Jump to content

1970s Wooden Skis


Recommended Posts

First off, please be easy on me since I am new without much technical expertise.

I'm up in Alaska where I mostly ski alpine, but get a few months a year to water-ski and play at the lake with friends.

I have been water-skiing recreationally a few times a year for the last 20 years and am fairly descent, but not technical.


I been skiing on the same pair of 68" late 70s wooden skis that I learned on some 20 years ago. I now have my own boat, so I have been getting out more often and decided to start upgrading some of my equipment. I purchased a pair of 68" O'Brien Performer combo skis. Though they are still fairly inexpensive skis, I was expecting to see a fairly dramatic performance increase over my old heavy boards. I tried them out as twin and slalom and both cases noticed a major increase in the amount of drag over my old skis. So much so I was pretty warn out after only 20 minutes. I switched back to the old ones and sure enough they seemed to plane the water much better.


We ran both skis around 35 mph and they are both 68" skis and I weight around 208. The bottom of the old skis are perfectly flat and smooth where the new skis have a textured and slightly concave. The new skis are wider at the front and slightly narrower in the back.


Could the problem be bad technique for the newer skis? Is 205lbs too heavy for a modern 68" ski? Is increased drag just a trade off for increased performance? Did I just buy a pair of crappy skis?


Attached is me in my styling early 90s purple gear with my 70s skis.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

The problem is specialization. Combo skis today are all about cost and ease of takeoff. If they do anything else well it's just luck.


Similarly combo skis are not designed to go fast at all.


There are great open water single skis. But you'll need to actually get one.


A flat ski has extremely low drag in exchange for very poor tracking. A good modern ski should have almost as low drag with waaay better tracking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...