The Raptor is the best high end ski you have never seen. Designed by many time German National champion and coach, Willi Ellermeier, the Raptor is different. It is fast. It turns very sharp. It is not for the faint of heart.
The ski is available in 65.75” and 67.5”. The below review reflects the 67.5”.
General Feel: The Raptor wants to follow an early line as opposed to other skis that work best with a less aggressive path from ball to ball. The ski turns extremely hard and makes a lot of speed, but it is also relatively forgiving to skier mistakes.
Many of the best skis on the market in the last 10 years require the skier to temper aggression. Conversely, the Raptor will accommodate skiers who ski with a style that is more “hammer down”. The ski will accommodate calm technical skiers as well.
Toe Side (Off Side) Turn: Off Side Turns on the Raptor are extraordinary. When the skier is in the center of the ski and rolls the ski in at apex, the Raptor feels like no other ski. The ski turns hard and fast but without the feeling of tail slide. The tip stays down and the ski carries more speed than expected back toward the wakes. These turns are dependable and consistent. The ski is relatively forgiving to skier weight distribution. If this ski has one trademark attribute it is the Off Side turn.
Heel Side (On Side) Turn: Heel side turns on the Raptor are also sharp and fast. Much of the review period was spent searching for fin settings to make the On Side turns as good as the Off Side. With the final settings used for this review, as the rope got shorter On Side turns became less flowing and often resulted in a moderate amount of slack at the hookup. I am hesitant to further criticize the On Side turns because I suspect better settings could make a world of difference. At just less than 185 pounds, I am at the bottom of the practical weight chart for this ski.
From Ball to Second Wake: The Raptor seems to always leave the ball with a lot of angle and hold it to the wakes. This ski makes as much speed toward the wakes as any ski on the market.
From Second Wake to the ball: The caveats noted above about how the ski performs at On Side should perhaps be addressed as how the ski casts out and then slows down. This ski carries a lot of speed all the way to the ball. At Off Side this extra speed is manageable and even to the skiers advantage. At On Side this means it takes a little more finesse to get the ski to arc back in on the ball. As noted above this may simply be a matter of fin settings or perhaps the ski is best for skiers weighing in at 190 pounds or more.
Conclusion: This ski is marketed as a 67.5”, but with the front binding at 30.5”, I would find it comparable to a full 68 inch ski. It is a big fast ski that turns on a rail. If this was the ski I was to ride for the rest of the year, I feel confident I would find better settings and put up scores equal to my best.
Best Settings as of the end of this review 30.5 / 2.515 / 6.895 / .830
The San Marcos River Ranch in Martindale, Texas, is excited to announce it will host the 2017 San Marcos River Ranch Pro Night Jump Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 12, as it puts a wrap on hosting the 75th GOODE Water Ski National Championships. Some of the top men’s jumpers from across the country, including Freddy Krueger, Scot Ellis, Taylor Garcia, Mark Lane and Zack Worden, will be invited to battle it out in an exciting head-to-head, sudden-elimination format. Live music, food and the Junior Development and Tournament Officials awards parties will coincide with the night jump event.
Competitors and families are encouraged to extend their stay at the Nationals to take in what will surely be an unforgettable event under the bright stars of Texas. More information, including the final field of competitors, will be posted here as it becomes available.
For more information on the 75th GOODE Water Ski National Championships, which will be held Aug. 9-12, visit www.waterskinationals.com.
The world’s finest water skiers are at the JBSki Arena at Thorpe Lakes, London, UK on to compete in honour of one of the UK’s greatest ever exports - often regarded as the greatest slalom skier of all time - ANDY MAPPLE OBE.
With some cracking prizes on offer thanks to local sponsor MJC Commercial Refurbishment - 3 days of Pro-Am competition climax in head to head Pro finals. Nate Smith, Will Asher, TGas and our very own Freddie Winter will all be taking part. Those of you with longer memories will also enjoy seeing the welcome return to the water of Mike Hazelwood MBE and John Battleday - both of whom skied with Andy Mapple in Team GB - most notably in the legendary 1986 World Cup Finals.
The immaculate Hilltop Lake in Arlington, Washington was the stage of a beautiful blue-bird weekend of skiing and fun that saw skiers of all ages push themselves to new heights. This 4 round class R event had beginner and intermediate skiers sharing the dock with some of the world’s top professional slalom skiers. To kick it off, and evenings, skiers took the opportunity to get a first look at the new Syndicate PRO ski and even had a chance to ride the all new model in a 66” for themselves. , 3 of the world’s top skiers would face-off on the new design giving spectators one heck of a show.
Jaimee Bull is one of the most promising new skiers on the horizon. I don’t say that lightly. Yes, she is the current Jr Masters Slalom Champion, and yes, she does hold the Canadian Jr National Record with 3 @ 39.5 off (10.75m). And yes, she is just barely 17 yrs old.
However, I use the word promising for a different reason than you would think. What impresses me is that she doesn’t think, act or react like a 17 yr old with a lot of talent. She is humble, grateful, dedicated, passionate, smart….basically she is a role model. She is exactly what we would hope a great skier would be.
The Syndicate PRO was built for one purpose; To achieve the most angle and hold possible at breakneck speeds and the shortest line lengths for the world's top pro skiers. Top professional skiers like Will Asher, Jon Travers & Nick Adams need a ski that decelerates quickly, turns on a dime and holds the incredible load they generate at 36mph, 41'off as they slingshot into the next buoy.
"This ski is a buoy chaser. It's raw, lean & badass!" -Will Asher after running 41'off/36mph his first set on the Syndicate Pro out of the new mold. (Shown here).
Tune in Friday to http://www.hosports.com/ for more about the upcoming 2018 Syndicate Pro. HO Skis designers and pros will be hosting demos on the new ski design Friday evening and Saturday at the Syndicate Hilltop Pro-Am after the event concludes. Get there for your taste of the pro level ski that has the top skiers raving. The Syndicate Hilltop Pro-Am begins Saturday and is located Hilltop Lake in Arlington, Washington. Home testing center of the HO Skis R&D crew, Hilltop Lake is a flawless site ripe for huge scores and intense pro and amateur competition. Finals take place on Sunday where pros will battle it out for a 10k cash prize purse. #WhoDaresWins
Can’t make it to the event but want to demo a Syndicate ski? Check out http://www.hosports.com/demo.