When trying out new skis, agility and stability can often be at odds. That pair that quickly flows from edge to edge on the groomers becomes a vibrating mess on choppy terrain. Another model handles steeps like a champ, but tightens up in the terrain park.
Urethane sidewalls are one way to stabilize a more agile ski, but most major manufacturers don’t make them because of the cost and time they add to production. Below are three reasons to go indie and buy or build a ski that uses urethane for its sidewall material.
1. Urethane Absorbs Vibrations for a Damper Ride
First introduced as sidewall material in snowboards, urethane rubber is more energy absorbent than the ABS plastic used in most ski sidewalls. It allows the ski to dampen vibrations on variable terrain, cutting down on chatter. At Maiden Skis, customers can choose between a harder or softer urethane to customize just how much dampening they add to their skis.
Choose Between Hard or Soft Urethane. (The Orange Color Glows in the Dark.)
2. Despite Its Give, Urethane Is Durable
Even with its extra energy absorption and flexibility, urethane is comparable to ABS when it comes to durability during impacts. While some ski-makers use pre-made urethane strips for the sidewall, our studio pours liquid urethane into cut channels in the ski’s core for increased stability. Our urethane sidewalls are then cured for eight hours before undergoing another eight hours of high-temperature post-curing for maximum bonding strength.
Cut Channels in the Wood Core for Poured Urethane Sidewalls.
3. Freedom of Color
In our studio at least, the choice of urethane sidewalls gives customers an extra stylistic option. Skiers can choose whichever colors they like for the sidewall – even make them glow in the dark during night skiing.
A colorful ski being made with urethane sidewalls.
If you’re interested in building a custom ski with urethane sidewalls, reach out to us to learn more.
Already tried out a ski with urethane sidewalls on the mountain? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments section below.