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Wide Skis and Your Knees: Bigger Isn't Always Better.

newboots

Angel Diva
Skinny skis definitely are easier on the knees- age, technique, aggressiveness, weight, all add to the formula.
Quicker turning for me is FUN- I can still tire my knees out by making a billion turns but
I found this article https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4541126/ It has the photo from the original article-- and quotes from it!

Great article (and that is the original article, in digital form)! So nice when science agrees with your knees!

I just don't have enough experience skiing, especially powder, to know. But I have felt a preference for narrower skis when I happened to be able to compare. Last summer at Big Snow I went from 78 to 69, and the difference was phenomenal! (The 69 width were old Dynastar Glorys with a lot of steel in them, so they were also much heavier. But I liked skiing in them!) (And the 78s were the first skis I bought, Blizzy Quattros, and I was sick of them. My daily drivers (BP82s) spent last summer in Vermont.)
 

lisaski

Certified Ski Diva
Interesting article here.

What do you think? And what's your experience with this?
That is interesting! I do notice knee pain when skiing on my wider skis when the snow is hard. I have a pretty extensive ski quiver and revert to my 88's when there are hard conditions. I really only use my fat skis when there is fresh snow that is relatively deep.
 

echo_NY

Angel Diva
I’m not a fan of the article, it’s fairly limited without going thru use cases and experiments of those use cases or the math associated, in addition to the conditions. I don’t have an issue with knees when skiing but people I do know who have issues with knees, several have switched to snowboarding. I don’t know that switching widths is going to help that much when it’s the movement itself that is wrecking the knees.
 

Mudgirl630

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
That's interesting. I'd be curious what the rep thinks the average person is skiing. For example, is that recommendation for skiers usually on firm snow that never go off trail? I wonder if there is a way to get this information.
He was just a messenger. The study was done by a group/a company. I am sure it has been done by different companies by now. I have heard the same topic in different occasions. The ski industry is relatively small. Any trends and studies will spread like a wild fire usually.
 

Mudgirl630

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
No one is telling anyone to strictly get on skis that are less than 90 waist.
If you do not have any problems and happy with your skis, so let it rip on them.
Everyone is different.
No reason to hyper focus on this topic unless you do indeed have a serious knee problem or having issues with knee pain already.
One should have, ideally, more than one pair.
And many of us do. We all have our favorite pair. The industry will always come up with new reasons for us to buy another pair.
For me, I buy another pair JUST BECAUSE.
And I can only tell myself what pair I care to own by demoing. I am very picky.
Also, no matter what skis you use, the maintaining them properly always does make a huge different regardless of what they are.
If you don't take care of them, does not matter what they are.

After all, boots are everything. The fitting of them is EVERYTHING. Focus on that even more.

Relax and dream about skiing soon.
 
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Bookworm

Angel Diva
i bought a pair of Blossom's that are 78 in width. I absolutely love them, but when skiing off-piste, I have a harder time and I'm sure that's all technique related.
 

Elizabeth.I

Certified Ski Diva
My entire quiver of downhill skis are over 100mm (102, 112, 116). Never had any issues with knee discomfort. That being said, I am in western Canada (mostly Kicking Horse, Lake Louise in fall and spring) and only use groomers to get to lifts!

My 112s are actually my daily driver for Kicking Horse.
 

MtnRivergirl

Diva in Training
Have been on all mountain 100’s for past 8 years and have never felt stress on my knees, as they are light and have reasonable sidecut. (And I’m pushing 60). But I ski primarily in CO and just don’t go if it hasn’t snowed recently and conditions are hardpacked. Love powder - or at least a few inches of fresh snow - soft bumps, spring corn snow and the occasional steep corduroy groomer and avoid hard snow like the plague.
 

Elizabeth.I

Certified Ski Diva
ABSOLUTELY!!! I sometimes trade out my skis when conditions change- I have 3 pair in the car all winter! this year maybe 4, lol

I go to sleep every night dreaming of skiing :-)
I hear that! When away for the weekend, it's not uncommon for both me and my boyfriend to bring 3-4 pairs of skis each between our backcountry and touring days. 6-8 skis in one car is a lot!
 

Olesya Chornoguz

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I had hard time finding skis under 85 mm I was comfortable on skiing in most conditions. I owned a few 75 mm skis but did not love them. So for a while my daily driver skis were 85-94 mm wide and 104 mm for powder days - no knee issues. Finally, I demoed Stockli Montero AX and later on bough them, hopefully that is an 80 mm wide ski I will enjoy and will stay with for a while.
 

Elizabeth.I

Certified Ski Diva
I came across this article.

Yes, but how many people are actually carving on firm snow on fat skis I never have high edge angles in pow or on chop. Although we can generally find fresh or light chop all day where we ski. Maybe it's different for other areas!
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
After a season on my beloved Sheeva 9's (which going by this article are considered fat) my knees are at the point of blowing up !!! Not sure if its the width of the ski? The canting on my boots? (the leg with the most canting is the worst). Technique? Old age? The fact that I got caught up in the T Bar last week and my ski didnt release? Or a combination of all of those things? End result I managed one very slow and painful run yesterday before packing it in :cry:
I'm demoing a pair of Rossi Experience 82 Ti's today to see how I go on a narrower ski so stay tuned.
 

Elizabeth.I

Certified Ski Diva
Many people. Two friends of mine are indeed on 100 everyday. Lol
I think my definition of fat skis differs from everyone's to me, fat starts at 108 haha. My skinniest skis are 102s, but then again, I'm never on groomers so carving performance isn't really important to me! No matter how dry or gnarly the conditions, I'm off piste. It's either good snow or "good for you" snow!
 

Mudgirl630

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I think my definition of fat skis differs from everyone's to me, fat starts at 108 haha. My skinniest skis are 102s, but then again, I'm never on groomers so carving performance isn't really important to me! No matter how dry or gnarly the conditions, I'm off piste. It's either good snow or "good for you" snow!
Wow..... Okiedokie then
 

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