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Belfry Meeting - Friday, October 3rd Clive Grainger From Ellis Brigham On New Skis and Testing

By Bryce Cooper

Clive gave some valuable and excellent views on the ski industry in general, ski construction, type of use for the different terrain, and the important considerations of skis and bindings specifically for women. In Clive's opinion K2 are the still the best ski on the market.

It would appear that skiing has become more marketing driven with Companies having lost the pure essence of skiing. It would be good to remove the Ibiza on Ice attitude from more modern skiers.  Ski instructors used to educate people about the mountains and make them aware of the changing conditions. Now it appears to be to teach as fast as they can. Instructors teach on shorter skis than normal to increase confidence and to look good at low speeds.

For example, look at the K2 Seth Pistol named after the ex Sex Pistol. Bright colours, decals, logos and extremely wide and long. It requires little ski ability to go into the outback. This is appealing to the novice but can be dangerous. It is full of gimmicks and aimed at the 21 year old. With studs on the front it gives off a rooster tail of snow dust. Do not ski behind someone skiing on these!

Gauging the correct height of ski for the individual has changed too. It is better to go by a person's weight rather than height. A longer ski is better for control and safety at speed and it's better to buy a ski that is one level up in ability than your current level. That way you can grow into your skis.

Twin tip skis are designed to facilitate better control in the turns. Stability is greater due to an increase in the surface area of the end of the ski in contact with the snow. The back tip enables smoother curves on the turns rather than a flat end. Back tips are better to land in jumps. Wood is the best material for flex and return to original shape.  With shaped skis on ice you need to flex the ski, and edge faster on ice to get a grip. If you are too light for your ski you will not grip Use a softer flex to help you keep the turn, especially on ice.

Clive continued to give us tips and discussed the merits, or otherwise, of each ski that he had brought. This proved very interesting, especially as he had personally tested many of them, or knew someone who had.

We will continue with more of Clive's specific ski revues in the next edition of the Newsletter.

A very interesting and informative evening and thanks go to Clive for his hard working heaving the skis around and putting the talk together.