Homeboyski.com brings us this article A Tribute to Shane McConkey – The Story of Rocker Skis
Thanks to our buddies at vapaalasku.com (a great Finnish freeride site). Arttu Muukkonen did a great interview with Shane McConkey a while ago and now let us to translate his article for our site – as a tribute to the great skier and innovator of the whole sport of freeskiing. Thanks to Arttu for the story. And deep condolences to McConkey’s family and all his relatives and friends.
The story of rocker skis started from a pair of broken skis
These days you see rockered skis fairly often on the slopes. And even an occasional pair of planks with negative sidecut here and there. You also hear more and more people praise the functionality of these new designs, even for all-around use, not just for pure champagne powder.
The story of rockered skis pretty much boils down to one person, the late Shane McConkey, skier and base jumper who revolutionized the act of powder skiing. Because of McConkey’s invention, the use of rockered skis started to spread all over, changing freeride perhaps the most since the the first fat skis.
McConkey started his thorough story from the very beginning. Back in 1996 Shane was skiing on Elan. But he wasn’t that happy – in fact he was a bit annoyed
“Sure, the first super sidecut skis were awesome on groomed slopes. But on the soft snow they kept sinking and controlling the deep sidecut was pretty hard. I actually hate the extended sidecuts! On the other hand the progression went in the right direction when the skis started to get wider but otherwise it was all wrong“.
According to McConkey the right kind of powder should be wide with minimal sidecut (or not any sidecut at all).
“But you couldn’t stop the sidecut craze back then, it went on like a freight train. I remember drawing a sketch of really radically shaped skis on a napkin. I kept it with me for years but didn’t work hard enough to get it into the production for a long time”.