HO Syndicate S2 Review

HortonHorton Posts: 23,522 Administrator
edited June 2012 in Ski Tests

 

The 2012 S2 is the second ski from the HO Syndicate product line in the “Speed” or S range. The S2 was shaped by a five time world champion , Bob LaPoint, with input from his brother, Kris LaPoint, as well as the HO Syndicate pro team.

Every high end ski can be described as performing better when the skier does all the right things. Some skis challenge the skier to be very technical, and some skis allow the easier to do all the right things. The S2 forgives sloppy skiing, but more importantly, the S2 makes it easier to do the right things.

From the Second Wake to the ball

The S2 maintains angle off the second wake and draws a path wide of and in front of the ball as consistently as any ski ever made. As with any ski, staying connected to the boat on the way out to the ball line will result in additional width, but if you struggle with this skill, the S2 will still get you surprisingly wide.

More than any ski that I can recall, the S2 rides with a constant attitude on the water. Forward and backward weight shifts by the skier seem to be muted. To say this another way, the S2 is extremely stable in the pre-turn.  This attribute makes it easier for the skier to think about what he/she is doing.

From the ball to the Second wake

Unless pushed with excessive aggression, the S2 will exit the ball with the tip down and head across course without any fuss. Should the skier apply extra lean on the way to the wakes, the S2 will deliver a surprising burst of speed. 

Off Side Turn

The S2 is not radical or dramatic at Off Side turn, but you can depend on it. Just about every time you turn your Off Side, you will exit in control and with ample angle.  Dependable may not sound sexy, but if you want a new personal best, you want a ski that turns your Off Side dependably.   

With stock settings, the S2 never feels like the tail is sliding. Instead, the whole ski carves back toward the centerline.  The result is a turn that ends further inside the ball line and allows for the skier to put the power down right behind the boat.

 On Side Turn

As much or more than any other ski on the market, the On Side turns on the S2 are nearly symmetrical to the Off Side. The ski’s longitudinal stability means that the ski naturally rides with the tip down allowing for a carving On Side turn. The ski can be forced to make abrupt changes in direction, but if the skier is patient, the S2 will draw a tight arc out of On Side and will carry speed back to the center line. 

Quirks and Notes

I rode the ski with the DFT back further than stock for a while. On Side turns were sharper, but the whole skiing experience was not as smooth. My final fin numbers were roughly stock but I skied best with the bindings at 29 3/8” for the 67.5” ski.





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Comments

  • JASJAS Posts: 131 Baller
    John do you typically run your bindings back on other skis?
  • thagerthager Posts: 3,787 Mega Baller
    MS is waiting on one. Bet it "rocks
    for a week. Then back to the Monza
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • WishWish Posts: 6,742 Mega Baller
    Was surprised to see boots back from stock that far. Granted mine is the 66.5 but forward of stock seemed better. I may be to far but I went with what several other suggested and it worked. Did try back from stock and all was not good, bad in fact. What made back better for you vs stock or forward?

    I totally agree with the review. I am becoming a calmer skier because of the S2. To not crank turns and relying on the ski to carve back to the wake, has not been easy for me. I've been the driver of the skies I've been on in the past. Relying and trusting the design of this ski to do most of the work that far off the ball has been a slow trust. To me the potential is unreal. When it does happen it's fantastic. I'm a ball off my typical practice score (way less skiing then last yr or yr before) but totally feel like I've just tapped what it can do. I'll add that my back has never been better, from the pull-up out of the water (wider is better) to the lack of hits off the ball. That alone was worth the price tag.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,522 Administrator
    @JAS a little on some skis but not as much as the S2.
    I suspect that the stock # a little far forward and so I am just a little back of how I would spec stock.
    (yes - I know that BLP and KLP have forgotten more that I will ever know. No disrespect!)

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  • aussiemcaussiemc Posts: 96 Baller
    I've been on a 66.25" S2 since November 2011, and initially set up just forward of stock binding position. Ski was great, and took me to new practice and tournament PB's (1@ 28off). After a conversation with Karina at the Australian Open (in which she said that HO's tend to work a little better with bindings back), I moved my binding back one hole and again I set more PB's.(4 @ 28off) I have been contemplating moving forward again, once I start skiing in September to see if it makes any difference, but I do know with my technique & at my level the ski works well at 29 3/8" with a reflex & toe loop.
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,435 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Great review. I was planning on trying one but a guy with a lot of hair sent me an obrien synergy instead of an s2
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,522 Administrator
    @dirt why would you piss off the one guy who has all the skis. Seems like a short sighted mistake.

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  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 655 Crazy Baller
    I love the 2nd paragraph of this review. And I really, really want to try an S2!
  • KillerKiller Posts: 236 Baller
    @Horton How do you think it compares to some of the other skis youve been on recently? Ie A2 & Vice/strada? I just bought the vice you demod off Ron... On an A1 currently and love/hate it not sure In a strong enough skier for it but its helped me improve quite a bit...
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,522 Administrator
    @Killer comparing skis side by side is a whole other level of reviewing. As long as I have a day job I think that is out of reach.

