The KD brand has returned to the US market with a completely new KD Platinum. The ski’s design is heavily influenced by Terry Winter. Perhaps the best endorsement of the ski is the fact that Terry ran into 41 off during 31 consecutive* tournament rounds and increased his tournament personal best to 3.5 at 41off this year all on the Platinum.
If you had to describe the Platinum with just one word it would be “consistent”. This may not sound like a sexy description of a ski, but in a world where many high end skis are twitchy and quirky, consistency is a good thing. In many ways, the Platinum is a throwback to classic designs that are less finicky and more dependable.
If speed is a measure of A) how much physical effort is required to run passes or B) how easily the ski gets wide at the ball, in both measures the Platinum is faster than most.
The Off Side on this ski is simply bulletproof. You almost can’t screw it up. The front of the ski pulls to the inside more than the tail slides around. The stability of the ski makes it easy to be in the right position, and even if you are not, the ski will snap off a sharp turn anyway. Because the tail of the ski rides deep, it is almost impossible to blow the tail. The turns themselves are decisive and fast.
With the settings used for most of this review (29 1/8 - 2.465 - 6.890 - .779 - 9), the Platinum requires more front foot pressure than most high end skis to make on side turns as consistent and crisp as the Off Side turns. By focusing on a few key technical points, I was able to make the ski turn as well on the on side as the off side. If I am skiing at my technical best, these settings are preferred.
At the end of the review period Terry Winter suggested shallower and longer settings (29 1/8 - 6.950 - 2.450 - .79 ). These settings alleviated the need for extra front foot pressure and made the on side turns much less technically demanding.
Ball to the wakes
Leaving the ball, the ski goes where you point it and errors at the ball are easily compensated for. It holds more than enough angle and speed into the wakes. One of the keys on this ski is to not be overly aggressive into the wakes.
Wakes to the ball
The Platinum flows out wide and draws an early path in front of the ball. The ski carries much of its speed out to the ball line making width somewhat automatic.
One of the unexpected attributes of the ski for me was more consistent and more forgiving gates. The hardest part of the whole ski testing process is adjusting for the gate on each different ski. The gate on the Platinum basically just worked from the first ride.
At 180 pounds, I prefer the 66” version of the ski. I suggest that skiers consider sizing down on the Platinum.
The appeal of this ski is high performance without overly technical or finicky requirements.
How consistent was I on this ski? The weekend of the NorCal MasterCraft BallOfSpray Cash Prize I took two practice rides and two Class L tournament rides. The first practice ride was all back to back 32s and 35s. The second practice ride I ran my 7th 38 of the year. The first tournament round I ran 4 @ 38. In the second tournament round, I ran 2 @ 39 to equal my best of the year. Over four rides, this is about as good as I can ski.
*This string of consecutive 39s ended in a head to head format where Terry did not need to run the pass to move on.
Terry Winter won Head2Head final for $1500
Gary Wallace took top honors for in the Handicap final for $1500 and a custom trophy by DB Skis
A huge thanks to NorCal MasterCraft for these awesome ProStars
This event happens because of the officials who do all the work. Kevin Bishop is my partner in crime for this event and I could not do it without him.
Last but not least thanks to Nikol, Steve, Jana and Blazer Grubbs. No one worked harder to make this event happen. Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!
The SportsInsurance.com Queens Cup will return for its second season at Little Mountain Lake near Charlotte, N.C., aka the Queen City, on Sept. 16-17, with more than $10,000 in cash and prizes on the line. "The Queens Cup was well-planned, well-executed and provided exceptional ski conditions," said Jennifer Leachman, a former world record holder and a member of the USA Water Ski Hall of Fame. "I don't know how they could have made it any better.” Leachman won't be able to ski in the Queens Cup this year because of ankle surgery, but she encourages others to experience the event. Women of all skill levels enjoyed the camaraderie and inclusiveness of the 2016 Queens Cup. The goal for the tournament is to bring national and international women skiers together at a world-class site for a slalom championship with a significant number of competitors. Tournament director Jeff Gilbert has goals he sets and meets for the Queens Cup.
