No – that’s not a snapshot from some movie involving the predator, but the results from the most recent stress test performed on a new monoski prototype that I’ve been working on since August. Almost my entire skiing career has been plagued by monoski breakages. Whether it was a weld breaking on my frame during X Games (and many other times, as well) or a shock spewing oil after being pushed too far – I’ve always been pretty hard on gear. Even the X Games race that netted me the silver medal in 2007 (and I also wrote about in Double Take) was run on a frame that had been hastily re-welded only a couple nights before.
So that said, when I got the final part of my book advance after finishing my manuscript, I decided to go out and design a monoski that was specifically designed for the abuse I give it. I’ve been working with two cool companies out of Bozeman called Spark R&D and Twenty6 Products who have been helping me with work on the design as well as fabricating the thing. I’ll be posting some video this weekend as we assemble the machine, but till then, here are a few more screen shots to wet your appetite.
The above shot gives a decent impression of where we’re headed with design (reducing weight, lowering center of gravity, tweaking bucket angles) the really cool stuff is the material that we’re making this new frame with. Gone are heavy old metal carriage bolts and aluminum tubing! Now we’re working with titanium linkage pieces and specially machined pieces! I’m nerding out here, but considering this thing is what keeps me on the hill, I get a little excited about all the new details.
This shot hopefully gives a better dead-on idea of what the new suspension is like. Of course, these are all rough renderings compared to what the real thing will look like.
The real test for all of this will be at this year’s Winter X Games, where I’m officially a lock to compete in the 2010 Mono X. So over the next few weeks expect to see more video of me trying to stress test this thing out for real…