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Light is might... right?

JBBJBB Posts: 76 Baller
I have been looking through everyone's ski catalogs, and noticing that manufactures are producing 3-4 variants of ski (presumably the same shape).
Think Radar with the Senate (Alloy -> Graphite -> Lithium ->Pro) or HO Omni (Base -> Carbon -> Syndicate)
I understand that there is a progression from a fiberglass to carbon fiber to variable core constructions.
My question is what is the weight difference between the lower level of skis to the higher level?


  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,888 Infinite Pandas
    Weight matters! But it's just one factor in a ski's performance. (Sometimes light weight is a disadvantage - did I really say that? Sacrilege!). Nobody adds lead to make a ski work better. But you are unlikely to gain buoys just because you shed a few grams from your setup.

    Different materials and processes allow different characteristics to be engineered into a ski. Carbon has usefully different properties from glass as well as being lighter. It is a lot more expensive and requires different resins and mold times. Weight is a by product of these differences.

    Of course, some extra effort can (should?) be expended just to make a ski lighter. So the ultra premium skis should be lighter both intrinsically and through more refined processes.

    I remember testing the Monza (which I loved) side by side with the System 8 (same mold, different materials). Huge difference in feel and buoy count. The premium Monza was worth the extra in performance.

    To your question, I have no idea exactly how many grams different various models are as you go up the cost/performance spectrum. If you can demo, pick the ski that works best for you.

  • JBBJBB Posts: 76 Baller
    @eleeski - Thanks! I agree that buying a better/more expensive tool won't necessarily make a drastic difference. It's the drive that counts the most.
    I have gone MTBing with some gram counters, and learned that lesson.
    My question stems from curiosity more than anything. I'm not REALLY in the market for a new ski right now... as far as my wife knows :)
  • marknmarkn Posts: 216 Solid Baller
    Even if the ski is light weight, depending on what bindings you use, they can double the weight of the ski. I agree with Liquid D...skier weight/strength and technique are far more important considerations.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,888 Infinite Pandas
    Skier weight does matter. Both ways. You never see obese people on the podium as well as extremely thin people. You need the strength and associated weight to ski well. A blanket "lose body weight" is not right.

    Your ski is at the end of a long lever. Ski weight effects are magnified by this if you are strongly moving the ski's position relative to your body. The more advanced you are (or the more ragged you ski), the more you will notice it.

    Binding weight counts in this equation.

  • JBBJBB Posts: 76 Baller
    Thanks guys, and I agree with what you are saying about being a healthy weight, and a better ski will not drastically improve your buoy count.
    My question is more based on what the marketing materials don't tell you.
    Think of Subaru. For all intents and purposes, the Impreza, WRX, and STI are all basically the same car. We know the differences in engine, HP, and suspension set up, but what does that mean in terms of 0-60 times and Lateral G's on a skid pad?
    I am trying to understand some of the other details on the ski (for my own personal curiosity) what is the impact on weight? Or Flex for that matter?
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,801 Mega Baller
    What you basically should know about the skis - weight is a sales point but from the lowest end to the highest end skis there is not a tremendous amount of weight change. Someone could weight them but I'd bet no more than a pound from the bottom to the top of the range.

    Stiffness is definitely at play and particularly torsional stiffness which is in my opinion what you will probably notice.

    Fins sometimes vary - the base level Omni for instance comes with a plastic sort of surf board style fin, then the next level up comes with an aluminum fin with fwd/back movement and then the top level comes with a full adjustable fin box.

    Core materials are all some form of foam - these days pretty much universally carved on a mill/router - supposedly now goode has a carbon foam - but there have also been hollow skis from companies like warp and fisher.

    Flex depends on many factors including the core, the lay up materials and the lay up directionality of the materials and also the profile of the ski which people don't discuss much - but for instance if you had a ski made of the exact same materials with no tunnel so that it was flat top and bottom that would have very different flex than one with a tunnel.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,348 Crazy Baller
    Heavy on the podium? He ain't obese, but he's sure heavy and he's seen a few podiums -- Steve Raphael.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,867 Administrator
    Better materials matter. Weight really does not matter much but the best materials and and processes result in lighter skis. It is cheaper and easier to make a heavy ski but it will not perform as well. Light weight is a side effect of the best materials and processes.

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