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What kind of shovel maximizes "punching through" crud?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

 

Discuss: Is "punching through" helped by stiff heavy tips, stiff light tips, softer heavy tips, or softer lighter tips? 

 

Or is it caused by stiffness zones further downstream, in the lower shovel, or where the shovel meets the ski body, and has nothing to do with the tip? Or is it the total ski weight, and forget the front end? Or is it shovel curvature/shape, which will allow the ski to ride up or down in the snow? Or is it technique, and any ski will punch through if your weight is right?  Or is it just so numbingly complex that mere skiers could never understand, so we should just buy on the basis of graphics or athletes in magazine ads?

 

I bring up these alternatives because Sierra Jim used the term in another thread about 4x4's and I realized I didn't really know blip about what works and why. I've heard arguments for each combination above. For instance, the classic stance is that heavy stiff tips will blast through anything. Makes intuitive sense: Ski an icebreaker. But Kastle says that's wrong, that all that inertia will create more vibration, not less, once the tip gets moving. And Stockli says that a softer tip will absorb the energy from an impact, rather than pass it along to the skier. This makes sense to skiers who have owned Stocklis and watched their tips move while the ski underfoot is silky smooth. And in another thread Sierra Jim argued that Dynastar 4x4's, which I think have typical Dynastar milled out capped shovels, are better in crud and chop than Kastle MX78's with their cutout. Finally, I've found Heads to be the best crud ski on the planet, and they increase their stiffness when they twist or bend, although I doubt it affects the tip. This is all cool and gives me a headache when I try to reach a conclusion.

 

Meanwhile, I've owned several Contacts, skied the 4x4 (finally), and for me they were like every Dynastar I've ever skied (a bunch) except the original orange LP. Meaning that the tips let you know when they were taking a hit. They deviated a bit. Not visual flap, and not in a way that changed the performance of the ski, and not related to ski length, since I've skied a number of different lengths in these skis. But I've never regarded Dynastars as great crud skis because of that shovel. By contrast, Kastles (for me) react to crud differently, not worse. Nothing gets back to you except a slight change in snow sensation. Ultimately, neither excel in crud. (And note Kastles are made in the Head factory. Head lite?)

 

Disclaimer: This also must have to do with skier weight. Any of these skis are going to be stiffer, resistance to bending per square cm, for me than a 200 lb guy. Could be that Dynastars in longer lengths are just plain stiffer, front to back, thus better for heavier guys. I already ski a 178 MX88, which is one down from the top, and incidentally the length for my weight recommended by Kastle. This is kinda weird when you realize I'm 30 lbs lighter than an average size male in the U.S. 

 

You will be graded on penmanship and punctuation. 

post #2 of 21

Fischer Watea Hull Tips ! Another shovel design that helps you get through crud.

 

post #3 of 21

What you want is a ski is predictable (not hooky) when it hits a boundry between snow layers. That is what you are punching through. Go ride a pair of im88s or im103s if you want to ski somthing that maximizes punching through. The forumula they follow is low profile tip geometry and low side cut, stiffness and metal for damping. 

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILOJ View Post

Fischer Watea Hull Tips ! Another shovel design that helps you get through crud.

 


Yep. Forgot that one. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

What you want is a ski is predictable (not hooky) when it hits a boundry between snow layers. That is what you are punching through. Go ride a pair of im88s or im103s if you want to ski somthing that maximizes punching through. The forumula they follow is low profile tip geometry and low side cut, stiffness and metal for damping. 


OK, agree, owned iM88's. Interesting idea that plow through = not hooky. But why aren't they hooky, then?  Do you think the iM88's have an unusually stiff tip, or is it simply the low profile? I recall my 88's (175) had a sidecut about like most skis in that range; 18-ish radius. Does "low" for you mean that the sidecut ends early, as with a bullet nosed powder ski? If so, it sounds like you're arguing that a shape like a 4FRNT EHP is optimal for a groomer that blasts crud. Yes? And that stiff or soft, heavy or light, are irrelevant. Yes?

post #5 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by beyond View Post

OK, agree, owned iM88's. Interesting idea that plow through = not hooky. But why aren't they hooky, then?  Do you think the iM88's have an unusually stiff tip, or is it simply the low profile? I recall my 88's (175) had a sidecut about like most skis in that range; 18-ish radius. Does "low" for you mean that the sidecut ends early, as with a bullet nosed powder ski? If so, it sounds like you're arguing that a shape like a 4FRNT EHP is optimal for a groomer that blasts crud. Yes? And that stiff or soft, heavy or light, are irrelevant. Yes?


