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Thread: Ski Flex

  1. #1
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    Ski Flex

    So, I've been lurking around the fora quite a bit lately, trying to suck up as much wisdom as mentally possible but I'm still left with some questions after reading lot's o stuff.

    Since I'm going to Canada BC next year to discover North Amerika's skiing pleasures (I'm from Europe) I'm looking into buying a new pair of skis, and more precisely something that has some width under the foot.

    With that thought in mind, I was reading the "what ski should I buy" thread with the list of skis and their flex index.
    Now, regarding this flex and stiffness, what exactly is behind this? I can guess that stiffer skis are for heavier people, are more difficult to turn, but what are all the other influences it has on skiing (powskiing, groomer, jumping, ...)? I also read something on skis having different flexes in their tails/tops, any special reason for this?
    Also, what influence do the inner core have on the stiffness as I heard/read somewhere that wood is supposed to hold the stiffness longer?

    For the moment I have a pair of PR's (I know you guys don't like them, but this was my first pair of real wide skis) but I want somehting with more width and was thinking of getting me some cheap Big Daddies (the 03-04 version with the plate) and try to mount them with solly 914ti without the plate. Since this would mean a big difference in the flex-o-scale (compared to the PR's), would this greatly affect my skiing?

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Stiff vs Soft (skis that is)

    In my opinion people who come from a strong skiing background prefer stiffer skis IE Racers. Recerational skier backgrounds prefer softer flexing skis, they hide flaws well in the skier's technique. Stiff skis require the skier to be on-it. No lazyness. Soft Skis are more manuverable in tight spots and generally more forgiving unless they are at speed. Soft skis like the PR become very noodlly when traveling at speed. Stiff skis work best when there is some speed involved in the equation.

    Both skis when wide preform well in soft snow conditions where wide means 95mm + and Soft Snow = 2 foot dump of powder.

    That said it is worth it to experiment with different flexing skis to see what works best for you. Best way to do this is by demoing a different pair of skis each day of your trip. By the end of the holiday you'll figure our which camp you are in.

    I have all types of skis in my quiver.
    My ProRiders are stiff
    My Iggies are med soft Flex 220
    and both the atomic powder ride, Volant v2 chubb are softer flexing skis.

    My touring skis is soft also AK lawnchairs.

    hope this is some assistance.
    ok maggots have at it!
    POWDER SKIER
    COLD RAIN and SNOW

  3. #3
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    Yea, when it comes to speed, think of stiffness as a cars suspension. The stiffer suspension at slower speeds can be uncomfortable while a looser one is nicer, but at considerable speed the stiffer suspension really comes alive and the softer one is swaying all over the place.

    The stiffer ski at lower speeds can take some effort/technique to really engage and often have alot of pop as they return to their unflexed state.

  4. #4
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    I'll second the personal preference part of it. Demo a lot, if you can.

    As for powder performance, it's more difficult to get a stiffer ski to "carve" in powder when it's combined with traditional camber. The camber that lets you load the ski in groomed/hardpack turns and pop out of them also tends to make the tips dive. Softer skis are easier to flex, and generally don't have the tips dive so much. As you may or may not be aware, one way ski manufacturers are getting around this is rocker/reverse camber. The tip of the ski is already positioned in way such that the ski planes out above the powder and gives you more float. Another way that manufacturers try get more float is to make the tip softer. This allows it to flex up easier, with allowing stiffer flex under the middle and tail of the ski for hardpack performance.

    If you like your PRs, that's fine, and don't listen to some internet forum telling you not to like them...one of our resident rockstars used to ski them (very quickly, too). On the other hand, if you want to upgrade to a stiffer, wider platform, the BD might be an excellent choice. It might be hard to ski at first, but it will make you a stronger skier in the end. From what I recall the only complaint with them was the hostage plate, but since you can mount them flat with sollies, go for 'em.

  5. #5
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    What length are your PR's? Also, what is your height, weight, and how/where do you like to ski?
    Without know this, here are some guesses to what you might like:
    - 188 Salomon Gun Lab, (101mm waist) (a wider, stiffer, slightly longer Pocket Rocket, I also hear that it may be available in more lengths next year replacing the current Gun)
    - 188 Soft Bro Model (99mm waist) (Versatile, less demanding than the stiffer models, but it still rips)
    - 179 Stiff Bro Model (99mm waist) (Shorter, easier, but still high performing)
    - 183 (or 190) Volkl Gotama (105mm waist) (Easy to turn wide ski)
    I'm sure that others may have suggestions for you.

    P.S. I've been on all these skis. Previously owned PR's and currently own multiple pairs of Bros.

  6. #6
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    Thxs for the explanations, really helpful stuff.

