Raptor Review

HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
edited July 10 in Ski Tests

The Raptor is the best high end ski you have never seen. Designed by many time German National champion and coach, Willi Ellermeier, the Raptor is different. It is fast. It turns very sharp. It is not for the faint of heart.

The ski is available in 65.75” and 67.5”. The below review reflects the 67.5”.

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General Feel: The Raptor wants to follow an early line as opposed to other skis that work best with a less aggressive path from ball to ball. The ski turns extremely hard and makes a lot of speed, but it  is also relatively forgiving to skier mistakes.

Many of the best skis on the market in the last 10  years require the skier to temper aggression. Conversely, the Raptor will accommodate skiers who ski with a style that is more “hammer down”. The ski will accommodate calm technical skiers as well.

Toe Side (Off Side) Turn: Off Side Turns on the Raptor are extraordinary. When the skier is in the center of the ski and rolls the ski in at apex, the Raptor feels like no other ski. The ski turns hard and fast but without the feeling of tail slide. The tip stays down and the ski carries more speed than expected back toward the wakes. These turns are dependable and consistent. The ski is relatively forgiving to skier weight distribution.  If this ski has one trademark attribute it is the Off Side turn.

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Heel Side (On Side) Turn: Heel side turns on the Raptor are also sharp and fast. Much of the review period was spent searching for fin settings to make the On Side turns as good as the Off Side. With the final settings used for this review, as the rope got shorter On Side turns became less flowing and often resulted in a moderate amount of slack at the hookup. I am hesitant to further criticize the On Side turns because I suspect better settings could make a world of difference. At just less than 185 pounds, I am at the bottom of  the practical weight chart for this ski.

From Ball to Second Wake: The Raptor seems to always leave the ball with a lot of angle and hold it to the wakes. This ski makes as much speed toward the wakes as any ski on the market.  

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From Second Wake to the ball:  The caveats noted above about how the ski performs at On Side should perhaps be addressed as how the ski casts out and then slows down. This ski carries a lot of speed all the way to the ball. At Off Side this extra speed is manageable and even to the skiers advantage. At On Side this means it takes a little more finesse to get the ski to arc back in on the ball. As noted above this may simply be a matter of fin settings or perhaps the ski is best for skiers weighing in at 190 pounds or more.

Conclusion: This ski is marketed as a 67.5”, but with the front binding at 30.5”, I would find it comparable to a full 68 inch ski. It is a big fast ski that turns on a rail. If this was the ski I was to ride for the rest of the year, I feel confident I would find better settings and put up scores equal to my best.

Best Settings as of the end of this review 30.5 / 2.515 / 6.895 / .830 

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Comments

  • ripa38ripa38 Posts: 53 Baller
    It's difficult for people to get excited about a new ski they have not had a chance to try themselves, or don't know anyone currently skiing on it. The Raptor should be creating more of a buzz on BallOfSpray with a bunch of hardcore slalom junkies as the primary audience.
    I was lucky and had the opportunity to test the same ski as @Horton, and spent some time watching him from the boat, and working on fin numbers with him. We were both near our average on the ski, and I am sure more time on the ski would have gotten me right up to my average and maybe in PB range.
    @Horton does a good job of describing what I also felt on the ski. It rides high in the water and carries a lot of speed with minimal effort. The gate pull out and glide was the biggest adjustment because the ski gets out wide much easier than my regular ski. It's fast and carries the angle off the second wake and creates a ton of space before the ball. As @Horton describes in his review, it turns on a rail, and does not punish the skier if you are a little off center. I think the final numbers in the review are really close, and a great place to start from.
    Ballers need to find a way to give one a try. I would love to see what other people think.
    Horton
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 573 Crazy Baller
    They're out there. From a ski club in S. Korea.

