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Than's Denali Log

Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller

3.5 @ -38. That is:
- The best score I have ever gotten on the first day on a ski. And this season I have not been skiing at my best in general, so that's all the more amazing.
- The first time I've seen the 4 ball in over a month. (And I've been healthy and skiing regularly.)
- Equal to my best of the season (well, technically I stood up a 4 one time in early August).

And -- oh by the way -- if it hadn't been nearly dark OR I hadn't completely panicked at my shocking success, I probably would have run it.

To say I am impressed would be a huge understatement. More like giddy.

And there's more. It's pretty clear I didn't set the ski up quite right for me: it was edge-hunting like crazy outside the course and I had some big crushes at the finish of off-side turns (but then early into the next ball after my weak off-side pull which is absolutely incredible). The Adams will be telling me what to do next, but the preliminary conclusion is to move my front boot forward 1/8". It's scary to think this ski can be better in addition to me continuing to adapt to it.

Admittedly, my first two passes at -28 were terrible -- the feel is totally different from my N1. But I got used to it real fast, and by the time I got to -35 I had no trouble despite skiing it like a donkey. In the second set, I ran -35 again, this time trivially. At -38, I actually got TOO WIDE for the one ball and splashed in, but on the second try I got the 3.5. With light fading fast, I called it a day.

There are two performance characteristics that really stand out on this ski, and maybe one more honorable mention:

1) Incredibly easy to get wide. More than once I found myself wondering if @MikeT had forgotten to shorten the rope.

2) Unprecedented ability to change from outbound speed to inbound speed. This happens in so little space that at -28 and -32 I fell a couple of times because I completed my turn before passing the ball -- a literal backside (as to opposed what we all call a backside which is actually hitting the front side of the buoy). What's most amazing about this is that it's not a hard turn -- the feeling is more like Automan taking a corner in his car (look it up!). One moment you're going one direction, the next you're going the other direction. And that's really fun, by the way.

Honorable mention: Acceleration. One of my big technique flaws is to completely lose the correct edge at the finish of a turn. This creates a huge delay before I start going cross course again and kills all my speed. But when I did something similar to that on this ski, it still got going like a bat out of hell, even allowing me to run the first -35 where I did that at the one ball.

I've never been huge into sharing settings because they are so skier-specific, but for the setting junkies out there, here is where I started:

Front boot: 29“ [this will probably go to 29 1/8" for next set]
Rear boot: 17 3/16“
Wing: 8, flat side down
Length: 6.743” jaws (tips 6.849”)
Depth: 2.488”
Tail: 0.759”

Finally, an amusing behavior I've never seen from any other ski: When dropping, the ski shoots a fountain out from under it!
Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan


  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,623 MM Trick Skier / Eccentric Person
    If you like the ski so much, why do you call it a "log"?

  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    edited September 2015
    @eleeski You are silly. I like that.

    Also, I was about to contact you about finding a new home for my N1. In my opinion, it is slightly broken down after three years of regular use. I wouldn't feel right to sell it. But I'd guess it's still a huge upgrade to most collegiate skiers?
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    Steven HainesWishrab
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    Btw, who admits to knowing the Automan reference?
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • Steven HainesSteven Haines Posts: 950 Solid Baller
    I don't even want to look it up in fear of becoming a geek! d-)
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,329 Mega Baller
    anyone knowing that reference could have some splaining to do.
    Than_BoganSteven Haines
  • CsSkisCsSkis Posts: 107 Baller
    I would, of course, defer to @AdamCord and @adamhcaldwell to determine what you should do with binding location/tuning - but, I would think that moving your bindings backwards would be more appropriate than forwards in reducing the "hunting" and somewhat reducing the "crushes at the finish of off-side turns".

    Or, should I just be quiet and leave it to the A's?
    Chuck Illi
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    @Than_Bogan - interesting first ride observations. Sounds like the Denali is a really interesting ride. Funny that you talk about settings being so skier specific. I think skis can be very skier specific. Several skis I've been on in the past few years have been either love or hate depending on the skier. Too bad the season is getting short -- you are now going to be stuck dreaming about what could have been all the way until spring . . . that is unless you stroke -38 next time out!!!
    Jim Ross
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,456 Mega Baller
    Automan was like early 80s, I watched a few times.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 1,848
    @Than_Bogan ... Keep the eval's coming, a lot of us are interested in this ski..By the way, what is your height and weight, and the size of the Denali your testing...Thx
    Loving the Reflex Supershell with R Style Rear !!!
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    edited September 2015
    @Ed_Johnson Great questions! Apologies for not including that.

    170 lbs
    66" -- @adamhcaldwell originally said he was sending me an extra stiff 66 since I'm kinda between sizes, but actually I never followed up to see if that's what he ended up doing! Adam?

    @Razorskier1 At the risk of setting myself up for failure, I'll honestly be surprised if I don't run -38 the next time out.

    @CsSkis I know very little about binding and fin adjustments, and more importantly I am serving as a tester, so for both reasons I'll simply be doing whatever they tell me.

