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How to make your own ski?


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I am fairly new to slalom water skiing and I would like to make my own water ski by trimming down my current recreational water ski have a better profile. What are the specifications for a slalom water ski?

Measurements that I would need would be e.g. width from 10 points or more , how much rocker the ski needs to have, angles of the sides and specs of the concave. 

 Any tips on making your own ski would be very useful!


Thanks beforehand!

-Juuso N

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Ahaaa crap! We all know where this is going to go.

Eric this is your thread. Go ahead.

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About Horton

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Wow, the go ahead from Horton!

Skiff, welcome. Many of the recreational skis come from the same or similar molds as the high end skis. Materials and flex patterns make a significant difference. So cutting down a recreational ski might not give you the perfect ski. However, you can learn a lot from taking a grinder (or adding some bondo) to any ski. Beware because you can structurally compromise the ski and you are at higher risk of the ski breaking during skiing. Some ski breakages can lead to injury, I've been lucky - none of my broken skis has hurt anything more than my pride.

Building your own ski from scratch is a challenge. It is not like shaping a surfboard - the loads require a much more sophisticated layup with advanced composites. You will need some kind of mold. You will need a vacuum or some pressure on that mold. Don't be too intimidated though, I built a mold out of plywood and used sandbags over a foam mattress for pressure and it worked OK. You will need some quality epoxy and some graphite cloth (and probably some unitdirectional as well). High density strong cores like pvc are shaped and pressed into the mold. Then the finishing process begins (top edges are surprisingly critical).

There is no magical formula for size and shape. Lots of the top skis are evolutions of earlier designs (was the Connely HP THE original ski?). Find a ski you like and use that as a baseline. Try your innovations out - some will help and some will hurt. Don't just clone a ski, take steps to improve it.

Don't build a ski to save money. It is way more expensive and time consuming than buying a ski. Plus, the commercial manufacturers do a great job with their skis. But if you enjoy the design and testing of skis and enjoy working with composites, absolutely go for it. My interest in slalom was fading until I started building my own skis. The analytical process of the ski design and evaluation more than made up for the aging degeneration of my skills - I'm skiing almost as well as I did at my peak (except the last couple of tournaments). For me it is fun. It is possible to build a homemade ski that works well - and wins.

If you get to San Diego, contact me and we'll play with some skis.


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I had the pleasure of riding Eric's ski this evening, and it was a lot of fun. After a failed initial deep water start (so I guess I MOP'd) I took a ride up and down the lake to get the "feel". My mistake was starting at 34/-15, as the ski performs much better as the line shortens. I was able to get up to 1.5 @ -35, and was impressed with it's performance. Eric's ski is designed to rip when you use a lot of front foot pressure, probably 75/25, and with some practice I'll bet I could run -35 easily enough. My son and camera were in the boat, so I'll post a couple of pictures tomorrow if possible, and OfficerFriendly did a "post set" interview, so maybe we'll see it on youtube soon enough !
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