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origin of parabolics, it means something

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
i was thinking about an early season instructors orientation at our mountain. our director took an hour to point out something out to the ski instructors:

the origin of parabolic or "shaped" skis, which comes from snowboards.

the director made it a point that nearly all the snowboard instructors know how to ski, yet only a very small number of ski instructors were not taking the oppurtunity to try out boarding. he encouraged everyone to increase their snow education hitting each other up for tips and sharing knowledge which results in better overall understanding and overall snow performance.

i wanted to bring up this early season discussion at our ski school because right now its mid season for many of us. and there are some serious dipsh$!t's who talk out of their a$$'s about boarders, displaying a lack of education and likely, skill.

perhaps its good time to expand the horizon and take a snowboard lesson from a pro, those of you that are doing so should be applauded , and please continue to share your experiences with us. many folks here have absolutely no hesitation in offering tips because we enjoy seeing people have fun out there on the slopes.

ok, i just fell off my soapbox :
post #2 of 35
I give cross over clinics to ski and snowboard instructors regularly. Both sides usually find:

1. they like the other side
2. it is fun
3. a lot can be learned by the other discipline
post #3 of 35
Hear! Hear!

As a member of the unwashed masses (that is to say, not an instructor, not an ex-racer, just another joe on the snow) this season has been an eye opener, split between the skis (~20 year skier) and board (4 days and counting).

The anti-snowboard sentiment on this and other forums amazes me. Feels like a throw-back to the late '80s, early '90s. Fortunately, I see none of this attitude at the areas I ski.

However, I'm afraid that posting this message to the Snowboard forum is preaching to the choir.
post #4 of 35
Well look at it this way. I don't know how to ski, though I have gotten better at Tele style due to the fact I own a splitboard and I am forced to do some tele. But I try to limit it to pretty mellow terrain, which for me is extreme...

Either way I have crazy respect for those who are good at other disciplines. Not to mention we are all out there for pretty much the same reason.
post #5 of 35
i'd always found that getting out on my P9s for a day made my alpine boarding/racing much more aggressive.

Skiers often find it easier to learn on an alpine board, in their ski boots.
familiar territory and all.
Used to keep a BUNCH of my old alpine boards at the school for instructors to snap their langes into.
even if ski boots were a bit stiff for some, they provided an excellent crossover experience in one's own boots, to help ski instructors decide if boarding was for them. many crossed right over and never looked back, which I always found wierd, myself.
as i mentione donce before, at the height of my own racing, i often spent lunch break (training) with one of our coaches, in my old P9s, hitting the same course we were boarding all day.
made me WAY more aggro when I snapped back into my board.
when my mom first caved and decided to have snowboarding at her school in '88, she made a caveat that all snowboard instructors also had to be trained in ski instruction, even if only for "A" classes (lev. I). that way, when the huge school groups showed up, she had my staff ready to 'boot up' and hop on some rental skis to teach beginning skiers.
always, afterward, they'd be goaded into taking runs on skis, while they were so suited up.
we really all had fun with that one.
I began a fun thing at the school,whereby the snowboard staff took ski lessons (whatever level was relevant) and the ski instructors too snowboard lessons.
the reason?
student empathy
It reminded every instructor onour staff what it is to learn a snowsport, and to take a lesson, and to realize, absolutely first hand, what they liked and didn't like about the instructor's style.

If any of you work in scki school management, I urge you to have cross-training days. it is SO much fun, and your staff will all grow as instructors.
post #6 of 35
Not derail the thread too much, but continuing on the empathy track....

I've been spiking up my boring how to teach beginner clinics by asking my hot riders to exit the lift riding switch (front foot free). Some of the rats are getting so good, you can't tell without looking down. But I always get a few new to this task newbies that get that "oh my God, this IS NOT going to work" look. Gives you a little different perspective of what our guests go through. I've been afraid to ask permission to do this in clinics because I figure the answer would be no. But after doing it for a few years without incident, I think I've gotten away with it.

