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Thread Starter 
On the last day of the season, I was at the bottom of the hill, in the parking lot looking dispiritedly at all the brown snow.  I had recently scratched up the bases of my skis a little unsuccessfully trying to avoid the gravel in between the moguls.  There is almost always gravel in between moguls on the ungroomed trails where I get to ski.  I didn't have a pair of rock skis handy.

Then I got a flash of inspiration!  They RENT skis!

So I got a pair of 170 cm Rosi Axium something or others from the rental shop.  If you have been spoiled for a while, you owe it to yourself to see how the other half skis, and how spoiled by really good skis you really are.

The first thing I noticed as I was shooting down the steep shortcut off the lift ramp at the top of the hill, adjusting my poles and not really paying all  that much attention to anything else, was these skis had no back seat.  All my skis respond with a powerful tail when you move back and forth.  If you get in the back seat on these rentals there's nothing to push against to get back to neutral; you have to pull your feet back under you rather than move forward back into the sweet spot.  Maybe that's so beginners learn to stay out of the back seat.  

The second thing I noticed is that these skis don't automatically carve an edge-locked turn.  When you tip them, they immediately go into a smeared turn, and this on soft melting spring snow.  You have to tip them substantially more to get them to carve an edge-locked turn, or to leave railroad-like tracks.  I'm not just talking about a degree of two of base bevel here.

The third thing I noticed was that they don't have much grip; they will not hold an edge locked turn of a given radius at the same speeds any of my other skis can hold, and they will not make as tight an edge locked turn at speed as either my Volkl P50 F1s or Fischer WC SCs can.

The fourth thing I noticed was that even on a small hill, the skis felt very close to being out of control at higher speeds (guessing 35 to 45 mph).  Fore aft balance had to be precise and ability to make corrections due to lateral grip changes when skiing over small bumps/icy sections, etc. was very much compromised.

In summary.  I had a good time.  I spent the day arcing edge-locked turns, albeit with a little lower g force than typical.  I am really spoiled; my skis make high performance skiing so much easier.   Skiing fast on these skis required more skill, not less.  Arcing turns on these skis required more skill not less.  They say you can't buy a turn, and that may be true, but equipment certainly does make a difference.  The unfortunate folk on the rental equipment think they can't ski, but the equipment may well be holding them back.

Beginner- intermediate skis = part of a nasty plot by the ski instructors to get folk to take more lessons because they can't carve, feel out of control at speed, and can't turn when and where they want to; the skis they give them won't carve unless really tipped on edge, and can't hold an edge in a really high-performance turn, and require phenomal balance skills to control at speed.