To begin our section on skis, let’s start with the assumption that you know that there has been a revolution in ski design during the last decade. This revolution has been fueled primarily by two things: Materials technology and the new breed of shaped skis.
If you are interested in current skis, here is our take on things: The combination of new shapes and new materials technology has developed a breed of ski that is easier to ski on. These skis will make you a better skier almost from the moment that you strap them on! As a skier, you probably have the same goals as I do on the mountain—ski better and have more fun. The new skis go a long way towards reaching these goals.
The modern shaped—sometimes called “parabolic”—ski started out primarily as a tool to help intermediate skiers learn to carve instead of skid turns. A carved turn is more efficient, graceful, controlled and more gratifying than a skidded turn. After a few lesions and lots of trips up chairlift, the typical skier had a burning desire to experience the next level and learn to carve. Shaped skis allow the intermediate to more easily transition into carved turns, due largely to its more
pronounced sidecut. When put on edge, it naturally bows into an arc and magically
carves turns into the snow.
As time passed, this new style of ski was constantly refined. Eventually they were adapted for use by back country and off-piste maniacs, powder hounds, groomer cruisers of all abilities and even World Cup racers. Today there are virtually no skis manufactured that are not made with shaped technology. We certainly don’t sell them! The width, length, camber and side cut measurements vary for different needs, but they all improve a skier’s ability to ski in a controlled and efficient manner. A skier who dances through turns in control simply has more fun than who that skids around to change direction and speed.
To carve a turn properly, a ski must be tipped onto its metal edge. The edge is what bites into the snow and controls the direction that the ski will travel. It is the primary turn shaping tool. Once on edge, it can be bowed into a curved shape under the pressure of your weight and your muscular input (this is where shaped skis come into play- as soon as they are tilted onto an edge, they are naturally in a bowed shape without any pressure needed!) This bowed shape carves a new direction in the snow. Carving turns is fun!
To hold its grip on the snow along its edge, a ski must not twist under pressure—like a licorice whip—at front or rear. If it does twist, the front and back flatten out against the snow and it loses its grip. Then you are no longer carving…you are (yuck) skidding. In the past, to keep skis from flattening out, ski makers made them very stiff. A stiff ski would not twist. This worked. Unfortunately, a stiff ski was also harder to force into a bowed shape once the skier leaned it on its edge. Therefore, only the best and strongest skiers were able to force their skis into a bowed shape and carve turns and even then, only at relatively high speeds. They won medals and became the stars of Warren Miller films. We watched them make advanced runs look easy. We all wanted to ski like them. The rest of us could not force those older skis into nicely bowed shapes and we ended up skidding. Intermediate skiers bought softer skis. This allowed us to get them to bow. Unfortunately, soft skis were soft in all respects and the fronts and backs twisted and flattened out during turns. We were all but condemned to skidding.
The final part of the modern ski story has to do with materials technology. I will not get into much techno speak here, but will try to explain why this is important.
What was the answer to the skidded turn problem? If we could but have a ski that bowed easily on its edge—a soft ski—combined with a ski that did not flatten out at tips and tails—a stiff ski—we would all be happier.
Well, they've done it! Skis now can be made that are soft along the length yet stiff from side to side. Easy to turn and hard to skid! How do they do it? Well, I said I wouldn't get into techno speak—manufacturers can do that for me on their web pages—but let me throw out some impressive words: piezo electronics, intellifibers, microchips, Kevlar, carbon fiber and titanium, to name a few.
We heartily endorse these skis and have aligned ourselves with manufacturers whom we feel are on the cutting edge of new ski design. These companies understand the dynamics of skis and have the technological prowess to build them so that you and I can get the most enjoyment out of every precious day we spend on the slopes.
We carry the new Knee Binding.
According to the company,
"KneeBindings are Safer!
The revolutionary new KneeBinding #M09 and #W09 ski bindings are premium products, providing all the convenience and performance, and all the retention and reliability of the best ordinary bindings.
PLUS - KneeBinding ski bindings provide a third dimension - a "PureLateral" heel release that specifically detects these combined forces and allows a skier's heel to twist out sideways just before such an ACL injury can occur - without pre-release issues! "