Is having more than one ski in your quiver needed (or useful) for skiing the Mid-Atlantic? Do people have more than one ski that they use for the Mid-Atlantic?
To me, the most obvious additions would be a second ski for racing, terrain park or rock skis. I'm not certain rock skis are even really needed around here; only exception I can think of is for those who ski the occasional natural snow trail or glade.
How about powder days?
Note: Edit of original question to make it more neutral.
[This message has been edited by JohnL (edited 12-03-2003).]
I ski it all... short turns, bumps, long fast turns, the sides of the slopes, the icy center parts, crud, etc. They even get used on my trips out of the area on powder days & tree skiing, etc.
Carry a small quiver & ski hard is my motto...
The only time I've found that I maybe needed another pair of skis was last year during the President's Day storm. I was at 7Springs that weekend and the deep pwder on the North Face side gave me some problems.....it seemed like the skis did not want to 'float' in the deep snow.....although it may well have been my technique rather than the skis.
There is no way the average recreational skier truly *needs* to have more than one pair of skis. I personally skied for decades owning just one pair at a time. I would use the same pair on rock-hard ice at Killington that I would use a week later in deep powder at Alta. Any half-way decent skier can ski (almost) any conditions on (almost) any pair of sticks.
However, the way I see it, having more than one pair to pick from has several benefits. These benefits may be obvious and undebatable, but simply may not be all that important to a given individual:
Having specialized skis (eg, powder skis, crud skis, GS skis, SL skis, TT's, etc.) can clearly let you ski a variety of conditions with less strain, faster, with more confidence and enjoyment, etc. than trying to do everything on one pair. A quiver effectively gives you access to more of the mountain and more often (at a given ability level).
However, the advantages of specialized skis may or may not be important to an individual. Only you can decide. If you are on a pair of 163 hypercarvers and your buddy is on 188 G4's or GS boards and says, "last one to the bottom buys the beer", take my advice and don't take the bet.
Conversely, if your buddy is on short TT's, and is already 2/3rds of the way down the mogul field, while you are only about 3 rows down from the top, slowly picking your way down on your so-called "fast" skis so as not to get thrown all around, the disparity in performance may or may not be important to you.
If you are on middle-of-the-road skis, of course, such disparities in performance won't be so great, but they will still be there.
There will *always* be a better pair of skis for any particular skiing situation, but the real questions are "how much better", "is the difference important to you", and "how often do you run into the sorts of situations where there would be a big difference". Mid-atlantic skiing is pretty homogenized both with respect to snow conditions and terrain, but as in the GS/SL/TT example above, there still are differences even here. Another example is that I find that having crud skis greatly increases my enjoyment of the soft, deep slop we often see around here in the spring. Yeah, I can ski it on other skis, but why bother?
Having a variety of ski types helps teach you how to ski better. IMHO, using a variety of wildly different skis greatly improves your skiing skills, much as skiing a variety of terrain does. You learn what sort of input each ski wants to work well. You learn both tactics and strategy appropriate for each ski. Basically, you get to exercise different blends of rotary, edging and pressure on each. I intentionally took my 9.16's and IC200's out during our 24" dump last season, and I have intentionally taken my Explosivs out on upper NYS rock-hard ice. I do this sort of thing regularly. It attracts attention, but I learn a tremendous amount each time I do it.
Beater rock skis, teaching skis, etc. preserve the edges of your ice skis for when you need them and preserve the longevity and re-sale value of your better skis (impt. if you trade skis often).
Skiing on different types of skis can be fun in and of itself - ie, this is the ski connoisseur who samples and enjoys the unique attributes of each. I won't try to defend this. There is a big dose of hedonism here, much like a wine connoisseur. BTW, my name is Tom, and I fall into this category .
"Do you need more than one pair?" - NO.
"Is having more than one pair fun and useful?" - YES
"Is having more than one pair worth the extra cost?" - Only you can answer.
BTW, just to head off any questions about "ski caddys", unless I'm specifically testing skis, I pick a pair at the start of the day and usually stay on them all day. I might go back to the car and switch skis halfway through the day, but that's usually only if the conditions change dramatically (eg, if it gets icy around 5 PM), or if I will be skiing with different people (eg, beginners vs advanced, somebody that wants to play in the bumps, etc.)
Just my $0.02,
Tom / PM
[This message has been edited by PhysicsMan (edited 12-03-2003).]