Tua's New Skis
A First Look for 2001/2002
Dr. Telemark has never been a big fan of tele-specific
skis. In fact the Doc built his reputation by reviewing alpine
skis used for telemark. Recently though the good Doctor has been
heard talking up a number of tele-specific skis, including several
Tua models. "Tele skis have changed so much in the past
couple of seasons. Us tour-for-turns types have so many more
good tele skis to choose from, it is truly amazing." Says
the Doc. "Two years ago at the trade show I could hardly
wait to get back on my own Volkls, and in fact that is what I
did each afternoon, using the excuse that I wanted to try boots.
This year my own skis never made it off the roof of the car the
first day, and the second day they never even left the house.
There were just too many good skis to use and to test."
Doc will be adding detailed reviews of all
the new skis for next season to his review page, but for now
we wanted to give you an overview and a sneak peek at some of
the skis from the various manufacturers. First up: Tua.
102/72/92 Weight: 1,550 gr/ski
The newly remodeled ' Easy has been made bigger,
given more sidecut and a bit firmer flex. The increased sidecut
makes it more carvy than the previous model despite the added
stiffness. As many of you already know, sidecut and stiffness
work together, a softer ski can be more of a carver in the hands
of a skillful driver who knows how to bend a ski to arc turns
but a ski with more sidecut can be easier to carve and also be
made stiffer to hold better on firm snow. It is a balancing act
getting these two parts of the ski recipe right. The new Big
Easy tries to do just that.
The extra width should also make the Big Easy,
already known as a strong powder performer, even better in the
98/70/88 Weight: 1,480 gr/ski (185)
Lengths: 170,178, 185, 192
When Russell Rainey sent us the Hammerhead
prototype to ski for a couple of days it was mounted on a Tua
Mito. We fell in love with that ski. Its strong edge holding
characteristics were a perfect match for the powerful new Hammerhead;
it was light and very quick edge to edge Big Tim and I wanted
a pair. Alas it is too late, the Mito is no more. But wait, there
is a successor, the M3.
Tua says the M3 is a fusion of the Mito and
the popular Mega, also discontinued. This blend should make it
a good choice for skier looking for a backcountry ski that is
still stiff and powerful enough for area use. The dimensions
are the same as last years Mito, and the weight is said to be
the same. Hmm, is it going to be more Mito than Mega? As I write
this we have heard from Tua that they are tweaking the flex a
bit from the M3 model they had at the recent trade show demo
days. I am really curious about this ski.
102/72/92 Weight: 1,260 gr/ski
A major disappointment for me at the trade
show was that I did not get to try the Hydrogen. High on my "must
do" list, it was never available when I was and vice versa.
I will ski the Hydrogen though. I will!
This ski is a wood core ski that shares the
same construction method as the ultralight Helium: it has air
channels routed into the core. The Hydrogen is the logical extension
of the Helium technology. A fatter board at the tip and tail,
it is actually narrower at the waist (1mm!) giving it quite a
bit more sidecut than its cousin.
This is a backcountry board aimed at those
of us who prefer fatter skis. It shares the same dimensions as
the new Big Easy, still not truly fat, nevertheless it does break
new ground in the wider, lightweight bc ski category. I still
look forward to skiing the Hydrogen...when our schedules come
together that is. "Hey Hydrogen, have your people talk to
112 Cross Ride
With the 112 ' Ride, Tua steps up to the plate
with a ski that is a true mid-fat and the widest ski they have
ever produced. They are going to market this ski for tele, randonee
and even alpine. I spent quite a bit of time on the 112 at Park
City and I will share more of my impressions in my coming review.
But for now...
This big beefy board should turn out to be
more at home in deep heavy snow and cut up crud. For a bigger
ski it is surprisingly responsive. John Lee loved this ski and
that does not surprise me, he is very aggressive in his approach
to the tele turn and the 112 will keep up. Check out his
thoughts on the 112 Cross Ride.
94//63/84 Weight 1,360 gr/ski (177)
The Alp is Tua's lower cost, general purpose
backcounty ski next season. It uses Tua's familiar double-torsion
box, wood core Matrix construction and has a middle of the road
flex, neither soft nor stiff. 31mm of sidecut should make it
an easy turner but the narrow waist will probably make it a bit
of a challenge in powder for all but the most skilled tele-ers.
Depending on where it come in next season
price wise, this could be a very good buy for the new skiers
or the more traditional at heart. This is yet another Tua ski
that we will be fully reviewing.
There you have it, our "sneak peek"
at some of the new Tua skis for next year. We have purposely
left out the "review" type material in this article
and other "first looks" we are working on as all of
these skis will need to be skied a whole lot more than the time
we spent on them at the trade show. Some, as noted in the case
of the M3, are still undergoing a bit of "fine tuning"
and others just need more time for us to come to conclusions.
It is a time consuming process but necessary in such a subjective
endeavor, especially in the case of the "non-ad copy"
reviews you have come to expect from us.