The Syndicate V Type-R is the all new high end slalom ski from HO for 2016. The V Type-R is a reflection of the state of the art in terms of slalom theory. A careful examination of the ski will show a very deliberate design approach. From the shape of the tail to the texture of the bottom to the flex pattern, the V Type-R is different.
The V Type-R is a ski that some skiers may take a few rides to get accustomed to. The shape and flex of this ski are designed for a skier who has the discipline to apply less aggression at the ball and from the ball to the wakes. The ski can be pushed, but the V Type-R simply performs best when the skier does less. The V Type-R is a ski for skiers who have embraced the concepts of “light on the line” or “hiding from the ZO”.
Toe Side (Off Side) Turn
The Off Side turn on the V Type-R is simply a joy. The tip stays down and the ski flows back to the inside with very little skier input. The relatively soft flex of the ski contributes to the feeling that the front of the ski is pulling itself under the line and making angle.
Skiers who cannot resist the temptation to be aggressive with their upper body will likely find turns to be unnecessarily aggressive and messy.
Heel Side (On Side) Turn
If the skier can keep their shoulders level, head up and weight centered the V Type-R will flow out and then carve a fast arc under the rope and carry speed back to the inside. On Side turns are perhaps slightly faster and a smaller radius than Off Side turns. The smoothness and ease of the on side turn makes it easier for the skier to be in good position on the way to the wakes.
The ski’s forgiveness to errors is moderate compared to other current year high end skis . If the skier drops their head and shoulders to the inside, the ski may turn harder and faster than expected.
From Ball to Second Wake
The V Type-R does not make speed as much as it maintains speed. As with the turns, the secret to riding this ski is to not do more than you have to. The ski performs best when the skier takes the angle created in the turn and works just hard enough to maintain that angle. When ridden in this fashion, the V Type-R makes more than enough speed to be wide and early at the next ball.
If the ski has one clear fault it is that, after the skier makes a mistake, the ski does not make a lot of extra speed in panic mode.
From Second Wake to Ball
The V Type-R flows away from the second wake predictably and easily draws a path wide and early in front of the ball. As noted above, the ski performs best if the skier keeps their head up, shoulders level, and weight centered.
Up until my hardest pass, the V Type-R is my favorite HO since the A1. Once you adjust to how this ski needs to be ridden, it is one of the smoothest and flowiest skis in recent memory. As the rope gets short and I start making more errors, the ski degrades from a great ski to a good ski. It never does anything unexpected or radical, but it lacks a emergency afterburner mode I needed to get one or two more balls on my hardest pass.
As the review period ends, I am left with the feeling that I could have gotten more from the ski and wish I could spend more time with it.
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