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WC racers => sandwich construction skiis

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine trawels around the world and checks out ski manufacturing plants. He said that all WC skiis are made with sandwich construction, also the Atomic ones. Its big business and demand is higher than supply because all WC racers, national level racers, local racers, wonen, jr and kids and seniors included all want specially made sandwich skiis. Easyest and ceapest to come by are Elan and Nordica. Rossignol and Atomic impossible.

Who are the normal cap-constructon off the shelf high end racing skiis made for?
post #2 of 15
Originally posted by tdk6:
Who are the normal cap-constructon off the shelf high end racing skiis made for?
Doctors, Lawyers, Orthodontists, and men with mid-life crises.
post #3 of 15
Off the shelf racing skis are made for Nastar racers or lower level masters, high school, junior racers, or just a skier that values hard-snow performance above anything else. there have been lots of discussions here about the merits of a cap ski vs a laminate ski... in fact, there was a big discussion to that end quite recently.

a laminate real racing ski is only meant for real racing, not free skiing around the mountain and perhaps hopping into the bumps -- the laminate skis are FIS legal and are meant only for ice, ruts, and high speed. forget all mountain. Plenty of younger racers and weekend warriors buy off the shelf race skis, as well as a lot of racers in lower level leagues that don't have sidecut or length limitations (I know some people in my college league, for instance, that actually take advantage of the fact that it is highly unlikely that anyone will care about the length or sidecut of their skis). in a short, tight GS, you'd much rather have a ski with a 17m sidecut radius on your feet than a ski with (the required) 21 meter radius!

post #4 of 15
Glytch: Those folks were not cheating. USSA announced that they would not follow the length and sidecut restrictions of the FIS for any events (other than FIS).

Next year is a different story.
post #5 of 15
I love my Stockli SLR's [img]smile.gif[/img]

Took me a long time to learn to love them ... but now I just don't want them to die even though I know they are really only rockhoppers now....
post #6 of 15
AGAIN. Atomic GS and SL use full Beta construction at the World Cup level. DH and SG don't. I guess he didn't visit the Atomic manufacturing facility. If he did, he probably saw it from outside the fence. Pretty difficult to get access.
post #7 of 15
Originally posted by tdk6:
all WC racers, national level racers, local racers, wonen, jr and kids and seniors included all want specially made sandwich skiis. Easyest and ceapest to come by are Elan and Nordica. Rossignol and Atomic impossible.

I have to say that my Elan SLX World Cup slaloms are great skis. These are race stock sandwich construction but I don't know about "readily available" though.They were sold out before the season began. I had been warned that they are a lotta ski, probably not much fun outside the race course and I don't know what the fuss is about. They are great for free skiing on groomed terrain and have the beef to do what you want them to do vs the way typical production skis have of flopping all over the place when put to the test.

What about the so called "Race Stock" Rossignols I've been seeing all over this season? They seem to be readily available at certain dealers. Hardly impossible to get, or do you mean they are not the true race stock? They are of sandwich construction anyway.
post #8 of 15
Typically a ski company will make a race stock line and a retail race line. the race stock line is usually based on the previous seasons most successful race skis - construction and sidecut. They are also not quite as stiff, and do not require the amount of power that a WC race stock ski requires. The world cup skis are built for specific athletes, with a certain shape and flex in mind (usually they are given a bunch of skis and they pick the ones they like after extensive testing in the course). A guy that i raced with this year had true WC race stock Volkls that he raced on. He previously had a pair of the regular race stock Volkls. He said that the ones from the WC were much stiffer and liked to go a lot faster. He added that they take a very strong and big pilot to make them turn.

So, yes race stock skis are available. They are nearly identicle to the WC skis, but not the WC skis that the athletes are on currently. In order to get a race stock ski you usually have to know a rep or a shop that carries them and offeres racer prices, or be willing to hand over well over $1000 for just the skis. Companies like Rossignol, Volkl, Nordica, and Elan are all designating certain shops to be "race" shops that carry their race stock equipement.

Unless you are racing or skiing on a lot of very hard groomed snow, you probably dont need a race stock ski. I free ski on retail race skis and midfats. The shorter slalom carvers like the Fischer RX8, Salomon CrossMax 10, Elan S12 Fusion, and the Volkl 6 Star, all offer great groomed performance and all mountain versatility, which is where most skier should be looking if they are looking for a high performance carver. I skied several of these skis this season and they are all very capable skis. Some cant be pushed like a race stock ski, but they are definitely much easier to ski on in all conditions. Most skis are also built well enough now that they have great grip on ice. This kind of grip found on these retail skis is actually better for longer than a race stock ski, as most race stock skis are quite tune sensitive (so if you dont tune your skis often and know how to take care of them dont buy them).