“This tournament provides a great value for the entry fee -- a great site, a top-quality tournament, a minimum of two to three rounds, and multiple opportunities to win cash and prizes for all levels,” Gilbert said.
Joy Kelley of Tennessee validated the scoring system -- and made skiers over 40 smile -- by finishing second last year as a 50-some-year-old skier.
“There is something truly unique about this event,” Kelley said. “Today, there is no other opportunity like Queens Cup for women. It is an event that inspires, challenges, and allows us to simultaneously pull together our physical, mental and emotional strength -- with a (scoring) system that provides appropriate and unlimited competitive opportunity for women 30 to 70-plus years of age.”
The Senate’s ability to carry speed is unmatched in the industry. This speed allows the skier to maintain width on the boat ultimately giving a sense of freedom sought after by those that ski in the course as well as those ripping open water turns. By taking our competition shape and adding two tenths of an inch in extra width we have created a stable riding platform. This platform creates the balance needed for a skier to feel at home, while the pro le of the ski allows the skier to feel the speed and angle sought after at any level. Go for a spin on the Senate and you’ll leave with a smile on your face and a new ski under your arm.
For complete results, click here.
Joy Kelley is somewhat of an ageless wonder in water skiing.
She’s a three-event skier who breaks records and raises the bar almost every time she gets on the water. Kelley surprised probably everyone except herself in 2016 when, at age 58, she advanced to the head-to-head final of the SportsInsurance.com Queens Cup women’s slalom tournament near Charlotte, N.C.
The only disappointment was a fluke fall on her 28-off pass in the final against Sweden’s Josefin Hirst of Florida.
Kelley, of Tennessee, will return for the 2017 Queens Cup at Little Mountain Lake on Sept. 16-17, likely still riding high from the event’s 2016 debut. Her Facebook post after the inaugural event summed up her feelings:
“Wanted to show much gratitude to the sponsors of the Queens Cup! Since the weekend I have been in awe of the cash and prizes awarded, over $10,000. For a first ever event to reach such heights is a direct reflection of the passion, belief and support for women in water skiing and the daily, behind the scenes, focused efforts of the tournament organizers in securing sponsors who also share the same dedication to our sport! Hopefully, we gave the sponsors a good return on their investment by skiing our best, positively influencing others, sharing their product/service with others, and just being an overall strong woman of integrity and character!”
Hers was a popular opinion shared by many of the entrants after last year’s event. Year 2 is just around the corner with an even larger field to share the wealth. As Kelley posted:
“From t-shirts to goody bags to prizes of ski lessons, ski bags, skis, gloves, etc., and cash awards, I have never experienced an event like this! Thank you so very much to all the sponsors! May the Queens Cup live on in ways that continue to exceed the expectations of everyone involved!”
The stated goal of BallOfSpray ski reviews has been to describe more than to judge each ski. The reader is left decipher to the comments and decide if a ski might fit their skiing or not. The Denali is an unusual ski so this will be an unusual review. It may read as disjointed, disorganized, contradictory and schizophrenic so let’s clear the air: the Denali C65 is one of the best skis ever reviewed on BallOfSpray.
Traditionally skis are either described as fast or slow. Skis described as slow typically require more physical work and more technical skills to get wide but turn more dependably at the ball. Fast skis are less work and get wide more automatically but often require more skills and finesse at apex. World records have been set and pro events have been won on both fast and slow skis.
In the last few years, a few skis have blurred the lines by being both fast across the course and turning automatically at the ball. The Denali C65 resets the bar as far as what possible in terms of fast and slow. The C65 is as fast as any “fast ski” from the ball to the wakes, and it bleeds speed as quickly as any “slow ski” from the wakes the ball. This ski is the best example of the merging of these two paradigms. One of the results of these attributes is that the skier will rarely get slack at the ball.
When a skier is at their best, the C65 is as smooth as any ski reviewed previously. On a more normal day when a skier makes typical mistakes, the C65 allows the skier to throw caution to the wind, pull hard, and then crank turns to get a score.
John Horton and MB sit down after the CaliProAm in Sacramento California, to discuss his new ProStar (Bumblebee), and other things water skiing. Then Horton turns the tables and has some questions for Marcus Not gonna tell you anymore...you just gotta hit play and take a listen!