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Free Ski vs Hybrid vs Traditional shape

BOS illuminati (and @Horton :D )

Having just pulled the trigger on my X14 I'm now in the market for a ski as my friends Connelly HP lives in his boat and I need a ski of my own. I'm 5'10 ~190lbs (should be 170 by next season) and I'm looking for some reason at the Radar Katana, The HO Omni and the HO Evo Freeride. I've been skiing since I was 11 - on a single since I was 12. Deep water starts aren't an issue and we ski on a lake - no course for me. When my buddy is pulling me we ski at 30-32mph - not sure of the line length. I feel as if I'm an advanced beginner/intermediate type skier, I tend to attack the wake on edge (the HP is good at this) and try to make big sweeping carving type turns, I'm not running the imaginary course but rather trying throw big water and make pretty turns. I would say I've grown comfortable at that speed but I think I'd rather slow down when I'm behind my own tug just a smidge. I'd post a video but don't have any.

I'm chasing the most glorious set I ever ski'd from many years ago on a concave wooden ski behind an outboard on glass. The ski as I recall carved nice easy turns yet could get after it when it needed to. So my question is this: The HO Omni seems to be the best of both worlds, can run a little faster and a little slower and still be a hoot. The Katana is a little sportier than the butterknife. The Connelly is in the mix too but I'm leaning for some reason towards a more modern shaped ski for the obvious reason that ease of getup means more people can ski my ski, I don't need a speed fin, don't run a course and we ski on open water that's usually glassy but sometimes not so much.

Thoughts on the HO Evo Freeride? Sporty - carvy? can it run up to 30-32mph?

HO Omni -

Radar Katana???

Thanks in advance!


ps - @Horton - your reviews are awesome - I'm a suck up and was giving you extra props!


  • GarnGarn Posts: 522 Crazy Baller
    I can't speak for the Radar Katana, but I can for the HO Omni. In a nutshell, I think it would be the perfect ski for you. For what you describe and your boat speed, I think the Omni or the Carbon Omni would be perfect. I don't think the Evo would be the best bet due to the speeds you are skiing (30+). It isn't designed for that speed and would probably feel a bit unstable. It is a soft ski which makes for smooth carving turns but at slower speeds than 30-32. The Omni on the other hand would be perfect. It has such low drag due to the unique speed skin bottom and the clean edge tail that it is effortless to ski on. If you normally make 10 passes you will make 20 passes on the Omni because it doesn't wear you out like other skis. The Carbon Omni would be a bit more responsive ski due to the carbon. But either ski will be great for open water skiing. Plus, the Omni will take you as far as you want to go if you do decide to get into a course. The Syndicate Omni is what I ski on and I absolutely love it.
  • cletuspapacletuspapa Posts: 23 Baller
    Thank you @Garn. I called HO today and had a good conversation based on their input I opted for the Freeride Evo - it'll be here next Friday - my Tug gets here Wednesday - I'll post a report as soon as I'm able. Hopefully the next big blow coming up from the tropics avoids NC and it stays ski-able weather wise well into October!
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,989 Mega Baller
    I have a Katana and ski it at 30 mph in the course into 35 off. It is a great ski, easy to ski on and turns great. I haven’t skied the other skis but the Katana would work well for what you are looking for.
    Mark Shaffer
  • skichiefskichief Posts: 2 New Baller
    @Chef23 I recently got a Katana because I'm in open rough water too often and wanted to try the freeride shape. Problems is I can't get it to turn. What are your settings to help me get this working for me?
    Waterski The World

  • SkicoSkico Posts: 20 Baller
    Why don't you look at the Connelly Aspect
    Better performance and value for money

  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,989 Mega Baller
    edited September 2019
    @skichief no real settings on the Katana just good solid fundamentals. I run a Radar boot in the middle holes. I never got actual setting for the ski. The fin isn’t adjustable so there isn’t anything there. I have been working on standing tall on the ski and trying to keep my zipper pointing down course in the pre turn. Doing that gets in to turn just fine. I could see if you were riding tail heavy the ski might not turn the way you want.

    If the ski won’t turn I would suggest it is a technique issue not a setup issue as there isn’t much adjustability to the ski.
    Mark Shaffer
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,125 Mega Baller
    @skichief do check your binding position and do try it forwards/back. The Katana and Butterknife have a side cut so you want the binding "in it"
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