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Cores - wood or foam?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Greetings gentlemen,
I am beginning my search for a new ski and am interested in the new Saloman's Crossmax. Some are built with wood cores and some with foam cores. I have always stuck to wood, but a salesperson recently told me foam cores these days hold up longer than they once did and offer a more consistent construction. Comments, please?
Thank you
post #2 of 25

Wood until there is conclusive proof otherwise. Salesman's words are just that...words...not proof.
post #3 of 25
Core materials are a non issue for most people. I have had microcell and wood core skis that have heldup well for 170 day seasons. An engineer at Evolution in Salt lake told me he thought that wood core broke down over time, while microcell stayed the same longer. There are only a couple differences I can tell. If you hit the tips together, they make different sounds. Also it seems like foam core skis need metal for torsional ridgidity, while wood cores do ok without. Not scientific, just something I might have noticed. Couriously enough, Roosi makes inexpensive woodcore skis in Spain, and the rest are microcell cores make in France. When Salomon monocoque skis first came out, the reps said you could put peanut butter inside, and it would make no differenc. Who cares?
post #4 of 25

Atomic's Beta Profile that uses hollow titanium tubes is the way to go!!!

That is my extremely biased opinion


Speed does not kill, the difference in it does...
post #5 of 25
I skied the salomon 9000 equipe in foam core and wood core both and can say without a doubt the wood core feels more damp when cruising and feels more stable.
I actually had both and didn't know there was a different core at the time. I kept wondering why one felt so different. so I skied the one that felt better and gave away the ones I didn't like. At that time I learned the way to tell was the color of the lettering on the top skin. I checked with the person that received my old pair at the time and he had the foams I had the woods.

Just an interesting note. I can't say one is better than the other, I just liked the wood core feel better.
post #6 of 25
I agree with D.Chan re: wood's reputation for being more damp.

Although foam core technology has improved, foam core skis are still viewed by many I know as breaking down or "feeling dead" far sooner with heavy use or over time than is the case with wood core skis.

I have always skied on skis with wood cores {actually, my first pair were solid wood)so my information comes second hand. But for what it's worth this is what I continue to hear from those who have owned foam core

On the other hand if you don't plan to use them often, given the current pace in technology improvements new trends will probably occur before a foam core ski puchased today will break down.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lostboy (edited August 02, 2001).]</FONT><FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lostboy (edited August 02, 2001).]</FONT>
post #7 of 25
The XMax 9 and 10 are wood. The 8's are foam. Which ski's performance envelope best fits your needs?
post #8 of 25
Lots of opinions, but World class racers and freeskiers are winning on both foam and wood core skis (yes - "race stock" included). So just try before you buy and rip it up!
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi JD,
The salesperson thought the Salomon Crossmax 8's were right for me - an athletic intermediate. What do you think?
Thank you for your imput.
post #10 of 25

You might give this thread a quick read. http://www.epic-ski.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000095.html
I didn't get on the Crossmax 8 so I can't say.

I do generally prefer the feel of a wood core ski but I've skiied on many foam cores that I liked alot. I can't say that I've personally had more trouble with foam cores than wood and as a dealer I don't see any difference in the number of warranty issues. I think that the rap on foam is early breakdown, which again doesn't mirror my experience but seems to be experienced by some others.

As an athletic intermediate you certainly would do fine on the 9. Depending on where you ski, how often, who with, take lessons, etc you might like the 10 also, though it does like to be pushed a little more.

You know, I'm a PNW guy and "groomed" probably means something different to me than it does to you. Does groomed in MA mean real hard but not bumpy. If so, I'm thinking that a few more horses may be better than a few less.

How about it east coast folks? What do you normally suggest for athletic int. out there?

