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Edelwiser "Speed" 172cm Review

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Edelwiser "Speed"
(127-80-117) 13m radius @ 172cm


[click here for larger picture]

Manufacturer Info:
Edelwiser Sporthandel GmbH
Julius Tandler Platz 6/4
1090 Vienna/Austria


Edelwiser USA
P.O. Box 4261
Aspen, CO. 81611
Contact: Max Werdenigg
(970) 987-8555

$800 usd (Greenhorn)
$750 usd (Newbie)
$700 usd (Member)

Custom grahics services @ $110 /hour
Upload your own graphics !
(Illustrator or EPS template downloads you can modify)

See custom graphics examples (corporate branding)

Usage Class:

Groomer and all-mountain carving

Your Rating (with comments):

(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")

9+ (anything other than deep powder)

Superb all-terrain, low-effort carver (with emphasis on packed conditions) with the ability to lay down serious race-like arcs at slow or high speeds at high or low edge angles when asked. "Athletic" stretched version of the "Swing" model to reach the heart of advanced and expert skiers who like the speed and performance of a GS ski, but want more all-terrain handling and ability to float respectably in the soft snow when available. Perhaps one of the only "all-mountain" carvers that actually performs at high levels in both hardpack on-piste and softer snow conditions. Most skis in this category either work OK in the soft snow, and get slippery on the hardpack, or grip the hardpack acceptably, but sink like a stone and refuse to surface in the powdery conditions. This design is the reason why the SnowRider / VR "classic" ski geometries of Reinhard Fischer (no relation to Fischer skis) are hugely popular on the wide open carving slopes of Austria and Germany. This is an example of the "technique and touch" carving ski...not a "racer-power" carving ski. Needs more speed to get into its groove than the "Swing" model, and behaves more like a race ski, but muscling it like a race ski produces an over-turned, over-edged smear. Applying it to the snow precisely with a sensitive feel produces wonderfully etched arcs in the snow of nearly any radius you could want, and at very high speeds with remarkable stability for a 172cm ski. It lacks the vice-grip on ice of a race ski, but then again, it is not a race ski, it is a carving ski. Very interesting.

Technical Ski Data:

Wood core, fiberglass, Titanal sandwich.

Pre-Skiing Impression:

Slightly elongated shovel design toward the waist, soft flex with a supple, yet respectable forebody pressure and excellent dampening with a stronger tail than you might think. Interesting flare from the waist back to the tail. Somewhat hard to categorize compared to most other brands' geometries. Interesting. Custom graphic on our pair was a mosquito on a white background. You can get any design you can think of on your own Edelwisers...very cool.

Test Conditions:

Cold, dry packed powder conditions, perfect combination of packed groomers and some cut-up fresh stuff (ranging from a few inches to some boot-deep stuff) on the side of some trails. We tested on several days and several ski resorts in Vermont.

Test Results:

The Edelwiser "Speed" is aptly named. This is not simply a longer version of the Swing model, even though you might think the same basic construction in a longer version would behave the same...just produce longer turns. This ski can lay down some really deep carving turns with astonishingly little effort, but remain completely stable and composed at speed. If I tried to muscle the ski with a race-like power and pressure to hold a desired line, it would sometimes over-turn or be pushed laterally out of its groove, drifting nicely until you let up your excessive pressure...then regain its hold and await your next move. Try the exact same line, but this time using a subtle roll onto edge and mere body weight and centrifigal force to set the ski, and it set itself into the snow, hugged the desired radius and took me on a great ride with more security than using an overbearing technique. Want to switch direction? Just roll it onto the other pair of edges, move your hips forward toward the shovels and feel it pull you into your next turn. No wasted effort, no muscle needed.
This is a ski that responds to application and transfer of weight and edge angle along its length, not downward force into the snow. My first impression: very cool feeling. Different than most other skis I have tried. Almost eerie, but very satisfying. If you find yourself going too fast and need to tighten your line to scrub speed, you don't increase downward pressure to tighten your radius to slow down. You merely apply a little more edge angle and the ski tightens up its radius. I watched some more muscle-type skiers ride the Speed and found they were slightly confused when it did not behave like a hard-nosed race ski. It wants to run in GS-sized turns, but requires a rider, not a driver.
The Speed is more of a surgical higher-speed carving instrument instead of a power tool (similar to the Austrian-made Palmer P02 carving ski design and behavior). All the arcs, none of the effort. Would it be a race ski? No. Would it be a ski a racer would change over to after a race? Yes. Great tool to refine your carving skills without burning all your calories after 10 runs. No similarity to the Swing in behavior (other than low user-input requirements). Racy behavior and seductively easy to go very fast on. If you like the way GS skis make great arcs, get a demo of the Speed and try your technique with half the effort to get perhaps better results. Fun stuff.

