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slow skis

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I was a boarder forever and always seemed to have a fast board. Now, i have been skiing for the past 5 seasons and seem to have some of the slowest bases. What can I do for base prep that will make me faster?

Thank you.

post #2 of 20

There's 100s of things you can do, but it all depends on what "I want to have fast skis" means to you. Is this "I want to have fast skis for races" or is this "I want to have fast skis for recreational skiing". Basics are same for both but amount of work for one or the other differs. For beginning you can start with waxing. First few layers of preparation wax, then wax of the day and that's it. If you want to take it further, proper base structure is way to go.
But on first place, it depends on your skis. Some p-tex on lower end skis are more of plastic then real ptex, or in other words, ptex on race stock skis is totally different then anything else. You can see this already when you are waxing, and low end ptex doesn't "soak" in wax as it should. With ptex like this you can forget about top performance. But then again, we are back to my first question... what term "fast skis" mean for you :)

post #3 of 20

- Take them in to the shop for a grind and structure.  

- Make sure you have the right wax for the temperature

- Get plenty of wax into the skis

- Sharp edges are the go for hardpack.

post #4 of 20

After a good grind, the more wax and brush cycles you give the skis, the more likely you will have faster skis.

post #5 of 20

Slowskys or Slowskis?

 

77811-lavahome.jpg

post #6 of 20
Personally, I like slow skis. In bumps a slower ski lets me attack with a more direct line. If I make a mistake and get rocked into the back seat, I have time to get to the next turn and recover before the skis jet out from under me. In powder, I can go steeper and tighter in trees with more turns on slower skis.

It sucks when I race or social ski on the groomers. But I try to avoid too many groomers and my lack of race skills hurts my times more than my skis.

I keep my skis slow by infrequent waxing, not stressing over scratches on the base and tuning my base edges at zero degrees by flat filing. And I seek out soft slow snow.

There are limits to what can be done. I tried belt sanding my bases with rough grit. The skis didn't turn well and felt horrible. A quality shop stone grind fixed that. I've also tried the wrong wax intentionally. Too soft a wax for the snow just made the skis unresponsive. I tried to get a little opposite bottom bevel but that made the edges too catchy.

When my race buddies tune my skis, it does make a difference in the speed and the feel of the skis. But they tune every day. I like being lazy and the feel of slow skis.

Eric
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by butryon View Post

I was a boarder forever and always seemed to have a fast board. Now, i have been skiing for the past 5 seasons and seem to have some of the slowest bases. What can I do for base prep that will make me faster?

Thank you.


It would help to know what skis you have and the condition of them.  I picture of the bases would be good.

 

For the most part, basic care and tuning should keep them fast for all recreational skiing.  There's plenty here to search and read on; fact and opinions.

 

Then if you get all that worked out there's one thing left to fix wink.gif

 

Have fun,

Ken

 

 

post #8 of 20

Surprised no one has asked this yet: what skis are you using?

post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT View Post

Surprised no one has asked this yet: what skis are you using?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 

It would help to know what skis you have and the condition of them.  I picture of the bases would be good.

 

For the most part, basic care and tuning should keep them fast for all recreational skiing.  There's plenty here to search and read on; fact and opinions.

 

Then if you get all that worked out there's one thing left to fix wink.gif

 

Have fun,

Ken

 

 


Is someone just reading the cliff notes nonono2.gif

 

biggrin.gif

 

Ken

 

 

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

189 kung fujas, selling

192 czars, selling

188 super7, new

192 armada tst, new

194 xxl LPR early season BC ski..tried an true

170 & 186 Hot rod jet fuel...dont use much except when the hardpack gets real consistant, or in SV.

 

I generally tune my daily grind ski daily, or every few days depending on the "feel" of the mountain or if I need to base weld/drip ptex.

I think I do a pretty good job overall, but get burned coming out on the cat tracks from some of the runs. I do a lot of skating sideways to access our slackcountry. I am one of the stronger hikers/skaters around so I usually end up kicking the trail in. Once the trail is in, my buddys can keep up much better. In my mind they should be way off the back n since the trail is in. They get way more out of their glide. I know a bit of it is weight, I am 165 wet and they are 180-220ish, but it just seems that I need to have a better wax job. They ski great or well enough in the actual skiing part but kicking around they are slow and coasting out of things into low angle stuff.... slow.

I think I need to figure out a good way to texture the base better in my shop, and also wax differently. I do all edges first, then wax. I rub and drip, then iron to spread evenly, let them cool for approximately15 min. then scrape, cork and buff out with a scotch brite pad.....all things done from tip to tail. As far as texturing, I have just used 80 grit sandpaper on a block, working from from tip to tail.

I have been using this wax called Dominator...its green and I believe it is an 18-25 degree range. I try not to put the skis on the stonegrinder much, maybe twice a season and then take care of the rest by hand. I get new skis yearly and sell off the old. I have a lot of shop support, but they dont seem to be much help. They are all slow and its not their wax, IMO. So, what is a good texturing by hand method/tool, and also, what is a good or better wax method?

