From The Ski Journal
A few weeks back I posted that I was excited beyond belief for one particular ski that was to be introduced at SIA 2013. It was “The Ski”. The Ski? What a simplistic name for a ski, well, kind of like “Le Car” if you were French. I guess if Bobbie Burns was French and this was a parallel universe and Bobbie defected from Rossignol and not K2, we could be talking about “Le Ski”, but there was not this fictional parallel universe and we are talking about the good ole U.S. of A. and very well THE ski that defined the Hot Dog era of the 70’s, the era when freestyle was still that like everything else from the 70’s...free. There have been many posts I have made here regarding The Ski and I have myself a bit of a collection along with matching Scott boots and poles from that era. Well, that is where Scott fits into the picture here. As us old (hot) dogs know, any freestyler from that era was not worth their salt if there were not on The Ski, Spademan bindings and Scott boots.
Where did this all begin? Well, Bobbie Burns was a ski designer for K2 from the 60’s into the mid 70’s when he decided he wanted to build his own skis that were not only soft and good in the bumps but also a great pleasure ski. Once he decided this path, he was driving from K2 back to Sun Valley and on the drive, he saw some sagebrush on the side of the road and that is when he thought that he would tell people that the skis were made of sagebrush and thats how the rumor/lore started that the skis were made of sagebrush. Bobbie wanted to keep the name pure and simple and that is how he chose “The Ski’. As far as the colors, Bobbie did them to match the Scott boots of the day, simple, clean and timeless, colors Fisher Price would be proud of. Since he had the relationship with Scott at the time, he asked them to make some poles with the matching graphics and then asked Dean Perkins at Demetre to make the matching sweaters and clothing and Smiley for the hats. During the Hot Dog era of the freestyle 70’s, The Ski pulled down 36 World Championships on the feet of such great skiers as, but not limited to Mark Stiegemeier, Frank Beddor, Bob Salerno, Jack Taylor and Chris Thorne.
Trekchick and DSloan sporting vintage Demetre "The Ski" sweaters at A-Basin retro Day
Through the 80’s and 90’s Freestyle became less popular but Bobbie continued designing skis. In the late 80’s, a young engineering student did senior thesis on one of Bobbies designs and when he handed that report in, he immediately received a failing grade. He was told that it was an unrealistic design for a ski. The ski was called the
“Fat Albert” one of the very first wide skis. Bobbie then followed up with a ski called “The Ski Bad Ass Sidecut” one of the very first shape skis. This process for revolutionary ski design continued into this century in specialized and boutique one-two off ski production which included Nano construction and the continuation of exploring different shapes and widths. All this while Bobbie was putting his attention to his boutique clothing designs.
The Ski-Fat Albert
Now to the present. Since Bobbie had always had a great relationship with not only Ed Scott (“The Genius” as referred to by Bobbie), Scott USA but also Scott in Europe which distributed The Ski for Bobbie through the years. About a year ago, Scott came to Bobbie asking if they could resurrect The Ski not only in the U.S. but also in Europe. There would be no one else that Bobbie would entrust to pass the heritage of The Ski to other than Scott. Through the conversations, Bobbie and the product manager At Scott started tinkering with models and shapes and the finished product was not complete until a few weeks prior to the shows. The only (minor) stumbling block is that they wanted to call it The Scott Ski but Bobbie was adamant that part of the mystique is that it had to be called “The Ski”, because with no name on the tip (or tail), when you are on the lift, people will have to ask...What ski is that? and you reply “The Ski”, and it can almost turn into a “who’s on first” routine.
The Ski for 2014 is now an all mountain ski with everything that you expect from the modern ski..sans sagebrush. There is a nice 90mm (+/- depending on length) waist underfoot with Scott’s 3D sidecut, simply a SL sidecut in the tip and tail for quickness into and out of the turn and a GS mid body for stability at speeds. Scott also had integrated their Pro-tip rocker which is one of the more progressively smooth rockers offered. Even early The Ski models has a bit of "Splay" in the tip and tail which made skiing bumps a bit easier back then. Funny how times have changes, if an original pair of The Ski had a tip with as much rise as the new ones, it would have had it’s Spademan's pulled and sent to the dumpster.
OK..now is where I will add my questions, why the color choices?...the 165cm is teal? the 185cm is brown??? Sorry, but no. The yellow 165cm and the white 175cm. MONEY. I know sometimes there is a change in pigments from the design programs to the production but, the teal should have been...Woodriver Valley Blue and the brown, black for the Black Magik. One step further, offer all the 4 colors single in every size so skiers and pick and choose their combination..like the old days, a yellow & blue together, white & black or if they wanted a matched pair, that is an option too. Now, I am off my soapbox. One more thing...poles..bring back the poles.
Related Epicski "The Ski" content...
Review: 1975 The Ski (along with a video review)
Retro Memories thread