Hello, Friends of RAMP, this is Kilch, President and CESnow.
So the prototyping and development rocks on. We've been testing the new 105 mm in several different sidecuts and flexes. It's so cool to be able to test sidecuts as part of this process. I think we're really unique in our ability to do that. Normally a company does the research to decide on the shape that is the future of a 105 mm type ski, width at tip, waist and tail along with camber and they commit to the tooling by buying the mold, camber plate and top. This can be $25,000 per size. With our new sidecut invention (patent pending), we can create any width and sidecut we want. This lets us do the testing in a whole new way. Instead of being locked into a single shape and testing flexes we can test anything we want. I can see how it's already more work as there are more variables, but the creative ability is amazing.
The first RAMP snowboards are riding really well. At Snowbird, last Saturday we had the RAMP employee ski-board day. We had perfect weather and snow and a world class tailgate party. We did a serious snowboard test with 4 different variations. With the full bamboo core-versus the normal poplar or aspen-you have slightly more weight and dramatically more stability and grip. It's like going from a recreation board to an expert board as far as the solid feel. I know some people like really light weight if they are mostly just interested in tricks and we get that. A lot of riders want to go fast and get a rock solid ride in any snow at any speed, and for those people, these new boards are going to be amazing.
On another note, our engineer Christian loves racing and especially slalom. He made the first RAMP race ski that is slightly wider, 70mm under foot that a typical slalom ski. It is a high speed ripper on the groomers! I hadn't skied something like this in a long time. With FIS rules, GS skis have gone back to where they are skinny and straight, not fun to free ski on. Slalom skis are super narrow at 66.5mm under foot. This race ski is an outlaw in the face of FIS but because it is almost illegal, it's so fun. When we did our eastern dealer demo tour we had a lot of requests for a carving ski that is specific to hard snow and this is a beauty.
We also skied last week on an ultra-light, all carbon alpine touring ski. In Europe, there is big demand for the lightest ski you can get for racing up-hill in the Alps and still have DH performance. Christian thinks this is the second lightest ski made for this purpose but has superior DH capabilities. Most of these skis are light enough to race up but are downright scary going down. We were skiing fast at the Bird on them last week and they were plenty solid. A company in Europe is asking us to make these for them so we are now in the export business. Fun stuff.