REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Palmer P01 TwinTip (Austria) 2007-2008
Palmer P01 171cm 121-85-113
17.5m radius @ 171cm
Note: Palmer catalog declares ALL lengths (163cm, 171cm and 179cm) have the same 17.5m radius.
Each length has a different geometry - very interesting:
163cm = 116-83-108
171cm = 121-85-113
179cm = 127-87-118
P01: $750 usd
Palmer Snowboards Ltd.
Denver, CO. 80202
Manufactured in Austria
(From the looks of the sidewall text...maybe in the Head factory?)
All mountain freestyle/freeride
Palmer states "Before you start talking to first-timer riders about their riding style, just put them on these revolutionary DPD Klothoid twin tips. They'll come back next year or next week thanking you. Our all-mountain freestyle P01 finds the balance between the stiffness freeriders need for effortless, stable turns at all speeds and the snappy smoothness freestylers require for their own self-expression Blurring the distinction from peak to park, the P01 offers the perfect solution for every rider. This ski is so easy-to-ride, instructors will have a hard time recommending anything but the P01."
Your Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
The skis do exactly what Palmer describes them to do...ultra easy, do everything ski. Your grandmother could ski these boards and be happy. A park and pipe type could do anything with them easily. An all-mountain expert could use them all over the hill. More grip than you might expect for this kind of softie twintip. Great design, but unexciting...but then again...that might be a great thing...
Ski Designer (if known):
Rumored to have some design elements by Hansjürg Kessler (multi-time snowboard worldcup winner and design guru).
Technical Ski Data (if known):
NCF Prepeg beech/poplar wood core sandwich construction with titanium.
DPD* Klothoid geometry** with laminated cyan sidewalls.
7200 graphite base
Good quality construction and finish. Sparse, clean, simple name graphic on blank, glossy topsheet.
First impression was "wow, look how THIN they are." (not width, but vertical thickness)
The P01's vertical profile is indeed very thin, with 5mm thickness at the tip (unladended resting contact point), 12.5mm at the boot center mark and 5mm at the tail.
The Palmer P01s are indeed very thin skis. Very, very soft flex.
Good looking ratio of width to sidecut for its purposes.
My second impression was "wow, look how flat the shovel is."
(see the DPD description below)
Background: - What is "DPD" and "Klothoid geometry" ?
*DPD = "Dynamic Power Distribution"
According to Palmer, DPD is the design of the tip and tail in such as manner as to dynamically allot the power distributed to the edge throughout a turn to prevent "digging" and "skidding". This spreads the resistance created when the snow deformation increasingly apposes the motion of the turn of the ski on edge. It reportedly reduces resistance, making the turn smoother and grippier as it reduces effort to maintain the carve. The design of the DPD is apparently targeted at extending the numerous radii of the "Klothoid" sidecut into the tip and tail regions, optimizing edge contact and pressure gradients along that contact surface. The user is supposed to experience reduced nose edge pressure and greater control. If you compress the skis against the snow surface, the contact point is farther down the ski's length than with "traditional" designs. Essentially, the nose and tail are flatter than traditional designs.
** "Klothoid" geometry
According to Palmer, the Klothoid (also spelled "clothoid" in many reference books and articles) geometry produces an extremely high-performance sidecut with dynamic pressure properties. The general description of the Klothoid or Clothoid spiral curves is:
"The clothoid or double spiral is a curve, whose curvature grows with the distance from the origin. The radius of curvature is opposite proportional to its arc measured from the origin."
These curves are typically utilized in railroad track corner designs or roller coaster loop-de-loops which attempt to minimize the amount of input force required to complete the curve or loop, while minimizing the centripital force experienced by the passenger. Essentially, you utilize an ovoid-type of curve instead of circular as the path proceeds from entry to exit of the apex. Maybe it works for skis?
Palmer has invested a great deal of effort in promoting its sidecut geometry and mating new shovel and tail profiles to that geometry to produce what it calls "A revolution in shape technology." The marketing hype from the sales materials works very well prior to trying the skis. "A" for marketing effort. (but I'm a notorious skeptic about all the poly-raz-ma-taz manufacturers spill out in ads and promo materials...having seen plenty of design "revolutions" come and go).
Late spring snow. Groomed corn and pocky, rotted surfaces from very warm days. Not refrozen for at least 48 hours. Corn had unlimited depth, edges of trails in the shade had firmer, softening ice base where you could find semi-hard surfaces. Soft, easy-going bumps with very low-profile faces. Superb spring conditions.
Wicked easy to ski. Goes anywhere with very, very little effort. This is the kind of ski you might want to ride the first ski day after getting your ACL fixed. Great spring ski. Really soft. One observer stopped me and said "Looks like you're having fun...that ski just flops down the hill through the bumps and corn snow like nothing...kinda cool watching it flap." (true quote). More grip than you might expect for a ski that can smear in any direction with the best of them. Suprising snap if you load up the tail and let it fly...comes back down soft as you like. I think Palmer has hit on a ski with appeal to newbies and park rats. Excellent maneuverability. Nice job....just no excitement. Extremely light weight (nice to see ...don't knock a light ski)
While they are pleasingly damp, I wouldn't want to get them up to warp speed on a hard surface...I think they'd get you unglued...but then again, that's not what they're for.
