Wide waisted or girdled?

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Harris

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Wide waisted or girdled?

Postby Harris » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:43 pm

I have theory... Just a hunch... I don't have a lot of experience tele skiing fat skis, but I am very happy with my K2 Pinnacle 95s, which I have several seasons and many miles on. They seem to be a good quiver killer. They work well on pack or in fluff. I chose the 95s because my demo ability is severely limited, and I had to guess after skiing years on: BD Havocs, which are absurdly skinny by today's standards, but were absurdly fat when I bought them. They were kinda wide but straight waisted. Before that I was on Atomic Beta TMs. Before that circa 1980's Dynastar Course GS. Before that numerous Kazamas, a Tua, and even the collectable Phoenix 3 medals. Anyway, the thinking about modern all fat 100+ mid-foot is that tele really requires more tip float than alpine. A narrower mid waist with fat tips achieves this, whereas a straight-waisted fat does not help compensate for active binding tip dive.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Wide waisted or girdled?

Postby Woodserson » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:45 am

I think rocker and early rise need to be factored into this equation along with tip flex.

My Voile Vectors 121-96-110 have 25mm of sidecut, but even with what seems to be a forward mount for tele do not tip dive.

My K2 Wayback 82's are 118-82-106 have 36mm of sidecut, are similarly mounted, and I have to be very careful on how I balance on my rear ski to not dive the tip.

The difference is that there is decent rocker on the Voile, and just a bare touch of early rise on the k2's and a firm round flex throughout the ski.

I have sold the Vectors, however, and replaced them with a shorter (180 vs 172cm) Line Sick Day 94 131-94-118 with 37mm of sidecut, which I got for a variety of reasons but I am confident I won't suffer from tip dive. I will mount them pretty close to alpine recommended because the shovel is large with good amounts of rocker. I am going to have a softer shorter ski overall, and am hoping to find the same floating abilities of my longer and stiffer and straighter Vectors.

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Re: Wide waisted or girdled?

Postby Harris » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:28 pm

I agree rocker and tip softness has a lot to do with tip float. As does tip width. I think the K2 pinnacle 95s are 132/95/115, which have a lot of tip rocker but also with camber, which makes them good for packed/groom. It was almost as if K2 built them to telemark "all mountain." I also have a pair of Praxis Protests that I figured out quick are NOT a good telemark ski. They are 139/128/132 sidecut. The whole ski floats more so than the tips. Way too wide for me to tele well. They are now my pure deep pow AT ski and rarely get used. You seriously avoid packed snow on them; even parallel they will work you over, catch and release chattering like mad when finishing the turn. As for the K2s, I don't think they would make a good everyday East Coast ski or even a Rocky Mountains ski, where snow can be a lot firmer/packed out. Out in the PNW our snow rarely packs hard. It is either mushy and super watery or if it freezes it is brutal surface ice or cement. But mostly we ski some form of mush. When I go out East to zoom with my junior racer nephew I bring my 2nd hand old Volkl P60 GC junior race skis. They are GS skis; a blast to telemark inbounds, even in bumps despite the fact they are a GS ski. For Colorado, I used to use a pair of Atomic Beta TM 24s , which were no rocker and heavy sidecut (101/63/85), and they worked pretty good all mountain except in exceptionally deep snow. But for me if the snow is deeper than a foot I'm probably alpine turning my tele setup; it just lets you blast better and easier. In other words for deep I could probably ski barrel stays.

Sometime I wonder why most telemark skis are built for strictly backcountry. Very few telemarkers I know ski strictly backcountry. And, like my Praxis', most backcountry skis work terrible inbounds or in packed-down chutes, whereas "all mountain" alpine skis work pretty well in all conditions and terrains. It is a give and take situation. I'm surprised more telemarkers aren't using Dynastar Cham 97s. Like the Pinnacle 95, they should be a good do-all ski.

