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What are the advantages of Longer Skis ? - Page 3

post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post

See, I don't think it's a rhetorical question at all. 

I ski almost every day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.  I see all kinds of enormously wide, rockered, and reverse-cambered skis (and all their various permutations) on the groomers every day.  To my very untrained eye, some of them look to only have about 100cm of contact with the snow while they're doing that.
 

Which is why I said "rhetorical" rather than "hypothetical."  (Although I confess I was torn.)

To expand out your question, since my Praxis have a continuous curve, if one were to place them on a perfectly hard, perfectly flat surface, their contact length should -- in theory -- be a single point.  Since snow-covered slopes are a three dimensional surface, however, that's not what happens in the real world.
post #62 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

 A longer softer ski will give you a little suspension, so why not let the ski do as much work for you as possible?  I can drive the tips of my skis straight into the trough of a bump and the flex will slow me down....

Edited by mudfoot - 8/13/2009 at 04:24 pm GMT

This is one key thing you can't easily duplicate with a shorter ski.  It's relevant in bumps, or for that matter with very short skis if you get backseat there's, effectively, no backseat to lean on so you're down.  In summer terms if a 6'0 adult jumps on a L versus M frame mountain bike a small difference in framesize and wheelbase will feel very different.

The Icelantics the op mentioned are also highly tapered.  There's nothing wrong with that, but the feel of a turn in soft snow with a highly tapered shape is different.  Some people prefer, even for shapes with regular sidecut and camber, a purely symmetrical shape in powder, believe or not, at one extreme, in part for the sweetness; most people are going to find some medium amount of taper and setback more versatile. 

But, honestly the majority of skiers probably would have more fun on a short highly tapered fat ski in soft snow than what they're on.  If you ski a lot different shapes can be fun to experience.  If you want to ski primarily a certain way and a certain type of terrain, then choosing is easy:  the people who ski that way a lot effectively show you what you need, do what they do and you won't be too far off gear-wise.  (That doesn't mean go for certain models; look at what they actually use.)
post #63 of 83
Is the question asking the advantage of longer "shaped ski's" over shorter "shaped ski's" or longer "straight ski's" over shorter "shaped ski's" ?
Shaped ski's, ski entirely different than straight ski's if you use the accepted "correct" technique for both. Shaped ski technique is probably "more natural" and therefore easier to learn to parallel ski.
IMO longer skis ride a little smoother than shorter skis, although this is not a "hard rule".
post #64 of 83

The usage of shaped ski is interesting in that it definitely normally still means frontside carver, but with all the "new shapes" there's a lot more, potentially, to choose from shape-wise.  Also with a wider ski you just can't go as long and have the same flex characteristics with the materials now used.  So for most adults long just can't be that long.

post #65 of 83

Think that we are getting to the meat of the matter.  Which skis longer?  True confessions time.

2 years ago came up with a new addiction.  I have become a demo ski junkie! .  I have skied a long time, puting all the days together it would be like 6 or 7 years, and I can turn both ways.  Have been  trying a number of different types and shapes of skis, and liking it.  Have not gotten on any reverse shaped skis yet, look at that as kind of the heroin of ski shapes and am afraid (may get hooked).  It all started innocently enough, these things often do, wanted to try more of a big mt ski on a powder day, and I liked it, kind of like a new romance, looking for the sweet spots.  You begin to find that rockered tips can rip groomers, or rc's can lay down railroad tracks.

How the different skis perform and what they respond to is amazing.  My day to day ski is a Crimson, but when the snow is really good IMHO by Crystal Mt. standards, to the demo shop I go.  It is a hoot!  That first run can be an adventure, first kiss syndrome, but finding  what a ski positively responds to is rewarding in its own way. 

The length difference is note worthy after about 10 CM.  The surfaces smooth themselves out.  Soft bumps become a non-factor.  Chop is just more fun.  The speed limit sign in your head has a higher number painted on it (by today's standards, mine is relatively low).  You find yourself using a different part of the french curve to shape your turns.  Your style of skiing is being reshaped by the tool. 

