Thanks to all the contributors to this thread. The whys of short/wide versus long/narrow are a lot clearer. I moved from long/narrow to short/wide more than a few seasons back. Went from fast enough to keep with the pack ,to back marker in our local drag racing; that is until I had the new kit dialed and my 'muscle memory' reprogramed. No doubt the new kit is more versatile and those entering the sport of slalom for the first time seem to make remarkable progress versus the previous generation. Some of the guys are still on their long/narrow kit and are fast and fluid for sure, but I wonder what might be if they invested in the change.
Was a similar change-over in snow skiing which has all but eliminated the long/thin in the space of 8 years; people entering the sport a lot easier, now doing what was seemingly impossible a few years back (the 'hyper-carving'), and numbers are healthy.
With reference to another thread on carve gybing the (high-wind type) iS it seems to me that we are still learning about the potential of the new WS design. E.g. like snow skiing's hyper-carving, it often pays to 'stack' the body over the inside rail when gybing - physics is physics.