As one of the most experienced ski manufacturers in the world, Karhu has been building skis since 1916. Though metal-edge ski production didn’t begin here in North America until 1976, which still represents a senior position in the market and an unsurpassed understanding of how to build durable backcountry skis. Until the dawn of the modern alpine touring binding (Fritschi and Naxo), Karhu skis were primarily skied by the telemark set. Well, thanks to these new touring bindings, Karhu skis have made serious inroads into the progressive telemark and alpine touring markets.
Look for a totally revamped backcountry ski line from Karhu for 2005-2006. These skis will perform equally well on and off-piste, so you can really own one pair of skis for the resort and the backcountry.
The Karhu Jak continues to be one of the most versatile backcountry skis on the market. With enough girth and stiffness to bomb the groomers in the morning and then hop out of bounds to ski untracked all afternoon, you can’t go wrong with the Jak.
Jak die-hards may be surprised to find that Karhu narrowed the ski’s dimensions throughout. The waist is now trimmed from 97mm to 90mm for a more versatile ride in all condtions. 90mm waist width appears to be the sweet spot for most skis, so the trim isn’t much of a surprise. Built into the ski are the new Titanium PowerClaws and V-Bands for reduced weight and increased torsional strength and energy transmission throughout the natural flex of the ski. A MacroBlock Core is used with the new Jak, which combines blocks of Aspen and Birch for a durable and versatile flex.
Also changed for 2005 is the tail. The notched tail is still turned up, but is less pronounced than previous versions. You can still switch it up, but, if you ride in the park, pipe or like to land switch in the backcountry, look to the new Karhu PFD, Team Edition or Agent skis.
Overall, the Jak looks to be a solid performer for both on and off-piste performance. Check them out at a dealer near you next fall.
Looking for a lightweight contender for your backcountry adventures? Look no further than the re-designed Jak BC for 2005! This ski sports flashback topsheets and lightweight construction with emphasis on swift backcountry travel where the snow is piled high and deep.
Built with the MacroLite Core, which consists of Aspen with a hardwood top laminate, and the Carbon Powerband, the Jak BC has a one-track mind–where’s the POWDER? The Jak BC shares the same dimensions and lengths as the Jak. Dimensions are 124-90-113 and it’s offered in 165cm, 172cm, 179cm and 186cm. The new dimensions now make it easier to find compatible skins, while still providing enough girth to float through powder and crud.
If you spend most of your time in the backcountry, or can afford to have a dedicated setup for backcountry skiing, the Jak BC looks to be one of the lightest and most versatile backcountry skis on the market. In fact, I was told that the Jak BC shaves 22 oz. off the Jak per pair! That makes a big difference after a 4,000 ft. vertical ascent. Plus, with the healthy shape, you’ll be sure to savor every turn in the powder. As more and more folks venture into the backcountry, the Jak BC looks to be poised to offer a lightweight solution for weight-conscious backcountry travel.