Ballers Thoughts on HO Speed Skin

ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,637 Crazy Baller
edited May 2014 in Skis Fins Bindings
I know HO's theory and have a ton of confidence in their team's ski design abilities. I'm also curious what the ballers think. Is this something that will be around in another year or two?


  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 577 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2014
    From another post...
    "First off I have to say I am not an engineer and these comments are more questions....Applaud HO for their continued efforts to apply new technology to their skis. I have not ridden (only seen on at the boat show) a ski yet with the 'speed skin' which is hailed as one of their drag reducing technologies used on some of their ski models.
    Over the years the impression I have is that a ski bevel is a highly tuned, microscopic changes make a huge difference kind of area??
    Now, this smooth, precise bevel (and the rest of the ski) is wrapped in this 'bumpy' coating.
    If the bevels where left smooth and the concave area between them had the speed skin wouldn't this be the best of both worlds??"
    Will it be around in a year or two?
    The speed skin coating is relatively soft in comparison to the underlying base. Don't know how it will stand up?
    If it stands up well and accomplishes the task of decreasing drag/increasing speed and skies well I don't see why it wouldn't be around for awhile.
  • MAD11MAD11 Posts: 577 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2014
    @tfin ran [email protected] off at the end of last year on a bone stock ski with speed skin. Think it must work pretty well. @shaneh likes it so much all his new girlfriends get thongs made from it as a gift. I'm sure this will be part of an upcoming story from him.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,003 Mega Baller
    Bumpy coatings are not new. HO Extreme had a speed base bottom with bumps. Circa late 1980's.
    Study what sail boaters do to their hulls to reduce friction. The Goode painted black bottom sanded with like 1000 grit paper is probably the closest thing I have seen. Shiny surfaces stick to the water. Drag boats wetsand the bottom back end of their hulls to breakup friction.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,909 Mega Baller
    Sounds like MC was on the right track with gel coat blisters. Should have gotten the marketing department on that.
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 5,920
    We used to spray the running surface of our drag boat with "speed laquer". It dried with a texture like HO's. HUGE difference in mph through the traps with a textured hull. We'd pick up 5-7mph on the big end. That's like adding 150horsepwer.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • ThePantsManCanThePantsManCan Posts: 442 Baller
    @ShaneH That's it, I'm spraying my Nano1 with that!
    60% of the time, it works.... All the time.
  • footloose42footloose42 Posts: 84 Baller
    It makes sense from a fluid mechanics perspective. I'd be interested to try skiiing a set on one to see if I could notice a difference. Though at my skill level I don't think my mind is fine tuned enough to notice differences with the ski...
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,003 Mega Baller
    Pants, just take some 80 grit sandpaper to the bottom. Report back results.
  • PorkfightPorkfight Posts: 180 Baller
    Kinda bummed that my '13 Freeride is missing that technology, but the bevel-less tail probably plays a bigger roll in decreasing drag than the textured base. My fiancé rides that thing for miles at a time as it is.

    Would be cool to see some sort of back to back comparison on a more course-oriented ski where the textured surface was the only change from '13-'14.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,054 Mega Baller
    I suspect there will come a day that skis without bottom textures or patterns will seem very strange. It just makes sense that there's potential there. That said, I think there will be a lot of fits and starts -- it's gonna be much easier to royally screw up a ski with stuff on the bottom than to make it better.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • teammalibuteammalibu Posts: 690 Crazy Baller
    I heard Shane bought his girlfriend edible panties for Valentines day but he couldnt wait and ate them on the way home from the store! See you friday @Shane
    Mike Erb Cedar Ridge Canton Miss.
    Horton is my hero
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,744 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    I have seen a couple of A3's with the speed skin after some use. As far as durability it doesn't seem great. They both showed a fair bit of dings from not a lot of ski time. My wife is on an A3 with the normal base at the moment, but will have a chance to ride a '14 with the speed base soon. I'm interested to see what she says.
  • BrewskiBrewski Posts: 321 Solid Baller
    A3 with speedskin is wicked fast. Speedskin is peeling from both sides. Mine was an early ski others look better. Soft attracts dirt and scuffs seriously easy....still love what it does......
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,318 Mega Baller
    edited May 2014
    I feel like I am reliving the 70's again. Just like fashions return every 20 years or so, so does the old tech. Can't wait for the piezo electro thingies return!!! Was used a a ride dampner. OBrien I think.: )
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,909 Mega Baller
    Surprised it isn't built into the mold instead of applied?
  • BrewskiBrewski Posts: 321 Solid Baller
    building into the mold creates a world of issues, do you want pits, ie sand blasting or dimples bumps built on the mold? size of said bumps? easier just to find a material that is consistent.....
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,003 Mega Baller
    edited May 2014
    @thager see some old piezo thingies on the top row flanking a soft dome tweeter. They are alive and well, although relegated to basement duty. Had to replace the woofers though, too much Peter Frampton Live I guess..

