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Ski chattering?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

After lurking the forums here and researching the ski market for the last month I finally decided to buy some Volkl RTM 84s. I havent skied much in the last 10 years but grew up skiiing in the 80s and loved bumps on the Rossi 4S and K2 Unlimited VOs 185cm. Now going out on the Volkls after all the rave reviews I was surprised to see the skis were noticeably chattering or flapping a lot on the flat part of a run when just cruising straight and seemed unstable. I tried leaning forward even more but it didnt seem to matter. Its a beautiful ski so I assume im doing something wrong.. Im probably still stuck in the 80s skiing flat runs like moguls and hockey stop style. Suggestions appreciated thanks!

post #2 of 13

Hi vSki,

 

You have discovered what all skiers discover when switching to more shaped skis,  they do not like to run flat and tend to seek an edge causing a wobbly nervous feeling when running flat.  Simply tip them on edge a bit and they will become rock solid.

 

If you are experiencing chattering while turning this is likely caused by an over initiation or over pivoting at the beginning of your turns.  I would suggest finding a long easy green run and practice "railroad track" turns where you simply tip, rather than twist, your skis onto their edges and balance on those edges allowing the ski to take it's desired path, then tipping to the opposite set of edges and riding them for a bit, and repeat.   You need to learn to "resist the twist" to get the most out of the new skis.

 

Sure you can still steer or blend some pivoting with edging to choose your desired radius and path but they do not like to skid like their classic counterparts. 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you Bud ! That makes total sense and sounds simple to fix. 

post #4 of 13

Hi vSki

 

If you are just doing a straight run on the flats, you should be able to do so uneventfully, even if the ski is "shaped" or "rockered", and the RTM 84 is both.  The RTM 84 has both extended low profile rocker in the shovel and tail rocker also, and a pretty flat but negative camber underfoot.   I teach with 3 people on our staff who have the RTM 84.  They love it and have none of the issues you are encountering

 

Although the RTM 84 is a rockered ski, it is moderately so, and is a good hard snow ski.  If you are accustomed to cambered skis only, how you stand on a rockered ski, how you feel the snow, and how you pressure will feel different.  You will want to find the balance point of this ski and learn how the ski wants you to pressure it.  

 

That said, it wouldn't hurt to have the factory tuning checked by the shop.  I have owned many Volkls, and their quality control for the tuning has suffered of late.  3 years ago, I bought a pair of Volkl Bridges that were so railed that they were unskiable until a pretty hefty tuning was done.  This year I bought the Volkl RTM 81's (the 84's little brother). The factory tuning was hit and miss, and the ski didn't find its stride until the bottoms were flattened and the edge tuning made more consistent.  It is not out of the realm of possibility that you may be base high in some places which would contribute to your troubles

 

Here are a couple of caveats about the little brother 81's that I will share with you:  First this is a precision ski that wants you to be forward and stay forward if you want it to be stable and hold well.  It doesn't like back seat drivers - it doesn't suffer fools gladly.  Secondly, it wants you to keep your upper body slightly ahead of the turn in order to be solid.  I suspect the 84's are more like this than not.

 

It may not hurt to take a lesson, as an instructor may be able to point out some deficiencies in your technique which may be contributory. 

 

Good luck.

 

Surdog

post #5 of 13

I agree with Bud, but will add some further data.  Part of what causes the chattering is too much skid angle, but its what happens in the bottom half of the turn when gravity and turn forces line up together.  Many skiers will have to resort to edging more and creating more skid angle in order to control their speed.  Try to create edge engagement in the top half of the turn, creating round turn shape all the way through, with a more minimal skid angle that doesn't increase through the turn.  If you skip high-C, then you will probably end up chattering the bottom.  if you get some nice turn shape in the top half of the turn, you'll have less speed coming into the bottom half and better able to maintain a sense of control without having to resort to bigger skid angles and chattering.

post #6 of 13

This is good advice from borntoski683.  If you are establishing the edge at the fall line it is already too late, the shape of your turn is already largely determined, and skidding is the result or necessity for speed control.  It becomes 'park and ride", and that affects the timing of the beginning of your new turn. 

