Carbon fiber skis by AlpControl
You've always dreamt of an efficient, reliable and ultra-light ski for touring?
To achieve that dream, AlpControl signed a contract with an expert in the industry to develop a revolutionary ski.
Until now, the standards for mounting bindings required a thickness in the center of the skithat ruled out the optimal use of high performance carbon fiber, because:
This explains the bad reputation of carbon fiber skis.
- if you use a significant amount of carbon the ski is too rigid.
- if you use a thin layer suitable for a normal stiffness the ski is too fragile.
AlpControl decided to produce a new standard in carbon skis which use thicker carbon layers over a thinner wooden core.Even then, the use of high performance carbon fiber is limited by the interlaminar shear-strength of the resins.
The research and development of the MOUNTAIN SPRING allowed AlpControl to develop a patented "partial core"that solves all of these problems.
But to have the lightest and most reliable structure wasn't enough.Once on the snow, we also wanted to have the most efficient ski.
Then came our shaper, former Director of the racing department and of the R&D at the world leader ski manufacturer.
He agreed to bring his expertise at the highest level of the alpine skiing competition,to meet the specific needs of ski mountaineering.
The BLACK POWDER program
To establish our ski's specifications, we began with the notion that a mountain skier is often confrontedwith all possible snow conditions:
- Powder close to the summit,
- Hard snow in places exposed to the wind,
- Crusty snow a little lower
- Spring snow at mid-height,
- Slush at the bottom,
- It's not uncommon to end up slaloming between the trees, or skiing on roads and groomed slopes, where the skier can cut loose and carve,
- On top of all this, a cross-country ski needs to be solid ? it's a question of security,
- And finally, at the same time, the skis need to be light. 80% of a skier's time is spent climbing, with his skis either on his feet or on his backpack.
We believe that a touring ski should perform in all situations.
The BLACK POWDER... in sum
We propose two shapes "carve" and "wide".
Our shape "carve", highly parabolic, is incredibly versatile, efficient, maneuverable and ludic.In fact it's designed like an alpin ski, but with a high, wide and flexible shovel than gives a good flotation in powder.
Our shape "wide" has a wide waist. It's designed for freeride, high speeds and large turns. It doesn't care about difficult snows.
Il the 2 cases, the partial core (patented) structure allows an original allocation of flex along the ski,stiffer in the center while remaining more flexible in its 2 ends:
Last but not least the BlackPowder is so light that the energy saved on the way up leaves you the strength to enjoy the descent.
- The stiffness in center provides a very high level of performance on hard snow.In all terrains this helps to distribute the weight of the skier along the ski:the waist does not sink so that the bearing surface is used to the maximum of its possibilities.
- Flexibility in the ends gives an easy and versatile ski with a remarkable ability to slip safely on hard snow.
The result is a dream ski, efficient and pleasant from the beginning to the end of the trip!
SWUL / RR
1785 g / 2020 g
(3.93 lb / 4.45 lb)
Each size comes in 3 rigidities
The weight is that of a pair +/- 5% when there are 1.6 mm edges left.
- F : Flexible (replaced by SW-UL compact in size 170)
- R : Rigid (replaced by SW-UL compact in size 170)
- RR: Very rigid
Key technical decisions
The BLACK POWDER is a ski with a "partial core" (AlpControl patent) which is shorter than the ski, so thatthe upper and lower layers of carbon sandwich come together to form carbon/epoxy composite monoblocs at the tail and shovel.
We selected one of the strongest fiber among "high tensile" ones: the Toray T700S.
The T700S is one of the rare fibers in the world with a rate of elongation before break well above 2%,ensuring a high tolerance to shock.
We developed specifically for the BLACK POWDER a triaxial fabricwhich is not a superposition of 3 unidirectional layers,but a real "knitting" of fibers with no risk of delamination between layers.
With between 1200 and 2500 g/m² of this fabric depending on the area,carbon fiber is not here just for show of for marketing.
The core is a blend of 3 different species of wood, which remains the best for damping vibrations without adding weight.
