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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Apparently, I'm doing it a little less than perfect per conventional wisdom. How come I still get great glide?
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Apparently, I'm doing it a little less than perfect per conventional wisdom. How come I still get great glide?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

After several seasons of continually passing other skiers and snowboarders on 'flat', access cat walks one lady I passed skied up to her husband near where I stopped and exclaimed, "I need wax!".

 

I could not help but chuckle and think about all the do's, don'ts and 'absolutes' pontificated in this forum I purposely ignored to get, enjoy and benefit from, a good glide with little effort. Not only is the glide more than adequate for efficient traversing, but also increases efficiency, better turning, feel and enjoyment during performance recreational powder, groomer, crud, bump and corn skiing....on and off piste.

 

Oh no and heaven forbid:

-used a hand planers to flatten and structure the bases not a base grind on a gazillion dollar machine

-used a topical base cleaner to remove dirt, grime and old wax from the surface of my bases before waxing

-light hot scraped with the harder, not soft wax, daily driver wax

-cold scraped less than maybe I should have

-used brass hand and roto brushes after waxing

-don't care about how many rpms the roto brushes are spinning

-wax maybe once for every six outings

-de-burr and tune edges with bases up

-mostly don't clamp the skis

 

YMMV, but too much energy is wasted on sweating the small stuff when preparing bases and edges of skis and snowboards. Experiment and find out what works for you over time relative to the type of snow and terrain you ski or board. A lot of approaches will be fine. The fact you are doing anything is great.

 

(I'm thinking I ought to mount a fore and aft Gaper Pro camera for POV to a prepare a video of cat walk drag racing.....wink.gif)


Edited by Alpinord - 2/28/12 at 1:25pm
post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post


 

YMMV, but too much energy is wasted on sweating the small stuff when preparing bases and edges of skis and edges. Experiment and find out what works for you over time relative to the type of snow and terrain you ski or board. A lot of approaches will be fine. The fact you are doing anything is great.



icon14.gif

post #3 of 24

I agree a lot of the waxing and tuning taboos are ridiculously overemphasized.  But......

 

you might be passing people on the catwalk simply because you know how to ride a clean edge when changing direction, while most skid their way around catwalk corners!

post #4 of 24

BSmeter.gif


Edited by Atomicman - 2/25/12 at 10:34am
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

one lady I passed skied up to her husband near where I stopped and exclaimed, "I need wax!".

 

Off topic,

but on a long cattrack, I'd suggest that the mass(of the overall package, heavier skis too) compared to her husband also plays a significant role in maintaining the speed and momentum(or reducing effects of micro-mistakes in technique).

But at least it's something to talk about between husband and wife!

post #6 of 24

You used skis? I passed that same lady with bacon grease on my boots. Breakfast was never so good.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

After several seasons of continually passing other skiers and snowboarders on 'flat', access cat walks one lady I passed skied up to her husband near where I stopped and exclaimed, "I need wax!".

 

I could not help but chuckle and think about all the do's, don'ts and 'absolutes' pontificated in this forum I purposely ignored to get, enjoy and benefit from, a good glide with little effort. Not only is the glide more than adequate for efficient traversing, but also increases efficiency, better turning, feel and enjoyment during performance recreational powder, groomer, crud, bump and corn skiing....on and off piste.

 

Oh no and heaven forbid:

-used a hand planers to flatten and structure the bases not a base grind on a gazillion dollar machine

-used a topical base cleaner to remove dirt, grime and old wax from the surface of my bases before waxing

-light hot scraped with the harder, not soft wax, daily driver wax

-cold scraped less than maybe I should have

-used brass hand and roto brushes after waxing

-don't care about how many rpms the roto brushes are spinning

-wax maybe once for every six outings

-de-burr and tune edges with bases up

-mostly don't clamp the skis

 

YMMV, but too much energy is wasted on sweating the small stuff when preparing bases and edges of skis and snowboards. Experiment and find out what works for you over time relative to the type of snow and terrain you ski or board. A lot of approaches will be fine. The fact you are doing anything is great.

 

(I'm thinking I ought to mount a fore and aft Gaper Pro camera for POV to a prepare a video of cat walk drag racing.....wink.gif)



 


Edited by Doctor D - 2/25/12 at 2:46pm
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post

you might be passing people on the catwalk simply because you know how to ride a clean edge when changing direction, while most skid their way around catwalk corners!


