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Waxless XC Skis / Fish Scales

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I was looking at some cross country skis in a shop over the weekend, and it appeared on the waxless models the "fish scales" might have been an add on of sorts. I envisioned a roll/sheet of fish scale material that could be cut to length and width and then glued to the ski base.

 

Does anyone know if this is how waxless XC skis are actually constructed?

 

Does anyone know if the fish scale material can be bought separately? If so, where?

post #2 of 10

Well you'd need some serious pressure/glue to make fishscales stay on the bottom, if you could find a place to buy them.

post #3 of 10

 Never saw fishscale material for sale as an add on. I've thought of doing that myself on some old waxable skis. Find some waxless skis. Hack off the patterned part of the ski base. Rout out an area in the waxable ski base and epoxy in. Never got around to doing it though.

post #4 of 10

An effective solution that I saw was a Rossi ski back in '78 that had two strips of mohair (synthetic) set into routed out sections of the base in the 'wax pocket' area. Mohair is much more effective than fish scale, especially on hard snow. Alas I snapped them while skiing in soft snow. I did save the mohair strips as they would be easy to install in a ski by routing out a channel (maybe a mm or two deep) in the bases and using standard skin adhesive to attach them to the base.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

I was thinking along similar lines - affixing "fish scale" material (if I could find it) or short sections of skins into a lightly mortised-out "kick" area of older, straighter skis to create a XCD ski. I got some old Hart Freestyles off eBay earlier this season - pretty light, they have a *lot* of camber, and measure 86-67-76. Something like that, (or an even older/skinnier/straighter ski), would be fun to experiment with. Throw a XC binding on and go.

 

Not for serious touring/uphill. Just for playing around in meadows/woods with rolling terrain.

post #6 of 10

Kicker skins offer the option of a limited kick zone and are removable and packable so you don't have to modify your bases.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Kicker skins are something you'd pop on to get up a stretch that exceeded the climbing capability of fish scales, if I understand correctly. Which could be a nice option to have available. But what I was thinking of was just hacking together something that would have enough grip to get up modest uphills, and would ski well enough on moderate downhills and flats. Something that wouldn't require wax or removable skins. An old straight(er) ski with a fish scale retrofit, or maybe MR's solution described above, more or less permanently "installed" skin material. Modifying the base would definitely be part of the experiment.  ;-)

 

Just an idea. Something to tinker with some day when the time is right.

post #8 of 10

They are not "added" later on. Base is grinded/pressed to get this pattern during production. I would say you have almost no chances doing this on your own... even when it comes to gluing mohair  stripes on skis. There are some tapes which you can "glue" on kick zone of classic skis, but they don't work for every condition. But when they do work, they work good enough that they are sometimes used even on WC.

post #9 of 10

FWIW, fish scales, to me, imply protruding from the base while a 'patterned base' is cut into the base. A few years ago, someone posted up, elsewhere, a router jig he used to cut in a pattern on his ski bases. With only a couple to a few millimeters of thickness, you have little margin for error before you cut into the core.

 

One option that come to mind is taking a sheet of base repair material, route in or melt in (with a soldering iron) the pattern and use it to replace a section of your base.

 

Then there is the hairy base approach. In the kick zone, you rough up the section with coarse sand paper. It is used during hard to wax for conditions above the melting point and wet snows. Madshus has a built-in kicker on some of their classic XC skis. (The name escapes me at the moment.)


Edited by Alpinord - 9/22/11 at 4:57pm
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post

Kicker skins are something you'd pop on to get up a stretch that exceeded the climbing capability of fish scales, if I understand correctly. Which could be a nice option to have available. But what I was thinking of was just hacking together something that would have enough grip to get up modest uphills, and would ski well enough on moderate downhills and flats. Something that wouldn't require wax or removable skins. An old straight(er) ski with a fish scale retrofit, or maybe MR's solution described above, more or less permanently "installed" skin material. Modifying the base would definitely be part of the experiment.  ;-)

 

The problem you run into with this idea is that enough grip to get up modest uphills = very slow skiing on flats  unless there is a cambered kick zone built into the ski.

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