All of the recent talk about rope brands has highlighted for me an aspect of ski gear that I do not understand, and that is rope stretchiness. There are ropes that are stiffer and ropes that stretch more, ok. But what is "good" and what is "bad," what is "forgiving" vs what is "performance," how does one distinguish "higher quality" from "lower quality," etc?
It seems like the general vibe is that stretchy ropes are more forgiving on the body but less ideal for pure performance. But then why is Masterline's top-of-the-line competition rope the most stretchy one (the Optimized 2.0)? And if stiff ropes are better for performance, why do people say to replace ropes once or even twice a year or else they become "dead." I've also seen some comments that certain ropes are lower quality because they are too stretchy, but again, I don't understand the correlation, when there are expensive stretchy ropes too.
It's not my intent to have this turn into a debate about specific brands being better or worse, or whether a brand's pricing is fair or not (that's being handled elsewhere lol). I just want to better understand in general the pros and cons about rope stretch or stiffness. I ask in part just to know more about gear, but also because I'll need a new rope before too long and have no idea what to target. I'm skiing 32-34mph, 15off and taking looks at 22off, I'm 34 years old and in good health. I've been on the Masterline regular mainline rope (not pro or optimized).