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2019 Connelly GT-R review


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The Connelly GT-R is the only current high-end ski that has been continuously evolved for more than a decade. The GT-R is the direct descendant of the Connelly F1 that was Jamie Beauchesne’s masterpiece more than 15 years ago. Since then the design has been gradually improved with multiple materials upgrades as well as tweaks to the tunnel and sidewall profile. Through it all the ski maintains the original DNA.

General Feel

In all aspects discussed below the GT-R works best when the skier does less. The ski does not want you to lean and pull harder than needed. The ski wants you to tell it when to turn but not push it to turn. The ski wants you to stand in the middle of it and let it do the work.

In many ways, the GT-R requires less technical skills than other top of the line skis and it is less likely to punish the skier for small mistakes.

Is it a fast ski or a slow ski? That depends on how you set the fin and bindings. My preferred settings for the GT-R resulted in a ski that is not crazy fast but was not a lot of work and consistently cast out wide of the ball.

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Off Side Turns

Skiers with understated upper body moments and centered weight distribution will find the Off Side turns to be reliable and stable. The tip of the GT-R pulls to the inside of the radius aggressively without a feeling that tail of the ski is sliding. It is more of a carving than a sliding turn. The result is a very secure turn ending with lots of angle.

On Side

If the skier is centered on the ski from the wakes to the ball On Side turns are absolutely dependable. The ski flows out and then carves a tight turn at the ball.

If the skier lets their weight distribution move back or attempts to force the On Side turn by pushing on the tail the ski is likely to carve a slow turn. When this happens the GT-R will not turn sharp but it will maintain enough water speed to allow the skier to recover from his / her error.

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Ball to the wakes

From the ball to the wakes the skier’s weight distribution is again critical. With an adequate stacked position, the skier will achieve ample speed with minimal effort.

Wakes to the ball

The GT-R is loose in terms of roll stability. What this means is that if a skier moves to the inside early or too quickly after edge change they will find themselves leaned in more than expected approaching the ball. Correcting for this does not mean a monumental change in technique but may require a few rides to adjust. (Just keep your shoulders level and chin up).

Older skis from the F1 lineage required the skier to maintain as much line tension as possible from the second wake to the ball in order to achieve width. That is no longer the case with the GT-R. It is recommended that you have as much line tension as possible but your width at the ball does not heavily depend on it.

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Quirks

During the review, I did not do extensive experimentation with settings because the settings Martin Bartalsky provided worked so well. The GT-R can be set up a number of ways but settings on this ski can be finicky.

My final settings for the 67" GT-R 29 3/8 - 2.478 - 6.910 - .772

At 183 +/- lbs I rode both the 67” and 68” GT-R. Most of the rides for this review were on the 67” but I ran into 39 off in practice on both skis. If I started the review over I would likely start with the 68”. I consider the GT-R to be slightly small for its advertised size.

Conclusion

There are review skis I am happy to get my bindings off of and there are skis that I would like to ski more on. The Connelly GT-R is a ski that I would like to keep skiing on. If your style is calm and centered the GT-R is a ski you must try.

 Goode HO Syndicate   KD Skis ★ MasterCraft ★ PerfSki  

Radar ★ Reflex ★ S Lines ★ Stokes

Drop a dime in the can

 

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I only got to try my GTR a few sets before foot surgery in the fall. But a few things in your review jive with what I felt. It did feel loose in roll. And it is a different turn. Far less of a snap than the skis I'd been on. Not bad turning. Just different. I'm about ready to ski again finally so I'll throw your numbers on it and give it a whirl.
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@Horton What was your distant from tail to the front binding set at on the 68” GT-R? Also, did you use the same fin numbers on the 68”? If not, could you share those also? Thank you.
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@Joelh no the tip stays down great. If you experience something different it is likely a settings issue.

 

@bg1 I never exactly nailed down the settings on the 68". My guess is something like DFT + .007 and everything else basically the same. I did find depth to be somewhat critical on this ski. If you find that the tip of the ski is grabby through the exit of offside add depth.

 Goode HO Syndicate   KD Skis ★ MasterCraft ★ PerfSki  

Radar ★ Reflex ★ S Lines ★ Stokes

Drop a dime in the can

 

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I picked one up in July and have been very pleased. Coming off an S2 to the GTR- wow what a difference. GTR has amazing grip . I call it a water magnet. Definitely takes more effort to hold on to it as much deeper riding than the S2 . Takes a bit to get it dialed in but I’m sold
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@Bill22 I’m a hacker too. -28-32@34. I don’t think it’s too aggressive but as noted earlier it takes more energy vs shallower riding skis . Numbers I’m using are Connelly’s Option 1 from their website. I personally like a ski that makes you work. The GTR appreciates patient and centered skiing . The ski has helped me improve my form

 

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@MDB1056 @Bill22 The option 1 is definitely a slower because the tail rides deeper. If you go with longer/shallow set up the ski rides more horizontal and glides easier. Really a personal preference. I know about a few max 32mph skiers that like the ski a lot.
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Also a hacker, 15-28@34, a few 32's. I went to Option 2, it does grab and I was getting pulled out a lot on offside on factory settings. This fin move forward with a more shallow depth setting definitely made the ski turn faster and got rid of some of that extra grip which was pulling me out. It is still fast and you can still make a lot of angle, so it is all about getting used to it, but I like the ski, coming form older GT ski. Seems faster and smoother, I probably need a few more minor fin adjustments, but I think the ski wants to do the work on turns, so you have to be patient and use good form, if you do, it will reward you and you come out of the turn with speed and angle. Need more time on it, it got cold and ran out of time here in Michigan but can see the potential. 29 7/8, 2.461, 6.980, 0776 setting.
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If you're not a 36 mph skier you can easily try some less wing angle than factory recommendation.

I'ts not that the ski is slow by any means, in fact it accelerates very well and effortless from ball to centerline.

Howevever it also shuts down some more than other skis from centerline to ball (but in a smooth manner) so at below 36 I found decreasing wing angle a degree or so keeps the ski moving through the backside of buoy.

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@martin, @lakeside7455, @dane, thanks for the info. I will try a little longer and shallower and maybe a tad less wing. Really do like the ski. I'm right at the top of the 66 range at just under 160 lbs, but went with the 67 anyway as the GTR's feel shorter than their numbers.
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