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  1. #1
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    What happened to hardwood metal lam skis?

    Iím not gonna pretend Iíve researched every brand on this, but....for years Iíve had various beefy mid fat metal lam skis (im103s, various Volkls, etc) in the 11-12 lb range and was recently looking at getting something in the 90 mm range & it seems like pawlonia, poplar, foam stringers etc have become more prevalent. Meanwhile balsa (!) got popular in AT ski cores.

    Which Austrian/German/Swiss brands use significant amts of maple in a full metal lam today, for example?

  2. #2
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    What happened to hardwood metal lam skis?

    J skis master blaster seems to fit your description. 🤷
    focus.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustonen View Post
    J skis master blaster seems to fit your description.
    For when you want a heavy metal laminate ski, but you still want a super tight radius so you can noodle around and make slalom turns.

  4. #4
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    I have to wonder how much market there is for a m103 type ski, that thing was a handful...

  5. #5
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    Don't know what kind of wood, but seems like you should be looking at MX88, Monster 88 (Monsters are heavy AF), gotta be a Stockli in that class, etc.

  6. #6
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    Not a store brand but Igneous uses hard Maple and white Ash in their cores. Fir is a lighter alternative.
    Hand cut from raw, cured lumber, they are bookmatched and alternated in strips. Each strip assessed for optimal rigidity and flex depending on stiffness requested.

    The idea is that the core is the cornerstone of durability.

  7. #7
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    Head Monster 88 is rarely the wrong choice if it hasn't snowed a bunch overnight. I've been skiing mine a lot this year stuck on the east coast and enjoying them.

  8. #8
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    Blizzard Cochise and Dynastar M-pro 105 are both poplar, but probably in the neighborhood of what you're looking for. The older legend pros were poplar as well, I believe, so that isn't really a dumbing down of the ski.

  9. #9
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    Yeah loved my im103s, had two pairs. My point wasn’t whether there are smaller brands (eg I have several pairs of Praxis with maple) that use hardwood...I was just commenting on the overall trend of legacy German / Austrian / Swiss metal lam brands. For example, current Stormriders use light wood core.

    I think newer ski design/materials have enabled a powerful and damp ski without a heavy hardwood core, which is fine, but my understanding was that core fatigue results from compressive stresses and I’ve always felt that a true hardwood core ski lasted longer.

    A decade or more ago I occasionally bought skis from the mainstream brands that used inexpensive, fast growing, light softwoods (Nordica, Fischer, K2 etc) and they got lifeless and soft faster than the burly hardwood boards. May have been other factors though.

    I posted earlier this week about how much I liked my monster 88s back in the day until they delammed.. The current version (88 Ti) looks interesting but haven’t found a pair locally or online.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    I’m not gonna pretend I’ve researched every brand on this, but....for years I’ve had various beefy mid fat metal lam skis (im103s, various Volkls, etc) in the 11-12 lb range and was recently looking at getting something in the 90 mm range & it seems like pawlonia, poplar, foam stringers etc have become more prevalent. Meanwhile balsa (!) got popular in AT ski cores.

    Which Austrian/German/Swiss brands use significant amts of maple in a full metal lam today, for example?
    I wouldn't be putting paulownia and poplar in the same category. Hard maple isn't much stiffer than poplar although it weighs a lot more. Paulownia is much more flexible than either.
    Much of the stiffness comes from the metal laminate, so I wouldn't expect poplar and maple core skis of otherwise identical construction to be significantly different in stiffness.
    As far as durability--the hardness of maple doesn't make any difference in a skiing application the way it would in a cutting board. The only place I could see it making a difference might be in resistance to bindings ripping out.
    I'm certainly not an expert on this, but I suspect that in many cases the loss of shape or stiffness of a ski is due to the metal becoming delaminated from the core. It's not the stiffness of the metal (aluminum alloy) that stiffens the ski, it's the fact that the metal doesn't want to stretch when flexed, and that only matters if the layers of a ski are still glued together.
    If you're interested in technical detail, the Wood Database is an excellent place to look up the properties of various kinds of wood.
    https://www.wood-database.com/common-name/

  11. #11
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    Kastle uses poplar/beech core wrapped in two sheets of metal in RX and MX models. They rip!
    ďA society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.Ē
    ― Milton Friedman

  12. #12
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    doesnt the ski designer use different thicknesses of different woods in the core to give the ski its character ?
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  13. #13
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    Maple and Poplar are not really in the same ballpark when it comes to hardness. Consult the Janka scale.
    And the hardness of the wood has a great deal to do with a skis durability. Stomp a rock flat or torque the shit outta half the ski . It matters.
    Getting the right stiffness , but not too brittle is the key. Adding metal and fibers is a mechanical way to brace the wood core.
    And durability breeds longevity.

