The XT was a very successful ski. How is the FlexTail different?
Dave Goode: The XT marked the end of an era of exoskeleton-designed skis. Over the years, we refined and pushed that traditional construction method as far as it could go. The FlexTail, with its endoskeleton design, marks the beginning of a whole new design direction.
How do the backbone and ribs work together?
Dave: In order to get the FlexTail to flex laterally, we needed to narrow the width of the ski. But because we still need to support the skier’s weight, we needed to keep the surface area about the same. So we devised a load carrying backbone that can flex laterally along with ribs, which provide the needed surface area.
Does the tail really flex?
Dave: Absolutely. We spent a lot of the R&D process finding the right width to make the slots in the tail. It was very apparent when the slots were too big, creating too much flex, and when they weren’t big enough you really saw performance results decrease. The tail flexes and you can really feel it.
At the end of the day, how does this new technology help people ski better?
Dave: There are two main benefits of the FlexTail over the XT and other skis designed with exoskeletons. First, because the FlexTail can flex laterally, it is more efficient from the buoy line to the first wake. Skiers are able to run an earlier line. Secondly, the FlexTail comes through the turn lighter. When you ski lighter, you don’t provoke the high horse-powered boats equipped with ZeroOff, resulting in better skiing and more buoys.
What have been some of the early results on the ski?
Dave: I think the most visible results have been from Chris Parrish. He had a good year last year, enough to put him on top of the IWWF world rankings list, but since he’s gotten on the FlexTail he is putting up monster scores. He’s already seen 43 off as many times this early in the season as he did all of 2014. It’s sport, so you can never say anything for sure, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t get to three ball this season.
We’ve heard about a lot of other successes too. Mike Morgan got 2-1/4 buoys at 41 off (36mph) just the other day. That’s his best score since 1992. 1992! The day after getting on the FlexTail Lonnie Harris got his best tournament score in three years. Martin Bartalsky unboxed a ski in the middle of a tournament and tied his all-time PB his second set.
These are the types of stories that have us feeling pretty good about the ski.