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  • KrleeKrlee Posts: 462 Baller
    @horton, you should have seen @dirt negotiating with Greg on a hat yesterday. The price kept going up. :)

    But he did look really good on your A2. Thought he was going to run 39 in the 3rd round.
  • KillerKiller Posts: 236 Baller
    @Horton I tried :)
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 1,483 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Ok gonna put you on the spot here John, but I will give you a get out clause.
    If you had a choice would you choose the S2 or the A2, Clause: for your style of skiing.

    "How Nice Is It, When You Feel The Boat Release You ”

  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,148 Mega Baller
    edited June 2012
    I like the 2nd photo. At first glance, I thought @Horton had PhotoShopped his face into a photo of MB.
    www.FinWhispering.com ... because understanding is better than memorizing
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,522 Administrator
    @Stevie Boy
    I think I ski a higher average score on the S2. It is easier to ski on. Maybe if I was technically better or more fit I might go to the A2. My single high score on the A2 last year was higher but my average was lower.

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  • ykoutsarisykoutsaris Posts: 1
    edited June 2012
    Mr. Horton, I'm confessing to lurking for some time but finally signed up today. Great site!
    Currently on an 08 Prophecy but feel like I get (excessively?) punished when I'm less than technically sound (happens a lot). Run 22'off with regularity at 34mph and have seen 5 at 28' (with higher aspirations for sure). I love the high performance of the Prophecy when I'm good, and would like to keep that performance, but would like something a lot more forgiving. Would you call the S2 a good choice with that idea in mind and at my level?
    Many thanks!
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,522 Administrator
    Yes for sure. I love that old Prophecy your are on but in the long run it might be time to put it on the wall. It is a fun ski but it is a radical design and is very hard to ski smooth on. The S2 is the other end of the spectrum.

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  • SkihackSkihack Posts: 448 Baller
    I've been hit again with the honeymoon effect. Sad thing is we tried this ski out for 4 weeks before we bought it. Stock settings didn't work. Shallowed up the depth to try to get the ski to turn, as well as moving dft to .750 from .730. Tried all depths from 2.475 to 2.51. Moved the bindings as far forward and back as can be. Looks like I have a skier who just can't turn a ski period. However, she can turn the crap out of an old Jobe. But consistency is a concern with the Jobe. I am beginning to believe that maybe the S2 may be above her level. She has tried a Senate C which didn't work too well either. Any thoughts?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,522 Administrator
    Go back to stock. Be calm. Think about skiing not the ski.

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  • KrleeKrlee Posts: 462 Baller
    @skimech,
    Try to find a D3 rose (X5). Great ski for the ladies and turns. My wife ran one for a long time.

    Or try droping the leading edge of the fin to push the tip of the ski down, that thing will carve a turn now. :)
  • WishWish Posts: 6,742 Mega Baller
    @skimech. I found the S2 to be different enough from a traditional shaped ski that it requires a different mindset to ski on it. If she is a crank the ski kind of skier, I think the S2 simply doesn't do as well with that. It's a carver. I can't crank on it at the turn with my back foot like all the other skies I rode. What JTH said. Back to stock with the fin but I would add boots 1/8-1/4 forward of stock. and think about skiing calm and let it do all the work from the release to the hookup. I don't think the ski is much above anyones level.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,522 Administrator
    Maybe binding forward on the shorter sizes but not on the 67.5

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  • WishWish Posts: 6,742 Mega Baller
    Was speaking re a 66.5 so no idea on the 67.5. So, Johns probably right. If I say that do I have to add....and MS is wrong?
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    MattPJAS
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,522 Administrator
    @Wish
    Now you are making sense

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  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,522 Administrator
    @skimech
    If she loved the ski for a month and now does not... it is not the ski.

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  • lakeaustinskierlakeaustinskier Posts: 292 Baller
    I've been on an S2 for about 3 weeks and will probably switch from my Strada. Horton is right about being calm on the ski. Try smooth patient turns. In my opinion the S2 hates being cranked into and off the ball. I've had some of the best sets of my life on this ski probably because the S2 is so easy to get wide.
    Ted Thomson, Austin Texas, Aquaplex
  • SkihackSkihack Posts: 448 Baller
    Here's to hoping you are right Horton. The only thing I can conclude is that every ski we have demoed or tested has been late fall or early spring with much cooler water temps, we are now getting some 100 degree days so the water is heating up fast so the water must be getting slower changing the way the ski rides. That being said, I am going to have to figure a better setup for the warmer water.
  • SkihackSkihack Posts: 448 Baller
    Maybe I am not measuring the dft correctly. Are you guys using the needle to measure dft or are you all laying the caliper flat up against the back of the fin? I have it set at .730 by flat against the fin.
  • WishWish Posts: 6,742 Mega Baller
    .750 flat. May go back to stock though .740 flat
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • SkihackSkihack Posts: 448 Baller
    As Charlie Brown says, "oh, brother".
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