  • ripa38ripa38 Posts: 53 Baller
    They are doing very well in Korea.
  • ripa38ripa38 Posts: 53 Baller
    @OB1, Something like that would certainly help. Demo days around the country at places like your site would be a great idea. Clubs should contact Willi through the Raptor website. I know he is doing clinics on the west coast and has several weeks scheduled in Mexico.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 4,856 Mega Baller
    @ripa38 are you going to transition to a Raptor or are you going back to your old ski? I assume you don't try as many skis as Horton.
    Mark Shaffer
  • ripa38ripa38 Posts: 53 Baller
    @Chef23, nobody tries as many skis as Horton, but I am fortunate that I get to try a lot skiing with him. Besides my regular ski brand which I am comfortable on and stick with through each new iteration I would say the Raptor is my favorite ski that I have tried from Horton's vast inventory of test skis (his collection is really quit impressive). Now that he is done with the review I will try it again for sure, and spend a little more time moving the bindings and tweaking the fin. I think the fin numbers he published are good though. Willi, the man behind the Raptor will be back to our lake to ski, so I want to give him some additional feedback. I also want to make sure I beat @Horton's score. There will be something at 39 on it soon.
    Lovell
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 1,855 Mega Baller
    My perception of the one set I skied on the Raptor was that it gave you a long look at the buoy on both sides. I liked the ski a lot.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • SkiRVSkiRV Posts: 37 Baller
    @Horton Did you ski it with the Raptor Profiled Spoiler or a standard wing?
    Bruce Smith - Villa Lagos
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
    edited July 12
    @SkiRV I used a standard wing just so there would be one less
    factor

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  • 34mph34mph Posts: 162 Baller
    For those guys that have tried one or on one ! what size would you say for a 32.3 mph 22-32 off skier that weighs from 180 -185 currently 183 .
    Drago
  • JordanJordan Posts: 851 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited July 14
    The ski only comes in two sizes. Given that you are skiing at 32, I would think the bigger ski would work for you. @Horton is about your size and was on the larger ski for the review( skiing at 34)
    Why not shoot an email to @twhisper ?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
    I was on the 67.5. See notes in the review.

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  • 34mph34mph Posts: 162 Baller
    I see the notes but at 32.3 at 180-185 lbs the smaller one might be too small. I will contact Terry thanks
  • KDubKDub Posts: 13 Baller
    At about 130lbs running 34mph and on a good day getting a couple at 35 off, I ride the 65.75. I love the ski. I think it is very stable, symmetrical and forgiving. It's just fast enough across the course and turns appropriately according to my input. It is one of the best skis I have ever ridden. I use the spoiler and like it too. That being said, sizing can be a bit tough. I've seen the 65.75 size be maxed out at about 170lbs, going 36mph at short line, getting up on the tip and using a lot of ski in the water.
    DaveLemonsD3dude
  • KDubKDub Posts: 13 Baller
    Just as additional information, I know of a guy that I'm guessing to be about 175lbs that runs 34mph similar buoys to me, maybe a bit deeper at 35off, and he rides the 67.5. I would say his consistency has definitely improved since getting on the ski.
    DaveLemonsD3dude
  • gmutgmut Posts: 193 Baller
    @Horton just looking at the pictures of the 67.5 Raptor it appears to be wider in the fore body than say a Vapor or even a Nano XT. What do you think??
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
    @gmut I haven't done the measurements but yes it is a big ski

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  • JASJAS Posts: 137 Baller
    @horton big like the s2 67.5?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
    @JAS sort of but not exactly in the same way. I think the 67.5 S2 has a narrower tail and a wider forebody.

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  • gmutgmut Posts: 193 Baller
    Is Terry Winter still riding a Raptor?
  • 34mph34mph Posts: 162 Baller
    I think you will see soon
    Killer
  • MSMS Posts: 4,296 Mega Baller
    KD
    Shut up and ski
  • 34mph34mph Posts: 162 Baller
    cats out
  • scotchipmanscotchipman Posts: 3,663
    I have the same question @gmut Is @twhisper still on it???
    - President of the Utah Water Ski Club
    - USI Tech pays for my water ski addiction
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
    @twhisper has moved on to another opportunity. Please do not derail this thread talking about it. It is not a reflection of Raptor.

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  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 650 Crazy Baller
    @OB1 is on it. That's good enough for me.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
    [Deleted User]
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,672 Administrator
    That would be awesome. Have somebody else let their skiing get destroyed

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  • MarcoMarco Posts: 1,362 Crazy Baller
    Does Raptor have a demo program? Assuming not due to the size of the company.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,378 Mega Baller
    Wonder if they going to be at Nationals this year?
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