WildSnow Ski Weight/Surface Comparison Chart — And More

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | March 4, 2014      

September 2017. Flash, Check out the Elan Ibex84 Carbon, 9th lightest.

Black Diamond (right) trims quite a bit of weight by using minimal extensions of steel edge at tip and tail.

Black Diamond (right) trims quite a bit of weight by using minimal extensions of steel edge at tip and tail. Sportiva extends their edges farther. I'm in favor of this as a weight saving trick, but consumer testing will determine how much durability is lost. In my view, it's more important to have the edges extending pretty much to the end of the tail (for control when in the backseat on hard snow), while the tip is less important.

Movement Response-X wins our weight vs surface area calcs -- at least for today.

Movement Response-X was former winner of our weight vs surface area calcs. They're still right in there as one of the lightest skis ever.

This is definitely the “gear geek” side of WildSnow.com (thankyou verymuch). But knowing this stuff helps us enjoy ski touring as less weight on the feet simply feels good. We spend quite a bit of time on this project using real-world measurements of skis we have here in the workshop. Spreadsheet formula is fairly simple and subject to slight revisions, which I’ll make sure get updated in this chart. I did a lot of experimenting with different formulas and most arrived at the same spread of weights for the comparison of the different skis, so as I refined it was really just splitting hairs. Guest blogger Jonathan got started on this a while back, but we needed to do it where I had more skis in hand and the current ones for our Ultimate Quiver, so better we do another version. Much rounding and some estimation is involved, so don’t look at this as an exact way of comparing several similar skis. For example, the Goode and the Dynafit Cho Oyu we evaluated are only one score-point different, which means they are virtually the same.

First chart is ski weight vs surface area score, the stat that skiers focused as much on downhill as the uphill should focus on. Below that you’ll find length vs weight which for the total weight fanatic is perhaps the more important stat. Click on and slowly mouse over the bars for a score number.

Second chart takes length vs weight and sorts with lightest at the top. This is the chart you’d used to pick what is simply the lightest ski, regardless of width.

If we get around to it, you’ll see a third chart that lists the skis by their actual weights, regardless of length or width.

Bear in mind that some brands of skis have unpredictable variations in weight/surface as well as length/weight when lengths of the same models are compared. We assume this is because sometimes a shorter ski can be built quite light as it undergoes less leverage and generally supports lighter skiers, but by the same token the shorter skis could be overbuilt if laid up and the same as a longer ski, and thus appear heavier per unit surface or length.

Again, skis within a few points of each other are virtually the same, so be careful if you tend to obsess.

We used unrolled “deployed” lengths (rounded for display, measured to several millimeter accuracy for the spreadsheet), but the lengths shown on the chart bars are the manufacturer’s stated model ‘length.’ Sometimes the two measurements are the same, sometimes they’re slightly different. All chart data is subject to revision (as are our formulas) as we verify retail ski weights, correct typos, and so forth. So if you’re tempted to try and reverse engineer what we’re doing with this, I’d suggest that would be a waste of time.

In terms of shopping for the best weight/price/performance ratio, we’re thinking the sweet spot on the chart is the score 71 to 80 range. The lighter skis are tempting but expensive, and the heavier ones may be unsuitable for folks doing much hiking, though perhaps more to the liking of aggressive skiers or those needing a plank that works well as a lift-served resort board with crossover to the BC.

Due to the nightmarish way Google keeps changing things behind our back, the following charts used to have live updates from our source spreadsheets and be visible to anyone. But not anymore. Now we have to process and upload simple images. More work for us, but should convey the same info you used to get from our former charts. Only thing is we added a few steps to our workflow in that we have to publish new images each time we update. Oh well, nobody said it was easy — or did Google say that? Liars.

Due to small ongoing revisions we’re not sharing our formula for figuring weight vs surface, but it is pretty simple. We basically just split the ski into two trapezoids based on an average of where the ski waist is located. The area of the traps is then made into a score based on ratio of weight and surface area. We compensate a bit for an average tip and tail shape, measure things fairly accurately with skis in hand (no catalog or magazine data, but occasional data from trusted sources), and let the spreadsheet do the calcs. Again, bear in mind that due to our estimating and averaging (as well as the fact that the same ski model will frequently vary a few grams in weight from one to the next), skis within a few score points of each other (next to each other on the charts) are essentially the same score — thus, don’t obsess.

For example, the top 5 or 6 skis on the chart are all amazing in terms of their weight, though remember this is surface/weight so the actual lightest weight skis in terms of length/weight are somewhat different.

Those of you contributing data, remember we build these charts using actual measurement of the ski including measuring width, “unrolled” length, and averaged weight of both skis weighed on a tested scale. If you would like to contribute data, please contact us with contact link above and we’ll consider it. All, please remember that skis with similar positions on the charts are virtually the same in terms of weight — the intent of these charts is to place skis into weight “classes” so you know what you’re getting when you shop. To that end, keep in mind that ski weight may vary quite a bit in a manufacturing run, so skis that are close together on the chart can trade places depending on which ones we weigh. Thus, again, don’t consider a ski to be significantly heavier than another unless it’s in an obviously different class on the bar chart, based on length of bars. The skis also have a score, but we’ve had trouble getting the Google charts to display that. We’ll keep trying.



198 Responses to “WildSnow Ski Weight/Surface Comparison Chart — And More”

  1. Greg March 12th, 2013 12:14 pm

    Nice analysis Lou. I have often wondered about the weight to surface area comparison. Pretty tough calcs to do with all the varied geometries. One technique that you could use that might simplify things is to use paper cutouts of the ski surface. The weight of the paper cutout can then be compared to the weight of a piece of paper with a known and easily measured surface area. One key is to use paper with a similar density.

    W1= wieght of known paper piece
    A1=surface area of known paper piece
    Wx=wieight of ski cutout paper
    Solve for Ax: Ax=(A1*Wx)/W1

  2. Lou Dawson March 12th, 2013 12:39 pm

    All, one thing to know is at this point the mean for our scores is 83. If the ski is within a few points more or less of an 83, it’s average in weight on the chart, not heavy, and meaning it’s rather light because our selection of test skis is on the light side.

    Greg, you method would work fine if one needed to be that accurate. We don’t need that kind of accuracy, however. So long as I’m confident we can generate a fair comparison chart and get something to state in our reviews, I’m good for now.

    Interestingly, I did try simply averaging the tip/waist/tail and using that for the width x length to get a surface area number that could be compared from ski to ski. This actually worked pretty well and I was tempted to go with it, but the trapezoids got slightly better results and the formula was easy. I spent a lot more time measuring the skis and doing the chart than I did on the spreadsheet.

  3. Lou Dawson March 12th, 2013 12:41 pm

    Another observation we made was that in some cases shorter skis tend to be less efficient in terms of surface area vs weight. Keep that in mind when trying save weight by going shorter. You can save weight that way for sure, but at what cost in performance? (Note, on some brands the opposite seems to happen. Thus, be careful when extrapolating our scores to different length skis of the same brand/model.)

  4. Charlie March 12th, 2013 1:06 pm

    Shorter skis are still lighter, the skins weigh less, and they handle better on the pack. As I learned from a post of yours ages ago, cheek-height works great. Shorter than that, and it’s too short…

    Once you’ve settled in on your desired method of width determination, please consider detailing it. If it’s a useful number, it’s a thing that manufacturers can quote and for which they can optimize future designs.

    Great to see Wildsnow going cautiously quantitative!

  5. Lou Dawson March 12th, 2013 2:17 pm

    Charlie, really good point about the skins! Some weigh a ton! I’m finding the forehead height for heavily rockered skis is frequently better than the old cheek standard. This is one of the reasons why ski weight has suddenly become more important. Ditto for skin weight, then next frontier for all these guys essentially still cutting skins out of conveyor belt material.

  6. Lou Dawson March 12th, 2013 3:42 pm

    All, I just added in the weight vs length chart. These charts update automatically as I update the spreadsheet, so we’ll be adding more skis as more Ultimate Quiver contenders arrive. Fun. Now we’re totally dialed for picking skis that give the best mix of weight vs performance.

  7. Pavel March 12th, 2013 4:54 pm

    Hey Lou,
    Great stuff (as usual) – you gave us a teaser earlier and I’ve been looking forward to seeing this.
    One thing I’m getting different results on is that shorter ski model versions actually score better in my analysis (than longer skis of the same model) – this is quite consistent across the board and even using couple different formulas (one from Jonathan found here on WildSnow and others elsewhere on-line and developed one myself).
    Even precise statistics only goes so far ;- ) Either way, this is definitely very helpful for an initial comparison when ski shopping. As mentioned here by many, actually skiing the planks is the best way to figure out whether a particular skier likes them or not… but if no such option is available, this may help with the decision making.
    Thanks a ton.

  8. Lou Dawson March 12th, 2013 6:14 pm

    Pavel, glad you enjoy it.

    All these things should have a purpose. Our purpose it to simply place the skis into some weight classifications so that we can say things like “this average weight ski performs well, so you’re getting fun downhill without an extra penalty on the way up.” Beyond that, yeah, perhaps if I split hairs I could change the results a bit. I experimented quite a bit with that, and I couldn’t shift the results enough to skew my classifications, though the numbers would bounce around a bit.

    In terms of shorter vs longer skis of same model, don’t be surprised if results are unexpected. First, be sure you are calculating using real-world widths and exact unrolled lengths, as shorter skis are frequently narrower, meaning less bang per unit surface area. More, just because a ski is the same model doesn’t mean the shorter one is made the same, with the same amount of resin, fiber, and so forth. They can vary quite a bit. I figured they should be close in weight/surface, but would have been surprised if they’d been exactly the same and I’m not bothered if they are quite different.

    For example, I was just dealing with that today with one of our ski manufacturers, who is saying one of the lengths we’re testing may be coming out of the mold at a different weight than what we got off our current testers.

    If your results are a lot different, perhaps we’re compensating for tip and tail shape in different ways. Whatever, again, so long as we can make some meaningful classifications of the skis, we are happy with the results. I’ll leave it to someone with a lot more spare time to do something like cutting out paper forms and using them to calculate exact surface area (grin).


  9. Bar Barrique March 12th, 2013 8:00 pm

    I think that the weights, and, widths of the skis seem to be missing. Though I guess you may still be working on your charts.

