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KUNG PAODER





MISCELLANEOUS:
weight:
n/a
epoxy: West System
tipspacer:  white ABS plastic
inserts:  stainless steel M6, 7mm for G3 Targa binding pattern
damping elements:   rubber strips placed above metal edges
 

GRAPHICS:
The Kung Paoder's light blue color was achieved by laminating blue flannel underneath the polycarbonate topsheet.  With the Paoders we also wanted to try a new method of applying graphics by using a computer to print the lettering along with the Bruce Lee image onto rice paper. We thought the paper would turn clear when wetted out with epoxy but it didn't.  You can easily see the outline of the rice paper around the images.


BUILDER:
  Kelvin Wu and Kam K. Leang


MANUFACTURED DATE:
  February 16, 2005


COMMENTS:

This pair was designed to be a mid-fat ski for all around Pacific Northwest conditions. However, due to some printing/ scaling errors, they ended up being a bit larger in all dimensions than intended.  This is our first pair to use ABS sidewalls and polycarbonate topsheet.  The ABS we used for the sidewalls was a little thin and did not leave us much room for any core/base mismatch.  The polycarbonate topsheet looks great and is very clear and shiny.  Time will tell how they hold up. Also the edges separated about 1-2mm from the base in a few areas during pressing.

THE RIDE:
February 20, 2005:  Plummer's Crack, WA by Kelvin Wu.  Took the brand new Kung Powders out for a day in the backcountry. The short pitch off the top of Plummer's peak was nice sun softened snow, unfortunately it was only long enough to make 2 turns. We headed for Plummer's crack and found variable breakable crust. It made for difficult skiing and I was able to get a few tele turns in, but most of it was survival skiing with parallel turns. It was hard to get a good feel for the skis in these conditions, but when I didn't break through the crust, the skis seem stable and fairly damp.

The length and weight of the skis makes skinning and bushwhacking a chore and the width makes icy traverses a bit hairy. I would say these skis are more resort oriented than backcountry.

I was afraid the edges would blow since the edges separated in a few spots from the base during pressing. After several rock hits, including one that caused sparks to fly, the edges are still intact. Unfortunately, the topsheets of both skis delaminated at the tails. The polycarbonate does not seem to bond well with the epoxy. What started as small blisters at the tail was made much worse on the bushwhack down. Every time I stuck the skis in the snow, it would force a little snow into the blister and force more of the topsheet to peel away. By the end of the day, 12" of the left ski and 6" of the right had delaminated. I was able to re-epoxy the topsheet back on and will probably put some small bolts to stop it from delaminating again 

February 27. 2005: Steven's Pass, WA by Kelvin Wu. Elli and I decided to take our chances and head up to Steven's pass. Considering the amount of snow they have to work with, the groomers did a really good job of keeping the runs skiable, just don't go off the trail. Snow conditions varied from refrozen granular to spring mashed potatoes.

The Kung Paoders completely rocked. They are damp, stable and just plow through anything. They also carve and hold an edge pretty well. The width and length requires a bit more work for short quick turns and moguls; I think a hair more sidecut would be perfect. These skis ski so well, I'm selling my commercial skis.

My delamination repair seemed to be holding up, only a couple of blisters in the topsheet.

It turned out to be a great day of spring skiing, too bad it is February.

September 3, 2005  Kelvin, myself and a few other friends were desperate for September turns.  We didn't expect to find much because of the poor 2005 snowpack in the NW.  What we found was fun, and Kelvin demonstrates how the Kung Paoders can carve nicely on bulletproof ice:

 

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