New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Anyone remember the S-Ski?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

The designer, a member of my extended family, passed this past week... Ivan Petkov from the Bulgarian ski team and later a teacher in Aspen came up with the crazy shaped ski idea and patented it, but evidently he should have gotten a better lawyer... after some quality issues caused him to move his production to the Blizzard factory his skis were left in the dust by the big boys... but I've still got a pair and I swear I'm going to give them a few turns this season in his memory!

 

http://www.skiinghistory.org/index.php/2011/08/evolution-of-ski-shape/

post #2 of 15

Interesting stuff.  I remember owning a pair of Volkl Supersport 6 star skis with a profile of 114-66-99.  Not so different from the S ski at  113-61-91.  Actually this profile really came into its own in the early 2000s.  I'm sure someone can identify a ski with exactly the same profile.

Quote:

Another Balkan racer was thinking along the same lines. Ivan Petkov retired from the Bulgarian ski team in 1976 and took up windsurfing. He designed and built a line of “Bora” sailboards and won the national championships three times between 1977 and 1980. He came to the US in 1987, to spend the summer in Hood River and the winter teaching skiing in Aspen. By 1989 he was managing a retail operation for Robbie Naish on Oahu, and while watching the craftsmen there carve custom sailboards, got the idea for a new carving ski. In the spring of 1992 he went back to the resort town of Pamporovo, in the Rhodope mountains of southern Bulgaria. There, Atomic had set up a factory to make some of their inexpensive constructions.

“I had them make a mold for a 187cm ski with a profile of 113-61-91,” Petkov says. “We couldn’t find a wide-enough base material, but they also made water skis there so we got some greenish-blue polyethylene and cut the base out of that. I took three or four pairs in different flexes and went to Mt. Hood. We were amazed at how well they held.”

Petkov called his new product the S-Ski, for its turn shape. He applied for a patent on the geometry. He ordered more skis in 183 and 193cm lengths, and went to the SIA Trade Show in the spring of ’93. “Everyone came to the booth,” Petkov remembers. “Warren Witherell (author of How the Racers Ski) was very excited.” He shipped 300 pairs. The 183cm sample in the Colorado Ski Museum measures 115-61-85, for a 19.5 sidecut depth and a 15 meter radius.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

I will try and grab a shot of them when I hit the storage locker this season... my Dad helped with the marketing and got them sort of known around Park City and he mentioned that Junior Bounous at Alta was a fan... Petkov never made skis again but went on to come up with the Hot Gear boot bag...

post #4 of 15

Arent these the ones Bode won the NAs on?  K2 fours came out the next year...or there abouts?

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hmm I would guess that these were before Bode's time, but I will ask my Dad... although I would guess if there was a connection I would have heard, because I've heard most of them a lot ;)
 

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

It sounds from his bio that the skis Miller won on were the K2 replicas of the S-Ski...http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Bmiller/Bmiller_bio.html

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post

It sounds from his bio that the skis Miller won on were the K2 replicas of the S-Ski...http://www.jockbio.com/Bios/Bmiller/Bmiller_bio.html

Yup 1995 it says.  So about the same time.  The S-Skis came to market spring of 93, so 93/94 first full season.  So Bode won the Nationals with this concept the following year in 94/95.  

 

I do know I heard of the S-skis around that time, as that was when I was working in a ski shop.  It was clear that "side cut" that would enable skis to carve like a snowboard was well and truly on the cards.  I think that is the real issue on the S-skis.  He might have been the first to market, but I think lots of others companies were working on the same thing at that time. But no question the S-Skis will go down in history as the first.  While few actually saw a pair, I think just about everybody at that time knew of them.  Bode's win jump started the whole thing thou...I remember when it happened..."This kid just won the Nationals on these new skis".  Who?  "Some kid...Bobby, or Bolly, or Boddy something like that.."  "Bode?" "Whats a Bode?...the skis?"..."No the kids name is like Bode"...oh....but really the skier was an after thought...the buzz was that he won on "recreational" skis. 