As for binding mount, I think rear mounting tele bindings is more of a well-intentioned but misconstructed theory over a practical necessity. Rear mounting aft of a recommended alpine mount makes the skis sluggish to initiate and fails bend the camber properly. Sure the inside ski might tip float slightly better in super deep pow, maybe, but since you are still using the downhill ski heel down, it goes against the skis' design to rear mount. I've tried rear mount and I found myself riding the ski's will rather than turning the ski to my will. But a lot of guys still ski rear mount pretty damn well. Many probably because they let shops do their mounts, and most shops see a tele binding and automatically rear mount for customers, meaning I would wager that a lot of guys have never skied a tele setup mounted at alpine boot center and the learned to work a handicapped setup.

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Re: Wide waisted or girdled?

Postby Woodserson » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:24 pm

Harris wrote:
Sometime I wonder why most telemark skis are built for strictly backcountry. Very few telemarkers I know ski strictly backcountry. And, like my Praxis', most backcountry skis work terrible inbounds or in packed-down chutes, whereas "all mountain" alpine skis work pretty well in all conditions and terrains. It is a give and take situation.


I would say there are very few "telemark" skis being made anymore, anyway. This skis like the Scottie Bobs and Igneous Telemark both with asymmetrical sidecut are now deep history. Most Tele skis were just softened versions of the Alpine, for instance my Big Bangs are just the Bandits XX without the one layer of metal.

I'm surprised more telemarkers aren't using Dynastar Cham 97s. Like the Pinnacle 95, they should be a good do-all ski.


This is why I picked up the Line Sick Days 94, similar geometry and should be a decent do-it-all ski for me. I would say the Vector and Ultra Vector also fall into this category.

As for binding mount, I think rear mounting tele bindings is more of a well-intentioned but misconstructed theory over a practical necessity. Rear mounting aft of a recommended alpine mount makes the skis sluggish to initiate and fails bend the camber properly. Sure the inside ski might tip float slightly better in super deep pow, maybe, but since you are still using the downhill ski heel down, it goes against the skis' design to rear mount. I've tried rear mount and I found myself riding the ski's will rather than turning the ski to my will. But a lot of guys still ski rear mount pretty damn well. Many probably because they let shops do their mounts, and most shops see a tele binding and automatically rear mount for customers, meaning I would wager that a lot of guys have never skied a tele setup mounted at alpine boot center and the learned to work a handicapped setup.


Well, I agree with most of the above, one doesn't want to be behind the side-cut of the ski, as they used to say, BUT catching the tip of the back ski blows. Also, I mounted my 177cm Big Bangs with my boot center on the boot center mark which is in the same location on the alpine Bandit, and my tips get hung up on my forward bindings regularly. Maybe I need a wider stance (so some say) but as the ski gets short this becomes an issue (with me). I assess each ski and decide accordingly from there.

There was a good discussion somewhere about how we don't need sidecut for the pow pow and straighter skis would be more welcome, but forget where that is.

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Re: Wide waisted or girdled?

Postby Harris » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:38 pm

Woodserson wrote:
Harris wrote:
Well, I agree with most of the above, one doesn't want to be behind the side-cut of the ski, as they used to say, BUT catching the tip of the back ski blows. Also, I mounted my 177cm Big Bangs with my boot center on the boot center mark which is in the same location on the alpine Bandit, and my tips get hung up on my forward bindings regularly. Maybe I need a wider stance (so some say) but as the ski gets short this becomes an issue (with me). I assess each ski and decide accordingly from there.


Yeah, catching tips under the binding is a problem with really short skis. I tried a pair of 165s that skied great except in bumps, and then I'd catch tips like crazy. I'm 5'11" and my pinnacles are officially 177 cms (more like a 182). I don't ever catch tips on them. Ever. But you might be taller. If not I'd suggest that rather than widening your stance you might try to tighten your stance. You'll probably find that as you tighten a stance you will automatically get the inside ski working and being weighted more, which in turn naturally widens your stance.If the skis are clacking you probably are going to light on the rear ski, which happens if you splay out. And when I say tightening your stance, I don't mean being necessarily more upright. You can still ski pretty deep and drop-kneed, but you'll flex the foward ski cuff a lot more, which helps work the camber/edge more. Ideally I try to ski with my inside tip halfway between my lead ski tip and the lead binding, and I'm pretty deep with my kneed drop. That is how tight. But admittedly conditions under foot dictate over ideal.

