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Ask Josh - March/April 2001

Ask Dr. Flake
posted: 03/21/2001

DEAR JOSH,
I have a complete set of SKIING magazines going back to 1994 when I started subscribing. Is there an aftermarket where I can sell them?
Evan C. Hammerman
New York, New York

Yeah, and while you're at it, why not just sell your soul? I know those old issues take up a lot of space, and your mom or wife or girlfriend or boyfriend is on your case to Just. Get. Them. Out. But (and I'm not just saying this because it's SKIING Magazine -- the same would hold true for Powderor Ski)these magazines are the embodiment of your passion for the sport. Throwing them out, selling them (and in answer to your question, no, there's no aftermarket for SKIING. Hell, there's hardly any currentmarket) or otherwise disposing of them would be tantamount to discarding a favorite piece of gear. But even if you're motivated by the shallowest and most base of pecuniary instincts, you should know that a 1964 issue of SKIING on eBay with a cover price of 60 cents (that's more than three bucks in current dollars) is going for $1.99. So what's the point?



I recall climbing and skiing Mount Washington, New Hampshire, some years ago. It wasn't easy. So why do people have bumper stickers that say THIS CAR CLIMBED MOUNT WASHINGTON?
James Young
Shoreham, New York

Sucka!There's a road to the top, hoofmeister. To be fair, the road is mostly closed in the winter (you can take some kind of snowcat vehicle up), but in the summer you can drive right to the top in your very own Delta 88. The easy, graded way up was actually started in 1854, and it climbs almost a vertical mile to Mount Washington's 6,288-foot summit. It was called the Carriage Road until 1913; it's now called (check out thisYankee economy) the Auto Road. There are many ways to get to the top by foot, but you probably took the Tuckerman Ravine trail from Pinkham Notch, as most people do. Had you continued on up toward the summit instead of stopping at the ravine and skiing, you'd have met the Auto Road. But you didn't.



My dealer recently tried to sell me a pair of 160-cm Rossignol T Power Cobras; I went for the 167's. He says either one will work, but I'm confused. Do you have any formulas I can use to figure out my correct ski length?
John Menze
via the Internet

Ah, the ski-length bugaboo. It's a dilemma as old as...as...well, as old as the casual use of the word bugaboo.Back in the mining camps of the 19th century, skees, as they were called, were anywhere between nine and 15 feet long. Then, in the first half of the 20th century, skis were long enough if they reached your wrist with your arm extended above your head. Then they were supposed to be 10 or so centimeters taller than you were. Now we're down to roughly skier height or shorter. The reason for this shrinkage is that skis have gotten progressively better. Manufacturers can now make a ski that is better -- more stable, quicker turning, better carving -- at 188 centimeters than any ski was at 210. But the biggest barrier to development and then to widespread market acceptance of short skis wasn't technological; it was bull-headed, paleolithic cathectic transference to the long ski. An industry and primary consumer base of phallocentric men were scared to abandon the reassuring heft of the 203. (I myself have often been reassured by the 200-plus centimeters of my long, thick, manly boards.) Regardless, a barrier of sorts has been broken, and now with these super-sidecut skis, you can't tell what the hell length you should be on. Different skis designed for different kinds of skiing are meant to be skied at different lengths -- generally, the smaller the turn radius, the shorter the ski. But there's no rule, no formula. It's just chaos out there, and the ski industry has done a lousy job of educating the public (to sayy nothing of the Nobel laureates who work in ski shops). But in my opinion, if it's a toss-up between two ski lengths, go a little longer. Even with skis designed to be skied short, you'll get more stability from a longer ski. One-sixty-seven, dude: Go long or go home.



Do you have a question for know-it-all Josh Lerman? Send it to Ask Josh, SKIING Magazine, 929 Pearl St., Ste. 200, Boulder, CO 80302; or e-mail him at askjosh@skiingmag.com.

We won't be able to answer all questions.

Former SKIING executive editor Josh Lerman is now senior editor at Parenting.

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