Do any of you know any other tricks for getting pros to empathize with what our students experience?
post #7 of 35
ZipZip,

I routinely get 20-30% skiers in my first time rider lessons. If these stats are representative industry wide, attitudes MUST change soon simply because of the large percentage of the population that has at least tried both sports.

Although I get far fewer riders in my first time ski lessons, there are already many riders who started on skis first and many 4-7 kids are being started on skis before switching to riding due to parent demand and ski school recommendations. (that ought to cause a fuss)

I've found that many bigotted skiers are long time skiers that noticed the problem when riders were 95% teens. There is no convincing these people that times have changed. But with the increasing reality of parents taking up the sport to be with their kids, patrol staff riding on boards and really old geezers like me behaving nicely on the slopes, some of the bigots will eventually change their minds. When I encounter the bigots on chair rides, I'll calmly state my observations (collisions are mainly a skill and maturity thing vs an equipment thing) and drop the topic.

It's funny that I also run into riders complaining bitterly about being hit/near missed by out of control skiers. What's really cool is when you get a rider bigot and skier bigot on the same chair! The discussion never lasts more than 1/2 a tower and the ride up is totally quiet after that.
post #8 of 35
You know ....

I often wonder whether or not the comment that "shape skis arose from snowboards" is really an urban myth.

Most people don't understand that the main reason for the failure of the GLM method was that the "short skis" were really crappy because of the available materials technology (specifically glue technology). The only way to make them work was to make them arrow shaped and extremely stiff. The industry was very interested in shorter, easier to turn skis well before snowboarding became mainstream.

When snowboards started going mainstream, we were already into the next generation of materials science. I wonder if short radius turning boards were easier to make because of the larger width and we had to wait one more generation before the glues were good enough to get the same level of performance on a shorter width? Is it possible that shaped skis would have evolved anyway without snowboards?

We do know that the rapid rise in percentage visits from 5% riders to 20% (i.e. the years when snowboard visits were growing 20-30% year over year - 1993-2001) (note last I checked ridership had peaked around 30% of visits? - current stats from NSAA appear to show an almost 50-50 split but that does not make sense - I must be reading this wrong) scared the hell out of ski manufacturers and the industry overall. But most of them were prepared to shift production/product mix to boards. How many of the big ski companies don't also sell boards?
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Do any of you know any other tricks for getting pros to empathize with what our students experience?
skating and getting off the lift switch really puts people in that beginner mode! i sure don't know of other tricks that work better than that one.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty

Do any of you know any other tricks for getting pros to empathize with what our students experience?
In the same spirit as the original post -- I found my inner empathy when I learned to snowboard after 18 years on skis. I was fortunate to have been teaching skiing (in either a junior or full instructor position) for two seasons prior to my inaugural day of knuckledragging. The prior teaching experience allowed me to realize immediately, "Oh wow...this is how most of my students must feel!"

I took so much from that first day on a snowboard that I now encourage every ski instructor I know to at least TRY snowboarding once. The experience encompasses almost all the challenges that our students face -- physical (OMG my feet are locked in place and I'm standing sideways!), emotional (I'm a LII ski instructor, I don't want to be out here looking like a gaper!), and mental (Ok, I can link sketchy turns now on the magic carpet...time to ramp up the difficul...whack! Nevermind...).

I learned to ski at the age of 3, so I don't remember much of anything about it. I will NEVER forget the first time I went to the summit on a snowboard. Standing at the top of a beginner run that I barely even pay attention to on skis (I used to eat my morning bagel & coffee while on this particular trail), I was TERRIFIED!

There is one thing I regret about learning to snowboard, however...it makes flying a little challenging! (Snowboard boots on my feet, ski boots in my carry-on...Excess baggage charges b/c I've got "more equipment than you could possibly require, sir!") Oh well
post #11 of 35
[quote=therusty]You know ....