  14. #14
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    My understanding is that metal laminates don't add much longitudinal stiffness to the ski. Dampness and lateral stiffness yes. With 2 sheets of metal, you can probably get away with much cheaper wood cores. Don't think I've ever felt a wood core break down on me. It's possible I've seen some softening over time on some of my skis, but it's more likely in my head. And who likes a 2x6, anyway?
    I wouldn't be as focused on the wood type as quality. But even then, the rest of the layup may negate that. Milled camber, metal, fiberglass, etc.
    You can always go ON3P and full bamboo. That's a pretty solid feeling too. Nobody wants B Squads or i103's anymore. And you can gain all kinds of stability with a little bit of rocker and taper, so why build a ski that doesn't sell?
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  15. #15
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    Nobody makes them because everyone's cock got soft and nobody can turn a manly ski these days.
    Myself included.

  16. #16
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    Metal does not make skis stiff... damp and heavier yes, stiffer no...

    Pretty sure thereís not many skis made in Europe that use maple. It has more to do with the consistency of the grain I believe. One of our engineers told me a while ago and I canít remember. A blend of beach and poplar is popular because of itís consistency and the ability for the core manufacturers to hit a specific tolerance.

    Flex has more to do with the core thickness and fiberglass layup than anything else.

  17. #17
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    The shorter m103s are still fun, I get 5-10 days on them. I don't need another pair but I'd pick them up if I found them. I have some dps 105s as a replacement but I haven't clicked with them yet.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by abraham View Post
    The shorter m103s are still fun, I get 5-10 days on them. I don't need another pair but I'd pick them up if I found them.
    I stocked up on im103s, both lengths, back in the day, and Iím 99% sure I have some new in plastic in the shorter length Iíd sell you cheaaappp.

  19. #19
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    Someone correct me if Iím wrong, but Iím pretty sure that the OG Legend Pro had a rohacell(foam) core. Or mixed rohacell and wood.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djongo Unchained View Post
    Maple and Poplar are not really in the same ballpark when it comes to hardness. Consult the Janka scale.
    And the hardness of the wood has a great deal to do with a skis durability. Stomp a rock flat or torque the shit outta half the ski . It matters.
    Getting the right stiffness , but not too brittle is the key. Adding metal and fibers is a mechanical way to brace the wood core.
    And durability breeds longevity.
    Djongo gets it. I wasn’t talking about stiffness, Goat, which you’ll see if you re-read my post. Core thickness is more determinate of longitudinal stiffness. Core density definitely relates to dampness but as I said, modern skis have other ways to achieve dampness.

    And this was not a ‘what ski should I buy’ thread. Kendo 88, monster 88 ti, Stockli stormriders, Kastle...I’ll see what drops in my lap.

    I was more just musing about how back in the day, there were mid fats that essentially used race stock hardwood metal lam construction.

    It’s sorta like when you realize V8s are dying off.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    Djongo gets it. I wasn’t talking about stiffness, Goat, which you’ll see if you re-read my post. Core thickness is more determinate of longitudinal stiffness. Core density definitely relates to dampness but as I said, modern skis have other ways to achieve dampness.

    And this was not a ‘what ski should I buy’ thread. Kendo 88, monster 88 ti, Stockli stormriders, Kastle...I’ll see what drops in my lap.

    I was more just musing about how back in the day, there were mid fats that essentially used race stock hardwood metal lam construction.

    It’s sorta like when you realize V8s are dying off.
    ďRace StockĒ skis donít necessarily use ďhardwoodĒ either... definitely not maple

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post

    It’s sorta like when you realize V8s are dying off.
    Cmon man, an F150 with a turbo v4 is better! #sarc
    ďLife has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.Ē
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasatchback View Post
    Metal does not make skis stiff... damp and heavier yes, stiffer no...

    Pretty sure thereís not many skis made in Europe that use maple. It has more to do with the consistency of the grain I believe. One of our engineers told me a while ago and I canít remember. A blend of beach and poplar is popular because of itís consistency and the ability for the core manufacturers to hit a specific tolerance.

    Flex has more to do with the core thickness and fiberglass layup than anything else.
    Have you asked any of your wood engineers if they've messed around with welding wood together for the cores? Probably not a process that fits in production but it could be cool.

  24. #24
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    The infinite variability in wood lends to funky characteristics. I wanted to make some mesquite cored skis...

  25. #25
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    Joe Exotic only rides Tigerwood core skis

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