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(De)Tuning Volkl AC50's

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Although I've skied for about 40 years, I'm an absolute newbie to shaped-skis. I finally retired my old 'sticks' at the end of last season and bought some Volkl AC50's for this year. I used to leave my bottom bevel at the factory angle,(0 degree?) and I only detuned my tips lightly for about 2-3" from the wide point at the shovel, and then, only if the ski was acting 'grabby'. My question is - Should I tune the Volkls the same as I used to tune my old 'sticks' in the past? In general, is de-tuning the tips/tails more important now in this age of aggressive shapers, and am I crazy for leaving the bottom bevel at the factory angle, given the aggressive nature of the ski?(I used to race and conditions are generally hardpacked and icy where I ski) Thoughts?
post #2 of 21

I think Völkl skis now come with a factory bevel of 1 base 2 side, and have for some time.   I just sharpened up the side bevel on my new old stock 2002 Völkl P50 F1s and they were fine.   No need to detune.  Put a gummy stone in your pocket on the first day, just in case you don't like how they are acting on the hill.

post #3 of 21

Levae them as is. We don't detune anymore at all. You want them sharp tip to tail

 

they come from the factory with a 1 degree base edge bevel and as Ghost said a 2 degree side edge bevel.

 

1 degree base edge bevel means that if you match a true bar to the base edge angle at 60mm across the ski there would be a gap = to 1mm betwen the base and the true bar.

 

Sk them as is. If anything you may want to go to a 3 degree side edge, which can be changed at will back to a 2 if so desired (But I doubt it when you feel the x-tra edge hold on hard snow) You need not grind the skis or do anything special other then what it takes to change for a 2 to a 3 or back to a 2.

 

The base edge bevel is how quickly the ski will get to an edge and how much foregiveness is present. Because of the more shapely skis some base bevel is necessary to allow the ski to be set on or off  edge progressively without skidding. If you have no base bevel you are either on edge or off edge. this can be very unnerving on a wider shapely ski. Having too liitle base bevel in the tip and tail can make the ski very grabby and unpredictable. A 1 degree is an excellent placew to start and if it is a true 1 will serve you very well .

 

The side edge angle determines how much edge grip you have once on edge. Generally more is better. I have a 4 degree side edge on my slalom race skis

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks Ghost & Atomicman for the lowdown on the factory bevel angles for the Volkls. My skis feel a bit unpredictable when I take it easy on them, going more across the fall line rather than straight down it... I used a straight-edge to check flatness on the bottoms, but I don't have a true bar... They respond like they might be too flat(<1deg) in a few spots, but I'm only guessing. Can I mod a straight-edge to be a reliable true bar? Ghost, next time I'm out, I'll bring the gummi bear!

post #5 of 21
The shop where I bought my skis (AC30) and had them mounted detuned the tips slightly. Can I put that edge back without removing too much material? I recently bought a tuning kit from SlideWright but have not yet learned how to use it frown.gif .
post #6 of 21

The base should be flat!  Sounds like you know this but only the metal edge is beveled.

 

 

It would be very unusual for a factory tune to have too little base bevel. Across the board most skis come from the factory with too much base bevel.

 

Could you try to describe what the skis are doing in more detail  What about when you are just skiing with them fairly flat like on a cat track???

 

Do they roll on and off edge smoothly when you are skiing down the hill making turns? do they feel railed????

 

Some of what you are experienceing could just be the shape of the ski. The Ac50 has a very wide tip 128mm and is 85mm at the waist.. This is going to feel a lot different then your old straight boards. An 85mm waisted ski is definetly going to be a bit more sketchy on really really hard snow and really more difficult on ice. It is just simple geometry, the ski edge is much farther from your boot edge which diminishes the transmission of edge grip.

 

Generally speaking being underbeveled in the tip & tail (contact areas) is where you would notice the ski being grabby.  Are these the areas of the base steel that you think are underbeveled?

 

A couple of other possibiities are a bit of a hanging burr that needs to be knocked off (I have had new skis exhibit this behavior that just had a bit of a hanging burr. If you don't kknow how to deal with this  tell me in a post and I wille xpalin. And secondly your boot or cuff aligment is suspect?

 

Here is a great page on ski bevels!

