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2019 Connelly GT-R review

HortonHorton Posts: 28,943 Administrator
edited June 2019 in Reviews

DSC 5433

The Connelly GT-R is the only current high-end ski that has been continuously evolved for more than a decade. The GT-R is the direct descendant of the Connelly F1 that was Jamie Beauchesne’s masterpiece more than 15 years ago. Since then the design has been gradually improved with multiple materials upgrades as well as tweaks to the tunnel and sidewall profile. Through it all the ski maintains the original DNA.

General Feel

In all aspects discussed below the GT-R works best when the skier does less. The ski does not want you to lean and pull harder than needed. The ski wants you to tell it when to turn but not push it to turn. The ski wants you to stand in the middle of it and let it do the work.

In many ways, the GT-R requires less technical skills than other top of the line skis and it is less likely to punish the skier for small mistakes.

Is it a fast ski or a slow ski? That depends on how you set the fin and bindings. My preferred settings for the GT-R resulted in a ski that is not crazy fast but was not a lot of work and consistently cast out wide of the ball.

DSC 5303

Off Side Turns

Skiers with understated upper body moments and centered weight distribution will find the Off Side turns to be reliable and stable. The tip of the GT-R pulls to the inside of the radius aggressively without a feeling that tail of the ski is sliding. It is more of a carving than a sliding turn. The result is a very secure turn ending with lots of angle.

On Side

If the skier is centered on the ski from the wakes to the ball On Side turns are absolutely dependable. The ski flows out and then carves a tight turn at the ball.

If the skier lets their weight distribution move back or attempts to force the On Side turn by pushing on the tail the ski is likely to carve a slow turn. When this happens the GT-R will not turn sharp but it will maintain enough water speed to allow the skier to recover from his / her error.

DSC 5308

Ball to the wakes

From the ball to the wakes the skier’s weight distribution is again critical. With an adequate stacked position, the skier will achieve ample speed with minimal effort.

Wakes to the ball

The GT-R is loose in terms of roll stability. What this means is that if a skier moves to the inside early or too quickly after edge change they will find themselves leaned in more than expected approaching the ball. Correcting for this does not mean a monumental change in technique but may require a few rides to adjust. (Just keep your shoulders level and chin up).

Older skis from the F1 lineage required the skier to maintain as much line tension as possible from the second wake to the ball in order to achieve width. That is no longer the case with the GT-R. It is recommended that you have as much line tension as possible but your width at the ball does not heavily depend on it.

DSC 5275

Quirks

During the review, I did not do extensive experimentation with settings because the settings Martin Bartalsky provided worked so well. The GT-R can be set up a number of ways but settings on this ski can be finicky.

My final settings for the 67" GT-R 29 3/8 - 2.478 - 6.910 - .772

At 183 +/- lbs I rode both the 67” and 68” GT-R. Most of the rides for this review were on the 67” but I ran into 39 off in practice on both skis. If I started the review over I would likely start with the 68”. I consider the GT-R to be slightly small for its advertised size.

Conclusion

There are review skis I am happy to get my bindings off of and there are skis that I would like to ski more on. The Connelly GT-R is a ski that I would like to keep skiing on. If your style is calm and centered the GT-R is a ski you must try.

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Comments

  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,943 Administrator
    edited June 2019
    CORRECTION! The binding goes at 29 3/8 NOT 28 3/8
    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

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

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

    Stella Blue ★ Stokes ★ World WaterSki League

     

    ballsohard
  • JoelhJoelh Posts: 22 Baller
    Did u get the feeling that the ski lifted out of the water as u made the turn from the bouy back to the wake. Also do u like it as much as 2014 connelly prophecy
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,100
    I only got to try my GTR a few sets before foot surgery in the fall. But a few things in your review jive with what I felt. It did feel loose in roll. And it is a different turn. Far less of a snap than the skis I'd been on. Not bad turning. Just different. I'm about ready to ski again finally so I'll throw your numbers on it and give it a whirl.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • BG1BG1 Posts: 183 Baller
    @Horton What was your distant from tail to the front binding set at on the 68” GT-R? Also, did you use the same fin numbers on the 68”? If not, could you share those also? Thank you.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,943 Administrator
    @Joelh no the tip stays down great. If you experience something different it is likely a settings issue.

