New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

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martin2007
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Re: New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

Post by martin2007 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:02 pm

This thread contains much more truth than is healthy for developing fetuses, adolescent boys and girls, and all of their middle-aged and geriatric imitators. And for the ski industry as a whole. Make that the entire outdoor sports industry. And Fashion. And Attitudes. And Culture. And the Economy of our great Nation(s). And there you go again! Following the herd! And quoting a dead president! The videographer's contrarian rant is leading to MY contrarian rant! It's contagious! Bad news all around for gear freaks. Dangerous as bears on bicycles for the clothing industry. Remember how wool once become "old-school", replaced by polyester fleece? And now you can happily buy merino wool "base layers" for $150? Yes, merino f---ing underpants, in case the cotton-poly blend provokes toxic shock syndrome on yer tiny wee privates while you dangle one-handed from a cord mere metres short of K2's icy summit. Yes, I, too, became a good citizen, and I learned to love merino wool. My personal favourite, though, is the "Cotton Kills" marketing slogan. It's an effective "everyone-knows-that-Stupid!" way of teaching us to become disdainful of one of nature's brilliant natural products. Helps keep the herd moving towards the check-out counter, plastic-based synthetic bun warmers in hand. Cotton, in spite of general gear freak orthodoxy, is indispensable in hot climates, and is a material of choice in parkas for winter trekkers who seek "breathability". Or at least the latter example is what the winter camping industry hopefuls are asserting! But enough, already! I sense it is now time to promote the "healing process". I'll start: I am "Ram". I proudly hail from the lesser-known sheepish herd of Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately, we're not particularly "Ram-Tough", but hey, we get by! Nonetheless, I am Ram. A man-sheep. You, too, are sheep. We are all sheep. But rather than disdain our brother and sister sheep, let us embrace them. Yes, you! I mean "ewe", sister! Ronnie Lamb, which part did you not understand? Get the wax out of your ears! Ronnie, I said "embrace", not "grope"! I mean "you", not her, for god's sake, she's "ewe"! Ronnie, you're one rotten little undercooked slice of mutton that's getting just a little too big for her breeches!

Remember what HE saith: "Arrogant are those bleating amongst us who claim to be true free-thinkers. Arrogance will lead to "free thinking" which will lead to "free-heeling", and then where does it all end?" At least I THOUGHT he said that. But maybe it was Ronnie who said that back in the 1979-80 debate. Oh well.

On a brighter note, we could, after all, be worse things than sheep: mosquitoes or old Barry Manilow CD's.

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lowangle al
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Re: New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

Post by lowangle al » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:06 pm

Well said Martin. The only thing I have to say about comparing people to sheep is,"Baaaaah"

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Re: New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

Post by Woodserson » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:33 pm

This thread just got epic. I have a million rants. Martin, I'm on board. Steel is real, wool is good, cotton is not-so-bad (I ski the majority of my season in flannel lined carhartt's unless it's really raining or really wet snow), breathable fabrics don't breathe like we think they do... This is a "Cross Country Ski, Cook, Look, Pleasure Book" moment.

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Re: New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

Post by NTN Mike » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:20 pm

Some folks get BC skis to tele on because they are generally lighter, softer, and easier to initiate a turn on than a skinny groomer destroyer.

Fat skis can and do carve (very well) on groomers - you just have to lean them over. I'm not talking about a 140 underfoot fattypuss (even in super deep they still suck), but more like a rustler 11, bodacious, hell even a spur (124 underfoot).

I agree that a lot of folks subscribe to the image rather than attempting to master a sport. Who cares? Let them be your moving GS gates while you're carving perfect turns around them on your groomer destroyers.

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Re: New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

