Softer flexing directional skis - an endangered species?

Ryan Perham

Booting up
Skier
Joined
May 23, 2019
Posts
10
Location
Seattle, WA
Is it me or is the softer flexing, directional ski an endangered species? It seems that all-mountain directional skis are trending stiffer and damper. Rossignol 7 series is gone and replaced with something with more burly. K2 Pinnacle series is gone and replaced by something much burlier. Many brands have made incremental updates to their skis and they almost always involve additional stiffness or damping. Elan seems to be the only company that hasn't moved in that direction.

I will admit this trend is probably appropriate for the average-sized, expert-level skier. …but it doesn’t leave many options for a lighter weight skier who wants a directional ski that will feel energetic and less demanding. Do you think these skis fail because most people actually don't like them or is it because a vocal minority doesn't like them?
 

anders_nor

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Posts
586
Location
on snow
camox? atris? rossignol sender (non ti) rossignol escaper, rustler, some of the mindbenders, ripstick, armada, on3p, jskis

I think most go towards average, and its medium stiffness, Im having issues finding skis that are stiff enough, yet still playful as I'm on the taller/heavier side.
 

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
Skier
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Posts
5,126
Location
Maine
Haven’t skied it, but like you said that sounds like the Elan Wingman 86cti to me. That’s a ski I would love to try.
camox? atris? rossignol sender (non ti) rossignol escaper, rustler, some of the mindbenders, ripstick, armada, on3p, jskis

I think most go towards average, and its medium stiffness, Im having issues finding skis that are stiff enough, yet still playful as I'm on the taller/heavier side.
You are assuming that the OP is looking for ski suggestions. He MAY be - don't know - but the way I read the post he's looking for more general discussion of the alleged phenomenon.
 
Thread Starter
TS
R

Ryan Perham

Booting up
Skier
Joined
May 23, 2019
Posts
10
Location
Seattle, WA
You are assuming that the OP is looking for ski suggestions. He MAY be - don't know - but the way I read the post he's looking for more general discussion of the alleged phenomenon.
Yes, a discussion or opportunity to bellyache was more the intent. I know what’s out there. I suppose I do sound crazy suggesting that we’re losing some variety when there’s so many skis out there. I just remember demoing skis 15 years ago and even I found some to be noodles (and some were 2 x 4s). Something average was more my preference in those days. Nowadays, I find the average ski to be stiffer and/or damper than I’d prefer. …so for me, it’s disappointing when the softer flexing skis are discontinued with nothing to take their place. Another observation is that there are quite a few forward-mounted freestyle skis that are quite soft and lively (some more so than I’d prefer). So, it kinda feels like if you want an easier, livelier ski you need to go forward-mounted. Even though, I’m not a charging type, I just don’t like the feeling of a forward mounted ski for whatever reason.
 

Dakine

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Posts
850
Location
Tip of the Mitt
IMO, the Blossom #1SC is the softest, yet torsionally rigid ski on the market.
Nothing else quite like it on the market.
Pure finesse.
Lots of fun.
 

zircon

Getting off the lift
Skier
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
261
Location
I can’t believe it’s not England!
Aren't most intermediate skis soft though? and thats kinda the defitnition ?
IMO this is a reason we need to get rid of calling things "beginner"/"intermediate"/"advanced"/"expert" and start describing them by the characteristics that make them appropriate for those types of skiers. I can think of more than one instance (on this forum even) of a competent skier looking for a softer, narrower, easier to bend as a small person, etc. ski being put off from buying something that ticks all the boxes because the entire rest of the internet labeled it "good for an intermediate"
 

Blue Streak

I like snow.
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
3,009
Location
Golden, Colorado
IMO this is a reason we need to get rid of calling things "beginner"/"intermediate"/"advanced"/"expert" and start describing them by the characteristics that make them appropriate for those types of skiers. I can think of more than one instance (on this forum even) of a competent skier looking for a softer, narrower, easier to bend as a small person, etc. ski being put off from buying something that ticks all the boxes because the entire rest of the internet labeled it "good for an intermediate"
Good point.
And that is even more the case with boots. I see lots of people skiing "expert" boots with 130+ flex, and they never dorsiflex their ankles, either because they don't know how, or the boot is simply too stiff.
 
Thread Starter
TS
R

Ryan Perham

Booting up
Skier
Joined
May 23, 2019
Posts
10
Location
Seattle, WA
IMO this is a reason we need to get rid of calling things "beginner"/"intermediate"/"advanced"/"expert" and start describing them by the characteristics that make them appropriate for those types of skiers. I can think of more than one instance (on this forum even) of a competent skier looking for a softer, narrower, easier to bend as a small person, etc. ski being put off from buying something that ticks all the boxes because the entire rest of the internet labeled it "good for an intermediate"
Good point. I've got less to prove than I did when I was younger, so I'm not too proud to ski an "intermediate" ski. When I was younger I was generally smart enough to demo skis, but I was still swayed by the preferences of very different skiers (heavier, much more agressive, more experienced). I hate seeing a lightweight intermediate ask for a recommendation and someone suggests something like a Head Kore because that's what they like.
 

Tom K.

HRPufnStf
Skier
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Posts
3,657
Haven’t skied it, but like you said that sounds like the Elan Wingman 86cti to me. That’s a ski I would love to try.
I've got the Wingman 82 and it's a blast. Soft enough to come alive at lower speeds. No, it isn't stable at 60 on cut up groomers. But it sure puts a smile on my face.

This is also one of my favorite things about my Enforcer 100s and 88s. Not overly stiff, but plenty of metal/dampness/weight/whatever to destroy crud.

OP, Blister is a great reference for relative stiffness of the various portions of a ski.
 

Tom K.

HRPufnStf
Skier
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Posts
3,657
There aren't a lot of 70-ish mm wide carving skis that a light person can bend to their limits and really enjoy without skiing fast.
Right?! I used to have a pair of Fischer Progressor 8000 (8 something, anyway) and they defined a narrow carver that was NOT really stiff.

Never should have let them go......
 
Top