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Martin Bartalsky talks about the GT-R

ROBOTROBOT Posts: 161 Administrator
edited November 2018 in News & Other Stuff

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A lot of brain power went into the development of Connelly’s new flagship ski, the GT-R. Among the masterminds involved, pro team skier Martin Bartalsky played a pivotal part in guiding the GT-R’s evolution. Check out what he has to say about it.

1. You were part of the testing process for the development of the GT-R. What were you hoping to achieve with the new ski?

I liked the GT a lot, but after some modifications, I found that I preferred more grip under my feet. With more grip, you are able to load the ski easier out of the turn and get to the other side quicker. Grip adds to the support and stability of the ski as well, which is important when you get in trouble and need to rely on the ski to be there for you. Grip is what we were hoping to achieve with the GT-R, and we got it.

2. How exactly where you involved in the overall development of the GT-R?

Doug got me involved during the early stages of the GT-R’s development. I rode a few different models and sent notes back and forth with Doug. He then ultimately decided which one would be the stock ski. I was in love with the finished product from the very beginning and knew it was going to be special after the very first set on it. 

3. What was changed from last year’s GT in order to make a ski for 2019 that is on a whole new level?

The GT-R is noticeably different out of the box. The tip and tail are thicker and the side edge angle has been changed. While it has many of the great characteristics of the GT, the added grip creates incredible room in the course. The GT-R is definitely an improved ride.

4. What are some things people should know about the different ways to setup their GT-R and how to maximize its efficiency for their style?

I recommend that the skiers try all stock setups to find out which one makes them feel more comfortable before fine-tuning. They should know immediately which one they prefer. 

The short and deep set up brings the tip out and drops the tail deeper in the water, making both turns very symmetric. The ski loads easily and holds a ton of angle through the wakes and gets side to side very easily. When you are in trouble this set up makes the ski pretty much bulletproof. The short and deep set up works great for me when I let the ski do its thing without pushing it too hard. 

With the long and shallow settings, the ski rides flatter on the water and is more engaged. It also does not sit as deep and as a result glides easier and carries more speed. However, the turns are not as effortless and thus the turning radius is larger. With long/shallow, you definitely put in more effort to grab the angle through the wakes in order to create the room in the course. I personally like to push the ski hard myself, so this combination works better for me.

5. What is your favorite aspect about the GT-R?

I love the grip under my feet. The GT-R is truly the best ski I have ever ridden. It lets you load early with a ton of angle through the wakes, which creates the speed and lots of room. The ski is incredibly stable and predictable. I love absolutely everything about the it. 

There can be no survivors. So long as one human remains alive, the Alliance is threatened.


  • jcampjcamp Posts: 802 Mega Baller
    Who is Doug?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,157 Administrator
    @jcamp Doug Cannon is the guy at Connelly who handles all R&D for skis.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

  • jcampjcamp Posts: 802 Mega Baller
    edited November 2018
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,089 Mega Baller
    Since "grip" is apparently the skis outstanding feature, can someone wax eloquent on that? What the heck is "grip" in a ski?
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,338 Mega Baller
    @dchristman if you ever rode a N1 it had lots of grip
    Shut up and ski
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,089 Mega Baller
    @MS no, I never rode an N1. As I understand it though, N1 is a ski that requires working harder. It seems to me grip and speed are at odds, so how does this ski have both?
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • The_KristaThe_Krista Posts: 94 Water Ski Industry Professional
    Grip in this context, I believe, is referring to its ability to grab and hold angle ... the dichotomy here is that typically you wouldn't describe a ski that rides deep and grabs a lot of angle as fast -- but in the case of the GT-R you get the best of both worlds...both grippy angle but still get the speed out of the turn and into the wakes. I hope this makes sense and I'm not just reiterating the slogan lol
  • kckc Posts: 157 Baller
    @Martin thanks for all this detailed description about how the new GT-R feels. I especially appreciate how you describe the difference in feel between long and shallow versus short and deep. I was wondering if you could provide numbers for these setups. I’m specifically interested in numbers for the 67 inch. Thanks in advance!
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,957 Mega Baller
    Sounds like a good ski for the northern east region.
  • The_KristaThe_Krista Posts: 94 Water Ski Industry Professional
    Hi @kc here is a diagram from @Connelly_Skis_Inc with the base factory settings... @Martin will likely have additional input :)
  • DeanoskiDeanoski Posts: 862 Crazy Baller
    wow any ski set a 2.520 will have grip.
  • kckc Posts: 157 Baller
    @The_Krista I just went back to the Connelly website and found this and a lot more! I swear it wasn’t there a day or so ago! Thanks Krista 😀
  • Connelly_Skis_IncConnelly_Skis_Inc Posts: 43 Water Ski Industry Professional
  • MartinMartin Posts: 23 Baller
    @kc i would start with the numbers posted. I personally like the fin a bit further forward on the GT and GTR. I personally liked the ski short/deep at 6.86 2.495 0.76 the most. I ride the ski on the long/shallow side of the spectrum with some minor tweaks. My depth is 2.462.