Post by fisheater » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:38 pm

Well, I'm old (I guess) and I had 10 years off skiing between 2002 and 2012. It wasn't so much by choice, it was just life and responsibilities. I still come from the mindset that I skied 40" at Alta on midfats, laughing all day long and feeling like I was on cheater skis. Heck I think my Falketind 62's are a hoot skiing downhill in powder, and they are 97-62-88, but rockered.
So how did I make a duma$$ mistake buying skis for my 16 year old son? He had to have twin tips, because twin tips are cool. So I started stopping at the local ski shops looking at twin tips, and they were all fat. The morning of the local swap meet, I started asking my son if his heart is really set on twin tips, because I'm not sure if we can find something that will work well at Michigan resorts which can get some pretty serious re-freeze conditions. I guess it was a stupid question on my part, he had been asking for twin tips for almost two years.
In a last ditch effort I stop at a ski shop less than a mile from the swap. The shop was new, I had never been in before. We walked in and were met by the owner. I told him we were just looking. He proceeded to tell me he was the most knowledgeable person in regards to ski racing in the Midwest. I replied I didn't race, my son wasn't interested in racing, but I had Ski instructed for about 10 years through the 90's so I wasn't without some formal training. My son seeing I didn't like the man, quickly asked about twin tips. Well the man goes from race skis to the wonders of the modern twin tip. We walk over to see everything he has is fat. I comment that I believe skis as fat as what he had wouldn't turn very well. He asked what I was skiing on. I told him that I ski on a 62mm underfoot backcountry ski and leather boots. I told him it makes the blues and moderate blacks my son and I ski together interesting. Well, I was told or more importantly my son heard that I was so out of touch that I couldn't understand how a modern rockered, fat twin tip could turn. I thanked him for his advice and started toward the door, but my son again asked him if the fat twin tips turned well. Of course the answer was they were the greatest.
At the ski swap all the twin tips were fat. The swap was run by the ski patrol, but there were a lot of ski shops selling old stock. I did pick him up a nice pair of brand new boots pretty cheap. However I kept getting the same advice on the twin tips. The worst part was my son telling me the guy at the first shop was an expert, and that he talked to me like I didn't know much, and my son thought that I was just angry with the shop owner, so I wouldn't listen to everybody's advice. Well, I think the dagger was he reminded me I promised he could get twin tips. To shorten a long story, I will be buying him a new pair of skis next swap. His old skis turn a lot better, but he is 6 foot tall and he over powers them. He freely admits the twin tips take a lot more effort to turn, but at least he can "trust" them.
I never fit into the ski industry. Now I got along really well with people that were very "industry", but I never fit into the industry clique. What the industry preached didn't work for what I wanted to do. What I skied on was never cool. It still sticks in my craw that I let those jerks talk me into putting my 16 year old budding intermediate skier on 100 mm underfoot ski. I was actually impressed how well he handled them after I realized that modern design didn't change the laws of physics and I was an idiot.
I think maybe I should buy him a new set of Woodserson's Atomics. Probably the same size as he isn't up to Mr. Wood's weight class yet.
Great thread
I may have out ranted Harris! Nothing will cheese you off more than bad advice negatively affect your child!

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Re: New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

Post by bgregoire » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:11 pm

Fish, all the power to you for making your son happy on the slopes. May there be many father & son ski days ahead of you. Besides, if the fat twins he likes slow him down, that means you will be able to follow him on the blacks for many more years to come!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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Re: New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

Post by Rodbelan » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:50 am

Fish, if you consider a pair of Atomic, I might have a suggestion: Atomic Panic... It's pretty cheap, you can assuredly find a new old pair (2012, 2013, 2014...). It is a twin with 87 underfoot. It might be a good compromise.

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Re: New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

Post by greatgt » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:15 am

Fish I only have two wide skis.....My old woodies from WW2....and My Mother's Beautiful 1930's woodies that get taken out now and then.....When Kurt...Telekid got skis he got my oldie skis....Sometimes only used a couple of times....Some were Downhill oriented like the K2's.....Many were Telemark skis that I didn't care for....Almost all were on the skinny side.....Needless to say he became a really good Telemarker....Skis anything and has very skinny...e99's to his newest wimpy ski the Rossi 110....Did he ever get a great price from Mountain Opp's in Stowe....Guess I'll have to try the stumpy short weasels.....Skinny is the ticket for this old fart.....Can't wait for corn as the BC around here is @ 6-8 feet with several day old two feet of powder turning to crust on top.....Dynamite!!!!! Let the Youngster have his double tipped as you are doing....Don't let people with attitude get you going....They are a dime a dozen!!!!! Figure I get what I get cause I deserve it....Just laugh it off and head for the woods...Teleman

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Re: New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

Post by Woodserson » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:50 am

NTN Mike wrote:Some folks get BC skis to tele on because they are generally lighter, softer, and easier to initiate a turn on than a skinny groomer destroyer.
But this is part of the problem, isn't it? The industry has veered into stuper stiff monster sidecut frontside groomer destroyers (they are fun skis!) or wide, softer, big fat skis that are more accessible. There is no more room in the middle for a reasonably waisted ski that is also easier to handle with a softer medium round alpine flex. The industry I think, has talked themselves into an equipment hole where they can't emerge from.

I learned to ski deep pow on 203cm slalom skis from the 80's, I have carved and diced by high-90 waisted skis from here to 2003... and they do carve well, but as I search and ski harder to find more elusive mid80 waisted (forget mid-70 waisted skis like the early 2000's I'll never find them) that can hold its own frontside and carve better than a mid90 skis, but with the flex for the backside, I am severely limited. It actually doesn't really exist.

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Re: New rant... Backcountry/wide skis and telemarkers

Post by Cannatonic » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:36 pm

here's some great film of how we rolled in the early 90's (starting around :30)...skiing deep powder on 85-65-75 slalom race skis, or GS skis with 13mm sidecut - they worked great in powder! Mike Hattrup is holding the typical big mountain skis out west - 210cm GS skis. these work great on icy resort skiing and slalom race skis are best for moguls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqS2M_azcNU
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