  10. Lou Dawson March 12th, 2013 8:45 pm

    We might put some of the data in there. We’ll see. Much of it is on our ski weights chart here:


    And I’ll update with latest.

  11. D. March 13th, 2013 3:41 am

    What about the pure carbon G3 ZenOxides? Considering they are the lightest at 105mm would be nice to have them in….

  12. Martin March 13th, 2013 5:51 am

    Hi Lou,

    I find the charts really interesting. Just a thought that crossed my mind:

    The weight/surface area calculations are geared towards riding performance in soft snow, I guess? It would be nice if you could post the surface area data as well, because when you ride in soft snow what really matters is the riders total weight (including backpack, boots, and so on) vs. surface area. So a big guy with a heavy pack has to choose a much larger ski than a skinny girl, for example. The differences in ski weight are probably negligible in this respect.

    Of course, ski weight matters as well, since this adds to the weight you have to move with every single step when ascending.

  13. Lou Dawson March 13th, 2013 6:48 am

    D.,. a lot of stuff is going in, including those. It’s an ongoing project and the charts automatically update when I update my spreadsheets.

    Martin, you can do that informally by just knowing which skis are fatties as you examine the charts, but perhaps I can figure out a scoring system for fatness. I don’t really want to publish the exact numbers as they’re subject to possible corrections and don’t reflect running surface. As someone alluded to above, having the dimensions on the chart would be good, and probably as much as you’d need to determine fatness. Lou

  14. dell todd March 13th, 2013 8:05 am

    I third the skins chart idea. My setup seems pretty light until the orange skins are installed and things begin to feel heavy quickly. Not sure if that is a misperception or reality. I am curious as to how other skins would change the “real feel” which would take into account the skin on the ski, rolled out at the ends of the levers. So it would be cool to have a chart that shows actual skin scale weight and also a subjective category on how an installed skin feels in the weight department, relative to other skins. I assume there would be three categories: full syn, mohair/syn blend & pure mohair which may indicate weight to some degree and also grip/glide.

  15. AK Briun March 13th, 2013 9:54 am

    Would love the see the Dynastar Cham High Mountains (87,97, 107) on this list and see you guys do a review of them as well. Love my 97’s!

  16. Lou Dawson March 13th, 2013 10:06 am

    AK, talk to Dynastar…

  17. Lou Dawson March 13th, 2013 10:08 am

    All, I’ve been working on this project a bunch, it’ll probably be today’s blog post as well.

    Regarding skins, we have enough around here to do something with them. I’ll see what we can do. The correct approach would involve simply cutting the skins up into chunks with the exact same size, the weighing. We might have enough old ones laying around to start on that.


  18. Eric March 13th, 2013 10:10 am

    Hi Lou,
    Nice to see these charts, thanks for the work. Noticed to the Grand Teton and Yeti on there, two skis I am interested in. Have you skied either yet? Any quick impressions on how they compare to each other? The Yeti’s weight is very appealing, can’t seem to find much info on how it skis though. Thanks for any input!

  19. Lou Dawson March 13th, 2013 11:13 am

    All shall be revealed, sooner or later. The Yeti is amazingly light.

  20. XXX_er March 13th, 2013 6:19 pm

    to me the alpinists looked so light and minimalist but when I actualy weighed them I found the G3’s and BD’s with the old tip loops actualy weigh about the same within 5 grams while my Dynafit skins are significantly lighter

    A pair of BD skins trimmed for some old 180cm version 1 BD verdicts weigh 688, a pair of skins for a longer/wider 191cm Stoke weigh 602, so lets say pomoca’s will probably be about 100grams lighter for the same size ski than a BD or G3

    whats that 12-15%?

  21. Lou Dawson March 13th, 2013 6:26 pm

    Pomoca/Dynafit skins really are quite something, I have to say. But the G3 offerings have some pluses, mainly, super durable.

  22. Bar Barrique March 13th, 2013 7:58 pm

    I think that it would be helpful (for me at least) to see a sample calculation explaining the methodology behind the charts.

  23. Lou Dawson March 13th, 2013 8:50 pm

    Bar, Jonathan explained it all well,


    and we’re essentially doing what he was doing but built something a bit different from scratch, our end result is a numeric score rather than a percentage. Mainly, bear in mind we are simply comparing skis to one another, not trying for some kind of actual number of grams per square millimeter. It all has a certain degree of course granularity due to the fact that no two skis weigh exactly the same, and the shape is difficult to perfectly explain in a mathematical formula.

    Perhaps you’re confused by our two charts. The first one is indeed base on surface area vs. weight. But the second one is super simple and is just weight vs length with no consideration of width.

    All lengths are actual measured in the workshop unrolled (measured tip to tail along the base).

    On the surface area chart, skis with scores of only one or two numbers difference are essentially the same in real-world use. If it’s helpful, think of the skis in the first chart as three classes: Heavy, average, light. Visualize the chart that way. Most human powered skiers would want to stick with the average to light skis, unless they had a good reason to go with the heavy ones.


  24. Sam F March 14th, 2013 10:59 am

    surface area to weight ratios seems to me to be a really good indicator of how hard a ski is going to get tossed in hard variable snow. Not shocking to see a surface ski score very well in this catagory.

  25. Lou Dawson March 14th, 2013 11:08 am

    Sure, if you think heavier skis as a rule our better, our charts can be used that way. My take after skiing most of this stuff is the “average” weight skis do just fine in terms of being tossed around, it’s the ones on the lighter end of the scale where how they are built becomes key, as well as the skill of the skier.

    Lighter weight gear sometimes demands more skill, but the rewards can be worth it.

  26. Eric March 14th, 2013 1:30 pm

    Will you be adding more skis to this chart? Would like to see how some of the Black Diamond touring skis, especially the Drift size up.

  27. Lou Dawson March 14th, 2013 1:33 pm

    We’ll be adding next season’s BD skis in a few days. They significantly changed their manufacturing process so I’m not going to bother fooling around with older ones. Other skis will go in as well, but mostly ones we’re considering for our Ultimate Quiver.

  28. Eric March 14th, 2013 2:52 pm

    Thanks, looking forward to it. Their new lineup looks pretty nice, especially the Convert.

  29. Lou Dawson March 14th, 2013 4:17 pm

    We’ve got some new winners added to the charts. Check out those feather light G3 C3 skis!

  30. FrankB March 16th, 2013 10:47 am

    Great chart! But could you try and include the Swiss-made Movement X ski (http://www.movementskis.com/en/products/skis/x-series/logic/ ), which at 1100 grams for the 176 cm length is the lightest ski I have ever come across. I have had my Movements for two seasons now, mounted with Dynafit bindings, and just love them- both for backcountry and piste skiing. And unlike my earlier Goode skis, I have had no problems with the Movements breaking or delaminating.

    I have always believed that light skis are not only a bonus when you’re touring, but also make turning easier. It’s basic physics: to turn, a ski needs to change direction, and the less weight there is, the less energy it takes to turn the ski. I’d be interested in other skier’s thoughts on this.

  31. Lou Dawson March 16th, 2013 2:30 pm

    Frank, if we ever get any to evaluate we’ll include. We generally only include skis we evaluate here, ourselves. Dozens of excellent skis out there we never evaluate.

    1100 for 176 is pretty good. Goal in the industry now, for those oriented to human power, is the “one kilo ski.”


  32. Lou Dawson March 20th, 2013 12:06 pm

    Yowwww! I just added DPS Yvette 112RP, super light! Check it out!

    This about ties it. No reason for us to test or tour on klunky skis. Things have changed!

  33. Lou Dawson March 20th, 2013 2:11 pm

    As a point of reference, I just added the K2 Remedy alpine ski. It’s definitely not a backcountry plank. Quite heavy and with a turned up tail. It probably skis great, but not appropriate for Ultimate Quiver. Lou

  34. Steve March 20th, 2013 4:10 pm

    Maybe more weight is better than less weight to a certain extent?

  35. Lou Dawson March 20th, 2013 4:22 pm

    Tell that to DPS…

    Seriously, the weight of a ski is one of probably 300 factors that affect how it performs. So yeah, sometimes more weight can be helpful, but more weight can also work against you when making turns.

    If I was shopping for backcountry skis I’d use the weight charts to pick models that are in the middle to low range of weight, then demo. I’ll guarantee many of those skis do just fine.


  36. Lou Dawson March 22nd, 2013 8:05 pm

    Just added La Sportiva Hi5 178, looking a bit heavy for a human powered option…

  37. FrankB March 22nd, 2013 10:35 pm

    Lou- can you include just the weight and ski length? Maybe I’m missing something, but the be all and end all for me is just weight- for a given length, how much ski do I have to push up the hill?

  38. Lou Dawson March 23rd, 2013 5:31 am

    Frank, easier said than done. We’ve sample around 30 skis so far for this project, here in our shop. One or two lengths each. Considering those same skis come in 3 or 4 different lengths, to attempt to simply provide the weight of each ski, verified in-house, would be impractical. It would involve hundreds of skis, including acquisition, shipping, etc.

    Even so, know that we have several weight resources here at WildSnow that might be useful for you. If you want just raw skis listed by weight , irregardless of width and length, check the links in our nav menus.

    I’ll keep improving the charts above, and attempt to add some sort of weight data. But I don’t want to detract from the purpose of these charts, which is TO COMPARE THE WEIGHT OF SKIS TO EACH OTHER, in one case based on how much surface area, and in the second chart based on how much length.

    If you simply need to pick the lightest skis, the charts do work. Just pick a ski that shines both in the surface/weight score, as well as the length/weight score. As you can see on the charts, it’s obvious which skis the really light ones are.


  39. Mike March 25th, 2013 9:43 am

    Any chance you will be evaluating the Kastle TX97? I would like to see how this ski compares on the weight charts and hear a review of the skis performance.

  40. Lou Dawson March 25th, 2013 10:56 am

    All, I’ve recently been dealing with catalog weight vs verified ski weight. For those of you scouring the web for other surface/weight charts, please know that unless the skis are weighed and measured in-house or based on actual measurements by technicians at the ski company, such charts may have so much inherent error as to be useful only for a general guideline or as an amusing pastime. I wish we could evaluate more skis, but we’ll continue to only do ones when we can get verified data, usually in-house.