 

If you establish that early edge well above the fall line, then you have a great opportunity to create a very rounded turn with a continuous and strong edge into the belly of the turn and beyond.  Carry the turn uphill a bit and begin your new transition, and life is good. 

 

What borntoski683 hasn't yet said is that the new turn should begin by moving off the old inside ski (like a runner extending off what is becoming his back foot, the "power" foot)  As both skis are transitioning underneath you, soften the old outside leg and begin to extend off the old inside foot (on what will become the new outside ski).  Pressure off the inside of the ball of that foot as your upper body moves forward and diagonally in the direction of your new turn.  If your timing and direction is accurate, your upper body will slightly lead the turn, and you will be pressuring the front of the ski and on edge.  It won't chatter unless you allow your upper body to drop back.  You will feel yourself losing shin contact with the front of your boots in one or both of your feet. 

 

Surfdog

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfdog View Post
 

Hi vSki

 

If you are just doing a straight run on the flats, you should be able to do so uneventfully, even if the ski is "shaped" or "rockered", and the RTM 84 is both.  The RTM 84 has both extended low profile rocker in the shovel and tail rocker also, and a pretty flat but negative camber underfoot.   I teach with 3 people on our staff who have the RTM 84.  They love it and have none of the issues you are encountering

 

Although the RTM 84 is a rockered ski, it is moderately so, and is a good hard snow ski.  If you are accustomed to cambered skis only, how you stand on a rockered ski, how you feel the snow, and how you pressure will feel different.  You will want to find the balance point of this ski and learn how the ski wants you to pressure it.  

 

 

Generally speaking, should one be applying more or less forward pressure on a rockered ski than a conventional camber ski?  

 

I always conceived of the rocker as a way to initiate a carve with less forward pressure when simply tipping on edge.  Now that I think about the chatter aspect running on a flat, it seems you would need to me more forward to keep the tips from bounding off the snow when tracking straight and flat, even the freshest corduroy.   

post #8 of 13

just stand in the center of the ski and tip it. Rocker simulates a weighted ski, not a forward weighted ski.

post #9 of 13

Every ski has a balance point, a "sweet spot".  With any new pair of skis, the rider has to learn where the ski wants you to stand in terms of fore-aft balance.  I can't tell you where that is on your RTM 84's, you will have to ski it enough to find it yourself.  Sounds like you were a good enough skier 10 years ago that you will be able to do this.

 

PDXammo is telling you to stand in the center of the ski, and the way he has phrased it seems to imply that your balance does not need to be as forward in order to fully engage the edges.  (Not trying to put words in your mouth, PDXammo, but what you are saying could be read that way). 

 

I skied the Volkl Bridges, a fully rockered twin tip for 3 years.  That included skiing the steepest, iciest runs on my mountain  at high speeds  (Cannon Moutain in Franconia, NH).  What is no different is that if I wanted to carve or maintain edge of necessity is that I always had to maintain shin tongue contact with both feet throughout the turns.  I had to strongly pressure the shovel of the outside ski, or the tip would begin to wander and chatter.  In fact, most of what we do as good skiing on cambered skis will remain. 

 

Rockered skis don't give you as strong an edge hold as a cambered ski unless you put it there with your technique.  A cambered ski has the tips and tails touching the snow unweighted, a rockered ski less so. 

 

Shape skis, what we all are on these days, will piss on you if you sit back.  The 84's are a shape ski and ask that of you.  They ask for precision and will reward it.  I won't answer your question as more or less, but rather enough.  That said, I do not think you are forward enough and that is contributory to the chattering.  I'll say err on the side of more.  I doubt you will fall over the tips of your skis.  :)

 

By the way, I don't think there is any such thing as "simply" tipping on edge.

 

Surfdog

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for replies everyone! Im still learning the new ski technology and associated lingo and theres a lot to take in but its starting to make sense. 

post #11 of 13

My Posts from another thread on this subject!