    One thing I can say, though, is that my limited experience suggests that forward-back movements are often the exact opposite of what it seems like they should be, because the point turns out not to be to "simply" move your center of mass, but to make you more comfortable to stand with your weight distributed properly. For example, if you find yourself standing on the tail, it's usually because something feels wrong about shifting your weight forward, and so if you move the bindings BACK you may become much more comfortable to get forward and then find the ski's attitude is what you want. Doesn't always work like that, but sometimes does.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 600 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    edited September 2015
    @CsSkis in most cases you would be right but in this instance @Than_Bogan is just a bit too far back.
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,566
    @Than_Bogan nice report, video please.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski: KD Platinum

  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I do not know how you didn't run -38. Looked better than -35 right up until it didn't.
    Jim Ross
  • taptap Posts: 72 Solid Baller
    @Than_Bogan , what's your shoe size? I'm working on a binding placement theory and need some more data points.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    11. I'm quite interested in your theory, too.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    On a barely related note: I am fairly embarassed about dropping the handle the way I did at 4 there, since I am a frequent advocate of keeping the handle until the boat pulls it away. What I did there created a completely unnecessary opportunity to ski right back into the handle, although at least I realized that eventually and turned back outbound to stay away from it.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    edited September 2015
    @Razorskier1 Here's a quote from my initial message to Adam Cord that I think helps explain how I missed that -38:

    "One. Omg I am still so wide. Two. Seriously, this is crazy. Three. Hm, little bobble. Four. Wow I am actually in this and I sure as hell shouldn't be here the way I've skied this so far and it's damn near dark and this ski is ridiculous and oh crap I forgot to actually turn the 4 ball."

    One of many reasons I am crazy-optimistic right now is that if I had run that, it would have been by a fair margin the lowest light I had ever run a -38 in. I just watched the video again and I have no clue where that little iPhone found so much light to collect on its pixel grid. It was really dark out there; approximately 20 minutes after sun set. If I had a separate category for "personal best at least 10 minutes after sun set," I bet that was it right there.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,321 Mega Baller
    @than you just highlighted the slalom skier's weakest link- that grey mush between the ears;)
    If it was easy, they would call it wakeboarding.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 1,848
    edited September 2015
    @Than_Bogan ... I think you did a great job..I know from years of experience it takes me about 8 sets to dial in a ski. Bindings first and fin second...Then there is the initial, "What the hell is this thing going to do to me."

    I think confidence takes at least 3 sets before you can really "Get on it."....So for you to do that well out of the box should make you proud...Keep the info coming, your doing great !!!

    Loving the Reflex Supershell with R Style Rear !!!
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    @Ed_Johnson I'm not sure if I'm "proud," exactly, but man am I excited right now. There are so many reasons to believe I can ski a lot better than that on this ski -- you named only some of them. And a new lifetime PB lies "only" 5 buoys away from there. Easy to dream that it's possible now.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • skidawgskidawg Posts: 3,176 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @Than_Bogan is just to intelligent to ski short; sometimes it's better to be a little thick headed
    Mr. Mom is Horton's favorite movie!
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    @skidawg Completely true, but the performances the Adams have achieved give me hope for nerdkind in this game!!
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • GOODESkierGOODESkier Posts: 1,107 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2015
    @Than_Bogan not to take anything away from the ski or your skiing, YOU ARE KILLING IT! But, if you miss the gates at 35, do you get to try 38? Pic here from freeze frames around 6 seconds.........

    Also, I always get a little worried when my driver has turned his head all the way to watch me turn the 1/3/5 balls.........

    2003 Nautique 196 LE Star Gazer & ZBox - GOODE NANO OneXT 66.75" - Powershell 5 (LFF) - Tournament PB: 2 Balls @ 39.5' OFF (34.2 MPH) on 7/18/2015 at BIG DAWG BROHO!
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,043 Mega Baller
    edited September 2015
    @GOODESkier Heheh.

    Yep, missed the gate more than once, sometimes badly. Doesn't even cross my mind on day one. Ski got there too fast. Oh darn!

    Mike is an extremely experienced driver, and also knows both the site and my skiing rhythm like the back of his hand. I bet he could get a great boat path even if he had a blindfold on for half the distance between each set of boat guides.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,329 Mega Baller
    @Than_Bogan -forget the partial blindfold. have him sit in the passenger seat facing you, reach over and jam on the throttle and then steer with his left hand while he videos you with his right hand. now *that* would impress me.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,641 Mega Baller
    The driver in that sequence is a senior rated slalom driver. Personally I would never turn my head when someone is running 35 but he has logged thousands of hours in the drivers seat (I have known him from skiing for over 35 years) and he would never do anything to put the skier at risk.
    Mark Shaffer
  • Deep11Deep11 Posts: 206 Baller
    Wow @Than_Bogan impressive stuff - especially in the dark (know what that's like trying to get sets in after work ).
    The really big question is:
    Will the Denali work just as well on this side of the "pond"? I am sure this is a question that the Adams have been kept awake at night pondering an algorithm for. Ponder no more Adamses - the guys at Water Ski Scotland are available to help answer this question.
    @adamcord please do let us know if there is any way of getting a "test" over here? We have plenty of short line ski test dummies!
  • GOODESkierGOODESkier Posts: 1,107 Crazy Baller
    @chef23 that wouldn't fly with our sr. drivers out here, BUT this thread is about skiing and I am PSYCHED for Than to have found his MOJO! I know that feeling when you get on a ski that just dances with you. Keep ripping it!
    2003 Nautique 196 LE Star Gazer & ZBox - GOODE NANO OneXT 66.75" - Powershell 5 (LFF) - Tournament PB: 2 Balls @ 39.5' OFF (34.2 MPH) on 7/18/2015 at BIG DAWG BROHO!
    Than_BoganpgmooreEd_JohnsonwtrskiorOnside135JASGhibliHortonDirtPat M
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,233 Mega Baller
    To further hijack the thread, I agree with @GOODESkier - that wouldn't fly around here. Unfortunately, "senior driver" has a wide-ranging definition. From "one of the all-time greats" to "OMG are you kidding me?". Turning of the head to watch a skier is a major no-go.

    To get it back on track, I look forward to trying a Denali if and when a 67 is available in Sacramento.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
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