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Ski Weight--Why The Mystery?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
The recent post asking for people to provide the poster with the weight of the Rossi Phantom SC 87 versus the Nordica Helldriver raises the following:

If you look at any ski company's web site, they'll tell you various dimensions like the tip, waist and tail width, the radius, and so forth.  But as far as I'm aware, none of them tell you the ski weight.  Why?????  It would seem that this is a pretty relevant piece of information that can be determined rather easily (like radius, it will vary with ski length; but the manufacturers generally always tell you the different radii).  To compare to another sport where weight is somewhat of an issue, virtually every manufacturer of backpacking equipment tells you the weight of every piece of equipment, even down to silverware, because every ounce matters.  In skiing, it may not be that every ounce counts, but extra pounds do count, and there can be a couple of pound difference in weight between two different pair of skis that are made for a particular use.  Obviously, bindings (and plates) contribute to weight also, and I'm not sure that weight information is consistently given for bindings (especially in "branded" system bindings), but it does seem to be more readily available.   It just seems that Joe Ski Buyer should be able to easily determine that if he buys x ski with y binding, the total weight of his pair of skis will be z (without Joe having to post on Epic Ski asking people to weigh their skis!).

Am I missing something here?
post #2 of 12
For alpine, I personality do not find heavier or lighter skis affect my skiing.  For telemark/AT skis, they are generally published.  Having extra weight matters a lot more for BC.
post #3 of 12
Just a guess, maybe they are afraid people would decide not to buy their skis based on them being too heavy, when in fact the skis are not too heavy for alpine skiing purposes and would ski like crap if they were made super light.  The companies may think that people erroneously think weight is a bad thing when it comes to alpine skis, and prefer to keep the customer in the dark rather than educate the public.  In fact, I suspect the marketing departments would rather you be totally ignorant and base your decision solely on their mumbo jumbo, but are pretty much stuck with length and turn radius.

Personally I don't feel any ski weight when I'm standing on my skis.  I only notice their weight when I'm skating, carrying them in the parking lot, or smashing through frozen crap and death cookies, or when I'm testing my footspeed in a little game I like to call mogul tetris.  If it were not for the lifts, I think weight would be a bigger factor. 

I think weight matters a lot more if you're doing spins and other tricks, or if your doing back-country skiing. 
post #4 of 12
weight is a dumb criteria to base an alpine ski purchase on. sure, it could be on the manufacturer's website, but so could pictures of popular boots and clothing to so the customer could pre-coordinate their ski attire. 

If I were a marketing guy, and ski weight was deemed important, I'd publish the weight for the shortest length ski... after I got it stoneground and sharpened to within a mm of its life, "here, tune this until the edges are gone and you can see the core through the base." 

if you feel weight is an issue while skiing, take some lessons 'cause you're doin' it wrong.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

weight is a dumb criteria to base an alpine ski purchase on. sure, it could be on the manufacturer's website, but so could pictures of popular boots and clothing to so the customer could pre-coordinate their ski attire. 

If I were a marketing guy, and ski weight was deemed important, I'd publish the weight for the shortest length ski... after I got it stoneground and sharpened to within a mm of its life, "here, tune this until the edges are gone and you can see the core through the base." 

if you feel weight is an issue while skiing, take some lessons 'cause you're doin' it wrong.

For *Alpine* skiing, if all things are equal (which they never are) I prefer heavier skis over lighter skis.  Heavier plows through crud better than lighter and heavier has no downside that I know of except maybe in bumps or when carrying them to the lift.

Still, I would love to be able to look up the relative weights of pairs of skis.
post #6 of 12
Hey Bob, you forgot to mention, heavier is faster.
post #7 of 12
If using slow lift chairs, heavier could be a PITA for all day use..  too much dangle!

I usually ride the chair without pants to lighten up the weight when using heavy skis...

Yes, seriously!
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Big Skibowski View Post

Am I missing something here?

Yup, like the fact that information much more relevant to alpine skiing (overall flex, flex pattern, damping, torsional rigidity) and much more critical to the suitability of a given ski to a given individual... is not provided either.

