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Ice and Ski Problems (Can't get an Edge and Chatter)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Wow.............I've skied ice my whole life in the northeast and today I tried some skis that were frustrating.  20 years ago I was racing on flat, narrow, and straight skis.......I know what it feels like to "work" to get an edge on ice.  Today it wasn't happening  (and yes the edges were fairly sharp).  I'm looking for advice on what might be the problem and possibly a recommendation for a  good ski for ice and icy bumps.  I'm 160 lbs and 5'10".

-----The first ski I had trouble with was an Elan SLX Race ski (165) that is about 6 years old.  It was nice yesterday when there was some soft stuff on the hill, but today it was all ice and it was a total failure.  I could not get an edge even at low speeds.  It felt terrible. I was told the skis belonged to a racer before I tried them this weekend, but I can't imagine racing in these (was he a much heavier racer? Is weight the issue?,)  I don't think it was a special tuning because I was trying every angle to get an edge.

------The second ski was an Elan Amphibio (this years model) (168).  This was a much better experience than the previous ski becuase I could get an edge (not all the time).   Nonetheless, there was chatter in the ski when turning at moderate/fast speeds on the ice. 

The conditions were icy, but very common for this part of the Northeast.  I have to be realistic, because I will be skiing on  ice more than anything else.  Any help on what might be going on with these skis and what might work for me on the ice will be greatly appreciated! 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 9

How many days were on each?  I'll bet the Elan since its 6 years old had quite a few.  I find that after 100-150 days of use, skis have lost a lot of their grip on firm snow.  Still feel fine on soft snow, but won't hold well on the slick stuff even with sharp edges.  Buy new.

post #3 of 9

I'll bet while they appear to be sharp they are not tuned correctly which would explain the feel that you had.  I have a set of older (used and abused by the original owner) Doberman SLR's that behaved the same way until I tuned them with a 0.5 / 4 and there was a great improvement.  Unfortunately , more so than ever before the edges angles are important.  Bases for forgiveness (ie detuning of yester-year) and Side for aggressiveness of bite. 

 

Additionally, I find what makes the SL skis wonderful for tight turns, does somewhat limit their ice holding compared the GS skis (the reverse being true for the GS).

 

Hope that helps.

post #4 of 9
This weekend I skied both day's at Okemo, ice, where the hack was it icey in the northeast. It was a almost perfect weekend, nice temps, on wind, great snow. Had two of the best day's a while.

You say the tips were chattereing, are you in the backseat when you ski ? Any high end ski when skied correctly should/will not chatter if you have good skills.

You mentioned 20 years ago, have you skied since then and new shaped skis ?

What do you have for boots ?

We did notice a lot of skis this weekend on old rear entry boots, were you one of them ? There were a lot of old straight skis out too.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post
 

I'll bet while they appear to be sharp they are not tuned correctly which would explain the feel that you had.  I have a set of older (used and abused by the original owner) Doberman SLR's that behaved the same way until I tuned them with a 0.5 / 4 and there was a great improvement.  Unfortunately , more so than ever before the edges angles are important.  Bases for forgiveness (ie detuning of yester-year) and Side for aggressiveness of bite. 

 

Additionally, I find what makes the SL skis wonderful for tight turns, does somewhat limit their ice holding compared the GS skis (the reverse being true for the GS).

 

Hope that helps.


This could be the case.  If I have them tuned what exactly should I be asking the shop to do?  Although I have a guess, I'm not exactly sure what the 0.5/4 numbers mean.

Thanks for the reply!

post #6 of 9
0.5 is the base angle, 4 is the side angle.

I'm also going to suggest since you don't know what this means the skis may be a bit much for you or you have yet to adjust to shaped skis. Higher end shaped skis require just as much input correctly done to perform well.

Read the tuning section and get a review or lesson by a good instructor before getting much further.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post

0.5 is the base angle, 4 is the side angle.

I'm also going to suggest since you don't know what this means the skis may be a bit much for you or you have yet to adjust to shaped skis. Higher end shaped skis require just as much input correctly done to perform well.

Read the tuning section and get a review or lesson by a good instructor before getting much further.


I've skied several shape skis.  This was not about input.    These skis were not working on the ice.     I used to ski 205 Rossignol GS skis and get edge on icy, skied out, race courses.

I could have grabbed a pair of rentals and gotten better edge.

Maybe it's the tuning, not sure.  This is what I'm trying to work out.

post #8 of 9
FWIW, unless you tune the ski yourself, you never know what your getting.

That's why many of us do are own tuning. All my skis are set at 1/3. Sharp tip to tail. No de-tuning.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BacktoSnow View Post
 


I've skied several shape skis.  This was not about input.    These skis were not working on the ice.     I used to ski 205 Rossignol GS skis and get edge on icy, skied out, race courses.

I could have grabbed a pair of rentals and gotten better edge.

Maybe it's the tuning, not sure.  This is what I'm trying to work out.

OK.  Fair enough.

 

Again you are only providing part of the information so I am going to make some assumptions so go with the flow in this for a minute.

 

 

205 GS great what I used to ski about 2 years ago (and did for a long time).  When I switched 2 years ago to FIS GS skis they required a bit of different input from what was required on my 205's.   More so that everything that I was taught not to do was part of the equation now (really old school).  It required about 16 hours of practice time to understand the differences (luckily I had very good ski friends to ask questions from).  This in itself on a higher end ski can cause problems.  Now to be fair I skied my wife's 165 skis (about a SL cut) and had no problems and several friends lower end skis with out issues well before this as I am a good skier, but switching to a true advanced ski, well it showed all the flaws and failings, hence the re-learn (and ultimately big improvement both in skill and fun factor).

 

I think you may have several issues happening all at once.  Edges...used ski (possiblily worn out)....technique.

 

My SLR's are used and abused and for the most part still do their job.  Would newer (better care for) skis be better?  Absolutely.  But here I set very aggressive edges (same as my GS FIS ski) and love the result (again back in the day I skied a 0 base and a 3 side without detune, longer different skis than current).

 

Order of fix (cheapest and possibly most fun).

 

1.  Ski with a good friend that skis shapes skis really well, have him do a review and let know on how technique is on shaped skis.

2.  Get a flat grind and than tune 0.5 base and 3 side, it is easier to increase angles but costly (ski life wise) to decrease.  BTW Max Capacity has it right no detune as that's what base angle does for you.

3.  Buy new skis.

 

I suspect you are not hard enough onto the tips and edges to get a proper bite, it requires a little different commitment than the Straights and definitely a lot more than rentals.

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