Posted by Praxis Skis on 3rd Aug 2011

Fatter underfoot technology

Powder Boards and fatter underfoot technology…..

Powder BoardsFatter underfoot technology is a very unique ski design unavailable from any other major ski company. Our Powder Boards, with full reverse sidecut and continuous curve rocker, offer a powder skiing experience unmatched and unattainable by a ski with tradition sidecut. However, don’t be confused into thinking this is some new design concept because skis have been built with fatter underfoot technology for hundreds of years . The reality is the groomer ruined ski designs because the second you go off-piste a ski specifically made for groomed runs will serve you no good.  Whereas fatter underfoot technology will serve you far better in the conditions you actually want to be skiing in. It just makes sense, works better, is easier to ski, and makes you ski faster with more control.

 A ski with traditional sidecut does not offer the correct balance and weight distribution to the skier in soft snow. Instead, the traditional sidecut takes the riders weight and centers it over the skinniest part of the ski. It sinks in this area, the tips and tails being fatter then the underfoot area become weighted and hang up on the snow’s surface. Basically you do not need a big fat tip to make the ski float if your weight is supported underfoot. A traditional sidecut ski will require the skier to weight and unweight the ski in order to make a turn in soft snow, especially noticeable in less than perfect powder conditions. This action uses more energy. The set turn radius that the ski was designed for also works against the skier; requiring the skier to engage the tip in order to make the ski arc a set radius turn. Sounds good but it’s a time consuming act, allows for less ability for a variation of turn radius, making it more difficult to change your line direction on demand, and, again, uses more energy.

The powder boards fatter underfoot design provides better weight distribution and a more balanced ride in soft snow. The tips do not have to be fat in order for the ski to surface, instead the riders weight is supported underfoot and this allows for the ski to maneuver and turn in soft snow with an ease most skiers have never experienced. The tail being skinnier then the waist and tip is able to sink and allows for the ski to travel through the snow at the correct angle to stay afloat. The power and initiation point of the ski’s turn is moved from the traditional method of engaging the tip and arcing a turn to feathering the turn and controlling from the center of the ski. You now make turns by allowing the reverse sidecut to “fall” into the turn, meaning you have a variable turn radius. We relate this turn experience to a feeling of having “power steering”. You do not need to take the time to engage a turn, you just do it. You can now change the turn radius by feathering the turn more or less as required. This provides a balance and pivot point that allows for the ski to turn in soft snow like nothing you have experienced before.

The continuous curve rocker enhances this experience, helping to keep the ski afloat by directing it to surface at all times. And, with no flat spot, the skier is able to shift weight balance forward or back very quickly allowing for a more precise feeling of control and a better ability to maneuver. Continuous curve rocker combined with reverse sidecut offers the skier an experience of surfing on the snow and will open up opportunities off piste for skiers of any ability.

The powder boards have a solid flex patter that is stiff enough for the most aggressive skiers but when combined with the rocker the stiffer flex is not overwhelming for the beginner/intermediate skier. The flex pattern is powder specific and functions to help the ski stay on the surface. The taper that is a result of fatter underfoot technology allows for less deflection when the skier passes through bumps, or chunks of debris that would most definitely deflect a fat tipped ski. Think of it as an arrow or dart that is able to pass through these obstacles with minimal interference. The tip opens up the trail gradually and allows for the weighted fat underfoot portion to pass through, the tail is then able to follow suit without drag, which makes for a faster and smoother means of gliding.

Without a doubt, I ski twice as fast on these skis than any other model and have a better feeling of control when skiing at higher speeds. There is no wonder that the classic Powder Boards are still a favorite at the Praxis factory and with all of our prototyping and development of other models I can say that this concept is here to stay. Enjoy the ride.

Check out our Powder Boards Page

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