From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

This Year’s Ski Designs Conquer Even the Meanest Slopes

Today’s skiers can go anywhere they want, and recent reviews of the season’s new gear suggest ski designers are paying close attention to ergonomic solutions for even the meanest snow conditions and terrain.

Fat and twin-tip skis are in for the extreme crowd, according to Calgary Sun. In the article Ron Manz describes the fatter skis as providing more flotation and platform for a wider range of conditions. Interviewed by Manz, Kevin Bernier, a coach at the Alberta Free Skiers Club, said the new skis are more maneuverable and “have opened up a lot more terrain for users while providing new experiences for them that weren’t available in past.”

Experts writing for Colorado’s Summit Daily News are impressed with Fat-ypus skiis, which are designed for extreme conditions but are also at home in gentler conditions. Interviewed for the newspaper, Fat-ypus co-founder Jared Mazlish describes them as the best all-purpose powder skis on the market. The sport of skiing was progressing toward wider specifications, he said, but the widest skis on the market were either too heavy or couldn’t adapt to backcountry and aggressive big-mountain skiing. His company’s prototype started life as two halves of a snowboard.

Fat twin-tipped skis are wide at both ends with a narrow waist under the boot. According to reporter Manz, they provide top-notch performance in every type of condition, from backcountry to deep powder and from pipe to groomed runs.

Somewhere under the hyperbole in ski makers’ and retailers’ product literature there is evidence of the flexibility and high performance that today’s skiers can expect.

Step into the Blizzard Titan Pro Alpine Skis, the Cool Antarctica catalog says, and it “is as near as you’ll get to strapping a pair of missiles to your feet.”

Cool Antarctica’s product lineup suggests women’s needs haven’t been overlooked. It describes the Fischer Rangi 88 Women’s Alpine Skis as “twintip fatties (that) will float you through all the pow stashes off the gondola and have you jibbing in the park like a madwoman.”

And then there is the Patriot Missile, the red, white and blue skis from the K2 Ski Corp. Marketed as Patriot GT6s, they are built with a fiberglass/titanium laminate. K2’s Smart Ski Technology is built in, a system of damping sensors in the fore-body of the ski to absorb the mechanical energy of the ski’s vibrations and convert it into electrical energy.

“Damping sensors?” “Pow?” Skiers and designers are writing a new vocabulary to describe snow conditions and terrain