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I cannot express how impressed I am with this ski. The trick with skis like this is to not ski them beyond their sweet spot.  In my opinion the Carbon V peaks at 32 off 34 mph.

To get some perspective, after I rode the Carbon V for a few rides, I rode one of my favorite high end skis for a set.

Compared to a high end ski the Carbon V is very stable and forgiving. The skills required to run a perfect pass on the Carbon V are the same as on a high end ski. The difference is forgiveness. The fact is that a ski that I would use to run into 39 off is harder to ride.

The Carbon V turns great on both sides and makes a surprising amount of speed across course. It just might be faster than a high end ski. If I had to complain about something, I would say that I struggled a little to keep the tip down at the end of the turn.  This is partly just my bad habits and the fact that I was taking the ski to the top of its performance envelope. If you watch the below video you will see plenty of dumb mistakes but you will also see that I am early to every ball.

The unexpected difference was the strength required. The high end ski clearly requires much more strength per pass.  I can ski about 25% more passes per day on the Carbon V.

If you are dreaming of 39 off but are still working on 28 off the Carbon V should be a ski that you consider. 

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The Goode Nano One XT is already a classic. The XT, along with the original Nano One, have been reissued by Goode because skiers demanded it. Both of the Nano One models are not only hugely successful in terms of skis sold but also in terms of tournaments won.

General Feel: Considering the small size of the ski, you might expect the XT to feel quirky. It is just the opposite. At 180 pounds, I find the 65.25 XT to be extremely stable and predictable.

The ski’s relatively small size means that the skier has the ability to manipulate the ski more than on traditionally sized skis.Perhaps a better way to explain this is that the ski goes where the skier's feet naturally go much more readily than with most other high end skis. The skier has more leverage over the ski. When the rope get short and the skier starts to panic is where this attribute becomes most apparent. The result is that the ski is supremely forgiving when the skier is at their limit.

Toe Side (Off Side) Turn: Off side turns on the XT feel more like a fast pivot than an arc. The front of the ski offers noticeable support before and after the apex of the turn. This gives the skier confidence to move forward approaching the ball and provides stability exiting the turn.

Heel Side (On Side) Turn: On side turns on the XT are nearly foolproof. The skier can approach onside in any number of ways and exit the ball with angle. As with the off side turns, the on side turn is fast and sharp. If a skier is in trouble, he or she can throw caution to the wind and make up a lot of ground on this side.

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From Ball to Second Wake: The XT holds substantial angle from the ball to the second wake. While many other high end skis will punish skiers for adding too much load between the ball and the wakes, the XT will allow the skier to push hard if needed.

One of the perceived negatives of this ski is that it requires more strength from the ball to the wakes than many other high end skis. The XT makes plenty of speed but the skier has to work for it. This is partly do to how fast the ski turns. More arcing turns will put less load on the skier and sharper turns will require a more strength.

From Second Wake to Ball: Typically skis that require more strength also require the skier to have superior technical skills to get wide at the ball. The XT does not fit this stereotype. The ski easily makes space and width on both side of the course even with less than perfect skier technique. This is yet another example of the ski’s extremely forgiving performance attributes.

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Quirk: The XT is more setting and water temperature sensitive than most high end skis on the market. At the beginning of the test period the test ski was set exactly to stock and worked extremely well. As the water cooled off by 10 -15 degrees the performance of the ski dropped off noticeably and the fin had to be adjusted.

Conclusion:
This ski was especially hard to review. Because the XT is unusually forgiving it was challenging to define what the ski does and does not do. I owe thanks to a number of skiers who took my calls last month and talked to me about what I was feeling.

I increased my all time tournament BP by one ball on my third ride on the XT. Clearly, I am a fan of the XT.

 

ARC Review 4

Intro

At first glance, the D3 ARC looks like every other D3 you have ever seen. The shape of the tip and the contour of the top of the ski are clearly recognizable and indistinguishable from last years D3 or the D3 from 5 years ago.

Yet if you take a closer look, you will find a ski unlike any D3 before. The first obvious difference is the width. The widest point on 67” ARC is almost 00.10” wider than the same point on a 67” D3 Quest. A more thorough examination will expose a smaller tunnel radius than any previous D3, which results in a deeper concave.

What you can not see by visual examination is that the ARC is a simplified design. The ski was designed without multi-stage rockers or bevels. It was designed from scratch without bits and pieces of hydrodynamic trickery. The design is elegant, and in my opinion, it is the best ski D3 has ever built.

General Feel

Skiers who are overly aggressive will fit this ski as well as skiers who depend on finesse. The skier with the best technique will almost always be the skier with the highest score, but the ARC will forgive more mistakes than expected.   

