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Effective Ski Lifespan

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I think I may have seen a thread on this before but generally speaking, how long can you expect a pair of skis to last? Just like any other piece of equipment, after a certain amount of use, the original performance properties must start breaking down. Is the life expectancy measured primarily in days of use or does overall age have an impact as well?

I would expect where and how hard you ski will also impact the timeframe. Using myself as an example, I ski about 30-40% groomed and the rest a fairly even mix of bumps and ungroomed bowls etc. My ski days are pretty full going from near opening to last lift. Assuming I have purchased quality skis how long can I expect them to perform for me?
post #2 of 6
I have two pair of Head skis out in the garage that look like they just need to be waxed and sharpened. They are from the mid 60's.

My Volkl P-40's started life as a demo ski and were then passed off to one of the other race parents who still skis them. These were the old red version so they had seen about six seasons at 50+ days per season.

My Rossi 9S, lost their pop after about three years yet I still see a few patrol members on identical models.

K2 had (and still IMO) deserves the honors in this department because I have witnessed several failures whthin the first season.

There is lots of variation however ... if you are 230 pounds+ and are out bashing moguls or doing a bit of hucking???

It's not always the ski ..... take a look at the link under general forums to the Eric Schlopy crash in Soleden this past week ..... under the "BODE" thread or "snap pop" thread. It's a spectular photo but I doubt the Dynastar will ever use it in their advertising.
post #3 of 6
OK, I know I'm not to good at this computer stuff. Where is the photo of Eric Schlopy's ski coming apart?
I have read the "Bode" thread.
post #4 of 6
Here you go... Ski coming apart link
post #5 of 6
Yikes! Looks dangerous - the front of the ski was still attached by the base and I can imagine it flying all over the place.
post #6 of 6
There are many factors that determine how long a pair of skis will last. These factors include: the type of construction of the ski, i.e. sandwich, torsion box, cap etc., the materials the ski is made of: wood, polyurethane, aluminum, titanium alloy, stainless steel, carbon fiber, plastic, elastomer, phenolic materials, ceramics, adhesives, the manufacturing process: machine made, hand made, mass production, the durability of the design, the amount of camber originally built into the ski, the terrain the skis are used on: ice, hard pack, crud, soft snow, powder snow, rocks and obstacles, the weight of the skier, the aggressiveness of the skier, amount of days of usage, proper tuning and waxing, and proper storage.

You can expect a well-made pair of recreational skis to last at least one season without experiencing delamination, a critical loss of camber, or break down of the overall flex of the skis.

Sometimes, an expert ski technician is able to repair delamination, (if the tech is willing or not is another question), if the ski is a traditional sandwich or torsion box construction. Most modern retail skis are of a cap construction. Some modern short shaped skis lose camber more quickly and they begin with less camber than the traditional geometry skis did.

I have found some skis in the past, even from very reputable companies, that just plain came apart; then at times you will find a pair that seems to last forever-a decade or more. I believe that a laminated wood core ski tends to last longer than a foam core ski. If you take care of your skis properly and they come apart within the first season or two, the manufacturer should replace those skis for you. If you were to write them a polite letter they probably would do so.

[ October 29, 2003, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: Jørn ]
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