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Instructor grade skis - rough duty skis

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Why doesn't anyone make a ski like this?  Maybe someone does????

 

In searching for a ski to fit the bill, it seems there's a void in the market.  Something that is leans more toward the performance side, but retains the rental market durability.

 

My wish list would be as follows...

 

1.  Super durable top sheet... kind of like the lizard skin that Elan puts on their rental fleet.

2.  Edges that stay sharp longer.  Maybe sharpen them every 2 weeks instead of every 4 days.

3.  Bases retain wax longer.

4.  Lighter weight - ski and binding combo.  Asking a lot, I know.

5.  Not rental market noodly

6.  Mid-eighties waist

7.  Short - medium turn radius

 

I guess it would be nice to find a ski that you could teach on, take exams on and would still take a beating along the way. 

 

Is that unicorn out there somewhere?

 

Has a manufacturer ever built a ski like this?  For the military perhaps?

 

Are there currently skis on the market that come close to fulfilling my wish list?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 22
Exam/teaching skis that do it all well enough for exams... in our region, Rossi E88, Head Rev85pro.
I'd happily take an exam or teach on these two or about a half dozen others. There are a ton of great skis that all do what you're asking.
Edited by markojp - 3/25/15 at 4:45pm
post #3 of 22

Don't waste your time thinking about what ski you should buy. Think about how you can market yourself to a ski company so they give you a free pair of skis.

Then it doesn't matter if they get beat up, because you can just get another pair for next season.

post #4 of 22

My favorite is the Elan Amphibio.  I teach, recreational race, coach, and take exams on them.  I like them so much that since I beat my first pair so bad after 3 1/2 seasons, I bought the same thing a few weeks back.  They're great in the bumps and trees too.

 

It's only 74 at the waist (for the 160 cm) but I'm an east coaster and am usually more concerned with grip than float.

 

Ken

post #5 of 22

Are rental skis really any more burly than other skis??

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Lutes View Post
 

Are rental skis really any more burly than other skis??

Not the ones in our shop.. Don't know where the OP is drawing that conclusion from.

post #7 of 22

3. (wax)  Is just as much a function of the wax you use as much as it is the base.

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

3. (wax)  Is just as much a function of the wax you use as much as it is the base.

Some structure helps as well.
post #9 of 22

I've taught on Icelantic Shamans, Volkl Supersport Allstars and Nordica Steadfasts.  If you're a decent skier almost any ski will work although some are definitely easier than others.  As something semi-famous once once said, "it isn't the bow, it's the Indian."

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
 

Not the ones in our shop.. Don't know where the OP is drawing that conclusion from.

 

From Ski Area Management

 

"DURABILITY AND PRICE

Rental skis across the board, from fleet rentals to high-performance demos, are being built to last. Says Elan-Alpina’s Irwin: “Manufacturers have competed so hard to make the most durable top sheets. There has been a huge increase (in durability) from just five years ago.” Atomic’s Strassburger agrees, seeing a movement toward “thicker bases, thicker edges, and tougher top sheets.”"

 

The rental fleet skis that I've seen seem to be overbuilt compared to skis that most people would consider a higher-end ski.  The point of the post wasn't really about the rental fleet.

 

 

 

I appreciate all the ski suggestions, but my beef is with the industry for not creating a more durable version of their current skis or just a higher end ski that's bulletproof.

 

To steal the quote from above... I'm looking for a Rossi88 or Rev85 with "thicker bases, thicker edges, and tougher topsheets."  I'm actually looking for more than that, but that would be a nice start!

 

 

How about this...

 

Take the current version of the Rossi88 (which I currently own) and change the following...

 

1.  Add tougher steel edge (might be harder to sharpen, but holds an edge longer)

2.  Thicker edge

3.  Thicker base

4.  and a bulletproof Topsheet

 

Now you have a Rossi88 HD (Heavy Duty)!

 

There could be a number of ways to market it.  The general skiing public might actually buy something overbuilt, whether they need it or not!

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtViking View Post



The the following...

1.  Add tougher steel edge (might be harder to sharpen, but holds an edge longer)
2.  Thicker edge
3.  Thicker base
4.  and a bulletproof Topsheet

Now you have a Rossi88 HD (Heavy Duty)!

There could be a number of ways to market it.  The general skiing public might actually buy something overbuilt, whether they need it or not!

What is it that your doing/teaching that's creating so many problems with ski durability?
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Topsheets getting mutilated, edges have to be sharpened every 4 days, bases need wax once a week.  I'm doing the edges and wax by hand.

post #13 of 22
How are the top sheets being mutilated? By your skiing, or others?

Edges every 4 days? Really? Unless your racing, something's wrong with your method. No offense here, but a good tune, while not rocket science, is a bit of an art. Tell us more about your procedure.

Wax... Base structure's your friend. And aside from that, a fresh hit every 4-5 days on snow... I'm not seeing how that's an issue. Could you take a photo of your skis so we can see more specifically what condition they're in?
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtViking View Post
 

Why doesn't anyone make a ski like this?  Maybe someone does????

