in the 70s (like the Stockli XL or the Kastle MX78) that made for great bump skis while still performing on the rest of the hill. Sure, you can ski a mid-fat or even a fat ski in the bumps, but I definitely prefer something much narrower.

 

3. Little mountain all mountain ski - So you ski at a neighborhood hill in the east with 1000ft of vert?  Don't feel like skiing a full on carving stick? A ski in the 70s might make the most sense.  If you ski 100% groomers in a place where a pow day is a couple of inches at best, there is no reason to have a ski over an 80mm waist.  But if you want something a little more mellow than a carver....

 

4. Park & Pipe - Although most park skis are now venturing into the 80s, for certain riders a ski in the 70s might work better.  For Prezling rails and riding pipe, a ski with a waist in the high 70s might work better than something fatter.


 

Those are all very nice, though not one of them apply to me.

 

I guess the one you left out is:

 

5.)  I know what I like, and unless it is nothing but pure powder, pure ice or serious slop, a ski in the 70's is what I like.

post #82 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post

 

This was addressed higher up, but I don't think boot sole width is really relevant.

 

Ice skates have boots with soles that are about as wide as ski boots, but "skis" that are, what, maybe 3 mm wide?

Ice skates' edges sit 120-180 mm above the sole of the boot. Quite a stack. And yes, it's possible, even easy, to boot out on skates. 

post #83 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post

 

 

 

#2

The 77mm ski may not be much *floatier*  but it will be *smoother*.   

 

What does that mean?

 

Say you are on edge and your ski smacks into an incompressible object like a death cookie at the midline of the ski.

 

For any given height of death cookie, the net edge angle change is less than with a 68mm ski, meaning the required corrective input is smaller also.

Sounds reasonable, but assumes "smoothness" is a function solely of perturbation and corrective input. Suspect width of ski means more mass to move when that death cookie is hit, so more inertia, so more "smoothness." 

post #84 of 104

I ski 70mm waist skis and they are my fat skis. I've given up carving. Too difficult.

post #85 of 104

In the note about boot sole width, I was countering the notion that there is no gain in "efficiency" (or leverage, bite, edge hold, whatever) as the ski becomes narrower than the boot sole, i.e. disagreeing that there's a point of maximum "efficiency" when the ski is the width of the boot sole. As a matter of simple physics, this isn't the case. What happens as you narrow a ski from, say, 85 mm to boot width continues to happen as you continue to narrow the ski, down to 3mm (or even less). You continue to get more and more leverage the closer the edge moves to the center of balance under your foot. It doesn't stop once the edge gets closer to the center than your boot sole.

 

Obviously, other things happen as you narrow a ski, which combine to make something around 65 mm the lowest you want to go for ordinary skiing. These include the problem of keeping the boot off the snow, or "boot out," which was among the points I specifically made in my post above.

 

Whole 'nother subject, but on the "wider = smoother" point, as it involved death cookies (or rocks, ruts, roots and other things that may or may not start with "R"): I don't agree with this either. If you strike a death cookie 10mm off center in a wide ski or a narrow ski, the effect will be approximately the same. If you strike a death cookie 40 mm off center on an 85 mm ski, it will be consideraly less "smooth" than if you did the same thing with a narrow ski, because you wouldn't strike it at all on the narrower ski. If, for some reason, you want to compare what will happen if you strike a death cookie 30 mm off center on a 65 mm ski vs. striking a death cookie 40 mm off center on an 85 mm ski, I think I'd prefer the narrower one, for the same reason I'd like to hit a death cookie as close to straight on as possible. Assuming the force  exerted by the death cookie on the ski is the same in each case, the torque on your leg will be 1-1/3 times greater on the wider ski.

post #86 of 104

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
 

Those are all very nice, though not one of them apply to me.

 

I guess the one you left out is:

 

5.)  I know what I like, and unless it is nothing but pure powder, pure ice or serious slop, a ski in the 70's is what I like.