Thanks for the feedback,

Ryon

post #11 of 20

Ryon,

 

It's not your skis.  More than likely it's what you're doing to them.

 

First, go to Dominators site and read EVERYTHING.  They give recommended times on how long the skis should sit before scraping/brushing and I believe most are 3 hours.  I think only the overlays are less.  I know their site isn't intuitive but there is quite a bit of information if you're patient enough to go through all the links.

 

I also think you need to keep the sand paper away from your skis.  You get them structured on a machine and need to leave it be.  80grit sand paper is like using a brick.  Stop that, then let the wax cure longer.  I don't see a reason to use the scotch brite either.  At least not when you're using it.

 

I use dominator also it it's fairly durable so that's fine.  I'm not 100% sure what you are describing about your skiing since I'm old and stay on groomers but it sounds abusive to your skis.

 

I will offer this.  Next time on a groomer, from a stop, slide with your skis flat.  Do it and have a friend do it at the same time.  Use a shallow slope so gravity doesn't give anyone an advantage.  If there isn't difference I would say your process is working and it is either abuse from "kicking in" (not really sure what you mean but sounds like the skis take the brunt of it) or your use of the 80 grit sand paper.

 

Ken

 

 

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks Ken,

I generally only use the sandpaper when I have to sand down a base shot after scraping, but I do do it tip to tail and not just iat the weld site. how come no scotch brite? and what is the sanding likely doing to mess my wax up?

I am still probably a month or so out before my bc season begins and likely 2 months before riding a chair.....daily. We had 2 ft drop last week and now it will be in the 70's...crazy weather.

I will post up when I get to use my new waxing method.

Thanks again,

Ryon

post #13 of 20
Quote:

Originally Posted by butryon View Post

 

 and what is the sanding likely doing to mess my wax up?

 

 



Making ptex hairs that then stick into the snow.

post #14 of 20

The scotch brite pads or sandpaper create a rough surface. The rough surface creates extra friction on the snow. Friction = slow skis. Smooth = faster skis.

post #15 of 20

You rub, drip, iron, cool, scrape, cork and buff out.  Nowhere do you say you brush to clear wax from the existing structure.  If that's the case get yourself a good stiff brush (brass is good) and put some time into brushing the bases after scraping.  For best results you can use a progression of softer brushes, but it's the first effort that's most important.  Fast bases require a lot of brushing.

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 

I do scrape my base fairly well to avoid such ptex hairs. Are they hairs beyond what can be seen?

I thought the scotch brite pad was sort of a smoothing thing for the wax....its sort of a really light buffing out. It seems that they are faster after I use the scotch brite pad than after I cork.

I hope I have not painted the picture that they are ridiculously slow, they are not. I just get beat on the cattracks and skin trails when the best performance is who has the best glide. I think that if  you skied one or two days a week you may never render it too significant.

I really enjoy tuning, but it is a lot more complex than tuning a snowboard.

please keep the suggestions coming. I am going to figure this out.

 

post #17 of 20

I suspect that between your daily skiing and semi-regular sanding, you're getting lots of wax on your bases, but not much in them.  I also use the Dominator waxes, and find they work great.  I'd change your current regimen to the following:

 

  1. After a fresh grind, put 4-5 cycles of the dominator base renew stuff (I use the black one) into your bases.  I let the wax cool between, but don't scrape & brush until the end--I'm basically just reheating a layer of wax over and over to get more to absorb into the bases.  I found that doing so helped protect my bases so they took less damage and also made my skis faster.  More than 4-5 cycles didn't have a noticeable difference for me, and was just a waste of wax and time.
  2. Once you get the base renew stuff in, scrape and brush and then use the zoom or whatever. (I use the green zoom almost all the time, because it's cheap, durable, and works well for me)  Make sure you're getting the zoom into your bases, and it's not just sitting on top.  If your waxing technique is poor or you're not paying attention, it's easy to have it flake off when you scrape--that's your sign that you screwed up and it's on top of the base, rather than in it.
  3. When you need to base weld/ptex, only sand & scotchbrite the patch and immediate surrounding area (to blend it).  The last thing you want is to abrade off the base material you've been putting wax into all season.  Also make sure you brush after sanding to get rid of any grit.  I use separate brushes for pre-wax cleaning and post-wax structure freeing, but I don't know if that's necessary.  I just figured it makes sense to have a "dirty" brush and a "clean" brush.
  4. After you scrape, you don't need to cork and then scotchbrite.  Corking is generally for applying waxes, but you already did that with an iron, so after you scrape, all you really need to do is brush.  I have a copper brush with nylon around it that works fine for this.  I'm sure brass would work fine, too.  You could go nuts with additional polishing steps, but I don't find it necessary.  I don't generally scotchbrite, though I do keep a couple around in case I get lazy with my waxing schedule and some base burn develops--scotchbrite pads are great for removing the grey fuzzies.

