In 2007, German brothers Matthias and Philipp Auer announced the Warp. The Auer brothers combined their love for waterskiing with their experience in aerospace and in motorsport engineering to create what may be the most groundbreaking ski of our time. Because of the ski’s high price, limited availability, minimal promotion, and obscure origins, it has remained on the fringe of the sport.
The shape of the Warp does not look radically different, but under close inspection, it is unique. Compared to most skis, the tail is slightly narrower, and the middle is slightly wider. The widest place on the ski is farther forward than most other skis. This is all accentuated by the fact that bindings are mounted farther back than other skis of the same size. You can read more about the shape here.
The Warp has the unusual combination of being extremely forgiving and extremely fast. If “fast” means that the ski gets wide and early without the skier using much physical strength or technical skill, then the Warp is one of the fastest skis on the market. Technically errors always lead to a lower score, but typical errors are less costly on the Warp than expected. Simply put, the Warp is easy to ride.
For off side turns, the Warp will turn with weight over the skier’s back foot, but it will turn better and better as the skier adds weight to their front foot. This is not unusual among the current high end skis. What is noteworthy is that the skier can push forward harder and with less finesse without getting in trouble.
If the skier keeps their shoulders high off the water and presses forward, the Warp will maintain substantial speed and arc back to the center smoothly. If the skier allows their shoulders to lean in toward the center of the course too early, the ski will roll over and make a very sudden hard turn. Either way, the ski almost always generates more than enough angle at the off side turn.
On side turns are similar to the off side turn because the Warp does best with weight forward, but it is forgiving to imperfect weight distribution. On Side turns are basically foolproof.
Ball to Wakes
One of the secrets to skiing consistently on the Warp is not using more strength than is necessary. If pushed, the ski may create more angle and load than can be effectively handled. A calm and relaxed skier, who works just hard enough to hold angle, will be wide and early to the next ball.
Wakes to Ball
The Warp becomes increasingly stable as the skier presses forward on the ski approaching the ball. The Warp consistently gets wide and early even if the skier makes moderate errors.
More than any ski ridden to date, the secret to a big score on the Warp is to do less of everything. This ski wants the skier to take angle but load the rope only as much as is necessary. For turns on both sides, this ski works best if the skier presses their front foot forward but does not push the ski to turn. The more the skier stays tall and gives the ski less input, the better the ski works.
Quirks & Notes
The Warp is truly a unique boutique product. Unlike mass produced skis, the Warp has some idiosyncrasies. The ski does not have inserts so DualLock or some other adhesive system is needed to mount bindings on it. The fin box is not my favorite but not the worst I have ever used. There are reports of cosmetic issues as well as skis that get water inside of them. These quirks are easily dealt with and are completely overshadowed by the ski’s performance.
The design was licensed to another manufacturer between between 2010 and 2012, but now, the Auer brothers have taken the Warp back under their control.
The bulk of this review is based on a Warp with the following flex numbers 82 105 130 150 (156). I also had the opportunity to try a Warp with slightly softer flex. I found the softer ski to be not as forgiving, but when I was technically at my very best, the softer ski was even better. The softer ski requires more finesse at the off side turn but generates even more angle and speed. If I had to chose, I would take the stiffer of the two skis.
During the 7 weeks of the Warp review, I skied equal to my previous personal best a number of times on both skis and increased my personal best score by one ball on the softer ski.
Settings as tested 28.5 / 6.8230 / 2.500 / 0.814 slot / 9 degrees
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