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How Flat Do They Really Need To Be?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

For the last couple years I've been fanatical about my gear.  Much of this was so I could get rid of my excuses.  If I wasn't skiing well, I wanted to know that it's a technique issue and not equipment.  I now have new race boots that are definitely less forgiving than my last boots.  The night before leaving to try my new boots out, I was brushing out my kinda sorta rock skis (Volkl Racetiger SL) and noticed (visually) that the base looked like there was a high spot under the waist.  Broke out the true bar and sure enough there is a strip about 20" long mid ski that is convex.  I'm taking for granted it's from all the side slipping carrying gate bags I did setting nastar courses and working races.  I'm not sure how big the gap is but enough that is caught my eye when I wasn't looking for it.  The center is definitely high.  My guess is what should be a 1* base bevel is now a 2* base bevel but only under the waist.  Tip and tail are flat but it is more towards the tip than the tail.

 

Since these are my "utility" and early season skis, I don't think it matters much, but I was also going to use these at a race coach clinic in a couple weeks.  Even with that I probably wouldn't be that concerned about it but with the new boots (tried them out Saturday on different skis that are flat) and right away noticed they are way more sensitive than my last boots and I haven't gotten the canting of the boots soles done yet (need 1* on right boot) which seems it would add to this problem.

 

Is this concern only in my head or will I be able to tell since it is only at the waist?  I can put duct tape on the bindings as a temporary shim for the boots until the fitter can do it properly, but that isn't going to be until after the coaches clinic.  Last year there was a bit of one legged skiing at the clinic and though I can do it, having to compensate for something else going on won't help.

 

Curious what others think about this.

 

Thanks,

Ken

post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 

Is this concern only in my head or will I be able to tell since it is only at the waist?  I can put duct tape on the bindings as a temporary shim for the boots until the fitter can do it properly, but that isn't going to be until after the coaches clinic.  Last year there was a bit of one legged skiing at the clinic and though I can do it, having to compensate for something else going on won't help.

 

Curious what others think about this.

 

Thanks,

Ken

 

No, it is not just in your head - if you use hand tools to reform the side edges only  (as most people do, and which is perfectly OK),  that 2* base bevel will get worse and worse over the season, later showing up as a "mystery" problem with the general symptoms "My tips are sharp and engage nicely on ice but when I'm standing on them the ski skids out  and I can't keep the middle sharp - are these skis shot?"

 

As to effects on your performance short-term - dunno, but if you catch yourself not standing as tall as you could, or being ready to catch a slip by putting extra pressure on your inside ski you're probably already past the point of an examiner being able to notice.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

No, it is not just in your head - if you use hand tools to reform the side edges only  (as most people do, and which is perfectly OK),  that 2* base bevel will get worse and worse over the season, later showing up as a "mystery" problem with the general symptoms "My tips are sharp and engage nicely on ice but when I'm standing on them the ski skids out  and I can't keep the middle sharp - are these skis shot?"

 

As to effects on your performance short-term - dunno, but if you catch yourself not standing as tall as you could, or being ready to catch a slip by putting extra pressure on your inside ski you're probably already past the point of an examiner being able to notice.

 

Good point.  I hadn't even thought that far ahead.  I do my own tuning and have brought skis back to shops because they set the side edge at 2 instead of 3.  My side edge guide is a 3.  I have a 2 but I have too many skis to keep track of which has what, so they all get 1/3.  This would put the waist area around a 4 or so.

 

I'm going to bring them to the shop tonight.

 

Thanks,

Ken

post #4 of 19
typin on a phone (again), here so forgive the poor writing/grammar. What you are describing here regarding your bases
--convex, middle of ski, under foot, on an sl ski that has seen cosiderable time on hard snow (am i wrong on that one?)--are all classic symptoms of whats known as "base burn"...as a good skier skis, generally most of the time the pressure will be greatest on the middle of the ski, add this to higher speed/harder snow and a considerable amt. of fricton/heat is generated, drawing more wax out of the ski (underfoot, as opposed to tip and tail). in addition, theres an area that sees even more friction/heat...underfoot, NEAR THE EDGES. Over time, this more or less continual friction can literally burn, and therby erode, base material--under foot, along the edge for abt. the length u describe. It does Not sound like a tuning problem to me, at all. In fact, base burn is a well documented problem...esp. in racing circles, and ESP. on sl's . My reccomendation is to have them flattened by a tech you trust...reset the bevels yourself. For those reading, I'll post more detailed info regarding base burn...and how to help minimize it, tonight on this thread:)
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

zentune,

Thanks.  Just for clarification, I don't think it is a tune issue as I had the bases lightly flattened last year and they were fine.  I do think as cantunamunch pointed out, it will cause a tuning issue when I sharpen/polish my side edges.  The tech I'm bringing them to tonight I trust.

