The traditional Japanese art referred to as "one stroke" is a technique that began in Japan in the early 1600's. I'm honored to be collaborating with Tetsuya Abe, known throughout Japan today as a master of this mesmerizing technique of painting the body of a dragon with a single stroke. He draws the brush along the canvas in one movement while alternately pressing strongly and lightly against the page. These micro movements create the scales on the dragon’s torso. The beauty and majesty of the single brushstroke is supposed to capture the spirit of the dragon it portrays.
Dragons are considered to bring you good luck. The single stroke is also thought to protect or bring good financial and romantic luck to customers who request the paintings. Yup, this includes you! From your first turn, you will forever experience bottomless pow and out of body white room experiences.
I’m building only 350 pair of this new Limited Edition graphic on The Friend ski and hand signing and numbering each pair so you have a very unique ski like no one else. Order your pair before they're gone!
The Friend™ Specs
|WEIGHT PER SKI||2230g||2310g||2480g|
|ROCKER HEIGHT TIP / TAIL||
8 / 3mm
|9 / 3mm||10 / 3mm|
|TIP / TAIL LENGTH||
270 / 120mm
|325 / 90mm||445 / 195mm|
|TIP / TAIL HEIGHT||75 / 40mm||75 / 40mm||75 / 40mm|
|BOOT FROM TAIL||805mm||835mm||865mm|
I’ve spent over two decades designing, developing, and continually refining the industries most innovative and award winning skis ever created. Now that I’m selling skis directly to you, I’m able to invest more money into using the most expensive, highest quality materials possible, sparing no expense like never before in the name of premium ski performance & durability. You’ll literally feel the difference the moment you make your first turn and still be stoked, years later like it was still your first day on them! This is why I confidently back all my skis with a money back 100% satisfaction guarantee. Learn more about this ski’s construction below…
Lighter with more energy & pop than fiberglass
Just like fiberglass carbon needs to be fully stretched like a guitar string to give you the most pop. Unlike other brands of skis with wavy black carbon, not stretched, thus you’re not getting the energy out of it, we use pre-cured, pre-stretched carbon fiber laminates. This means the carbon is pre-stretched & cured under perfect conditions at the carbon fiber production facility prior to us receiving it. This pre-cured carbon laminate is twice the cost but also gives you many more times the performance. You’ll feel it!
Maple Wood Core
Highest quality wood for a lively energetic feel & long life
The factory is located in Quebec Canada, so we got Maple, eh! Maple is a very expensive high quality hard wood, thus the reason it’s used to build floors and furniture in your house that lasts a lifetime. Maple absorbs impact, and has a ton of energy for a very ski feel and long life. We run 4 – 20mm wide Maple laminates the entire length of the core, plus 100% under your foot for unprecedented energy, durability & binding screw retention. At the tips of my skis you’ll see more of the light colored Aspen witch is incredibly lightweight with plenty strong when laminated alongside Maple for reduced swing weight at the tips.
Full Height Sidewalls
Maximum impact resistant & vibration dampening
We’re using super durable, high impact absorbing Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) polyethylene for our sidewalls. This is the same material we use on our ski's bases. It’s very impact resistant and since it’s full height, it also absorbs more vibration like using a longer spring in your car’s suspension. Take a metal pipe and hit it against a rock, then do the same with a piece of plastic. The metal vibrates through to your bones & the plastic absorbs the vibration for you. That’s the difference of having full height plastic shock absorbing sidewalls over your edges or not. We’re cutting the isdes of the sidewalls to a 10* angle, with a nice step at the bottom for easy tuning like race skis.
The thickest, most durable edge in the industry
We use the thickest hardened steel edges in the industry 2.2mm x 2.5mm. More metal = more durable. Whether you’re accidentally hitting a rock or purposely sliding a rail, you’re edges will live a much longer life. You’ll also be able to re-tune many more times or file them round to slide rails longer.
The fastest, thickest, most durable base material
I don’t match my clothes, but I always match my base & edge. We use the thickest edge so I also use the thickest base in the industry 1.8mm. I use sintered Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) Polyethylene, the highest quality base material available. It absorbs wax better, slides faster, and is more durable than any other base material. Basically it’s super hard & fast, like your _______ likes it.
Absorbs vibration and dramatically reduces risk of delam
Think of a ski’s construction like a magazine, each page = layers of material in the ski. Then bend your magazine you’ll see every page slide against each other, this is “shear”. This shear force trys to separate, thus delaminate all the layers in your ski every time it’s flexed or the tips are slapped down on a jump landing. This is why I run a layer of thin rubber around the full perimeter of the ski over the entire edge, plus the full width of across the tip and tail. The rubber acts as an insulator so that the edge and other materials can slide against each other when flexing without delaminating. This dramatically improves durability & reduces vibration.
