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Julia's Favorite Slalom Ski

  • Posted on
  • By Julia Peet
  • Posted in waterski
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Julia's Favorite Slalom Ski

Radar's Senate series is perhaps their best selling ski. It comes in 2 versions: There's the Alloy Senate and the Graphite Senate. The Alloy is our shop favorite slalom ski. The price point is good and all the best features in a slalom ski are present. The Graphite is stiffer and more responsive. If you're skiing predominantly at short line and you're yanking on the rope, then the Graphite is a better choice for you. But if you are like me and you've left the brunt of your competitive nature at the New England Championship 10 years ago, then the Alloy is a great choice. 

My career in watersports started off with waterskiing. When I was a kid, I used to compete in the New England INT tournaments for slalom skiing. Now, don't let that impress you too much, most of the time I'd just go out there and fall on my first pass. But anyways, that just goes to show you how much waterskiing has been a part of my life. I was out there almost every morning as a kid on the lake at 6am, just waiting my turn to rip through the course. There's much about waterskiing that's frustrating and tiring, but rewarding and exciting. 

My first slalom ski was an H.O. Judge. In bright sunlight you could see the reflective skull graphics that were pasted all over the top sheet of the ski. I always thought they made me ski more aggressively. From there I graduated to an O'Brien Jr. Siege. And then to an HO Coefficient-X. I skied on that ski for almost 10 years before The Wizard decided I needed an upgrade. The Coefficient was a great ski for me for a long time. It was a huge step up from the Judge and the Siege in terms of aggression and speed. But it was squirmy and difficult to keep an edge on. I never really knew how smooth slalom skiing could feel like until I picked up a Radar Senate Alloy. 

The Senate

Radar's Senate series is perhaps their best selling ski. It comes in 2 versions: There's the Alloy Senate and the Graphite Senate. The Alloy is our shop favorite slalom ski. The price point is good and all the best features in a slalom ski are present. The Graphite version has all that the Alloy has to offer as well as a stiffer core. The Graphite is more responsive because it's stiffer. It's construction makes it more aggressive by default because it doesn't flex as much. If you're skiing predominantly at short line and you're yanking on the rope, then the Graphite is a better choice for you. But if you are like me and you've left the brunt of your competitive nature at the New England Championship 10 years ago, then the Alloy is a great choice. 

Shape
The wide spot on the ski has moved forward and width has been added from the middle of the ski through the tip. This gives the ski a more tip to tail taper and more support through the front part of the ski. The increase in taper presents the ski with a slightly more tip-up riding attitude and allows the ski to pull through the turn in a more connected, powerful way. The result is less body movement needed to get tight radius turns. The new ski also has slightly less volume in the tail. By reducing this surface area, the tail of the ski is able to smear outward while also staying planted in the water. Ultimately, the updates in shape help it to ride much closer to the ideal line for any given speed and rope length.

The Core

The Alloy Senate utilizes a polyurethane core with Paulownia wood stringers wrapped in carbon fiber. It employs traditional vertical sidewalls that run from tip to tail in the ski. This is a ski that's stable but fast and an absolute blast to ride. Whether you’re ripping open water turns or getting into some course action, you can ski the Alloy Senate from 26-34 MPH and enjoy the ride.

Jamie Senate Alloy

Rocker

The tip rocker on the new Senate starts just after the wide spot. This relieves tip pressure and increases forgiveness, allowing a skier to have a bigger platform to stand on coming into the turn. This also helps keep the ski keep moving outbound in the transition and makes the ski incredibly more predictable in the turns it creates. Moving back from the wide spot, the rocker lines are all new. These new lines create a ski with increased tail rocker which softens the way the ski rotates or carves through the turn. The result is a feeling of increased angle from a wider place with an instant acceleration.

Concave

The additional concave depth running throughout the bottom of the ski is one of the most noticeable differences in this new shape. This channels more water directionally from tip to tail, resulting in significantly more side-to-side drive and holding power. More drive and hold allow a skier to be faster as they near centerline which results in a more up-course path. Another result from an increased concave is increased pressure on the bevels, allowing the ski to feel extremely connected to the water. This gives a skier the freedom to control the path of the ski with more ease.

Sizes

The Senate comes in 4 different sizes. Again, for anyone skiing open water or in the course at 30-34MPH, this is the ski for you. Check out this size chart to see where you'd fit.

SIZE SURFACE AREA MAX WIDTH SUGGESTED MAX SPEED TERRAIN RECOMMENDED WEIGHT
65" 351.10 SQ" 6.94" 34 MPH CROSSOVER Up to 170 lbs / Up to 77 kg
67" 379.42 SQ" 7.16” 34 MPH CROSSOVER 160 – 200 lbs / 73 – 91 kg
69" 403.41 SQ" 7.37" 34 MPH CROSSOVER 180 – 220 lbs / 82 – 100 kg
71" 414.07 SQ" 7.37" 34 MPH CROSSOVER 200+ lbs / 90+ kg

Learn More

The Senate Alloy is on a truck as we speak headed towards the shop. It should be here next week. Check out the Senate at shop.sunsportsmaine.com. Follow us on Instagram for regular updates on what's arriving and when. Like us on Facebook and subscribe to us on Youtube for more water sports content. Call us with questions at 207-693-3867. Send us an email at [email protected] Together we will make summer 2023 the next best summer on record. 

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