 

I did think it was odd in my thinking that it was from side slipping that it only happened on one ski.

post #6 of 19

  Ok, for those still interested, here's the continuation of that post regarding the phenomena "base burn", that I promised earlier today. But first a side note...

 

 L&airc, I still suspect base burn here (do you generally set/slip on your dominant leg?? I observe many course workers who do, myself includedrolleyes.gif, if this is the case, the area of concern would be on the inside edge of your dominant leg)...the fact that it's under foot along the edge resulting in a convex area in the middle of the ski is VERY  indicitive of this...if not, it could very well be a matter of tuning (although cantamuch's appraisal was, for me, a tuner/race tech, a little hard to follow...you should in fact only tune the side edge after the original side/base filing, removing burrs from the base edge in a localized, controlled manner, with a medium/fine stone. Either way, to get them right, you would have to have them flattened by a pro....but that's up to yousmile.gif)

 

  As far a ameliorating base burn goes, let me first say that I generally consider there to be four different types of skiers who like to do their own tuning: the deep snow skier, the all mountain skier, the recreational/high end carver, and the racer.

 

  For the fist 2 categories (again, I "made" these up for my own purposes--a while ago) base burn is probably never going to be a problem...assuming you're waxing enough, that is. For the last 2 categories, as I mentioned in my previous post, firm/hard/icy snow can and do take their toll. Increased speeds & high angles on firmer snow will create more friction, and thus, more wear.

 

  As far as prevention goes , many techs including myself will use a "harder" (higher melting temp=more resistant to friction) wax, near the base edge, for about 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the ski. Most world cup sl's are still to this day prepped with a hydrocarbon, so pick a harder one ( for mine, a swix purple) and "hot crayon" it onto the base, near the edge.

 

To hot crayon, simply turn your iron to the temp you normally would for a hard wax , hold the iron heating plate up (facing the ceiling, that is) and soften your bar of purple (or whatever) on the iron for a few seconds...then quickly, (as it will cool fast), crayon it on the ski near the edge for 2/3 the length of the ski. Repeat for all 4, then wax the rest of the ski as normal. Doing so before every time/every other time you ski will help to prevent this scourge of the carving/racing community. Some tech's for higher end athletes will use a powder instead of a hydrocarbon, but this is for some seriously hard/icy or chalky snow...

 

 For those of you still reading, first of all thank you (I'm terrible at typing). Second of all, don't take my word for it! Click on this link www.pezwinter.blogspot.com for more infosmile.gif

 

 P.s. Dave Pesek is my tuning herowink.gif

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

zentune,

Appreciate the info.  I added a couple comments for further clarification.  I brought the skis to a good tech last night and the skis are getting the full monty.  He saw it immediately too btw.  There were a bit busy and din't have much time to discuss though.  The only thing that sucks was I didn't notice it until AFTER I had hot cycled a bunch of wax in.  That's OK.  Worse things can happen.  I'll have fresh bases and fresh wax for the coaches clinic next week.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by zentune View Post

  Ok, for those still interested, here's the continuation of that post regarding the phenomena "base burn", that I promised earlier today. But first a side note...

 

 L&airc, I still suspect base burn here (do you generally set/slip on your dominant leg?? I observe many course workers who do, myself includedrolleyes.gif, if this is the case, the area of concern would be on the inside edge of your dominant leg)...the fact that it's under foot along the edge resulting in a convex area in the middle of the ski is VERY  indicitive of this...I believe it is base burn too.  Like previously mentioned, I did a ton of course work and side slipping.  I don't so much have a dominant leg (they both aren't that good) as dominant shoulder for when carryying the gate bag.  I also spent a bit of time skiing on one ski, so it was probably a combination of all of those things.