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Toe Side (Off Side) Turn

Most high end skis on the market today deliver a great off side turn. To rave about a ski’s off side turn has become almost cliche. In the case of the ARC, there are two attributes of the off side turn that are worth mentioning:

The first key attribute is that the ski is very forgiving to less than perfect technique. If you push hard over your front foot, the ski turns hard and fast.  If you are in the middle of the ski, it turns almost as well, and if you are a bit on your back foot, the ski still turns good enough. Patient and impatient skiers will both find success.

The second key attribute is that it is easy for the skier to maintain a tight line and ride the ski back to the inside with a lot of speed and very little drama.

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Heel Side (On Side) Turn

On Side turns are similar to the off side turns but are more technically critical. The ski will perform smooth, high speed on side turns provided the skier remembers three key points:

1) keep your head up and shoulders level 2) apply at least moderate front foot pressure 3) initiate the finish with your lower body. This may sound like a lot to think about, but the ski’s inherent stability makes this these three points relatively easy to execute.

From Ball to Second Wake

Modern ski technique emphasizes calmer skiing, and some of the top skis on the market require skiers to constrain their aggression. The ARC is one ski that will tolerate “Hammer Down” skiing better than most.

From Second Wake to Ball

Historically, D3 skis are known to be more stable than fast and require a lot of skier strength and handle control technique to create a path wide of the ball.  The ARC is a legitimately fast ski that makes space in front of the ball without perfect  technique. The ski draws a path that feels more early than wide.

The ski's stability means that the path to the ball is very calm and low drama. Errors made at the wakes are easily corrected approaching the ball.

The most important thing about this ski

If your goal is to round more balls for a higher score, the way a ski performs on easy passes is not nearly as important as how it performs when you are at your limit. There are plenty of skis on the market that feel awesome until your hardest pass, and then they are unforgiving. The ARC is one of the few skis that does not punish the skier when they approach their limit.

ARC Review

Conclusion

The stated goal of BallOfSpray ski reviews is to describe the ski more than judge it. This goal is achieved at varying degrees for each ski reviewed. In the case of the 2016 D3 ARC, I have to say that it is one of the very best skis that I have ever ridden.

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Intro
The Syndicate V Type-R is the all new high end slalom ski from HO for 2016. The V Type-R is a reflection of the state of the art in terms of slalom theory. A careful examination of the ski will show a very deliberate design approach. From the shape of the tail to the texture of the bottom to the flex pattern, the V Type-R is different.

General Feel
The V Type-R is a ski that some skiers may take a few rides to get accustomed to. The shape and flex of this ski are designed for a skier who has the discipline to apply less aggression at the ball and from the ball to the wakes. The ski can be pushed, but the V Type-R simply performs best when the skier does less. The V Type-R is a ski for skiers who have embraced the concepts of “light on the line” or “hiding from the ZO”.

Toe Side (Off Side) Turn
The Off Side turn on the V Type-R is simply a joy. The tip stays down and the ski flows back to the inside with very little skier input. The relatively soft flex of the ski contributes to the feeling that the front of the ski is pulling itself under the line and making angle.

Skiers who cannot resist the temptation to be aggressive with their upper body will likely find turns to be unnecessarily aggressive and messy.

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Heel Side (On Side) Turn
If the skier can keep their shoulders level, head up and weight centered the V Type-R will flow out and then carve a fast arc under the rope and carry speed back to the inside. On Side turns are perhaps slightly faster and a smaller radius than Off Side turns. The smoothness and ease of the on side turn makes it easier for the skier to be in good position on the way to the wakes.

The ski’s forgiveness to errors is moderate compared to other current year high end skis . If the skier drops their head and shoulders to the inside, the ski may turn harder and faster than expected.

From Ball to Second Wake
The V Type-R does not make speed as much as it maintains speed. As with the turns, the secret to riding this ski is to not do more than you have to. The ski performs best when the skier takes the angle created in the turn and works just hard enough to maintain that angle. When ridden in this fashion, the V Type-R makes more than enough speed to be wide and early at the next ball.

If the ski has one clear fault it is that, after the skier makes a mistake, the ski does not make a lot of extra speed in panic mode.

From Second Wake to Ball
The V Type-R flows away from the second wake predictably and easily draws a path wide and early in front of the ball. As noted above, the ski performs best if the skier keeps their head up, shoulders level, and weight centered.

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Conclusion
Up until my hardest pass, the V Type-R is my favorite HO since the A1. Once you adjust to how this ski needs to be ridden, it is one of the smoothest and flowiest skis in recent memory. As the rope gets short and I start making more errors, the ski degrades from a great ski to a good ski. It never does anything unexpected or radical, but it lacks a emergency afterburner mode I needed to get one or two more balls on my hardest pass.

As the review period ends, I am left with the feeling that I could have gotten more from the ski and wish I could spend more time with it.

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