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Rough First Day....tuning problem or something more?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

I skied my first day of the season today and was plagued with what felt like a pair of overly tuned skis. Quite frankly I skied awful.  My SL's were insanely hooky all day long, to the point where it felt there was barely a running surface at all.  The inside edge of my inside ski just kept hooking up when I didn't want it to and I found my self getting that loss of balance feeling all day.  I was constantly catching an edge when I didn't want it.  Additionally, I felt like I just couldn't steer the things like I normally am able to.  It was my first day out and also my first day since knee surgery so that also could have played into my poor day of skiing.

 

My question is a) Is this something that is mainly just due to what felt like an overly tuned ski, or is there something in my technique that could have been causing this? and b) will I be able to detune them with my diamond stone?

 

Thanks, Tyler

post #2 of 19
SL skis, eh! Good for you.

It could certainly be technique and it could be a tune that is too aggressive for you. Likewise, you could have a tuning issue in the form of a burr or hanging burr causing you grief.

Do a search for "hanging burr" in the tuning section to learn how to finish your edges so you don't have one.

If your base bevel is too small then your skis might be engaging too quickly for you and you can gain some forgiveness by increasing your base bevel - while still maintaining a sharp edge that will hold after engaging.

I would only "de-tune" as a last resort.
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

Hi guys,
I skied my first day of the season today and was plagued with what felt like a pair of overly tuned skis. Quite frankly I skied awful.  My SL's were insanely hooky all day long, to the point where it felt there was barely a running surface at all.  The inside edge of my inside ski just kept hooking up when I didn't want it to and I found my self getting that loss of balance feeling all day.  I was constantly catching an edge when I didn't want it.  Additionally, I felt like I just couldn't steer the things like I normally am able to.  It was my first day out and also my first day since knee surgery so that also could have played into my poor day of skiing.

My question is a) Is this something that is mainly just due to what felt like an overly tuned ski, or is there something in my technique that could have been causing this? and b) will I be able to detune them with my diamond stone?

Thanks, Tyler

My thoughts on why the inside edge can catch undesirably -

Base bevel too low (I.e. .5 or less)
Burr
Stance - Feet further apart than normal
Boots need alignment
Technique

Since this is happening on the inside edge of the inside ski, I'm guessing it was only on easy terrain when the skis are close to flat?

There's some simple troubleshooting that can be done to figure it out too.

If it is the ski tune, (poor tune or burr) it should move when you switch skis around. If it doesn't, chances are it isn't.
If the base bevel is too low, see if you can experiment with where exactly I'd does catch. It should be consistent. You can then decide to keep it or change it.
If your stance is too wide, force your self (on easy terrain) to ski with your skis too close. Should go away
Technique - best to have someone with a trained eye watch, but maybe you're pointing your outside knee in to turn instead?
Boot alignment (my pick for your issue) again takes a trained eye or a trip to the boot fitter. You can also on easy terrain ski down hill with the skis flat. Do it on one ski and the other. Just go straight while looking downhill and if your comfortable, close your eyes briefly (as long as you can do it safely). With your eyes open, did you have to fight to stay straight?


I pick this because this issue happened to me after my knee surgery last year. My issue was finding the inside edge (opposite of your issue). Fitter gave my a 1.5 shim and the problem went away. I got new boots this year and I need close to the same. You could try experimenting with duct tape strips on the binding where the binding touches the boot sole and for you I think it would be on the inside edge. 4-5 strips is about 1*. I posted in the boot guys forum o n this last season. I never needed a shim until after my surgery and there are several things that can cause your alignment to change; working out, weight loss, knee surgery (actually anything in your structure chain), something changing just because Nature wants it too, etc.

It doesn't take much to have an effect (I.e. I added five strips of duct tape and it got better, added two more and it was perfect).

Other information that would help narrow this down is -
does this happen only on one side and which?
Have you skied these skis before?
Did you buy them used from a racer?
When is the last time the base was ground and edges set?
Have you skied these boots before?
Was your knee surgery caused by a skiing accident and was it these skis?

