I have been working on a "ultimate ski quiver" thread for a while now. Off from the typical topic of pure climbing. But winter climbing and alpinism incorporates a lot of skiing in my world so I think it is a topic long over do.
Having worked in ski shop and been certified by everyone making bindings at one time or another to mount skis, the more detail I look at in skis today the more confusing it gets.
What I have learned quite quickly is this: Don't assume any ski manufacturer's info is spot on for mounting points. Make sure to give your ski shop specifics on what you want done and where you what your bindings mounted. Bottom line is, the technician is responsible for the mount. And you need to measure EVERY pair of skis prior to pulling the trigger on the drill. .
The owner Lou Dawson is a long time climber as well and one of a small group of Colorado climbers first doing hard water ice and mixed there and else where. What Lou doesn't know someone else generally will. But even there don't let them put you off any question you might have.
We've done a couple of reviews of the Lo5 and Hi5 La Sportiva skis here @ Cold Thistle. And I'll be doing updated reviews on the Lo5, Hi5 again and Hang5 and the GTR soon, among others.
But for those into such things if pays to ask questions. I wanted to know how weight and mount points were chosen on the Lo5 specifically. Colin Lantz the director of winter Sports at La Spotiva answered. The original thread is here:
Author: Colin Lantz
Lou - Pavel - Dane: Just caught up with these posts about weight and mounting location. Regarding the weights, Lou pretty much has it correct. For a new ski model we use the first skiable prototypes (which are also the salesman samples) to get the weight. Typically only one or two sizes is created at this early development stage and so we calculate the remaining sizes using a formula that is more or less 10g for
each 1 cm in length adjusted for different width skis.
When we went to press with our W12/13 dealer workbook the weights were based on these prototype/salesman samples. For the Lo5 this took place in about October of 2011. The POP product stickers that Dane mentions are produced in the early spring to be ready in time for the bulk production of the skis at the factory. In this case, that would have been about April 2012. The bulk production of the skis takes place in May/June. When we receive the skis in our warehouse the first thing we do is QC everything from graphics, to flex, to weights. We spot check 10% of the skis and if everything is in spec then we OK them to be shipped out to dealers. If something is out of spec then we start ratcheting up the spot check percentage and if we keep seeing issues then we check 100% of the production. In the case of the Lo5 we immediately saw that the weights were heavier than the protos and we duly changed the weights of the web site to what we found in the actual production and of course put the updated weight specs in the next (W13/14) dealer workbook. This was the first year we put the POP stickers on the skis. In hindsight, it probably would be safer to not print the weights on these.
The product development cycle I’ve described above is pretty standard in the industry and is surely the cause of many weight inaccuracies published by ski manufacturers. It is what it is and we do our best to be accurate and transparent when it comes to technical specs on any piece of gear we put our name on. We understand that our customers are very technical and we feel that they deserve and require accurate product specs. It is not our intention to “trick” anyone.
As for why the Lo5 came out heavier than the original protos, we are still investigating and trying to understand what happened. Weight variations of plus or minus 30 to 50 grams is not out of the ordinary for ski production. For typical traditional wet layup ski productions it is just impossible to 100% control the weight of the ski down to the gram. Wood is a natural material and it is practically impossible to verify that every ski core is exactly the same weight. The other big factor in weight variations is the amount of glue/resin applied and the amount that is squeezed out of the mold when it goes into the hydraulic press. It’s like building hundreds of paninis (Italian sandwiches) and expecting everyone to weigh exactly the same. Like I stated above +/- 30 or even +/-50 grams is OK, but in the case of the Lo5 we were seeing weights heavier by 180-200 grams. It’s not the weight we targeted for the ski but after getting tester and customer feedback we were very pleased with the performance of the ski at the production weight.
Regarding the mounting location – here’s the how our process works to set the boot center. When we produce the protos/samples we set the boot center with the technical assistance of Mr. Tua. We then ski and check these “theoretical” boot centers using a set of the prototypes with a rental binding that allows you to move both the toe piece and the heel piece for and aft. Our test team does this here in Colorado and we duplicate the process with a test team in Italy at La Sportiva HQ in Ziano. Each test team is typically 3-4 people and we try to test in different conditions to make sure we are not soft snow or hard snow biased in the boot center location preference. Typically the theoretical bc is pretty damn close, e.g., the LO5 188 proto/sample was marked at 78cm from the tail and after checking/testing with the above method we moved it forward 1.5cm to 79.5cm. The boot center indicator on our skis is an arrow and this is stamped on the ski along with the serial number. Each ski is measured and the bc mark stamped according to our spec. For the Lo5 (measuring from the tail) the bc marks should be @70cm for the 168, @74.5cm for the 178, and @79.5 for the 188. So, that’s the skinny on how we set boot center. In the end this is a very personal preference as many experienced know and understand. Boot center should always be looked upon as a recommendation by the manufacturer and one that is chosen to best serve the largest part of the customer base.
Hope that helps. My apologies for the weight discrepancies. We’ll try and control this on next years production and get the weight back in the target window originally spec’d in the Lo5 product brief. Based on the feedback we’ve been getting in other venues we’re pretty pleased with the way the Lo5 turned out. It seems to have hit a good balance between weight, surface area, and performance, with the latter being particularly praised. Peace out. -- Colin