Folsom Custom Skis, which is based in Twin Lakes, Colorado, has become known for its customized, hand-built skis. One issue that their backcountry touring skis ran into is their weight, which was heavier than their competitors.
After going through a prototyping and testing process, they decided to team up with hybrid materials supplier Mito Material Solutions to make improved touring skis. Their carbon fiber composite touring skis have added graphene enhancement.
Hannah Mason from Composite World explained that graphene, which is “a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms,” has become more available in commercial settings. Graphene has been “demonstrated to enhance a part’s mechanical properties such as thermal and electrical conductivity, strength, fracture toughness, and vibration damping.” This makes their new touring option have a lighter weight, thus leading to better performance in varying conditions.
Beforehand, Folsoms’ touring skis came in at a weight of 1800-2000 grams/ski for longer mid-width shapes. These builds had vertically laminated 8 sheets of Aspen wood & 1 sheet of Bamboo. This made them heavier than other touring skis on the market. It was time to go back to the drawing board.
Their response is the new UltraLITE build. This new construction includes a thinner sidewall, along a wider and thinner core, leading to a lighter ski. The bamboo has been eliminated, with it now consisting of vertically laminated Aspen boards. Then there’s the graphene additive, which according to Folsom, “is proportionally mixed into the epoxy and hardener during ski layup, and adds a significant level of power and damping to the ski.”
As demonstrated by the graph above, the graphene enhancement reduces the weight by up to 300 g/ski. Jeff Colt, who is an athlete for Folsom, described how the 182cm Rad Dad UltraLITE prototype shreds:
“My overall experience on the UltraLITEs was great. I was really impressed with the weight-to-performance ratio, the handling in variable conditions (more damp than chattery, more nimble than controlling) and even how they laid over on hardpack.”
Click here to learn more about the UltraLITE touring construction process.
Image Credits: Folsom Custom Skis