 

if not, it could very well be a matter of tuning (although cantamuch's appraisal was, for me, a tuner/race tech, a little hard to follow...you should in fact only tune the side edge after the original side/base filing, removing burrs from the base edge in a localized, controlled manner, with a medium/fine stone. Either way, to get them right, you would have to have them flattened by a pro....but that's up to yousmile.gifI think his point (and I agree) is that if this isn't corrected, matters will only get worse because the side edge bevel relies on the base being flat and mine is not.  polishing the side edge woud be ineffective as I wouldn't get good contact with the entire side edge in this area, and if there was a need to resharpen, the side edge could end up being at a different angle than the tip and tail.

 

  As far a ameliorating base burn goes, let me first say that I generally consider there to be four different types of skiers who like to do their own tuning: the deep snow skier, the all mountain skier, the recreational/high end carver, and the racer.

 

  For the fist 2 categories (again, I "made" these up for my own purposes--a while ago) base burn is probably never going to be a problem...assuming you're waxing enough, that is. For the last 2 categories, as I mentioned in my previous post, firm/hard/icy snow can and do take their toll. Increased speeds & high angles on firmer snow will create more friction, and thus, more wear.

 

  As far as prevention goes , many techs including myself will use a "harder" (higher melting temp=more resistant to friction) wax, near the base edge, for about 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the ski. Most world cup sl's are still to this day prepped with a hydrocarbon, so pick a harder one ( for mine, a swix purple) and "hot crayon" it onto the base, near the edge.

 

Good to know.  I had mostly been using Dominator Zoom since I wan't racing with these.  Every now and again I might add Dominator Bullet if it was crazy cold, but it was infrequent.  I will up the frequency of adding Bullet since they are being ground flat and I get a do over.  I will also transfer this practice to my other SL skis.

 

To hot crayon, simply turn your iron to the temp you normally would for a hard wax , hold the iron heating plate up (facing the ceiling, that is) and soften your bar of purple (or whatever) on the iron for a few seconds...then quickly, (as it will cool fast), crayon it on the ski near the edge for 2/3 the length of the ski. Repeat for all 4, then wax the rest of the ski as normal. Doing so before every time/every other time you ski will help to prevent this scourge of the carving/racing community. Some tech's for higher end athletes will use a powder instead of a hydrocarbon, but this is for some seriously hard/icy or chalky snow...

 

 For those of you still reading, first of all thank you (I'm terrible at typing). Second of all, don't take my word for it! Click on this link www.pezwinter.blogspot.com for more infosmile.gif

 

 P.s. Dave Pesek is my tuning herowink.gif

 

Thanks,

Ken

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

 Some tech's for higher end athletes will use a powder instead of a hydrocarbon, but this is for some seriously hard/icy or chalky snow...


Hi zentune.

 

I don't know if this always helps.I was still use a hard hydrocarbon powder near the edge,before each training and my WC SL's have burned base still.Powders:Toko,Holmenkol.A surface of slopes:there is a standard european hard artificial snow with high humidity.Hard packed mix of snow and ice,with some frozen dirt sometimes.rolleyes.gifMaybe solid waxes work better than powders,or a damaged base absorb very low quantity of wax.I'll try again this season.

post #9 of 19

If you're really into DIY, you can take care of high P-tex with a metal scraper or a SkiVisions Ski Base Flattener.

 

As for the original question, what I understand is that bases need not be dead flat.  Convex bases are a problem, but easy to fix as P-tex is soft.  Concave (railed) bases are harder to fix, but can usually be left alone if it's just in the middle third of the base.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by arsi View Post


Hi zentune.

 

I don't know if this always helps.I was still use a hard hydrocarbon powder near the edge,before each training and my WC SL's have burned base still.Powders:Toko,Holmenkol.A surface of slopes:there is a standard european hard artificial snow with high humidity.Hard packed mix of snow and ice,with some frozen dirt sometimes.rolleyes.gifMaybe solid waxes work better than powders,or a damaged base absorb very low quantity of wax.I'll try again this season.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

  Ok, for those still interested, here's the continuation of that post regarding the phenomena "base burn", that I promised earlier today. But first a side note..