Analogies: (this ski is like...)

An ex-olympic GS skier who can slice a slope at any radius with terrific precision at any speed while never breathing hard. Beautiful to watch and makes you wonder why the racers training on the other hill seem to be working so hard to make turns of half the quality.

After Skiing These, I Want To...

Get my own pair with cool graphics.
Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences:

Expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type), but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Not an instructor, but 10 year coach for youth race team in New England (bulletproof is the norm).


No "Speed" specific videos, but the Interview vid has a female instructor at the end describing what she thought of them (she is a GS style skier). Check out her expression when she talks about the Speed model....)



More reviews will be posted at:
post #2 of 15
I had a chance to ski the Edelwiser "Speed" ski with the mosquito top-skin at Kirkwood yesterday. Conditions were firm machine tilled where groomed and chalky where not groomed. Several days of warm days and cold nights produced great firm conditions that were not icy; perfect for carving.

Max suggested the Edelwiser Speed for me partially because of my size, I told Max that I like to carve but don’t like short skis. The (127-80-117) 13m radius @ 172cm Speed turned out to be a great fit.

The ski has dimensions like a mid-fat but produces turns that are unique. I say unique because the feel is an improvement over most Race carvers. I’ve owned the Fischer WC RC & Progressor and have skied most of the Race-carvers from Head & Nordica. I was expecting this type of performance. But the Edelwiser Speed is something new. It is both easier than other race carvers while out-performing them. This is a ski that is difficult to classify and performs in a new and different way.

At first I expected the Speed to ski like a mid-fat with good edge-grip. The dimensions are close to that of the 171cm Head Monster 78 (124-78-110mm) and this ski is a great carver with a damp feel. At easier cruising speeds, or if skidding the ski, the Edelwiser Speed feels good but unremarkable. A skier who skids his turns would not find the ski balky feeling. Most laminate construction skis with a vertical sidewall can chatter if misused but the Edelwiser Speed felt smooth at low velocity with good feather-edge characteristics. This feel combined with a mid-fat like edge-change had me fooled.

It was not until the velocity climbed and the carving began did the Speed show its real character. The ski goes on edge very easily and the grip is very smooth and intuitive. As the G-forces build the ski feels like a Race-carver but with a clear difference. The Speed maintains rock-steady edge-grip while the ski bends easily. Want a tighter turn, no problem: a little banking and pressure on the tips tightens the radius easily. This Euro-carving is a blast. The combination of speed and control is as fun as any other style of skiing.

I also spent several runs skiing some of the steep mogul runs just north of the wall. The Speed was doable but less than ideal. The tail is wide and can hang while moving around steep chutes at slow speeds. The ski also has a low profile tip which will limit its soft snow performance.

This is a carver and not an all-mountain ski; but I could see using this ski anytime new snow is not to be found. I’ll have to get a pair…

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by barrettscv View Post
But the Edelwiser Speed is something new. It is both easier than other race carvers while out-performing them. This is a ski that is difficult to classify and performs in a new and different way.
I totally agree...your description that the Edelwiser Speed is "difficult to classify" is right on the money. I get a kick out of various race carvers (I own and love the Nordicas), and found the Edelwiser Speed something different. Definitely easier to ski, but capable of the same intensive carving performance with an added dimension of ease and sustainable directional prowess and adjustability mid-arc when desired...although taking a slightly different technique to engage than the "race-ski derived" models of other brands. These skis seem to pull with their forebody when you get them activated...not as much underfoot and tail-oriented as most high-end carvers. Kinda cool. Don't you love it when something new comes along? Glad you had a similar experience. Get some more folks out on them and see what they think...! .....I gotta work on my no-poles Euro-Carving technique...I think it's going to mean some tumbles before I get it right.... ;-)

Here is a primitive video of Max showing some simple turns people might enjoy:

post #4 of 15
I had the pleasure of demoing several pairs of Edelwiser skis at Kirkwood this weekend. The Speed ended up being my favorite of the lot.

Skier stats...
Height 6'7"
Weight 240lbs
Gaper Level 8

I found these skis to be really great carvers on the groom, as everyone else has. Even when carving, the speed likes to be driven a little bit, though. More forward pressure really tightens up the carving arc on this ski without allowing the tails to break loose. Excellent ski in these conditions; this is where it really shines.

The ski had very reassuring but progressive edge hold in the snowboard-scraped hard pack at the top of chair 6 that has been through daily freeze-thaw cycles for about 2 weeks with no freshies. These conditions were both carvable and brushable immediately on this ski.