    Mike, I’m not yet sure what we’ll be doing with TX97. Stay tuned.


  41. Eric March 28th, 2013 3:31 pm

    Hi Lou,
    Any chance you can give us the actual weight of the Soul 7’s? I’ve looked all over the internet and cant find a single source of published weight. All I can find is that they’re 30% lighter then similar brands in this width. Not sure if that means 7pds or 9pds. Thanks

  42. Lou Dawson March 29th, 2013 9:46 am

    Hi Eric, I just added Soul 7 to our gear weights chart:

    It’s quite a light ski for its performance and width, though not what I’d overall call “light.”

    They’re probably quite a bit lighter than other _alpine_ skis, but just average when compared to backcountry skis.

  43. Lou Dawson March 29th, 2013 10:26 am

    Just got a few BD skis, 2013/14, in for evaluation. Revert is on the chart as slightly above average for surface/weight. Meaning it’s quite good since our chart is biased to the lightweight side of things. Sadly, the top of ski has the funny indentations that will fill with ice and add weight during nearly any tour. BD needs to get off their kick of having that type of top-skin geometry. It’s not appropriate for human powered skiing. Otherwise, am looking forward to getting out on these as by all reports they’re good skis. 122/95/109 is the sidecut. Lou

  44. Lou Dawson March 29th, 2013 11:55 am

    Revised weight for Voile V8 176 due to prototypes being too heavy. They weighed a random selection of production retail skis at Voile in Salt Lake City :

    1 – 1677g
    2 – 1614g
    3 – 1616g
    4 – 1596g

    I changed average weight used in chart to 1626, which is excellent!

  45. Charlie March 29th, 2013 3:43 pm

    1626±38 g ! Thanks for providing Lou with a distribution of masses, Voile!

    ( divided the standard deviation by 0.92 to unbias things, if you’re checking the math )

  46. Lou Dawson April 7th, 2013 1:00 pm

    Just added Black Diamond Current 175 3013/14, average weight, skis very nice, if you’re looking for something in the proverbial “87 underfoot” range this will be a good option to look for next winter.

  47. Lou Dawson April 7th, 2013 1:23 pm

    Ooooo baby, this is almost as good as ***.

    Hagan Wai Flow arrived yesterday. Weigh in:

    Unrolled length 172.5, 1164 grams!

    Dynafit Cho has slightly better (still our best) surface/weight score due to it not having a pintail like the Wai (99 mm tail), but Cho weighs a few grams more at 1178 grams for a 173.4 cm unrolled.

    Wai has a length/weight score of 6.75, Cho scores 6.79 (lower is lighter). Dead heat!! Both are easily some of the lightest full-function backcountry skis due for the 2013/14 season.

    This, folks is the WAR for the ONE KILO ski mountaineering ski, and is shifting the whole picture of what we get to enjoy in the backcountry.

    I added Wai to the weight chart, testing to commence. Pray they ski ok, I’m not inspired by the tiny tail and lack of rocker for western North America conditions… but with a huge tip and 86 at the waist they’ve got something going on. We shall see.


  48. Charlie April 7th, 2013 3:32 pm

    The Shaman is coming home to roost, in a roundabout way.

  49. Lou Dawson April 19th, 2013 5:24 pm

    Added Black Diamond Convert 180 cm, good surface/weight ratio. Testing will commence. Lou

  50. Chris April 20th, 2013 8:14 pm

    Just got my hands on a test pair of next seasons Scott Rock’Air skis. They are shockingly light. At 137-105-127 in a 183 they weigh 1570 grams each (6.9# for the pair). I’m not aware of too many other 105 waisted skis that are sub 7#. My old Stokes were 7.25# in a 182.

    They have mild tip rocker, straight tail and just the right amount of camber. Maybe a bit too much sidecut for my taste. Apparently they’re built with a pauwlonia core with carbon stringers. Looking forward to testing!

  51. Lou Dawson April 30th, 2013 6:15 pm

    Chris, that sounds like an excellent weight, let’s hope they ski good. The samples I saw at OR show were all heavy so we didn’t pay much attention, sounds like we should revisit. Lou

  52. Lou Dawson May 22nd, 2013 12:25 pm

    Just now got around to weighing some more of our Ski Trab testers. Folks, we have the legendary ONE KILO ski on our hands! 171 Magico pair averages exactly 1,000 grams each ski! They get best score in both weight/surface and weight/length. They also ski just fine, durability unknown. They’re a carbon ski, obviously. Review coming. Lou

  53. Bill May 22nd, 2013 2:59 pm

    Hey Lou

    I know you are busy.
    I will test those Magicos for you.

  54. Terrance May 25th, 2013 3:42 pm

    Could you add waist to you chart?

  55. Lou Dawson May 25th, 2013 7:34 pm

    Terrance, yes, I want to get waist in there, just trying to figure out how to fit it without jumbling things up.

  56. David B June 11th, 2013 6:56 pm

    Ok Lou, now we need to measure the torsional rigidity and flex patterns and durability. ie the test of time versus pop.

    Any thoughts?

  57. David B June 11th, 2013 6:59 pm

    Sorry Lou, to be more accurate, days skied versus pop to spaghettiometer.

  58. Lou Dawson June 11th, 2013 7:00 pm

    LOL. Not going there! I’ll probably add some other charts that just sort things differently.

  59. Jack15T June 24th, 2013 12:40 pm

    Hi Lou, I am unable to see your chart. Where the chart should be it says it has timed out. I am on an Apple computer. Any ideas? Cheers, Jack

  60. Lou Dawson June 24th, 2013 2:36 pm

    Hi Jack, that sounds more like a web connection issue or something specific to your Mac browser.

    The charts are in an iFrame, which should work since i-anything works with Apple, right (grin). Seriously, perhaps google iframe and your browser name.

    Sorry, best I can guess. Lou

  61. Jack15T June 24th, 2013 7:25 pm

    Thanks Lou

  62. Mark W June 24th, 2013 9:58 pm

    Man, this light weight gear just continues to amaze as it gets continually lighter. I’ll keep an eye on this chart regularly.

  63. Christian Nybø June 25th, 2013 10:58 pm


    I think the chart times out because in ski-weights-chart html, your html tags are confused. You close the script tag inside itself. Try ending the tag with a slash and a larger-than character rather than “less-than”-slash-SCRIPT-“larger-than”.


  64. Lou Dawson June 26th, 2013 11:08 am

    Thanks Christian, I’ll check that right away now that we’re back from the outback (grin). Lou

  65. Lou Dawson June 26th, 2013 11:52 am

    Christian, I didn’t have success with your suggestion above. I think what’s going on is I’m running more than one script on the same page, and don’t have proper syntax for that as I just copy-paste each script out of Google Drive into the html page. It worked in Chrome on PC, so I didn’t look farther. Can we communicate with email? Thanks for any help. Lou

  66. Lou Dawson June 26th, 2013 12:13 pm

    P.S., any suggestions on how to replicate the problem on PC with Firefox or Chrome? As the scripts are, they work fine in those browsers. Hard to learn/troubleshoot when they display just fine… Lou

  67. Chris August 8th, 2013 7:34 am

    Lou, do you have measured weight of the BD Convert? Haven’t seen a published weight of these yet – it’s not on BD’s website. Thanks!

  68. Lou Dawson August 8th, 2013 8:12 am

    Chris, our test pair of 180cm Converts weighed 1,676 grams per ski. Lou

  69. Chris August 8th, 2013 9:37 am

    Thanks a lot Lou, sounds very similar to Dynafit’s Grand Teton?

  70. Ben September 28th, 2013 12:40 am


    Have you had a chance yet to ski the new Dynafit Grand Teton skis?

  71. Lou Dawson September 28th, 2013 1:20 pm

    Yes. I’d actually forgotten that I’d been on those for a few days. Wildsnow blogger Joe skied them as well. They made the cut as a good all-around touring ski. We’re honored to have a pair to keep in the Wildsnow collection, in memory of Steve Romeo. Lou

  72. TimZ September 30th, 2013 5:48 pm

    I just got the Convert 172 and was disappointed to weigh them at 1662 and 1642 each. What the next size up should weigh. And 200gr over what they list on the website. Anyone else weigh them yet?

  73. Lou Dawson September 30th, 2013 6:32 pm

    Tim, they’re not exactly a lightweight ski on our charts, the 180 cm pair we evaluated weighed 1676 each. More in the average range… Lou

  74. Gogi October 14th, 2013 11:09 am

    My pair of 180cm Converts with Dynafit Radical STs mounted on them weigh app. 4.6 kg.

  75. HD October 15th, 2013 5:55 am

    Hi Lou, not sure this question belongs here, so feel free to re-direct it wherever appropriate.
    I just got a pair of new DPS Wailer 105, 178cm, and upon checking them I found one being 1598gr and the other 1671gr… 73grams difference seems quite relevant to me, what do you think?
    Also, the lighter ski has no camber whatsoever, totally flat on the table, while the other one has about 3mm traditional camber.
    What’s your take on this? Is it ‘normal’… or not?

  76. Lou Dawson October 15th, 2013 6:12 am

    HD, that sounds a bit out of gamut in my experience. I’d send the skis back and get a pair that’s more evenly matched, especially at that price! Tell them you want the 1598 gram version (grin). Seriously, they’ll frequently vary in weight within a pair, but not usually by that much. More importantly, I’d want both skis to have the same camber and flex.

    When weighing skis I try to take the time and weigh both in a pair, then average. They’re usually pretty close in weight so it’s not a big deal for our weight classifications, but a little more accuracy is always better. FYI, ski boots also vary a bit in weight. For example, the La Sportiva Spectre pair I have here are 10 grams different from one to the other. I also average that when I have time, but I don’t obsess on it. One important thing is when you weigh a boot or ski and it’s off from the catalog weight, if the difference is tiny it’s usually just manufacturing variation and a normal discrepancy.