 

 

  As far as prevention goes , many techs including myself will use a "harder" (higher melting temp=more resistant to friction) wax, near the base edge, for about 1/2 to 2/3 the length of the ski. Most world cup sl's are still to this day prepped with a hydrocarbon, so pick a harder one ( for mine, a swix purple) and "hot crayon" it onto the base, near the edge.

 

To hot crayon, simply turn your iron to the temp you normally would for a hard wax , hold the iron heating plate up (facing the ceiling, that is) and soften your bar of purple (or whatever) on the iron for a few seconds...then quickly, (as it will cool fast), crayon it on the ski near the edge for 2/3 the length of the ski. Repeat for all 4, then wax the rest of the ski as normal. Doing so before every time/every other time you ski will help to prevent this scourge of the carving/racing community. Some tech's for higher end athletes will use a powder instead of a hydrocarbon, but this is for some seriously hard/icy or chalky snow...

 

 For those of you still reading, first of all thank you (I'm terrible at typing). Second of all, don't take my word for it! Click on this link www.pezwinter.blogspot.com for more infosmile.gif

 

 P.s. Dave Pesek is my tuning herowink.gif

 

Haven't tried it with powders but my standard routine on my race skis is to run a thin line of Holmenkol Ultra (blue) down each edge first.  Works pretty well in these parts and even last season where we had a LOT of man made snow didn't see any real issues with base burn

post #11 of 19
i certainly think hydrocarbons work quite well...its what i use for my own skis too...there is a related waxing topic also. look for a new thread on" blending hydrocarbons" ....which i'll start in the very near future
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

 

 

 

Haven't tried it with powders but my standard routine on my race skis is to run a thin line of Holmenkol Ultra (blue) down each edge first.  Works pretty well in these parts and even last season where we had a LOT of man made snow didn't see any real issues with base burn


Thanks.I have still full box of Holmenkol Ultramix Blue.(0,9kg) Finally will be used in a different way than mixing wax.In our normal winter conditions on the box fell dustsmile.gif

post #13 of 19

  Sweet guys! This is some good collaboration we have heresmile.gif Still planning that new thread...just some of the things I've learned/modified. Definitley will be interested to hear what you'll have for me regarding secret waxing tipswink.gif

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 


 

Good to know.  I had mostly been using Dominator Zoom since I wan't racing with these.  Every now and again I might add Dominator Bullet if it was crazy cold, but it was infrequent.  I will up the frequency of adding Bullet since they are being ground flat and I get a do over.  I will also transfer this practice to my other SL skis.

 

Ken

 

I just picked up some Dominator Psycho on ThanosK's recommendation, for this exact application - haven't had a chance to use it yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

Just to make sure I'm understanding what is going on -

 

This typically affects SL (ish) skis more so that GS because of the smaller surface area seeing the forces? 

post #16 of 19
be posting more tonite
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

Just to make sure I'm understanding what is going on -

 

This typically affects SL (ish) skis more so that GS because of the smaller surface area seeing the forces? 

 

Yup.      Snowblades are a nightmare.

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

Just to make sure I'm understanding what is going on -

 

This typically affects SL (ish) skis more so that GS because of the smaller surface area seeing the forces? 

  That could be a factor, for sure. But the reason I mentioned that sl's are more susceptible to burn was in response to some of the things you mentioned...mainly that you had been helping to set/perform course work. I assumed (perhaps incorrectly?) that you also had been possibly fore-running/post-running as course workers/setters are sometimes asked to do (at least in the case of fore-runs that is smile.gif).  

So  anyway (long story short) typically, a slalom ski is up on edge more often than even a gs ski (in a course that is,you can imagine why). This, combined with the presence of (hopefully) hard snow literally heats the edge itself as well as the base material of the ski, causing the area underfoot, near the edge, to wear away faster than a gs ski under similar conditions..but you can be proactive in regards to this..

 

 

  p.s. Those poor sl's DO take a beatingeek.gif , but GS's do too...

post #19 of 19

They don't need to be perfectly flat, just close to it.  Here is how I handle the same issue(s) without a stone grinder.  Works very well.

 

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