A non-Newtonian polymer doesn’t behave the way Sir Isaac Newton predicted matter should. Take the one discovered by RENOUN, a hand-crafted but innovative Vermont-based ski brand. According to RENOUN, when subjected to vibration it gets stiffer—and the stronger the vibration the stiffer it gets. RENOUN calls it Hyper Damping Technology, or HDT. By laying eight channels of the polymer in each ski—three at the tip and tail, and two under the boot—HDT allows the Z-Line carving ski to behave differently depending on conditions and speed. In soft snow and slow speeds there is less vibration. The ski feels soft and easy to turn, just what you want in those conditions. As speeds increase and the snow gets harder vibrations increase, stiffening the polymer and thus the ski, giving it more edge bite and stability. It’s a patented technology that Renoun has won awards for. The Z-Line is available in two waist widths: a more versatile 90mm, and a snappier groomer-focused 77mm. (from US$1,299; renoun.com)
US$1,299 * BEST FOR: Dragging hips and setting speed records.
LENGTHS: 157, 165, 174, 180 * RADIUS: 15@174 * SIDECUT: 123/77/111
Drivers wanted! A ski for stronger skiers, the Z-Line asked testers to give it their all. “You have to take control, initiate with lots of energy and power,” said SC’s Technical Editor Ryan Stuart. “And when I did, I had a lot of fun on this ski.” The dramatic shape—nearly 50mm of sidecut—translated into easy carving and lots of power propelling into the next turn. The 77mm waist swung from edge-to-edge quickly. And it was super stable thanks to channels in the core filled with a polymer that stiffens with vibration. “There was no chattering at all,” said Paul LaPerriere, even when he pinned it to test its top end. For testers without the energy or technique to push this ski, they found it less predictable and less forgiving. Harness its power, though, and hold on for some fun. “It digs trenches, as long as you’re there to help,” said Stuart.
by RYAN STUART in Buyer’s Guide 2019 issue
Tags: Renoun Z-Line, Ski Canada Test, ski reviews, Test 2019