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Exposed Sidewalls vs Capped Construction

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at my Elan Magmas and Salomon X-Wing Furies and comparing their constructions. A significant difference is the sidewalls versus capped design.

'08 Salomon X-Wing Furies: Capped Construction, no exposed wood
'08 Elan Magmas: Prominent Sidewalls with exposed wood

I haven't tested out the Magmas yet, and it'll be brand new for another seven months, heh.

... I'm not sure what to make of this difference, on how it will affect their edge grip, durability, functionality, etc. etc. etc...

What are some of the pros and cons of sidewall construction versus capped construction, and vice versa? I personally like the capped construction, but that's just speaking from one experience without trying the exposed sidewall stuff!
post #2 of 21
:::

this is about to get interesting.
post #3 of 21
ya think ?

: oops, forgot about those FDA approved toxic popcorn flavorings we make here in California. - 2 :: :gravedigging:.
post #4 of 21
It's my understanding that vertical sidewalls generally are stiffer than when the same basic ski is made with cap construction.

My experience with the K2 Crossfire is that it became more stiff and developed better edge hold when changed from the original cap design to a vertical sidewall. They had to extend the damping structure and lighten the metal layer to keep it from becoming too stiff and too lively after going to a vertical sidewall.

BTW, I don't believe the wood core is "exposed" by a vertical sidewall. The core still is wrapped in plastic materials.
post #5 of 21
I think one of the advantages (as I'm sure there are more we'll hear about) is that the topsheet of the ski isn't as structural as the cap of a cap type ski. Thus when the topsheet is chipped or gouged it doesn't result in as much of a performance loss as if it were structural. You can also plane the sidewall away to expose more edge for sharpening purposes when it's not structural.

The disadvantages? I think sidewall skis require more complex layers of damping material and/or metal to recreate the stiffness or pop that one can get out of a cap ski. Some people I know have described cap skis as feeling harsh due to the lack of damping in them. Sidewall skis are more expensive due to the more complex makeup and increased build time of laying multiple layers.

This is all just what I've heard and/or read online. It may or may not be accurate.
post #6 of 21
Subscribing to this thread: stacking kindling...

"Excuse me, Mr. Owl... How do you bend a box so as to ensure that it will keep its integrety when returned to its original box shape?"

"That's easy, young lad. You simply..._______________ ."
post #7 of 21
Exposed wood?

Indecent exposure ......... :

Book em' Dano! :
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Exposed wood?

Indecent exposure ......... :

Book em' Dano! :
Remember, this IS a family forum. We will be keeping an eye on this thread. :
post #9 of 21
The honest answer is ... it depends, and it's probably more a question of personal preference than anything else. A well designed and made ski with one construction will typically outperform a poorly designed or made ski with the other. I tend to prefer sidewalls for durability, due to my perception that decambering must stress the vertical part of the cap, but I have no data to back that up. That said, one of my favorite pairs of skis is my Fischer Big Stix 84, which are capped.
post #10 of 21
Atomic SL-11M are capped are they not?
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Exposed wood?

Indecent exposure ......... :

Book em' Dano! :
Oh wow, that was UNINTENTIONAL innuendo; nothing EVER crossed my mind when I wrote the starter for this thread!
post #12 of 21
It doesn't seem like most of the gear whores on this forum keep their skis long enough for it to make much difference.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
:::

this is about to get interesting.
So how does "capped construction" differ from "monocap"?
:
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Atomic SL-11M are capped are they not?
Yep!
post #15 of 21
So someone tell me again that cap is softer than vertical?
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
So someone tell me again that cap is softer than vertical?
You're right. it ain't so. Depends on all the parameters built inot the ski!

Vertical sidewalls do not automatically make a ski stiffer longitudinally nor torsionally in and of themselves.

I mean afterall the K2 "floppy" Holiday had vertical sidewalls.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
You're right. it ain't so. Depends on all the parameters built inot the ski!

Vertical sidewalls do not automatically make a ski stiffer longitudinally nor torsionally in and of themselves.

I mean afterall the K2 "floppy" Holiday had vertical sidewalls.
Thanks A-man.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
You're right. it ain't so. Depends on all the parameters built inot the ski!

Vertical sidewalls do not automatically make a ski stiffer longitudinally nor torsionally in and of themselves.

I mean afterall the K2 "floppy" Holiday had vertical sidewalls.
umm coomba are are capped as are pontoons which is what holiday had. Holiday can correct if i am wrong.

Pros vertical sidewall

averages more edge grip than most cap, not to say cap cant be built with tons of edge grip
can fixed edge issues much easier than cap skis
most of the better made skis are vertical. not to say someone couldnt make a great cap skis ala atomic but very few companies do.

Cons VS

more expensive
heavier on average

Pros cap

easier to feather turns
lighter
cheaper

Cons

edges break easier
alot of companies make foam core skis with this configuration, which tends to break down faster, karhu/line/k2/volkl make wood core capped skis, anyone know who else does?

I tend to stick to sidewall skis because I tend to hit rocks, I would rather not worry about rocks and just ski. In the past year I have had 4 sidewalls and 1 cap. the cap skis are atomic Snoops I tour on love them touring in corn and powder absolutely detest the 'light' feel in bounds. they are the suck in crud and chopped. luckly touring your arent excactly skiing to ski skied out snow.
post #19 of 21
BWPA, the K2 Holiday was a ski around long before the Earth was blessed with your presence:

But fine have you ever felt the difference in flex between say a Head Supershape Speed and a Head Supershape Magnum? Both vertical sidewalls
or a retail Stock Atomic Gs11 and a Race Race Gs11??? Both Cap????
post #20 of 21
Let's hear it for some Dynastar skis that were pretty stiff,burly.. (some GS Courses as an example) and went from a cap construction to........oh..let's see now....howzabout we change that...to a sidewall construction..

half way down the ski HAHA
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
BWPA, the K2 Holiday was a ski around long before the Earth was blessed with your presence:

But fine have you ever felt the difference in flex between say a Head Supershape Speed and a Head Supershape Magnum? Both vertical sidewalls
or a retail Stock Atomic Gs11 and a Race Race Gs11??? Both Cap????
I have only skied on the run of the Mill SS but yes difference between some skis, more importantly I have notice I dont mind a stiff ski as long as it is stiff thoughout and not just say the tail or the tip.
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