A high standard for construction quality is obvious at Praxis Skis. All of our skis are handcrafted by passionate skiers who take pride in the finished product and who follow a manufacturing protocol that has been engineered to create a long lasting ski. The following outlines the different construction features and techniques used in making Praxis Skis. Enjoy the ride, and know that we enjoyed creating it.
With an emphasis on continual improvement and a strong desire to achieve customized perfection, Praxis Skis is proud to introduce our most revolutionary ski cores to date. For 2015, we’ve not only completely re-engineered our core makeup, but we’ve brought more custom options to the table.
Praxis Skis uses three types of wood in our cores: hard maple, ash, and paulownia. Each species of wood is used strategically for a specific purpose. The ash is used in the center of the ski and the perimeter of the ski. This provides a strong frame for the ski that smoothes out and dampens the ride. Hard maple is used to create a solid center in the ski for binding mounts. Paulownia is a very lightweight hardwood and is used in the rest of the skis core. The combination of these hand-selected woods create a strong, damp, lightweight core.
With these three core ingredients we offer 2 options. You can configure these hardwoods to our MAP core or our UL core. The MAP core uses more hard maple and ash in the center of the ski and features ash around the perimeter of the ski. The perimeter ash runs the full-length of the ski inside the sidewall, this offers for a few advantages: the solid stringer erects a hard wood perimeter frame, creating a superior level of durability for your sidewalls while increasing the ski’s torsional stiffness, which provides more edge power and grip. No other company details out a ski core in this respect.
The UL core reduces weight by using a smaller amount of the heavier ash and maple and more paulownia. This allows for substantial weight savings for those looking for a highly competitive ski weight, ideal for those looking to create a lightweight touring ski. Take one of our fatter powder specific models and make it so light that you can hike powder turns all day.
One of the biggest factors that separates a Praxis core from the rest can be seen in the actual creation of our cores. We use a woodworker’s practice in our core creation known as Book Ended or Book Matched. This is a unique process that is a great example of how Praxis Skis goes one step further than other manufacturers. We do this to assure that each pair of skis has a pair of cores created together from the same exact wood grains and densities, giving you an identical weight, flex, and feel for your left and right skis. How is this done? Well, each core is sliced off a “core block” that contains 4 pair of skis and the slices are matched up in succession at creation, numbered and milled together as a pair. This creates a pair of skis with the exact same wood grain and characteristics on both skis. From the inside to the outside edges and from the tip to the tail, consistency should be every reputable ski maker’s main goal.
Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene Orbicular Sidewalls. What’s this mean?! It’s our way of letting you know that our sidewalls are extra-resistant to abuse, and made from a high-density plastic. What we do to our sidewalls after pressing is something very unique to the industry - the sidewalls are machined to a rounded finish. We do this so you can beat your edge into the sidewall and the beautiful top sheet stays protected from this common punishment. This rounded finish also kicks the sidewall back so that it does not interfere with tuning and allows the edge to grip the snow and “hold an edge” in those dicey situations you might find yourself in.
In addition to the use of a very durable UHMW sidewall we also go one step further and “pre-bond” our sidewalls to the wood core. The “industry” standard for sidewall application is to tack them onto the core at final layup (often with staples!) and hope the epoxy floods in the gaps between the sidewall and the core to form a bond. This seems pretty risky and we found a way to make a stronger sidewall by pre-attaching the sidewall to the core in a press with epoxy prior to the final ski layup. The sidewalls are truly bonded to the core and have proven to not “blow out”.
Tri-Axial Fiberglass Depending on the ski model and the desired ski flex we use either a 19 oz, 22oz, or 26oz tri-axial fiberglass. This fiberglass stabilizes the ski’s flex in three directions, creating better edge hold and torsional stiffness. Each fiberglass weave is overlaid directly on top of each other and stitched together, as opposed to woven, creating a longer lasting, more durable ski.
Carbon Fiber Using carbon fiber in the ski’s layup helps to produce a ski with a better weight to stiffness ratio and allows us to build a stiffer yet lighter ski. Carbon fiber returns to shape faster compared to fiberglass and that faster rebound translates into more pop. Carbon is offered as an option on most of our ski models and is included as part of the core option when selecting the ultra light core.
Rubber Dampening System (RDS) Praxis Skis come with three types of rubber in three regions of the ski to improve bonding and shear strength of the ski’s layers while at the same time dampening vibrations within the ski. First, the edge of the ski is topped with a layer of rubber to stop vibrations where they start and improve the edge bond, this is one of the reasons our edges stay attached when you hit rocks! Second, the tips and tails are filled with a full sheet of rubber to minimize tip deflection and vibration. When this is combined with a UHMW tip-spacer the result is a bumper for the ski and superior protection for this high-impact area of the ski. Third, the binding zone has a sheet of perforated rubber, which, again increases the bond strength in a critical area, and provides a better platform for binding screw retention as well as dampening underfoot. All of this put together completes our Rubber Dampening System and creates a smoother ride.
Base and Edge Our skis are fully protected by over-sized edges that wrap 360 degrees around the ski’s perimeter. The tip and tails of the ski’s edge are specially prepared to be more impact resistant, better bonding and molded to the upturn of the ski for a longer lasting construction. The bases are created out of an extra-thick 4001 sintered UHMW. This high-grade base material provides excellent wax absorption properties and is proven to be one of the fastest running and most durable base materials offered in the industry.
Molding The 2015 lineup uses several different molding options depending on the ski’s model and the user’s intended purpose. Below is an overview of each type of molding.
The Powderboards offer a Continuous Curve Rocker (no flat or camber) that allows the ski to pivot with ease in soft and deep snow, smear turns, push the ski’s control point to underfoot and keep the skier more centered.
Skis such as the Protest that have been created to ski well in powder but also give you more contact and carving ability on harder or groomed snow have both Tip and Tail rocker (splay) and camber underfoot. AKA Recurve. This is the most common camber used throughout our lineup and makes for a very easy-to-turn ski whether you are skiing powder or carving back to the lifts on the groomer.
Skis intended to be more forward directional with a powerful tail such as the Freeride, we lengthen the contact zone and use only Tip Rocker. This allows the ski to hold a better edge, gives the tail more “holding on” power but the tips are able to smear and transfer smoothly across the snow’s surface.
Overlooked, possibly unheard of, and most certainly underdeveloped within the ski industry, yet found on both the Concept and the BPS models, is the very innovative Praxis Compound Camber. This molding has 2 pods of camber; one in front of and one behind the binding with rocker underfoot while all flowing into a tip and tail splay. Put this molding on edge and you have 3 points of contact and better edge grip, smear the underfoot rocker and you have a ski that performs like no other. Without a doubt this molding is revolutionary to sliding on snow and you will be seeing more of it.