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Ski Design - Is Wood Better? - Page 4

post #91 of 97
I think it's time Canada stepped up to the plate with some Niagara Eastern White Cedar cores.

Bristlecone Heads for Bode?
post #92 of 97
Canadian skis would likely use an ash laminate -- same as in hockey sticks.
post #93 of 97
I know you asked about wood cores but the latest Skiing Magazine (December '08 Issue) has an interesting article on the return to wooden skis interviewing a German manufacturer...I don't have the article at my desk but will re-post later.

A similar debate is going on in the surfing community and some manufacturers like Maine-based Grain have fully converted to Wood (http://www.grainsurfboards.com/) produced boards. They believe the material produces a more "natural" and supple board...they also believe the wood distributes weight better than fiberglass helps them carry through turns better, which means slightly more energy is needed to initiate the turn.

I imagine the same principles apply to wood skis. Check em out!

Also, note that modern wooden skis will never be fully "organic" as some synthetic composites are required for torsional rigidity, for rails, edges, etc., and most come with graphics in a polyurethane coating...very toxic.
post #94 of 97
You guys still have Ash trees? Enjoy them while they last. The little green bug from China has killed almost all of ours, and it's likely you're next.
post #95 of 97
I just spent an afternoon with Alain Zanco, 23 year veteran of Rossignol's R&D, raceroom, CAD-CAM, prototyping offices (and holder-coauthor of dozens of ski technology patents), who creates his own line of handmade skis. Alain is one of those guys who has access to any and all high-tech and low-tech materials and manufacturing processes he wants from anywhere in the World to build his exclusive ( € 10,000 ) custom skis. He has built more skis and tested more skis than perhaps anyone I could ever think of, and he has come back to a nearly pure-wood ski. He uses no metal in his construction (except for edges and tip-tail caps of copper). Vertical laminated wood core flanked by different wood edge/sidewall supports with fiberglass. He swears the performance and personality of wood is the best in his vast experience. Pretty interesting.

I will post photos and an on-snow review of his skis here in a day or two...cool stuff and interesting guy. Wood is Good.
post #96 of 97

To answer the original question, I have tried many different skis (I like to borrow my friends planks and ski demos whenever I can) and can absolutely notice a difference between wood and foam (sorry, synthetic, composite, whatever) core skis.  The wood skis are livlier, predictable and flex more evenly.  I also am pleased to see a return to sidewall construction in skis.  It is durable, can be more easily repaired and seems to be more responsive to the ground that cap construction. For me there is just a different "feel" to traditional ski construction.  By way of a metaphor, I compare it to the difference between tube and solid state guitar amplifiers.  There is a reason all good amps use "old" tube technology instead of "new" transistors or digital tech- it just works better. I personally havn't puchased a foam cap ski for years and I am glad I have a broader selection of wood/sidewall skis to choose from.  


post #97 of 97

Somewhere along the line, foam lost its appeal.

Maybe it had something to do with those pesky Pocket Rockets.

Hmmm. Or maybe with most people liking ever beefier, ever damper, ever more shaped skis. Or maybe with most manufacturers needing to find a new reason for us to swap our old gear for new. Or maybe both...

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