Definitely. Rolling your knees out and getting off the edges and standing on the center of the ski with poor wax is probably much faster then edging and pressuring the tips with the best wax job possible.
post #8 of 24

Hey, I did the best I could tuning her skis dammitt!hopmad.gif

 

 

 

P.S.  You forgot mounting bindings without a jig or actual template, just a sharpie pen, the plastic spacer plates, a squeeze clamp, and some masking tape in the drill bit to mark depth.biggrin.gif

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

BSmeter.gif



+1

 

While I have seen people go too far or stress too much over tuning and waxing, there is little doubt that some procedures are well proven. I would be more convinced if two identical pairs were prepared one by the "doing-it-wrong" method and one by the "standard" method, a trained glider tested both pairs, and the timing lights showed the "doing-it-wrong" pair to be faster. Who knows, things may change, even at the world cup level after this test smile.gif.  I should point out that I also do the following quite often, but certainly not the rest on the list:

 

-used brass hand and roto brushes after waxing

-don't care about how many rpms the roto brushes are spinning

-de-burr and tune edges with bases up

 

 

post #10 of 24

Hey!  I hit the edges with a SVST diamond file, and wax the base with purple Maplus race wax.   Scrape and brush and done.  Most of the time, that gives me a very good base and good performance.

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRPufnStf View Post

I agree a lot of the waxing and tuning taboos are ridiculously overemphasized.  But......

 

you might be passing people on the catwalk simply because you know how to ride a clean edge when changing direction, while most skid their way around catwalk corners!



..or he's not riding a ridiculously under-flexed and under-cambered ski

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 

Dr D, was there fluoro in that bacon grease? So you were that cat track blur! I was impressed. You must have been going at least 20mph. BTW, it's possible the lady was a former WC downhiller (though improbable) and you dusted all of us.

 

Again, the point being that tuning for most of us is about recreating and having fun, not winning races and competition. A lot of methods will work to achieve personal performance goals and keep the tuning and maintenance procedures simple and fun.....but do perform the basics versus getting paralyzed by the minutiae and do nothing or waste unnecessary time, expense and stress about destroying your boards. Learn from mistakes and improve efficiency over time and by doing.

 

Low pitch gliding on different snows and temps is an excellent way to test any experiments or tweaks you try out.

 

And yes Cirque, the Briko-Maplus Race Base medium does work well over a variety of conditions and broad temperatures. Try blending with a little LF and a more aggressive structure for spring snows. icon14.gif Due to it's hardness and durability, a light hot scrape helps reduce the scraping after it cools. Judicious brass brushing shortens the brushing time and effort to free the structure.

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

..or he's not riding a ridiculously under-flexed and under-cambered ski


...or it's the cat walk speed suit I had custom designed. wink.gif

 

 

post #14 of 24

Sorry to be buried in minutae, but it's called a Cat Road or Cat Track.

 
 

Isn't a Cat Walk on a building!  And it is in reference to a Sno-Cat (caterpillar) MEOW!!!!!!yahoo.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post


...or it's the cat walk speed suit I had custom designed. wink.gif

 

 



 

post #15 of 24

I tried fiberlene for the first time last night.  It was nice to have so much less mess.  (I never seem to be able to find that sweet spot where there is just enough wax, so I always have too much and wind up with lots of scraped-off wax.)  I may be a convert.

 

Sorry to derail this with an actual question, but should the fiberlene be saturated with melted wax?  Is is possible to soak up too much wax?

Starting with too much wax, it was clear I needed to soak up a little and then start over.  But then I am left wondering just what the process is supposed to look like.

 

Do you do the initial spreading with fiberlene too?  (I didn't).

post #16 of 24

Yes it should be saturated. I don't think you can remove too much.


 

Leaves a nice tin even coating. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

I tried fiberlene for the first time last night.  It was nice to have so much less mess.  (I never seem to be able to find that sweet spot where there is just enough wax, so I always have too much and wind up with lots of scraped-off wax.)  I may be a convert.

 

Sorry to derail this with an actual question, but should the fiberlene be saturated with melted wax?  Is is possible to soak up too much wax?

Starting with too much wax, it was clear I needed to soak up a little and then start over.  But then I am left wondering just what the process is supposed to look like.

 

Do you do the initial spreading with fiberlene too?  (I didn't).



 

post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

Sorry to be buried in minutae, but it's called a Cat Road or Cat Track.

 
 

Isn't a Cat Walk on a building!  And it is in reference to a Sno-Cat (caterpillar) MEOW!!!!!!yahoo.gif



 



I understand and forgive you...like a moth to a flame, I know you can't help yourself........you are right and my bad, however: Cat Track. wink.gif

 

This past week we were riding the gondola at night and checking out a cat grooming. It reminded us more of a crab than a cat the way it looked and maneuvered. Because of this my son asked why they were called cats....