Fibers run in 4 directions to maximize energy & strength
Fiberglass works like a guitar string, when it is flexed it wants to spring back, that’s the energy or pop you feel in a ski. However this energy can only be applied in the direction the actual fiberglass is run. This means the more directions of fiberglass, the more energy, pop & responsiveness. Industry standard “Triaxial” fiberglass runs in only three directions, we use a Quasi Isotropic fiberglass configuration, same as the aerospace industry to maximize energy & strength in as many directions as possible, 4 different axis 0, 90, +45, -45. It costs more, but it’s worth the performance.
High Definition Digital Printing
You already know I put a lot of value in graphics! So instead of traditional silk screening with low resolution image quality, you’ve seen the dots! I’m using a state of the art, Fuji UV Flat bed printer, a $170,000 machine that enables me to print high resolution from my computer directly to the plastic top & base. The resolution is unbelievable photo-real so you’ll be one of few skiers in the world with skis looking this good on your feet.
The Friend™ Awards
Blister Recommended 20/21 - Friend
"Like most of J's skis, The Friend is damp and stable, but not difficult to ski. It retains a playful shape and accessible flex pattern that'll work well regardless of ability level. The Friend doesn't require high speeds or open terrain to be fun. Overall, its damp ride and versatility in terms of skiing stance make it appealing to a wide range of skiers as a capable directional or freestyle option."
Freeskier Mag Editors' Pick 2021 - Friend"For powder-hunters, The Friend should be considered essential when traveling out of bounds. Designed in collaboration with Utah-based athlete Giray Dadali, this plank is specifically honed to surf through deep snow. The tight sidecut, however, ensures ridiculous edge-to-edge prowess in between storm skiing. They sat to never travel into the backcountry without a partner--don't forget your Friend, too."
Backcountry Mag Gear Guide Select 2021 - FriendThe Friend was designed with more than just overhead pow in mind: A sturdy maple core and surprisingly tight sidecut are intended to enable playfulness when the powder’s gone. A long, gentle rocker profile aims to add forgivingness in crud and promote liveliness in all conditions. “The Friend is really easy to throw into a tight, snappy turn in the woods,” one tester noted. Another felt that The Friend lived up to its name: “This is a ski that won’t let you down.”
Powder Magazine Skier's Choice 2021 - FriendThese are the most fun, playful powder skis I've ever been on and the only ski this wide I would consider regardless of conditions. It carves and maneuvers like an all-mountain ski thanks to the aggressive sidecut. It's a trustworthy ski that can also butter, pivot and pop. I could go as fast as I wanted to and feel confident. The Union unanimously remarked that this ski rails groomers. Who woulda thunk?
Backcountry Mag Gear Guide Select 2020 - Friend"Aptly named for its powder-day loyalty, The Friend is designed as a lofty tool for time spent descending into the white room. An 18.5m turning radius and mild rocker combine with a stout maple core to balance playfulness, float and stability. Carbon stringers add stiffness without a substantial weight penalty."
Freeskier Mag Editors' Pick 2020 - Friend"The Friend, from master ski-shaper Jason Levinthal, is an amazingly versatile, functional work of art. It utilizes a gentle, extended rocker in the tip and tail for effortless deep snow skiing… you know, the kind of pivoting and plundering you see in the movies. Where this ski surprised our testers most, however, was its hardpack abilities; despite its significant width underfoot, it performed notably well on-piste."
Powder Magazine Ski of the Year 2020 - Friend"The Friend is the kind of ski I'd take on the trip of a lifetime without considering bringing a backup. It's strong, but playful. It almost sounds too simple when I describe it, but maybe that's why I love it. It's PB&J exactly when you need it, and Dad made it."
Blister Recommended 19/20 - Friend"The current Friend takes many of the previous version's best traits, then significantly ramps up the stability. It retains a playful shape and moderate flex pattern, but is a lot more stable than the previous iteration. The Friend is a great option for anyone who wants to ski fast in variable snow and throw a trick or two along the way, all without sacrificing too much low-speed maneuverability and forgiveness."
Freeskier Mag Editors' Pick 2019 - Friend"This ski is literally my new best friend! Super fun and playful in pow and crud but will rail the groomers back to the lift as fast as you want, it truly rides the line of playfulness and stability."
SKI Mag Best in Test 2019 - Friend"Recently, both indie and mainstream brands’ powder skis have gotten skinnier and more versatile while sacrificing deep-day performance - The Friend takes the opposite approach and remains just as versatile as any powder ski. Testers loved zooming The Friend around on fresh snow, groomed, and everything in between."
Backcountry Mag Gear Guide Select 2019 - Friend"Fun and turny in the pow—pivoty and playful in the untracked. This is a very entertaining and playful ski to be on in deep, fresh conditions."
The Friend™ Reviews
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"Dragon - Tetsuya Abe x J Collab" Limited Edition Owners
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