The wood core is apparent on the side, visible as a thin edge of treated noble wood between two thick layers of carbon fiber,giving the ski at once a retro and modern look.
Besides being incredibly efficient, the triaxial fabric also allows an attractive "carbon" finish without addingthe weight of a separate coating.
Moreover, in case of scratches, the ski can easily be reconditioned by a simple glazing with epoxy resin.
Sustainable development / Eco-design
A ski is hardly recyclable, therefore the most environmentally friendly ski is a durable ski.
The carbon fiber, the triaxial fabric, the epoxy resin, the wood core, the ski's tolerance to shockand easy-to-repair structure, the alpine sole thick and ultra-resistant sole...every aspect of the BLACK POWDER was chosen for reliability and durability.
The ski's exceptionally light weight is obtained despite alpin ski soles and thick edges, which allow for a large number of grindings.Thus over the years, a pair of BLACKPOWDER 163-F can drop gradually from 1790 to 1590 grams without losing its dynamic qualities.
Optional, we propose an additional warranty 5-10 years.
Might the BLACK POWDER be the best investment of your skiing life?
Measure the thickness of the ski towards the drillings.
In every case FILL the holes with some EPOXY glue while stirring with a nail to expel air bubbles. Screw without forcing. Follow the instructions for use of the EPOXY glue (time of use after mixture, temperature, curing time).
- If the ski is more than 11.2 mm thick: drill directly Ø3.8 mm depth 9 mm.
- If the ski is between 10.2 and 11.2 mm thick: first drill depth 7.5 mm then change the drill and drill again Ø3.8 mm depth 9 mm.
- If the ski is less than 10.2 mm thick: drill Ø3.8 mm depth 7.5 mm and use short screws. If necesary the screws delivered with the binding should be shorten (for example with grindstone) to make them enter 7 mm maxi into the ski.
Recommended position of the center of the boot ( L ) for a versatile use
4 / 23 / 36.8
5 / 24 / 38.1
6 / 25 / 39.3
7 / 26 / 40.6
8 / 27 / 41.9
9 / 28 / 43.1
10 / 29 / 44.4
11 / 30 / 45.7
- For use 100% on slopes: to increase L by 15 mm can improve the behavior on hard snow. In that case choose bindings that transmit well the torsional stress with the rear unit (Marker bindings or alpin ski bindings).
- For use 100% touring: to decrease L by 15 mm can facilitate kick turns and the flotation in deep snow without damaging too much the behavior on hard snow.
WARNING : There must be a clearance of 5 mm minimum (or more if requested by the binding manufacturer) between the heel of the ski boot and the Low Tech rear unit.
Failure to respect this value may hinder the ski bending, break the ski or break the binding.
Instructions for use
After each day:
To keep a good grip on hard snow, we recommend:
- If the skis have been in contact with road salt, rinse them with fresh water.
- Dry the skis and store them in a dry place, away from UV and heat sources.
During the summer season:
- Lateral grindings slight but frequent, rather by hand.
- Bottom grindings with machine at the same time as the sole,with water-cooling during sharpening to prevent heating the edges above 90°C(risk of deterioration of the epoxy resin and risk of blister beneath the sole).
If the ski is scratched on the wood side or in case of carbon splinters :
- Store the skis with waxed soles.
If a binding moves :
- Use fine sandpaper (grain = 150) to sand the wood side and if necessary to sand slightly the upper edges of the skis.
- Then use a brush to put a coat of navy quality varnish on the wood side and if necessary on the upper edges.
Except in extreme skiing - where you are not supposed to fall - don't ski downhill with a LowTec binding locked.If a binding is torn away, never re-drill or add inserts: please ask AlpControl.
- Remove the screws, dry the holes, FILL the holes with some EPOXY glue while stirring with a nail to expel air bubbles, tighten the screws without forcing.
Never re-drill a ski (eg to move a binding) without the agreement of AlpControl.
Don't bang the ski tail against rock or ice (skis can be pushed into the snow without run-up),do not test the flexibility of the ski with the tail on a hard surface (eg in store).