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What structure for wet and variable artificial?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm having our skis ground on a Wintersteiger this week and am looking for a suggestion for base structure.

We ski primarily on artificial, and last year, they decided that the thing to do is water the snow every day. Once it heats up enough in the morning that they can't make snow, they run the guns for another hour or two. So even though the slope opens at 9, it's barely skiable until around lunch. I understand the reasoning... heavy, wet artificial snow is more durable. That doesn't help the skiing though.

So... I have heavy, wet artificial until around lunch. Then it dries out enough the conditions are actually pretty good until around 4-5. Then the sun starts to go down and it starts to get HARD. It can be like somebody poured a bag of sugar on an ice skating rink. I actually prefer these conditions, because it makes it a lot less crowded from around 6-10.

Is there an all around structure recommendation that would be good for these conditions? Or should I just pick one or two, like find something that works in the afternoon and evening, and give up on the mornings?
post #2 of 22

For spring skiing out here, I get a modified thumb print which works pretty well.  

According to the guy who does my grind, the modification widens the thumb print a bit to let the water disperse 

post #3 of 22

Sounds pretty typical mid-atlantic early season conditions.   

 

  I'm on a fine cold with light cross; anything coarser gets grabby and stuck when the sun goes down.    Never tried thumbprint or arrow structures on manmade snow.

post #4 of 22

I am assuming this Wintersteiger has computer controlled dressing.  I would recommend not going with an aggressive, wet and deep structure (warm temp, high humidity).  I say you have a few choices -

 

1.  Go with a "medium" cross linear.  It's a pretty reliable pattern.  Some WS 350mm stone grinders can do whats called "bi-partite" - which means the machine can dress a right ski, and a left ski structure in the case of cross linears and similar patterns.  You can also do this with 150mm and 200mm stones as well, but that means a lot of extra dressing - not sure if your shop is willing to do that.

 

2.  Or plug in the condition variables into the machine, choose a pattern,  and then preview the pattern before the ski is ground.  I would go with a "medium" thumbprint for the hell of it.  Half of the C.A.S.T. tech skis are running this structure.

 

 

Then the appropriate post grind conditioning is in order - steel scraper,metal brush, then fibretex.  I don't rec any hand sanding to take the peaks off of the structure, this is better accomplished with steel scraper, or better yet with the stone grinder if you have an operator that knows how to do this.

 

Lastly, have you tried this wax?  Works really well for the type of conditions you describe.  If you research it, you will find that even though its a "base conditioner", it actually works really well as a glide layer, and even a race layer for those on a budget.

 

Post a pic of your grind if you have the chance.

 

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll go with the medium thumbprint.

I called to see if they could do it, but they can't. So I'll check around. I'd like to use my mountain but they insisted on doing a full tune and refused to only do a grind and base bevel, so I'll have to find someplace else.

As far as the wax goes... I haven't used the Swix Moly. I was hot waxing a universal, and then just corking on Hertel Spring solution. That let me ski some and seemed to wear off by lunch with maybe sometimes another application or so.

Even then I still double ejected a dozen times last year, where I was going along and my skis just stuck to the snow like glue. Once coming off the lift, first chair, and left me laying at the bottom of the ramp with my skis stuck to the snow halfway down. That one was the worst... I wasn't expecting that at all.

If the Swix Moly will work better, I'll be happy to give that a try.
post #6 of 22

You can go even harder than the MB77 but you want both the fluoro and the moly.   No surprise *at all* that your universal is grabby.   Happens all the time when transitioning into an area where a snow gun just finished blasting.  

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hope you don't mind me coming back to this.

How much of a difference does the structure make compared to the wax?

If I got something like a SkiVisions tool, did the base myself and then used the MB77, how much different would that be from a special grind pattern? All in all I'm really just trying to make recreational skis go, not make race skis win.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofort99 View Post

How much of a difference does the structure make compared to the wax?

If I got something like a SkiVisions tool, did the base myself and then used the MB77, how much different would that be from a special grind pattern? All in all I'm really just trying to make recreational skis go, not make race skis win.

 

 

Cross patterns, that allow any significant amount of water to drain away to the side, are really hard to do with the Skivisions tools.  Consistent fine structures are even harder.  You want a structure that's so fine you can see it with the naked eye, but that cannot be felt by touch at all.     Anything coarser than that is going to be a grabby liability when the sun goes down.

The reason it's not really  a 'pick one' situation between structure and wax is that they make a difference for different reasons.    For structure to make a difference you need the ski to be *moving* fast enough for the water to be hustled along outwards.      The wax, once you get it right, will make a difference even at 'almost standing still' speeds.

