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Should fat skis be banned?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I was talking to an instructor friend of mine the other day. He is Austrian who teaches technique to the top level of ski instructors in Austria.

We were talking about fat skis as I was asking his opinion. We chewed over a few when he remarked that if he could have his way fat skis would be banned.

His reason is that they allow people who do not have sufficient skill or knowledge to go off into the back country simply because they have equipment which allows them to progress to riding powder in a very short time.

They make it unsafe for themselves, increase the number of accidents and increase the pressure on rescue groups and guides.

In particular he picked out "young scandinavians" who think they are better than they are and have a daredevil attitude.

What does the panel think about his comments (he said, lighting blue touch paper and retiring)

Shocked Madeye-Smiley snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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No, I don't think fat skis should be banned. Stupid skiers maybe, but not fat skis.

If fat skis were to be banned, would this also apply to all boarders?
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I don't think they should be banned, but to level the playing field, I think people should only be allowed to ski skis of a width proportional to their own girth wink
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I should elaborate further on what he said .... If fat skis were banned then skiers would rely on the technique more. You can use less fat skiers with better technique and achieve the same results, but you may have to work harder.

But that way you would only venture off back country when you had achieved a good enough level.
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slikedges, So if someone is really big round the tum, they MUST ski on wide planks or they are ALLOWED to. Slim folk MUST ski on traditional alpine skis. Have I got that right?

Laughing
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B00thy,

Quote:

You can use less fat skiers with better technique and achieve the same results, but you may have to work harder.


Do you strap these skiers onto your feet? Laughing
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slikedges wrote:
B00thy,

Quote:

You can use less fat skiers with better technique and achieve the same results, but you may have to work harder.


Do you strap these skiers onto your feet? Laughing


Well you said they should be proportional! Laughing
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B00thy,

Yes, but I've just thought of a disadvantage to that plan - I'd be one of the slim folk Sad
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This is silly. No, we should not limit the accessibility of excellent tools because some will use them foolishly. Whenever "we" try to protect people from themselves, we fail. Or, as I have heard said, when we make something foolproof, God creates a better fool.
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slikedges, good luck on your 225cm all mountain's then NehNeh
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ssh, OK so should we ban the fools?
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A friend and his mates had an off piste powder lesson recently. I was quite shocked when he said they'd taken off and kitted out with fat skis for the day (100mm+). If I was payig for a lesson I would expect to taught technique that would work on skis I would most likely be on most of the time. Putting on a pair of fats just panders to your ego. A day later back in the resort on more universally usable skis are you going to have improved if you duck off into the powder, probably not, you had a good day out but learned nothing.

I am of course a complete hypocrite as I own a pair of mid fats Smile

On the other side does having the skill to ski off piste on narrow skis necessarilly mean that you are knowledgeable about backcountry lore, plenty of people died in avalanches before modern fat skis were developed.

Or is it more that those who can do it don't like the idea of their private playground being crashed by those not in the club wink
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rich wrote:


Or is it more that those who can do it don't like the idea of their private playground being crashed by those not in the club wink


In the case of the Ski Fuherer I was talking to I don't think so. I another point may be that those not in the club but with a counterfeit member's card actually are crashing and burning members as well as themselves
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Obviously fat skis should not be banned. This is akin to saying that snowtires should be banned, so that only skillfull drivers could navigate the streets on icy days.
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ssh, I like your philosophy -- well put !!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
This reminds me of the argument which goes "GPS allows idiots who can't navigate to go to all sorts of places in their boats". Also, of a ski instructor who, asked years ago for his opinion of snowblades, said "they're for people who can't be bothered to learn to ski". It's very annoying when skills you took years to acquire are made redundant by modern developments - years ago drivers needed to "double de-clutch", and driving a carriage with four spirited horses was no doubt a lot harder than poodling around in my 10 year old Toyota.

It's a fairly pointless argument. However what is not in doubt is that sailors with GPS still need seamanship skills, and they need to understand and heed weather forecastsl. Off piste skiers still need avalanche-knowledge and they still need to heed warnings - guides and instructors are killed in avalanches from time to time, despite their knowledge. Maybe with more people able to ski off piste, with modern fat skis, there will be more demand for guides and those able to train and educate the rest of us, and it will become more common for skiers to regard some basic knowledge and understanding as essential. Let's hope so.
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Currently it's Austria nil, Rest of the World 7 (inc my vote)

Incidentally, last season on one particuarly fantastic deep powder day, he said to me "Today I think you on the wrong skis are skiing" meaning not fat enough and "today I will find it difficult". Well, I was and he didn't seem to!


Laughing rolling eyes Very Happy
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B00thy wrote:
"Today I think you on the wrong skis are skiing"


Good to hear that Master Yoda's still teaching.
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If we ban fat skis, because they allow people with poor technique to ski powder, can we please ban carvers too, because they allow people to ski with their legs in a neutral position, and not locked together.

Minimum ski length should be 210cm. Maximum width around 60mm. Straight tip to tail.
Make them of wood. No metal edges.
Leather straps to hold your shoes on too.

Corporal punishment is too good for these oiks on their short skis with bindings that releas at DIN 6 or even 3 Wink
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B00thy wrote:
ssh, OK so should we ban the fools?
Good luck! Seems many of them are the ones that make the laws! Laughing NehNeh Twisted Evil
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Wear The Fox Hat wrote:
If we ban fat skis, because they allow people with poor technique to ski powder, can we please ban carvers too, because they allow people to ski with their legs in a neutral position, and not locked together.

Minimum ski length should be 210cm. Maximum width around 60mm. Straight tip to tail.
Make them of wood. No metal edges.
Leather straps to hold your shoes on too.

