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what type ski handles wet, cut-up, heavy glop?

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

Title says it all.  I was skiing this stuff today.  Temps varied from 31 - 33 degrees Farenheit.  It was alternately snowing, freezing rain, raining, sleeting, and again snowing.  We had maybe 8" of warm wet fresh sticky snow first thing in the morning.  This is what I mean by heavy wet glop.  After about 20 minutes (I'm in New England) it was cut up.

 

So I have longitudinally soft skis (but torsionally stiff; Kastle FX84s).  Several years back when my skills were more minimal -- and my skis stiffer and narrower (low 70s  waists), I blasted through this stuff with ease.  Today I made it through this stuff.  But to do that I had to keep talking to reassuringly to myself, because my beloved skis did not leave me feeling well-supported.  I felt like I had to do all the work without much support.  Another way of putting it:  they seemed a little "light" for the job.  Things worked out, but I'm wondering if denser boards are called for when there is cement underfoot.  

I'm thinking stiff boards would leave me feeling more like a hero empowered to triumph over nature than a person having to constantly evaluate whether or not my current boards will give way and fold at the next big mound of gook ahead.  These concerns may relate to the character of this particular pair of skis, or it may reflect the fact that I had a season-ending injury late last season.  I'm trying to figure this out.  

Just to clarify:  I was skiing heavy wet cut-up glop, right down the center of the trail where others feared to tread.  I did this over and over for one hour only, then had to stop for indoor training.

 

What say the members of the community more familiar with skiing cement?

post #2 of 72
It's humbling. That Icy crust adds another insult. I can tell you SL skis don't work well for me. Full rocker fat skis make it doable.
post #3 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Title says it all.  I was skiing this stuff today.  Temps varied from 31 - 33 degrees Farenheit.  It was alternately snowing, freezing rain, raining, sleeting, and again snowing.  We had maybe 8" of warm wet fresh sticky snow first thing in the morning.  This is what I mean by heavy wet glop.  After about 20 minutes (I'm in New England) it was cut up.

 

So I have longitudinally soft skis (but torsionally stiff; Kastle FX84s).  Several years back when my skills were more minimal -- and my skis stiffer and narrower (low 70s  waists), I blasted through this stuff with ease.  Today I made it through this stuff.  But to do that I had to keep talking to reassuringly to myself, because my beloved skis did not leave me feeling well-supported.  I felt like I had to do all the work without much support.  Another way of putting it:  they seemed a little "light" for the job.  Things worked out, but I'm wondering if denser boards are called for when there is cement underfoot.  

I'm thinking stiff boards would leave me feeling more like a hero empowered to triumph over nature than a person having to constantly evaluate whether or not my current boards will give way and fold at the next big mound of gook ahead.  These concerns may relate to the character of this particular pair of skis, or it may reflect the fact that I had a season-ending injury late last season.  I'm trying to figure this out.  

Just to clarify:  I was skiing heavy wet cut-up glop, right down the center of the trail where others feared to tread.  I did this over and over for one hour only, then had to stop for indoor training.

 

What say the members of the community more familiar with skiing cement?


I think a lower or sharper tip can help. The shovel on the FX84 is pretty shovely. My advice is - strong inside half.

post #4 of 72
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I was driving my inside hand/arm/hip/etc forward pretty hard.  As in REALLY HARD. 

What does "pretty shovely" mean?

What does a "lower or sharper tip" mean?


Epic, clearly I'm trying to blame it on my gear, but maybe I should blame this on my mind that is remembering an injury last spring.

post #5 of 72

Heavier, stiffer, longer, longer turn radius, skinnier and coarser base structure.

post #6 of 72
Thread Starter 

I'm not willing to use a different base structure.  The sticky phase (glide and stop! glide and stop!, aka face-plant time) only lasts about 20 minutes or so where I ski because we have people cutting it up and compressing it.  Then it's just dense, dense, dense.  I can last through that without visiting a shop for a stone grind and restructuring.

post #7 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Yeah, I was driving my inside hand/arm/hip/etc forward pretty hard.  As in REALLY HARD. 