Something I should add... All the above I stated is relative to the type of skiing being done; in other words I'm assuming that you are skiing at least intermediate level runs where you really must turn and have some speed to work with and momentum to check. Long ago I got my first taste of free heel skiing NNN backcountry as part of a HS preseason PE program. On that gear, going down slight slopes, we telemark stanced mainly to keep our balance and were all splayed out, stabbing our poles to keep from plopping over. But we weren't really turning the skis tele, in those circumstances you really can't; it is more like just trying to stay upright while putting downhill, making very looooong eventual turns. And that was fun and all, but not really telemarking. It wasn't until I started skiing intermediate groomers that I actually learned to telemark turns. Telemark is not a turn that likes to be tried going slow on low angle. There becomes a balance issue, which is why new telemarkers trying to learn on green runs really struggle to tighten up their stance; wrong turn for the application. Instead of using it to turn, you fight it trying to turn. If I was instructing I'd take green tele skiers on only blue runs that are well-groomed to teach the turn. Once they quickly get the grasp, then I might move them to more backcountry snow. I'm not suggesting you are a new telemark skier, but some people who cut their teeth in the backcountry or on green runs keep some habits as they progress, like being splayed out or even worse as far as getting a good, functional technique, they still double pole, which messes up the body position needed to get a smart transition. I's say to anyone struggling to balance that they are trying to tele on slopes that are way too slow to expect a better result. If you don't need to splay to keep your balance, tighten that split up; it will work wonders for your skiing.
Last edited by Harris on Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

teleclub

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Re: Wide waisted or girdled?

Postby teleclub » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:25 pm

Harris, are you also concerned about turning radius? From your other post about carving and your racing background, I'm guessing you're pretty dialed into the feel of a ski's turning radius, and you're reluctant to go to a straighter fat ski for pow that won't have a fun radius (as in shorter turns have to be skidded).

I guess I'm reluctant to give up too much familiar carving ability in a powder ski and it's probably holding me back in the powder. I come from the old school pre-shape where you learned to ski powder instead of getting wide skis for it, and I'm trying to open my mind more to wide skis for pow. To that end I got a wide ski last year (wide for me anyway) La Sportiva Lo5 125-95-115 with some tip-rocker/early-rise, plus camber and trad tail. Mounted them alpine boot-center-standard with NTN Freedoms. I got them in 188 to emphasize powder use and keep the tips up, and because early-rise skis can ski short. My current hardpack ski is a 180cm BetaRide 8.20 106-66-90, and the 188 Lo5s ski a bit shorter on hardpack than the 180 Atomics (but with more inertia).

Not enough pow days on the Lo5s yet to decide what I think, but my issue is more about getting used to the activity of the NTN Freedoms because I'm coming from neutral feeling bindings (was skiing mostly Superloops till this year and there is nothing pushing the tip down). I chose the Freedoms because they are reviewed as significantly less active than the FreeRide and also less than the Outlaw, but turns out it's still way more active than I'm used to so I'm still not trusting the rear tips to float in powder.

Wooderson, I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of the shorter ski for pow. Back in the early days of wide powder skis (Voile Mt. Surf, Volant Chubb) when 90mm underfoot was super-wide, people were skiing shorter lengths to keep weight down and manage short turns in trees. But I found a shorter length increased rear-tip dive in pow and increased the shenanigans the rear ski got up to in deep snow.

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Re: Wide waisted or girdled?

Postby Harris » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:39 pm

teleclub wrote:Harris, are you also concerned about turning radius? From your other post about carving and your racing background, I'm guessing you're pretty dialed into the feel of a ski's turning radius, and you're reluctant to go to a straighter fat ski for pow that won't have a fun radius (as in shorter turns have to be skidded).

I guess I'm reluctant to give up too much familiar carving ability in a powder ski and it's probably holding me back in the powder. I come from the old school pre-shape where you learned to ski powder instead of getting wide skis for it, and I'm trying to open my mind more to wide skis for pow. To that end I got a wide ski last year (wide for me anyway) La Sportiva Lo5 125-95-115 with some tip-rocker/early-rise, plus camber and trad tail. Mounted them alpine boot-center-standard with NTN Freedoms. I got them in 188 to emphasize powder use and keep the tips up, and because early-rise skis can ski short. My current hardpack ski is a 180cm BetaRide 8.20 106-66-90, and the 188 Lo5s ski a bit shorter on hardpack than the 180 Atomics (but with more inertia).


