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Why fat skis?

Cheese

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The purpose of the fat ski is to allow a shorter ski to perform like it's longer counterpart. In the longer ski quiver I would consider two types.

1. A soft powder ski that uses the extra length for surface area to float and the extra length of the tip and tail to flex easier in deep snow.

2. A stiff GS ski that uses the length to smooth imperfections on hard pack and therefore remain stable at higher speeds.

Obviously these two skis are very different so the fat ski replacement would also be very different. The fat powder ski would likely be soft with rockered tip and tail whereas the GS ski would be stiff and traditionally cambered.

Not only do I see the need for two types of fat skis, if I return to the original benefit which was a shorter length, I still find issue in believing the fat theory holds true.

1. Shortening the tip and tail of a powder ski compromises the front to back stability. Why is front to back stability required in powder? Mostly because the resistance of powder is very inconsistent. As the depth, wind loading and temperature of the powder changes (I mean during a single run) the balance of the skier is typically forced forward or backward. The front to back stability of the ski allows the skier to compensate for these balance shifts before falling forward or backward. Although surface area does some, the majority can only be done by counteracting the large lever arm of the skier with a longer platform underneath. As an example, a 300mm wide snow blade that is 61cm long probably isn't going to stop a skier from going over the handlebars nearly as well as a 100mm wide ski that is 183cm long even though it has the same surface area.

2. Shortening the tip and tail of a high speed GS ski allows the ski to twist or turn back and forth instead of remaining straight under the skier. Again, if given the 300mm wide snow blade in a downhill course vs a 100mm wide 183cm long ski I don't believe the surface area is going to overcome the stability lost due to length.

So, those of you that made the jump to fat skis, was it to replace a type 1 or type 2 ski?

How much shorter did you go?

How are you overcoming the concerns I addressed above?
 

St. Bear

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One factor that I never see addressed is ski width/size in respect to skier weight. The focus is on height, but it only stands to reason that someone who is 6' 230lbs will need a bigger platform to achieve the same floatation as someone who is 6' 160lbs. Yet, the only time I see skier weight addressed is when talking about the flex or stiffness of a ski.
 

Cheese

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One factor that I never see addressed is ski width/size in respect to skier weight. The focus is on height, but it only stands to reason that someone who is 6' 230lbs will need a bigger platform to achieve the same floatation as someone who is 6' 160lbs. Yet, the only time I see skier weight addressed is when talking about the flex or stiffness of a ski.

I sort of felt that this would apply to longer narrow skis and shorter fatter skis so maybe canceled out in the differences between the two. Perhaps not though so good point.
 

Puck it

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I actually have stayed in the same length with the fatter skis. I am in the 175cm to 178cm range on all of my fatter skis and carvers are 177cm which have sat there for 4 years now. The one thing that I would recommend is if going full rocker go longer like 10cm more than you think.
 

Cheese

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I actually have stayed in the same length with the fatter skis. I am in the 175cm to 178cm range on all of my fatter skis and carvers are 177cm which have sat there for 4 years now.

This is actually the trend I've seen more frequently. Fat technology allows for a shorter ski but instead skiers stay at the same length so essentially increase the length from the narrow ski it's replacing. Perhaps many bought GS shape skis too short and now that is being corrected by a fatter ski of the same length. Interesting ...
 

St. Bear

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This is actually the trend I've seen more frequently. Fat technology allows for a shorter ski but instead skiers stay at the same length so essentially increase the length from the narrow ski it's replacing. Perhaps many bought GS shape skis too short and now that is being corrected by a fatter ski of the same length. Interesting ...

But isn't this due to the fatter skis typically having a more pronounced rocker and/or twin tips, which reduces the actual length of ski touching the snow?
 

Puck it

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This is actually the trend I've seen more frequently. Fat technology allows for a shorter ski but instead skiers stay at the same length so essentially increase the length from the narrow ski it's replacing. Perhaps many bought GS shape skis too short and now that is being corrected by a fatter ski of the same length. Interesting ...

I am 5'10' and I think the 177cm's are about right. I do have a pair of Nomads at 168cm. They are great in the powder but they are squirrelly at speed just like the 178cm full rockers that I have. I should have gone with the 188cm full rockers.
 

Cheese

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But isn't this due to the fatter skis typically having a more pronounced rocker and/or twin tips, which reduces the actual length of ski touching the snow?

This is where I think it matters whether the fat ski is for type 1 (powder) or type 2 (GS carver) assuming both types are under an expert skier. It's doubtful an expert skier wants rocker or twin tips on a ski that's supposed to hold on hard pack at speed. That's why camber was designed into skis.