  77. HD October 15th, 2013 7:12 am

    Lou, thanks for confirming my doubts… the fact is that those skis are already a replacement pair! The previous pair were fine regarding camber and weight (only a few grams difference, no concern at all), but they had a piece of metal sticking out from a side of one of the skis. I was told from DPS that it was the leftover of a staple used during manufacturing process, and they offered to replace the faulty skis for perfect ones. These last ones would be the perfect ones…?! It seems to me they replaced some faulty skis with other faulty skis.
    I forgot to mention that in this last pair I got, the heavier ski also has a little ‘dip’ or ‘depression’ in the topskin towards the tip of the ski, like there was some material missing from underneath.
    As for the flex, I don’t have a way to objectively measure it, I don’t have a dynamometer handy, but by hand flexing it I can feel the difference. I had a friend try to hand weigh and flex both (without previously mentioning any of the issues) and he correctly indicated the lighter and softer one…

  78. powbanger October 15th, 2013 10:46 am

    Not to beat a dead horse, but there is some benefits to buying a ski from a company with 75 years or more of experience building skis than one which has been building skis for 8 or so years.
    Just sayin.

  79. Billy October 16th, 2013 10:19 pm

    Just picked up a pair of the new/current production G3 Zenoxide C3 105 @ 167cm.

    Combined weight without bindings: 2.655 kg

    One ski was ~ 20g heavier than the other.

  80. chris December 19th, 2013 8:31 pm

    Weigh in on the new Volkl Katana Vwerks… (112 underfoot) pair of 191’s comes in at a hefty 2.04 kg each… but then again that’s a fair bit of beef under the boots. First impressions coming once we get some snow in the coast mtns BC.

  81. Joar January 24th, 2014 5:11 am

    La Sportiva Vapor Nano.
    1200 gr. 180cm, 130/103/120.

  82. Andy February 26th, 2014 9:27 pm

    The table with the weight metrics no longer appears to work.

  83. Lou Dawson February 26th, 2014 9:37 pm

    Thanks Andy, typical Google weirdness. I’ll fix ASAP. Lou

  84. Lou Dawson February 27th, 2014 8:27 am

    Fixed now, at least on my end.

  85. John Gloor February 28th, 2014 2:02 pm

    I get a blank field with a couple of red tags saying “request timed out”

  86. Ryan February 28th, 2014 3:35 pm


    Can’t quite recall what the charts used to look like but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t like this. I’m getting a list of blue bar graphs with the name of the ski and the first 2 width dimensions and nothing else. Is that the entirety of the new charts or is my system being wonky? Using the newest Google Chrome on a Mac running OS X10.8.5 for reference.

  87. Ryan February 28th, 2014 3:37 pm

    Also now that the technical feedback is out of the way…I really appreciate this info and the analysis that goes into it. Makes comparing skis a lot easier on my end living far from shops with any reasonable selection of AT gear.

  88. blato March 1st, 2014 1:19 pm

    the ski’s scores aren’t showing up.

  89. lou dawson March 2nd, 2014 5:12 pm

    Was gone for weekend, will work on it, thanks for feedback!

  90. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2014 7:52 am

    Ryan and all, they’re just simple bar charts from Google Drive spreadsheets, numbers displayed on bars are the unrolled length as measured, and the waist width as measured. It used to be that you could mouse over (hover-over) and our “score” would show in a pop out tooltip. I’m not getting that behavior any more, will check on it. Not a big deal, as the bars tell the story.

    First thing I’ll check is if my popup blocker is blocking the display.

    Geeks, also know that these are indeed Javascript sourced, in iframes, which can be problematic for browsers depending on browser settings.

    Also, other people are seeing this problem with the hover-over not working to pop data tooltips off the bars in the chart.


    Google is starting to remind me more and more of Microsoft, in that they keep “improving” their software but instead introducing bugs and breaking what works. Super annoying.

    Update: Just spent an hour trying to get the tooltips working, no joy. At this rate I’ll never get any new skis into the chart! So I’m moving on, will revisit this later.


  91. Mark March 3rd, 2014 8:40 am

    Anxiously awaiting BD Carbon Convert stats…

  92. Jaromir A. R. Vich March 3rd, 2014 11:08 am

    Good day, mr. Dawson.

    I am long-time reader of your wildsnow.com server and it helped me many times, for example by avoding Silvretta Pures at all (as I am heavier frame person).

    However nowadays I really do need your experienced advice for my specific case. I will try to be as brief as possible and not steal too much of your time.

    The current situation is: for few seaons, I am using 2001/2002 Fischer Hitrax Air Carbon AT skis (that old yellow-white-black design & 105 – 68 – 90 profile) in maximum length of 183 cm. I am 177 cm person with approx. 100 kgs inluding backpack + equipement.

    But with every next tour, I confirm finding these skis to be either too long and stiff / too advanced for me – I have difficulties during every descent with just a little limited width (forest routes, narrower tracks, etc.). My control is just so-so and not sufficient most of the time. Therefore I am now considering changing the skis. I had never such problems before, even on straight old-type skis (non-carve shaped).

    I’d appreciate any your judgement / reccomendation / point you find to anything related. First of all, I want to ask about way of my thinking – if I now choose ski with wider waist, am I right that I can go for much shorter ones, as the total surface dimension (in square centimeters) won’t change much? I am still keeping in mind that skis will carry ~ 100 kg weight in total.

    The other questions is about ski choice. I am now choosing from these:

    1. Fischer Guide 2013/14 model (116-78-104 profile), in length of 170 and possibly 163 cm.

    2. Blizzard Tour Cross Evolution 2007/08 model (105-70-95), in length of 160, should be stiff, as maximum was 170.

    3. Hagan Carbon Aircube 2007/2008 model (105-68-91), lenght 170 cm.

    4. Volkl Outback 2004/2005 model (105-71-93), lenght 177 cm. But step down of 5 cms only is lower than I hope for.

    I am completely open to your ideas / recommendations. I am not even sure how much wider waist affecs ski control in descents (I just use the rule that it is useful during climbing in deep snow due to better bearing capacity). If it’s of some importance, I am usually 50%-50% off / on piste (or on terrain similar to pistes not deep snow / powder). Thank you very much,

    Czech Republic, Europe

  93. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2014 11:40 am

    Jaromir, you are wanting the now “classic” 80mm touring ski. It’s something we don’t use much around here, but is still of course quite popular in Europe. In that type of width, I’d suggest a ski that is just a bit shorter than your are tall, again in the European style. You could also go with ski length to your cheek, a bit shorter still. Main thing to remember is that if ski has “rocker” camber you want to stay a bit longer, you can go shorter with conventional camber.

    As for specific ski recommendations, I’d favor the Fischer simply because I’m a fan of having platform under the foot and it’s the widest of all your skis. I’ve not skied on that ski.

    Be sure to check out the Alpin magazine ski reviews, they are very helpful. We have 2013 here, but have not done the 2014 ones yet so you need to get those from the paper magazine.



  94. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2014 11:55 am

    Just added Voile V6.

  95. Jaromir A. R. Vich March 3rd, 2014 12:28 pm

    Thank you very much, Lou.

    What does mean “now classic”, please – that average ski waist sizes went up in Europe, if I understand right? And what is then the most commonly used profile around you? Just for comparsion. That also returns me back to one of the original subquestions – I’d really like to hear your (experienced and valued) words about advantages of each (American/European) apporach. My (far) future plans include destinations like Kamchatka or Pamir, so I am not sticked to european type of terrain at all. Advantages / usability only will decide.

    Those Fischer Guide skis (seeming to be on softer side) do have “Tour rocker”, but I don’t know if higher or lower one. I’d assume that, as it is most easy model, it’s lower one – to make on-piste turns the easiest. But – how “longer” shall go for the case of rocker-type skis? The best would be short example, my height is 177 cms (162 cm to cheek). The 100 kilograms of typical load is not necessary to be taken into account as priority?

    And last one – would you confirm or not the suspection that 183 cm skis of that quite advanced type are really too long for my case? Or the narrow waist with length was the main issue causing unsatisfactory descends control? (leaving aside personal abilities – but I have never had such problems before on other skis)

    I am really appreciating a lot your help, Lou and I am regular reader of your whole server, including reviews :).
    All the best, Jaromir

  96. Jaromir A. R. Vich March 3rd, 2014 12:34 pm

    Apologies for the bad formatting, can’t fix it since posted.

  97. Pavel March 3rd, 2014 3:53 pm

    I don’t want to put words in Lou’s mouth but what he probably meant was that the skis you currently are on are of a now bit old-fashioned narrow width underfoot (especially when you are here in the US where the trend is wider).

    What helps me with handling the skis in “wild” snow is wider underfoot (Fisher at 78 mm would still be quite narrow for me) and a rocker. If there is a rocker, skis behave “shorter” so you might want a bit longer ski whereas if there is a traditional camber, shorter size (to your cheek) works well. I am 182 cm tall and my 181 rockered ski is maybe 5 cm longer than I would prefer.

    I think a perfect ski for big mountains like Kamchatka or Pamir would be the Movement above or any of the new breed of lightweight ~90 mm skis.

    Just my opinion.

  98. Jaromir A. R. Vich March 3rd, 2014 4:05 pm

    Thank you very much Pavel. I’d wait for Lou’s reply as well, but I can post an update. Currently, my selecitons looks like choosing between two lentgths of Head AT skis (skier skill requirement range 5-7 on 1-10 grade), the choice is:

    170 or 177 cm long (approx. 13.7 m turning diameter in profile of 131 – 79 – 112). Rocker: these skis are “hybrid rocker”, what by manufacturer means, that rocker is 20% of the ski tip and camber 80% – the whole rest, fully incl. the end part of ski as well.

    My “personal sizes” are as above and I’d follow recommendation from here to these Head skis (170 x 177).

  99. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2014 4:21 pm

    Pavel said it perfectly. It’s hard for me to make specific recommendations because the narrowest thing I ski on are my Dynafit Cho Oyu which are about 89 underfoot width. The skis you are describing are quite narrow in comparison to most of what we cover here and test.

    However, if the Head skis have hybrid rocker and you are 177 cm tall, I’d say the 177 would definitely be a better choice. That is unless you tend to like shorter feeling skis, then I’d still go with the 170.

  100. Jaromir A. R. Vich March 3rd, 2014 11:00 pm

    Thank you, Lou, it explains all what remained to be answered. Before you replied, I was thiking to go for 170s – to make extra sure the descents in closed, narrow terrain will be under easy control. Now I am then mostly decided towards 177 cm option.