 

http://tognar.com/bevel_edge_tips_file_bevel_ski_snowboard.html

 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MNator View Post

Thanks Ghost & Atomicman for the lowdown on the factory bevel angles for the Volkls. My skis feel a bit unpredictable when I take it easy on them, going more across the fall line rather than straight down it... I used a straight-edge to check flatness on the bottoms, but I don't have a true bar... They respond like they might be too flat(<1deg) in a few spots, but I'm only guessing. Can I mod a straight-edge to be a reliable true bar? Ghost, next time I'm out, I'll bring the gummi bear!

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Atomicman, the skis felt the squirreliest when exiting long turns. They don't want to release for me. I suppose that it just might be the shape/sidecut talking there. That said, I've always been a strong carver and with older skis, I always used to 'set' the edges to produce the reverse camber needed to accelerate out of turns, which helped my times in races. I guess maybe I just need to 'learn' how to ease up on my old turning technique. I mean, that's the whole reason I got them - because they were supposed to be less work, right? I was demoing these(not the same pair obviously) out at Snowbird and Solitude last Feb, and they 'felt' great - responsive, but none of the hookyness. I didn't alter my turning style at all, and the skis just seemed to 'read my mind'. The conditions were mainly well-shredded pow off-piste, and firm, but not icy groomer tracks. Here in the local environment, it's basically man-made hard/harder groomed, so, quite a bit different than the conditions out West. Like you said, they're going to be more sketchy on the hard & icy, so maybe that's what I'm experiencing and I'll just need to learn to deal with it. My intent for this post was to find out how the bevels were supposed to be set coming from the factory,(which you &Ghost both contributed - Thanks!) and if there was a different standard/rule-of-thumb for tuning the newer shapes over the old norms. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to wait awhile to get used to my new skis,(really sheepish grin here - well, maybe more of a grimace) as I caught an edge while exiting a turn my first time out this year on them and blew out my right MCL and ACL. Two tibial avulsions, too. Film at 11. It took less than 1 second to do,(I'm still not exactly sure what happened, it happened so quickly) and, after pushing the skis hard for the first 2 hours that day,(with good results) it happened to me on the first run that I was trying to actually ease up and see what the skis would do when skiing more slowly with longer turns across the hill. (I think it might have been a chunky groomer track overlap that got me) Sheesh, remind me to never do that again!! Thanks for the info guys; I'll try hard to not to burn my pair and give them another chance next year, after the rehab is complete!
post #8 of 21

So sorry to hear about your injury. I hope you have a quick recovery.

 

The easier to ski thing is a bit questionable in my mind. yes they are easier to purely carvew on, but with that pure carve comes a hell of a lot more accelration and forces to deal with.

 

Sounds like 1 of 2 issues.

 

1. What length are your AC50? regardless of length (they don' adjust the dimensions of that ski with length so the radius changes with length) The taper angle is relatively smaller than many skis. In other words The tail is wider then waist by quit a bit comparatively. The domensions of the AC50 are 128-85-112 so the tail is almost 32% wider then the waist. This makes the ski les versatile in ragrd to turn hsape. The ski wants to finish more across the hill then a ski with a lot of taper angle. So it want so hold on to the turm.

 

For example 2 of my skis are  Head i.m88 in a 175 (126-88-112) Tail is 27.27% wider the the waist and Head MOJO 94 in a 180 (132-94-119) 26.6% wider tail. So both these skis have a narrower tail compared to the wiast then your ski which would make the end of the turn a bit more donw the hill then across the hill then your ski.

 

 

2. Misht simple need a bit more base bevel in the tail. Check the tail area of both your skis with a straight edge/true bar. You probsbly already know this but oput the ski over your shoulder base upo with a light source in fornt of you and put your straight edge flat against the base. Get things lined up so you can see light comin through between the straight edge and the ski's metal edge and see if the space is consistent on both edges in the tails of both your skis. Again a 1 degree base EDGE bevel is when you match the straight edge to the base edge angle at 60mm across the ski you should hae a 1mm gap. A .5 MM gap is 1/2 degree.

 

If you add some baase bevel in the tail do it gingerly a little bit of base bevel goes a long long way in how the ski performs on snow!

 

GET Well & I hope this helped!

 

A-man!

