Whenever I host a water ski maker at Ski Paradise, I welcome the opportunity to demo their latest and greatest slalom skis. Testing and evaluating skis has always been a passion of mine. It’s that never-ending quest for one buoy, and wondering if new slalom technology or a fin/binding adjustment can make all the difference.

Kris LaPoint a.k.a. KLP is one legendary skier who understands what a difference a ski can make, and I’ve always enjoyed my technical discussions with him. When Kris was in town last year for a week of guest coaching, he also brought a new Mapple T3 with him (he’s in charge of R&D for Mapple Skis).

Of course, I had to try it!

What I relearned was this: Don’t judge a book by its cover. In other words, if you try a ski once and it’s not working well, there’s opportunity to make it much better. And that’s why it’s great to work with someone in the know.

Because my first couple sets on the Mapple T3 were dismal. The ski felt weird on my offside and even my onside turn needed help. I went back to my D3, and let another guest give it a go.

On the last day of Kris’ visit, however, I gave the T3 another try, and Kris nailed it with a perfect fin adjustment. With one back movement of .007 of an inch, the ski started working great. I’ve been skiing a long time, but the last 32 off I ran yesterday was the nicest 32 off of my life. I felt like a 19-year old ripping it!

When Kris watches you ski, he doesn’t just look at your body position. He watches the performance of the ski. Andy Mapple used to do this as well.  Kris told me that he can only change your body position so much during a week of skiing. He figures he can help out the skier more by making his or her ski work better. Kris does this by minute fin adjustments.

Right now I can’t wait for my next ride. With the right fin adjustment, the ski was easy to get out in front, my hips came up to the handle easily, and going through the gates was powerful and a piece of cake. It’s phenomenal what a properly adjusted ski can do for your skiing. Next time you want to demo a new ski, I recommend coming to Ski Paradise with one of our guest coaches that can help you optimize your performance.