Its not jsut one thing. Its the whole package. Low profile tip + Stiff forebody + low ammount of side cut = punch through. I am not sure my terminology on that is clear what I mean by low side cut is that the ski has a long radius and is not shapely. The tip width is relatively close to the mid and tail widths. I think the Radius of the im88 in a 175 was like 19+ meters. Which is fairly long turning for a 175cm ski. especially compared to other skis that were popular when that ski came out -- metrons.

 

The best crud specific skis I have used are im103s. I never skied the ehp. 


Edited by tromano - 9/14/10 at 11:38am
post #6 of 21

IMO, torsionally stiff tips are probably the most important component of a good "punchy" crud ski, combined with a tip and fore body flex that is medium stiff.   One of the biggest factors is probably skiing style.  If you do not have a weight forward charging style, with enough finesse to modulate your tip pressure, it does not matter what skis you are on, you will be diving or jumping on top of the crud.  Tips that are too soft put you on top fighting to get back in to regain control, and too stiff leads to a forward/back rocking trying to keep the tips from bogging down or diving.

 

The new tip rocker skis with a narrower tip and the wider part back about a foot (i.e Rossi S7, ON3P Billygoat, etc.) seem to be the crud E-ticket, although they may create new variables while eliminating the old ones.

post #7 of 21

just to throw more banter... how about the angle of attack?  better to straight line it (with the ski flat) or cut through at high angle?  does this affect the eficacy of the above designs? (good stuff)

post #8 of 21

I've found that cutting through at a high angle helps enormously - less bouncing. Though, watch for boot-out if it's not a wide ski. Can't tell you how many times that's happened to me. Carving at high speed through spring junk and all of a sudden my outside ski bounces right off my boot.... ack! When you're in the zone, at high speed going through that slop, it's definitely right behind a nice powder day - so much fun! Breck has some nice southish facing bowls off Imperial that are just perfect for this.


Edited by Brian Lindahl - 9/14/10 at 3:17pm
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lindahl View Post

When you're in the zone, at high speed going through that slop, it's definitely right behind a nice powder day - so much fun!


 +1

 

Buttery crud can be just as sweet as powder.  If conditions are right the snow immediately forms a perfect smooth platform under you at whatever angle you press your skis.  Some of my favorite turns are on those "roll'm and squirt" days.
 

post #10 of 21

The first day out on the Rossignol B-Squads was a revelation. I had been on Explosiv's. I weigh 135, just for reference. The Squad has a special tip design called the Shark Nose*. Both my son and I rode brand new pairs on a 2' deep, heavy powder day. We were both smiling ear to ear. The ski punched through everything and rode in and on the snow with equal aplomb. The tip is elongated with slight early rise and has extra metal and (I think) an additional layer of rubber to layer it in, total dampening. Pure genius. For the first time I said to myself: don't even think about the tips, don't turn or lean or weight or pressure to accommodate the tips, don't worry about the tips, man, they take care of themselves. There you have it: Tip Meister = Rossignol B-Squad  130-100-120

*Other Bandit series skis have the shark nose, but are probably too soft overall to drive it, sort of a pointy wuss nose.

post #11 of 21

I totally agree, "pointy wuss nose" = definitely bad in crud.

post #12 of 21

A solid heavy tip works best, but only if it is backed up with a solid ski, just enough deflection to take the shock out of it, enough damping in the ski to keep things under control and a stiff enough longitudinal flex to keep the ski from riding up instead of punching through.  Turn radius and length make a difference too.  From my current quiver, the 208 Kästle SG is best, then the 190 Volant Machete Gravity, then the 188 Vòlkl P50 F1,  the 165 Fischer WC SC brings up the rear.   In terms of being easy to make tight turns, it's the opposite order. 

post #13 of 21

Just ski down there and jump off something for crying out loud!  /Payne McSchlonkey

 

I got nothing. /FujativeOCR

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

A solid heavy tip works best, but only if it is backed up with a solid ski, just enough deflection to take the shock out of it, enough damping in the ski to keep things under control and a stiff enough longitudinal flex to keep the ski from riding up instead of punching through.  Turn radius and length make a difference too.  From my current quiver, the 208 Kästle SG is best, then the 190 Volant Machete Gravity, then the 188 Vòlkl P50 F1,  the 165 Fischer WC SC brings up the rear.   In terms of being easy to make tight turns, it's the opposite order. 



I've seen some of the best racers in America riding their super G skis in training. They have to go partway down a regular open slope to get to the top of the course. No way, no how. You keep talking about skiing on those. are they new or from the 80's. You must be posturing for some obscure, obtuse reason.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

Just ski down there and jump off something for crying out loud!  /Payne McSchlonkey

 

I got nothing. /FujativeOCR



That whole run went poorly for him, as I recall the scene. lots of negativity, and then, ka-baaaam!

