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New Skis are "Grabby" in Certain Conditions

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

This question may be better placed in the tuning section, but I really don't know.  If a mod wishes to move it, go ahead.

 

I bought a pair of Ski Logic's Ullr's Chariots (186 or so) at a going-out-of-business sale in the late summer of 2014.  I finally took them out for a spin on Tuesday.  The conditions were well groomed on piste, and moderate soft-to medium crud off piste.  The sun was out and temperatures were right around or a smidge above freezing.  The skis blew my mind in the crud and skied well on the groomers until I got near the very bottom of the hill.  The groomed snow here had been pounded down to near (but not there yet) ice and had a small amount of loose stuff on top.  I noticed that all skiers from advanced to beginners were skiing regularly with no more problems than usual.  I, however, was having HUGE troubles here.

 

The skis were grabbing and letting go at different places along the edge, making it nearly impossible to retain any control.  I couldn't even snow plow.  Each ski wiggled and bucked continuously.  I tried going to a pure carve, but there were too many people around to really get into it and it didn't seem to be helping much, anyway.  I also tried to skid my turns with very light, feathered edge control, but that didn't work much either, though it worked better than the other options.

 

This seemed to happen only on this one type of snow, everything else made me feel like a hero.

 

These skis have traditional camber.

 

To compare, I went up the next day and skied my old, tried and true Elan 888s in very similar conditions.  I could just feel the grabby snow, but it wasn't really an issue, I felt in good control.

 

Any ideas about how to address this problem?

post #2 of 24

First order of business: run a stone with light pressure along the edges.    If this fixes it, it was a hanging burr all along. 

 

This is not something you need a ski shop for.   Your total cost should be $10 or less for the stone. 

post #3 of 24

Skilogic is known for their terribly inconsistent base edge bevel angles. Just really bad factory tunes! Generally underbeveled and inconsistent!

 

Try the above suggestion first. Take a hard stone (Arkansas or Surgical) flat against the base edge , about 1/3 of the stone above the side edge,  2/3 below. (Ski should be in vise side edge up base away from you) make a couple of medium pressure passes. You should hear things quiet down as you stone the edge. Use your thumb as a guide on the side wall. Just be sure (and this is very easy to do), that the stone is flat against the steel edge.

 

If that does not cure it, I would have the ski stone ground and tuned to a 1 base 3 side edge. 

 

I have skied the Chariot TL, but was not fond of it, I was really after the the TT version, but have not been able to ski on a pair.

 

Where'd you find the ski?

 

Also as a final finish, I always take a hard blue gummi and run it down the edge point at a 45 degree angle but with ABSOLUTELY NO PRESSURE. 

 

LET US KNOW HOW IT GOES!


Edited by Atomicman - 1/27/15 at 7:40am
post #4 of 24

Bad finish tune. The skis could be edge high this will make the skis feel grabby. Draw your nail across the base and edge every inch or so down the ski.If you can feel the edge at any point they are edge high. The cure is to flat file them untlil you cannot feel the edge being high or get them tuned and tell them what is needed. I just went through this with a pair of skis I bought.

post #5 of 24

The obvious question--did both pairs of skis have the same wax.

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

The obvious question--did both pairs of skis have the same wax.


Same wax.  Same waxer.  Both were on their first day of their wax job (I usually go three days between waxings).

 

I am a completely inept tuner, so I'll check them and then take them in to my favorite shop.

 

To answer the question about where I got the skis, I bought them at Fairhaven Bike and Mountain Sports in Bellingham, which closed its mountain sports section this past summer.

 

I think these are the TTs, if TT means "twin tip."  They were on a rack, the only ones left, the guy didn't know much about them, but they were asking almost nothing for them, so I jumped.

 

Thanks for all of the help!

post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

The obvious question--did both pairs of skis have the same wax.
I don't think that would make them "grabby"; if one ski had a radically wrong wax it would just drag more than the other, not act all squirrely.

My response to the original post is "burrrrrr!" They might have a terrible tune, too, but always deal with low hanging fruit first. Both the base and side edges should feel smooth with no catches or texture; draw your finger down both to reveal any snags, and a few passes with the aforementioned stones held flat to the edge being worked should remove them.

Assuming there were burrs to remove, ski them again before bringing them in for a tune in case by some miracle the tune is OK. If they're still weird bring them to a very good shop (not the biggest high-volume operation in town) for a good tune and talk to a tech about how the skis behaved. Don't insist on a base grind unless they need it.

Have fun!
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

First order of business: run a stone with light pressure along the edges.    If this fixes it, it was a hanging burr all along. 

 

This is not something you need a ski shop for.   Your total cost should be $10 or less for the stone. 


I'd second this, although not sure a burr would have that much impact in the kind of snow you describe. IME, burrs can create chatter or erratic on/off edging on really firm snow. It would have to be massive to actually produce the sensations you describe. 