 

post #18 of 24

I don't get it.  If you're going to do the work anyway, why not use the best methods available?  It's not like it's any more work to grab the "right" brush instead of the "wrong" one, or much more work to clean bases with a hot scrape instead of a base cleaner.

 

I figure if remarks from a couple ex-WC techs and my friends who are serious racers all agree, they might be worth listening to.  Granted, when the suggestion is to set up a double-blind glide test to see which wax is faster in a given condition, I tend to just ask them what they prefer rather than spend the time testing for myself, but for stuff that takes the same amount of time & effort to do "right" as "wrong", doing it "right" seems like a no-brainer..

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBoisvert View Post

I don't get it.  If you're going to do the work anyway, why not use the best methods available?  It's not like it's any more work to grab the "right" brush instead of the "wrong" one, or much more work to clean bases with a hot scrape instead of a base cleaner.

 

I figure if remarks from a couple ex-WC techs and my friends who are serious racers all agree, they might be worth listening to.  Granted, when the suggestion is to set up a double-blind glide test to see which wax is faster in a given condition, I tend to just ask them what they prefer rather than spend the time testing for myself, but for stuff that takes the same amount of time & effort to do "right" as "wrong", doing it "right" seems like a no-brainer..

 

Then why are you wasting your time watching this soap opera? Experiment on your own or blindly follow which ever school of thought makes sense to you.

 

It's all subjective....and I'm not a WC racer, are any of us? Do WC techniques really matter to the every recreational skier at the end of the day? Some, maybe. Most, I doubt it.

 

Apparently some WC techs have a contrarian view regarding the 'wrong' vs 'right' brush:

 

Quote:
Your "Go To" Brush
The Toko Steel Oval Brush is your "Go To" Brush.  It should be the brush you use before you wax to clean dirt off the base and open up the base so the waxing is effective.  It should also be the first brush you use after hot waxing for quick removal of wax from the surface of the base.  Note that the Toko Steel Oval Brush is directional - the bristles are laid over a bit to make them less aggressive to the base.  This brush is extremely popular on the World Cup and with racing servicemen, but it is also the perfect brush for anyone who hot waxes their skis and boards.

 

And from the Maplus Waxing Manual:

 

Quote:
BRUSHING
(before race waxing)
Before race waxing, remove the wax protection by
brushing the base after using a scraper. To this
purpose, use brushes that make it possible to
work the ski base surface in depth without scraping
it.
Operating sequence
1. Use a very sharp scraper in plexiglas. Do not
apply excessive pressure, to avoid damaging
the ski base structure top.
2. Use a steel brush to open the ski structure.
Brush 2 times, from tip to tail. Do not apply
excessive pressure, to avoid damaging the ski
structure.
3. Use a stiff brass or nylon brush to free the ski
structure. Brush 2 times, from tip to tail.
4. Use a soft brass brush to free the ski structure
in depth. Brush 3 times, from tip to tail.
5. Use a brush in stiff horsehair to free the ski
structure in depth. Brush 3 times, from tip to
tail.
6. Polish with soft nylon brush. Brush 3 times,
from tip to tail.
You can use either manual oval or rectangular
brushes or roto-brushes.

 


Regarding the contrarian view on Cleaning (which some still believe dries out the base) vs hot scraping:

 

Quote:

After the ski base and ski edge grinding, it is necessary
to remove the traces of dirt left from the
processing and residues of the emulsion used in
grinding machines by means of the cleaner MAPLUS
CLEAN.
Then, you can proceed with polyethylene saturation.
Please, remember that without preparation and
proper cleaning of the ski base, it is not possible
to guarantee the best result of waxing based on
the most advanced chemical research on sliding
products.

 

CLEANING
After processing the ski base and ski edges, or
after using the equipment on dirty snow, proceed
with the base cleaning.
If using MAPLUS P4 perfl uorinated wax, the skis
must fi rst be cleaned using MAPLUS FLUORCLEAN
and then cleaned with MAPLUS CLEAN.
If using MAPLUS GRAPHITE BASE, RACING
BASE and P1 paraffi n waxes or MAPLUS P2 and
P3 fl uorinated paraffi n waxes, clean with MAPLUS
CLEAN only.
Always start cleaning the skis from the tip, working
towards the tail.
Operating procedure:
1. Spread the detergent evenly over the entire
surface of the ski using a paintbrush;
2. Wait 2 minutes for the detergent to work;
3. Manually brush the ski using a soft brass brush
to improve the action of the detergent;
4. Remove the dirt and wax residues with fiberlene
wrapped around a Plexiglas scraper;
5. Dry the ski with fiberlene
For waxing, wait until the ski base is perfectly dry.
Maplus cleaning products fully evaporate 30’minutes
at ambient temperature of 18°. Evaporation
can be faster if hot air jet is used.

