New skis riding technological breakthrough |

New skis riding technological breakthrough

Scott Willoughby
The Denver Post
2009-10 skis, L-R:

Technology, it is said, ceaselessly reinvents and outperforms itself, expanding exponentially like a giant snowball gathering mass and matter as it rolls down a bottomless mountainside.

With every revolution, it seems, there comes an evolution, a technological breakthrough complete with a little light bulb flashing overhead to illuminate the next horizon.

Never has that reality been more evident in the world of skiing and snowboarding than right now. Centuries after the invention of these seemingly rudimentary snow sliding sticks, they have been reinvented for the winter of 2009-10 to establish one of those “ah-ha” moments that industry experts regard as a game-changing breakthrough.

“I get to ski test everything, and this technology makes us all better skiers,” said Allen Nolting, merchandising manager for Specialty Sports, one of the largest ski and snowboard retailers in the state. “The confidence it gives you, especially in the powder, is unbelievable. It really is going to change the game of skiing.”

The specific technology Nolting refers to is presented in the form of “camber” and “rocker.” Neither concept is entirely new to modern ski shapes, although their applications have never come under such universal scrutiny. And it is only recently that the two seemingly opposite principles have been combined with such success.

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For years, conventional skis (and snowboards) have been built around the concept of camber. Camber is the slight upward bend traditionally found between the tip and tail of a ski, a curve that reaches its apex beneath the ski binding, most obvious when a pair of ski bases is pressed together.

The notion behind the bend is that a skier (or rider) will push down on it and flatten the ski into the appropriate shape when it’s placed on edge to turn. The flex works in conjunction with the edge shape to grip and carve the snow, even offering some spring as the ski rebounds between turns.

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