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

A-man, I'm skiing the 170s.  I tried the 177s, but the longer turn radius felt boring and heavy, like a tank.  The 170s really spoke to me, in terms of their liveliness edge-to-edge + stability at speed + the ability to shred through the heavier stuff(which I'm sure you're used to).  It was hard to believe that I could go from 190s to 170s without any loss of stability.  It was a little unnerving at first, to hardly being able to see my tips out in front of me with my goggles on, but I suppose that I'll get used to it.

 

Speaking of not seeing my tips as well, one thing I'm going to need to remember is to keep a slightly wider stance when I'm out shredding again.  I've been so used to skiing with my ankles 'glued' together in the past, I don't even think about it.  I've got major slide marks on the insides of my boot shells from it.  This technique may have contributed somewhat to my mishap, as I don't have as good of a 'visual' as to what the tips are doing anymore, especially when I'm using goggles.  That, along with the fact that with these AC50s,(as opposed to my old Dynastar Course SL's) if my ankles are touching each other, the tips are probably dangerously close to scissoring or banging into each other.  Probably not a good technique to use anymore.

 

I'm going to look at the tails a little more closely.  Thanks for all the great numbers to do my own calculations with.  I've got a cousin in Olympia and did the hwy90-hwy2 loop through the passes back in 2007.  Skied Crystal, Alpental, Mission & Stevens.  I wished I could've gotten up to Baker too, but I ran out of time.  If I'm ever around again, I'll try and look you up!  Thanks again!

 

Loren

post #10 of 21

Yep, a wider stance  will be huge. Could be a bit of the issue! But check the tails!

 

We are Crystal skiers! If you're back this way give me a holler!

post #11 of 21

Another thing I noticed, when I switched to shaped skis is that they don't like to go straight, but prefer to be in a turn, even if it's very slight, so don't let go of one turn unless you are starting another, then you just swap edges.  It's like your edges are passing the baton. 

 

I went from 208 SGs to 165 SL radius skis (Fischer WC SC), however keeping an edge engaged at all times was what I always tried to do before switching, so adapting to the new skis was easy for me.

post #12 of 21

Below is a link to a 2-post thread that I started and ended a couple of weeks ago.  The de-tuning on my newly acquired but pre-owned 2008 AC30's really has helped compared to the original 1 degree bottom bevel along the entire skis' length.  I've skied on these AC30's now about 5 days since the de-tune and I am liking them a lot.  I no longer have the feeling that the ski is constantly resisting me.   I probably did my de-tuned a bit too radically, but that was the outcome after a few beers and at 12 midnight -- and since forum responses with information were slow in coming.   After the next major stone-ground bottom tune, I'll be more conservative with the de-tune, starting modestly with the tails only then and slowly do more if necessary.

 

Also very sorry to hear about your ACL and MCL.   I blew mine (as well as stretching the other two knee ligaments) 25 years ago.   A good surgeon and great PT yielded a good outcome.  Like you on your AC50's, my first day of the season on my first time skied AC30's was a challenge.  I even took fall on my first run down an easy intermediate run that was groomed to perfection.   On my second day on them, before the de-tune, I came within a hair of visit to the orthopedic office when the skis didn't behave quite as expected while in the moguls.  I'm sure my early season rusty technique also contributed to a caught edge or swinging tails not coming around due being restricted in the trough.   Anyway, with my upper body already leaning down slope, I fell quickly and hard, taking the brunt on my left shoulder and the AC joint.    Fortunately, before the swelling started I could tell that the shoulder still functioned .... and self-diagnosed as likely a bad sprain and contusion, but nothing popped or broken.  At the bottom of the run, I got a zip-lock plastic bag from the ski patrol and I stood there for the next 45 minutes with a snow/ice pack on my shoulder.   Next day I couldn't lift my arm past shoulder level.   But now two weeks later, things are pretty much back to normal although still tender and a bit swollen.   But the shoulder doesn't hurt much on the tennis court and it's not slowing me down.  Lots of ice (and no heat) for the first 48 hours I think helped significantly.

 

Heal Well!   

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/99659/2008-ac30-s-not-up-to-expectations-de-tune

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

Yep, a wider stance  will be huge. Could be a bit of the issue! But check the tails!

 

We are Crystal skiers! If you're back this way give me a holler!

