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What do you want from your next ski?


Horton
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Late this summer I was talking to a ski designer from one of the big factories. He was somewhat surprised when I told him what I thought I wanted from a ski.

 

How would your dream ski be different than the one you have? What do you think you want in a ski?

 

(free buoys or easy 39off is not a good answer)

 

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A 68" ski that has a slightly wider middle to help a larger guy start easier and carry speed, not a wider tail, so it rolls over and holds edge, and a flex pattern in between a standard 68" and 69" ski. The 69" and longer skis are too stiff and don't turn well in scramble mode and the wider tail skis don't sit right in the water for me.

 

Sounds a lot like a 6.1. ;)

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a ski that I can finish the turn on with out it stopping

Just like @skier2788 said.

 

Or a ski that will give me the same turn/angle regardless if I am late or early, forward or back

Is that even possible?

 

plus get me into 41 off

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@Texas6

I said I wanted a ski that was much more supportive at exit of off side. I need to be able to be a little out of wack and just poke it in at one ball – my off side. I would like the tip to stay up and keep moving.

 

If a ski was more forgiving to that I could forgive a number of other things. It could be not as fast or stable or whatever.

 

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There's a bit of a theme emerging: "something a little more forgiving, something that won't stop at the finish of the turn."

 

I'm a little suspcious that ski manufacturers play a similar game to that played by car and golf club manufacturers. Car manufacturers love to set up their throttles so you get 80% of the power in the first 20% of throttle travel to fake you into thinking the car/truck has more power than it actually does. Golf club manufacturers reduced the loft of their irons over time so that you hit their new irons further than your old irons. It's all marketing. I think some, maybe most, ski manufacturers recommend fin settings that make their new skis seem super lively and easy to turn for the average buyer.

 

But in the hands of an advanced skier, a super lively and turny setup can be too turny. I'm finding that a lot of good skiers end up benefiting from less length and a little more depth than the marketing recommendations. It's not quite as easy to turn, but it's more forgiving, provides more feedback, is more consistent, and can eliminate excessive tip-bite. It lets a good skier attack without the ski over-reacting.

 

I love the current crop of skis, but I'd like to see manufacturers provide a range of setups as used by their top skiers, like the Rossi and Rini numbers at Radar.

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I like flat black, flat black graphics (maybe similar idea as the old A1), no fuss, just black...maybe a Johnny Cash edition??? OR legitimate wood veneer like @Brewski did - that thing looks amazing... I would rock a birdseyed maple veneer on a ski, maybe jumpers with a redwood veneer...

 

In terms of fin settings, I like to set it and forget it... I would love a ski that performed well without the need to mess with the fin on a daily/weekly basis. Maybe the range that @SkiJay has mentioned would allow me to select a known setting (besides baseline suggestions) and go, rather than starting at baseline and spending a few weeks getting to the numbers everyone else is running.

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What I would really like to be able to do is go out and have someone watch me ski that knows all kinds of different skis and recommend a ski then that would work best for my style.

 

I think of it like the way you get fitted for a golf driver. If you go to a good fitting place they have a bunch of different drivers and shafts and a launch monitor to get you statistics on the best fit. You hit a bunch of different combinations until you find the right fit for your swing.

 

I know skiing is different particularly because I can't take 50 passes to find the right ski but I would love to be able to have some way to try a bunch of different skis with someone making recommendations for what is right for me.

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@Horton - Daily/weekly was an exaggeration. I have had a few skis that were VERY sensitive to fin settings and things like changes in water temp required a fin change to keep the feel of the ski, while other skis have felt more consistent through these changes in temp, lake, etc without a fin change. I like the skis that are less sensitive to fin settings.
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A ski that won't punish you for being a smidge out of position through the wakes. A ski that if you are late, crank a turn, and end up being back on the tail of the ski and the tip rises that you can maintain the angle and get across course without it drastically effecting the next turn - in other words it lets you get back in the pass.

 

Of course I have a LOT to LEARN and a LOT to work on, but I can always ask for it right?

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I didn't quite make my point in my previous post. More pertinent to this thread, what I'd like in my next ski is a very forgiving ski shape that will respond well to fin changes aiming to make the ski more responsive. I think I ski better on a forgiving ski perked up with fin settings than a hot ski that has been dumbed down with the settings.
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I think the real thing I'd ask for is easier setup. I'd love to be able to slap my bindings on and go. And then it would be awesome if it were simple know where my bindings and fins currently are. Next, being able to adjust both of those with a high degree of accuracy without a toolbox and/or take things apart.

 

But the HUGE win would be: So forgiving to the setup that I don't have to adjust anything ever!

 

Of course, the amount of performance I'm willing to give up for these conveniences is ... none. So I understand I'm being the typical unrealistic customer.

 

Still, the skis themselves are so damn good, that I find myself thinking more of user-friendliness improvements in the future.

 

If I had to pick something a little more directly performance related, it would be resilience against poor balance into and during the turn: Perform as similarly as possible whether I am back, forward, falling in, or standing up.

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a recurrent theme i see here is a ski that doesnt need constant fin tuning and in my opinion the mapple 6.0 meets that need completely. ive been a habitual tweaker on every ski i ever had except this one which ive adjusted exactly 3 times earlier this season. once i found what worked for me i never gave it another thought and havent touched it now in a couple of months even thru water temp swing of almost 20 plus degrees. biggest single change was when i put the wing back on and havent even moved that from 8 deg since.
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I don't yet know for myself how it is working but, Goode is on the right track with asymmetric rocker. It is so tough to get a ski that rocks both sides (has been for me). The turns are different with the skier pressuring different places on the ski. Makes sense to have a rocker profile that is tailored to the differences. LaPoint bonded two half skis together trying to achieve this. I imagine this is tough to get right on a number of different sizes.
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I feel like the majority of us know what we want a ski to do but have little to no idea what kind of ski will actually accomplish what we really want. I think if I tried all of the top end ski's out there, I would eventually find a ski that was setup perfectly for me but that would be an expensive and time consuming option even if it were just demo ski's being used.

 

Some ski manufacturers seem to be very involved and talk about how and why they do what they do plus the pros and cons of the new design. For me personally, I would like to see more of this because it helps me quantify my purchase from them and allows me to tailor my decisions based on what is being offered. More acceleration, more angle, more space, more support, more stable, and better turns are just buzz words now and they don't mean much to me because everyone says that crap.

 

As an example, I bought a Strada because years ago, Rossi said in one of the promo videos (paraphrasing), the front of the ski was larger and had more surface area which provided a safety net if the skiers got on the front too much. Since I have a bad habit of getting on the front and older ski's shutting me down, this was a very desirable trait.

 

If someone were to come to me and ask what design characteristics would be best, I'd probably just say more color/graphic options because the odds of me successfully changing ski shape is slim to none.

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I will leave the magic to the guys who understand it.

 

I would like a "permanent" label with serial, flex and factory numbers. I would like the manufacture to provide some non-marketing commentary on the sensitivities of the ski related to fin adjustments, fin movement, etc.

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