Corporal punishment is too good for these oiks on their short skis with bindings that releas at DIN 6 or even 3 Wink
Are you still upset that I could beat you to the bottom when I was turning and you were going straight? NehNeh Laughing snowHead
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How fat does a ski have to be to qualify? My powder skis are about 68mm at the waist, is that fat?
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davidof, nope. Not even close. I'd say 80mm minimum.
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ssh, 80mm if you're a girl... Very Happy
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ssh, I'd call that a "mid-fat." For me a fat ski is more around 90+
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So, it would seem:

68-80 --> plump
80-90 --> fat
90+ --> obese
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68-80 --> plump
80-90 --> fat
90-100 --> BIG BONED
100+ --> SuperSize me
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So, I've got only thin and plump. Guess you can ban the things...! Twisted Evil NehNeh
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B00thy,

I can understand the sentiment. It used to take a long time to get to a standard to try off-piste and on 200 GS skis for example, and you didn't go far because it was hard work. I know you don't have to go far as recent events have shown - again. But the problem is exagerrated IMO when you have Channel 4 shows like Boardstupid showing a peak time sunday morning 'yoof' slot and the presenters with a matter of days boarding going off with a group out the back of Chamonix. And none of the good riders were kitted up even with packs. The presenters were totally out of their depth.
So the advent of Fats and to a lesser extent boards in the earlier days, give people the oppurtunity to ski terrian far above their mountain experience. I think this is the point the guide was making and I think it is valid.

I don't say ban Fats but the point must be made that safetly is the key here and if you don't have the experience at least hire a man, or women who has. But Fats do make it easier to ski terrain that would have be out of reach for the relatively inexperineced skier. But what is a guide to do, ask for a proficency test..??? And if he bases it on skiing Fats will largely negate that.... And that is for the ones that hire guides..!!!

A very difficult question which I would imagine is being asked in many a guides/instaructors office..!!
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Quote:

Boardstupid

Says it all really doesn't it, though perhaps we should have another show called skistoopid Laughing There's no reason to ban fat skis, banning stupid illprepared people from backcountry off piste would probably save a lot of lives, but would be impossible to enforce. Confused
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 Poster: A snowHead
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While I can understand the centiment, I have mixed feelsings on this. On days when I find whole slopes shredded by mindless idiots who don't know any better or I have to hike for miles to find some fresh, I say ban anything that lets these people get to MY habitat that I took years to learn how to ski and earned a respect and knowledge for it at the same time.

Then on other occasions I see how fats allow people to enjoy an aspect of skiing that to me, is the greatest thrill of them all. And who am I to say they shouldn't enjoy it. However, they don't get the same level of enjoyment as I do, because their skis don't allow it. True fat skis keep you floating and you will never experience those tue "faceshot" moments that can only come from skiing "down" in the snow, waist deep and with snow flying around your head. remember that in the good old days powder masks weren't to keep your face warm but to allow you to breath when skiing the really deep and fluffy stuff. You cannot expeerience that on fats.

Having said that I don't ski totally skinny but slightly plump (74) as for me, I need an all rounder which will deal with everything I might find, be it crud, windblown, ice or powder. They do take less skill than my old Force 9 3S's but they are a better ski.

So, inagreement with everybody else, don't ban the equipment, educate the skiers.
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SimonN, I agree entirely.

Force 9 3s, with the 61m waist, is that the one? What a ski...!!
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Thanks folks! I'm seeing Georg (Ski Fuherer) on Tuesday and will further the debate. For myself, I am a plump "73" user (Stockli Sotrmrider AT) which I use for everything from bumps, to crud to ice to powder.

I do love Seth Pistols however plus I am considering a B3 with touring bindings .... but that's another debate ... should long skinnies be compulsory for touring along with knickerbockers and leather boots ...

Twisted Evil Razz Laughing
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Snowboards are easier in the powder than fat skis should they be banned first?

Why stop at thin skis? Why isn't Georg on snowblades?
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Hey - I had Force 9 3s's, I'd almost forgotten about those Toofy Grin B00thy, the B3's are still available. Will try for pics tomorrow Madeye-Smiley
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74m for me for precisely the same reasons as SimonN,

But I still think about my first forays on 9 3s'.......
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I've never met anyone who has spent a lot of time on 80mm+ waisted skis who prefers to use a pair of skiny skis after a big fresh dry powder dump.

As always people say they don't need fat skis just as some stay with their straight 1980's pencil skis for the piste. Hell some people hate powder. Each to their own, whatever gives them the most fun.

Skiny skis allow you to use a piste technique in shallow powder leaving some people to think they have mastered off-piste technique until they hit proper deep dry snow. Skiny skis require more effort in powder, newer fatter skis allow more stability and high speed performance.

You still get face shots on fat skis. Face shots are caused by dry deep snow and turning. The width of the ski will stop you sinking in so far but fat skis won't float over everything. Fat skis also keep you above roots etc in the trees.

Most guides can ski better than us mere mortals on a pair of skiny racing skis in powder, but the mountains don't belong to the ski instructors / guides so they shouldn't be the ones to define our choice of ski.
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DB, very eloquently argued.
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Wear The Fox Hat wrote:
68-80 --> plump
80-90 --> fat
90-100 --> BIG BONED
100+ --> SuperSize me


Now, that's rather prejudicial WTFH, do not you think?

I mean a poor 66mm ski has gone and put on a few pounds after christmas and she is doomed to the 78mm matronly bench? Shouldn't there really be a clearer distinction at 70 or 75mm? So we can know which ones can wear regular sizes in such things as binding brakes and which ones need plus sizing?

Off to let out some seams now. . .
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comprex, maybe 'voluptuous' would have been a better label!
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