 

 

+ 1000 on widening the stance, which will take some retraining on my part. I guess I should've done 
more advance reading before assuming that old techniques would work as well on the hard-icy of MN as 
it did in the lighter, Utah shredded conditions that I demoed these skis under back in Feb... It's 
more like 'tip'n turn' now, rather than 'driving your shins forward in your boots', I guess...

I Would love to get out to Crystal again - I only got 1 day out there in '07... We'll see how 
things work out with the knee before I plan anything, though. What I'm most bummed about for this 
year is that(other than the obvious) after a near miss in hooking up last season with the '2010 
Annual Epic Ski Gathering' in Utah,(I booked before knowing about EpicSki or the trip dates, but met 
a few Bears even still - great skiers) I was looking forward to showing up and meeting even more 
Bears at the gathereing this year in CO, but it just might not be in the cards for me, considering 
what I'm dealing with right now... If I'm strong enough by April, I might just show up anyway!(and 
have my surgery right after Easter) I'm still on the fence(I'm at week 4 right now, post injury) as to 
whether it is worth the risk that I'll be strong enough to do the trip without consequence, though.  

Time will tell... 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Another thing I noticed, when I switched to shaped skis is that they don't like to go straight, but prefer to be in a turn, even if it's very slight, so don't let go of one turn unless you are starting another, then you just swap edges.  It's like your edges are passing the baton. 

 

I went from 208 SGs to 165 SL radius skis (Fischer WC SC), however keeping an edge engaged at all times was what I always tried to do before switching, so adapting to the new skis was easy for me.



Ghost, I'm with you 100 percent about needing to be on one edge or the other all the time... I 
built that in to my technique long ago to handle the cat tracks with the 'sticks', but didn't think 
that I'd pay the price, catching an edge in between turns on a pitch...  

 

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rardi View Post

The de-tuning on my newly acquired but pre-owned 2008 AC30's really has helped compared to the original 1 degree bottom bevel along the entire skis' length.  I've skied on these AC30's now about 5 days since the de-tune and I am liking them a lot.  I no longer have the feeling that the ski is constantly resisting me.

 

 

On my second day on them, before the de-tune, I came within a hair of visit to the orthopedic office when the skis didn't behave quite as expected while in the moguls.  I'm sure my early season rusty technique also contributed to a caught edge or swinging tails not coming around due being restricted in the trough.   Anyway, with my upper body already leaning down slope, I fell quickly and hard, taking the brunt on my left shoulder and the AC joint.

 


rardi, thanks for your contribution - I read your 2-post thread before starting this one.  Glad to hear that you've solved your edge issues, but please, take it easy with that shoulder!  The good thing is that normal skiing motion doesn't usually aggravate them much.  I have an old shoulder injury that will require surgery that I've been skiing with for  quite some time now.  I think I'll take care of it this year, since I'll be doing the knee too.  I'm really going to get my money's-worth(finally) out of my high-deductible health plan this year!!  Best of luck to you
a ardi

post #15 of 21

Hey guys,

 

Unless you have a very trained eye or a very expensive tool (Which I happen to have) very often it is a mystery what your actual base edge bevel is.

 

All of my skis and both my boys skis (EX-racers) are sharp contact point to contact point. No-detuning. Unless you have a known alignment problem or a skidding skiing style you should not have to de-tune your skis.

 

My guess is that like we talked about your skis are underbeveld in the tip or tail or you have a hanging burr from the tuning process (Even from the factory)

 

A hanging burr is created any time side edge filing or stoning is employed on the side edge. It is a very minute curl of metal that hangs off of the side edge almost microscopically below the base edge level. This will play extreme havoc with your skis performance as that little curl of metal digs itno the snow and makes the ski very unpredictably;difficult to get on edge and once on edge difficult to get back off of edge, really grabby.

 

Many shops after tuning a ski never address this. They are too busy trying to crank out too many skis or some young inexperienced guy is running the machine and doing the tuning.

 

rardi, there was no need to grind the concavity out of your base. Totally unneccesary. As long as your base is flat about  5 mm in from each edge,  the concavity will have no detrimental effect. most wider skis nowadays have some degree of concavity right out of the wrapper. In order to remove the concavity completely you must remove way too much base and edge material, dramatically shortening the life of your skis.

