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Ski Flex

So, I am pondering the idea of a new ski and want to better understand "flex". How does it effect the ski? Does a skiers weight effect the optimal flex choice? Etc...

Comments

  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,662 Administrator
    edited July 2015
    In a lot of ways trying to understand ski design is like trying to understand women. You can try and you might think you understand but in some way you are going to be wrong.

    Until the last few years I equated ski flex to a race car suspension. Softer shocks means a car that is easier to drive but is slower. A better race car driver would want stiffer shocks than a slower driver. (I do not actually race cars but I think this is generally correct)

    Recently some factories are coming out with softer flex skis that are wickedly high performance so the above comparison is out the window. Some of my all-time favorite skis are on the softer end of the spectrum.

    Flex is just one of many design elements that are critical. If all the elements are in harmony the ski will work well but if one element is out of whack that ski will suck.

    If you are looking at all the skis on the market that are the right size for your weight you cannot pick the right one by flex. Your weight does dictate the size ski you should ride.

    I did not answer our question did i? So how do you choose a ski? Try your friend’s skis or find a shop that demos like H2oProShop.

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  • HigleyskierHigleyskier Posts: 29 Baller
    Thank you. The "harmony " comment is a helpful reminder. And, certainly best to try skis... However, there is no place locally to try skis. I currently ski on a Goode 9900 and like it but get confused when reading all of the marketing stuff and trying to read between the lines. Flex was something that perplexes me when factoring all of a ski's characteristics. Are there any good articles? Thanks again.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,662 Administrator
    @Higleyskier let's try this a different way because I am not sure what to tell you.

    Ask a specific question about flex.

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  • HigleyskierHigleyskier Posts: 29 Baller
    Sorry for the delay. How does flex (soft/stiff) effect the turning characteristics of a ski? Thanks.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,662 Administrator
    Generally / Broad Brush
    a softer ski turns easier

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    MasterCraft / Masterline / MOB / O'Brien / Performance Ski and Surf / Reflex / Radar / Stokes

  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,622 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    In general, soft skis handle rough water smoother and might be a bit easier to get on edge. Stiff skis accelerate better and hold angle better.

    However, there are so many variables that flex alone does not determine the performance of the ski. Further complicating the issue is that where a ski flexes or is stiff can radically change the performance. So many variables - you have to demo the ski to know.

    Eric
    disland
  • HigleyskierHigleyskier Posts: 29 Baller
    Thanks, all helpful and good reminders. Last question, any rule of thumb between skier weight and flex?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 25,662 Administrator
    @Higleyskier heavier skiers ride bigger skis not stiffer skis. The flex is designed in harmony with all other design factors.

    Yes maybe a bigger skier likes a stiffer ski but I would not choose a ski that way.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Babes / Connelly / D3 / DBSkis / Goode / Hobe Lake / HO Syndicate / KD Skis  

    MasterCraft / Masterline / MOB / O'Brien / Performance Ski and Surf / Reflex / Radar / Stokes

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