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D3 ARC Review

HortonHorton Posts: 30,003 Administrator
edited May 2017 in Reviews

ARC Review 4


At first glance, the D3 ARC looks like every other D3 you have ever seen. The shape of the tip and the contour of the top of the ski are clearly recognizable and indistinguishable from last years D3 or the D3 from 5 years ago.

Yet if you take a closer look, you will find a ski unlike any D3 before. The first obvious difference is the width. The widest point on 67” ARC is almost 00.10” wider than the same point on a 67” D3 Quest. A more thorough examination will expose a smaller tunnel radius than any previous D3, which results in a deeper concave.

What you can not see by visual examination is that the ARC is a simplified design. The ski was designed without multi-stage rockers or bevels. It was designed from scratch without bits and pieces of hydrodynamic trickery. The design is elegant, and in my opinion, it is the best ski D3 has ever built.

General Feel

Skiers who are overly aggressive will fit this ski as well as skiers who depend on finesse. The skier with the best technique will almost always be the skier with the highest score, but the ARC will forgive more mistakes than expected.   

ARC Review 2

Toe Side (Off Side) Turn

Most high end skis on the market today deliver a great off side turn. To rave about a ski’s off side turn has become almost cliche. In the case of the ARC, there are two attributes of the off side turn that are worth mentioning:

The first key attribute is that the ski is very forgiving to less than perfect technique. If you push hard over your front foot, the ski turns hard and fast.  If you are in the middle of the ski, it turns almost as well, and if you are a bit on your back foot, the ski still turns good enough. Patient and impatient skiers will both find success.

The second key attribute is that it is easy for the skier to maintain a tight line and ride the ski back to the inside with a lot of speed and very little drama.

ARC Review 3

Heel Side (On Side) Turn

On Side turns are similar to the off side turns but are more technically critical. The ski will perform smooth, high speed on side turns provided the skier remembers three key points:

1) keep your head up and shoulders level 2) apply at least moderate front foot pressure 3) initiate the finish with your lower body. This may sound like a lot to think about, but the ski’s inherent stability makes this these three points relatively easy to execute.

From Ball to Second Wake

Modern ski technique emphasizes calmer skiing, and some of the top skis on the market require skiers to constrain their aggression. The ARC is one ski that will tolerate “Hammer Down” skiing better than most.

From Second Wake to Ball

Historically, D3 skis are known to be more stable than fast and require a lot of skier strength and handle control technique to create a path wide of the ball.  The ARC is a legitimately fast ski that makes space in front of the ball without perfect  technique. The ski draws a path that feels more early than wide.

The ski's stability means that the path to the ball is very calm and low drama. Errors made at the wakes are easily corrected approaching the ball.

The most important thing about this ski

If your goal is to round more balls for a higher score, the way a ski performs on easy passes is not nearly as important as how it performs when you are at your limit. There are plenty of skis on the market that feel awesome until your hardest pass, and then they are unforgiving. The ARC is one of the few skis that does not punish the skier when they approach their limit.

ARC Review


The stated goal of BallOfSpray ski reviews is to describe the ski more than judge it. This goal is achieved at varying degrees for each ski reviewed. In the case of the 2016 D3 ARC, I have to say that it is one of the very best skis that I have ever ridden.

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  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,190 Crazy Baller
    I mount up a yellow one tomorrow, just in time @Horton !!!
  • pgmoorepgmoore Posts: 209 Solid Baller
    @Horton Sooooo.... you liked it, then? :p
    Patrick Moore
  • mylemskymylemsky Posts: 116 Baller
    Blue vs. Yellow. Please.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,003 Administrator
    @mylemsky see talk of Blue vs Yellow in Mid Review thread

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly ★DBSkis ★ Denali ★ Goode ★ Follow ★ Hobe Lake ★ MasterCraft

    Masterline ★ McClintock's ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes 

