The Evolution of the Heli-Ski
by Mike Gutt, K2 Skis
K2 Skis recently teamed up with CMH Heli-Skiing for a unique partnership opportunity. CMH approached K2 about supporting a Test/Demo week at one of their most famous lodges: The Monashees. This trip gave the CMH guests an exclusive chance to partake in K2’s testing and development process and the opportunity to ride prototypes of future products. This was a rare opportunity for our crew too, being able to test and develop products with the consumers.
On departure day, the K2 crew threw 36 pairs of test/prototype skis and our personal gear into the back up a full sized pickup truck and headed north from Seattle. We were all pretty stoked on the opportunity to test fat skis in ideal conditions and fortunately for us, a storm rolled in and laid down a fresh blanket of boot deep snow just before we arrived and the Monashee Lodge. Our K2 crew arrived early and had a chance to interact with some of the guests as we were unloading and organizing skis. Most of our test skis were wider than 100 mm under foot and all incorporated some type of rocker variations where the skis have a curvature similar to water skis that allows them to plane up on the snow. We quickly realized that our test skis looked odd in terms of width and rocker so were somewhat intimidating at first glance. But, that was all about to change!
We broke up in 3 groups for the first day with at least one guide and one K2 employee included in each group. Our K2 crew took some Pontoon prototypes out for the first day of skiing in the trees and after a few runs you could almost see the light bulbs turning on in the guests heads. The skis we were on floated, turned easily and most importantly made it look like we we having tons of fun (which we were). At the end of the first day we decided to get people set up with demo skis for the second day (as we did on the first day) and the only skis that were in the racks when we left for day two were skis narrower than 100 mm and with minimal amounts of rocker. What a difference a day makes. From that point on it was a struggle to find skis that were wide enough or had enough rocker to keep the guests happy. It became a logistical challenge on our end to make sure everyone had a chance to ski on all the different types of skis that we brought up.
For 2010-2011 K2 is going 100% rocker in our entire line of skis and this test at CMH further reinforced our decision. We are convinced that Rocker Technology will be the next biggest innovation to revolutionize the ski industry, making skiing easier and more fun. All of our skis incorporate a combination of rocker and camber that we call Baseline Technology. Where camber supplies edge hold, control and rebound, rocker provides a greater degree of versatility, easier turn initiation and an increased sweet spot. Certain skis require more or less of each and focusing on a ski’s Baseline determines who it is for and where it is designed to go, making it easier to design skis for all skier ability levels and snow conditions. So come check out the K2 rockered skis at the CMH demo shop this winter and experience for yourself how much more fun skiing can be.
CMH is excited to be a part of the development of what we believe will be the next great innovation in deep snow skiing. We helped to pioneer the way with the early “Fat Skis” and we believe that this next wave of ski technology will be as revolutionary as the last. Book your 2011 Heli-Ski trip with CMH to get in on the action! And remember, those who book before May 1, 2010 SAVE!