What does "pretty shovely" mean?

What does a "lower or sharper tip" mean?


Epic, clearly I'm trying to blame it on my gear, but maybe I should blame this on my mind that is remembering an injury last spring.


A sharper tip would have more of a point  to it. The FX is kind of round. Some skis have a very blunt tip . A sharper one that comes to mind is the Nordica El Capo it also is very low. The lower tip seems to cut better. I love my Firearrow 84s in crud, they have an almost square tip, but it barely comes up off the snow at all. My Patron tips are so low that if I try and do tracer turns with the tail lifted I will sometimes catch on groomed. The FX84 tip I think is a bit taller and rounder and will have more area going through the crud. I think Ghost is right too about a straighter ski being a bonus. The FX is a pretty good crud ski, but you are probably skiing it in a short enough length that it is a pretty small radius ski. All of taht said, there is probably an adjustment you can make to make it work better for you.

post #8 of 72
Thread Starter 

Hmmm.  Mine are 168s, I think, or maybe 170s.  TR16 or so, 2013 with both ends hollowed out.  

I had them on edge.  No schmeering going on; just cutting through.  They bent on command.

These things are quite damp, which is great on hard snow.  But in this cement I feel every lump.  

I find that unsettling.  I'd rather a "Hummer" type ski, a tank, than these light delicate skis.   I think.  

But I can be dissuaded if coaxed skillfully.  Maybe.

 

Do other skiers think this way?  Thoughts?  

post #9 of 72

They may not be the ne plus ultra, but I'm pretty happy with how my Gotamas work in the snow you describe. (Sounds a lot like Sierra Cement :o)  My old Head Monster 88s were pretty good also, but they are long discontinued.

post #10 of 72

Volkl Explosiv with a good wax job.  Narrow and stiff enough to cut through, straight enough not to be hooky, and wide enough to be stable underfoot.  I generally don't enjoy skiing mine much any more in most conditions, but they do go through crappy stuff, which is nice.

post #11 of 72
Quote:
 -- and my skis stiffer and narrower (low 70s  waists), I blasted through this stuff with ease.

The partial quote shows that you may already have the answer to your question. Stiffer and narrower may be the answer, provided that you cut, arc, through the mess rather than try to brush or skid through it. During a visit to the west coast for some “powder” skiing one year, the “powder” was referred to by the local instructors as “Sierra Cement”.  None of them were on wide, floaty powder skis. They were on narrow slalom skis having 64-68 cm waists.  In their view wider skis were a lot of extra work in those conditions.

 

A brushed carve or “scarve” is more prone to catch an edge and dump you, also known as an AOT transition, whereas a higher edge angle in a less skidded carve will slice more. You must slice deeply into the glop or float completely on top of it.

 

I see skiers who are proficient with wider skis having a preference for using those because they feel comfortable on them, and they do not seem sensitive to the extra work involved in skidding and brushing through the heavy gunk. Maybe they are better able to float on top.

And, fresh wax reduces the suction that glop has. Fresh wax may be more important than the structure of the base.

post #12 of 72

   Anyone remember the old  Rossi B Squad?   (no, not the new Squad 7 &c)  It was perfect for snow like that.   Long tapering tip leading down to a shovel not much wider than the waist, sturdy flex. 

 

 

LF, did you try the Ivory soap trick?

post #13 of 72
Thread Starter 

Nope, didn't go back to the ranch to apply soap or any kind of wax.  The stickiness lasted only a few runs.

It's the slicing through the stuff once it's cut up and compressed into a choppy sea that I'm talking about.

I don't try to schmeer or butter on this stuff.  That would be suicide.

 

Funny that some are saying a narrower ski might be better.  I think I learned to slice through this stuff on Atomic R11s, which were 68 in the waist I think.

Then I moved to 78 waisted (I think) Salomon Tornado X-Wings (whatever they were called).  Both did just fine.  