    The last question I kindly ask you will be – could you try to describe what differences shall I expect in case of shorter (170) one? Except slower downhill speed and more “sinking” into to deeper powder (both due to smaller surface in contact with snow. I mean, what theoretical disadvanatages could bring going for 170 in case of my height? As you surely figured out :), I tend to like shorter skis – after my last season’s experiences with (too long) current 183 cms Fischers. But this “liking” will be probably not taken into account, after your explaining of differences and reasons why to prefer 177s. Again, many thanks for your time. I am just making decisions for next 5-6 seasons and I want to do the best one.

  101. Lou Dawson March 4th, 2014 9:07 am

    Jaromir, main thing you’ll notice with shorter skis is yes, you can’t go as fast with as much ease. More, different types of ski lengths support different styles. I you like fast skiing with open and fewer turns, go longer. If you ski with the common European ski touring style of making lots of turns on the downhills, shorter works fine for that. Lou

  102. Lou Dawson March 4th, 2014 9:08 am

    All, just added Black Diamond Convert and La Sportiva Vapor Nano to the weight evaluations!

  103. Jaromir A. R. Vich March 4th, 2014 9:42 am

    Lou, excellent – it’s all clear now. However in the meantime, the selection sorted out by itself – the dealer haven’t foolowed my order of both pairs (170 + 177) for today’s pickup and earlier today, he sold the 177 ones. Only the 170s left for me, so I will go with them. But it also matches my slight preference to go more shorter than 5 cms against what I used currently – especially if you said, that with some compromises, shorter will also work for me (in Euro style). With many thanks, sincerely, Jaromir

  104. Lou Dawson March 4th, 2014 9:49 am

    Well, I’d say you’re obligated to let us know how they ski when you actually get out on them! (grin)

  105. Jon Miller March 4th, 2014 9:56 am

    My shop in Telluride, Jagged Edge, jumped on the Nano’s at the Winter OR. They are pretty amazing. We brought in 4 pairs and have sold all of them, with 2 more coming in (it’s nice to have friends!)

    I’ve bought a pair for myself and have a couple days on them. They are incredible on the up, it is like there is nothing on your feet at all. I’ve been able to ski them in all sorts of conditions, heavy powder, sun effected, crud, wind slab you name it. They do very well in the light stuff as you could imagine. In the funky stuff you need to be on them with authority. The planks are so light, if you get lazy they will deflect in any which way they want. However, you tell them where to go and they will get you there. Can’t wait to get on them more!


  106. Jaromir A. R. Vich March 4th, 2014 9:57 am

    Definitely :), I wil do so. First test will be by end of this month in Austrian or Swiss Alps – sufficient enough for testing, I’d say :).

  107. JonB March 4th, 2014 11:43 am

    On the DPS skis you have weighed, are they all the Pure version?
    In one place you state its the Pure but in the other cases you do not.
    I would assume the NON Pure skis wouldn’t make the cut but am double checking.
    Sorry if you stated this elsewhere in the thread. I tried to catch it but may have missed that note.
    By the way, I really like my BD Converts (non carbon). I have a fair amount of time on them including 7 days back to back in the skin track in the Monashees. They ski well and are pretty darned versatile. Cant wait for you to give them a try.
    Thanks Lou.

  108. Lou Dawson March 4th, 2014 12:43 pm


    Yes, all Pure versions, I just looked. I’ll try to be more clear. Shew, it’s too complicated sometimes! (grin)

    As for the Convert vs Carbon Convert, I’m certain they’re totally different skis, the same in name and shape only.


  109. JonB March 4th, 2014 1:22 pm

    Yeah Lou.
    Agreed the Carbon Convert will be different than the standard layup. I like the shape and length of the ski enough to pay attention to the review of the carbon version as a potential future ski. Not much carry over expected but I bet it will be a fun ski. Enjoy your testing!

  110. rangerjake March 4th, 2014 2:04 pm

    Not usually a big fan of the uber duber light skis, but the Vapor Nano rocks. Remarkable adept to struggle down the hardest of hardpacks. And certainly the exact type of ski you’d want in the soft stuff. I like the sidecut more than most of the sportiva line (single longer radius as opposed to dual radius with steeper cut on the tip and tail) and the tip and tail rocker make it more playful than most Sportiva line.

    This ski wins. Plus MADE IN THE USA!!

  111. Lou Dawson March 4th, 2014 2:26 pm

    This reminds me of the days when everyone thought the Dynafit binding was too light, then they all started skiing on it. Same thing will happen with skis, my crystal ball tells me. It’s such a myth that a ski has to be a certain weight to ski well… I mean, what exactly is that weight? It’s like saying a tire on a sports car has to weigh a certain number of kilos to be “stable.” It’s about engineering and testing, not crude metrics like how much something weighs. Sure, light skis can ski poorly, but so can heavy skis. The opposite is true as well.

  112. Skian March 4th, 2014 3:42 pm

    Light is right, but weight is great…IMHO

  113. Mark March 4th, 2014 4:38 pm

    You’re tempting my wallet again, but given the fodder, I’ll let you take me there.

  114. rangerjake March 5th, 2014 12:35 pm

    Gotta say, Sportiva has been on hush about where these Vapors are made. But boy does it look like a Goode production.

    And isn’t is physics that mass absorbs energy and won’t deflect at higher speeds compared to lighter skis? I think light skis ski well in the right conditions and for touring. But man I love my heavy metal skis while crushing piste.

  115. Jack15T March 5th, 2014 1:19 pm

    Rumor had it in Park City that Ramp was tasked with making the lightest touring ski to date. It was supposed to be released this season. I remember bieng told that they were building it for an existing ski manufacturer. Of course I am not insinuating it was Sportiva but…… I asked Ramp if they had plans to build a mid fat touring ski out of their super light Bamboo products, that had a flex soft enough for powder skiing but torsionally stiff enough for a 190lb guy to ski the frozen death cookies you sometimes find on the Euro spring tours. They said it was in the works. Ramp’s little factory is pretty cool if you are passing through Park City. They are happy to give tours and show off thier manufacturing process. Cheers, Jack

  116. Paddy March 5th, 2014 7:41 pm

    I REALLY liked the Nano’s at OR on-snow demo, which was lousy conditions for a light, rockered ski (lame, skied off groomers), and the darn things still railed turns with VERY little chatter. Can’t wait to try them in the soft stuff….

  117. dmr March 6th, 2014 1:14 am


    I believe rangerjake is right about the physics, but I think you’re absolutely right in asking, in so many words, “what does one mean by mass?”

    Right tool for the job, I say. The Nano won’t ski well in a World Cup downhill, and a pair of 215cm Head world cup downhill skis won’t win the Pierra Menta. In between there are now (thankfully) a wide-range of tools for as many types of terrain and styles of skiing. If absolute weight is important, as it is for someone focused on the ascent (as in skimo racing) then none of the skis on the chart compare in weight to the 650g-730g (per ski) skis used in skimo racing. But those skinny sticks aren’t the top choice for skiing deep powder in the Western US.

    Anyway, and I’m trying to find that 1000g to 1200g ski that suits my needs, and the Nano looks great, although a bit too wide (for me).

  118. Lou Dawson March 6th, 2014 7:10 am

    Good points DMR. Thanks!

  119. Peter W March 6th, 2014 5:17 pm

    @rangerjake said “And isn’t is physics that mass absorbs energy and won’t deflect at higher speeds compared to lighter skis?”
    No, this isn’t true.

    Heavy piste skis are not good at piste because they’re heavy, it’s because they’re stiff AND damp. The weight of the ski plays almost no part in how much a ski is deflected, because the ski is but a small part of the whole system (which includes the skier and the rest of the gear) Taking 1lb out of a 150-200lb+ system is not significant. Now, if instead of “deflected” you mean “bent”, again weight has almost nothing to do with it. If you made a ski out of Unobtanium and it was infinitely stiff yet infinitely light, it still would not bend at all when you hit crud, it would also not be deflected….as long as your leg muscles could hold that infinitely stiff ski under control…..which they wouldn’t because the chatter would be bone shattering, almost literally….(who here has held an aluminum bat poorly and ‘zinged’ their hands?)

    You could also make a ski out of solid soft galvanized rubber. It would deflect AND bend really easily, with just the push of a finger, but it sure would be heavy! Again, the weight of the ski is insignificant in the range of forces and in the entire system of a skier going down a slope.

    So, what does the weight do? It does damp the motion a little, aka slow it down…very, very little. Really most of the damping comes from other material properties in the metal sheets, ABS sidewalls, and laminated aspen or maple cores….which all also happen to be heavy.
    Correlation does not prove causation. Many heavy skis are really good and ripping piste and crud because they are nice and damp. This does not mean that it’s the weight that makes it so.

    To prove it to yourself, go glue a whole bunch of weights to the topsheets of your skis and see if they get better at skiing piste and funky snow. They won’t, because it’s not the weight making the skis better. The weight is a symptom, a side effect, of the materials used to make skis stiff and damp.

    Currently in the light weight touring market we can make very stiff skis….when we can engineer them to be damp too (without using heavy materials) then we’ll be there. It’ll happen, look how far we’ve come in just the past few decades.

  120. Lou Dawson March 6th, 2014 6:51 pm

    Just got back from some Vapor Nano testing. I was on hardpack and semi-hardpack with a few boot top pow turns thrown in. I didn’t ski much, but had fun. Will be using them quite a bit more before a conclusion, but I suspect they’ll be fine. Lou

  121. See March 6th, 2014 8:04 pm

    I prefer light skis in general, and don’t usually have a problem skiing them in cruddy conditions. But heavy skis do deflect less in that sort of snow, in my experience.

    Of course, factors other than mass effect damping, and damp skis handle funky snow better, but a little extra weight (especially at the ends of the ski) does help when blasting through the mank (again, IME).

    Best to you all.

  122. Jim Milstein March 6th, 2014 8:52 pm

    See’s argument from inertial mass applies equally to changing direction when you want to turn. And, more generally, a turny ski will be more easily deflected in mank than a ski that is harder to turn.

    So, yes, a long ski with little side cut and made of cast iron will not be deflected much in the death cookies, nor will it turn when you want.