All of that will help you zero in on what is causing this. The good news is most of this is easy to fix.

Happy hunting,
Ken
post #4 of 19

Have you changed your tune since last year? If not, let's just assume it's technique. My guess is that you are banking and putting too much weight on that inside ski.

post #5 of 19

Oh wait a minute.  When you said "inside edge of your inside ski" I thought you meant the inside ski's inside (as in medial) edge.  Do you mean the edge that is furthest inside the turn (i.e. inside ski's edge on the lateral side)?  If so, not everything I posted before would apply and probably doesn't make sense.

post #6 of 19

Let's confirm a few things. Was this happening on both right and left turns? Did you try swapping skis? Have you checked your edges for burrs? Who tuned your skis and when? Were you skiing for the first time wearing a brace?

 

You can detune with a diamond stone, but a gummy stone does the job better (IMO). The one time I had this problem with a tune from a new shop, I just ran a file at a 45 degree angle for a couple of passes along the first 2 inches of the edge contact at the ski tip

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the posts guys. Lots of questions to answer but that's a good problem. First, these were my go to skis last year. I bought them before last season from a non racer. They were tuned when I bought them. I absolutely loved these things last year. This year I was pressed for time so I dropped them off at Ski Rack in Burlington, VT prior to my first day for a tune.

My boots are new for this year as well. I moved from a pair of Nordica Speedmachines 110s to brand new Lange RS130s. I had them fitted by PJ Dewey of Race Stock Sports (who has quite a good rep). Last year I was told that I am knock kneed in my right leg, but when asking PJ about this, he said my alignment was good as is. I did at times feel like I wasn't really standing flat on the ski, but that could just be my mind playing tricks on me.

The problem seemed to be happening with both skis.
post #8 of 19

Well, if you want to come out to Stowe I'd be happy to take a look. I have a handful of canting chips that can give us a pretty good idea of where you are with your alignment on the snow.

post #9 of 19

Check your tune!  base bevel? or they may have stone ground your skis without going back and filing the edges (bevel).  If there is a stone structure still in your edges the skis will be very unskiable.

 

Check your canting!  Yes PJ has a great rep but I would still double check the alignment if you feel asymmetric laterally.

 

Probably not you but something in your equipment.

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

Well, if you want to come out to Stowe I'd be happy to take a look. I have a handful of canting chips that can give us a pretty good idea of where you are with your alignment on the snow.

/\ /\ /\ Do that /\ /\ /\

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Bud, the shop said they did the base at 1 degree.  This should be fine right?

 

Epic, that sounds great!  I never really know when I'll be at Stowe, but I can let you know the day or two before the next time I head up there?

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

Bud, the shop said they did the base at 1 degree.  This should be fine right?

 

Epic, that sounds great!  I never really know when I'll be at Stowe, but I can let you know the day or two before the next time I head up there?

 

I work everyday but Tuesday and Wednesday, so I'll be easy to get ahold of just call the Ski School desk to book it. Let me know ahead of time too, so I can be sure I have my canting chips and I'll bring my truebar so we can take a look at any obvious ski troubles as well.

post #13 of 19

  Also check for base flatness with a true bar...a "hooky" ski could be a sign of concavity. This is usually seen in the forebody to tip area. If the edges appear to be "higher" than the center, this could be your problem.

post #14 of 19

One of the things I have found is many times in problem solving, if you find a "smoking gun" there are lots of finger prints on it.

 

You are in stiffer boots

First day out

possibility of odd tune/burr

possibility of needing minor canting.

 

Each one of those things may or may not be the root cause but if they decided to have a conspiracy and teamed up against you...well you know the results.

 

I only bring this up should you in your pursuit run into "Ya, but not enough to make a difference."  or "It shouldn't have an effect."  When things start stacking up, simple problems that shouldn't have an effect can be exasperating combined and quite elusive.

post #15 of 19

All of the suggestions you've had so far are great, I'm sure. All those folks know a lot more about most of those potential causes than I do. Listen.

