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Dumb post alert - modern skis.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Ok here it is!!

When I was younger I generally tended to rent ski's from the resorts we were staying at (e.g., Intersport). However, I had a nasty injury which stopped me skiing for a couple of years and following that I was in employment which did not allow for me to ski so the last time I ski'd was ~16-17 years ago.

I recently visited some stores to shop for some ski's following online browsing and was surprised (visually) at the size of some ski's, their underfoot widths seem enormous, almost like mono-boards (remenber them!). Now I know that these would be handy in the powder, however, I am very familiar with skiing on equipment which was very straight and had pointed tips, and I would be concerned about adapting to ski's with tips the size of plates. From my own uneducated viewpoint, it would seem that products with such dimensions would be appalling on black and red runs with icy conditions.

Please forgive my Jurassic train of thought, but I wondered if anyone had experience of the changes in technology from the old to the new and how easy they found it; Or if there were ski's available on the market which are more like the old-fashioned style which come recommended. I have probably 20 weeks in total on snow and would be comfortable skiing something like this. I will definitely go off-piste on occasion, but I prefer taking ski-run trips from resort-to-resort.

Does anyone have any suggestions/advice?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
As somebody who has been skiing since the early 70s, I have been through the change from "Straight" to modern skis...as well as various changes in skiing technique.

Here are my thoughts on Modern Skis/Technique:

1. There are now many categories, the choice of which is determined by where you wish to ski ie. Piste/All Mountain/Freeride/Powder
2. You can use "Old School" technique, but that misses out on what these are designed to do.....they really are much easier to ski
3. A few lessons are a great idea, in order to make the necessary changes, to tap into the potential of modern ski design
4. The first thing to decide, is where you want to ski and deciding the percentage of On and Off piste...if Hiring, then get the ski to suit the conditions
5. Due to the turning Radius, extra surface area and ski design.....both piste and off piste skiing really is much easier...and...for the most part....less effort.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Tue 9-10-18 16:17; edited 2 times in total
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Quote:

Does anyone have any suggestions/advice?


There have been a lot of changes, almost all of them for the better. There are very few straight skis anymore. The only ones you will find for downhill use are specialised powder skis that are also very wide. Almost all downhill skis now have a much wider tip and tail than waist. Some of these will have a wider waist and are intended for off piste use. Some have a narrower waist <80mm and are intended mainly for use on piste. The off piste stuff now holds up surprisingly well in firm on piste conditions - not as well as a dedicated piste ski, though. Dedicated piste skis are now much more accessible in pretty much all piste conditions than legacy gear.

If you have been away for some time, rent something narrower than 80mm with a turn radius in the mid teens and very little tip rocker. Take a lesson. Probably more than one lesson.
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Rent. Explain your situation to the rental shop and try something non-extreme (avoid the very wide planks). Then have a few lessons to help you adapt your technique to shaped skis - which are far easier. Skis - and skiing - have changed a lot.
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@mav3rick, I sort of disagree with Old Fartbag that there are "many categories". For 99% of skiers it comes down to whether you will ski mostly on piste or not. If you ski mostly (80% or more) you want a piste ski, otherwise you want an all mountain ski. Yes there are dedicated park skis or powder skis but those are for the 1%.

Yes, the waist of ski's are much wider but due to modern materials and construction even skis ~100 wide allow good turns and don't chatter on hard pistes. I'd imagine you'd want something more piste orientated with a waste ~85-90 that still works well off piste.
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Wot pam w say should be your approach. Don't get hung up on the differences between old and new. Get comfortable skiing again. Remember most ski rental shops will let you swop skis during the week.
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One more thing, that's not a dumb question.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
pam w wrote:
Rent. Explain your situation to the rental shop and try something non-extreme (avoid the very wide planks). Then have a few lessons to help you adapt your technique to shaped skis - which are far easier. Skis - and skiing - have changed a lot.