If you are a one ski quiver kind  of person, this can be a low cost passport to new experiences on skis.  Try it, you'll like it.  Be warned, do this at your own risk, it is addictive.



 

post #66 of 83
now we're circling back- restate the OP to what's the perfect length for the type of terrain, snow and style of skiing (and level) too.....

Steranger isn't a one-quiver ski illegal here?
post #67 of 83
One other thing those who ski a lot generally do is ski on small quivers, interestingly.  Experimenting is great and fun as noted, but then even if you spend a lot of time on snow the fine-tuning of feel to get the most out of your setup can get screwed up by always switching. 
post #68 of 83

There are more skis in the quiver, just don't seem to pull them anymore. 

I really want to try some Icelantic Nomads , just don't know which length.

 

CTKook, can it screw you up; you betcha'.  Have done that to myself a time or three with and without skis.

post #69 of 83
What's really fun is switching between tele and alpine. I often try to tele my first turn when I switch from tele to alpine. Even if it is days between tele and alpine. Doh!

MR
post #70 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post




Fixed it.  OP hasn't been seen around since post #7. 


Naw, I’m still around & I’ve been following this thread .  I haven’t commented before because I’ve been bemused and confused by the arguments expressed.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post


Try different lengths of skis and find the ones you enjoy and are most comfortable with.
If someone feels the need to mock/belittle others for having a different length of ski, then they've got a bit too high an opinion of themselves.
If you get a pair that are a different in length to what you are used to, it may be worth while working on your technique to make your skiing more enjoyable.
Some people dislike longer/shorter skis because the ski length doesn't suit their technique or skill level.
Also, when listening to other people's opinion, make sure they quantify it. I could say that any ski over 210cm is useless. But that's without me telling you that I've never skiied anything that length! If someone says that longer or shorter don't work, they need to tell you what they have tried and how/where.

Then again, you might be best just to stick with what you've got - it avoids the whole problem. Just remember that you need to be able to defend your decision, then learn how to defend without attacking everybody else - since their decision is based on their circumstances, not yours.

BTW, this is not aimed at the OP, or anyone else in particular on this thread.

So, as I said at the start, Taos, my advice is to ignore my advice.

I choose to ski 170cm most of the time. I have longer, fatter skis which I sometimes use in powder. I have shorter ones that sometimes get used indoors. I find the 170s are easier on my knees than the fat boys, but faster and more forgiving than the shorter ones.

I have skied on, and still have available in my quiver, Volant Ti Super (178), Stockli Axis (170), Fischer Sceneo 400 (160), Head Monster im72 (163), Dynastar Inspired (178), Icelantic Nomad (156) and Icelantic Shaman (161) ( I know, there’s a large overlap) and coincidently or otherwise, the skis I enjoy most are all below 170.
 
Which is why I asked the question – if my experience is that the skis I enjoy most are short, is there any theoretical justification which might suggest I might get more out of a longer ski (say 180+)? 
 
I am unconvinced by just about all of the Physics arguments I’ve seen justifying longer skis.  My initial simple arguments were just that – simple and only a gross approximation to a real situation.  The physics of skiing is complicated as anyone who has read Lind & Sanders will know.  But after a physics PhD and 20 years of physics research & development, the only thing I know is that I don’t know very much, and I might be wrong about that too.
 
Lots of people expressed ideas that seem good sense to me – along the lines of ‘go with what gives you the most fun’, or ‘I ski long because I like that better’ and so my current take-away from the thread is ‘it is all a matter of personal preference’
 
I am quite prepared to admit I might be gaper and just can’t ski well enough to handle a longer ski, but what I am now pondering is if some people prefer to ski short and others long, how much of that is because the skiing technique an individual has developed to cope with their unique body geometry – leg length, weight distribution, musculature, stance etc. – has landed them into a style well suited to a particular length/shape/brand of ski?
 
