These days mono-skis are trending towards higher ride heights. While a high ride height is great for quick edge to edge control and World Cup skiers, it leaves something to be desired for those new to the sport. Our NEW Mono-Ski sits at under a foot off the ground; approximately 3-6" lower than most current mono-skis. This low center of gravity is stable, forgiving to form flaws and promotes a slower transition from edge to edge while turning. Drawing from what we learned with the Dynamique we looked to carry over many proven features to the NEW Mono-Ski such as the chairlift loading system, adjustable footrest, swap-able seats, adjustable dump and versatile frame sizing. The NEW Mono-Ski can be quickly and easily adjusted to accommodate everyone from kids to adults.
Trevor Kennison helps test at Arapahoe Basin while Bobby Luscinski observes the rig.
With our project direction established, we began work in CAD and built our first prototype. On snow testing began on a (rare for this year) powder day at Keystone Resort. Keystone’s gentle drawn-out runs felt similar to what new skiers can expect to learn on. The ride height functioned exceptionally, but the chairlift loading system left us looking a bit foolish.
Solidworks allowed us to visualize the chairlift position and translate what we felt on the slopes into a better ski.
Back in Denver we reviewed, tweaked and worked towards a second prototype. To improve the chairlift load system we lowered the lock out height, moved the balance point and increased shock support in the "up" position. We set off to Arapahoe Basin on a blue spring day and tested the redesign with promising results.
June 1st and Aprapahoe Basin still had plenty of coverage for testing.
Abasin’s north-facing terrain allowed us to continue testing well into summer. For prototype 3, we continued to tweak geometry to improve skiing and the chairlift load. Going into June we were thrilled with the low ride height and that the chairlift loading system had vastly improved from the first test day. The current rendition of the chairlift loading system is smooth, locks out crisply and is easy to operate. This translates to less rider/instructor fatigue and more runs down the mountain!
Trevor in his original KBG & Chris Witte, our GM, in the new Mono-Ski at Arapahoe Basin.
For our 4th prototype, we hoped to hone in on a winning suspension. Using the same geometry as the 3rd prototype, we integrated a rocker driven suspension. We logged a handful of days on both prototypes with a spectrum of different skiers. This allowed us to compare falling rate (prototype 3) vs. progressive suspension (prototype 4).
Not all designs make it to production... Prototype 4 tested a progressive rocker driven suspension. It improved sensitivity and bottom out support but was too costly for this project.
Ultimately, price point and our target customers helped steer the final design of the 2018 testing season. While we liked how the progressive rocker driven prototype performed, its manufacturing complexity left us feeling it didn't fit this project. As luck would have it, MRP (Dynamique shock supplier) is finalizing a progressive coil spring. With MRP's new coil spring, we can provide the support missing from prototype 3 without the complexity of prototype 4. We feel this will be the compromise between price point and performance our target customer is likely looking for.
Bobby, our engineer, logged a handful of days learning the subtleties of the design.
In the meantime we started to CNC components, water-jet cross braces and bend frames. We are looking forward to starting full production on the NEW Mono-Ski at the beginning of the 18/19 winter season!
The first production parts are trickling in! To accommodate programs, a 325mm boot sole length aligns with the RESNA suggested standard while mounting holes allow 3" of center of gravity adjustment within a slot.
The NEW Mono-Ski is available with a low frame, like the prototypes, or with a high frame which includes a handle bar and tether points.
What should we name our NEW Mono-Ski? Keep an eye out on Instagram & Facebook for your chance to comment a name for our NEW Mono-Ski! We will be taking name suggestions until October 1st. We like the idea of staying with the “-ique” ending trend, but all submissions will be considered. After Oct. 1st we'll pick 5 names and hold a customer vote for #1 this winter!
Scott Will, our account rep, gives the NEW Mono-Ski two thumbs up.
Written by Scott Will
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