  123. Bar Barrique March 6th, 2014 9:10 pm

    In my experience; heavier skis have some advantages in certain situations such as; skiing avalanche debris, frozen snowmobile tracks, and, high speed over variable frozen snow conditions, though I can make my way down on the light weight stuff.
    If you are looking for a “dedicated” backcountry ski; well, you are spending 80%+ of your day climbing, so, carrying extra weight is something that I would not choose to do.
    Sun crust, and, other difficult conditions do not depend upon the weight of the ski, as much as the flex, and, shape of the ski IMO.
    These leading edge skis cost more, so, if they may not be worth the investment for many folks, especially those who are not using them primarily for BC skiing.
    One more thing; If these NANO skis are as thin as the Goode Carbon series, I would be concerned as to whether the binding screws might be too long in certain cases.

  124. See March 6th, 2014 10:07 pm

    What is the radius of the “turn” when a ski is knocked off course by heavy, chopped-up snow? What is the radius of a regular skiing turn?

    The “turn radius” of a ski based on side cut is something on the order of say, 20 m. The radius of the “turn” that takes place when the ski is knocked sideways by a piece of debris or simply takes off on it’s own in dense snow, is a lot less. These very short radius “turns/deflections” are different from regular turns, and the mass of the ski is more of an issue (IMO).

  125. See March 6th, 2014 10:21 pm

    “a lot less,” or the same, or a lot more. It varies greatly over a short time– there is a lot of acceleration involved so mass matters more.

  126. Gordon March 7th, 2014 6:53 am

    I demoed the non-carbon Convert last week with an eye to purchase the carbon version, if all went well. There was a lot of new snow at Alta to push around. I was impressed! I was reaching for my credit card when I realized there was a serious problem: it has a rockered tail. For us mere mortals (of a certain age and limited flexibility in the hips) executing an uphill kick turn usually means burying the uphill ski’s tail under the downhill ski. Thus, I need a ski with the following characteristics: minimum 100mm underfoot, roughly 1460 grams in weight (or lighter), with a tail that’s flat enough to execute an “old man’s uphill kick turn”. Before you recommend a ski that is produced by your Uncle Ernie in his garage, give me an alternative that I might be able to demo.

    To all that monitor this blog: fill me with your wisdom, your humble servant awaits the answer.

  127. Jim Milstein March 7th, 2014 7:23 am

    Basically I agree with See’s point about mass mattering. I added that by increasing its inertial mass (or, perhaps, swing weight) the work to turn the ski is also increased.

    In an earlier post I generalized this to say that the ease of turning a ski is directly correlated to its deflectability by various snow conditions. Anyway, that’s what I meant to say. That is likely an over-simplification.

  128. Lou Dawson March 7th, 2014 7:55 am

    Gordon, don’t take this wrong, you really really need to work on your uphill kick turn. There is no reason whatsoever you need to be trying to stick the tail of one ski under the other one. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. Sure, many people might do that inadvertently in soft snow, but not by intent as their standard technique. Instead, the tail of your uphill ski goes _over_ the other one — briefly. With some folks this is even done to the extent you can here the tail of their uphill ski tap the rear of their boot as they bring the ski around. It’s all not so much about flexibility, but about technique. Position of the downhill ski is critical, as is you body position as you do the “snap” to bring the uphill ski around. Can you get some instruction or something?

    Other tips: Length of skis can be a factor (longer is of course more difficult), as is the binding position on the ski that makes it harder or easier to “snap” the uphill ski around.


  129. Frank March 7th, 2014 8:22 am


    I have to strongly strongly disagree with what you just wrote to Gordon. The “tail-stab kick turn” is a great tool and something that every advanced skin tourer should have in their bag of tricks. While it obviously doesn’t work on an established hardpack skintrack, it can be indispensable in certain soft snow conditions. You should try it, it’s really a quite easy and comfortable position to do a kick turn.

    As for your last comment that Gordon might be in need of instruction, I just thought I’d add that it was a guide that showed the tail-stab kick turn to me.

  130. Lou Dawson March 7th, 2014 8:58 am

    Fine Frank, if it works, it works. I get my ski tail stuck under there on occasion and it seems to end up ok, but doesn’t feel very fluid or efficient. In any case, If Gordon (or you) are buying skis specifically so you can do that kind of kick turn, that seems to be going a bit overboard? You opinion?

  131. Peter W March 7th, 2014 9:05 am

    @Gordon, I own this year’s Converts and I have no trouble doing the tail-stick-under-kick-turn with them [even if Lou says I shouldn’t 😉 ]. Have you tried it? It might not be as difficult as you think. Try it out….?

    @see if you think the weight of the ski is helping to increase its resistance to being “deflected” I highly encourage you (and everyone else) to go glue some 1lb sandbags to the tops of your skis and see if they resist deflection anymore.
    An engineering degree and a career in custom composite sports equipment tells me that this isn’t so. “Correlation is not causation” The weight is a side effect, not the cause.

    Or use real skis available today designed for the same task. My 180cm BD Converts are 1lb lighter than my 181cm K2 Coombacks, but they get deflected in crud much less, and hold an edge on corduroy *MUCH* better. How can this be? Because they are stiffer and damper due to better materials (pre-preg laminate, some carbon, ABS sidewalls). It works. Skiing is believing.

    Also, if you think that the sidecut of the ski is what is dictating your turn radius, I suggest you go cut some 2×8″ lumber into the shape of your favorite turny pair of skis, mount your bindings on them and ski some powder. Let me know if they have the same “turn radius” because they have the same sidecut profile.
    Or you could try an old “straight” ski. Try out some Miller Softs which have a sidecut radius in the 40-60 meter range depending on length (I think? someone check my math) yet they make nice noodley tight little turns.

    We, as consumers are so wrapped up in sidecut radii and weight, why? Because those are two easy to measure and publish metrics for a ski. There is no easy way to measure or publish the flex (stiffness + damping) characteristics of a ski. There’s no way to blog/market about it….so we all get caught up talking about characteristics that are less important (on the down).

  132. lederhosen42 March 7th, 2014 10:30 am

    I remember using hockey tape to attach good old canadian hockey pucks to help ‘dampen’ some old sears catalogue skinny wood skis back in ’87 skiing the slop, rain crust and refrozen wet grains on the chattery ‘groomers’ on mt. hays above prince rupert, b.c. It worked. Would speculate that employing a similar but higher tech system on lighter modern skis could achieve the same result. Think 5mm thick rubber strips attached to ski forebody/tip topsheet with double sided carpet tape as a ‘test’. Haven’t had the need with k2 darksides, k2 sidestashes or armada jj’s. atomic r:ex’s might have benefitted from some added tip dampening in certain conditions.

  133. rangerjake March 7th, 2014 10:49 am

    @PeterW, first of all should you be in China. Get off the computer.

    I don’t question the true science that weight=stability is a fallacy. But certainly the best damping agents in a ski tend to be the heaviest and the first to go when making a ski to be touring friendly. I think for as light as it is the Vapor is remarkable damp and smooth at speed. Part of it may be that I like the downhill performance of the Vipec binding on them more than my standard Vertical FT12. Maybe it is the fact that most prepreg carbon skis I have used are still wood cored and the composite kevlar weave is absorbing more energy than the carbon. Maybe it all the nanotubes!!! I think really what I like is the shape and how much I prefer the single radius of the Vapor compared to many of the Lo/Hi/Hang skis that have dual radius with a steeper inital cut that really hooks the ski in to sharper turns than I prefer to make. Hard saying. Too many unique variables.

    That being said here is my take away- For the lightest damn ski at 100mm underfoot the Vapor Nano skis WAY better than it should. Proven to me again skiing dawn groomers on them this AM. Constantly surprising and impressing me. If powder snow happens again I am excited to see them in their element.

  134. Peter W March 7th, 2014 11:08 am

    “first of all should you be in China. Get off the computer.”

    @rangerjake true 😉

  135. Gordon March 7th, 2014 11:46 am

    @Frank thanks for your comments on the “tail-stab kick turn”. I didn’t know what to call it. At last, the technique has a name. A guide taught it to me as well.

    @PeterW didn’t try the “tail-stab kick turn” on the Converts. Enjoyed them in the resort and almost missed my flight back home. Appreciate the encouragement! I’ll do a short tour with the Converts after I get right with Uncle Sam.

  136. See March 7th, 2014 2:14 pm

    I never tried gluing sand bags to my skis, but I did have some Dynastar Course slaloms that had some kind of weight/damper gizmo clamped on the tips. Those were sweet skis, actually.

    I’m not suggesting that mass is the only thing that determines how a ski behaves in heavy chop, just that it is a factor.

    I only mentioned turn radius to distinguish between deflection and actual turning. A little swing weight can reduce deflection without making a ski inordinately slow to turn because even short radius turns aren’t as abrupt as the change in direction that occurs when a ski is knocked off course by a chunk of heavy snow.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for light skis. I own more carbon/foam/paulownia skis than is probably reasonable. I’m very interested in the current crop of super light boards and the amazing stuff that I suspect is in the pipeline. But it is sometimes hard to tell marketing hype from genuine technological innovation, and the super light segment seems to be where the action is in the ski market these days.

    Piezoelectric dampers any one?

  137. Jim Milstein March 7th, 2014 5:42 pm

    For clarity, increasing weight does not damp a ski; it lowers the ski’s resonant frequency, thereby reducing chatter. Stiffening a ski raises its resonant frequency, thereby increasing chatter, more or less. Damping a ski’s resonance involves adding internal friction to the ski in some way.

    I am guessing that dampness does not matter much in mank, or soft snow generally, but torsional rigidity helps reduce deflection in chopped up snow.

    Anyway, the proof of a pudding is in the eating, and the proof of a ski is in the skiing. Give me the Vapor Nanos, and I’ll be happy to prove them for you all.

  138. aviator March 9th, 2014 11:05 am

    People get in their feelings about weight. lolz.

    Adding heavy materials with dampening qualities INSIDE the ski will dampen it.
    Adding weights on top of the ski, not so much.

    “Correlation is not causation
    The weight is a side effect, not the cause.”

    And there it is.

  139. See March 9th, 2014 7:59 pm

    Again, I’m not saying heavy skis are good. I like light skis. You like light skis. Who doesn’t like light skis?

    But rather than get bogged down in the weeds out in left field, I would humbly solicit advice regarding light skis that perform well in conditions like: Boiler plate and death cookies. Breakable crust. Chopped up cement. Crud, mank, mashed potatoes, debris…

    These conditions are quite different; will one ski work well for them all?

    Light wood core? Foam? Carbon (obviously) with sidewall construction? Nano tubes? ABS? Urethane? Rubber? Smart skis? Secret sauce?