I am 5'10' and I think the 177cm's are about right. I do have a pair of Nomads at 168cm. They are great in the powder but they are squirrelly at speed just like the 178cm full rockers that I have. I should have gone with the 188cm full rockers.

My full rockered powder skis are 178cm and I'm mounted 1" back so they probably ski more like 188cm skis. I'm a short lil' $hit at 5'7 though.
 
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billski

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Well Cheese, being a recreational skier, I don't analyze it as much as I feel it.

There has to be more than two choices postulated here. For starters, this is an east coast forum and the likelihood of replacing a fat pow ski with something shorter/other ain't happening, at least for me. I bought a fatter ski (96 under foot, but rethinking that now), for east coast chop and the rare powder day once a year or two. For me, the length has not factored into it. Since my 96 under foot are also longer, I use them for GS speeds, for the stability. Is it the width or the length, I don't know.

I did some demoing last month when there was a lot of chop mixed with hardpack. My Superspeeds are way too narrow, I just got thrown around. I didn't have my mid-fats with me. We started with 82 underfoot and 170 length. No control. I went to 88 underfoot and 178 length. Much better, I skied the remainder of the day on these, but not my dream machine.

I know I changed two variables at once, a no-no. Not sure which variable to change next.

My front-sides are a very stiff, very narrow (70 under foot) average length, short turning radius ski. Great for aggressive carving on groomers. Holds to the ground like a magnet. I would definitely go longer for more speed.

Yeah, I've not answered your question. My point is that for east coast skiing there are more variable that need to be mixed in.
 

Puck it

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My full rockered powder skis are 178cm and I'm mounted 1" back so they probably ski more like 188cm skis. I'm a short lil' $hit at 5'7 though.

I should have mounted back but went on center.

BTW, I have to take a pic of this Folsoms that one of the lifties are rocking on the Cannonball Quad. They look to be over 190cm and at least 120cm under foot and mounted way back.
 

St. Bear

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I should have mounted back but went on center.

BTW, I have to take a pic of this Folsoms that one of the lifties are rocking on the Cannonball Quad. They look to be over 190cm and at least 120cm under foot and mounted way back.

I saw those on Sat. Bright green, right? It looked like two snowboards with ski bindings on them.
 

BenedictGomez

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Fat technology allows for a shorter ski but instead skiers stay at the same length so essentially increase the length from the narrow ski it's replacing.

IMO, most* skiers today are skiing on skis that are longer than necessary for their individual skier profile.

*For purposes of the conversation, I'm defining most as some number >= 50.1%.

I am 5'10' and I think the 177cm's are about right. I do have a pair of Nomads at 168cm. They are great in the powder but they are squirrelly at speed just like the 178cm full rockers that I have. I should have gone with the 188cm full rockers.

Why not just sell them online? Icelantic has fairly limited production, and from monitoring sales for a long time I noticed they do resell pretty brisky. I dont think you'd have any trouble moving them (assuming you havent destroyed them!).
 

Puck it

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Why not just sell them online? Icelantic has fairly limited production, and from monitoring sales for a long time I noticed they do resell pretty brisky. I dont think you'd have any trouble moving them (assuming you havent destroyed them!).

They are pretty beat up. They are about 5 years old or may be more. They are fun for the trees and can be used at Mitty when the snow is low. Also, my son has the same BSL as I do.
 

St. Bear

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IMO, most* skiers today are skiing on skis that are longer than necessary for their individual skier profile.

*For purposes of the conversation, I'm defining most as some number >= 50.1%.

I think you could also say that most* skiers are skiing on skis that are fatter than necessary.

*particularly on the EC
 

BenedictGomez

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I think you could also say that most* skiers are skiing on skis that are fatter than necessary.

*particularly on the EC

I wouldn't go as far as saying "most" east coast skiers, since that's a pretty high mathematical bar to clear, but I'd certainly agree with you that many do.
 

jrmagic

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I think you could also say that most* skiers are skiing on skis that are fatter than necessary.

*particularly on the EC

I don't think necessity plays a role here. We could all get by with skinny waisted skis if we had to. Its really about what people enjoy and how they want to use the various tools out there. For example I picked up a pair of used moment rubies which are wood core twin tips with a HUGE shovel, 110 underfoot and are fully cambered as a powder ski. Sometime in January I broke a brake on my carvers and forced the rubies into daily use and was very impressed with their versatility. They were fun in just about everything other than ice. Certainly the only place I needed that width was to float my 235 pounds in powder which they do admirably well. I will repair/replace my carvers as I prefer them when it gets hard out there but going forward, will use the rubies on all bit the very firm days cause they were more fun for me.
 
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