Just another thought brought on by a comment made to me by an instructor 5 years ago when I switched to the Sceneo's (my first short ski) who said ' Boy, you've really found the sweet spot on those skis'

 
 
post #71 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaosMath View Post
 

 

Lots of people expressed ideas that seem good sense to me – along the lines of ‘go with what gives you the most fun’, or ‘I ski long because I like that better’ and so my current take-away from the thread is ‘it is all a matter of personal preference’
 

 

I am quite prepared to admit I might be gaper and just can’t ski well enough to handle a longer ski, but what I am now pondering is if some people prefer to ski short and others long, how much of that is because the skiing technique an individual has developed to cope with their unique body geometry – leg length, weight distribution, musculature, stance etc. – has landed them into a style well suited to a particular length/shape/brand of ski?
It is entirely about personal preference. It is entirely about what works for you, because of all of the aspects you mention. There is no right length someone else can discern which is more right than what you like the feel of.

Long skis have a feel to them that short skis don't, some of us prefer it. It is also true the other way around. Skiers come in all shapes and sizes, and have all different variations of technique and temperament. The skis they choose optimally will augment the dynamics of their personal physics, to find the best match some trial and error may be needful.




Edited by volantaddict - 8/16/2009 at 08:21 am GMT
Edited by volantaddict - 8/16/2009 at 08:21 am GMT
post #72 of 83
If because of nothing else than the fact longer skis make fore/aft balance easier, they work better for skiing fast in anything over about 6” of snow, but because of their length they are harder to turn than short skis when going slow in that exact same condition. As VA points out, it is totally a matter of personal preference, which I believe relates in a large part to your average speed. People who like to ski a little faster tend to favor longer skis because they are more stable at speed. People who favor precise control and making more and quicker turns tend to favor shorter skis, and that style lends itself to skiing a little slower. DH race skis are longer than slalom skis for a reason. We all need to find skis that fit with our physical and mental proclivities.
 
The “right” or “best” length, is what you feel in your skiing. I just don’t want people to overlook the benefits of longer skis simply because it may take a little work to get to the point of enjoying them. A long ski is a bigger tool that I think can give you a better grip, and consequently more options, for manipulating the ever-changing medium we all play in. People can generally tell the first time they going skiing if the sport is for them. Either you are seduced by the rush of skiing the first day, or you aren’t. I think it is probably the same for long skis. If you are a fairly good skier and you jump on some significantly longer boards, you will probably know within a few runs if they are for you or not, which brings us back to the Epic mantra, “demo, demo, demo.”
post #73 of 83
OK.  I'm way out of my league in answering this but it's never stopped me before:

Actual conversation at the BOTTOM of a NASTAR run:

Racer A  "This course is too turny for skis this long." (he barely got a gold and was on 176's)
Racer B "I don't know.  These 188's seemed to do OK."  (B got a Platinum)

Racer A is about 6' 3" (or more) and 190ish #.  Is on 176 Race Skis
Racer B is about 5' 7" and about 185#.  Is on 188 Race Skis

I only bring this up because "Size does matter" BUT you still have to know how to use it.  Having the right tool in your tool box doesn't make you a craftsmen.

Racer B would have gotten a platinum on either length ski but "HE" swears he does better on the longer ski.

Ken
post #74 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaosMath View Post
Naw, I’m still around & I’ve been following this thread .  I haven’t commented before because I’ve been bemused and confused by the arguments expressed...
 
...coincidently or otherwise, the skis I enjoy most are all below 170.
 

 

Which is why I asked the question – if my experience is that the skis I enjoy most are short, is there any theoretical justification which might suggest I might get more out of a longer ski (say 180+)? 
 

 

I am unconvinced by just about all of the Physics arguments I’ve seen justifying longer skis.  My initial simple arguments were just that – simple and only a gross approximation to a real situation.  The physics of skiing is complicated as anyone who has read Lind & Sanders will know.  But after a physics PhD and 20 years of physics research & development, the only thing I know is that I don’t know very much, and I might be wrong about that too.
 
