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Fat skis and sore knees.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hmmm, I could be at risk of being labelled a kit geek but here goes anyway. When I went back to skiing in the early 90s it was still relatively early in the carving skis development and I bought my first pair of skis (Fischer Supercarve) which had a 90-60-90mm sidecut. They are still in the loft. The next pair I bought was a pair of Salomon Screams 108-70-101mm which I skied on for 10 days in Whistler and then traded in because I found them too soft. The replacement was a pair of Dynastar Intuitive 74s, with a sidecut 110-70-100mm. So same as the Screams but stiffer and a better ski for me. They are still in the garage and if I remounted the bindings I would probably use them occasionally as rock skis.

A few years later I bought a pair of Volkl Mantras 130-92-113mm, a great solid ski on piste, and in powder, though a bit heavy to hike with and I bought them too long. I stuck with them for a season or so and then traded them in for a pair of Volkl Nanuqs 130-94-113mm, which is essentially a lighter version of the Mantra. Again quite a nice ski in the powder and for long carved turns on piste. On a whim I then tried a few pairs of skis back to back and bought a pair of the K2 Extreme twin tips in 118-85-109mm. Now, and at last, to the point. Over about 25 years my skis have got wider underfoot but what has been the effect? The fatter skis are easier to ski off piste, well no surprise there. The K2s are a nice ski on and off piste, and while I also like the slightly fatter Volkls they can make my knees ache if I ski them for more than a couple of days on hard pistes. That seems to fit with what has been suggested above. There could well be some technique issues as well, nowadays I always accept that some tuition will generally help!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Mike Pow, great video. I'm trying to visualise where the terrain is seen at about 5.15 in the video. Is that also Niseko?

Loved that they featured Bar Gyu Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Not sure. Could be Goshiki Onsen / Iwaonupuri area off the back of the peak.

Loads of those short pitch, steeper spines in SW Hokkaido.

Yeah great opening. Thought I was watching 'Twin Peaks' Smile
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Some folk seem to be making this more complicated than it needs to be. If the supporting part of the ski, knee and hip joint are all in a straight line there is no lateral strain on the knee. In soft snow the weight bearing part of a fat ski digs in deep enough so it provides support directly in line with the knee and hip. On ice when only the edge of a fat ski is on the surface it is off to the side of the knee hip line; hence there is a lateral bending or shear strain on the knee trying to get it back in line with the hip and supporting snow/ice surface. As far as I'm aware there is no technique answer to this other than using more sensible skis on ice.

My Preachers (112 under foot, short radius) cause me no knee problems in soft snow but carving aggressively on an early morning icy piste (which the skis to very well) or traversing an icy slopes can make my knees hurt.

I don't buy the marketing argument; most people I know who have fat skis also have piste or all mountain skis (90ish) too; my old Scott Missions are wrecked hence over enjoyment of the Preachers on icy piste; I've ordered some Whitedot Ones to replace them for the forthcoming season
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
my knees kill me when skiing wider skis over 90mm on hard pistes. Then again my knees kill me when skiing SL skis in deep powder as I have to twist em to turn... point being use the right tool for the job... Toofy Grin

and love the fridge bar in Niseko, some truly cool bars in that town. Hope they last...
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@Mike Pow, posted this on another thread, so I thought a 4 year post bump was in order Smile


http://youtube.com/v/7LCo8CLn6I0&feature=share
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