I definitely like a ski that can do it all, meaning it can short turn well when I need it to. With a straight fat it seems pretty constrained to powder only, whereas a lot of sidecut with rockered fat tips works just fine in uncut pow. It isn't as surfy perhaps. But realistically I'll ski a lot of packed to get to moments of fresh uncut. I think for resort area, even if skiing side-country going all fat is a serious handicap. I'm still skiing a pretty fat ski for my go to pair; they are 132/95/115. When I first skied them they almost seemed comically fat to ski on, but they have a 17 meter turn radius, which is only slightly more than a pure slalom ski. But for pure hardback days, I'm on the Volkl GS skis. I go with GS skis because they make them longer than Slalom skis, and I can telemark them a lot tighter than their true carve radius suggest using pop turns.
Last edited by Harris on Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Wide waisted or girdled?

Postby teleclub » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:51 pm

Harris wrote:...I think for resort area, even if skiing side-country going all fat is a serious handicap.

Good to know I'm not way off base going with a more versatile 95 waist ski like the Lo5 that is good on hardpack.

I should try harder to schedule some skiing on a demo day if only to know more about what I'm missing. I always learn a lot from demo days. Usually not learning what's great that I want, though. Usually I learn what I thought was going to be great wasn't that great so it drops off the must-have list with no regrets. That's really useful but it's hard to schedule a good deep snow day around being disappointed in stuff.

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Re: Wide waisted or girdled?

Postby Harris » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:54 pm

teleclub wrote:
Harris wrote:...I think for resort area, even if skiing side-country going all fat is a serious handicap.

Good to know I'm not way off base going with a more versatile 95 waist ski like the Lo5 that is good on hardpack.

I should try harder to schedule some skiing on a demo day if only to know more about what I'm missing. I always learn a lot from demo days. Usually not learning what's great that I want, though. Usually I learn what I thought was going to be great wasn't that great so it drops off the must-have list with no regrets. That's really useful but it's hard to schedule a good deep snow day around being disappointed in stuff.


It would be nice to get to demo gear. Every ski skis so different. It gets expensive finding true love.

One of my projects I want to do this year is to make a vid skiing my pins and old school long, skinny boards, my Atomics with Red Chili loops, my BD Havocs with Freeride NTN, my Meidjo NTN, my 22 designs NTN, and finally my Vice duckbills on the same runs on the same day and in same conditions. Just to show people the differences. Could be a comedy. I'd wager a lot of folks would be surprised by how good skinny skis can ski. I just wish I still had my old leather/plastic SuperComps too.

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Re: Wide waisted or girdled?

Postby Woodserson » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:25 pm

teleclub wrote:I come from the old school pre-shape where you learned to ski powder instead of getting wide skis for it, and I'm trying to open my mind more to wide skis for pow.


PREACH IT BROTHER. Boy, Authier 205cm slalom skis, I'm pretty sure I had an out of body experience. I don't even know if I could do that anymore. Weightless. Amazing. I still remember two runs in particular that happened 19 years ago. WOW.

Wooderson, I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of the shorter ski for pow. Back in the early days of wide powder skis (Voile Mt. Surf, Volant Chubb) when 90mm underfoot was super-wide, people were skiing shorter lengths to keep weight down and manage short turns in trees. But I found a shorter length increased rear-tip dive in pow and increased the shenanigans the rear ski got up to in deep snow.


Wish me luck. I think with rocker and early rise it's going to be OK. The KOM's and the Vectors were eye opening in both directions. I think this Sick Day ski falls right in the middle. And with Harris riding a 130ish-95ish ski I'm feeling vindicated. I'm also light.

HARRIS- thanks for the tips I agree with your green circle theory. No worries here, I'm certainly not as good a tele skier as I was an alpine skier but I can hold my own in most terrain.


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