 

Note that your skis should always get faster as the season progresses and more wax cycles get into them.  If they're getting slower, something is wrong.  Also, you should see tiny air bubbles bursting and leaving little "holes" in the wax right behind your iron in the early season, and they should get fewer and fewer as the season progresses and wax fills up the space the air used to occupy (these can be hard to see on clear bases, but are plain as day on black ones).

 

I'm sure you'll get a bunch of racers chiming in with more elaborate processes, and I'm sure they all know more about this than I do.  I claim no particular expertise; I just have a relatively simple process that works well for me, despite skiing a lot of really abrasive man-made New England snow.  Oh--you might also want to see if you can get your skis ground by the local race shop and pick the tech's brain while you're there.  Mike DeSantis (http://www.skimd.com) does mine, and was happy to help me with my process and technique to make sure I wasn't screwing up his work as soon as I got home.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by butryon View Post
I think I need to figure out a good way to texture the base better in my shop, and also wax differently. I do all edges first, then wax. I rub and drip, then iron to spread evenly, let them cool for approximately15 min. then scrape, cork and buff out with a scotch brite pad.....all things done from tip to tail. As far as texturing, I have just used 80 grit sandpaper on a block, working from from tip to tail.

I have been using this wax called Dominator...its green and I believe it is an 18-25 degree range. I try not to put the skis on the stonegrinder much, maybe twice a season and then take care of the rest by hand. I get new skis yearly and sell off the old. I have a lot of shop support, but they dont seem to be much help. They are all slow and its not their wax, IMO. So, what is a good texturing by hand method/tool, and also, what is a good or better wax method?

Thanks for the feedback,

Ryon



The stone grind puts a nice "fast" finish on your skis.  Then you don't let the wax dry long enough, and peel it off, exposing that fast structure so you can sand it all away.  Instead, once you have your finish ground into the base, just hot wax and let it dry until it's good and cold.  Then scrape the wax off with a plastic scraper (which will get down to the top of the structure), then use a brush to get the wax out of those little grooves the stone grinder left in your bases WITHOUT destroying the structure.  Now you should be going a little faster when your bases hit the snow.

 

Another thing that increases speed is technique,  go for the perfect alignment between ski bases/edges and direction of motion.  The only other thing you can do to increase your speed to that of your buds other than playing with magic wax and whale blubber formulae and layering is put 50 lbs of sand in your pocketses.  The above should suffice ;) .

post #19 of 20

I started to go into a bunch of detail but read this:

 

http://www.racewax.com/category/tuning-tips.ski-base-structure/

 

and get the right structure for your conditions.

 

Then wax, scrape and brush your skis several times (or hot box them), then check and do your edges and wax them again. Then, scrape all the excess wax off and buff and brush them a couple times.

 

On a seperatel note. If all else fails, check with one of the bootfitters here, it could be a mechanics problem. Last season during race camp at Mammoth, my wife's instructor told her to have her alignment checked. We went to Footloose and not only was her alignment off, her boots were one size too big and her custom footbed wasn't made correctly. I told the bootfitter I had my footbed made at the same time, turns out I had the same situation, one size too big and I needed some serious canting. We have both improved drastically.  And, as Ghost said, the next step is technique. I find the more centered and balanced I am the less I have to work to go fast.

 

Hmmm... What do I blame next time... jk.gif

 

Spacecase

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by butryon View Post

I do scrape my base fairly well to avoid such ptex hairs. Are they hairs beyond what can be seen?

I thought the scotch brite pad was sort of a smoothing thing for the wax....its sort of a really light buffing out. It seems that they are faster after I use the scotch brite pad than after I cork.

I hope I have not painted the picture that they are ridiculously slow, they are not. I just get beat on the cattracks and skin trails when the best performance is who has the best glide. I think that if  you skied one or two days a week you may never render it too significant.

I really enjoy tuning, but it is a lot more complex than tuning a snowboard.

please keep the suggestions coming. I am going to figure this out.

 


After over 40 yrs of skiing, racing and tuning my own skis, I adhere to KISS.  Have only had my skis stoneground once in 40yrs and that was after demolishing them the week after thanksgiving at Whistler - lots of rocks. Do not use scotchbrite pads, not sandpaper.  Heres an easy quick way to wax.  My skis are very fast and when schussing roads etc. I will usually pass by pals.

 

 

Structure: Use a file cleaner/ cardfile brush and structure with this.  Works great, easy and cheap.

Iron on wax, I use Slidewrights universal wax cold and regular.  Only use the cold (red) wax when really cold.  Scraping off the wax is the key and scraping off almost all the wax will give you the fastest skis,  I usually don't scrape to race ready and leave on a little, lasts 3 days usually.  I will hot wax, set outside in the cold for awhile or overnight sometimes until cold and then scrape. After scraping I will structure the wax with a horsehair brush tip to tail probably 20 times.

 

Try this and you will be amazed how they slide.

 

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