Now that the holi-daze should be subsiding and we can all focus on our normal daily winter existence, tis’ the season to get back to what matters: screwing around with skis.
I laid out my undying love of the Praxis Protest design in Part 1 (Protesting the Backcountry: Building a Better Backcountry Ski), and we’re now ready to start making this mini, touring-friendly Protest—the WooTest—a reality.
I’ve met with Keith O’Meara from Praxis a few times, pressed on lots of skis, held them up to the light, and we’ve settled on a design that I think will be a great addition to many skiers’ backcountry arsenal.
It will arguably be a great resort ski as well.
Starting with the pretty universally well regarded Protest models, we’ll be taking 15mm off the front of the ski, from the boot toe forward. That is, everything in front of the boot will be the exact same shape as the current Protest, just 15mm narrower. (Here are the current Praxis Protest specs.)
Since this will result in a ski with a significant reduction in overall surface area, we’ve decided to take an extra millimeter (so 16mm rather than 15mm) off of the rear sidecut dimension. The thinking here is that by dropping just a bit of the width off the tail section, even this narrower ski should have no problem keeping the tips afloat in deeper, lighter snow. It’s only one millimeter, but the change, if noticeable at all, will at least be a positive one.
When skis like this first came out, they typically included five dimensions: the standard three, and two dimensions near the tip and tail, which were meant to give an idea of how much width was maintained after the widest points and before the ends of the ski. These last two dimensions also defined the degree of taper, or “reverse sidecut.” Those last two dimensions however are sort of vague with a ski like this, because the specific location where the measurements were taken are tough to discern, unless specifically stated.
The Protest shape we’re working off of has a very gradual and subtle change in curve along the taper of the tip and tail, with no obvious prominent point from which to take a definitive measurement. So, for illustration purposes, I’ll only include the more traditional three point list of dimensions:
In a traditional design, with the 124 and 116 measurements lying toward the end of the ski, a gigantic turn radius is produced. With the more compact sidecut layout found on the Protest where these dimensions are closer together, this sidecut profile will produce a ski with a turn radius just over 30 meters in a 187cm length. The 196cm WooTest should have a turn radius just over 32 meters.