REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Edelwiser Speed 172cm (Austria) 2007-2008
The Edelwiser ski company is interesting in that they essentially provide a customized graphic line of skis via the Internet. You can download graphic templates for each model, create any design you can think of, then upload the files to Edelwiser where they will produce you skis with your design and color scheme in as little as two hours shop time. Rumor has it they can deliver a pair of customized skis from Austria to the US in 5 days.
They have won several awards for mass customization and marketing. You can get points for each pair of skis you get your freinds to buy, while they get a discount when they use you for a reference (the old "turn your freind in for your own discount" routine). They get money off, you get credits toward your next pair...you get the idea.
Check out their corporate branding examples and work by many artists.
Very cool company with great ideas and impressive skis!
Good evening America,
here we go with a preview-review of the Speed. All technical details will be anyhow described by ForumAdmin (Strange name for a skier..) and I will leave them for the moment. Similar shape to the Swing (127/80/117) but a plus of 10cm. More solid and a weight surplus of 360g per ski. Radius 14m. Up to now I did appx. 50 days on the Swing and just 2 days testing the Speed. While purchasing my skies there were heavy discussions with Nicola (Co-owner of Edelwiser/former WC Skier Austrian NT) if I should take the Swing or Speed. Finally I got the Swing with a lot of advantages and some disadvantages.
The Speed with a wood-titanal-sandwich construction is a very similar carver compared to the Swing but a completely different ski. The Speed works out as a High-Speed-Carving-Race-Gun.
The differences are terrific. While the Swing is an XXX-Caver for mid speed and low radius power carves the Speed is an XXXXXX-Caver for high speed mid to long carves despite the radius of 14m. The tip flex feels quite similar with a lot of power rebound but the tail does not feel similar at all. It is quite stiff and designed for high speed stability. The Speed needs speed to start working and the snow conditions are relevant for function. Both work best in soft snow conditions where the flex power can be utilized best. Full power and weight into the tip and cut down the radius. You will glide through all snow bumpers like QEII and you will not feel any instability. Perfect 10 for both in wet und soft snow. The situations turns a little on hard conditions and high speed.
The harder and the faster the better the Speed. In percentage I would say the difference ist up to 20%. Also the edge grip feels more stable with the Speed. Don´t ask me why. I would guess the harder tail (political correct?) does make a huge difference (Does it? Ask your wife...). The Speed will always be competitive with pure race guns but will always remain a carver. Its a fantastic high speed ski and also a soft condition/powder ski. The disadvantage for me personally is that you loose the 20% of fun and ease you gain with the 20% of speed performance and ice stability. Thats why the Swing still is N°1 for me personally. Also you spend most of the time on the lifts instead of the slopes because you have burnt down the mountain. Poser!
Nethertheless I am thinking about a Speed for Speed-Days! Or will it be a Firnis....? Stay tuned. Next Monday I will get a Firnis 170 and Firnis 180 personally presented by Nicola in my favorite resort Heiligenblut-Carinthia-Austria, Top of Austria. And don´t say I need the lessons by her.....
(127-80-117) 13m radius @ 172cm
[click here for larger picture]
Edelwiser Sporthandel GmbH
Julius Tandler Platz 6/4
P.O. Box 4261
Aspen, CO. 81611
Contact: Max Werdenigg (970) 987-8555
$800 usd (Greenhorn)
$750 usd (Newbie)
$700 usd (Member)
Custom grahics services @ $110 /hour
Upload your own graphics !
(Illustrator or EPS template downloads you can modify)
See custom graphics examples (corporate branding)
Groomer and all-mountain carving
Your Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
9+ (anything other than deep powder)
Superb all-terrain, low-effort carver (with emphasis on packed conditions) with the ability to lay down serious race-like arcs at slow or high speeds at high or low edge angles when asked. "Athletic" stretched version of the "Swing" model to reach the heart of advanced and expert skiers who like the speed and performance of a GS ski, but want more all-terrain handling and ability to float respectably in the soft snow when available. Perhaps one of the only "all-mountain" carvers that actually performs at high levels in both hardpack on-piste and softer snow conditions. Most skis in this category either work OK in the soft snow, and get slippery on the hardpack, or grip the hardpack acceptably, but sink like a stone and refuse to surface in the powdery conditions. This design is the reason why the SnowRider / VR "classic" ski geometries of Reinhard Fischer (no relation to Fischer skis) are hugely popular on the wide open carving slopes of Austria and Germany. This is an example of the "technique and touch" carving ski...not a "racer-power" carving ski. Needs more speed to get into its groove than the "Swing" model, and behaves more like a race ski, but muscling it like a race ski produces an over-turned, over-edged smear. Applying it to the snow precisely with a sensitive feel produces wonderfully etched arcs in the snow of nearly any radius you could want, and at very high speeds with remarkable stability for a 172cm ski. It lacks the vice-grip on ice of a race ski, but then again, it is not a race ski, it is a carving ski. Very interesting.