 

Looking at it from a different point of view, I can say that sometimes when I've had a bad first day it's because all the skiing I'd done in the previous eight months was done with my head rather than with my body. Then when I get on the hill for the first time, I have this idea of how I ski or how I want to ski, that does not actually quite line up with what I was doing well at the end of the previous season, even though my head thinks it does. The solution for me in that case is basically to say - paraphrasing Jens Voigt - "Shut up, brain!" and let my body do what it already knows how to do, without forcing. I often find myself "over-skiing" the conditions / terrain, when I am coming in after a long absence or am otherwise under-confident. By "over-skiing" I mean too much attack, too much speed, too much edge angle, too many turns. I think I can bluster my way into technique, but I can't. I have to let myself back in the door gradually and easily ... retracing my development over the years as a skier. Sort of like "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny."

 

I doubt this is the primary issue driving your hookiness, but maybe backing off a smidge will help you listen better to what the technique or tuning or alignment problem is. Just a thought.

post #16 of 19

Brand new skis with freshly tuned edges probably don't help, but my guess is that most of the problem has to do with the fact that its your first day back on snow and you just need a few runs to find your balance again. I had the exact same experience on my first day this season (and last season, and the one before, etc...). New skis, and skied like garbage. A few runs focusing on finding my balance over the outside ski and I'm more or less back in (early season) form. Now to build up some endurance again so I'll be ready when the bumps start to grow...

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastskier44 View Post

Hi guys,

I skied my first day of the season today and was plagued with what felt like a pair of overly tuned skis. Quite frankly I skied awful.  My SL's were insanely hooky all day long, to the point where it felt there was barely a running surface at all.  The inside edge of my inside ski just kept hooking up when I didn't want it to and I found my self getting that loss of balance feeling all day.  I was constantly catching an edge when I didn't want it.  Additionally, I felt like I just couldn't steer the things like I normally am able to.  It was my first day out and also my first day since knee surgery so that also could have played into my poor day of skiing.

 

My question is a) Is this something that is mainly just due to what felt like an overly tuned ski, or is there something in my technique that could have been causing this? and b) will I be able to detune them with my diamond stone?

 

Thanks, Tyler

 

I think you mean the outside edge of the inside ski (uphill edge) is hooking.  My guess is, that if they were fine last year with the same boot set-up, you are putting too much pressure on the inside foot causing more edge angle and decambering to develop on this ski.  The inside ski darts up the hill and the outside ski continues on its path.  Detuning might help or, as CGieb suggested, increasing the base bevel on the tune.  I personally don't like to detune the tips or tails. 

 

It could be that early season and coming off surgery and rehab, you aren't committing to moving your center of mass down the hill and into the new turn releasing both edges and developing pressure on the outside ski.  Hanging on the inside foot is often a defensive move that instead of increasing comfort, destroys confidence by leading to the "loss of balance feeling".

post #18 of 19

I just had a professional hand tune done on my Salomon 800xt Enduro’s. It was icy and my shovels were hooking up like crazy. I ski in Northern British Cloumbia and we are not having  a good snow year so far. Had to take the skis back in to have them gummy stoned. Still required further de-tuning. The only thing I can surmise is that the edges are too sharp and fine for very catchy snow conditions. I typically carve very precisely on piste but this was very out of the ordinary. I had wished I had left the edges undone, however will see what occurs tomorrow? I had them done a factory 2-side and base-1. Given the right conditions edges considerably sharper than factory can lead to very twitchy skis.That is my conclusion. My skis are also nearly flawless condition so as I have already mentioned it could simply be a case of too sharp edges.

post #19 of 19
Sometimes that western snow is very grabby when hard packed. I have experienced that ... particularly on on very cold days.

If it was truly icy, then it may be more a matter of (re-)adjusting to the kind of skiing those conditions favor. In that case having the shovels "hook up like crazy" would seem to be a good thing. They're supposed to do that.
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