The off the shelf retail skis are made for the general population that wants a race ski. Most of them offer more performance than most skiers will ever get out of a ski. I have no trouble skiing on my retail race skis, but i can push my stocks a lot harder than my retail skis. The way most GS skis are built these days, they are almost overkill for any consumer to buy or ski on, race stock or not. They perform at such high speeds that they become unsafe on crowded hills. If i was not racing and i was still skiing in the east i think that my ski of choice would be the Elan S12 Fusion, or the Fischer RX8. I may also consider keeping my Fischer GS skis as well since they turn at only 16 meters, and are a blast to ski on groomers since they make such tight turns.



btw... Atomic people are funny
post #9 of 15
"btw... Atomic people are funny" - heluvaskier

we have an atomic guy in my branch of the uscsa, too. I hear ya.
post #10 of 15
Actual ( real) race stock skis ARE available. Atomic race stock ( from the race dept) for instance come in two varieties: one group are available with conventional construction but with matched flexes; the other variety is true WC construction - square beta lobes etc ( ie: not appropriate for anything but FIS level racing). In either case it's possible ( if working through dealers in the loop (who work with the race dept.) to "order" from the available stock race skis with very specific tip/tail flexes. These skis are recognizable by the atomic race dept label glued to the plate which specifies the flex numbers etc. By the way, last year atomic even had a couple hundred pairs of "one off" type race ski - the GSX) which was available to for non sponsored jrs. and masters etc.
just thought I'd add this to the mix
post #11 of 15
Those skis are true WC construction, but they arent the exact skis that the athletes are skiing on this season - maybe last season or the season before - trust me on this one. They are a race stock ski, no doubt, but they arent what the athletes are skiing on this season (if you ordered this seasons race stock from atomic you are skiing on a mix of the most popular shapes and flexes from last season). The same goes for other companies as well. Often there are different flexes that are produced, but the skis that go to the WC skiers are much different in terms of flex from the skis that go to your average masters or USSA racer.

I know companies do this for a fact because i know skiers who get WC Stock skis because of long time family connections with the industry, and because of their own racing ability. They are much stiffer, get slightly more rebound, and like to go FAST - faster than the regular race stock boards (not flexed retail skis - real sandwich race stock skis). Just to provide a good example - look at the race stock skis at your local Elan dealer. They are no doubt different from the retail ski, and they ski totally different. Then look at the skis the Chip Knight skis on... not the same skis. He has next years skis, or even the following years equipement, that will be released to the general racing public as race stock skis next season or the season after.

Look back at Salomon LAB skis as well. I have a 2003 GS ski that was a race stock in 2003, but if you find someone from the WC that is selling their skis, it is the same ski from the 2001 season that they were racing on the WC. The 182cm GS ski was the GS ski that was used by the women at the olympics (won i think), but it could not be bought under the Salomon Race Stock program until fall of 2002, which was when i got mine. If you look at the shape of this ski, you will notice that for the 2003 model retail GS ski, they introduced a very similar shape and flex pattern to normal consumers. Watch any ski company, there is a delay of about 1 to 2 years from when a deisgn is used on the WC to when it is used in race stock skis for the public, and another year before it finally makes it to consumer gear in one form or another.

The world cup is used a testing ground for race skis. They find out what works and what is fast, then find a way to build it so it will last for a whole season and then make it available to USSA racers. This season Elan actually missed the boat on topsheet epoxy, and most of the skis that were produced early in the summer/fall lost their topsheets after a few runs. Mid-season they changed this so they actually stayed on. Anyhow lets venture back to the original question, which was regarding consumer skis... which most of us ski on every day.



OBTW, i have a pair of Elan SLX WC skis that were skied by a girl on the Slovenian ski team in the 2000 - 2001 season. Their shape is 108-62-90 in a 155. They ski almost identicle to my 2003 Elan SLX T which has adopted a bigger tail than the 2001 model (109-63-98 @ 155). The ski was unchanged for consumer racers for the 2004 season. All of the above mentioned skis are totally different from the retail ski which is 107-63-94 at a 154. Ironically enough my team mate has the 2002 model SLX T in a 162. This ski has a similar shape to the 2003 160cm ski, but has a smaller tail - more like the 2001 ski. It appears that on the WC in the 2001 - 2002 season is when the very wide tails came into existence, but it wasnt until late 2002 and 2003 that these shapes were available to consumers.
post #12 of 15
Not to belabor this...I agree consumers never get to see this years WC latest and greatest and often custom tailered gear till some time later ( a year to years down the line). And I definetly agree that for 99% of folks, while it might be sexy and worth bragging rights, skiing on true race stock / WC hand me downs is a set up for frustration not for better skiing experience. However, my point was that there are several levels of race stock skis - not including the in line gear thats sold as "race stock" ( eg Volkl)- that you can get if you have either the right connections, store or race results and some of it is the real deal just one notch down ( and softer)from WC, but with the similar bases and construction. Regretably, none of these skis come with the essentials needed to use them: strength, talent and proper tuning.

As an aside: very early this season I ran into a first year J1 who is/was top 10 SG ( USSA) who was just out making turns. He's a real talent and up and coming sponsored racer with access to the "best " gear...but what I found fun was that he was freskiing on some standard issue all mountain skis and well worn consumer boots...no plug boots or race stock...and none of it was even from his sponsor!
post #13 of 15
My guess is that he just doesn't want to burn out his skis. He probably want's to keep his dedicated race and practice skis at the top of their game as "matched" and damage free as possible.
post #14 of 15
I'm an 18 yr old fis racer out of PNSA and have 8 pair of ATOMICS. The WC gs 11 and sl 11 along with 4 pairs of speed skis. The world cups are 10x stiffer than the race stock along with a completely differnt sidecut than the race stock skis. The WC skis are actually 26m radius for the gs ski. The plates that come with the WC skis are different too. The tech skis are cap construction but they have a a much thicker square beta and square sidewall. The speed skis are sandwhich construction.

I'm Out,
post #15 of 15
can please someone clarify the diference between sandwhich and cap for me?

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