Radar has been known for making a wide variety of waterskis that can accommodate nearly any skiing style. One of their most popular waterskis is the Union, and for good reason. The Union is a tremendously versatile waterski that still has a punch of performance. However, nestled next to the Union in the Radar lineup is the Terrain, a ski seldom talked about, until now. The Terrain provides a few features that you do not find on the Union, and depending on the skier, could be just what you are looking for. Let's take a look at how these two skis stack up.
The Terrain is a great ski for those who are new to slalom waterskiing, as well as anyone who is looking for a ski that will perform well in less-than-ideal water conditions and be a bit easier on the arms for those longer sets. The Terrain features an oversized flat spot located just under the ball of your front foot which will allow the ski to easily level itself, meaning skiers of any ability can hop on the Terrain and feel a sense of balance.
The Terrain also features grip rails, which are two thin raised sections on the ski that measure roughly two feet long and run along the bottom of the ski directly underneath where your feet are located. These rails allow the ski to engage a turn much easier, as well as incorporate the added benefit of increasing lift since the rails force water towards the center of the ski. The combination of the oversized flat spot and grip rails means the Terrain will have you making endless flowing turns with ease. If long ski sets in the open water are your thing, and you are looking for a ski that can occasionally flow through the course at slower speeds, the Terrain would be a great choice for you.
The Union is the next step up in the Radar line when it comes to performance, and measures 4/10 of an inch wider than the Vapor (Radars highest performing ski). This width is what allows the Union to feel stable under your feet while still maintaining a shape that can hold its own if you are looking to kick things up a notch and swerve some buoys.
The tip of the Union features a rocker that starts right at the end of the flat spot of the ski, by having the rocker start under the ball of your foot, this allows the ski to make fluid transitions and finish the turn more quickly while keeping a stable feel. Additionally, Radar’s signature straight lines allow the ski to have more cross-course speed than anything else on the market. This is because the ski has a reduction in drag caused by the lack of outside radius. Basically, you won't feel like the ski is trying to slow you down while you cut across the wakes and out into the open water.
If you are leaning towards a ski that would be better on the open water, a bit easier to balance on, and not leave your arms too tired after a long set, the Terrain is a great option. If you want a ski that is capable in the open water but will also provide you with that extra kick when you want to get your swerve on in the course, the Union would be the ski for you.