I'm pretty sure that if you started a poll inquiring about what specs people would like manufacturers to provide, the vast majority of experienced skiers will have descriptions of flex at the top of the list, with ski weight a secondary (if not tertiary or quaternary) consideration.

***

That said, I suspect that ski manufacturers don't provide this info because they don't want to admit that mass ski manufacturing is not nearly as precise and consistent as they would like consumers to believe.  Not providing this info saves them from having to deal with "out-of-spec" complaints, and/or having to admit to high tolerances.

Bindings (being made of molded/cast parts and of a mechanismal nature) are necessarily more precise and consistent.  Lo and behold, weights are provided.
Edited by DtEW - 4/11/10 at 12:20pm
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Just a guess, maybe they are afraid people would decide not to buy their skis based on them being too heavy, when in fact the skis are not too heavy for alpine skiing purposes and would ski like crap if they were made super light.  The companies may think that people erroneously think weight is a bad thing when it comes to alpine skis, and prefer to keep the customer in the dark rather than educate the public.  In fact, I suspect the marketing departments would rather you be totally ignorant and base your decision solely on their mumbo jumbo, but are pretty much stuck with length and turn radius.

Personally I don't feel any ski weight when I'm standing on my skis.  I only notice their weight when I'm skating, carrying them in the parking lot, or smashing through frozen crap and death cookies, or when I'm testing my footspeed in a little game I like to call mogul tetris.  If it were not for the lifts, I think weight would be a bigger factor. 

I think weight matters a lot more if you're doing spins and other tricks, or if your doing back-country skiing. 


 

Is that game played on the lift or the snow? If the lift, I think I play it too. I move my feet back and forth to follow terrain features like moguls, other skiers tracks, etc. to keep warm and distract myself.
post #10 of 12
Thanks MR, I'll give that game a try the next time I'm bored on a lift.

My version is a little different, and stems from the days before I knew anything about how moguls were supposed to be skied.  I only decided to learn how to "ski" moguls about 7 or 8 years ago, and have tried a few different approaches since then, but since there aren't a lot of real moguls around and I'm not really that keen on them anyway, I still suck at mogul skiing. 

Anyhow, my Mogul Tetris game (I dubbed my game Mogul Tetris after playing kids computer game which gives me about the same mental feeling) is just skiing down the hill and seeing how fast you can go while dodging all the moguls making clean turns (what nowadays is called arcing or carving RR tracks) without pre-planning your route.   You win if you make it all the way down without committing an "error".  An error consists of not being able to keep up and having to stem a turn or get tossed around too much and beginning to loose control.  After committing an error, you must slam on the brakes (which can be an adventure in itself in a mogul field) until you are going slow enough to be well in control.  You improve your score by making fewer errors the next time through.  Sometimes you  slow down more than you have to 'cause you know that will get you the rest of the way down without any more errors.  That's cheating.  Speed control other than the obligatory braking when you get going too fast to keep up and commit an error is also cheating.  I don't play it much anymore; being an overly cautious old man (injuries take longer to heal and I'm no spring chicken anymore, so I like to take it easier on the old knees).  However, sometimes the mood strikes me and I do the crazy things I used to do when I was a younger man. 

Mogul Tetris - it's what recreational skiers do when they get bored with their hill and don't have gates to run.
post #11 of 12
post #12 of 12
Skibowski, I am with you. I think weight DOES matter. I don't necessarily think that lighter is always better and heavier always worse, by any means, but I just think it's helpful to know, as heavy skis feel a certain way and light ones another. As with many aspects of ski physics and performance, I strongly suspect that ostensible majority opinion comes from big guys who have no way of knowing how the world feels to us smaller and lighter folks. As an example from another sport, if you look at mountain bikes and you factor OUT the issue of climbing weight and just look at what you might call "flickability" vs "stability," the difference between a 20lb bike and a 30lb bike to someone who weighs 120lbs is the difference between 17% of body weight and 25% of body weight. That is a huge difference in feel. Same with skis. if you weigh 220 this is probably not much of a difference. My two cents.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Ski Weight--Why The Mystery?