    Who’s making the current state of the art, and what construction are they using?

  140. See March 9th, 2014 8:07 pm

    And, fwiw, my personal approach is just get a light carbon ski and deal with it.

  141. Martin March 10th, 2014 2:25 am


    While weight and width has now been discussed in depth, what are your experiences when it comes to sidecut (radius)?

    I don’t really care about downhill performance in powder. Powder is fun on any ski as long as you maintain some floatation.

    I am looking for a ski that gives good edge hold ON THE UP on hard, difficult and steep snow (couloirs and such). I hate it when the ski starts to slide sideways, especially in some terrain where you absolutely don’t want to fall.

    My (limited) experience is that skis with short sidecut radius are problematic because they touch the ground fore and aft, but under the boot, where you want every bit of edgehold you can get, they twist and bend and slide. My current Dynafit 7summit with a rather big radius of 20+ m seems to do much better in this respect. That’s why I’m hesitant to buy the Dynafit Cho Oyu with its 12 m radius, which otherwise seems to be an excellent choice.

    But maybe the overall build of the ski is more important than the sidecut? What’s your experience?


  142. Lou Dawson March 10th, 2014 8:02 am

    Martin, in my experience too much sidecut can indeed be a problem on steep hard snow. It’s like you’re fighting it instead of it working for you. But I’m talking about steepness and conditions that most people don’t seek out. That includes myself, as I don’t prefer those types of conditions any more, nor am I really trained up and ready for that kind of ski alpinism. In terms of exact ski recommendations I don’t think it’s all that hard to figure out, and that your take is accurate. Lou

  143. Jim Milstein March 10th, 2014 9:53 am

    Of course you can greatly improve climbing on steep hard slopes with ski crampons. That way the choice of ski may be optimized for the descent.

  144. Lou Dawson March 13th, 2014 9:10 am

    Out on Carbon Convert yesterday, then again today. They seem quite nice, no particular problems due to lightweight construction. Wishing they’d get rid of the indents in the top skin, which just pick up snow. The indents are said to improve downhill performance. If they do then fine, but I have a suspicion they’re mostly cosmetic, otherwise, wouldn’t they be prevalent in the ski industry? Or perhaps they’re patented by BD?

  145. Lou Dawson March 13th, 2014 10:41 am

    Got our Dynafit Denali testers. Added to weight chart, check out 4th lightest for surface/weight and 6th place for length/weight !!! That’s for a 176, catalog stated sidecut 131/98/116

    Now it’s just carpe skium.

    So many skis, so little time (grin).

  146. Peter W March 14th, 2014 7:34 am

    Lou, think of those indents like the humps in a tin roof, or the ripples in corrugated cardboard. They absolutely make the ski stiffer in an efficient (light weight) manner.
    The engineer-geek answer: the effectiveness of any fiber in the laminate to resist flexing of the ski is equal to the fiber’s stiffness multiplied by the *square* of its distance from the neutral plane of the ski. In other words it’s really advantageous to get that laminate even a little bit further away from the center plane of the core. Beyond that, for the designer it’s a balancing game of not going so far that the required laminate becomes paper thin, or so close that the laminate needs to be thick&heavy and the core is tiny.
    Lastly adding other directions other than flat allows the directionly-stiff nature of composite laminates to resist twisting and such.

    I used to think the BD cores had that shape milled into a full wood core. But, then I saw the inside of a (broken) Carbon Justice. The bumps are actually bits of foam core glued onto the laminated wood substrate. I’m guessing this is mostly for cost, a lot less waste then milling away wood….but there could be some property balancing here. It *might* be that the designers are trying to use the “dead” nature of some foam core to balance out the “chattery” nature of some super lightweight wood. dunno….just a hunch.

  147. Lou Dawson March 14th, 2014 9:19 am

    Good theory Peter (grin). Meanwhile, I’m hauling snow and ice around that’s caught in the bowls. Not practical. A better system is to still have the “corrugation” but do it in such as way as to not create double sided bowls, but rather a raised are in center, tapering down to the edges. Like nearly any ski made, really, only exaggerated if desired.

    Not sure any wood really has a “chattery” nature (grin).

  148. See March 14th, 2014 9:28 am

    Peter W’s comment reminds me of something I’ve wanted to suggest for a long time— dissecting broken skis and showing cross sections etc. on Wildsnow.

    Lou, you must have access to quite a few cool superlight boards with blown out edges, delams, etc.. Before they get tossed in the dumpster, how about showing us how they’re made? In the interest of science, of course.

  149. Peter W March 14th, 2014 9:29 am

    “Not sure any wood really has a “chattery” nature (grin).”

    True, a very bad generalization on my part…..trying to sort of describe the differences between Paulownia -> Aspen(Poplar) -> Ash -> Maple -> Hickory .
    All are wood, but they ski very differently.

    at least these BD skis look better than the old “butt crack” cross section of the old Atomic Beta-Ride skis 😉

  150. Lou Dawson March 14th, 2014 9:34 am

    Hey See, that’s a good idea, I’ try to remember to do that on occasion. But remember that most of the ski companies publish diagrams of their ski construction internals. Reminds me of our epoxy experiment years ago.


  151. GeorgeT March 25th, 2014 7:29 pm

    Vapor Nano 188 cm tested today. After two laps in Highlands bowl, groomers, bumps, corn, powder and hard pack I feel confident I gave these skis a good test.
    Pros – superlight; torsionally rigid and held up fine in steep jump turns; good performance in soft snow and corn.
    Cons – not confidence inspiring in mixed snow; chowder and ripping hard pack . I felt I needed to work too hard to keep this ski tracking.
    I really had hoped this was my superlight, white and fun ski…but it is not.
    My next test will be the BD Convert Carbon.

  152. Greg March 30th, 2014 8:10 am

    Thanks for the ski weights and the discussion. I am really. Ruinous to hear about reviews on the Carbon Converts. Like most of us I want a light ski on the up. Most of my touring is for turns, so the down is very important. I’m not willing to sacrifice much skiing performance for lighter weight. That said, I don’t need my backcountry skis to rail groomers at downhill racer speeds and I hope I won’t be skiing a lot of chopped powder.

  153. Greg March 30th, 2014 1:24 pm

    Oops, phone typo. That should read I am really ANXIOUS to hear about reviews on the Carbon Converts. Sorry about that.

  154. Mark Worley April 2nd, 2014 9:51 pm

    Skied Carbon Converts, 180 cm, for two days. Amazingly light, fairly agile for mid-sized turns–noticeable camber helps on groomed. Wish I had more deep, soft snow to ski, but what little I did find was like some sort of dream to ski with huge flotation and just incredible ease in the fluff. If you really like face shots and old school porpoising in deep snow, I am sorry, these sticks will not work. Good problem to have, as I see it. Skis like these would easily be replacing ones of similar weight that are much narrower. My friend who loaned these to me notes that these are notably stiffer than their non-carbon Convert brethren and they (Carbon Converts) are, in his assessment, much more capable on hardpack.

  155. GeorgeT April 3rd, 2014 5:34 pm

    Powder test of Carbon Convert today in Highlands Bowl was fantastic. The snow report said 11″ in past two days, but the bowl skied deeper with nice sluffs chasing me down. I am 6′, 170 lbs. on the 180 cm. In comparison to my K2 Anti Piste/Coomback the Carbon Convert is stiffer, lighter and gives back more energy (pop).
    In comparison to the La Sportiva Vapor Nano (188), the Carbon Converts felt stiffer, more pop/powerful and much easier to ski. I could not tell the difference in weight.
    I felt very confident pushing the ski in powder, chop and groomers. I believe the 180 cm is perfect for my weight and powder harvesting goals. I skinned up from the base and I could feel the obvious weight savings. I used my K2 skins, so the weight difference was skis and bindings.

    Ski: 2014 BD Carbon Converts 180 CM, weight 1,426 & 1,438
    Binding: Dynafit Superlite
    Boot: Dynafit TLT 5 Mtn.
    Skins: BD Orange Synthetic ( mohair skins are my next upgrade)

  156. Greg April 4th, 2014 7:58 pm

    Thanks for the Carbon Convert reviews! Sounds like an exciting ski. Would you guys buy them for yourselves! George do I assume correctly that the pop of the Carbon Convert is a good thing? Do you like how they ski more than your Coombacks? I’m trying to get a set to mount with Speed Radicals for my backcountry setup.

  157. GeorgeT April 5th, 2014 5:30 pm

    I own the Carbon Converts. The pop is the camber and wood core which I like in a ski. Compared to Coombacks the C-Converts are stiffer. I don’t feel the tip flexing excessively and requiring a slow rebound (over powered) like I do with my Anti-Piste/Coombacks. You can push the C-Convert without worry of overpowering the tip. I skied them again today with 2 laps in Highland Bowl and reconfirmed my satisfaction in powder, chop and corn. They require more work in the bumps due to stiffness, but for a dedicated BC ski these meet all my requirements. I would consider the Dynafit Superlite to be a perfect match.

  158. Dave April 6th, 2014 4:56 pm

    Anyone had a chance to ski the new G3 Synapse skis? Particularly the 101?
    Looking a wee bit more affordable than the vapor nano and a wee bit lighter than the convert carbon. If it skis well could be in the quiver next year.

    And Lou, you’ve had that Dynafit Denali for three weeks now – where’s the review? 🙂 🙂

  159. Dave April 6th, 2014 4:57 pm

    Oops, sorry lou – just found the Denali review!

  160. Lou Dawson April 7th, 2014 5:00 pm

    Dave, I have more to add to the Denali “review.” Was waiting for skins but finally broke down and cut a pair we had in stock. Just returned from 3 full days of human powered backcountry pow, breakable crust, and even some frozen corn snow and avalanche chunks. Good testing! So I’ll be doing more reviewing of Denali, probably sooner than later. Lou

  161. Greg April 11th, 2014 9:37 pm

    George, where did you mount the Carbon Converts? BD doesn’t list the mount pointy for those yet.

  162. Will S April 12th, 2014 12:30 am

    Greg, can’t say where George mounted his, but there is a boot center mark about 99cm back from the tip on the 180’s. Same place as the old Converts.

