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  • 2024 Parsons Project Pineapple - review


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    The 2024 Parsons Project Pineapple ( https://www.tppskis.com/ ) is the result of years of refinement by Nick Parsons and Carl Denis. Nick is one of the most respected slalom ski designers in the sport and Carl is an engineer whose other job is building carbon composite medical devices. Together, they have created a beautiful, high-performance, high-spec slalom ski.

    General Feel 
    The Pineapple reflects a recent trend in high-end, slalom design that prioritizes grip and angle over sliding turns and speed. This ski’s high-volume concave and aggressive rocker profile produces turns that are reminiscent of a front-wheel-drive race car. The front of the ski pulls the skier through the turn rather than the tail sliding around the skier's feet. 

    The Pineapple requires a typical amount of physical effort compared to other top-of-the-line skis. While it’s not distinctively fast, it is notably “swingy.” Once the skier establishes a rhythm with width and angle, the ski easily swings up on the boat, providing ample width, and space approaching subsequent buoys. When in rhythm, it feels like autopilot is engaged.  
     

    Turns
    The Pineapple carves a smooth arc on both sides when the skier has a moderate front foot bias approaching the ball. The ski works fine in this mode but if the skier moves decisively forward and pushes the inside front bevel further in the water the Pineapple will automatically change direction like no other ski. It is like unlocking a cheat code for more balls. These turns are fast yet controlled. All skis do better with more front-foot pressure, but this is another level.
     

    Wakes to the Ball 
    The Pineapple is noticeably forgiving of skier errors from the centerline to the ball line. If the skier generates enough speed before the wakes, the ski will dependably create space and width. 

    The Pineapple is stable both front-to-back and in roll. The ski rides deep in the water to provide the skier with the confidence to control how fast his or her feet flow out after edge change. The ski's inherent stability also allows the skier to move forward with confidence when approaching the ball.


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    Quirks 
    Gates are especially critical on the Pineapple. The swingy nature of the ski means that if the skier starts high on the boat at the gate it is relatively easy to maintain width and speed through the course, but a narrow gate will set the skier on a narrow path that may be hard to recover from. As with turns at the ball, extra front foot pressure at the gate results in more speed and angle into the gate. 

    Skiing tentatively or dialing back intensity can backfire. While the Pineapple doesn't require overly aggressive skiing, losing the swing makes everything more difficult.
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    Conclusion 
    I ran one of the best 38s of my life on the Pineapple but also wasted an embarrassing amount of boat gas before I fully understood the ski's unique need for extra-extra front foot pressure at apex as well as its swingy nature. With these notes in hand, I very much look forward to returning to this ski in the future.

    The difference between "slow" and "swingy": 

    • On a slow ski you can pull hard and/or long to get wide enough. A slow ski is generally a lot of work and is often very forgiving at the ball. When you make a mistake on a slow ski you can often just work harder to make up ground. On a slow ski the skier is aways working to get space and width.
    • On a swingy ski, you do not pull harder or longer than average. On a “swingy” ski if you start from a wide point and make enough speed into the first wake it is easy to run a wide early line. If you lose your line it is challenging to get it back. 
       
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