I often wonder whether or not the comment that "shape skis arose from snowboards" is really an urban myth.

quote]

i've questioned that myself. in '88, we (skiers, although i was snowboarding by then, as well) were becoming intensely interested in sidecut radii. when my guys came out with the bright apple green P9 SG that year, it was touted as having the one of the most radical sidecuts available. sure seems like the precursor to shaped skis.
that same year, i was finishing my move to snowboard racing, and
I got a ride with burton. the race boards were phenomenal, and when i look back at the old comp I safari series, i see that distinct, foreshortened hourglass up and running.
I do remember burton and hoooger a shaving some of the first truly deeply sidecut boards, with jose fernandez riding a deeply-cut hoog and peter bauer and jean nerva riding austrian comp Is (many comp Is were manufactured in VT) that were absolutely skirted, in '87, I believe.

I can tell you that it was in snowboard racing, not ski racing, that the reversal occurred, as well, as many of us were complaining that the deep sidecuts were creating ugly, dangerous rut-chatter, and so there was a wealth of racestock snowboards (not retail stuff, though) that had very, very little sidecut.
on a board, our tech was more important, as we couldn't 'step' or 'skate' any turns...

anybody help me out here? like what years the first 'shaped' skis, per se, emerged?
post #12 of 35
Here is an interesting read.

Origins
post #13 of 35
Philsthrills-
that link is so cool and essential, on so many levels, my mind is blown...

plus I always loved the early gnus, even though most were foam core. The vertigo was afine carving freestyle board.
anyway- that article is one of the best reads i've perused in along time, plus it brings me back. (it also makes it clear WHY Phil Mahre's "K2"s were manufactured for him by Volkl)
brilliant piece, thank you much





brilliant.phil
post #14 of 35
The early boards were wood - the vertigo came later. Their earlier line was:

Chaos
Antigravity (had one of these)
Kinetic

These were all wood core boards.

I wanted the vertigo when it came out but alas, no dough.

I picked up a Burton Air (2nd year of production) instead. That board was well worth it.

After riding the Antigravity (and later the Air) I always thought - boy my skis don't turn like this - they just are not as fun anymore.

Five years ago, I finally got on skis with a sidecut <12M @ 165. I felt like the ski manufacturers finally got it. That is when I decided I would get back into skiing. Now I enjoy both.
post #15 of 35
"(it also makes it clear WHY Phil Mahre's "K2"s were manufactured for him by Volkl)"

care to prove that?
post #16 of 35
the burton air was arguably the greatest all around board ever made.
two buddies of mine, when i was just still a new rider, spent an afternoon buzzing past my classes, eurocarving on purple 'air's... i knew i just had to learn that move.
it's funny- those gnus were rad. chuck barfoot used to be a local at our jersey resort, i was not a fan of his sleds, though. 'the claw is a flaw', we sued to say. those things delammed on contact with snow, it seemed.
when i decided to make my living racing, (after seeing 'dog' coughlin tucking straight down national at stratton, warming up on race day for the US Open DH) we used to drive up to the burton factory and bum/beg prototype test boards. 205s, 210 safaris, etc. amazing fun.
I won my first races on bummed, discarded burton safari racestock prototypes. eventually they realized they had to give me some PJs when it came out, in several lengths (protos) , so i wouldn't accept a ride with mamboo or hooger, or worse, sims. no money or race-earning matching. just free boards from austria.
that was during the big legal 'patent' blowup between the two manufacturers...sims and burton.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman
"(it also makes it clear WHY Phil Mahre's "K2"s were manufactured for him by Volkl)"

care to prove that?
pretty well-known fact, not sure HOW to "prove" it.
I saw them myself, volkl serial numbers, din markings, as did many, many other people. pretty common knowledge at volkl gmbh.
it wasn't a big secret, either.
it was, and still is an occasional practice in the ski and snowboard world.
K2's top snowboard racer was riding an apocalypse/partridge,as was sim's top racer, and the first sims race boards were actually volkls, as were the santa cruz race boards.
Volkl gmbh has always manufactured racestock boards (ski and snowboard) for other manufacturers, topsheets and all.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by philsthrills
Here is an interesting read.

