K2 Merlin IV

slowrider

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Anyone know about the light bulb on this ski? It comes on when you flex it.
 

crgildart

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My regular Fours had that too. It's supposed o tell you the ski is magically dampening bumps or something like that..
 
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slowrider

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Oh cool. Did some poking around and its called a piezoelectric device. Going to take these out for a spin night skiing. Thanks cr.
Pu some Volants too. Im now buying old skis and I can't stop myself.
 

Sethmasia

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The piezo system in the Merlin IV of 1998 was prototyped in 1995 with the K2 Four, as part of the first generation of K2's shaped skis. The Four wasn't marketed as a race ski but it's the model Bode Miller used when he won three of four races to score the U.S. national junior championship at Sugarloaf in March 1996. That performance simply killed off the previous generation of "straight" race skis. The Merlin was made in the same mold as the Four. The piezo actually came out of an unpublicized research partnership K2 had with Boeing -- the aircraft company had come up with this solid-state electromechanical device to damp vibrations in carbon-fiber ailerons and rudders for jet fighters. In adopting the piezo, K2's engineers and marketing geniuses figured that as long as they were converting vibration energy to electric current, they might as well add an LED light to signal that the system actually functioned. It was a cute idea but you could only see the light winking indoors or while skiing at night maybe. Anyway, no one outside the factory really understood the concept, so it was quietly dropped after the Merlin IV and replaced with a "pod" damping system on the next generation of K2's high-performance skis.
 

Scruffy

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I had the Merlin IVs back in 98.
 
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slowrider

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Thank you Seth! They feel soft but at 168cm should be fun to ski.
 

cantunamunch

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That's kinda what I remember too.

I think we're losing perspective on how these things were sized. Nobody my size would have blinked if the sales person had handed them a 188.
 

tch

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^^^^ Yep, the Fours were the real transition ski and were sized as transition skis. I'm 5'8", 165, and the factory sent me a pair of 188's as a replacement for an older 195cm straight ski that had delaminated. I remember thinking "why are they so short?" and wondering if they'd made a mistake.
 

crgildart

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Most likely around a 198cm.
I picked up a minty pair of 198 cm Four about 10 years ago for fifty bucks. Middle of retired skis. I skied them a couple times. They were hella fun. I eventually replaced them with some Lab 10 GS out of ScotsSkier's old stash. Very comparable rides..

 
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slowrider

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For whatever reason i have decided to try skiing vintage gear. Are there any pointers on skiing old gear? A fresh tune & binding release check would be in order. Are new boots ok or go to a softer boot. What about edge bevels. Thanks
 

cantunamunch

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You don't want soft boots. Expect to use a Lot more steering to engage the turn than you're used to. Also, depending on the ski, you might wind up being more locked in to the end of the turn. That ski is ok but if you pick up a SCX or Atomic 8 or 9 series of similar vintage you'll see what I mean. 168cm is way short for adults but it should hold an edge on moderate terrain.

If you wind up liking the Merlin, keep an eye out for a volkl p30RC or similar.
 

raisingarizona

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I had the El Caminos the year they were introduced. Man those graphics were hot! And compared to straight skis they were ridiculously fun.
 

James

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Pretty!^
Most likely around a 198cm.
Well he skied slslom, gs and super g I think on the K2 four. I believe he had a deflex plate on some of them, presumably the sg skis.
It's very possible he used the 198 for all events as nobody used short skis for slalom then. @Muleski would likely know.
That act and the results got him on the "Top 100" skiers of the century in one of the Ski mags at the millenium. Lots of people were pissed at that as he hadn't won much then. They've certainly been proven right.
 

mdf

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I've got 2 pairs of Fours in the back corner of my basement. Freaky how different the mount points are.
I don't know what size they are and would have to move a lot of stuff to look.
20191126_222750.jpg
 

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