 


Edited by Alpinord - 2/26/12 at 7:43pm
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

 

Then why are you wasting your time watching this soap opera? Experiment on your own or blindly follow which ever school of thought makes sense to you.

 

It's all subjective....and I'm not a WC racer, are any of us? Do WC techniques really matter to the every recreational skier at the end of the day? Some, maybe. Most, I doubt it.

 

Apparently some WC techs have a contrarian view regarding the 'wrong' vs 'right' brush:

 

Sometimes it's hard to look away. :)  Additionally, I value differing perspectives and new ideas, and am always looking for ways to improve my methods, subject to the time & effort constraints within which I like to stay.  I do some experimentation on my own, and enjoy testing out the recommendations I get from knowledgeable people.  The part I don't understand about your original post is that you sell wax & tuning supplies; why wouldn't you want people to use the best methods possible to achieve results from your products?

 

It's not really that subjective; glide is easy to test.  Isolate the variables, change one at a time, etc.  As recreational skiers, most of us probably don't care nearly as much as guys who are trying to win speed or x-country events but, for the amount of effort I put in, I want maximum results.  Fast skis are FUN.

 

I'm not sure which WC tech your first quote was from; it looks like it's from manufacturers' materials.  I'm always a bit skeptical about those, because I don't know what audience they're writing for, or if the guy in the video is using his name and reading from a script, or if he's describing what he actually does to prepare skis that win.  At least some of that stuff is written for people who are assumed to have no skill, so the methods described are overly cautious, and not those serious racers actually use.  I'm a big fan of learning the skills rather than dumbing it down so any idiot won't screw it up too badly, so I'm careful about whose advice I take.

 

If a recreational skier had posted a thread saying "XYZ method is good enough for me; give it a try", I wouldn't have posted.  I was a bit more confused by your post because of the business you're in, so I thought I'd inquire about where you were coming from with it.

post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBoisvert View Post

Sometimes it's hard to look away. :)  Additionally, I value differing perspectives and new ideas, and am always looking for ways to improve my methods, subject to the time & effort constraints within which I like to stay.  I do some experimentation on my own, and enjoy testing out the recommendations I get from knowledgeable people.  The part I don't understand about your original post is that you sell wax & tuning supplies; why wouldn't you want people to use the best methods possible to achieve results from your products?

 

It's not really that subjective; glide is easy to test.  Isolate the variables, change one at a time, etc.  As recreational skiers, most of us probably don't care nearly as much as guys who are trying to win speed or x-country events but, for the amount of effort I put in, I want maximum results.  Fast skis are FUN.

 

I'm not sure which WC tech your first quote was from; it looks like it's from manufacturers' materials.  I'm always a bit skeptical about those, because I don't know what audience they're writing for, or if the guy in the video is using his name and reading from a script, or if he's describing what he actually does to prepare skis that win.  At least some of that stuff is written for people who are assumed to have no skill, so the methods described are overly cautious, and not those serious racers actually use.  I'm a big fan of learning the skills rather than dumbing it down so any idiot won't screw it up too badly, so I'm careful about whose advice I take.

 

If a recreational skier had posted a thread saying "XYZ method is good enough for me; give it a try", I wouldn't have posted.  I was a bit more confused by your post because of the business you're in, so I thought I'd inquire about where you were coming from with it.

 

I'm into encouraging people to use decent techniques, tools and supplies and to definitely take care of their gear (not just skis and snowboards) with reduced complexity and increased efficiency. I also answer lots of emails and phone questions that boil down to sensory overload, confusion, over thinking and sometimes paralysis due to 'sweating the inconsequential small stuff' to a general paranoia that one will trash their skis if they do it 'wrong'. By trying to keep it simple and efficient, more people will feel empowered to purchase and regularly use tools and supplies to improve the performance and life of their gear. You can make it more complicated after taking initial baby steps and gain benefit from experience and the sensory overload is reduced.

 

My main point is that one methodology's 'wrong' may be another's 'right' and either may work perfectly fine for a recreational skier or anyone. Neither are absolutely right or absolutely wrong for all conditions, locations, ski types, terrain and skiers. There is a lot of gray that some make them out to be gospel and life changing which adds to the paralysis when it comes from a 'so and so' who is perceived as a frickin' tuning god and if they do any minor thing different, it's a major screw up.

