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RAVEN ARKS


BUILDER:  John Hadley

DATE MANUFACTURED: April 2008

COMMENTS (by John Hadley)

Well here is my first pair of skis and they came out great despite some movement during lay up. Even though I have a tip spacer that lapped over the core and wood exposed through the side walls one ski they ski great. I have had them at the area, on ridge tops, ice, and powder in the trees. I think the thick QCM Epoxy came to the rescue. This has been crazy fun talking to everybody and busting out a product. I just broke a second pair of skis out of the mold and was able to fix my issues in the first ski. I’ll cover them separately in another post. Dang…. this is soooo cool!

The concept: I wanted a ski that will do everything (for me). One that is light for the back country that was wider enough to be a good powder ski, but tough enough for dangerous Ice travel that is often part of Cascade Conditions. I hate how baughten skis don’t have enough flip tip to keep them from submarineing in deep powder. I break plenty of trail and wanted a more pronounced tip that would surface quicker. I also included the twin tip to lift the tail of the ski off the snow to raise the skin tail fastener off the snow to decrease wear and wanted to see if it will help skins stay adhered.

The Solution: I created a ski with a powder profile and left off the top sheet to save weight. I used “Plywood’s” veneer top sheet suggestion. The tips are really tall and should help with deep breaking conditions. I used my Rosignal Mega Bangs as a template so I would have a control compare with. I plan to break snow with one of mine and one of the manufacture’s skis. I don’t know of any current ski that has a high enough shovel for breaking powder while climbing. To create an all condition ski I have made the tips 2 mm and the tails 3mm with an 11 mm platform.

The art is done with Paint Pens which can be purchased at art supply.

The tests:

  1. Ridge top ice travel is hard on skis and I have had two days of scissor of epoxy and wood veneer. They seem to be holding up well and the wear is slowing as they are getting shaped.

  2. They ski great in powder and Ice. I think the thicker tail has a lot to do with it. I have a pair of hammer head bindings I think. They are adjusting from size 9 to 13 in a few turns. That is really great for letting others try them.

What I plan to do different next time:

  1. I will use locator pin next time to keep the cores exactly in place. I now have the plastic “stand offs” that I will use.

  2. I had problems with leaking in my mold since I used a vaccum system. I have made an adjustable camber and length system. A little fine tuning is in order.

I owe a great deal to the members of SkiBuilders.com. Thank you VERY MUCH!

These skis have been made in a high school class and my students are beginning to build their own. I have been teaching for 18 years now and I know how these kind of experiences affect students. Whether you know it or not you are helping kids become inventive builders. Some of these kids will have completely different futures because of this experience. One student plans to do his senior project on ski building. I have made a ski builder tee shirt the prize for the first kid that completes their ride. I thought you should know …

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