Origins
Wow... that ranks on the "Way too Interesting" meter right up there with, I dunno, the Lords of Dogtown documentary. What a great read! Thanks for sharing.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
purple 'air's
Of course, you cannot see the purple.

ca. 1990
525x525px-LL-vbattach477.jpg
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by philsthrills
Of course, you cannot see the purple.

ca. 1990
I hope you don't mind if i use that shot for my desktop background.

that takes me back, in a big, happy way, man.


thanks phil-
VW
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman
"(it also makes it clear WHY Phil Mahre's "K2"s were manufactured for him by Volkl)"

care to prove that?
I've heard that too. While it is common practice to use one brand of ski with another brand's topsheet, for marketing and sponsorship purposes, I really don't think the Mahre's used Volkls. They were using those K2 VO Slaloms that didn't resemble anything Volkl had at the time.

Also, in reading the Origins article that Phil posted, here's a quote from Mike Olson: "I brought it in to K2 and met all of their engineers. I was twenty-one then and there were all these guys who’d designed Steve and Phil Maher’s gold medal skis."

I believe this is true and that the rumor of the Mahre's using K2 topsheets on Volkls is just that.... a rumor and a myth. The only way to know for sure would be to ask them. At this point, I doubt they'd have any issue with telling the truth unless the rumor is true, they are still under contract with K2, and are being directed not to acknowledge it.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
I've heard that too. While it is common practice to use one brand of ski with another brand's topsheet, for marketing and sponsorship purposes, I really don't think the Mahre's used Volkls. They were using those K2 VO Slaloms that didn't resemble anything Volkl had at the time.

Also, in reading the Origins article that Phil posted, here's a quote from Mike Olson: "I brought it in to K2 and met all of their engineers. I was twenty-one then and there were all these guys who’d designed Steve and Phil Maher’s gold medal skis."

(Vlad note: john- nowhere does mike o state that K2 was *manufacturing* the boards, merely designing them. Nowhere, further, did I state that volkl was *designing* the boards, merely manufacturing them. K2 came up with a blueprint, and aksed volkl to manufacture it with their patented process, and Volkl's own proprietary materials from their private African woodlot....

{from phillsthrills' link:
"At that I point I went, 'Well they must know what they’re doing.’ I did ask them if they’d tried it--if they’d experimented with sidecut much? They said, “To be honest--we don’t even really work on that. Our main effort is materials and decoration.” (Which meant new ways to put graphics on and materials.) " -he's quoting K2, john!
in fact, that quote, from the same source as your quote, is more-or-less admission of K2 staying out of the manufacturing process, at least in some cases. would you believe the first prototype run of VOs were actually manufactured by Volkl?}