Today I got out my 106s but thankfully did not have the time nor chutzpah to try them.  That might have been disastrous.  I noticed no one else was on fatties either.  

 

So I think the community is saying that stiff, cambered, narrowish skis are better glop-busters than 80-something or wider skis that might be softish?  

Expanding on that advice, it sounds like any ski that once on its side holds its bend firmly under variable pressure from the snow would work well.  

Less mass (not wide) means there's less contact between the ski and the irregular snow surface, which allows cleaner control with less deflection, so narrower is better than wider.

A sharper tip rather than these blunt nose skis might be better too to lead the blasting.

 

 

Have I maybe got that right?

post #14 of 72
Oddly, in spring I like either my groomer skis (Recons) on stuff that is frozen-in ruts, or my powder skis, if it's pudding.
post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

So I think the community is saying that stiff, cambered, narrowish skis are better glop-busters than 80-something or wider skis that might be softish?  

Expanding on that advice, it sounds like any ski that once on its side holds its bend firmly under variable pressure from the snow would work well.  

Less mass (not wide) means there's less contact between the ski and the irregular snow surface.

This allows cleaner control with less deflection, so narrower is better than wider.

A sharper tip rather than these blunt nose skis might be better too.

 

 

Have I maybe got that right?

 

Well, sort of - 

 

- instead of less mass I would say less area, especially area that is relatively far away from the skier's leg

 

- I personally would rather be on a stiff, cambered long-radius (shovel not much wider than waist) fat ski than a short radius narrow ski with a wide shovel.     BSquad or Sugar Daddy or Elan M777  >> Stockli Laser IMO.

 

post #16 of 72

Instead of less mass, more mass.

post #17 of 72

Wide skis can be good for this too. The old Enforcer murdered crud.

post #18 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Yeah, I was driving my inside hand/arm/hip/etc forward pretty hard.  As in REALLY HARD. 

What does "pretty shovely" mean?

What does a "lower or sharper tip" mean?


Epic, clearly I'm trying to blame it on my gear, but maybe I should blame this on my mind that is remembering an injury last spring.


A sharper tip would have more of a point  to it. The FX is kind of round. Some skis have a very blunt tip . A sharper one that comes to mind is the Nordica El Capo it also is very low. The lower tip seems to cut better. I love my Firearrow 84s in crud, they have an almost square tip, but it barely comes up off the snow at all. My Patron tips are so low that if I try and do tracer turns with the tail lifted I will sometimes catch on groomed. The FX84 tip I think is a bit taller and rounder and will have more area going through the crud. I think Ghost is right too about a straighter ski being a bonus. The FX is a pretty good crud ski, but you are probably skiing it in a short enough length that it is a pretty small radius ski. All of taht said, there is probably an adjustment you can make to make it work better for you.


OK, on re-reading this I'm seeing those tips impacting the lumps of glop first.  This can be good or bad depending on how the tip is shaped.   If it's tall and wide, it will be deflected too much by the dense mounds, causing irregular flexing of the ski and yielding a not-smooth ride.

 

So you're suggesting a lower tip, a pointier tip, or a ski with less tip to aid slicing forward so that tip won't be getting bent back on itself continually.

 

Have I got that right, Epic?

post #19 of 72
Those conditions are not easy no matter how you slice it. I'm not great at it, so take this with a grain of salt. Seems to me a lot of it is just trusting patiently in the tail follows tip mantra, without coming so far around that you get bogged down in the transition. Presumably it's slow enough that you don't have to obsess about over competing every turn. Keep 'em pointing kinda down. (How's that for tech talk?) It's like turning off the cheat option in pow: Powder with Consequences. That and Bob's thing about being ok with chaos.
post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

So you're suggesting a lower tip, a pointier tip, or a ski with less tip to aid slicing forward so that tip won't be getting bent back on itself continually.

 

Have I got that right, Epic?

 

Yeppers.

post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 

 

Yeppers.