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post





I've seen some of the best racers in America riding their super G skis in training. They have to go partway down a regular open slope to get to the top of the course. No way, no how. You keep talking about skiing on those. are they new or from the 80's. You must be posturing for some obscure, obtuse reason.

You should know by now they are the original heavy ones from the '80s.  I'm not posturing; I'm just telling my impression of which of my skis punch through crud the best from my experience. 
 

post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

OK, some drift here, but appears that consensus so far is for shape and torsional stiffness, some votes for weight and/or longitudinal stiffness, no votes for Kastle/Dynastar's reduced inertia as a way to reduce vibration. Hmmm.

 

Incidentally, Ghost has always been pretty consistent about his gear, doubt he's posturing. What he leaves out is whether getting those things to behave while punching crud is 1) child's play, 2) marginally easier than riding a motorcycle around a fast curve while juggling, or 3) not-so hidden dismemberment wish...

post #18 of 21

I hope the last is not an option!  But there are different kinds of crud being discussed here, I don't really consider soft, cream cheesy tracked snow as crud, as stated, this is about 2nd to pow for sure. I think of crud as stiff piled tracked or uber heavy piled mashed potatoes.

post #19 of 21

Think this mostly an indian or arrow thing.  A good skier adapt their skiing to the equipment, change your turn radius or tip pressure; the above mentioned racers are good example.  Think it is more about how the skier adapts to the continual changes in resistance from the snow

 

The ski will make a difference of course.  A moderately stiff tip,  torsionally fairly rigid, dampened down a bit would be my personal choice.  don't think that the width of the ski is that large of a factor.  A rockered tip seems wants to ride over the top more than blast through the pile.  A lower rounded shovel shape should lend itself to some of the qualities, opposed to a steeper more pointed tip.  These would be my personal choices in a skis characteristics anyway. 

 

How do you feel out a new ski for the crud? 1st run I play along the edge skiing in and out of the chop, then head for what ever.

post #20 of 21

The Pro Rider XXL, now discontinued, got mixed reviews on the unique tip from skiers around here that are on them in the whole range of crud conditions. It's a huge tip, fairly stiff and very damp. Not sure what Dynastar expected from it.

 

Ghost, my apologies if that was an offensive comment. If you sincerely state that that ski is fun in crud, I accept that. I occasionally  pull out the Atomic Arc RS, and know how it skis, and would not consider it a crud ski because it hooks up under the boot too much, similar though not the same as your SGS.

post #21 of 21

I think you misunderstood me.  I didn't say the old SGs were the most enjoyable to ski in crud on a typical crud day, even though I truly do enjoy speeding through crud on them.  I said they were the best of my skis at "punching through it".  On a typical crud day on a typical hill, my 2nd best crud-puncher would be my first choice.  You can totally ignore the crud, icy ruts and anything else short of big moguls on the old SGs; they totally crush everything in their path.  However you have to be going over 30 mph to enjoy them and they take a lot of effort to make turns smaller than GS sized turns.  Taking them through big bumps will really wear me out very quickly.  The Machete G's, while still not tight-turners, are a lot easier to ski, everywhere and still do a good job at erasing the crud.  The Völkl P50 F1 are a nice compromise as a gs ski that can bend into SL arcs, but a little too light for crud.  The Fischer WC SCs are great SL skis, but not good at crud skiing.  I don't know of any good crud buster skis that would make decent SL skis (someone once told me Metrons, but I have my doubts). 

 

If you were to look at my skis in terms of their tip and ski construction, you see a good correlation in the trends of mass, turn radius and stiffness, with crud-busting ability.  The old SG skis IIRC have three layers of steel, a layer of rubber, a tri-sensor wood core, a super long turn radius, are very stiff, are very damp and excel at punching through crud.  The Volants have a lot of steel and wood too, are stiff, heavy and damp, have and  a long by today's standards turn radius and are good at punching through crud, but not as good as the old SGs, but they are easier to manage and won't wear you out in big bumps.  The Völkl P50 F1s are more flexible and less heavy, than the others, still have longish by today's standards turn radius and are not as good in crud as the above skis.  The Fischers are very light, have a small turn radius and although I didn't realize it until I skied the Volants on the same wet chewed up crud day, a real handful to ski through crud.

 

Short turn radius, light skis, flexible tips = less suited to crud; long turn radius, heavy, stiff = well suited to crud, but less suited to short turns or slow speeds.  Choose your poison.

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