Rocker Tip Skis, an observation

I saw a ski patrol guy (i.e. reallllly good skier) skiing them moderately fast on a snow-packed traverse road yesterday.  Rockers are the latest rage, a very wide ski with very little curve at the waist.  The tips and tails both curve upwards very pronounced and prominent.  This wideness and curve is intended to give you considerable float when skiing powder while keeping the tips from diving into and being grabbed by the soft snow.  I haven’t skied a pair yet (this is an observation) but I imagine they are heaven in their element.

I had driven up to my condo in Summit County from Denver and wanted to get a few late afternoon runs in at Copper Mountain.  I-70 had reopened after an unusual closure due to heavy snow and the roads were dry or only lightly wet all the way except for a bit of slush around the Eisenhower Tunnels.

I’m currently skiing 4 year old Nordica Hot Rod Top Fuel skis and I’m thinking of getting a new pair.  The Nordicas ski well but they weigh a ton.  The weight does help them crash through crud, and they cruise at (my level of) high speed with decent stability.  They negotiate bumps and powder nicely but I personally find them heavy to turn when doing so.  My old retiree legs just are not what they were 20 or 30 years ago.  What a surprise.

But what about that ski patrol guy?  As a knowledgeable REI salesperson pointed out to me recently, the excessive curve of tip and tail means that a rocker ski has less edge contacting the snow when you are skiing on packed snow.  That ski patroller looked like he could barely maintain control on that road.  The tips and tails, well above the snow surface, were bouncing up and down, and the skis were wobbling slightly side to side, a sign of instability.  I was unimpressed.  As I don’t have the legs for a full day (or even a half day for that matter) of powder skiing, I will not be looking to buy a pair of rocker skis.

For those younger strong-legged powderhounds who can spend all day in soft snow, they look awesome dude!

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