Back in summer 2002 I bought a used pair of Salomon Pocket Rockets for a trip to Chile. I wanted to try something new and innovative – back then twin tips, lighter construction for tricks and airs and fat shape with a bit shorter length were something really cool.
The concept was a winner. As much as pocket rockets got bad reputation as “blue noodles”, thousands of users were really satisfied – a easy-skiing fat ski was a hit for the upper-intermediate masses.
Ok, I beat the s*** out of the said noodles and maybe even used them a little for the intended purpose (=bc freestyle), check e.g. this picture.
To be honest they were not good for all out speed, so called “ripping”, and/or hard surfaces. Anyhow, I always wondered how well the 90mm middle and 185cm length floated in soft snow. In tight trees of the Slovakian Jasna ski resort I could easily “schmear” turns and completely throw the skis sideways here and there – kind of skid on top of the pow. This kind of maneuvers were absolute no-no on the skinny sticks of the gone years.
Volant Spatula funshaped skis opened my eyes
Then I found this Spatula manual (warning: it’s long but so worth of reading if you’re interested in innovative ski design and new concepts of powder skiing). Volant Spatula by the mastermind Shane McConkey himself was really something different, finally. First I laughed… then I started to think about the ski.
It finally cleared to me why my old decambered PR’s were such a killer tree powder skis. The shape was almost Spatula like in the end, tips not touching each others when carried together. Bingo, no hook-ups and tip-dives, just effortless surfing.
Big mountain skis reaching the size of a surfboard
Move on to the year 2007. Powder and big mountain skis are getting more like surf boards these days. There are shapes for every imaginable conditions and styles. Powder skis could be compared to the surf “big guns” reserved for those very special days.
I’ve yet to try latest designs (except Volkl Katana) and I am eager to get demo some (not so easy in our part of the world though!). Anyway, I truly believe that new shapes offer something new, fun and different. I’m seriously considering to buy a ski like K2 Hellbent, even knowing the amount of my very limited powder days. But powder is luxury, and IMHO luxury tools could be reserved for it too…no matter of the price or relative lack of use.
TGR forum guys have named these new designs “funshapes”. I collected a short list of what I could find from the web, see below. (Today we’re going to visit our annual ski trade show Ski Expo to check out what’s available here in the flats in this category too… stay tuned).
K2 Hellbent (150mm-122mm-141mm)
K2 Seth (130mm-98mm-118mm) with new “mini-rocker” design, all mountain ski with only the tips “rockered”
Even the K2 tele-ski, Anti-piste (135mm-102mm-121mm) has rockered tips (very cool in my opinion)
Volkl Katana (140mm-111mm-130mm)
Salomon Rocker (147mm-127m-137mm), rockered front, rest of the ski with traditional camber
4FRNT EHP 193 (130mm-112mm-118mm) & 186 (129mm-116mm-123mm)
DP Skis Lotus 138 (140mm-138mm-139mm; but actually the shape is more like ARG, five numbers would decribe it better…see the pic below. BTW. these are just beautiful)
DP Skis Lotus 120 (140mm-120mm-125mm)
Birdos 11 (134mm-138mm-128mm)
Birdos “Puder Luder”, traditional sidecut (152mm-126mm-142mm), rockered tips
Praxis Skis “Powder” 117mm-121mm-111mm, 175cm; 124mm-136mm-131mm, 185&195cm (check out the designs!)
Capital Skis, many interesting options.
Powered by Facebook Comments