I want to ski the entire day. I’d love to be the girl who is racing to get on that last chair before the lift closes. I haven’t been able to do it yet, though. The excuse I give myself for coming in early is I live here now and have a season pass so I can always come back tomorrow. I simply tell myself, “Oh it’s nice to just ski for a few hours and then relax in the lodge.”
But the cold hard truth of it is, I get tired. My legs start burning, and I can’t ignore them. I get worried that they won’t respond when I need them to. I might take a break but I end up going in instead of staying out as long as I’d like.
My girlfriends who visit find themselves in the same boat. They don’t have the luxury of skiing next weekend though because they have to fly back to California. This is their vacation – they want more skiing and less sitting. There is plenty of time for relaxing after 4 o’clock when the lifts close.
I recently found out that it might not just be me. I don’t have iron legs by any means but I am in pretty good shape. I should be able to ski longer (with breaks of course.) The answer could lie in my equipment. New ski technology is helping skiers gain more control, reduce fatigue and frankly have more fun. In the past, I’ve been confused and overwhelmed by ski technology, but this year I am bound and determined to learn. My plan is to “geek out” because I have a goal – ski longer and get better. Last year was the quest to become an intermediate skier. I did it! Blue runs for me, my friends. This year, we are going for the double blues, baby!
My friends at Rossignol helped me out and gave me a primer on the latest ski technology for intermediate women skiers this year.
Here are some things I learned:
Rocker. As a classic rock fan, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear “rocker” is AC/DC’s “Back in Black” but that’s not exactly what we are talking about here. Rocker refers to the tips of the skis, like a rocking chair. In powder, a rocker tip helps you to stay on top of the snow – floating on top of the powder like a water skier on water, not with skis planted in it. On the back of the ski, the rocker helps you lean back to maintain control and slow your speed as you need to. A tip and tail rocker helps you pivot without getting hung up. Sounds good to me!
Camber. Not being a motor head, I had no idea what this term meant. Camber refers to the spring on the ski – how it pops up or down. When you lay the ski on a flat surface, you’ll see it’s actually not flat. It has an arch in the middle. As a result, only two points on the ski touch the flat surface and the middle of the ski has a spring to it. On a groomed run or hard packed snow, this helps with stability, turning, and gripping edges especially when it’s icy.
Combination. Which is better for you? Well, both actually! I found the combination of how the ski designer puts together the rocker and the camber is the key to control. Rockers for powder skis means you don’t have to lean back to keep your tips up, reducing fatigue and that could mean one or two more runs at the end of the day. Camber on groomer skis means more stability, automatic turning, with edge grip and power which means more control, easier turns and more confidence. This translates into less “having to pick yourself up” after a spill and possibly being able to tackle more challenging runs.
We’ll see if powder is in my future this year. If it is, I am going to try the Rossignal S7 with the Powder Turn Rocker. Maybe an “all mountain” ski is better for me so I follow my girlfriends through a few trees and venture onto some intermediate mogul runs (no blacks for me yet, thank you!) I’ll try the Women’s Rossignol Temptation 88 and the other in the Temptation Series.
We can all try them out at the Rossignol Test Center Yurt at Empire Lodge at no cost for two hours. I haven’t taken advantage of this service yet but this year, I will.
Be sure to leave a comment for me about your experience with your demos. Double blues girls, here we come!!