Cage Match Comparison 2017 Masters and Beer League GS Skis

markojp

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What's the theory behing the fact that many Beer League and other high-end piste skis are mainly targeted (and sold) in Europe and less in the US/Canada? Is it our love for groomer skiing (everything off-pist is considered back-country, even within the boundary)? Or is it that in North Amareica, 88 mm underfoot is - by some - considered a 'narrow ski'?

Any theories? Actual strategies perhaps? I never really went in to the business side of things... this seems like a good question to start off with.

Not hard. Euro areas are huge, so if only 15% of the total area sees grooming, that's still a ton of territory. Add glaciation, tree line, etc... off piste hazards, and you have a home built 'piste' culture that happens to align nicely with the needs of the 10 day a year holiday crowds.

Western US areas, while large, are nothing compared to Europe. There aren't glacier issues, so off piste 'inbounds' skiing is by and large comparatively safe, so we spend more time there making use of all the available acreage to play. 88 isn't a narrow ski, but IMHO, is the most versatile width to cover a huge range of conditions and geographies, more so than a dedicated piste ski. It really isn't a difficult or contentious issue. And yes, I love wide skis as well just in case fat ski love folks get hurt by the notion that their 'non-standard' preference is under attack. I don't have a twitter account, either.

Racing/high performance carving is very much a niche experience in N.American skiing. We just don't like to work on refinement. It's a cultural thing that encompasses much of how we view the world.
 
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Philpug

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Just look at what we drive here in the states? SUV's. GM announced this past week that they are closing a plant, a plant that built cars. Kudos to K2 for stepping way out of their comfort zone by offering their new Charger collection here. The collection was earmarked for the euro market but someone convinced someone to offer them here. I have talked to numerous reps that said few, if any shops ordered them, their loss. I would venture to say there was not more than 144 ordered in the whole country and that is gross.

Here is the other thing that has changed over the years. It used to be the best skiers on the mountain were on race skis, SL's in the east and GS skis in the west. "All mountain" skis werre scoffed at, we called them Doctor or Lawyer skis and that was not a compliment. These Masters skis here were called "Recreational Race" skis, the Rossi Stratos/3S, K2 610/Slalom 66/TRC, Dynastar Course HP/HPI again not taken seriously by true experts. Now the races skis are specialty tools and hardly free skied at all, their time is dedicated to the salt enfused race courses and the top skiers have all mountain skis that are great for their application. These Rec Race skis are still falling between the marketing cracks. Which is a shame for sure, I truly believe if the average advanced/expert skier spent even a week on any of these skis, they would be a better skier because of it .
 

markojp

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They are a bit expensive in the showroom, though.
 

Philpug

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They are a bit expensive in the showroom, though.
Not much different than any other premium system ski. Plus USSA racers usually can qualify for race discounts.
 

Tony S

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markojp said:
We just don't like to work on refinement. It's a cultural thing that encompasses much of how we view the world.
Ain't that the truth? Trying to think of a specific piece of evidence ... wait ... it's on the tip of my tongue ... Nevermind. Can't think of it. :huh:
 

Philpug

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Ain't that the truth? Trying to think of a specific piece of evidence ... wait ... it's on the tip of my tongue ... Nevermind. Can't think of it. :huh:
Basics, basics basics. It always comes down to that, the fundimentals
 

Tony S

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Ain't that the truth? Trying to think of a specific piece of evidence ... wait ... it's on the tip of my tongue ... Nevermind. Can't think of it. :huh:
You know, actually, @markojp, while I obviously agree with you, I think the tech world is an exception to that, which may explain why we've been more successful in that area than in some others.
 

markojp

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The overall percentage of people employed in tech isn't all that high either. :))
 

markojp

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One of my skis, which I almost never mention, is a 191cm Stöckli SX, prepped and set up for a Canadian WC SX skier. Skied in by his tech, and never skied to train or race.

Ian Dean?
 

Choucas

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I ski quite a bit on 88mm waisted skis (Blizzard Brahma) and to me they are the comfort food of the ski world. Hard to feel bad or look bad on them, they don't ask much of you, and they leave you feeling like you just woke up from an afternoon nap, a little blah but happy.
It's too bad that more folks don't get on a pair of these near race skis. They don't leave you feeling like you just scarfed down a cheeseburger & fries. More like some sushi with a big hit of wasabi. Leaves you with your eyes wide open (maybe watering a bit) wanting more. It does take some skill to get their mojo workin' (and yes, Euros do take this side of things much more seriously) but they deliver way more fun on the kind of snow that we end up skiing on in this part of the world 90% of the time.
 

Levy1

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Head's World Cup Rebels i.Speeds have got my attention. But I noticed they also offer the World Cup Rebels i.Race. I think the i.Race is a couple mm wider underfoot and seems to have a somewhat smaller turn radius. Not sure if there are differences in binding options between the two.

So I'm guessing the i.Speed is more a civilian GS ski & the i.Race is more SL oriented? I am definitely interested in the differences between the two.
 

Levy1

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I demoed the Rebel SL, 165, Rebel I Speed, 180 and I race. Loved the rebels and bought both. Best skis I have been on in years. Plenty of pop, fun to ski without work and biting ice hold. The I Race was boring after sking the Rebels.
 

markojp

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I ski quite a bit on 88mm waisted skis (Blizzard Brahma) and to me they are the comfort food of the ski world. Hard to feel bad or look bad on them, they don't ask much of you, and they leave you feeling like you just woke up from an afternoon nap, a little blah but happy.
It's too bad that more folks don't get on a pair of these near race skis. They don't leave you feeling like you just scarfed down a cheeseburger & fries. More like some sushi with a big hit of wasabi. Leaves you with your eyes wide open (maybe watering a bit) wanting more. It does take some skill to get their mojo workin' (and yes, Euros do take this side of things much more seriously) but they deliver way more fun on the kind of snow that we end up skiing on in this part of the world 90% of the time.
I work on an 88, but believe me, an 88 isn't a nice cheater gs ski. It's like calling a sport SUV a rally car. Two different critters. One can easily own both.
 

eok

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I demoed the Rebel SL, 165, Rebel I Speed, 180 and I race. Loved the rebels and bought both. Best skis I have been on in years. Plenty of pop, fun to ski without work and biting ice hold. The I Race was boring after sking the Rebels.
Rebel i.Speed is now on my list. Thanks!
 
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Levy1

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If you hunt around on that ski or talk Mulski and several others you will find that the three sizes 175 180 and above all ski differently. The consensus was the 180 was the perfect ski in the Rebel I Speed GS not to be confused with the Ispeed which is not a cheater.
 
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