 

 

CHATTER - When the skis repeatedly lose and regain grip on the snow in a rapid, pulsating fashion and feel as though they are skipping sideways across the snow. Typically experienced when attempting to carve on very hard snow, ice or uneven surfaces. 

Chatter can have various causes including: engaging the skis too harshly at the start of the turnnot applying pressure in a PROGRESSSIVE manner during the turn, trying to jam the edge into the snow/ice after a ski has already started to slide, and the presence of some Steering in the attempted carve. 

 

The key is to get the tips to hook up first.   So, I will pose the question and maybe this will help you figure it out!  

 

How would YOU make the tips start to carve. 

 

 

The best way I can describe it is with the hand motions the coach made.

 

Maybe this will help!

 

Left turn predominantly right footed!

 

Place your hands together off to your right and tilt them at about a 45 degree angle to the left and then lower your finger tips of both hands together  and slightly to the right! (This is akin to pressuring the tips)

 

The wrong way would be to do the above with your hands but press both of your entire hand straight down (this is akin to pressing on the center of the ski)

 

This is what made it click for me when he was explaining/showing it to me. To some extenet it is almost a mindset more than an actual action

 

The key is still pressing your tips away from the turn direction. Again this pressures the tips and causes  the tip to hook up and the ski to bend. 

 

No bendy in ski = lotsa chatter! 

 

 

Some slopes ARE too steep and hard (snow) to carve the top of the turn cleanly!  This is where you employ an intentional smooth drift at the top of the turn (redirection) and then carve the bottom  back across the hill!


Edited by Atomicman - 3/3/14 at 7:49pm
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

My Posts from another thread on this subject!

 

 

CHATTER - When the skis repeatedly lose and regain grip on the snow in a rapid, pulsating fashion and feel as though they are skipping sideways across the snow. Typically experienced when attempting to carve on very hard snow, ice or uneven surfaces. 

Chatter can have various causes including: engaging the skis too harshly at the start of the turnnot applying pressure in a PROGRESSSIVE manner during the turn, trying to jam the edge into the snow/ice after a ski has already started to slide, and the presence of some Steering in the attempted carve. 

 

The key is to get the tips to hook up first.   So, I will pose the question and maybe this will help you figure it out!  

 

How would YOU make the tips start to carve. 

 

 

The best way I can describe it is with the hand motions the coach made.

 

Maybe this will help!

 

Left turn predominantly right footed!

 

Place your hands together off to your right and tilt them at about a 45 degree angle to the left and then lower your finger tips of both hands together  and slightly to the right! (This is akin to pressuring the tips)

 

The wrong way would be to do the above with your hands but press both of your entire hand straight down (this is akin to pressing on the center of the ski)

 

This is what made it click for me when he was explaining/showing it to me. To some extenet it is almost a mindset more than an actual action

 

The key is still pressing your tips away from the turn direction. Again this pressures the tips and causes  the tip to hook up and the ski to bend. 

 

No bendy in ski = lotsa chatter! 

 

 

Some slopes ARE too steep and hard (snow) to carve the top of the turn cleanly!  This is where you employ an intentional smooth drift at the top of the turn (redirection) and then carve the bottom  back across the hill!


Atomicman, I played around  with this concept today. Really felt the ski bend even more than just pressing shins into front and sides of boots. It will take time to work the muscle memory in but this is really a positive improvement I felt even on some 109mm underfoot skis.  Would that be called a dorsiflexion of the ankle in the boot?

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbowler View Post
 


Atomicman, I played around  with this concept today. Really felt the ski bend even more than just pressing shins into front and sides of boots. It will take time to work the muscle memory in but this is really a positive improvement I felt even on some 109mm underfoot skis.  Would that be called a dorsiflexion of the ankle in the boot?

I know it sounds weird and it is not intuitive but just tyhe opposite of what most folks do but it works and defintely takes some muscle retraining!

 

The best way I can describe it is letting the tips hookup in the direction opposite you are turning, yeah maybe opening up the ankle at the top of the turn makes it happen. 

 

I think about pushing my tips away from the direction I am turning which makes them hook up and bend the ski.


Edited by Atomicman - 3/5/14 at 5:56pm
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