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HO Syndicate S2 Review

 

The 2012 S2 is the second ski from the HO Syndicate product line in the “Speed” or S range. The S2 was shaped by a five time world champion , Bob LaPoint, with input from his brother, Kris LaPoint, as well as the HO Syndicate pro team.

 

Every high end ski can be described as performing better when the skier does all the right things. Some skis challenge the skier to be very technical, and some skis allow the easier to do all the right things. The S2 forgives sloppy skiing, but more importantly, the S2 makes it easier to do the right things.

From the Second Wake to the ball

The S2 maintains angle off the second wake and draws a path wide of and in front of the ball as consistently as any ski ever made. As with any ski, staying connected to the boat on the way out to the ball line will result in additional width, but if you struggle with this skill, the S2 will still get you surprisingly wide.

More than any ski that I can recall, the S2 rides with a constant attitude on the water. Forward and backward weight shifts by the skier seem to be muted. To say this another way, the S2 is extremely stable in the pre-turn.  This attribute makes it easier for the skier to think about what he/she is doing.

From the ball to the Second wake

Unless pushed with excessive aggression, the S2 will exit the ball with the tip down and head across course without any fuss. Should the skier apply extra lean on the way to the wakes, the S2 will deliver a surprising burst of speed. 

Off Side Turn

The S2 is not radical or dramatic at Off Side turn, but you can depend on it. Just about every time you turn your Off Side, you will exit in control and with ample angle.  Dependable may not sound sexy, but if you want a new personal best, you want a ski that turns your Off Side dependably.   

With stock settings, the S2 never feels like the tail is sliding. Instead, the whole ski carves back toward the centerline.  The result is a turn that ends further inside the ball line and allows for the skier to put the power down right behind the boat.

 On Side Turn

As much or more than any other ski on the market, the On Side turns on the S2 are nearly symmetrical to the Off Side. The ski’s longitudinal stability means that the ski naturally rides with the tip down allowing for a carving On Side turn. The ski can be forced to make abrupt changes in direction, but if the skier is patient, the S2 will draw a tight arc out of On Side and will carry speed back to the center line. 

Quirks and Notes

I rode the ski with the DFT back further than stock for a while. On Side turns were sharper, but the whole skiing experience was not as smooth. My final fin numbers were roughly stock but I skied best with the bindings at 29 3/8” for the 67.5” ski.