How long will my skis last?

Ask Dr. Flake
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Ask Dr. Flake

That depends on what's inside, and how hard you ski 'em. Cheap injection-molded foam-core skis (read: box-store closeouts) are the cholesterol-plagued chain-smokers of their species, suffering a reduced life span with each mogul they smack. ScottyBob skis (custom-built in Silverton, Colorado), however, attempt Viagra-esque staying power through the use of sugar maple-a wood so hard it's commonly found in bowling lanes. Craftsmanship is crucial, too. Atomic's Sugar Daddy, for example, is famously durable despite a core made of Densolite foam. Still, land a 30-footer on a rock, and even the toughest ski can snap. So heed Flake's advice: Find a good salesman and tell him exactly how you ski. And be sure to aim for the snow.

October 2005