 

 

Its funny now.  I also remember the commentary was that the win was purely the skis....no-one really appreciated the talent the kid on them had.  


Edited by Skidude72 - 9/11/12 at 1:35am
post #8 of 15

RIP Ivan!  He definitely never got the recognition that he deserved!

 

We all kind of laughed at the S ski at first.  Then I a saw a girl on them, that wasn't that strong of a skier, turn around and in one season, become a ripper.

It was Elan that first copied the radical side cut, the K2 Fours were much less dramatic and much more successful. 

 

I remember standing at the bottom of the Face of Bell on a big day and watching most skiers floundering. 

Then Buckethead came down on some Fours and totally killed it! He was a good skier, but not somebody I would ever have to worry about beating me to six.  I knew then, we were in trouble!

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Its funny; I think that Ivan had Bode pushing his boot bag... if only he had gotten him on the S-Ski (could have called it BodeBoard?) history would have been a lot different... thanks for the neat stories and recollections... good stuff!

post #10 of 15

My condolences, I never met Ivan but have been dealing with him for years selling Hot Gear Bags.  Thanks for letting me know so much more about him.

 

Lou

post #11 of 15

this is very sad news :(

RIP Ivan Petkov

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewJ View Post
 

The designer, a member of my extended family, passed this past week... Ivan Petkov from the Bulgarian ski team and later a teacher in Aspen came up with the crazy shaped ski idea and patented it, but evidently he should have gotten a better lawyer... after some quality issues caused him to move his production to the Blizzard factory his skis were left in the dust by the big boys... but I've still got a pair and I swear I'm going to give them a few turns this season in his memory!

 

http://www.skiinghistory.org/index.php/2011/08/evolution-of-ski-shape/


Fantastic Ski...      The beginning of a fantastic era in Ski History   The breakthrough began with Ivan's personal efforts      Thanks, Ivan !       ..... We all owe you a salute !    

 

  And many beautiful arcing turns in your memory....          

post #13 of 15
I skied with Ivan in the spring of 95. We sold S-Skis at Les Moise in Milwaukee. I still have a pair of the second generation (Atomic) original and teo pair of Super S-Skis. Both were ahead of there time. No one thought a 130-88-117 ski was for use on groomed sloops in 95/96. Miss you Ivan.
Will take the originas out this Friday, 3/25/16!
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmettoski View Post

I skied with Ivan in the spring of 95. We sold S-Skis at Les Moise in Milwaukee. I still have a pair of the second generation (Atomic) original and teo pair of Super S-Skis. Both were ahead of there time. No one thought a 130-88-117 ski was for use on groomed sloops in 95/96. Miss you Ivan.
Will take the originas out this Friday, 3/25/16!

Wish I could join you in a salute to Ivan! I would be very Interested in a few pictures of your originals as well as the Super SSki
I have a set of early 1994 183's. That I bought at Snowbird in Spring of 94. I'll take a few pics and get them on here...
...the Dawn of the Most significant advance in skiing in centuries
post #15 of 15
Seems like tthe S ski was in parallel or even behind Elan's efforts. Elan started tinkering in 1988.
Quote:
Then in 1988, Elan engineer Jurij Franko and his colleague Pavel Skofic had an idea for a deep sidecut ski and organized a project called Sidecut Extreme or SCX. By 1991 they had a 203-cm GS race ski with a 110-63-105mm profile, featuring a 22.25mm sidecut with a turn radius of 15 meters. The new ski carved a clean turn with less edge angle and from this winning race ski the new , shaped ski for the rest of us was born.
http://mountaintimes.info/how-shaped-skis-changed-the-downhill-experience-and-industry/#sthash.g1l2SGNo.dpuf

Pretty sure those 203's were at Okemo for testing in spring 93. I've talked to someone involved in that testing of different lengths. He described the long ones as "terrifying" in that it was hard to release them out of the turn.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion