Originally Posted by Bob Lee
Originally Posted by Liam
Gee why would a patroller want a twin-tip? I mean when does a patroller need to drift easy, side slip, make backward falling leafs in bumps, crud and trees??? Oh wait a minute-they need that everyday.
But then there are the problems with sticking the tails in hard snow at an accident scene, and spraying a rooster-tail of snow on your patient when you're pulling a toboggan. You don't need a twin tip - a little practice will help you with doing the falling leaf on a flat tail ski, and sideslipping isn't any easier with a twin tip.
Of course you don't need them-hell, you can patrol on old sh*tty straight skis if you want. I can do a falling leaf on any skis, but when drifting backwards up a chunky mogul with a loaded sled, a softer turned up tail makes for a very easy, smooth ride. Like I said, some days I'm on my stiff, flat-tailed Contact 4x4's-they work fine, but require a little more finesse and focus in three-dimensional sled running situations. IF I only had one pair of skis to patrol on...it wouldn't be those skis (though I enjoy skiing them quite a bit).
The question is about what is Ideal---and, while sl skis are fun to torch the groomers with and can in a pinch be pressed into patroller service, they are hardly the best choice (which is what the OP is looking for). I put my poles in the snow usually anyway as I don't like punching any ski though the snow (and half the time, the surfaces are to firm to punch through skis anyway). The spray on a patient is a legit concern. When the snow gets deep, heavy, funky and bumpy, an easy drifting ski makes for an easier ride-and that's a benefit to a backboarded patient in any situation.
A number of guys on my Patrol are using those medium stiffness, all-purpose mid-fats like the Sultan 85, and the Rossi SC86-they seem to run the gamut of varying patroller tasks pretty darn well in just about every condition.
And did you just recommend K2's??? They make nothing but fatter twin tips (most with rocker). I think those K2 Extremes make a great all-purpose, any day, every day patroller ski.
But in the end-I'll go with this recommendation-ski the kind of skis you enjoy skiing the most-you're spending all day on them-ski what you enjoy. You like short carvers? get 'em. If you like floaty soft skis, get those. Something in between? Just about every manufacture makes a number of skis to fit that bill as well (Honestly, use your pro-forms and get a few skis-that's one of the best parts of working on a mountain!).