Sandwich v cap
Originally Posted by barrettscv
Dynastar Autodrive and Rossignol Dualtec use vertical sidewall combined with cap construction to improve the performance of their skis.
Interesting debate. I will weigh in on the side that prefers sandwich skis. I have been skiing Atomic Sugar Daddy's for 3 years now and am going back to sandwich construction skis this year because I like the "feel". They are generally smoother, absorb vibrations better, while still being stiff torsionally. At the end of the season I rediscovered the feel of the sandwich ski and was using new Dynastar Flame Big's (old ski, but brand new a yr ago so still mint) or Atomic Pow Plusses mostly because I prefered "the feel". I have found these skis to be as good or better than most anything else out there today (haven't tried DP's or other custom skis) The Sugar Daddy can hold a great edge, yes. Its lighter as well, and is a great ski. But for skiing fast through variable conditions I liked the absorption and damp feeling you get from a wood core sandwich ski. This is just my experience with skis all >80 mm and predominantly >95mm underfoot.
One of the only things I definitely disagree on in this thread is barretscv's comment about Dynastar's autodrive and Rossi's dualtec. I personally feel these "technologies" were completely about marketing and actually make a far worse ski, torsionally less stiff, and more fragile than either an Atomic Beta or a traditional wood core sandwich ski. Having been a huge Dynastar fan I won't buy another untill they get rid of the Autodrive ala the Legend Pro. Every ski I have tried with it (legend 8800, skiercross, a consumer gs racer a few years back) stunk. Terrible edge hold, not torsionally stiff, etc. I don't want the forebody of my ski twisting which is the premise behind autodrive, I want it to be torsionally stiff which with Autodrive it isn't. I was so bummed when they changed the construction from the "flame Big" to the 8800 as the flame rips on groomers while the 8800 while only being a little wider stinks. Sure its fine off-piste, but one doesn't have to give up edge hold and torsional stability to make a good off-piste ski.
Dualtech has always been one of the least durable construction techniques on the market and to me, doesn't deliver any performance benefit.
I have no idea where construction is going because I don't know the cost or construction implications. I can say I'm psyched to see Head and others making more sandwich skis. I know many a person that loves the feel of the Monster 88 far more than the 85 (cap), including Mrs. Heed.
For reference I'm 5'9, 160ibs and ski 90% off-piste and in the backcountry solely in the west.