  • mylemskymylemsky Posts: 116 Baller
    @Horton thank you
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,711
    Dam, now I have to try one.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' 2021 MC As soon as it lands Ski - KD Platinum

  • wskierwskier Posts: 122 Baller
    No you have to try both and give us a update from down under!!!! Vs GT
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,711
    If I bring home another pet my wife might react badly. Interesting you brought up the comparison, one of our younger GT skiers (runs -38) spent a few days on the yellow when it first landed but was unable to get down -38 on it. He came off a Helix so he's a D3 guy but after a few days he was keen to get back on the GT. Both his GT and mine are different from the 2016 production versions in more than one respect. But back to the ARC yeah I will compare and post some feedback when our water warms up and I rack up a few sets.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' 2021 MC As soon as it lands Ski - KD Platinum

  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,523 Mega Baller
    Sounds like it kept historical D3 characteristics but picked up some speed. I always found D3's forgiving (geez with me on 'em they had to be). I used to hammer those things around. Always were very high quality builds as well.
    Had I not just sprung for a Vapor, this would be the ski I would want to try.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    i just handled a d3 arc last night. best fit and finish of any ski i have ever seen.
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,977 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    It took me 1 ride on a 67 blue to come to the same conclusion.
    Shut up and ski
  • rockdogrockdog Posts: 638 Crazy Baller
    @ozski are you talking about HH?
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,711
    @rockdog Yeah and we had another discussion about the ARC today and he's not tempted by it at all, same story with HH and the Vapor. I watched his first couple of sets on the ARC and the offside looked pretty special.

    Getting some good conditions up here if your up for a ski to get an early start on the season.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' 2021 MC As soon as it lands Ski - KD Platinum

  • BdeckerBdecker Posts: 327 Crazy Baller
    @skibrain - I left the vapor (green) for the Helix H2 and now the ARC. The H2 worked well for me, but I love the ARC. It definitely turns smoother. I think Horton's comment about it not punishing the overly aggressive might be why I like it so much. For me the older vapor was different. Similar top score but if I slipped into old bad habits it was game over.
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    Hey, @Horton, can I ask your weight when you were testing and reviewing?
  • sunvalleylawsunvalleylaw Posts: 1,259 Mega Baller
    edited May 2017
    Just wanted to pop in to this thread and give my initial impressions. Granted, I am not a true shortline skier yet. Working toward that this year. But maybe my impressions will be helpful for other 15-22 offer types. Bottom line, my new ski was all I could hope for.  I had considered having them send out a blue one to test along with the yellow one, but given how I liked this ski, and particularly how smoothly it came around and reconnected me with the handle, then accelerated like a rocket to the wakes, I am just fine with this one.  I am on the 67", set to stock. I weigh maybe 180-183. (EDIT, who am I kidding, I have been 185 the last couple weeks. Need to get a bit more disciplined on the diet).

    There were two things I noticed. First, a real natural completion of the turn with the handle being just "right there" for me. It worked for me well on both sides. (I still have work to do on my offside, but the ski seems to be helping). Second, an acceleration happened easily without excess pull. The natural feeling turn completion was followed by a great acceleration so that after the wakes, I just felt early and relaxed. (to the extent you can feel early when you are not skiing a course.) The ski overall gave me the impression of confidence, and that when I wanted to turn, all I had to do was think about it and start, when I wanted to put on the gas same thing, when I wanted to let off, it did so nicely, and seemed to hold speed for me. Just a very confident feel.

    Granted, it was only my first runs, and I was free skiing near the course, and did not attempt any course passes.  But that was the feeling.  Pretty excited about it.  A real step up from my old Nomad I got used.  So perhaps some of what I am feeling is that it is a new ski and not used at all. Or the set up is better, or the length is more correct, as I used to feel like I needed to force the 68" Nomad around.  But, whatever it is I am feeling, I like it a lot.  :)

    Gonna go ski it again, with after first day soreness, behind our own boat. Yay!
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