    @Deanoski yes, the depth ads grip but when you take the length out you are not adding any fin area. It's really a personal preference. The ski has more grip even with 2.456 depth.

    @ALPJr this is the most consistent ski I have ridden for sure skiing on waters 50-90 degrees. I used to live in Louisiana and always struggled with cold waters. I have lived in Utah for the past three years, and this is the first ski that I don't touch the fin when the water drops in the fall or spring. Feels very balanced and I don't feel like there is a need for changing the fin.
  • kckc Posts: 157 Baller
    @Martin Thank you again for this additional insight!

    @scotchipman Good question!
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,157 Administrator
    @scotchipman Seriously?

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

  • DavidPDavidP Posts: 176 Baller
    @scotchipman How would you describe the feel of the GTR to the Syndicate Pro and Alpha?
    David Panneton - LakePort Water Ski Club, formerly known as Muddy Waters
  • mbabiashmbabiash Posts: 522 Crazy Baller
    No one uses the slot except Goode. I’ve gone away from it because the conversion is so variable.
  • MartinMartin Posts: 23 Baller
    @scotchipman on the GT/GTR I found it to be about 0.15 difference and when I talk DTF I always use flat numbers. I'm not sure if there is a real conversion. Ddt I mentioned 0.76 was 0.775 with my slot. The official numbers are with flat so I always convert not to confuse anyone.
  • mbabiashmbabiash Posts: 522 Crazy Baller
    @scotchipman i was referring to ski companies posted numbers. I know lots of pros use the slot for a reference and I use it too but like @Martin stated, there really is no conversion that can translate. If you move the dft the same conversion doesn’t really translate even on the same ski. Great reference tool though to see how far you actually move consistently.
  • kckc Posts: 157 Baller
    I’m with @scotchipman. Wish everyone was using a slot caliper for DFT measurements. It would sure make life simpler, not to mention improve accuracy.
  • DaveDDaveD Posts: 821 Crazy Baller
    @kc & @scotchipman It may be simpler for you, but I hope that doesn't happen. There's not a chance in Hell I'm grinding a slot in my $250 8" calipers.
  • kckc Posts: 157 Baller
    @DaveD I don’t blame you! Maybe if you’re really good Santa will bring you a $150 Goode slot caliper that you can use for DFT measurements. 😊
  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,525 Crazy Baller
    I had the honor to ski with the GOAT once. Part way through my set, he made a DFT adjustment. I saw how he stood the ski up, tail up, fin facing him. Then, measured DFT with firm thumb pressure against the caliper, just above the fin.
    Since then, I find measuring DFT like this gives me pretty consistent readings. No slot caliper.
  • Steven_HainesSteven_Haines Posts: 1,035 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @DaveD, not that it matters but a good machine shop can cut a slot in your calipers with out any damage. The problem is that you’ll still be in the weeds cuz it won’t match the original slot of the slot caliper but you will get a more usable tool.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,883 Mega Baller
    except for its just a low end digital caliper sold for 150 bucks...

    I used to use a little steel angle rule and that works awesome.
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