I totally agree with SierraJim's review of this ski:
Analogies: (this ski is like...)
Really friendly labrador retriever.
After Skiing These, I Want To...
Find something more exciting, but if I found a pair really cheap, I'd buy 'em.
Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences (be honest):
Expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type), but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Not an instructor, but 10 year coach for youth race team in New England (bulletproof is the norm).
SierraJim's review over at the excellent BarkingBear forums of Epicski.com:
Finished up the year in bottomless corn snow (smooth in the AM, cut up and deep in the PM), and the thing that sticks in my mind after getting back on the Palmer P01 twintips is "effortless". This ski really requires no muscle or effort to go into a turn or come out. It definitely has an upper speed limit, beyond which it starts to flake-out...but it's not meant for high speed...manuvering is what it's all about...and it does it well. A superbly soft, all-terrain ski for nearly anyone who does not muscle their ski or expect it to hold tight at mach speeds. Goes in and out of the bumps with no effort, turn here, turn there...no problem. Floppy at speed cutting across the shin-deep corn waves, but docile. This ski would appeal to a HUGE audience who are not hard-cores. One woman who tested the ski today said it would be ideal for intermediates looking to go in any terrain and get off the groomers all the time...just don't push DOWN on it too hard...it'll go away on you...it's not meant to be pushed down on...just steer it. Nice pop at the end of a soft snow turn...freindly...never explosive... Again, effortless and easy ride and it could go anywhere but the race course or nasty windcrud. Nice ski for the masses. Palmer hit their target audience...right on the money.
My wife and I demo'd the new Palmer twin tip skis this last week (Dec 13, 2007) on the Parsenn in Davos, Switzerland. Wow! That was our unanimous assessment of these skis. Both of us are old school and have been looking -so far unsuccessfully -for current technology/style skis. These were the first pair of skis that I've been on that held decent speed (179 cm) and weren't squirrelly in a GS style turn! On hard pack they held edge. Off piste, they were very good as well. I think these skis are serious contenders for a great all around ski. I can't say that the association with Shaun Palmer, snowboarder culture, or wild graphics-which these all white skis don't have- would influence my consideration for these skis. Its funny to me to read criticism that these skis orginate from a "Board" company. I suspect that their Austrian wood core build should make for a durable ski as well. We're definitely in the hunt for them now!
Palmer P01 Freestyle 179
I had the opportunity to ski these this past weekend at Alta. We had a foot of fresh and I skied them both in the powder (where they pleasantly suprised me) and on the groomed (where they seemed to be truly at home). The ski says "P01 Freestyle". I am not sure what about this is meant to be a freestyle ski, aside from the graphics, but it does rip on the groomed and skis suprisingly well in the powder.
The fit and finish seemed excellant. This ski was pressed clean and tight with great color bleed on the graphics and a very durable topsheet. The graphics are a matter of taste and instead of offering you my opinion, I'll simply post some shots and let you decide if you like what you see. Click on any of the small pictures below for a higher resolution version of the same image.
First, topsheet and base shots:
Detailed views of the topsheet:
This is what Palmer are calling a tip (and tail). I, for one, don't miss the oversize "twin" tip on the tail and I think the people following me appreciated the low profile tails as well. The tip works suprisingly well and I didn't miss the extra material one bit:
The 179 may be just a bit short for me (~200lbs) but if it has a speed limit I didn't find it. This is a very competent, wide-waisted GS ski with new school graphics. Previous reviewers mention the tip; I was worried it would submarine, even on the groomed! Instead it just skimmed along viciously egging me on to turn up the speed dial. The P01 is very damp (especially for a ski with metal), holding a solid edge at suprisingly high speeds. I found myself dragging my hips on the steep groomers and leaving trenches everywhere I went.
It probably wasn't fair to take this easy-turning speed machine into the powder but I just couldn't resist, and the P01 didn't dissapoint. Boot deep snow; no pronblem. Kneee deep drifts; no problem. Just adjust your race stance back a bit when you pop off the groomers and hang on tight, this ski wants to make GS turns even in the deep stuff! I kept worrying that the tip would dive but it just kept slicing through the snow, just below the surface.
In summary this is a high performing, damp, all mountain ski with great edge grip which can be turned quickly. It is also versatile enough to take into the powder if needed and will still handle very easily. The version I skied appeared to be manufactured to a very high standard of quality. The bold design speaks for itself.
Based on S1AM's first experience on the '08-'09 Palmer P01...it looks like they have changed the ski for 2008-2009 from last year's model with good results...and definitely more lively graphics.
2007-2008 P01 = 127-87-118 @ 179cm
2008-2009 P01 = 125-89-117 @ 179cm
It also sounds like they beefed up the P01 a bit since people thought last year's version was a little soft. Turn shapes on the previous model were excellent...and it sounds like this one keeps that heritage alive. Can't wait to try a pair here on the East coast!
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