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I think you'd be happier with the performance of the 2013, afterbangs are slow and heavy, if you want a more duable ski with great performance look at the ON3P Filthy Riches. However if you're still set on a'bangs and want a natural look I think (guessing) sanding might take of some of the wood grain look, paint stripper or white spirit would take the paint of and keep the wood grain effect but I'm not sure how it would affect bases and edges, best to try putting white spirit/ paint stripper on an old pair of skis to see how it effects the base and edges.