The other place I did a lot of skiing on this ski was in packed but wintery snow in the off-piste. Unlike the other reviewer, I found this ski to be pretty good in the double black chutes at Kirkwood. Edging was progressive and an easy relationship was developed with the ski. The tails can get hung up, but I found that to happen less on this ski than on other all mountain skis I have tried due to the supple nature of the flex on this ski. After an hour I was really enjoying my time on terrain that for me is very challenging. I found the ski as comfortable as my current all mountain ski, but overall had better performance.

My current all mountain ski is the 178cm Atomic Metron X (10). The speed likes to be pressured more forward than the metron, has about 98% of the edge hold power of my recently tuned metrons, and is much more fun in the off piste than the metron due to the supple flex and lighter weight. In order to wring all of that groomer carving performance out of the speed a lot of forward pressure needs to be applied. The metron prefers pressure directly under foot. A neat feature of the speed was being able to control the arc radius via both pressure and edge angle instead of angle alone.

I didn't get to try the speed in powder. I'm sure it'll work in those conditions, but it's clearly not a powder ski.

I'll probably buy a pair of Edelwiser Speeds. The ski was just that fun.

post #5 of 15

Max in cruise mode

Nice video showing very typical Edelwiser Carving style....I´d love to see Max in attack mode instead of cruising mode.....:

Regards Christoph
post #6 of 15
Originally Posted by Christoph-Wien View Post
Nice video showing very typical Edelwiser Carving style....I´d love to see Max in attack mode instead of cruising mode.....:

Regards Christoph
What is "typical Edelwiser Carving style"?
post #7 of 15
No poles
Perfectly centered
Inside Lean
Carve impuls by inside ski
Great body agility possible/does not block himself
No artificial "instructor" movements or positions like arms or hips
Natural and flowing

Looks nice and easy, great! Show us attack mode please!:
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

We bought a pair of Edelwiser Speed 172cm carving skis (€690 retail) and supplied our own graphics to see how the second-generation topsheets are coming along (and to get a fun frontside ski).  The graphics were laid out exactly as planned and submitted electronically, although we messed up by not figuring in the binding heelpiece demo track length (we ordered demo bindings for testers to use...the tracks are longer than standard), so a small piece of the tail graphic is covered....but no big deal.

The old trend of trying for glossy topsheets for many custom graphic ski companies has yielded to the reality that a matte surface is often more durable and less prone to showing nicks, cuts and scrapes.  The Edelwisers came in a matte finish custom topsheet, with perfect pressing and trimming all around the perimeter of the ski. Very nice work.  Black is a notoriously difficult topsheet color to produce well and be durable. The black  is not as deep and rich as, let's say, a Kingswood gloss black topsheet (think highly polished, glossy piano BLACK)....but it will definitely not show the wear and tear as quickly as the glossy topsheet skis.   Below is an image of the original graphic file (low res), and the photos of the resulting skis.

Original Graphic Layout (low res)
(note tail graphic not covered by binding track)

Tail View
(Note graphics slightly covered by heelpiece track..oh well)

Forebody Pic

Forebody with dimensions text we added.
(yes, they list the dims that precisely...German/Austrian engineering mindset)

post #9 of 15
Sounds good. Certainly your graphics are a vast improvement over that mosquito thing in the original post. That one I'd classify as one of the ugliest skis I've ever seen. If I had it I'd have to spray paint the thing.

Far worse than the HellBent Clown image:

[click here for larger picture]
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ugly = No Theft !...   ;-)


Actually, the Edelwisers are available in several monochrome editions, or you can submit your own graphic files...and they have some stock designs you can choose from.  You can also become a "designer" and submit your graphics as part of their community of designers (new this year I think).  They are utilizing the "Creative Commons" opensource licensing model for non-commerical community designers.  See some designs available here.  Designers can specify a price and a limit on the number available for sale to the public if they wish.  Kinda cool.

Production time is about 1 week for custom-topsheet models.


post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

 Certainly your graphics are a vast improvement over that mosquito thing in the original post. That one I'd classify as one of the ugliest skis I've ever seen. If I had it I'd have to spray paint the thing.

[click here for larger picture]


Hey, your're talking about the Maine state bird there buddy.
post #12 of 15
Haha.... well no wonder everyone is on the coast.
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Haha.... well no wonder everyone is on the coast.

Damn straight.
post #14 of 15
Nice to see this review pop up.  We had a chance to try the skis out when Max (aka Swing) attended the 2008 ESA and gathering in Utah.  Anyone heard from him or his mom?  Fun skier!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes, Max is doing well...finishing some education goals and doing photography.  I spoke to Nicola, his Mother recently who had just finished a trip to an exotic, remote Macedonian cat-skiing spot:


Google Translation link:


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