This

Quote:
I'd imagine you'd want something more piste orientated with a waste ~85-90 that still works well off piste


And this

Depending on how you skied in the past (and despite the old skool claims about straight skis most skiers were incapable of bending them into the shape required to carve and therefore skidded around) you'll find modern skis a lot more useable and fun. Roll the ankle and lock in the edges or feather them to slide. Legs further apart. When you've got all that down you can graduate to the good stuff of fat rockered skis.

BTW what job prevents you skiing? Professional footballer? Supermodel?

PS 17 years ago was 2001 and shaped skis were definitely in the majority then and even wider skis like the Pocket Rocket were out so maybe you've been out of it longer?
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No idea how a mere 16/17 year gap would affect you. I had a 32 year gap and found that modern skis were superb compared to what I had learnt on.

Embrace the new, you'll have a blast.
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@Layne The most I will do will be piste (~90%) if not more I would think. My tendency when I left skiing was to stay on blacks, reds, blues (not professing to be a perfect skiier) as I enjoyed the challenge and was comfortable.

My injury was knee (not related to skiing) but there is evidence that skiing on mid-wide waist ski's (>80) on hard snow puts more stress on knee joint kinematics (external rotation) - nearing maximum range of motion. Something I just won't risk.

I have worked in sport/physiology depts @Dave of the Marmottes, hence why winters were busy. Rental shops were not saturated with modern technologically advance ski's at this time. Certainly, we did not request specifics of rocker/camber etc now did we?
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@mav3rick, makes sense. I don't think rental shops are saturated now with technical specs of skis, after all most customers just go in asking for "a pair of skis".

And there aren't really that many technology advancements no matter what BS companies like Head put out about Liquid Metal and Graphene (which simpy doesn't exist commercially in the sort of quantities which would make a meaningful difference to skis). Ski shape has evolved and with it waist widths and better torsional rigidity. I understand your view about waist width on skis and have seen limited studies referenced but in reality most of us tend to want to avoid hard snow (unless we are racers) and hence under 80 mm waist widths (for adult males) are now very much specialist piste only skis. The good news is plenty of choice for when you discover what floats your boat. The bad news is plenty of choice hard to zero in on one "perfect" ski.
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mav3rick wrote:
My injury was knee (not related to skiing) but there is evidence that skiing on mid-wide waist ski's (>80) on hard snow puts more stress on knee joint kinematics (external rotation) - nearing maximum range of motion. Something I just won't risk.

I'd be sceptical of that evidence*. Anyhow, I am not exhorting you to buy any particular skis. All I can say is I have skied on 97 wide skis for 6 weeks, the first 4 of which (due to conditions) were on piste and they performed well on all sorts of slope and terrain and were the opposite of "appalling".

Given you will be on piste predominately it becomes largely an irrelevance. As per the others embrace the "new" skis and probably hire some initially for your comeback. Hope it goes well.

* There is a very long thread on here on the subject which I may have read at the time but don't recall the conclusion if there was any. Unfortunately the link to the evidence in the OP is gone.
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Perhaps you are referring to this study?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
mav3rick wrote:
The most I will do will be piste (~90%) if not more I would think.

In which case a Piste Ski would make the most sense...unless there is lots of fresh snow, where a reasonably narrow waisted All Mountain Ski might make things easier.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Indeed, that's the one (although different from the first link)...I am critical of some things in their research, however Prof Supej has contributed to knowledge of skiing and injury and the Journal is world class and agreed by biomechanics academics so I take on board their contribution as its relevant to me.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
... PS 17 years ago was 2001 and shaped skis were definitely in the majority then and even wider skis ...

mav3rick wrote:
Certainly, we did not request specifics of rocker/camber etc now did we?

I don't know how long it took on-piste people to get wider and curvier, but maybe I know when rocker started, because...
... I remember when Dave turned up to have his photo taken on January 1st 2004:

Those are Volant Spatulas, and everyone thought they looked completely insane. They were made in the years 2002/2004.
It's possible that other people used rocker before that, but rocker in skis was hugely radical in 2004.