    Vets> my PR's are 1m85 and I'm 1m80, weighing something around 70kg, which is around 155lbs. I've been skiing for 15 years now but apart from the last few years never more than once (week) a year.

    Since buying the PR's I've been doing more and more off piste while still remaining in the resort. As soon as the snow conditions let me, I'm hitting the powder. The only thing that is still a bit difficult for me is really going fast and making big turns in the deep (maybe also because I'm not really feeling confident on the PR's). So this is something I would like to develop in the comming years.

    I would live to demo all these skis but it's a bit hard being from a country that's almost as flat as Holland. Even when I'm in France the times I saw a shop carry gotama's, big daddies or even sugar daddies can be count on .. well actually I've never seen them anywhere (except for Chamonix then). So demoing these skis is not that easy

    But looking again at the skis I'm thinking that the BD would indeed push me to become a better skier. Is the new sugar daddy a lot less stiff than this '04 BD model? As sugar daddies and gotamas don't seem to be a lot more stiff on the flex index in the what to buy thread, will I notice much difference to my PR's?

    Thanks again for the help

  7. #7
    Vets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorfke
    Thxs for the explanations, really helpful stuff.

    Vets> my PR's are 1m85 and I'm 1m80, weighing something around 70kg, which is around 155lbs. I've been skiing for 15 years now but apart from the last few years never more than once (week) a year.

    Since buying the PR's I've been doing more and more off piste while still remaining in the resort. As soon as the snow conditions let me, I'm hitting the powder. The only thing that is still a bit difficult for me is really going fast and making big turns in the deep (maybe also because I'm not really feeling confident on the PR's). So this is something I would like to develop in the comming years.

    I would live to demo all these skis but it's a bit hard being from a country that's almost as flat as Holland. Even when I'm in France the times I saw a shop carry gotama's, big daddies or even sugar daddies can be count on .. well actually I've never seen them anywhere (except for Chamonix then). So demoing these skis is not that easy

    But looking again at the skis I'm thinking that the BD would indeed push me to become a better skier. Is the new sugar daddy a lot less stiff than this '04 BD model? As sugar daddies and gotamas don't seem to be a lot more stiff on the flex index in the what to buy thread, will I notice much difference to my PR's?

    Thanks again for the help
    Dorfke,

    I haven't skied on Big Daddies, so I'm really not able to give my opinion on those skis. At 193cm they might be a lot of ski for your weight. I have skied on Sugar Daddies and while they felt good arcing big turns, I didn't like how they felt skiing pow through the trees. Others here like both skis and have spent more time on them than me. Hopefully others will post with their experiences/opinions.
    I also had PR's in a 185. They felt like they skied much shorter. They were very easy to turn with a centered stance and also very forgiving. However, once I either gave them forward pressure or started going fast they felt pretty nervous. The solution I used (and others have too) was to move the binding (I had demos on mine) back about 1cm. This allowed me to apply forward pressure to quiet the tips without feeling like I would go over the handlebars. They also worked better in powder.
    The Gotama would be an easy ski to transition to. However, they felt pretty soft compared to other Volkls I have skied on.
    If you want to go fast and make big turns in pow as well as do other things, I still highly recommend either the 179 stiff Bro Model or the 188 soft Bro Model. You won't be able to throw these around like PR's, but when you roll them on edge and apply some forward pressure they will reward you with responsiveness and perform.
    BTW - I'm 5'10", 178lbs.

  8. #8
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    I've encountered these 'demo' sollies a lot around here, what is the deal with these? For mine , I guess I need to drill new holes to move them back 1cm ( I think they were orginally mounted central)

    The problem with these bro's is that as far as I know they are only available in the US. This would make them a lot more expensive for me, 600 dollars + import duties around 20% which makes 720 dollars without shpping.
    If you compare that to the 269 dollar for the naked daddies....

  9. #9
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    dorfke, i think theres a chance to avoid the duties if you're lucky.. im not exactly sure how it works but you might want to PM splat or contact pmgear about that since i know that at least one person in EU area has received skis without paying any duties.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorfke
    If you compare that to the 269 dollar for the naked daddies....
    sorry, can't help you much regarding your original question, but could you let me know where to get that deal on the big daddies (if they have more than the one pair you're thinking about getting)? since you said you're in europe, i'm assuming those skis are too.
    just pm me. thanks a lot

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by keksie
    dorfke, i think theres a chance to avoid the duties if you're lucky.. im not exactly sure how it works but you might want to PM splat or contact pmgear about that since i know that at least one person in EU area has received skis without paying any duties.
    Splat recently mentioned Idris might be selling pairs out of Cham next winter.

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