 

Relax. You have to really try hard or not pay attention to botch anything that can't easily be fixed or tweaked the next time. Learn from your mistakes, trying different things and opinions. Do one thing on one ski or one on another, or different skis, go ski and try to objectively determine if you truly can tell what does work well enough for you where you ski or if there truly is any difference doing something different (ie, brush types)

 

For every 10 tuners, you'll get 12 opinions on what is 'right' and 'wrong' relative to the finer points.

 

The absolutes I know to be true for optimal glide:

-Flatten and Structure the bases: this may have more to do with achieve glide in variable conditions than what flavor wax you use, what brush you use, (..and how frickin'  many rpms and direction of spin rolleyes.gif). Especially in wet snows, channel the water with a coarser structure vastly reduces suction.

-Clean the bases before applying wax: after grinding, tuning, skiing, transporting, etc, surface crap on the skis WILL NOT entirely be removed by hot scraping. Follow with a hot scrape or not.

-Saturate your bases with wax for sustained glide, protection and durability. This may or may not be the same wax you use as your glide wax depending on level of performance you are pursuing.

-Using a sharp plastic scraper, remove excess wax without digging into the bases.

-Brush the wax of the base surface and out of the structure to free it.

-Go ski. Have fun. Repeat, again and again until you 'get it' FOR YOU.

 

The intent is to end up with a very thin coating of wax in the bases and on all of the amorphous surfaces, ie, nooks and crannies, and structure.

 

The variables to achieve the above are discussed ad nauseum in this forum with a fair degree of inaccuracies regarding absolutes, arrogance and and often bile. How complicated you want to make this is the debate and my point, not the fact you should be doing it.

 

Remember this is a recreational sport for most (not a WC race) and a First World, personal choice activity, not a life or death situation. Take care of your gear without stressing about the little stuff. The bases are where the rubber meets the road and from which all of the fun and this sport emanates.
 

 


Edited by Alpinord - 2/27/12 at 7:50am
post #22 of 24

I'm not quite ready to short cut things to the point of the Doug Coombs Q&P (search You Tube if you haven't seen it) but tuning skis isn't exactly rocket science, its all about the return on your investment (time).  At a certain point the amount of time you put in vastly outweighs the performance improvement you might see on the snow.  Unless you are chasing tenths or hundredths of a second on a race course you are probably wasting away your life if you are spending hours agonizing over tuning and waxing your skis.

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

I about fell off the chairlift today laughing when your post was received on my Blackberry, cstreu1026. (It was just before getting off and dropping into a steep  untracked line of almost 2' of fresh. biggrin.gif). The Coombs video is a perfect counterpoint. That dude could ski no matter what he did to his boards. I failed miserably with this crowd regarding a tongue in cheek thread regarding 'less than ideal' waxing. I changed the title for the clueless.

 

What part of 'I get great glide' without being too anal about waxing didn't come across? This wasn't about cutting corners or improper process. It was about the incessant hair splitting of inconsequential BS that keeps getting spewed in this forum about absolutes. I've probably skied close to 100,000 vertical and glided many miles over the past couple weeks and have only noticed a couple instances where I was a little disappointed in the glide. Today, passing the frantic powder hounds was especially rewarding and pleasurable, not to mention the smooth sliding against the powder.

 

Those who continue to think only race techs know about waxing for rec skiing or need race tuning to compensate, then carry on. Those who understand and like to keep it real, fun, simple, efficient and effective for what we are truly doing, might save a chunk of scratch, time, effort and end up with the shit eating grin I'm wearing. Maybe again tomorrow! Good thing I use superior wax (and did cover the basics very well) that lasts for days and I don't have to do anything for tomorrow but show up.

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cstreu1026 View Post

I'm not quite ready to short cut things to the point of the Doug Coombs Q&P (search You Tube if you haven't seen it) but tuning skis isn't exactly rocket science, its all about the return on your investment (time).  At a certain point the amount of time you put in vastly outweighs the performance improvement you might see on the snow.  Unless you are chasing tenths or hundredths of a second on a race course you are probably wasting away your life if you are spending hours agonizing over tuning and waxing your skis.

 

When I started skiing about 30 years ago, someone gave me a book on skiing by Jean Claude Killy aimed at the average skier. It disappeared several moves ago, but I remember a section on tuning in which he stated that waxing your skis regularly, was more important than picking the right wax. 

 

While there are certainly conditions that beg for something more specific, most of the time a good (cold) universal wax (scraped and hand brushed) works just fine.

 

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Apparently, I'm doing it a little less than perfect per conventional wisdom. How come I still get great glide?