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi JD,
Thank you for that link. You are clearly a Saloman fan with their integrated bindings. I think the XM10 will be too gutsy for me. My plan is to demo both the XM8 & XM9 at the beginning of ski season in December.
To describe me more completely, I ski any chance I get (last year 39 full days) and have weekday passes at 5 mountains in New Hamshire. I am 5'5", so I am thinking a 160 in the XM is right for me. What do you think?
Thank you.
post #12 of 25
Lisa, I like the woodcore Salomons better than the foam core expecially in the Pilot series. The edge grip on the woodcore skis just seems more substantial to me. I haven't been on the XMax 8 or 9, but have a fair amount of time on the 10 and I love it. The 10 has a fairly stiff tail and will punish you if you get in the back seat. I think you have the right idea about demoing the 8 and 9. One other difference between the 8 and 9 besides the core is the double wall construction in the nine and prolinks front and rear. The eight only has prolink in the front.
post #13 of 25
I only use wood core skiis. Tele bindings get pulled out of foam core skiis far too easily.

Free your heels, poke your eyes out!
post #14 of 25
Several folks replied that they thought that wood core skis were more damp than foam cores. My experience has been exactly the opposite. I find that wood core skis are more lively than foam core skis.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Greetings Lucky,
Thanks very much for your advice - well taken.
post #16 of 25
Lisa; I've also always thought wood was livlier than foam, though I'm sure some people here have demoed far more skis than I. Seems my favorite "feeling" skis are lighter and more lively and all turn out to be wood core; I broke tradition lately with some Soloman supermountains, which are foam, and are stable and damp[for crud] by design.R.
post #17 of 25
I find it hard to beleive that wood skis are inherently superior to ones with synthetic cores (to call them "foam" is probably a major over-simplification of what they are). I wouldn't buy a wooden boat expecting it to be superior to a plastic one, same goes for tennis rackets, golf clubs, bikes, Formula-1 cars, etc...

That said, my favorite skis to date have been wood core, and I have found them not to be more damp, but rather, more lively tan the foam-cored skis I've used.
post #18 of 25
As I read peoples posts about their impressions I think maybe my comment about wood being more damp is an incorrect choice of words. When crusing at speed, the wood core skis seemed more stable and less "jumpy or edgy" and held on much better. I'm not sure this is normally called "damp" When skiing steep fall lines, in short turns they did feel more lively than the foam core skis but of course I'm not moving quite as fast when turning tight turns. Not sure if this makes sense.

Again I don't put a judgement on which is "better" but just my feelings and which ones I liked. and for me it was a "blind" test as I thought the 2 skis were the same when I bought them but found but later the ones I prefered were indeed wood. (salomon changed composition mid year on the 9000 equipe without really advertising the change and the only difference in appearance was a slight change to the graphic)
post #19 of 25
I have always understood it to be a vibration thing. At speed wood absorbs and smooths out vibrations better than foam. At the sime time all things being equal wood is more snappy than foam which would make it more lively than foam at slower speeds. Since I have only skied wood core skis this is second hand lore.

The other materials that comprise a skis contruction can have a compensating effect or even more than offsetting effect. For instance a torsion box wood core wet wrap layup using an lot of fiberglass and resin and no metal can reduce or negate the dampening qualities of the wood core. This same construction could make a foam core ski quite lively I would thnik.

Does this make sense or am I off base?<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lostboy (edited August 06, 2001).]</FONT>
post #20 of 25
Good luck Lisa....and it's not too early to start a little chantin' for the snow gods to give NewEngland a repeat of last winter...
post #21 of 25
actually I believe the tubes in my 10exs are carbon fiber.
post #22 of 25
And the champions continue to win by 1/1000's of a second on both. Ironic isn't it? (Yes - "race stock" included")
post #23 of 25
Rumor is - modern foaming technology can meet or surpass all flex/strength/durability measurments of wood.

It may just be hype, who knows.

The fact remains, top skiers win top races on BOTH.
post #24 of 25
One pretty well established difference between wood and foam is the tendency for binding screws to pull out of foam more easily. This is particularly relevant to twintip / park people.

Tom / PM
post #25 of 25
On the World Cup race scene skiers have multiple skis to train and race on and skis actually used in races are usually not also used to train on much. That could be a factor making durability less of an issue with foam. if a ski needs to be replaced its no big deal. As I said in an earlier post I have only owned wood core skis so my information is second hand and I am certainly willing to be corrected.

I did once ski on a pair of foam core Rossi's. I didn't care much for the feel of the ski but it was so long ago that I can't recall if it was because of the foam core. I am for better or worse much a creature of habit and have only owned wood core Fischer skis.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Lostboy (edited August 08, 2001).]</FONT>
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