Just purchased a pair of Salomon Shoguns (99 mm waist) at a year end demo ski sale and started skiing them today. Previously I had mostly been riding a pair of Atomic Snoop Daddy's (88 mm waist) with Freeride bindings. Unfortunately daily use of the Freerides led to a broken binding (replaced under warranty) and so I thought to protect against the replacement cost of a new pair of Freerides I'd get a daily driver with an pure alpine setup.
It's clear I've entered yet another new era. The Shoguns make many things easier. Between the increase in width, ski stability, and rocker tip, I can ski comfortably at increased speed in all sorts of snow (conditions today were quite variable with heavy powder, cut up powder, frozen crud, groomed runouts etc.) - I don't think I'd be considered a slow skier to begin with. I also found that I could ski all sorts of terrain with much less effort. With the stability of the Shoguns I am not thrown around and my balance is not challenged nearly as much as on my Snoop Daddy's. The result is that I stay over my skis and therefore exert much less energy. Between better positioning over my skis and the rocker tip, turn initiation (especially in steep chutes or tight trees) is noticeably easier which further contributes to better balance, efficiency, and increased performance. Another thing that's easier is jumping. I took my normal 10 or so jumps during the day (small, all less than 10 or 12 feet, although I went bigger on a couple of them than I ever had before) and didn't fall, hip check, or significantly bobble on landing (never has happened). With the increased stability of the skis upon landing it was just plain easier to handle the speed from the jump and make the next turn (even when landing in crud).
Certainly there are some negatives to the Shoguns but in my case they are not the highest priorities. Edge to edge quickness is obviously reduced. For very short turns or bumps this will be a negative. Also there is reduced edge grip (but not that much really). These negatives are probably not enough to keep me off of these most days.
My other main skis are Head Supershape Magnums. This year I skied them maybe 1 out of 4 days. However, given the terrain and snow conditions at Schweitzer and my skiing preferences I preferred my Snoop Daddy's most days (even though we had a very low snow year). Next year, I expect that the number of days on the SS Magnums will be even less with the Shoguns available.
While this may seem more like a ski review then a technique issue let me get to my question. Being on these skis really does feel like cheating. My balance and confidence are not challenged as much and they do not require as precise of movements as other skis I have skied. So, will skiing these all the time make me lazy and less capable a skier (even while performance wise making me a better skier)? I wonder, if it will become a more difficult transition to hop onto the SS Magnums?
While these questions are somewhat rhetorical I'm very interested to hear what people think.