Last year Amplid entered the ski touring market with the Ego Trip. This year Amplid's owner and chief shaper, Peter Bauer, to the ski back to the drawing board. The result is a completely new ski which uses 5dim shaping principles to create a completely new animal. The ARC blog caught up with Peter to find out a bit more about the ski, the thinking behind it and the kind of skier that's going to love the ski.
It looks like the Ego Trip Evolution is Amplid’s first ski for “grown-ups”, why now?
Haha, if you’re referring to the flat tail, a lot of our customers have been asking for it. Yeah I guess you could say that the Ego Trip Evolution is for a slightly more mature customer, somebody who’s not too worried about riding switch in the park. We acted on the demand from skinners and instructors who are real brand fans, both those customers wanted the flat tail on an Amplid ski. For touring it’s much easier to clip skins onto a flat tail and instructors don’t like to spend all day spraying their customers in the face with frozen slush. I wanted to expand Amplid’s reach and create a ski for skiers who might not have considered the brand before. It’s not too much of a departure from Amplid’s other skis, when you ski the Evolution you will recognise the tell-tale Amplid DNA.
French Ambush skier Morgan Sauerwald puts the Ego Trip Evolution through some powder turn testing in the French Alps
This is a completely different ski to last winter’s Ego Trip. Why did you redesign the ski?
Yeah last year’s Ego Trip was worlds apart. For a mid-fat touring ski the original 13/14 Ego Trip is a fantastic piece of equipment, but even from the start I was worried that the shape was too conventional and not “Amplid” enough. I couldn’t shake that feeling so I decide to develop a new ski from scratch. The name “Ego Trip” was something I was really stoked with and it took a lot of brain power to think it up. So instead of just dropping the name I decided to add “Evolution” to the end. The lengthened name sort of gives us free reign to change the ski as much as we like! It’s important to me that every Amplid ski is undeniably Amplid and even with the straight tail the same is true of the Evo.
How would you describe the Ego Trip Evolution?
I would describe the Ego Trip Evolution as a lightweight all-terrain ski for everyday skiing. We think it’s the perfect match for an all-terrain binding like the Tyrolia Adrenaline. It’s a little bit heavier (100grams or so per ski) than touring specific skis, but it sacrifices nothing when descending… it has true all-mountain prowess. These skis won’t ever sit around gathering dust in your garage because as well as being confident tourers, they’re also great skis for resort groomers and sidecountry powder. Actually a lot of Amplid’s customers and friends are choosing to mount the Ego Trip Evolution with a standard binding and just use them as a daily driver. So for most skiers who ski lift accessible terrain regularly, but also like to do the occasional ski tour, it’s all they’ll ever need.
Looking at the spec, the sidecut is really tight. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a tight sidcut?
Well the advantage is that the Ego Trip Evolution is a really fun and reactive ski on resort groomers. It’s very easy to arc very tight carves on this ski; in-fact on hard snow it feels very like a slalom ski or a Funcarver. Let’s be clear though, that’s just the way it feels on resort trails, the waist is 95mm and there’s lots of early rise in the nose for extra lift in deep snow, so this is no carving ski. The tight radius also enables us to squeeze more surface area into the ski’s tips for floatation.
Of course the flip side is that this ski isn’t going to provide the same edge hold if you’re slipping down icy couloirs or billy-goating through rocky lines, here a radius around the 30m mark is more suitable. It also sacrifices a bit of straight-line stability. So for everyday resort skiing and ski touring the Ego Trip Evolution is perfect… for the more hair-raising terrain of Alaska and the Aiguille du Midi it’s not the right ski.
Now I can’t decide between the Rockwell and Ego Trip Evolution, how do I know which ski is best suited to me?
Simple. Will you be riding the ski in the park at all? If the answer is yes, forget the Ego Trip Evo.
Is weight important to you when you are ski touring? If you prefer a lighter ski for the up, choose the Ego Trip.
If you’re planning to ski somewhere with icy snow conditions on a regular basis, then you might find the longer effective edge of the Ego Trip advantageous.
Other than that, I would say if you are an all-mountain freestyler, go for the Rockwell. If you’re more of an all-mountain freerider then the Ego Trip will probably suit you better.
This is one of the most expensive skis in the line, what justifies the price?
The Ego Trip Evolution features Amplid’s most expensive construction and materials, that’s why it’s expensive. To keep the weight down we used HEXO2 construction, honeycomb inserts and an ultralight Poplar core. Then we have the fastest sintered base material available to guarantee good glide in all snow conditions. Another feature that costs a lot to incorporate but pretty much goes un-noticed is the rounded edges on the topsheet. It costs a lot of money to build skis with this feature because a 3D ski mould is required and these are damn expensive. The benefit to the customer is that the topsheet won’t chip, which is a real plus when touring because chipped topsheets can let water into the core and cause all sorts of problems.
And what has the feedback been like from the team?
We branched out a bit for feedback on this ski and brought some new testers into the fold, since we didn’t see the need for it to be double-cork approved. However, a couple of our team with more alpine backgrounds were really keen to try the ski. The feedback has been really great so far; the testers have found it extremely easy to carve and very planted on variable snow. They also found it to be more rewarding when skied aggressively, so this is definitely a ski for the experienced rider. We’re very excited to get the general public on this ski and get their opinions so we’ll be making sure that the skis is available to test at various demos throughout the winter.
Before we finish up, do you have any tips for sizing and mounting?
Unlike the Rockwell, we suggest skiing the Ego Trip at your usual all-mountain ski length. A typical male skier around 180cm tall weighing between 70kg and 80kg is a good fit for the 175cm. If you’re 10cm taller and 85kg to 100kg you might consider the 185cm, depending on experience. The 165cm is designed for both smaller male skiers and female skiers, it’s a unisex ski. So I’d recommend choosing a ski length that’s about 5cm shorter than your height and then adjusting up or down depending on your weight.
Regarding the mounting, if you like a forward position where you can really drive the ski through the sidecut then -20 to -30mm is a suitable set-back. If your priority is floatation and stability then the ski should be mounted around -50mm back. -35mm to -40mm is a good compromise for most all-mountain skiers.