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Is A Fast Ski Really Better?


PurdueSkier
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  • Baller

There are lots of reviews and comments out there that discuss if a ski is fast or slow. I am currently demoing a ski that feels faster than my current ski. However, as I work through some settings I am tuning some of the speed out of the ski and it feels better. So, the question is, is a ski that feels fast really better and if so why?

 

To be more specific, assuming a tight line at the entrance and the exit gates, if a ski is really faster either it is traveling a further distance (more of an arc through the course) or it has to slow down at each turn and then accelerate across the wakes. Since the boat doesn't stop and the skier can't stop, getting to the buoy faster/earlier just means the skier has to have better technique to keep a tight line and balance on the ski as it slows down. To me, my balance on the ski and its support of my balance changes as the ski slows down in the turn. The more I speed up and slow down, the more technical I feel I need to be. If you are running late through a pass and scrambling, a fast ski will certainly help you recover, but does it cause more errors in the first place? Is a more consistent speed through the course actually easier? Does slow and steady win the race, or is fast really better?

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  • Baller
My perception is that, the faster cross course you can get the more time you will have as you approach the ball. I envision this as being high on the boat with time and space before the ball allowing you to round the buoy with speed. (when you are high and wide rounding the ball requires a smaller change of direction than it is from a narrower positon). You want to carry that speed through the turn and across the wakes. I don't think you really want to scrub speed off. I think a slower ski will take a different path that is more direct buoy to buoy setting you on a narrower path with less space before the buoy at a more consistent speed. However i do think this path will have little room for error and could be more physically demanding. If you are skiing a path like this with a fast ski, I could see how you would need to scrub speed off in order to round the ball.
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I have always thought the faster the ski better because you have the wing to make it decelerate as needed, but there is nothing you can do to make a ski faster. However, I think it was @JackQ that enlightened me about how sometimes there is a problem with a very fast ski in that they can be finnicky to turn even after using all the possible wing and fin adjustments. Some slower skis, however, can turn well no matter how you approach the buoy, and for long pullers like @JackQ a slightly slower ski that turns well under all conditions is preferable over a fast, finicky turning ski.
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  • Administrators

"Fast" can mean a number of things.

  1. It can mean the ski is not a lot of physical effort to ride and makes speed automatically

  2. It can mean that a ski does not decelerate automatically

  3. It can mean that the ski seems to automatically get wide

  4. If can mean something else...

 

Each of these attributes can exist without the others.

 

The right kind of fast does not feel "fast" it feels easy. There are skis that are a lot of work but always get wide and there are skis that are not of lot of work, feel fast, but run narrow (bad).

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  • Baller
Sometimes a ski that doesn't stall but rather runs out of the ball seems fast, but in reality it got a head start. I've appreciated the skis that help me NOT to dig a hole out of 2 and 4. The ski may not be fast, but I'm at the wake a lot sooner.
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  • Baller
I havve what I consider a fast ski, but it can hinder me, the ski runs right around the turn with speed and heads back in towards the wakes, I need to be patient and ride it out, but as I come off the back of the ball, I find myself wanting to take the handle and go, result a little snatch at the end of the turn, would like it to be a little slower in the turn, but like the way the ski is setup for everything else, I guess a little wider may help.
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