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The Claw Ski

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I believe an inquiry was made earlier in the season regarding this ski, but couldn't find it in the archives. Has anybody skied this ski and what were your opinions. Hand made in Maine very limited production, all models $475.

A long and thick elastomer top dampens the ski so much it doesn't vibrate allowing it to grip on ice better than anyother ski.(I'm referencing the video on the website). I'm intrigued by it but wonder if the trade off is the ski is so damp it lacks any life. Everything is a trade off ,Right?
post #2 of 11
I remember them from years they have any shape?
post #3 of 11
The newsmagazine, Chronicle from Channel 5 in Boston just ran a piece on the manufacture of these last night.
post #4 of 11
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
I remember them from years they have any shape?
Here's their brochure which details the product line.
post #5 of 11
The guy that builds them, John Howe, races on them in the New England Masters series. They look a bit like they are mounted with a very long deflex plate.

He is certainly an extremely talented designer and engineer so I would tend to believe that it works pretty well.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Each model is the same price too! When I look at the construction of the ski it kind of reminds me of K2's Mod designs with the double core. The video claims that it controls vibration much better than a Derbyflex too.

I'd love to have a ski that is unflappable on window pane- ice boiler plate. No doubt skiing here in Southwest Pa. I'd get more utility out of the Claw than my XP's a skied a grand total of one morning so far this season. We get a lot of freeze thaw here a lot of skier traffic on the same runs which scrapes the snow down to the consistency of a marble table top, for the price, if it performs as advertized, it looks hard to beat.

I guess not too many people have them because they are sold in only one ski shop it looks like(Ski-Depot in Maine) and off the website. I'd like to find a used pair for a couple hundred bucks and try them out.
post #7 of 11

claw skis

Just to let everyone know. This is a great ski. I have skied several models. Most were race oriented. John Howe mad an awsome slolom racer in the short 155cm length. Now most of the ski manufacturers have cought up to his skiis in turn initiation, but not in edge hold.
I have raced on Fischers, Atomics, Rossi's and K2's. Nothing can navigate an icy slalom like the Claw SL.
The ski is also my favorite free skiing ski in the east. You can carve almost a circle on these. They are too stiff for free skiing out west or in powder, but I still haven't found a ski that can do everything great.
Unfortunatly after last years production, John stopped producing his Race skis.
I now race on K2's. The new SL skis produced have wider tips than the Claw, and initiate turns somewhat quicker.
The damping plate on the Claw allows the ski to flex easily unbder the plate. Several binding co's now have binding systems that help any ski do that better now. The damping of the claw did make it somewhat less lively in the quick rebound area, but new SL technique requires the ski carve the entire way around your turn.
I still use it if it looks like the course will be excessivly icy.
It is also a wood core ski so it lasts.
Too bad he's not making them anymore. He may have a few of his last year ski's left on his website.
post #8 of 11
Why did he stop producing them? I remember another discussion on his skis from a few years back here, and it made me always want to try a pair. Unfortunate that I may not get the chance now.
post #9 of 11
post #10 of 11
A story and report:

SKI, Sept 1997 (Vol. 62, No. 1), p. 172 "What? You´re Going To Buy Skis? by Nathaniel Reade
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Why did he stop producing them? I remember another discussion on his skis from a few years back here, and it made me always want to try a pair. Unfortunate that I may not get the chance now.
John Howe was an engineer at Head. He was instrumental in designing the Arther Ash graphite racket. He then helped with the designing of the Head skis of the early 70's.
After retiring from Head, he decided to make some skiis out of his barn in main. He was ahead of the curve for the shaped slalom skiis. The damping plate was his big thing though. He hand made most of the "race" skis by himself in his barn. He then got into a partnership with some guys who I think used a small snowboard factory to make a higher number of his "recreational" skis. He still made his "race" skis in his own factory barn.
He indicated that he couldn't keep up making the race ski's by himself. He is in his late 60's or 70's. He still is a master level racer in Maine. He indicated that he is moving onto "try to save the world" from the crisis comming when we run out of oil. He has published 2 books instrumental in the ski industry and recently "The End of Fossil Energy-A Plan for Sustainability". I have read it and it makes sense.
He indicated that he may have a few of his "race"skis left. You should be able to contact him through the website,or at his business address. Howe Engineering Co, P.O. Box 2038, ME04268 oratthe website for his publisher. with some guys
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