=> you most likely didn't have rocker in 2001


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 9-10-18 16:57; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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@philwig, Class photo! Yea ski's were pretty uniform in rental shops, certainly where i was!!!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

I have skied on 97 wide skis for 6 weeks


I have now skied on ~>97 wide skis for about 60 weeks, much of the time on piste or hard pack off piste. Issues? what issues? (I also own, 203cm, 68 underfoot SGs and 185 and 191 67 underfoot GSs, and only just binned my beloved 165/66 SLs...) - my race skis don't get that many outings.
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philwig wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
... PS 17 years ago was 2001 and shaped skis were definitely in the majority then and even wider skis ...

mav3rick wrote:
Certainly, we did not request specifics of rocker/camber etc now did we?

I don't know how long it took on-piste people to get wider and curvier,


Well I know the Pocket Rocket turned up in 00/01 season cos I demoed a pair at the WSSF in Whistler. Plus there were plenty of K2 AK Launchers (aka Lawnchairs) about town. Rossi XXXs , Dynastar Nobis etc were all around about that time.

Shane indeed gave the world rocker a few years later in MSP Focused
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
All-mountain ski.

Circa 80-90mm.

Rent.

Boneup on this.
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I learned to ski between 1980 and 1995. (Aged 6 to 21)

Long straight skis (the longer the better for bragging rights). The technique then was skis together , lots of bobbing up and down to unweight and re-weight the skis ...

Then had a break until 2014...not really sure why looking back - think lack of money and busy social and work life ...

Shorter carving skis were frankly a revelation.
I could not believe just how easy they are to turn . And how much fun carving is at high speed.
Took a few weeks to adjust my technique (skis wider apart , less bobbing about , just roll the ankles).
Some lessons would be very useful.

Funnily enough , the old skis together is still an acceptable stance off piste (correct me if I am wrong..).

Have tried various pairs of skis over the years .
Eventually bought a pair of Nordica Navigator 85's (after renting some) and have skied two weeks on those and love them.
Great on and off piste. They do everything.

Although in hindsight , I should have just carried on renting as the faff and expense to service them and transport them is a pain - and most rental places have decent up to date skis (and will let you change them over the week).
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sheffskibod wrote:


Funnily enough , the old skis together is still an acceptable stance off piste (correct me if I am wrong..).



It's not about what is acceptable it's about what gives you a platform that works. At slow speeds and on most skis most holiday skiers whill still need the platform that a narrow stance provides in proper powder*. Obviously the ski porn stars straightlining AK faces can get a bit wider when they want to pull a few GS turns.

* not dust on crust
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sheffskibod wrote:
Funnily enough , the old skis together is still an acceptable stance off piste (correct me if I am wrong..).

Mmm. Not quite. But it's a complex question and if you want to discuss it fully I'd start a new thread on Bend ze Knees

sheffskibod wrote:
Although in hindsight , I should have just carried on renting as the faff and expense to service them and transport them is a pain

Service them yourself. You don't need that much kit, it's not that difficult and it's theraputic.
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@under a new name,
Quote:


I have now skied on ~>97 wide skis for about 60 weeks, much of the time on piste or hard pack off piste. Issues? what issues?


The only real one IME is that they aren't nearly as good as something skinnier for linking short carved cross under turns turns at high edge angles. When the snow is hard I enjoy skiing like that and I can do it much better on 80mm than 100mm.
But you might be one of the few people who posts here who can ski those kind of turns on 100mm skis. I never see people doing it on the mountain.
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Oh and the other think I would say is it is MUCH easier to LEARN to set a high edge angle on a 80mm ski than a 100mm ski
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@jedster, dunno. Maybe I’ll get the wife drunk enough to tolerate taking a video and we’ll see how good my prioperception is (or isn’t!) hehehe

If... of course, I knew what cross under really meant ...
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
This does not help

http://www.yourskicoach.com/glossary/SkiGlossary/Cross_Over_Under_Through.html
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@jedster, Defo, for 6 years I skied on 98mm skis, now I seem to alternate between 120's and 67mm slalom skis. Until I had SL skis I never appreciated what a tight fast turn could feel like Madeye-Smiley
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You know it makes sense.
@mav3rick, for 90% piste, look at skis <=85mm underfoot. The "trend" is to go wide, the Yoof like to hoon down pistes on super wide skis, leaning back and out of control, but looking cool sliding on the tails.

For 90% on piste skiing fat skis will be of zero value to you. Sure wide skis "work" on piste, but you'll have more fun, more speed & more control on narrower skis.

There are "ski gods" on here who profess to ski like an Olympic GS skier on >=100mm wide skis, I've never seen that in the real world outside of a few pros on YouTube.

Just MHO.

Greg (don's hard hat)
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@kitenski, feeling your age, grandad,fighting a war that was over about 10 years ago?

BTW who has ever claimed to have skied like an Olympic GS skier unless you mean Vanessa Mae and even she had to cheat the system.
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@kitenski, I’m going to call you out on that.

My better half skis just as well on her 100mm Mantras as she did on her P10s and she did train* with the Spanish WC squad...

(*Her boyfriend was in the team and the Spanish are pretty sociable ... ) hehe
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@Dave of the Marmottes, no war at all. Horses for courses. Are you really going to argue that the OP who skis 90% on piste wants a fat ski? I'll happily compare my grandad skiing on narrow skis vs your wide skis on a slick black piste.

many, many posters on here Very Happy claim to be able to carve like a god on wide skis....


@under a new name, but I'm sure if you asked her to pick one ski for 90% on piste she wouldnt pick her 100mm wide set.
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kitenski wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes, no war at all. Horses for courses. Are you really going to argue that the OP who skis 90% on piste wants a fat ski? I'll happily compare my grandad skiing on narrow skis vs your wide skis on a slick black piste.



Nah I doubt that there is a single poster on here who isn't taking the wee wee who would want to be on a slick black piste on a tool not for the job. I know I've been there on an injected WC downhill pitch on my undertuned "utility" skis. Literally getting in a couple of pivots to sideslip the pitch felt like an achievement.

But a piste isn't a piste isn't a piste. March onwards in the sun can be very different from a cold January manmade drought battered icicle.s
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@under a new name,
Quote:

My better half skis just as well on her 100mm Mantras as she did on her P10s and she did train* with the Spanish WC squad...


P10s are pretty old but are you saying you think she'd be just as quick through GS gates on Mantras as P10s?
I find that comparison a bit tricky anyway because I was never able to carve old skinny skis as well as I can modern designs. But I'd be really surprised if she was quicker on mantras than a good recreational piste ski (never mind FIS etc) through gates.

BTW - I thought that description of cross under was pretty good. Basically those turns when you stay low at transition, use a small amount of rebound from the high edge angle to move the skis through the fall line underneath you unweighted, pivot a tad to set up the direction of the new carve and put them down very delicately already set at a pretty high edge angle. It is much easier to set them down precisely on edge when that edge is under your boot rather than outside your boot. I could do those kind of turns on my Prophets (which were 100mm and quite mantra like) but only if the piste was pretty soft - gives you room to feel for that edge bite when you put the ski down. Couldn't do it when the piste was hard without it all getting scary and chattery!

You didn't really comment on my point that it is easier to LEARN to carve properly on a narrower ski - just easier to "roll" gently onto the edge and get that feel. With a wider ski you have to get "over" the outrigger edge IYSWIM.

None of that is meant to say wider skis are anything but great. I just think people oversell the benefits for piste skiing.
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jedster wrote:


None of that is meant to say wider skis are anything but great. I just think people oversell the benefits for piste skiing.


