Let me add my take if I may. And yes I am an "industry guy". First off, the notion that a full on rockered is a good choice on eastern hard pack is plain silly, I grew up at Sugarloaf Maine, no way in hell would I want a Pontoon on Upper Gondy Line, unless it was right after big 'ol dump. Now, having said that, I will admit that up until last last Feb. I was a wide/rocker ski hater and it was because I had not tried them. There were rocker skis that I hated and there was one in particular that I fell in love with at the demo last year. Keep in mind this was at Welch MN, so there was no powder but there was some hard stuff in the AM and then some spring mush on the south facing slopes in the afternoon. The ski that I happen to really like is the Blizzard One, 98mm under foot and not a "true rocker" but more of an early rise. I would honestly ski that ski just about anyplace short of a race course or eastern hard pack. The issue that I see on the slopes is that people jump on mega wide boards without the skill set to know how to tip that ski on edge, the wider the ski the harder it is to get up on edge, this was made a point when a friend came back from Jackson Hole and described as he put it "back seat out of control skidders that made me fear for my life". It had not snowed for at least two weeks and there all these "big mountain bros" slip sliding around on the groomers on their hip sticks. Two issues there #1 many of these guys were just on the wrong gear for the conditions, but also #2 they never learned the proper skill set in the first place. There are some skis out there that use rocker/early rise to benefit skiers with lesser skills, the Volkl Unlimited AC comes to mind, it is an early rise combined with a waist of 73mm and IMO that ski will help people learn to get a ski on edge and it is a price point that is friendly for entry level skiers. This brings to me my ultimate point, skiing is not a growing sport. The numbers suggest that people try skiing once or twice and then never come back. That could be due to boots that hurt, cold weather, wrong skis etc. If there is a technology out there that makes skiing easier, and allows these beginners to learn at a faster pace than us "old timers" we should embrace it, because it means more people on skis, which means less ski areas/shops closing and better service at already viable resorts. Just because we had to learn the old fashioned way does not mean we should curse new skiers with our past.
Edited by JDoyal - 10/1/10 at 1:34pm