HO Ski’s had a big overhaul last season with the end of the TX and CX models, leading to the introduction of the Omni series. This completely streamlined the range, with a model for each level and type of skier. The Omni skied smooth and was tight through turns for a ski that was slightly wider than a CX. The advantage of the Omni was its 3 constructions, ranging in stiffness dependant on your ability and confidence levels. Also added was the mid season release of the Syndicate Pro, the step back into the traditional tournament ski style. While the VTX and superseded VTR had started to thin out and provide more torsional feel, the Syndicate Pro went back to a full bodied ski, putting preference on power and explosiveness out of the turns. The Evo proved it wasn’t a one hit wonder, and that wood core ski’s have plenty of benefit in the waterski market. While the Freeride continued to do what it’s always done, provide an affordable base level ski.
So what can we pull out of this past season, and what will it change for next season? Not a lot. From the top to the bottom, The Syndicate Pro will stay put. Syndicate ski’s run on a 2 year rotation cycle, meaning HO’s dive back into traditional tournament ski’s could just be the beginning. With the VTX having run it’s 2 years, we should expect a development of either the VTX or an extension of the Pro to take it’s place. The Omni being the new ski on the block and having rave reviews should carry through till next season with all 3 of it’s constructions. It may get some minor adjustments to widths and concaves, but other than that we will be looking at almost identical ski’s, with more or less just a graphic update. The Evo range was the surprise packet of 2016/17 and proved to be a great addition. A paulownia wood core design in a free ski range just makes sense, providing big floaty turns and plenty of flex. Last season they introduced a stiffer model in the Carbon Evo to give a more rounded range, both of which will be safe and we can expect to be back for next season. The Freeride is on the edge, the question becomes do they keep it as an affordable base level ski, or innovate at the risk of creating a price rise? Or does it end up with the 3rd option of an innovation and keep the Freeride? It could go any of these 3 ways. In the past the Burner has returned as a cheap option multiple times, this could become the fate of the Freeride, with an updated model to take it’s place.
Most models come in a men’s, women’s and kid’s and so everything you have read will flow through all 3 categories, making this one of the more straightforward previews. What do you think, are you excited to see what a new Syndicate model could produce?
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