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Hammer down skiing


Razorskier1
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I was having a back and forth the other day with the Fearless Leader about skis and ski designs. As someone who learned to ski decades ago by pulling real hard, I stated that my "go to" when I'm in trouble remains to put the hammer down and just power my way out of the pass. F.L. made the comment that he feels like ski designers are going away from skis that favor hammer down skiing, and instead favor those with more technical skill. I tend to agree, and I think that is a function of both understanding the sport better and, without question, the addition of ZO.

 

Before ZO, I could put the hammer down and create space out of nowhere by slowing the boat. In a ZO world, when I put the hammer down I get both excessive load and excessive speed, neither of which I like very much.

 

So, the perfect ski is one that works when you ski right, but also gives you a margin of error when you revert to old, bad habits (whatever they may be) when you are in a pinch.

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One of my theories that I am moderately sure is correct is that within a reasonable range softer skis have a higher potential score and stiffer skis are more forgiving. A fair number of the new modern skis are trending to softer flexes. They might be technically a little bit harder to ride but the upside is greater. On the other hand there are old school guys that just can't get their head around these skis.

 

Generally speaking the more hammer down your skiing style is the worst the new softer flex skis are for you.

 

I have run this theory past a number of super-smart Industry people. Maybe 75% think I'm correct 25% think I'm way out in left field. It is only a theory.

 

Later this summer I will be reviewing the D3 ARC. It'll be very interesting because I will have both flexes, the blue and the yellow. I'm curious to see if the yellow ski will prove more forgiving to aggressive skiing but the blue ski will be better when I'm calm and really hit my marks.

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@ms you are still on the original generation N1 correct? For my money that's the last of the great hammer down skis. Get extra wide on your gate and go go go.
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For a while I had two different Warps. A stiff one and a softer one. The softer ski was clearly superior when I was calm rested and skiing technical. The stiffer ski always worked no matter what but was not quite as good.

 

I still have the stiff one and you can borrow it when you pull it from my cold dead fingers.

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Yeah, I have zero throttle control. I tried 4 different versions of the Flextail/Rev6 this spring and couldn’t ski on any of them. I have a 66 XT that feels stiffer than a rock and I love it!
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this is an area where I find coaching to be most difficult. When you hear someone say, for instance, that a skier needs to have more back arm pressure, you then have to translate that into your skiing habits. If I hear someone say that to another skier, I have to shut my ears! The last thing on the planet I need is more pressure on the line. In fact, for me to ski my best, I have to relax my shoulders and just kind of let the line pressure set my shoulder position. When I do that I stay taller, load the line less, transition more smoothly, turn more consistently, etc. On the other hand, if I try to use the back shoulder/arm too much -- oh, boy, it won't be pretty!
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I think Goode said you can still special order the N1 new; but, you need to pay full price. FWIW the N1 has been the best ski I have ever been on, for me. It is very forgiving and automatic. I think it is the best combination for someone who wants to put the hammer down when needed; but, still strives to ski technically correct.
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@Horton -- just skied my lightest sets of the year today. Essentially no load (for me). Without question the best ski day of the year. However, loading less requires a different timing. When I load hard, I need to be more aggressive everywhere in the course. It creates a certain, bang, go, bang, go cadence.

 

Skiing with less load eliminates (literally) the preturn. Instead of changing edge, reach, turn, you change edges and ride the line with two hands until you are about 5 feet from the ball. At that point, you are wide and early, so you reach turn connect and go again. Once I got the timing, it was magically delicious. Lighter for longer just works.

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@Razorskier1 to me skiing w/o unnecessary load results in being wider and earier soooo i don't understand your comment about lack of preturn
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