The B squad has a very round tip, and runs 130-100-120. The reason it works so well is it's torsional stiffness. It doesn't deflect much much like skis Ghost was referring to. The Dynastar 8800 was not bad either in heavy cut snow for similar reasons because it was heavy and does cut through the snow although it prefers the speed to ride above instead of in that kind of snow.

 

 

Much different shape with both bringing a tough ski to bear in these conditions.  For best results go full rocker and ignore the density of the snow.

post #22 of 72
Thread Starter 

OK, new summary.  I'm figuring this out.

 

A long radius ski that's stiff, with camber, with a tip that will penetrate the snow instead of getting deflected when it hits the lumps of cement, is the thing that will work best. 

If it's rockered, I'm thinking I want that long elevated shovel to be stiff, not floppy.

 

Wide or medium or narrow, not sure.  May depend on the deepness of the valleys between the glop piles.  

The "float" that a fat ski delivers doesn't make sense in this stuff, does it?  Slice is the better word, IME.  

 

@GarryZ, I don't think you are saying slide a flattish ski around on top of this stuff, are you?  

post #23 of 72

I'm saying having tip and tail out of the snow allows for movement with your base of support over the middle. You can slide a wider ski but the advantage is your ability to steer at lower speeds.

post #24 of 72
Thread Starter 

I prefer to carve this stuff.  I think sliding on it is dangerous.  Tail must follow tip.  On edge.  This snow can be cut into, but not moved.

post #25 of 72
I love these conditions, but then I ski squaw. katanas work great in this, and I think bonafides too.
post #26 of 72

I skied in this weather today, too, and it was glorious -- or at least a heck of a lot glorious-er than last weekend, which was a layer of manmade power mixed with natural on an solid ice base, which was quickly exposed and which I couldn't get an edge in. Today, all it did was rain, all day -- 34 degree, gore-tex test weather.

 

 It sounds as if you had a lot more snow than we did, LF, but I was skiing my old, tank-like Contact 4x4s (76mm under foot, two sheets of metal -- everyone grimaces when handling them), and it was  pretty easy slicing through the slop.  Again, it wasn't that deep, but my skills aren't yours, either.  I've used those skis in much deeper heavy days, and they do pretty well pointed down, with no rotary early in the turn.  (Of course, there have been disastrous moments, too, but I blame lack of skills, not skis.)  

post #27 of 72

We had quite a bit of the thick mash potato mixed with Elmer glue stuff (glide & stop - face plant city) at the bird last April. Also ran into the same thing at Squaw couple seasons ago. The best skis are something stiff. Doesn't matter skinny or wide. We found that Swix F4 wax also help quite a bit. In fact I just waxed my skis with F4 for Monday.

 

As other mentioned, a rounded turn shape help greatly. A 3D round turn is even better. Like the old fashion turns in powder with straight skis. Allowing the ski tip to follow the contour of the snow will smooth the ride.  

post #28 of 72

I like a big rockered ski if there is no chance of finding the bottom. That's one big difference if I can cut through the crud and carve on the bottom I want a slicer. If not then yes I want a ski that is going to stay up on top and I want some rocker. I still like the low slicey tip as seen on the Patron. This year I've added Helldorados - Patron shape + metal for crudbusting!

post #29 of 72

I love squishy powder!

 

My favorite skis for that are my Head Monster 78's, but my Rock 'n' Rolls are good, too.  I like the combination of a softer tip that bends into a turn shape readily, with enough meat that the ski doesn't get deflected easily.  I actually like that sort of flex profile generally, as it seems to work well for pretty much everything for me.

post #30 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBoisvert View Post
 

I love squishy powder!

 

My favorite skis for that are my Head Monster 78's, but my Rock 'n' Rolls are good, too.  I like the combination of a softer tip that bends into a turn shape readily, with enough meat that the ski doesn't get deflected easily.  I actually like that sort of flex profile generally, as it seems to work well for pretty much everything for me.

 

Blizzard Latigo, again!  Geesh.

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