I don't think people oversell the benefits - on a firm piste there is no advantage to a wider ski over a dedicated piste ski - horses for courses and all that.*

However in terms of versatility , lets say for a competent adult male, a 110mm rockered 5 point ski trumps say a SL ski. And by versatility I mean all mountain all season all times of day. An SL ski is peerless for tight turns on firm or icy pistes but it is not a many trick pony. I'd rather be on a carbon Director with its fun shape and relatively soft flex than my WC SLs in most bumps frinstance.

If I've travelled with Directors as my only ski and it is dry I am going to have a better time on a sunny afternoon than first thing in the morning. So go out later or enjoy a bit of " character building" first thing. And I'm still rocking til close on a spring day when most people on their piste performance skis have jacked in because it's "too slushy".

* One other point is not directly related to width but is rocker. I believe a little rocker in piste skis is helpful for anyone not looking for high performance turns. You can tip a little more and thus get a strong edge set before the nose hooks up and the nose engagement is more progressive.
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Quote:

I don't think people oversell the benefits - on a firm piste there is no advantage to a wider ski over a dedicated piste ski - horses for courses and all that.*

However in terms of versatility , lets say for a competent adult male, a 110mm rockered 5 point ski trumps say a SL ski. And by versatility I mean all mountain all season all times of day. An SL ski is peerless for tight turns on firm or icy pistes but it is not a many trick pony.


That's fair. I just read some posts that say a 100mm ski gives NOTHING away over a narrower piste ski - it's only upside - which is not my experience. As it happens I have never skied on a modern SL ski. Partly for the reason you suggest - not very versatile. But a narrower 18m radius ski with a decent sized shovel is quite versatile. You can bend it into tight turns if you crank it over and you can also cope with a lot of soft snow conditions although I'd GS slush rather than surf it on them.
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@jedster, exactly but once you're at neither end of the spectrum, a pure GS/SL ski (and bear in mind you can rarely use a GS ski properly on busy public pistes) nor a pure powder ski it's really where on the spectrum of compromises you want to be. Which will be influenced by a whole lot of things: your skill, style, where you want to ski, where you actually ski, who you ski with, random good or bad luck re snowfall, peer pressure from people like BASI, instructors, your freewheeling mates, ski porn etc etc.

My advice to the OP is to make his/her own mind up, no-one has a magic answer buts lots of people get comfortable with their choices after a while. Because I'm a rebel at heart I advise against following the orthodoxy religiously. After all if equipment evolution were up to most instructor organisations we'd still be battling straight skis and snowboarding would have overtaken skiing eons ago. But equally the special sauce isn't to be found in equipment alone - as it turns out you can buy a turn but you sorta need to know how to order it.
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I tried skiing my 120 Bents like my SLs the other year, was bouncing them out of the grippy piste turns and then planting them on the opposite edge. Until the edges diverged slightly and I had an almighty high speed slide with one ski far behind me Laughing I just haven't got the skill set nor the strength to do that for long.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, I don't think anyone has recommended a pure GS/SL ski! Like @jedster says an 18m radius ski with 80mmish underfoot and wide shovel can ski most everything, and is a lot more fun on piste than a 110m wide powder ski. That includes slush, powder, bumps, ice, firm pistes etc.

I'm not sure what "instructor" organisations would want to still be on straight skis, every instructor and trainer I've skied with enjoys the right ski in the right conditions, and they often are lucky enough to live in the mountains with a decent quiver of skis!

But I think like you said, horses for courses. You need to be honest with yourself about the conditions you'll be skiing in 90% of the time and get an appropriate ski for those conditions.
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Trying to think of some specific examples, and what ski I'd like to be on if I could swop in seconds:

firm corduroy : My <80mm ski

Icy pistes : : My <80mm ski

Firm Bumps: : My <80mm ski

Fresh snow or slushy bumps: either ski

Fresh snow, dumping: My Whitedot R.98s

Offpiste day: My Whitedot R.98s

Heavy, chopped on piste/Easter slush: Either ski, one carving on edge, one would surf thru

Arsing around in spring/soft snow, skiing switch, spraying slush on the kids: R98s
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