Ski Canada Magazine



Five years ago K2 had at least four skis with waist widths of more than 120mm. Today they have two. To Mike Hattrup, a former pro skier and veteran industry insider (he’s worked for Marmot, K2, Fischer and recently joined Black Diamond), that says a lot about where waist widths are going.

“Super fat skis are great for the first run, but unless you’re heliskiing, most people need a ski for more conditions,” he says. “Super fat is just not that beneficial.”

Ski designers can create almost as much float just by playing with the ski’s characteri­stics. In addition to sidecut and width, they tinker with rocker, camber and taper. Where there was little difference between two GS skis 20 years ago, today two 100mm-width skis can have totally different personalit­ies, says Hattrup.

“That makes it more challengin­g to choose a new pair of skis,” he acknowledg­es. “The good news is that if you can figure out what you like, in terms of sidecut, rocker, taper, etc., then you can have a pretty good idea of what a ski is going to feel like on snow just by looking at its dimensions on paper.”

With all these variables to play with, the evolution of allmountai­n and freeride skis is now focused on refinement­s within the 90 to 115mm range. And particular­ly with skis that can pivot between resort and backcountr­y.

“It’s a hangover from last year when people didn’t know if resorts were going to close,” Hattrup says. “I think the touring-capable skis and bindings are so proficient at the resort there’s not a huge sacrifice anymore.”

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada