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Thread: Why go skinny?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Why go skinny?

    People recommend skinny skis for spring skiing, couloir skiing and marginal conditions. Why?

    Spring skiing (crust)? Fat skis stay in top of the crusts and don't dive under the crust.

    Couloir skiing? Fat skis avoid tip diving. Last thing I want in a couloir is to tomoahawk because my tips went under. Are skinny skis easier to turn when skiing a tight couloir? Not really.

    Marginal conditions? Skinny skis deal with off camber frozen skin tracks better. Any other advantages?

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  2. #2
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    Define skinny.

  3. #3
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    Better edge hold on steep and icy entrances, I think that they are certainly easier to jump turn. All else being equal they are a bit lighter.

    Personally I like ~100 mm with tip rocker. Not sure if you personally think thatís skinny or not. Lol.

  4. #4
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    Skinny skis are lighter (generally) when walking far to get to said couloir. And when I think true spring conditions, I think bulletproof, not breakable crust.

    Personally, I like ~105 underfoot touring skis but would happily go narrower in spring/summer once everything's consolidated.

  5. #5
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    Quicker edge to edge. Better when you don’t need float.

    But . . . A skinnier ski with tip rocker would solve many issues. And be more versatile.

    I’m thinking 90 waist. With tip rocker, but also stiff and damp.
    Does that exist?
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  6. #6
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    running exactly that ^.

    G3 findr 86 underfoot

  7. #7
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    Skinny skis for bc spring were fat pow skis 16 years ago
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  8. #8
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    Maybe not damp, but Lowdown 90 has tip rocker, long radius, and fairly stiff. Best light ski for bad snow Iíve experienced.


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  9. #9
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    Weight and edge hold for me... zero g 85 for spring/summer ski

  10. #10
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    Iíve got a hard on for some Zero G 85ís or the new BD Cirque 84 with light bindings and F1ís for those days that start in trail runners.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by V.R.P View Post
    Iíve got a hard on for some Zero G 85ís or the new BD Cirque 84 with light bindings and F1ís for those days that start in trail runners.
    I'm rocking scarpa alien RS + BD Cirque 84s in 171. They're pretty damn light, ski unexpectedly well (a little twitchy but that's to be expected), and are super fun in around 6" of powder. Great edge hold, plenty of camber, predictable, and very easy to throw around.

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  12. #12
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    Feb 2009
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    Oh, and back to the original question... hard stiff flat tail definitely helps. Think jump turning on steep hard-ish snow. Some wider skis have this, but most are rockered tails
    And for targeted conditions, think cramponing up hard snow early and then waiting for the sun to soften it up enough to ski. Likely more time with skis on your pack vs under your feet, and no tip dive risk on the downs

  13. #13
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    Big girls need love too

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post

    Iím thinking 90 waist. With tip rocker, but also stiff and damp.
    Does that exist?
    Black Crows Solis fits this aim, but itís 100mm waist and 1800g+ itís hard to call them a true touring ski; more of a tram-access couloir ski.

    If youíre willing to pay a weight penalty over the best skiing 90 waist skis: LD 90, Ova Freebird and Superguide 88 (1300-1400g), I would guess the Head Kore 87/93 at ~1600g would be a pretty excellent couloir ski.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Core Shot View Post

    I’m thinking 90 waist. With tip rocker, but also stiff and damp.
    Does that exist?
    MX89 or TX90 for touring
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  16. #16
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    I'm sorta contemplating a Blaze 94 for a spring/summer ski. Not quite rando light but solid grip on boilerplate and will get do the job when you run into something a little deeper. Really predictable. Also, with a retail price <$600, I won't want to kill myself every time I clip a shark. Other than that I'm still blissfully rolling on my trusty BMT 94's, the holy grail of skinny touring skis in my book.

  17. #17
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    Got a cheap 170 Monster 88 off ebay for boilerplate/corn Spring booting. 2,000g of metal and glass should inspire confidence, yet still be good for billygoating at such a short length.

  18. #18
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    You won't find me on anything less than 100 mm underfoot regardless of conditions. The edge-hold difference between a 105 and a 90 underfoot ski is negligible, the swing weight irrelevant (to me the ability to jump turn has much more to do with length than girth), and the ability to handle variable conditions seems to increase exponentially with width (and associated weight). Skinny sticks are for going down stuff, bigger sticks are for skiing down the same stuff. Big difference.

    I skied my LD90s once in a steep couloir in really stiff conditions. I liked them well enough but was a bit annoyed at how nervous they felt. I got worked being forced to make smaller turns and dealing with a lot more chatter at low speed. Whatever energy I saved carrying their lower weight up the booter was expanded in the first 5 turns.
    I skied my CD104L all year and had them out for a few really steep days, one where high-consequence turns had to be made on very hard snow over an angry cliff. I wouldn't have traded them for their skinnier cousin, even when I had to traverse across a 50+ degree ice sheet to reach a savior tree.
    "Your wife being mad is temporary, but pow turns do not get unmade" - mallwalker the wise

  19. #19
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    Bolssal raises a good question that I've pondered off and on . . . would your rather be on a light and narrow set up, or one that is equally light but much wider. Say 85 and stout vs 105 and much less stout for its size (i.e., both weighing in around 6.5 - 7.0 lb). Hard to factor in other attributes as I wouldn't expect those skis to have the same rocker profiles, etc. but you get the general drift.

  20. #20
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    I've never been in a steep, firm couloir and regretted being on 105mm-110mm skis. I have been in steep couloirs with variable, textured snow and occasionally (and only slightly) regretted being on my 95mm skis (Zero G 95, which I generally like). YMMV.

    But, IMO, where skinnier skis really shine is skinning up steep, icy terrain, particularly with ski crampons. It's noticeably easier on skinnier skis with fewer white-knuckle kickturns. And while I don't notice the weight difference when skinning, I do notice the lighter weight when the skis are on my back and I'm booting.

  21. #21
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    I think it depends on your expectation of "spring conditions". For me that means skiing the a diurnal melt/freeze cycle and trying to get up on frozen snow in time to ski down on corn. I'm not too concerned about float in a few inches of corn but I sure am jealous of skinny skis when I'm on my split (137mm underfoot as skis) going up frozen corn. For this reason alone I've thought about switching to skiing more often but I still like to have fun on the way down.

  22. #22
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    I only talk to one person regularly skiing big days on steep icy terrain. He is skiing Scarpa Alien RS and Atomic Backland 78 skis. He called the boots game changers.
    off your knees Louie

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    I only talk to one person regularly skiing big days on steep icy terrain. He is skiing Scarpa Alien RS and Atomic Backland 78 skis. He called the boots game changers.

    i would agree with that. those boots are killer. soft, sure, but light as a slipper with a bionic walk mode.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    i would agree with that. those boots are killer. soft, sure, but light as a slipper with a bionic walk mode.
    he skied Mount Jefferson south face a couple of weeks ago. over 4000ft of what he described as icy wind blasted. the boots perform also.
    off your knees Louie

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    he skied Mount Jefferson south face a couple of weeks ago. over 4000ft of what he described as icy wind blasted. the boots perform also.
    wow ok

    there's no boot in the world i could ski that line with. but i do like powder farming with the alien

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