 

And I might add that yep, you should look at the wax. Could have been that you had the wrong compound, or the right compound but it had worn off in places, not in other places. Which could happen if the bases were not absolutely flat. The fact that your other skis worked fine wouldn't really relate unless they had the same wax and you knew the bases were flat. 

post #9 of 24

I had that kind of behavior with some new K2 Rictors. Had them tuned by a local shop to the bevel angles I wanted.  Never really went over them closely before taking them out.  I about killed myself.  Took them home, expecting a burr problem and found that not only was there a burr (well, whole edges were burred), but at some point it looked like a grinder or sandpaper or something had been dragged diagonally across one edge near the widest part (nothing showing on the base structure).  The result was fine diagonal lines on the metal.  The edge result was like a serrated knife, although very fine serrations.  This was only obvious in good light standing at the right angle.  In fact, after I worked on it a while, my daughter couldn't even see what I was talking about (and acted like I was nuts).  Decided that slightly over beveled was far preferable to this really grabby edge and did some light polishing of the base edge until I couldn't FEEL the lines (but I can still see them).  Also worked the side edge.  Took them out again.  MUCH better, but still a bit odd.  Gave them to a fellow skier to try and he found them grabby as well (on the other hand, tried his Hell and Backs -- same length and year as mine, by the way -- while he was trying the Rictors and it was like being on ball bearings.  He'd detuned the crap out of them at the tips, they felt totally different than my pair.  So, his "grabby" needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  No wonder he hates ice, is all I can say...)  Going to spend a bit more time on the iffy area tomorrow, maybe slightly increase the bevel ahead of the contact point just a tad.  They are way better at present than the first two times I tried them, but still need watching.

 

So, there's two ski models and the impact of the tune to the user experience.  Pretty instructive.  

post #10 of 24

It's not the side edges, concentrate on the base edge! 

post #11 of 24

It's not the wax, wax problems would have been worse in loose snow because you can build large sticky clumps there.       It's either a burr or the base edge.

post #12 of 24

If they're tuned properly and still grab and release unpredictably, they might simply be too soft torsionally for your weight and skiing style.  I got some Armada park skis almost for free and planned to use them for rock skis, but they simply couldn't hold a carve on hard snow due to torsional flex - I gave them away.

 

I suppose if an edge is detuned enough that they slide a bit prior to reaching the limits of edge hold, at least they would be predictable on chalky snow and just fine in soft, so that's an option.

post #13 of 24

I've experienced what you describe twice. Once on my own pair after a tune and once on a demo pair that was just tuned.  In the first case, it was pair of Fischer Motive 88s I had skied for 20+ days both in Vermont and Colorado and knew well.  Detuning the tip edges fixed the grabbing and instability.  In the second case (Head Rev 90s FWIW) I returned the skis to the demo tent and commented on the issue.  Not sure they believed me and my suggestion about fixing the tune, but so be it. 

post #14 of 24

I always felt like SkiLogic had really poor base finish, get some structure on there.

 

For what they charge they should put more effort in to their finish.

post #15 of 24
I've got 2 pair. Howitzers/Ullr's. They skied fine.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

I've got 2 pair. Howitzers/Ullr's. They skied fine.

 

But not purchased in a going out of business sale :D ?

 

I think it's pretty much time we hear feedback from the OP on what he has managed to do so far and what the results were.    

post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

I think it's pretty much time we hear feedback from the OP on what he has managed to do so far and what the results were.    

OP here.  I have managed to inspect the skis and determined that I will have the bases and edges completely re-done, even though they don't look terribly out of tune.  I'll do a base grind, etc.  I am not a gear head nor am I good at working on my own skis, so I'll just bite the bullet and make sure that they are done right.

 

I have gone no further than planning because there is almost no snow in the mountains around here and no hope of any for weeks.  My preferred shop is in Glacier, about 45 minutes from here, and I'll drop them off when I finally go skiing again.  I'm in no hurry.

post #18 of 24

Had the same issue with my brand new Rev Pro 85's. A total re-tune fixed them.

post #19 of 24

When you drop them off, first have the shop measure the base and side bevels (ideally at the front, middle, and tail) (there's a special tool for this, and I would think any shop that does machine tuning has to have one -- otherwise they can't check what's coming out of the machine), and check the bases for flatness; it would be informative.

post #20 of 24
There is a much easier to try before you go for a full base grind. Just detune the first inch or so of the edge at the tips and tail. Most people overlook this, and wonder why their skis are grabby. It's really vital on fat skis with shorter turning radiuses.
post #21 of 24

I have a pair of Ski Logik Rock Stars that likewise are completely awful. I only took them out once, but they'll go back to the shop to see if they can fix them to be skiable, otherwise they're the worse ski investment I ever made.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecimmortal View Post
 

I always felt like SkiLogic had really poor base finish, get some structure on there.

 

For what they charge they should put more effort in to their finish.


Dave Mazzarella at SkiLogik told me they just invested some large $$$ in new finishing equipment to fix some inconsistent tune issues some people found on certain models.  All the new skis coming out of his shop are using the new finishing process.

 

We just got a series of new SkiLogik test skis, and they look very well finished...better than previous batches...we will get out on some in the next 48 hours and see if the new machines did the trick.

 

I have talked to some companies who have a devil of a time getting consistent finishes in production because after a bunch of skis go through the machine, the stones and calibrations can get out of spec and tuning quality takes a dive....many have found outsourcing finishing to companies such as Elan's Slovenian factory with high-tech, highly-maintained finishing lines gives their designs the best out-of-the-box performance...better and more consistent than they can produce with local retail shop finishing machines or their own small-scale machines.  Nothing like a bad tune to take a perfectly good ski and make it miserable to ride....

post #23 of 24

I took my Rock Stars back to the shop for a tune, and they grudgingly admitted that Ski Logic does have some issues. OK, if you know that Sports Loft, then why didn't you give them a full tune when I bought them?:rolleyes

 

Anyway, in this company, they're having a hard time keeping up:

 

post #24 of 24

OK, the tune did it's magic, and now the Rock Stars performance is fully acceptable, if not quite a bit better.

 

They feel like a combination of a foot-swivelly S7 and a trenching Nordica Patron. Not bad at all. Considering the lousy conditions in Park City right now, they were much more than acceptable.

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