 

Now, I do understand that it's a big thing to commit to both at once.     FWIW, your skis probably already came with a fine structure, so you could get away with just experimenting with the wax on the grind you have.      Getting a grind will require a fair bit of re-waxing (and the MB77 is a natural pick for that).    You see where I'm going, yes?     If you really *must* make a 'pick one' choice, I'd go with wax first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sofort99 View Post

 All in all I'm really just trying to make recreational skis go, not make race skis win.

 

 

We know, that's why you're not getting the really hardcore advice.      But seriously, making racing skis win is in the Indian, not the arrow.  

In waxing, we are concerned with two speeds:  breakaway speed (the minimum speed at which the ski has to move to break static drag) and top speed.   

We want breakaway speed to be as low as possible.    The steps needed to achieve low breakaway speed are exactly the same for the recreational skier and the racer - but are more important to the recreational guy since he's going to be in that speed regime more often, for longer.     

 

The recreational guy doesn't care about top speed - and we're not giving you that info.

post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the clarification. I just wanted to be sure that if I wound up having to drive 4 hours to get my skis ground, it would be worth it.
post #10 of 22

Hmm.  

 

I'm pretty sure that at approximately at the 3-hour-drive point I'd be thinking about shipping the skis. 


Let us know how it all works out, would you?

post #11 of 22

Ya I would agree that to try a different wax would be the first choice.  Keep in mind that ungroomed manmade snow is going to be sticky, no matter what the wax/structure.

post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just to make sure... same recommendation for a Reichmann Profi4 ?
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofort99 View Post

Just to make sure... same recommendation for a Reichmann Profi4 ?

I think the Profi4 does not have computer controlled stone dressing - which means that it most likely will not be able to do a "thumbprint" grind.  It can do cross-linear and linear structures as far as I know.  It is possible that the new Profi4's are available with computer dressing, but you would have to ask the shop if their model has that feature.

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post

Post a pic of your grind if you have the chance.

After first round of wax/scrape/brush.

post #15 of 22

^Thats a little bit coarser than the structures I was thinking of earlier in the thread.

 

Should work great in the slop tho. 

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
It's actually a medium structure. I "enhanced" it to make it visible.

Maybe a little too much? smile.gif

post #17 of 22

:)  OK.     The more you wax and scrape, of course, the better everything will get. 

post #18 of 22
Looks good. Thanks for the follow-up.

One way to test for grind depth is to - drag your fingernails, palm up, perpendicular to the length of the ski. A fine depth structure will feel somewhat smooth, while a med to deep pattern will give you a bit/a lot vibration.

If it feels too deep, you can mellow it out with light steel scraping, soft steel or coarse bronze brushing, and med fibretex (scotch brite).

Let us know what prep, and what wax you used-and the results.

Thanks
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post

Looks good. Thanks for the follow-up.

One way to test for grind depth is to - drag your fingernails, palm up, perpendicular to the length of the ski. A fine depth structure will feel somewhat smooth, while a med to deep pattern will give you a bit/a lot vibration.

If it feels too deep, you can mellow it out with light steel scraping, soft steel or coarse bronze brushing, and med fibretex (scotch brite).

Let us know what prep, and what wax you used-and the results.

Thanks

Thanks for the info! When i drag my fingernails across, I can feel it just a little bit.

As far as prep, right now I'm just using raw paraffin (Gulf Wax). When I got them back, I hot scraped them a couple of times until I stopped getting black off. Then I waxed them pretty heavy, let them cool a few hour, and re-ironed/cooled them three or four times. Then I scrap and brush them. So far I've done 6 cycles of this. I'm hoping the re-ironing will help them suck up a little extra wax.

I just received my MB77, and today I'll get a couple of coats of that in, and diamond stone my edges. I'll be skiing them this weekend, and will let you know how they do.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Skied them today and just... damn.

Thanks! This is what I was looking for! biggrin.gif
post #21 of 22
Nice-good to hear it worked out for ya.

Maybe post the shop, so others in your area know where they can get a decent grind.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Sure! I had the work done at Ski Mountain Sports, that's the ski shop actually in the mall at Ober Gatlinburg ski resort. It's handy too... for $25 they'll even wax your skis and sharpen your edges while you eat lunch.

The grind worked great. I heard people talking all day about how slow and grabby the snow was. I never noticed it at speed. At all.

But the wax was what I thought was really something else, coming from only using a universal. It was like standing on ice. Before she got used to it, at first my wife said she thought her skis were too slick. She got over that pretty fast, though. biggrin.gif

Now then... is there an easy next step to help give them a faster top speed?
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › What structure for wet and variable artificial?