Lots of people expressed ideas that seem good sense to me – along the lines of ‘go with what gives you the most fun’, or ‘I ski long because I like that better’ and so my current take-away from the thread is ‘it is all a matter of personal preference’

 

...Just another thought brought on by a comment made to me by an instructor 5 years ago when I switched to the Sceneo's (my first short ski) who said ' Boy, you've really found the sweet spot on those skis'

 
 

A few points to remember: 1) that short skis are always easier than long skis at low speeds, this is not a matter of preference. Shorter skis have shorter turning radius's and require less input to cause a reaction from the ski. Short skis require a great deal of skill at higher speeds.

2) Longer skis require more effort at all speeds than short skis. At higher speeds, a long ski feels more stable, partially because a long ski requires greater input. A longer ski will forgive errors since it takes greater skier input to cause a reaction from the ski.

3) Scale matters: Larger, stronger, and at faster speeds = longer ski. Smaller, quicker, and at slower speeds = shorter ski.

It's the difference between a jet fighter and a inter-continental bomber.

Michael






Edited by WILDCAT - 8/17/2009 at 10:00 pm GMT
Edited by WILDCAT - 8/17/2009 at 10:01 pm GMT
post #75 of 83
Just felt the need to mention that I misread the OP's handle as "TaosMeth."
post #76 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post





2) Longer skis require more effort at all speeds than short skis. At higher speeds, a long ski feels more stable, partially because a long ski requires greater input. A longer ski will forgive errors since it takes greater skier input to cause a reaction from the ski.








Edited by WILDCAT - 8/17/2009 at 10:00 pm GMT
Edited by WILDCAT - 8/17/2009 at 10:01 pm GMT

this is actually pretty wrong buddy and you know its wrong as well.

whats easier in powder to ski.

your 4x4 or your wateas 101s?

I know my thugs are much less effort in powder than my progressors.
post #77 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post




this is actually pretty wrong buddy and you know its wrong as well.

whats easier in powder to ski.

your 4x4 or your wateas 101s?

I know my thugs are much less effort in powder than my progressors.

 


Ummm, I meant what I said. I will clarify.

Getting my 192cm Watea's to change direction is more difficult than getting my 172cm Contact 4x4 to change direction regardless of conditions.

Staying balanced on the Watea's is much easier. But getting the ski to turn always requires more effort.

I was suprised how easy the 4x4 was to ski at Alta & JH last year. Once the snow was tracked out, but still boot-top deep, the 4x4 was better than the Watea.



I watched Bob Peters use a 165cm Supershape in soft snow, it supported quick turns.



Michael

Michael
Edited by WILDCAT - 8/18/2009 at 12:00 am GMT
post #78 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by WILDCAT View Post





Ummm, I meant what I said. I will clarify.

Getting my 192cm Watea's to change direction is more difficult than getting my 172cm Contact 4x4 to change direction regardless of conditions.

Staying balanced on the Watea's is much easier. But getting the ski to turn always requires more effort.

I was suprised how easy the 4x4 was to ski at Alta & JH last year. Once the snow was tracked out, but still boot-top deep, the 4x4 was better than the Watea.



I watched Bob Peters use a 165cm Supershape in soft snow, it supported quick turns.



Michael

Michael
Edited by WILDCAT - 8/18/2009 at 12:00 am GMT

crazy talk! :)

more float is more nimble in powder that is hardly soft snow there .

I am a freaking lazy skier, I use skis that are the less effort for what I am trying to accomplish that day.
post #79 of 83
You get a lot more space walking through a base area with longer skis over your shoulder, especially if you turn quickly from side to side. 

