Although these affidavits are
aged they are here to point out that in 1993 and 1994 we in fact were on
the mountain with our first skis proving the performance of the shaped skis.
This preceeds other manufactures and their claims.
May 6, 1994
Submitted by: Sherman L. Knight
My name is Sherman L. Knight. I am a fully certified ski instructor with PSIA-Northwest. I have been skiing since 1970, and typically ski 25-35 days each season.
Over the last several years, I have performed
on snow testing and evaluation for several manufacturers. During
that time, I have tested and evaluated over 45 different pairs of snow
skis. Size range varying from 200cm, to 212 cm. The parameters
that testers in this industry report performance on are as follows:
1. Ease of turn entry.
2. Ability to hold a turn once initiated.
3. Comparative analysis of turn radius.
4. Adaptability to various snow/terrain conditions.
5. Turn exit.
6. Overall ride quality.
Dimensions in ski designs are critical. A few centimeters in length and millimeters in width or sidecut can dramatically change the performance of a ski.
The industry has stayed within a relatively constant range when it comes to dimensions for the past several decades. The width of skis both in shovel and waist have progressively become narrower for quicker edging and turning. The traditional length of recreational alpine skis has been between 190cm-205cm with waist 61mm-67mm.
I have tested the Wide Short Skis (Odysseys) over the last two ski seasons. I have extensively tested three different prototypes of varying lengths and width. (One prototype length 163cm, shovel 118mm, waist 99mm, tail 113mm) (Second prototype length 167cm, shovel 110mm, waist 89mm, tail 104mm) (Third prototype length 159cm, shovel 112mm, waist 81mm, shovel 105mm).
My experience with traditional short but narrow skis left me with significant skepticism when I was first requested to evaluate the Odyssey. The trend in ski design was not pointing towards a Wide Short Ski, in fact, it was doing just the opposite.
Traditionally, skiers are led to believe that short skis are "unstable" at high rates of speed. I have not found that to be true with the Odyssey. I have skied with the popular "short ski" of the late 70's. It was popular during that time to have a ski similar to the length of the Odyssey, but with a traditional width of 65mm. Those skis performed extremely well in certain, but limited, conditions. I found the Odyssey is not hampered by the limitations of conditions, and will ski runs and slopes where the traditional short skis won't go.
While evaluating the Wide Short Ski, it was interesting to notice how much interest the skis evoked from skiers because they are so different from what is typically seen on the slopes. Evaluating these skis, I would typically have two pairs. I would usually invite another ski instructor or ski school chaperone to ski with me or provide both pairs for evaluation by other skiers.
The comments received by the intermediate level skiers were amazing. The Odyssey ski offers a unique for of skiing not available with skis of traditional length and width. The comments ranged from , "It is an incredibly easy ski to turn,: to comments like, "Iwasn't tired at the end of the day." The most common and interesting statement from intermediate skiers was that they skied on trails and runs that they were afraid to try on traditional skis.
This willingness to try new, more challenging runs than you normally wouldn't try on traditional skis is a direct result of how easy the skis turn and how stable one feels.
Several examples should be given. First, traditional length skis must be constantly "driven" in the direction that you wish to go. Especially in crud, tracked, or heavy snow, traditional skis are easily bumped off course and must be continuously steered. We refer to the tracks and crevices in the snow as "gremlins". They require you to constantly adjust your weight and balance requiring you to often fight the ski rather than skiing with it.
The Odyssey was different. The "gremlins" were gone. A ski of the length and width of the Odyssey is not as hampered as traditional length and width skis are in tracked conditions. The intermediate skier, instead of fighting the skis, for the first time is left with the sensation that all he has to do is "think" the ski in the right direction.
As an example of its high-speed stability,
I entered a ski school race at the end of the 93-94 season. Although
it was a short course, the time on the Odysseys was a full half-second
quicker than any other ski instructors in the race. The Odyssey handled
the high rates of speed with ease. The instability typically encountered
with a short but narrow ski was not there.
The ski did well in all snow conditions, powder, crud, etc.
Although the ski likes to carve, making it useful for advanced and intermediates, the pivoting ability of the ski, I believe, makes it unique. Because of its short length, coupled with its wide base (and therefore lo wer friction per square inch under the foot), the ski pivots extremely easily. For skiers with weak abdominal muscles, or generally poor physical condition, this ski has tremendous benefits. The amount of effort necessary to turn the ski is extremely minimal.
Another area where I was pleasantly surprised was the ski's ability to handle wide-radius turns. Typically, long skis are necessary for this type of turn. However, I found this ski amazingly smooth and stable in wide-radius maneuvers. Short-radius maneuvers were comfortable and "rebound" well. A skier with strong rebounding capabilities can "work" this ski very well.