 

And that's probably the best reason...

post #87 of 104

 If you are ripping firm groomers all day, yes, it makes sense to have a narrower ski, but if you are a skier looking for off-piste versatility, 65mm skis underfoot can be a little narrow and demanding. Say the day when it hasn't snowed in a couple of weeks, and you want to hit some firm groomers, some off-piste stuff like bumps, just skiing anywhere.  Skiing springtime, when perhaps you want razor-sharp edge handling in the morning, followed by a bit of forgiveness later in the day, seems tailor-made to the 75mm ski.  65mm skis tend to dig quicker if you are skiing groomers that happen to be soft: 75-79mm skis don't do it as much, are more forgiving, but don't have the bulky feel of the 80mm+ skis.  Try skiing a good 76mm ski on hardpack vs., say an 82mm: Cool Heat vs Cold Heat is a great example: skiing this on man-made snow, the 82mm is solid once engaged onto edge, but takes more effort to get there, reducing power and rebound in the process, and doesn't have the Porsche 911 feel of the 76mm. Yet, taking the 76mm Cool Heat up on a day with just a few inches of new snow in the past week, yet with soft groomers, and that ski will rip all day.  The 82mm does the job, but isn't really wide enough to add much float, and isn't as quick, sporty, or as powerful. This isn't completely obvious until you get on a narrower power ski, which can be addicting once you feel the power of a race-like, high end ski pulling you into the turn, a feel that just isn't quite there with the wider skis.   I would argue that many skis (specifically the wide carvers) from 80-87mm are just as much or more of a "lost width": a little stiff for bumps, not wide enough for deep snow, too wide to really feel powerful on the groomers. I think the 70-79mm skis are more focused skis toward versatile non new-snow performance.  You could say the same about 90-100mm skis: not really good enough float for deep snow, not great in heavy windpack, don't really open up otherwise unskiiable terrain like a good wide (110mm+) ski.   

 

If I had to have 2 skis, it would probably be a Dynastar 4x4, and something around 100mm underfoot (even up to Huge Trouble width).  People who llve in many areas of the country just don't see much new snow, and therefore aren't going to need much width at all.  Think Sun Valley: our Elan rep loves the 777 with Sun Valley as his home mountain: it is his everyday ski.  He isn't a big guy, and it never snows there anyway, but that ski provides enough of a cushion for him to take advantage of those big 4 inch powder days they get, yet still get great edge hold on groomers and zipper the bumps.  

 

I get your point about the narrower 65mm width skis, but due to the narrow tip, they can dig a bit if the snow isn't very firm, even on groomers.  More width seems to equal a slightly bigger sweet spot than a 65mm ski, and people don't need that much power unless they are running gates. 

post #88 of 104

Great post Dawg. Could not agree more.............

post #89 of 104

Noodler,  I'm interested to see where this goes.  I've just added the Blizzard Titan Agros as my off-piste ski (101 mm) and have the Laser SC (63 mm) as my on-piste.  Two skis left in the middle are my Stormrider XL (75 mm) and Stormrider XXL (80 mm).  Just back from Tahoe and the choice was easy - Agros and Stormrider XL, but now back in Australia, with our slush, ice and hard pack and I'm sure I'll be lugging four pairs of skis around and praying for a rare powder day, but most likely the Stormrider XL, which I do love will now be redundant.

post #90 of 104
Thread Starter 

dawg - great post.  Points well taken.  I hadn't really even considered that it's really the 80-89mm widths that could be considered "lost".

 

I think this is all leading up to the inevitable situation - I need to ski the skis back to back in variable conditions and make some personal decisions before making any additional "proclamations" about ski widths.  And the key word there was "personal".  I can totally see now that every ski width probably has its place given a user's skiing style, skill, terrain choice, mountain size, etc.

 

Of course this probably isn't helping me reduce my quiver size!

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