Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Our OP wants to buy skis that will help her learn to carve. She has experienced the speed of a carved turn and hasn't liked that speed, but wants to continue. She's already figured out that a short radius ski is appropriate for her needs. My ski advice is to find a short radius ski that is torsionally stiff enough to hold a carve.
However, I've been on skis whose tips and tails twist away from the snow when tipped on edge. Some skis are built to twist away. This twisting is due to torsional softness. That's implied by the very vague term "forgiving." Another thing implied by that term is longitudinal softness, and a large sweet spot in the middle that won't punish a skier who is back seat. Learners do tend to be back seat for years before they figure out how to get out of the back seat. So a large sweet spot for skiers still working on finding center/forward is good. Longitudinal softness, enough to help a slow, cautious, low-edge-angle skier feel the bend, is good too. And feeling that bend when carving is necessary, so an "expert" ski is not called for in this case.
But a ski with torsional softness will make it difficult for a budding carver to learn to link carved turns.
I think you are responding to her caution, and giving this OP advice based on your prediction that she may give up on carving (arc to arc) altogether since that involves speed. You may be right; she may not really want to learn to carve once she realizes what that means. The article you linked is excellent in explaining verbally how to carve.
@Auri-616, I'm recommending that you get a ski with torsional stiffness ... if you genuinely want to learn to carve. You won't be carving all your turns, just sometimes, on mostly low pitch terrain, when it's empty. This is thrilling to do. But you won't be carving steepish blue terrain, because the speed will be dangerous. You'll need to be able to use those skis for skidded turns. That's a more useful skill than carving, since it's what you'll need to use most of the time.
Many shop people have no idea what the torsional stiffness of a ski is when they sell it to a buyer. The only way a buyer can tell is by looking up the manufacturer's info online, and checking out if a ski is targeted at advancing intermediates or not.
I'm standing by my recommendations, even though @nopoleskier has been skiing a lifetime and I learned as an adult, even though nopole can carve a 2X4 and I prefer carving with skis.
Well if you're going to get into torsional stiffness and longitudinal, then we better talk about construction- "what the ski is made of" and flex pattern. Longitudinal stiffness (tip to tail)—determined by the length, core, and structural layers—affects stability at speed and overall responsiveness in the ski. Torsional stiffness—determined by structural layers like fiberglass or metal—affects carveability and precision when turning.
A flex pattern is the relative stiffness of tip and tail, and it takes into account both longitudinal and torsional stiffness. The flex pattern changes depending on skier weight and ability. A lightweight but powerful skier can flex a ski more deeply than a heavier novice.. Generally speaking, a ski does not have the same level of flex throughout the entire ski—it’s usually stiffer underfoot, where the most pressure is applied. Wood cores offer the most even flex pattern, giving a feeling of pop or rebound and smooth transitions without bucking you around. Wood cores are also more durable.
a ski that is too stiff will buck you around and burn out your quads. It will make you work harder to stay centered (read: you might find yourself backseat-driving), and you may have to slow down to stay in control. A softer ski will be easier to initiate into and release from turns, and will feel more forgiving in bumps. If your ski is too soft, however, you may experience the sensation that you are “going over the handlebars,” which does not breed confidence or enable you to improve. Soft skis can also feel less stable at speed and have less grip on hard pack.
When it comes to choosing the right stiffness, it’s all about finding your sweet spot. For many skiers, a versatile ski will have a forgiving flex tip to tail and enough torsional stiffness to offer stability and edge-hold. The skis I was suggesting are in this category.
And yes, not having seen how she skis I will always err on the side of caution. She said she didn't like speed is just learning to 'carve' so no I won't encourage her to be buying a ski that goes Mach 3 in 100yards. Skis cost a lot of $$ and to buy something without demoing is daunting and for sure there are disappointments with expensive choices based on someone else's opinion.
Since the OP asked for suggestions, what skis would you suggest for her?
All our techno gabbing isn't solving her quest to find the right ski is it?
What do you ski and why do you like that ski?
I always say "what one person loves another hates" Look at the Black pearls. thousands LOVE them, thousands Hate them! SAFE AND FUN is what it's all about.