volkl, with their many patented processes, and their own enormous corproate-owned grove of trees in africa [no joke, seriously] simply had, and made available, at a cost, their technology and materials. remember that at the time phil mahre won the gold, volkl had no bona fide distributorship in the USA, so this concept helped both companies out, immensely.
and further, john, it is "common practice" for manufacturers to use other manufacturers for race product; more so, in fact, than for your stated 'cosmetic' purposes)
john goes on:
I believe this is true and that the rumor of the Mahre's using K2 topsheets on Volkls is just that.... a rumor and a myth. The only way to know for sure would be to ask them. At this point, I doubt they'd have any issue with telling the truth unless the rumor is true, they are still under contract with K2, and are being directed not to acknowledge it.
Vlad note: ummmmm....John- again, did you READ my post? i did ask them, after a factory tour whereby i met Herr Jockl. they actually still had photos of phil holding the "VOs" on their walls.
i skied for volkl, and became an area rep under their 'banner elk' US distributorship-phoenician days. I enjoyed the hell outta this position. they were actually being imported into the states by a ski instructor in NC. i worked for cary briggs (ask longtime barking bear jeff bergeron, he got a few pairs through me).
At that time, not only did I ask Volkl ski and tennis, gmbh, but I also *represented* volkl USA.
incidentally,
i visited the factory and met herr jockl to ask about the (then) rumours of volkl snowboards...he told me that as long as he was alive, there would never be a snowboard with the volkl emblem on it.
i explained that snowboard racing was what relocated me to europe, and that the $$$ was there for the right manufacturers.
a year later, i had a call (through a girlfriend in austria, my contact # at the time) asking if i'd be interested in testing a few prototypes.
no pay, i couldn't keep 'em and i had to sign offf that i wouldn't photograph them or allow them to be photographed (!!!! what was this, the stasi?-even though they were simply black boards devoid of graphics, top or bottom) thankfully, they started with alpine boards, and from the very first prototypes, they got it right. they had the same 'glassy snap' that the skis had, and i was hooked.
their first manufacturing runs were NOT for their name, however....they were for "SIMS" snowboards, and at the factory, i got to see the piles of sims topsheets.
i rode for several companies for several years after testing their product, before i got a ride with them. no money, no matched earnings, no custom boards, two-a-season limit, unless they were proven defective, and i took the deal, even though it was the worst deal i'd ever heard of for professional comp. but i wanted their board, man, and i was also turning in less-than-favourable race results.
whoops.
I still own, as my only ski or snowboard, my very first volkl slalom snowboard...it has the graphic that my first renntigers, back in '71 or so, had.
trust me, Volkl gmbh has been in the surrogate ski/board business for some time, now.
post #23 of 35
"Volkl gmbh has been in the surrogate ski/board" not really, the sims thing was common knowledge(and one of the selling features of the board and maybe santa cruz? as well)
i would just like actual proof of the K2 rumor,(having worked for the former importer/manufacturer in the great white north just after the Mahres heyday and viewed many, many "K2 race room skis) i cannot recall any K2 SL skis made by someone else (GS/DH i have seen them)

heck fischer made the same ski for volkl and salomon at the same time i don't want this to turn into a who made/makes who for what i just want proof of K2/Volkl skis for one or both of the mahres...



edited for clarity Feb 11,2006
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman
"Volkl gmbh has been in the surrogate ski/board" not really the sims thing was common knowledge(and one of the selling features of the board and maybe santa cruz? as well) i would just like actual proof of the K2 rumor, i let easily companies that have made stuff for each other but this K2 thing intrigues me....
what the hell did he just say?:
post #25 of 35
Gee and I thought he was waxing eloquently....

Vlad - he wants proof. Pictures of K2s rolling out of the Volkl factory. Telephone records. NSA intercepts of coaches secret radio chats. Marked bills from cash payoffs. Fingerprints. Sworn testimony obtained via gruesome torture. Nothing much.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerozero
i was thinking about an early season instructors orientation at our mountain. our director took an hour to point out something out to the ski instructors:

the origin of parabolic or "shaped" skis, which comes from snowboards.

I'm not sure this is totally accurate...Can anybody advise on when the first Snowboard hit the market ?
post #27 of 35
Did you read the article I posted?
post #28 of 35

Owned

K2 Owns Volkl now.
post #29 of 35
I did go back and dig through the article. It looks to me that the "new" shape (boards) would have been developed sometime in the mid-80's.

That would be well behind the Kastle "Hourglass" ski that came out in the late 70's.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Louie
I did go back and dig through the article. It looks to me that the "new" shape (boards) would have been developed sometime in the mid-80's.

That would be well behind the Kastle "Hourglass" ski that came out in the late 70's.
we all know that skis have had sidecuts sinc ethe 70s, but the rue 'shaped ski' became envogued after the 80s
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