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AGM Talk 2nd October 2015, Dave Casey, Ski Expert At Ellis Brigham

Reporter: Ruth Bacci

Whether you are a fan of Ellis Brigham or not, there is no disputing that they did an excellent job at hosting the club members for the recent annual general meeting. We were hosted upstairs within the Manchester (x) store and provided with wine (or orange juice for those that preferred or drove), comfort and a very technical talk on Skis by the stores very own, very knowledgeable, Dave Casey.

Over the last few years I had favoured purchasing Ski Boots in Europe (mainly for the sales expertise and ability to test), but last season I decided to go to Ellis Brigham to renew my ski boots. Many of you would have heard me talk about my experience, and what I now affectionately now term my 'ski boot faff'. This is how I first got to know Dave and admire his knowledge on the subject matter. Sure - my initial replacement boots were not right for me and Ellis Brigham ended up completely replacing those, but credit to Dave's stealth and knowledge, he stuck with me and eventually we broke through and I can once again look forward to trauma free skiing, (well certainly in the ski boot department at least!)

Dave commenced his talk by explaining his background and experience. We learnt that he was team lead at the Manchester store, and responsible for the readiness and training for all advisors at the store. In being the team lead, he had the annual opportunity (and he was keen to point out, pleasure) of being sent to the Alps on Ellis Brigham's ski testing and review event. Consequently many of the skis he reviewed for us, he had personally tested - and to my amusement, even the Female models!

Dave then took us on a journey of the different materials which are used within the ski - and indeed in most cases, the composition of materials. We started at the ski core - wood (the most common) and progressed through the materials that are used for the composite layers: carbon, kevlar, aluminium honeycomb (Dave pointing out how some manufacturers were choosing to expose the honeycomb for visual effect), fiberglass, titanium. I was intrigued to learn that foam is often used in the core and Dave explained the early struggles that many manufacturers had with ensuring that the foam remained intact within the core.

That then led us to the technical section of the discussion: tips, sidewalls, composite layers, the sidecut, the geometry of the ski and the 'camber' and 'rocker'. Two interesting facts that resonated in this section for me - the fact that Dave specifically looks for the level of degradation in the camber to understand the wear and tear of the ski and what made the 'rocker' design suitable for off-piste skiing.

Most of us were completely overwhelmed by the detail in Dave's discussion, he did a mighty fine job and his passion shone through. I certainly learnt a lot about skis and it reconfirmed for me just how technical the sport is.

Thank you Dave and Ellis Brigham

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