The Outside Blog

Gear

An Engineered Wood Core Redefines All-Mountain Skiing

All-condition-ski_fe

All-mountain skis. They've been made before. But all-condition skis? Ones that can bulldoze through crud, that still have the flexibility and sheer girth to carve sweeping, surfing turns in deep powder? It sounds impossible, right? Anyone who has used a set of true powder skis on resort groomers knows they can knock your fillings out and send you straight to the spa for skeletal realignment in the hands of an aggressive massage therapist.

The geeks over at Wagner Custom Skis, under the guidance of Pete Wagner, owner/engineer and former industrial designer in the golf industry, are aiming to change all of that. After lots of work, they have come up with a new ski core that allows them to build a light, fat, crud-busting ski all in one.

2-4 Core Material Lo Res

The core—2-4 Ultralight, pictured above—uses a fast-growing East Coast wood soaked in the sappy liquid byproduct that you'll find flowing out of paper mills and into landfills. When the resin hardens, the wood takes on a plastic-like consistency that's strong, stiff, shock absorbent, and way lighter than other ski cores. Then the engineers at Wagner wrap it with the carbon helix core that they've already perfected. And voilà: a ski with strength, liveliness, and carvability that's 30 percent lighter than the paulownia core, the industry's lightweight baseline.

Once that supercore is turned into a new set of skis, you have a lighter, more playful ride that's able to hold its own on courduroy, hardpack, and chunder. No more crying uncle when you blast out of your next woods run onto a cat track. No more whining about tired knees and a sore back during apres—light skis take less toll on your body. Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) was so impressed by the final product, it pre-ordered a lodge's worth to provide all of its guests. Available now in any custom ski Wagner makes, $1,900; wagnerskis.com.

—Berne Broudy
@berneb



Subscribe
to Outside
Save Over
70%

Magazine Cover

iPad Outside+ App Access Now Included!

Categories

Advertisement

$ad.smallDesc

$ad.smallDesc

$ad.smallDesc

Previous Posts

2014

2013

2012

Blog Roll

Current Issue Outside Magazine

Subscribe and get a great deal! Two free Buyer's Guides plus a free GoLite Sport Bottle. Monthly delivery of Outside—your ultimate resource for today's active lifestyle. All that and big savings!

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Gear of the Day The latest products, reviews, and editors' picks. Coming soon.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Ask a Question

Our gear experts await your outdoor-gear-related questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

* We might edit your question for length or clarity. If it's not about gear, we'll just ignore it.