People don't have the same kind of respect for shorter skis there, they remain standing.
post #80 of 83
Just want to gratuitously add that this is a great thread and exactly why i like the forums here. Intelligent, diverse, opinionated. sometimes witty discussion about a real issue without the posturing found on other forums. eg. "go long" "man up" "sack up"

Ive been debating this very issue myself all summer as i contemplate an EC soft/pow ski. Since im 6 foot 175lb, I can use anything between a 170-183ish depending on the float. So my two cents are this.

Regarding manmade hard/ice.  To me that is a demo issue and one that should be determined by feel.  Ive been pleasantly surprised by how something like a volkl allstar skis at a short length of 168.  In other words, in this type of snow i dont think you can find a general rule. I will also bet that for the majority of average skiers, tune and edges will be more important then length in these conditions.

Regarding general east coast snow.  If the ski is long enough, or has dimensions enough too float --even a little bit-- it is the size of the trees that should be a determining factor. What good is a 190cm in tight trees if you can float through them in a 175cm? 

Re west coast. I agree that generally speaking a longer ski, will charge harder, run faster with more stability and balance, particularly on "cruddy" days.  This also applies when you want to open it up on wide spaces or unpopulated groomers. With that said, in the past few years I have exclusively demoed while out west and due to lack of choices have had to ski many of the newer skis shorter then i would normally choose.  (Sugar daddy, watea, solly gun). With the exception of the S7 which is rockered and thus not part of the equation, i have had surprising success on shorter skis, even at speed.   Stated simply, with the various wide tips, and other once exotic and now almost standard shapes, you can get a way with a much shorter ski then a traditional board.  I put the mythic rider in the more trad category.   

The most striking example of this being the icelantic brand, who has seemed to do very well and to my knowledge did not even start making a ski greater then 170 ish until this year.

The exception to this is run outs and long flats, often found at the end of runs wide from the lifts.  I have had more problems trying to cruise with speed on these flats than in steeps.  While im a spaz, I think the word "squirrelly" has been used for very good reasons.  In other words if you are not going downhill, you will feel the shorter ski. And I hate that.

In sum, Like anything, my two cents is there is no general rule. Only rules for type of snow, type of terrain and type of skier. Another reason for the quiver. And another reason to demo some of the newer skis that claim to be able to be most things for most conditions, such as the rocker with camber or stiffer underfoot designs like moment nighttrains, Armada JJs.  The newer shapes Icelantic shaman/nomad,  movement goliath/sluff, scott punisher etc. Judging from my brief review of this months powder mag, it seems that all the makers are offering some type of rocker.

Sorry if this went on a rant.....
 

post #81 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
this is actually pretty wrong buddy and you know its wrong as well.

whats easier in powder to ski.

your 4x4 or your wateas 101s?

I know my thugs are much less effort in powder than my progressors.


Hey Josh,

I now remember that you also use a short hard-snow ski and a long soft-snow ski. Your 170cm Fischer Progressor is your hard-snow ski that I imagine you use anytime the powder is skied out. Your 192 Atomic Thug is your powder ski.

Which is easier to turn (independent of conditions)?

Michael
post #82 of 83
A little late to the party, but I'll join in now (been away on a canoe trip).

Assuming you know how to use the skis....

Skiing my 165 Fischer WC SC and my 190 Volant Machete G back to back in about a foot and a bit of tracked out heavy snow illustrated the advantabe of the longer skis to me.  It is a lot easier to account for the terrain variability.  The longer skis smooth things out.  When you hit something that really slows you down and shifts some weight forward, you won't auger in as much, and if you get off balance a little in the fore or aft direction they don't mind so much.


Just a word on stability. You have to be careful with short-turn-radius skis.  They may appear perfectly stable going straight at 60 mph, but they could easily suddenly dig into a too-tight turn when you had planned to skim a larger one.  Long radius skis are what you need for high speed (learned this the hard way). 
post #83 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post




So...
 
You were hoping for a thread titled 'Who has the biggest stick(s)?'

Ghost's Kastle has nothing on mine.

MR
There's only one way to settle this
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