Luxury Swiss ski company Zai, uses innovative new materials and technologies to create high quality, high performance skis. Founded 6 years ago by designer Simon Jacomet in his hometown of Disentis, each pair of Zai skis are hand crafted by the company's handful of employees and made using state of the art machinery.
The Zai Spada ski core is made from a material called Carbon Fiber Stone (CFS). The CFS is produced in conjunction with German company TechnoCarbon Technologies who has perfected the process of stabilizing natural stone to give it extreme pressure and tension strength. Stone is wrapped in a laminated carbon fiber through a patented method in order to protect it against sheer stress. This process also makes the stone bendable as well as pressure resistant.
This new CFS material offers not only enormous compressive strength but also incredible elasticity and dynamics with geometric stability. CFS has impressive dampening characteristics that are ideal for ski construction. By damping out vibration, the stone core creates a very smooth ride and edge holding grips.
The stone used in the Spada skis is quartzite. It has a fine grained texture and is extremely compact and frost resistant. A single piece of the quartzite stone extends through the core of almost the entire length of the ski, imparting a combination of unique smoothness and lively agility.
New this season, Zai has added an India-Rubber top layer to their Spada line. India-Rubber has a long lifespan and is easy to rework. In combination with stainless steel edges, the rubber top layer enhances the dampening effect of the stone core.
I am eager to see the finished product of one of Zai's next innovations- a ski made from a single piece of carbon fiber (shown above). The ski epitomizes the company's philosophy of making skis lighter and more resistant. The company is still working on the final design for this extremely lightweight ski.