Fondness for skinny over shaped skis
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JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 24, 2004
Member since 01/14/2004
2,645 posts
Don't believe there's much debate on this anymore, but I know there are pockets of purists out there with a continuing fondness and devotion for skinny skis. From my experience I have no doubt that shaped skis are great for laid back carving on groomers and quick turns on steeper terrain. However, I just switched to shaped skis (fulltime) two years ago and coming from the mid-Atlantic I still have no experience with them in deep powder (>8"). From the sporadic occasions I had over the years to ski pow with skinny skis I have lasting memories of watching my skis dip out of sight and proceding downhill with a swivel kind of motion that felt like dancing on a cloud bank. The chance to sample some deep powder with shaped skis will be something I guess I'll occasionally ponder to stay stoked over the off-season?
Roger Z
March 24, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Or you could just let your curiosity get the best of you and go to Portillo in July for some pre-season testing. [Wink]
wgo
March 24, 2004
Member since 02/10/2004
1,262 posts
I know what you mean - the whole up-and-down sensation of being in truly deep pow with skinny skis is just an unbelievable feeling. I do wish that we at least had the option of buying skinny skis, but I guess it's simply not profitable for ski companies to offer this option [Frown]
Crush
March 24, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004
995 posts
Even though they are wide, why do you think big-mountain powder skis like Dynastar Inspired by Nobis or the Super Nobis have practically no sidecut! Because that is best for pow!
wgo
March 24, 2004
Member since 02/10/2004
1,262 posts
Yeah, I know. If all the big-mountain guys didn't like the new skis better, and be able to do more with 'em, they wouldn't have switched over! AFAIK Glen Plake is the only big name who is still a skinny ski enthusiast.
comprex
March 24, 2004
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
I'm still waiting for PhysicsMan to get back from skiing, and take up a discussion of sidecut ski stability in powder,
KevR
March 24, 2004
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
I just came back from SLC (hello any one miss this on my many annoying posts extolling the place?! :-) )

And I had 3 days of FRESH powder, mind you exceptionally light and fluffy, that was between 8" and 2-2.5ft deep depending. This is only the 2nd time in deeper powder for me, last year being the first at JH and I had a lot of problems then, especially above 1 ft or so.

BUT, for whatever reasons, I seem to have fixed the problems and had a blast on relatively TAME terrain in the deep(er) stuff. And no problem steering around up to waist deep in places off the main trails.

My skis & build -- 174cm, K2 mod X (shaped), 199.99 pounds, 6'1".

I found the easiest and best bet to ski in the sutff was to: stay balanced over the ski but SLIGHTLY tips up and LET the ski turn, no forcing of anything, and just turn BOTH skis at once and let them do the work (no wedging or christie). Also I kept my feet about 6-8 (?) inches apart as I normally would on groomed trails.

More aggressive turning could be had with some good pole planting and "hopping" but I didn't get too far down this path...

No problem at all in the stuff, in fact, all I could think of was a) what blast I having, and b) like a drug addict, how I'm totally hooked I'd become on the sensations.

Now if I lived out that way, I'd probably buy a slightly fatter all mountain ski and use that 90% of the time and if I really got into it and hit the "backcountry" stuff, maybe a fat powder skier... MAYBE.

So no problem with side cut I could see but very limited experience... AND you have to give some credit to the UTAH snow which has less water content than ANY snow, I think, in general. So probably less grabby and easier to maneuver about in...
[Big Grin]
Crush
March 25, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004
995 posts
Rockin'! Glad you had a good time .. yeah man pow skiing is a life sentence! Better watch out LOL! I like to keep my feet pretty close together like I am mogul skiing just because it keeps 'em both going in the same direction and depth. But looks like you figured it out! Like I always say if you are a good east coast skier you can learn to pow ski in about 2 or 3 days.
JohnL
March 26, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
Good riddance to skinny skis in pow; don't miss them one bit. Also don't miss the occasional head over heels tumble when one ski sinks to the bottom. Trying to find that missing ski was like looking for a needle in a haystack. [Mad]

Just give me a mid-fat and plenty of fresh! Don't need no "big mountain surf boards" or powder chubbs. Too similar to snowboarding. [Wink]

Speaking of the sidecut of a ski, I remember there was an article in Powder last season discussing this new ski line for deep stuff which has reverse sidecut.
KevR
March 26, 2004
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
I think I read that same article in Powder (which I do not get ... seems like a cool mag).

Anyway, if I recall it was called the "Spatula"... let's see if I recall the details properly:
- reverse camber
- reverse side-cut, meaning wider in the middle than ends
- fairly symmetric?

OK web search reveals -- (google: volant spatula ski)
"At the other end of the spectrum is the latest powder offering from Volant, the Spatula, which is as radical as it gets. It's the brainchild of freeskier Shane McConkey, and it turns ski design inside out: reverse camber (the tip and tail curve upward off the snow) and reverse sidecut (widest at the waist). It looks like a waterski, and that's fitting, considering the three-dimensional medium of powder has more in common with water than with packed snow. McConkey warns that the Spatula requires an all-new technique: Smear your turns, as you would frosting on a cake, rather than setting an edge. As you might surmise, the Spatula isn't much fun on hardpack. Will it catch on? Volant admits that sales of the ski, in what is already a niche market, are limited, but adds that interest among shop employees, especially in powder-choked corners of ski country, has been huge. "

And straight from the source --

http://www.volantski.com/03/index.html

BUT i'm with you JohnL, if I lived out west I'd invest in a ski that's slightly fatter than what I have, I think that'd work great for most conditions...
JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 26, 2004
Member since 01/14/2004
2,645 posts
comprex
March 26, 2004
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
Yep, KevR, the Volant V2 McConkey Spatula, 186cm only , 120/125/115 When in Tahoe . . .

The SURFACE AREA (I say nothing about "float") is approximately the same as a 183 cm Volkl Gotama (130/105/122).

No idea whether Atomic will continue the Spatula or not. Any number of sellers on Ebay say "no" but that was the word on the Chubb, too, not so very long ago.

The interesting thing is that my almost-straight (110/90/108) old Chubbs are now only "midfat" in surface area.

To keep this thread somewhat on-topic, c.a. 99-Y2K "Backcountry", AT or randonee skis are still to be found, fairly straight, fairly skinny, and I'm looking forward to mine next season.
KevR
March 26, 2004
Member since 01/27/2004
786 posts
Heck now that I think about it, I was looking at some X-C skis and noticed they even had a shape to them... the new ones that is.

Too bad we can't post pics to this... oh well.
twin58
March 27, 2004
Member since 04/1/2000
198 posts
wgo said:

>>
I do wish that we at least had the option of buying skinny skis
<<

This is why they invented yard sales.
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