 

Now to remove the hanging burr. Place your skis (prefereabley in a ski vise) side edge up base away from you. Place an arkansas stone or true hardstone or surgical stone flat against the base edge with about 1/4 of the stone up above the side edge making sure the stone is completetly flat against the base edge. (BY the way do not ever diamond stone or file your base edge once your initial base edge angle is set. All future edge work is only done on the side edge)

 

 Use your thumb as a kind of guide on the top (sidewall of the ski, remember it is side edge up) Now with medium pressure polish the edge with the stone from tip to tail. You should be able to hear the edge smoothing out. You do not need a bevel tool to do this. Do all four edges paying particular attention to the tip and tail contact areas. Now take a gummi stone and with absolutley no pressure (NONE) run the gummi at a 45 degree angle to the edge point and I mean gingerly from tip to tail.

 

anytime you do any diamond stoning or polishing or filing of your side edge the above should be your final 2 steps!


Edited by Atomicman - 1/19/11 at 4:00pm
post #16 of 21

Dear Atomicman:

 

Your instruction about removing the hanging burr sounds like great advice.  I will follow for future tunings.

 

regards,

rardi

post #17 of 21

Thanks, hope you find it useful!

 

By the way you should be able to resharpen the detuned portions of your edges by sharpening the side edge as usua paying special attention to those areas. Begin with a coarrse (100 or 200 grit diamond) and the use a file to bring the detuned portions back.

 

Once your bese edge bevel is set correctly you should never do anything further to the base edge. All maintaninace work; reshrpening and stoning is done from the side until your next stone grind. The you reset your base edge bevels and sredo your side edges.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rardi View Post

Dear Atomicman:

 

Your instruction about removing the hanging burr sounds like great advice.  I will follow for future tunings.

 

regards,

rardi

post #18 of 21

Ghost, and Atomicman,

 I just read your post concerning tuning volkl skis. I just tuned my AC50's. Using my handy edge tuner, I set it at 1 degree on the base edges, and 2 degrees on the side edges. When tuning the side edges at 2 degrees, the file picked up quite a bit of material. Is this normal? The skis were just stoned grinded at the end of last year

post #19 of 21

I tuned my P50s at 2 degrees and didn't remove that much material, even when they were almost new.  However I do recall once tuning a pair of Fischer skis, that I had tuned quite a few times with diamond stones (to 3 degrees), and they didn't seem to be sharp enough, so I took a file to them and the amount of material that came off scared me, but all was good.  I figure I had just work hardened the edge.  Maybe the skis weren't originally set to 2 degrees side.  My Volant's were set to 1 (I put a 2 on the first time, but I have not enough edge to do that again, unless I want to cut through the stainless steel capeek.gif). You don't need to do a lot of work with a file to get skis sharp with a sharp file; a little does a lot.

 

  In any event, I wouldn't worry too much about it.  If you set it to 2 degrees with a good side bevel, that's what you got.  It's a good compromise between easy mogul slipping and smearing and decent (though not spectacular) boiler plate grip.  Finish with a progression of stones polish the edge and make it last and enjoy them.

post #20 of 21


When you say picked up alot of material are tialking about metal edge or plastic sidewall material?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skidad63 View Post

Ghost, and Atomicman,

 I just read your post concerning tuning volkl skis. I just tuned my AC50's. Using my handy edge tuner, I set it at 1 degree on the base edges, and 2 degrees on the side edges. When tuning the side edges at 2 degrees, the file picked up quite a bit of material. Is this normal? The skis were just stoned grinded at the end of last year



 

post #21 of 21

Just a side note, one addtional condition can cause the skis to be very unpredictabel. That would a very deep linear structure that is also imparted in the base edge from being stoneground.

 

A linear structure runs longitudianly on the base of the ski. 

 

 

You msut do all the steps I discussed above but extreme polishing of the base edge is necessary after filing (setiing the base edge bevel)  To prevent overbeveling when remedying this situation, you may want to leave a bit less then a full 1 degree on the base edge with your file. this leave room to go through a good progression of diamonds to polish all of that structure of of the base edge.

 

I hae had 3 pairs of skis (One of mine and 2 of afriends) that the shop we normally use structured the base of tthe ski this way. I didn't take the skis into the shop, so it is a mystery to me why they changed their structure pattern.

 

But the skis skied hrribly (just like a hanging burr) after I tuned them. After much consideration, I decided this was the only explanation. I highly polished the base edge and lo and behold! Success!

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