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,909 Mega Baller
    Exactly - what is consistent - you found a spray on material that worked, quantify it and use a CNC/Shotpeaning/etching process to get the finish you want in the mold.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,003 Mega Baller
    edited May 2014
    The problem with the HO Extreme was that the stuff peeled off (3 of them). Sounds like it may be an issue on today's skis as well. Graze a buoy, hit a plastic fastener, scrape it on the dock, etc.. A pattern in the mold would probably be best if someone can dial the process in. Maybe something like adding sand in deck paint, although that might be too random. A guy I ski with in Michigan would take rough sandpaper to the black bottom of his ski, crosswise to the length. Nothing scientific proven though. Hard to hack up a $1K ski though.

    At one point, I think the EP Stilletto had a textured bottom, the purple ones. This was a step in the right direction, but died with EP.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,909 Mega Baller
    So because the molds are negative versions of the ski "adding" anything won't change the shape of the ski.

    You'll just have smooth surfaced ski with visible flecks of sand against the mold, the reason for this is that the sand/epoxy resin etc. will just be pressed against the negative mold, and harden in the usual configuration.

    If the negative mold however has positive bumps build into it, those bumps will be recreated as negative texture on the bottom of the ski - this would be repeated ski to ski to ski as the mold is constant. The only other method I can invision is to have a prefabricated base layer for the ski in the same way that skis from companies such as Obrien used to have aluminum top deck laminated to the rest of the ski, only inverted. A prefabricated poly/molded base set into the mold prior to lamination could do it - cost and durability IMO would be reduced vs. a mold with a texture. Add in spray on release agents etc. that would fill in the imperfections in the mold blah blah...

    Sorry I had a few beers and am verbose.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,003 Mega Baller
    You make sense though. The texture has to be engrained into the base, not wrapped or adhered to it. Or, just pull out the 80 grit sandpaper.....
  • BrewskiBrewski Posts: 321 Solid Baller
    2 words PEAL PLY, there are so many different versions that leave so many different textures one will work fine. POST CURE in the mold like GOODE and when you peal it off the bottom the finish is there. POOF. Beautiful.....
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,909 Mega Baller
    It is interesting because with normal ski production a peel ply isn't needed, you have a prepped mold, the layers are done and pressed and pop it out.

    I would wonder if they are using a peel ply to make the RTM skis - I would assume so. Anyone have one to compare the base texture?
  • BrewskiBrewski Posts: 321 Solid Baller
    edited May 2014
    RTM is all wet, No peal, breather, or bleeder on the surfaces of the ski only at one end of the bag or the other depending on which way the resin is transferred into the mold. If you put a super thin bleeder and peal on the bottom side it works perfect in any close mold press......trick is the rear corners and tip most peal plys do leave some slight wrinkles unless cut. The right peal contours no problem. It is pricy compared to most but also handles up to 400 degree cures so prepreg is no problem......
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,003 Mega Baller
    This was a thread about Neverwet, and focused on vests, whatever, but how about a ski bottom?
    I think you can buy a can of Rustoleum spray neverwet for $20. Any experimenters out there?

  • JJVDMZNJJVDMZN Posts: 127 Baller
    @thager , you're right it's O'Brien who had the piezo damping, I still have one.
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2014
    I fully agree that a textured bottom reduces drag in water. It does this by allowing air to get trapped in the texture which effectively reduces the surface area that touches the water but not necessarily reducing the surface area that you stand on. This is a good thing in my mind for creating speed. Unfortunately, in our sport, as you get faster, you also have to figure out a way to slow down. Cool theory when you're being powered by something that doesn't restrict speed but we are being towed at a very specific speed and it's not like you're going to be beating the boat to the ball or out the gate with a tight line. The concept is also based on slip between the surface and the water which might not be the best thing for skiing when you're crossing the wake or turning.

    If people who are barely running a pass magically start skiing the next pass with something like this, I'll believe it but until then, I don't buy it.
  • DustyDusty Posts: 315 Baller
    I think can recall an old article about how the America's Cup, 12 meter yacht racers had gone to a 'textured' (?) hull to increase speed- but wasn't it like longitudinal grooves or something? Anyone?
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,637 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2014
    I guess innovation is part of the game. I remember a mid 70's Cypress Gardens Diablo with a grooved bottom and my late 80's Connelly Concept with dual concave and microlan textured base.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 2,909 Mega Baller
    @waternut - question for you; acceleration vs deceleration. vs. drag.

    I agree with the concept that you cannot beat the boat to where you both plan on being, but I can consider the possible benefits of shifting the balance between acceleration and deceleration such that the skier still reaches the same points in time/space. And that if the skier gains more speed earlier/sooner they can utilize that speed to change the path to the ball to be less sharp, which means more distance covered with the ski, which means more time for the drag of the ski to work on deceleration.

    Higher drag ski would impede acceleration, requiring more time/space to reach speed, providing less space to use speed, requiring faster deceleration to not overrun the boat and still reach the same time/space to hook up and take the next cycle.

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