In 2010 when Amplid released the Rockwell ski design was a lot more conventional. Rossignol was playing around with fat skis with five dimensional shaping and early rise tips and Armada was experimenting with a 5D shape in its narrow waisted park ski the Halo. However there was room for taking this shaping concept to a mid-wide all-mountain ski, room that the Rockwell filled. The ARC blog fired some questions to the Rockwell's co-designer Peter Bauer to find-out a bit more about the concept and performance of the ski.
Where did the idea for the Rockwell shape come from?
We wanted to combine a tight radius and a medium underfoot width with as many cm2 as possible for flotation. We tried many shapes in the CAD program, and this is the one which made most sense for us.
How long did it take to take the ski from a concept through to a final prototype?
Yes, we did several different shapes with our prototype press. Once we decided on one shape, again we did about 8 different flex and camber/rocker versions of the ski.
Compared to a lot of 5D shapes the Rockwell has one of the shortest effective edges and tightest sidecuts. How does this affect the way it skis? And what influenced this radical decision?
We had the C7 at that time, and its tight radius released an enormous centrifugal force when carving. This was really really fun, also because it gave you some extra momentum when doing like flat land rotations stuff. We wanted to have that same feeling, but we needed to make the radius even tighter to get that feeling, simply because the titanal in the C7 lets you bend that ski all the way to the tips. That was not possible with the Rockwell due to it pure glass construction. – so we cranked it down even more.
What kind of skier is the Rockwell designed for?
The Rockwell is a real Swiss Army knife. Wanna spend the rest of your life with one ski only, being able to ride both powder, park and piste ? Well, this is the Rockwell.
Does it work in the park too?
Yes, really well. It butters easily, it is forgiving in landing tricks, and has sick pop and stability for bigger kickers.
The unconventional geometry makes it difficult to know which length to choose. Should it ridden at a normal park ski length or shorter/longer?
You could actually add some CMs. When your normal length is about 175, the Rockwell 182 would be the right length for you.
What are the benefits of the Rockwell to somebody coming from a more piste skiing background. Can the Rockwell really cut-it on the groomers Vs a carving ski?
The Rockwell has incredible carving abilities, but obviously you cannot keep up with a real slalom ski. But hey – go ride powder with a slalom ski ...
What setback would you recommend for park, all-mountain and backcountry skiers?
Park is mainly centered until 20mm back. All mountain goes from -20mm to -40mm. For backcountry it is not that easy: classic straightliners should go up to -60mm off center, whereas newschool-pow-jibbers might still be at -30mm only.
What’s next for the evolution of the Rockwell? Do you plan to take the shaping concept to other skis in the line?
We are currently working ona similar geometry concept, but a flatter tail, and a lighter construction. For skinning ... but this is still in the lab process. The first prototypes are out, and people love it. We stole the HEXO2 construction from the Syntax, but actually made it even lighter. It looks like we might be coming out with the lightest touring ski in the 95mm waist area ...
Thanks for your time Peter!
Find-out more about the Rockwell here