    @bg1 I never exactly nailed down the settings on the 68". My guess is something like DFT + .007 and everything else basically the same. I did find depth to be somewhat critical on this ski. If you find that the tip of the ski is grabby through the exit of offside add depth.
    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

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

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

    Stella Blue ★ Stokes ★ World WaterSki League

     

  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,588 Mega Baller
    @BG1 Try 28 7/8
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,943 Administrator
    @BG1 @Drago

    My above post was before I had my first cup of coffee. Yes put your front binding where Drago said
    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

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

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

    Stella Blue ★ Stokes ★ World WaterSki League

     

    Dragochris55ballsohard
  • BoozeBooze Posts: 413 Crazy Baller
    @Joelh - I did...particularly through the gates.
  • BG1BG1 Posts: 183 Baller
    @Horton Did you mean 29 7/8” for the front binding on the 68”
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,943 Administrator
    yes
    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

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

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

    Stella Blue ★ Stokes ★ World WaterSki League

     

  • cruznskicruznski Posts: 72 Baller
    @Horton Thanks for your great and really objective reviews! And great photos in this one, too. This is a ski I hope to try out this season.
  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,705 Mega Baller
    bump. Any reports?
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 401 Solid Baller
    I picked one up in July and have been very pleased. Coming off an S2 to the GTR- wow what a difference. GTR has amazing grip . I call it a water magnet. Definitely takes more effort to hold on to it as much deeper riding than the S2 . Takes a bit to get it dialed in but I’m sold
    Bill22CollinSpradlin
  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,705 Mega Baller
    edited October 2019
    @MDB1056 do you mind sharing your speed and line length? I am wondering how the GTR works at -22 & -28 @ 32/34mph.

    Edit. What I meant is, is it to aggressive for a hack skier.
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 401 Solid Baller
    @Bill22 I’m a hacker too. [email protected] I don’t think it’s too aggressive but as noted earlier it takes more energy vs shallower riding skis . Numbers I’m using are Connelly’s Option 1 from their website. I personally like a ski that makes you work. The GTR appreciates patient and centered skiing . The ski has helped me improve my form
    Bill22
  • MartinMartin Posts: 23 Baller
    @MDB1056 @Bill22 The option 1 is definitely a slower because the tail rides deeper. If you go with longer/shallow set up the ski rides more horizontal and glides easier. Really a personal preference. I know about a few max 32mph skiers that like the ski a lot.
    Bill22MDB1056
  • lakeside7455lakeside7455 Posts: 74 Baller
    Also a hacker, [email protected], a few 32's. I went to Option 2, it does grab and I was getting pulled out a lot on offside on factory settings. This fin move forward with a more shallow depth setting definitely made the ski turn faster and got rid of some of that extra grip which was pulling me out. It is still fast and you can still make a lot of angle, so it is all about getting used to it, but I like the ski, coming form older GT ski. Seems faster and smoother, I probably need a few more minor fin adjustments, but I think the ski wants to do the work on turns, so you have to be patient and use good form, if you do, it will reward you and you come out of the turn with speed and angle. Need more time on it, it got cold and ran out of time here in Michigan but can see the potential. 29 7/8, 2.461, 6.980, 0776 setting.
    Bill22
  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,705 Mega Baller
    @MDB1056 @Martin @lakeside7455 thanks for the info. Size wise I am right at the bottom of the 66” range so I am not concerned about it feeling like more work.
  • DanEDanE Posts: 910 Crazy Baller
    If you're not a 36 mph skier you can easily try some less wing angle than factory recommendation.
    I'ts not that the ski is slow by any means, in fact it accelerates very well and effortless from ball to centerline.
    Howevever it also shuts down some more than other skis from centerline to ball (but in a smooth manner) so at below 36 I found decreasing wing angle a degree or so keeps the ski moving through the backside of buoy.
    MDB1056
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 401 Solid Baller
    @martin, @lakeside7455, @dane, thanks for the info. I will try a little longer and shallower and maybe a tad less wing. Really do like the ski. I'm right at the top of the 66 range at just under 160 lbs, but went with the 67 anyway as the GTR's feel shorter than their numbers.
  • lakeside7455lakeside7455 Posts: 74 Baller
    I'm 205 lbs and went with a 68" GTR but had a 67" GT, and it turns just as well or better. The reviews seem to say GTR ski can get away with longer ski so you should be fine there.
    MDB1056
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