Based upon my prior experience of testing many skis, as well as my 25 years of experience as a skier, I have formed the belief that these Wide Short Skis were designed directly contrary to the industry standards set for stability and speed. I was genuinely surprised by the ability of the ski to outperform any short ski that I have every skied on before. The designer of the Odyssey has discovered a combination of factors (length, width, side cut, and overall flex pattern) that provides a ride unmatched by any short ski I have skied on before. Obviously, there was a significant amount of research and development spent on obtaining the right combination of the above factors. Respectfully submitted by: Sherman L. Knight
May 7, 1994
Submitted by: Howard W. Bade
I am writing in regard to the Wide Short Ski known to me as the ODYSSEY. A ski designed and manufactured by Paul Nelson.
I have been skiing since 1966 and average of 30-35 days per season. I consider myself and expert skier with a first hand overview of the ski industry and how skis have evolved in the past 28 years. Until the 92-93 season my ski of choice had been 205cm alpine skis.
I was asked to demo and report on the performance of three different prototypes designed and manufactured by Paul Nelson. I must admit I was not expecting the performance the ODYSSEY'S provided. I was certain that the width was going to be awkward and the length unstable.
The performance of the ODYSSEYS was such a big surprise it actually left me without words to explain why or how they could have such comfort and ease in turning as well as providing stability at above average speeds. I noticed at the beginning of the season when I am usually tired after a few hard runs, that I was able to go back for more. I've been skiing more runs per day with the ODYSSEYS than I did on my 205 alpine skis.
I am 42 years old and I'm once again able to keep up and pass many of the younger "hotdogs" on the mountain. My two teenage kids fight over who gets to use the extra demos I've been testing. I've been able to ski terrain and conditions I used to avoid. Even my young son has become a "powder pig" due to the ODYSSEYS. The most consistant thing I have noticed is that skiers seem to have a new sense of confidence while sking on these skis. I have yet to find a skier that did not enjoy skiing this new ski.
I don't know how Paul arrived at this combination that would have seemed to perform quite the opposite of what the industry would have expected. As I let others demo the skis they all are bewildered as to why this wide short ski is the easiest ski they have every skied on.
I hope I am fortunate enough to continue to demo the new skis Paul develops. Sincerely, Howard W. Bade
January 23, 1993
Submitted by: Matt Mahoney -Crystal Mountain Rental Shop Manager
In the ski business, there seems to be a new trend or two each year, which makes a few waves inour trade magazines and on the slopes themselves. Most rave awhile and fade away. However, we all know what snowboarding did for the industry. And in suit, the Odyssey Ski will follow.
I was contacted by Connie Nelson in October 1992 about the Odyssey Ski, I was reluctant in some degree, but with the fat sticks stories filling all the magazines, I agreed to look at some literature. Eventually, I went with a couple of pair for my Performance Demo Operation.
When the skis arrived, my employees and I gazed at this strange creations called Odyssey. The skis came with a template for mounting and special brake wires to accomodate for the width of this marvel. The skis were easy to mount and the wire easy to install. I had some worry about indenification on the binding due to the special brake, but that was alleviated when we tested their functionability.
The ski was then placed in the center of our demo operation. It received enormous attention as well as comment. It was very difficult to sell. My demo man talked til he was blue in the face about how this ski was made for the trees, steeps and powder snow. When I inquired about how the Odyssey was doing he stated we had not done well. I immediately sent him and another of our repair techs out for a test drive.
When they returned the smiles on their faces were from ear to ear. Both thought they had just been through the greatest experiene of their lives. As the saying goes "Don't knock it til you try it". I followed suit. The ski was amazing, it floated on terrain hardly steep for Crystal Mountain. It was by far the most responsive ski I have experienced in my life. I felt as if I couldn't fall and those snake trails we all dream about lay behind my path. I was sold.
Our demo operation sold the ski hard, offering folks to try the ski for a few runs and if they didn't like them their choice of another ski would be reserved. Not once, did any taker return. The stories began to rush in about raging through the trees, leaving friends in the dust, or applauding of skiers as they watched our guest ski Powder Bowl. Paul brought another three pair in over the holidays and not one stayed in our shop during the business day.
To a ski area like Crystal Mountain this ski is a great alternative. Awesome terrain is literally untouched by most because of the inability to ski such. This ski opens new doors for the advanced or intermediate skier. Now, anyone can go where no one could go before and look good doing it.
I whole heartedly endorse the Odyssey Ski. I plan to carry the Odyssey in my operation. Any Ski Area, Heliskiing Operation, or Performance Shop would be crazy not to do the same.
Thank you Connie and Paul for a sneak peak at the Odyssey, a ski thats time is coming.
Matt Mahoney - Rental Shop Manager
These are reproductions of affidavits written during the process of obtaining the Wide Short Ski patent with permission of authors.
They are dated when they were written to confirm the fact that Odyssey has been in fact responsible for the shaped ski design.
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