Day 76: Ski Width Musings

Since we’re doing the Elk Mountain Traverse this year, Elaine needed a narrower ski that is more appropriate to the alpine yet cross country nature of the course. Thanks to a generous sales promotion, she was able to get a beautiful pair of Ski Trab Free Rando Lights. They are much narrower than any other ski she owns – 80 mm in the mid versus her next smallest which is 110 mm. Elaine is a good skier, and it was interesting discussing impressions of how they ski.

One thing I have noticed about modern wide skis is how easy they make skiing, yet how they don’t provide some of the same sensation I had skiing when I was a kid on much narrower skis. It seems like they do an outstanding job plowing and floating over stuff, but often it doesn’t feel that much like skiing anymore. Elaine shared this sentiment, commenting how the Trabs “actually made her ski well,” because you actually had to ski them.

To me, rockered wide skis are very much like a full-suspension bike, whereas narrower non-rockered skis are more akin to a rigid singlespeed. I’m honestly not sure I like skis much over 100 mm in the mid, and I’m beginning to think I like something much narrower. Narrower skis make powder deeper, but more than that they are quicker and more versatile. To me, something in the 88-92 range might be perfect.

The Trabs are wonderful. Climbing on them is effortless, and they make you want to get out there and explore. And of course an added bonus is that they ski well. Today was an ease-back-into it day after a busy time at work. Tomorrow, it’s time to step it up and go big…on little skis.

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