Worlds Lightest High-Performance Touring Ski

Sweden based Ridea Skis have recently released their new high-performance ski models built with TeXtreme® Spread Tow Reinforcements. The newly developed touring skis are the lightest high-performance skis in the world.

Ridea Skis, part of the R-Idea group, have benefitted from R-Idea’s patented high fiber volume fraction manufacturing process that enables maximum utilization of the TeXtreme® reinforcement’s physical properties. The resulting composite product benefits from superior strength to weight properties, improved laminar strength, excellent adhesion, and enhanced thermal and electrical conductivity.

Touring skis are made for ski mountaineering, i.e., to ski or climb uphill and then ski downhill. When moving uphill it is desirable to have the lightest possible skis, and when skiing downhill it is desirable to have the best possible handling characteristics.

Ridea Skis early on identified some issues with existing touring skis, such as, weak torsion, non-responsive flex, insufficient fastening of bindings, downsized to reduce weight, and low tensile strength.

To overcome these issues the main challenges for Ridea Skis was to maintain the mechanical properties of the carbon fiber wood core based skis while reducing the weight by more than 50%, ensuring safe fastening of bindings for various fastening patterns and to maintain tensile strength.

To find the optimal composite reinforcement Ridea Skis turned to Oxeon and started to evaluate their TeXtreme® Spread Tow Reinforcements. After testing different TeXtreme® variants of carbon, aramid and hybrids of the two they found the optimal reinforcement solution for the skis.

The skis are reinforced with TeXtreme® carbon UD tapes braided in 45 degree orientation for extreme torsional stiffness. The fabric of choice is a hybrid combining a high modulus HS40-fiber in the width direction of the ski, with an aramid fiber in length direction, to enable the skis’ hybrid wood/foam core to withstand the compression forces.

Tobias Björnhov, Founder and Manager at Ridea Skis, says: “The combination of R-Idea’s patented composite manufacturing process and the TeXtreme® reinforcements used give us possibilities to significantly reduce weight and still meet the stiffness requirements that have previously not been possible to obtain from the use of any other carbon reinforcement. This is a result of the extremely high fiber volume fraction that is achievable through the process combined with the use of TeXtreme®.” 

The construction that finally provided the solution included features such as: TeXtreme® carbon spread tow tape filament wound braiding, DIAB H-foam/wood/aluminum hybrid core, pre-molded carbon/aramid spread tow fabric, large size steel edges for durability.

The results speak for themselves and the produced skis are truly high-performance and can be summarized as: 
• Weight reduction of over 50% resulting in the world’s lightest freeride touring ski (Based on weight per surface area. The new weight is 1100g, compared to 2300g)
• Maintained extreme torsional stiffness, smooth and ultra-reactive flex
• Sufficient tensile properties
• Safe fastening of bindings