Just when you think that the ski companies have thought of everything, they come up with something new. And I am pretty sure that not many people saw this one coming.
Atomic Ski recently announced they have found that placing structure in the top sheet (ie. the top of the ski) of their high end classic and skate skis improves the flex and overall speed.
â€œWe have been putting very deep structure in the bases of our athletes skis for the end of the year marathons in warm places like Italy and France,â€ stated Atomic’s International Race Director, Peter Juric. â€œWe have a flex machine that measures pressure at every single centimeter along a ski. We were curious as to how a deep structure might effect flex. So, we test before and after we give a ski deep structure. We find that flex is smoother and more even in a ski after we give it deep structure. Obviously, we cannot do this for all conditions. Skis in normal to cold snow conditions will be slow if they have deep structure in base.”
So then they decided to see if applying the structure to other parts of the ski (such as the sidewall and top of the ski) would give the same results.
“So we put structure in the top sheet before we [molded it to the ski]. We then test the flex pattern and the skis with deep structure in the top sheet have a much better flex for going fast than skis with no structure on top.”
Atomic calls this new technology “Speed Skin” and it is used in their new RS:11 Skate skis and RC:11 classic skis.
Atomic’s US Nordic Director, Rick Halling, shares Juric’s excitement. â€œThe US athletes we sponsor have tested SPEED SKIN and they are very pleased with the performance. This technology should be a big help for the US Ski Team when they go to the World Championships.â€
2002 Olympic Gold medallist Mikhail Ivanov pointed out, â€œThis new top sheet makes skis faster for all snow, you can feel it is better for both skate and classic.â€
According to Atomic, fellow Olympic medallist and former American Birkebeiner champion Mikhail Botvinov found himself in a quandary over the skis. â€œI was all set on the World Championships in Val di Fiemme,â€ stated Botvinov. â€œBut I really like this new ski and it would be great to return to American Birkie to break my old time. This ski would be so perfect for that rolling terrain. I don’t know if I go, depends what they get for snow.â€
FasterSkier.com hopes to be able to test these skis, and provide a review for our readers soon.