  163. lou dawson April 12th, 2014 7:32 am

    Greg, all the converts I’ve seen have a mount mark, it’s a faint line indented across the ski top skin. Do you have some without the mark?

  164. Greg April 12th, 2014 8:28 pm

    Thanks guys. There is a line but it is so faint I didn’t notice it. Have to hold the ski at just the right angle to see it. Funny, I called Black Diamond and the guy agreed there was no mark on the skis.

  165. Lou Dawson April 12th, 2014 8:46 pm

    It gets frustrating. I’ve got some K2 skis here that for the life of me I can’t find a mounting mark on. Taking time out of my day, and yours. Is this 2014 or 1958? Sheesh. Lou

  166. Lou Dawson April 16th, 2014 10:43 am

    Added BD Carbon Aspect to the charts, along with the K2 Backside offerings, all looking terrific. The new K2 stuff drops significant weight, and the BD carbon skis are right up there with the lightest stuff!


  167. Jaromir A. R. Vich April 29th, 2014 2:53 pm

    Hi again, Lou.

    As promised, I am back to report how Head Nebula skis with Tyrolia Ambition 12 AT binding worked in Alps.

    First of all, these skis are reasonably stiff for its class and 170 cm length is definitely OK for me (as discussed before). It’s better than beginner’s ski but not too hard to be controlled well by intermediate skilled downhill skier. Floats well in powder, but of course not that well as wide skis you are used to. My only reservations is related to durability of the upper coating – is too thin and showed some cuts even after first easy tour.

    Tyrolia Ambition 12 seems to be durable one – had an overhead fall in full speed with one ski fully stopped in hidden icy gap, flying few meters and front release worked excellent – binding not damaged and my leg also fine. But it seems to got slight wobble in the tip withing few tours. So far no problem, the toe piece is made to handle it, but I don’t think this binding will last much more than few years, until it becomes serious.

    Overall, for the price (heavily discounted on spring by more than 60%), good buy.

    All the best, Jaromir

  168. Lou Dawson April 29th, 2014 3:51 pm

    Thanks Jaromir!

  169. George May 28th, 2014 6:59 pm

    I’m looking forward to trying out some of Praxis’s new offerings now that they’ll be making a UL core (with pawlonia and carbon). I’ve ordered a 175 gpo with 111 mm underfoot which should weigh 1800 per ski. So nowhere near the 1000 g class, but if wildsnow can try some of these, I’d be interested to see where they’d shake out in the surface to weight ratio.

    I’m a little disappointed that DPS has gone to a heavier construction with their pure3. Seems a departure from the bc crowd to the resort skiing crowd. Perhaps they’ll come out with some lighter construction.

    Lou, you may want to consider differentiatiing if you do test some of the new pure3 skis, as I’m sure their surface to weight scores will be lower than the previous PURE construction.

  170. George May 28th, 2014 7:01 pm

    Sorry about weight should be 1600 per ski (3.5 lbs per ski), not 1800 g for 175 cm GPO with 111 mm waist width.

  171. Lou Dawson May 28th, 2014 7:05 pm

    George, I do keep record of the model year in my spreadsheet, I’ll try to figure out a way to make that clear in the charts. Thanks, Lou

  172. WhitePine November 18th, 2014 11:52 am

    Lou – What can you tell me about the Dynafit C-Two? It looks like similar dimensions to the Cho Oyu but there is surprisingly little information on the interweb about it. Its a Dynafit Competency Center exclusive so maybe that’s why its all hush hush.

  173. Trent March 16th, 2015 3:12 pm

    ” we build these charts using actual measurement of the ski including measuring width, “unrolled” length, and averaged weight of both skis weighed on a tested scale”

    What does unrolled mean? Thanks.

  174. Lou Dawson 2 March 16th, 2015 3:34 pm

    Tip to tail, measured along surface of ski. Opposite of cord length. Lou

  175. Lou Dawson 2 April 23rd, 2015 5:20 pm

    Just got a pair of La Sportiva Vapor Svelte into the chart. Number THREE lightest!

  176. Patrick July 18th, 2015 3:24 pm

    Hey Lou – Is it me or are the ratings not actually viewable in the chart or elsewhere in the post? None of my browsers seem to be displaying the ratings. Please let me know as I am currently ski shopping. Thanks.

  177. Lou Dawson 2 July 19th, 2015 6:24 am

    Hi Patrick, the skis are arranged in order of lightest at top to heaviest at bottom, in other words the “rating” is the order of how they’re listed. Perhaps I should have called it a “comparison.” The skis do have a sort of score/rating produced by my spreadsheet, but that’s just used to create the bar graph and would confuse things if I displayed it, though I do mention the “score” in some of my blog posts.

    Sometimes the charts display the score if you mouse over, but sometimes not.

    The chart is made by a Google Drive spreadsheet, cloud based, and tends to be difficult to work with though for me it’s the only choice for doing this kind of publishing.

    For the purpose of shopping, the chart is useful both as a deal breaker and to honestly place ski models in the correct weight category. What got me going on it was that sometimes ski makers will market a ski “lightweight” when it really is not. For example the Rossi Soul 7 is perhaps on the lighter side for an alpine ski, but is heavy for a touring ski.

    Bear in mind that if a couple of skis are close to each other in the charts, they are virtually the same, since skis do vary in weight when they come out of the factory, and my method of figuring weight/surface involves some averaging and rounding.


  178. Francois Brissette September 5th, 2015 7:59 am

    Charts not showing up on any browser. Google drive asks for permission by owner. Looks like the underlying file is protected.

  179. Lou Dawson 2 September 5th, 2015 8:15 am

    Hi Francois, thanks for the heads up. Google is just so hard to do this with I probably need to give up on their stupid cloud documents system. It’s just a joke. There must be something better out there… I’ll try to get it back up. Have no idea what changed. Lou

  180. Lou Dawson 2 September 9th, 2015 7:01 am

    Francois, are you still not able to see the charts? Anyone else?

  181. Jim Milstein September 9th, 2015 8:42 am

    Safari just shows a blank white rectangle where the table should be. Chrome says I don’t have permission. Do I want to request it from the owner? Yes, I do. Chrome says:

    “Your request for access has been sent.

    You will receive an email if and when the owner of this item approves your request.”

  182. Mish September 9th, 2015 2:20 pm

    I just see a scroll bar on the right horizontal side of the white box ; hasn’t changed for me since before Francois made his request. And Yes I would love to see the charts!!

    (Using Safari 8.0.8 if that is any use…or my back up Firefox either)

  183. Jack15T September 9th, 2015 4:33 pm

    Hi Lou, I’m on an Apple using Safari and Firefox. All I can see is a white box and Vert bar. I have been able to see it in the past using the same computer. Thanks, Jack

  184. Lou Dawson 2 September 10th, 2015 1:45 pm

    Jack and all, this was very frustrating on the development side. I spent hours trouble shooting and came up with nothing, so I went back to simply using images extracted from my spreadsheets. They’ll be harder to keep updated but I’ll do my best.

    Let me know if you still have any trouble, remember to refresh your browser cache if you do.


  185. Jack15T September 10th, 2015 7:15 pm

    Thanks Lou, We appreciate the effort. I can see the charts now. Cheers, Jack

  186. Nepomuk September 24th, 2015 2:48 am

    Hey Lou, any chance you can get the Trab Mistico in your comparo charts? I’would love to see where it ends up.
    Cheers, Nepo

  187. Lou Dawson 2 September 24th, 2015 6:33 am

    Hi Nepo, we don’t usually put skis in the charts unless we personally measure and weigh them, or receive info from a trusted source. I’ll see what I can do. They’re probably light enough (grin). Lou

  188. Jeremy C October 20th, 2015 9:11 am

    Hi Lou,

    Not sure if the Salomon Minim is on your radar, or if it counts being a limited edition. They are claiming around 1400gm a pair in 160cm


  189. Lou Dawson 2 March 5th, 2016 9:41 am

    BIG NEWS, while Sportiva Vapor Nano still wins as lightest ski per surface area, Volkl VTA 88 Lite 2016/2017 version is in second place, and has been skiing downhill quite nicely in our testing. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s impossible to build a 1,132 gram 180 cm ski that skis. Difficult, but not impossible. I’m pretty excited about these planks. Easily a “1 kilo” ski in the 170 cm version.

  190. See March 5th, 2016 8:16 pm

    What’s in that “special hybrid core?”

  191. Lou Dawson 2 March 6th, 2016 5:47 am

    See, most “hybrid” cores are simply alternating strips of wood and foam, perhaps with some air channels thrown in for grins… Consensus is that it’s really hard to make a ski with a full foam core that skis well, so they keep experimenting with cores. Lou

  192. See March 6th, 2016 8:38 am

    Thanks, Lou. Seems like balsa/flax cores are showing up in some pretty nice looking skis (DPS Tours, BD Helios) but (AFAIK) Nanos are still the only skis currently using honeycomb.

  193. MarkB April 11th, 2016 12:16 pm

    The VTA88 is very attractive, but what binding? I don’t like the fact that the binding mount limitation reasonably precludes the use of my175 gram superlight2.0 (which have been solid season long).

  194. Lou Dawson 2 April 11th, 2016 1:00 pm

    Superlite 2 heel on B&D adjustment plate, problem solved.

  195. MarkB April 11th, 2016 5:46 pm

    Hey, thanks, Lou!

  196. Lou Dawson 2 January 9th, 2017 5:57 pm

    Added La Sportiva Vapor Float, which is the winner but of course.

    Having a lot of trouble getting the chart to display all rows in our spreadsheet, arrrrgggg, Google, need I say more?


  197. Allan April 21st, 2017 1:39 pm

    Do you have a full spread sheet/ chart you could link to us via google?

  198. Bill Hoblitzell October 5th, 2017 11:35 pm

    Hey Lou,

    For s&g’s, I’m interested in making a single live chart that is completely filter-able and sort-able on weight, waist width (range), brand, your weight/surface area ratio, and maybe any other pertinent variables people are interested in (such as rocker type, construction, MSRP).

    I would build it in the free public edition of Tableau software and you could embed here as a test similar to how I’ve done with our volunteer tracking at the mtbike assoc. (link: http://www.vvmba.org/get-involved/volunteer-leaderboard/). If there’s issues or concerns, can easily remove. If you’re interested, let me know and we can chat about the dataset format. -Bill

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    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

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