Technical Ski Data:
Wood core, fiberglass, Titanal sandwich.
Slightly elongated shovel design toward the waist, soft flex with a supple, yet respectable forebody pressure and excellent dampening with a stronger tail than you might think. Interesting flare from the waist back to the tail. Somewhat hard to categorize compared to most other brands' geometries. Interesting. Custom graphic on our pair was a mosquito on a white background. You can get any design you can think of on your own Edelwisers...very cool.
Cold, dry packed powder conditions, perfect combination of packed groomers and some cut-up fresh stuff (ranging from a few inches to some boot-deep stuff) on the side of some trails. We tested on several days and several ski resorts in Vermont.
The Edelwiser "Speed" is aptly named. This is not simply a longer version of the Swing model, even though you might think the same basic construction in a longer version would behave the same...just produce longer turns. This ski can lay down some really deep carving turns with astonishingly little effort, but remain completely stable and composed at speed. If I tried to muscle the ski with a race-like power and pressure to hold a desired line, it would sometimes over-turn or be pushed laterally out of its groove, drifting nicely until you let up your excessive pressure...then regain its hold and await your next move. Try the exact same line, but this time using a subtle roll onto edge and mere body weight and centrifigal force to set the ski, and it set itself into the snow, hugged the desired radius and took me on a great ride with more security than using an overbearing technique. Want to switch direction? Just roll it onto the other pair of edges, move your hips forward toward the shovels and feel it pull you into your next turn. No wasted effort, no muscle needed.
This is a ski that responds to application and transfer of weight and edge angle along its length, not downward force into the snow. My first impression: very cool feeling. Different than most other skis I have tried. Almost eerie, but very satisfying. If you find yourself going too fast and need to tighten your line to scrub speed, you don't increase downward pressure to tighten your radius to slow down. You merely apply a little more edge angle and the ski tightens up its radius. I watched some more muscle-type skiers ride the Speed and found they were slightly confused when it did not behave like a hard-nosed race ski. It wants to run in GS-sized turns, but requires a rider, not a driver.
The Speed is more of a surgical higher-speed carving instrument instead of a power tool (similar to the Austrian-made Palmer P02 carving ski design and behavior). All the arcs, none of the effort. Would it be a race ski? No. Would it be a ski a racer would change over to after a race? Yes. Great tool to refine your carving skills without burning all your calories after 10 runs. No similarity to the Swing in behavior (other than low user-input requirements). Racy behavior and seductively easy to go very fast on. If you like the way GS skis make great arcs, get a demo of the Speed and try your technique with half the effort to get perhaps better results. Fun stuff.
Analogies: (this ski is like...)
An ex-olympic GS skier who can slice a slope at any radius with terrific precision at any speed while never breathing hard. Beautiful to watch and makes you wonder why the racers training on the other hill seem to be working so hard to make turns of half the quality.
After Skiing These, I Want To...
Get my own pair with cool graphics.
Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences:
Expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type), but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Not an instructor, but 10 year coach for youth race team in New England (bulletproof is the norm).
No "Speed" specific videos, but the Interview vid has a female instructor at the end describing what she thought of them (she is a GS style skier). Check out her expression when she talks about the Speed model....)
EDELWISER SKI ACTION:
The Speed ski was so much fun; for me it is a "10" must have. All of the things Christoph said, but personally, I prefer the Speed to the Swing. Pleasant as it was, I could out-ski the Swing, but tried, really tried, the same with the Speed and it hung on bravely. You can throw the edges way out wide and around they come, steady, stable, and ready for the next instructions. Too bad no YouTube footage of these, as it was a better fit for me than the 182 protoypes. The Swing, Speed, and Weiner Schnitzen all have a common feel, but also are distinct. I'm 50 now, hopefully I can enjoy the Speed's characteristics for a few years, before moving on to the Swings. I like the Firnis models too, but if asked to pick one, it would be the Speed.
I need to review my preview/review. Having damaged my Axial2 bindings on my Swing I again had a day with the Speed.Total this winter now appx 5-6 on Speed (no drugs!)
My final-final verdict: 10 out of 10 for the Speed. Technical knock-out for the Swing, sorry!
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