 

In searching for a ski to fit the bill, it seems there's a void in the market.  Something that is leans more toward the performance side, but retains the rental market durability.

 

My wish list would be as follows...

 

1.  Super durable top sheet... kind of like the lizard skin that Elan puts on their rental fleet.

2.  Edges that stay sharp longer.  Maybe sharpen them every 2 weeks instead of every 4 days.

3.  Bases retain wax longer.

4.  Lighter weight - ski and binding combo.  Asking a lot, I know.

5.  Not rental market noodly

6.  Mid-eighties waist

7.  Short - medium turn radius

 

I guess it would be nice to find a ski that you could teach on, take exams on and would still take a beating along the way. 

 

Is that unicorn out there somewhere?

 

Has a manufacturer ever built a ski like this?  For the military perhaps?

 

Are there currently skis on the market that come close to fulfilling my wish list?

 

Thanks!


I'll defer to instructors on a lot of this, only add that

 

1) Far as I know, all edges are made of the same steel, same hardness, these days, and variance in width among rec brands is minor, some indies go for wider edges. But IMO if you don't want to sharpen your edges so often, go to a lower angle, say 1/2 instead of 1/3. 

 

2) Stockli and some older Elan sheets are more durable IMO because they're metal imprinted with the design, no nylon or plastic. Otherwise, I've found that top sheets that already look distressed, like Blizzards during the Magnum 8.1/8.7 era, are the best bet; you can't tell new damage from old design. Also, caps don't tend to show cuts as quickly as sandwiches, but unclear if an instructor would want a cap ski.

 

More generally, I'd assume that top sheet damage you suffer is due to clients walking/skiing over your skis, not sure that'll ever get better. My kids still do it to me sometimes, and they're good skiers. But as you know, like freestylers, racers tend to be, ah, casual with the appearance of their gear. It's the bottoms and edges that count, not the tops. 

 

3) Bases that retain wax will be bases that are softer, and therefore ding faster. Can't have it both ways. And wax hardness is temperature dependent. In general, your list suggests you might think about doing everyday tuning yourself, save $$ that way. 

 

4) IME, Elans are the most durable normally priced ski on the market in terms of quality of construction. They're also to be had a decent prices about now. Stocklis are better but not to be had a decent prices. Blizzies hold up fairly well IME; you might look around for a new 8.5 Ti with the Blizzard worn-out design; I think they're still out there. Kastles hold up well but look terrible in a hurry because of the top sheets and are $$. I see a lot of instructors on Volkls, BTW, but suspect that's because of deals with the company rather than any super-durability. 

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

How are the top sheets being mutilated? By your skiing, or others?

Edges every 4 days? Really? Unless your racing, something's wrong with your method. No offense here, but a good tune, while not rocket science, is a bit of an art. Tell us more about your procedure.

Wax... Base structure's your friend. And aside from that, a fresh hit every 4-5 days on snow... I'm not seeing how that's an issue. Could you take a photo of your skis so we can see more specifically what condition they're in?

Beginners skiing on top of my skis.

 

Well, I suppose I don't have to do the edges at all, but there's a noticable difference after 4 days.  I suppose I could go 8, but then I'm creating more work for myself trying to get them sharp.  I did a base grind at the beginning of the year.  With the base grind I put a 1d base on 2d edge on them.  Maintenance is with a 200 grit diamond stone for a few passes and then a 400 grit.  Only touch the base to knock the burr off.  I do the edges first, then maybe one pass on the base, and then one pass back on the edges.  I brass brush the bases and then hot wax with a warm temp wax.  I do that until wax is clean... maybe twice, sometimes once.  Then I use a universal wax.  If anything I'll add in a cold temp wax, but haven't done that recently.

 

I know what you mean about 4-5 days not being an issue.  But wouldn't it be nice if that was more like every 2 weeks?  If I go longer than a week on my current setup than the bases start to look dry on the edges and the skis certainly don't perform quite as well.

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 


IME, Elans are the most durable normally priced ski on the market in terms of quality of construction. They're also to be had a decent prices about now. Stocklis are better but not to be had a decent prices. Blizzies hold up fairly well IME; you might look around for a new 8.5 Ti with the Blizzard worn-out design; I think they're still out there. Kastles hold up well but look terrible in a hurry because of the top sheets and are $$. I see a lot of instructors on Volkls, BTW, but suspect that's because of deals with the company rather than any super-durability. 

 

Hadn't read about current durability among brands.  This is interesting.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtViking View Post
 

Beginners skiing on top of my skis.

 

Well, I suppose I don't have to do the edges at all, but there's a noticable difference after 4 days.  I suppose I could go 8, but then I'm creating more work for myself trying to get them sharp.  I did a base grind at the beginning of the year.  With the base grind I put a 1d base on 2d edge on them.  Maintenance is with a 200 grit diamond stone for a few passes and then a 400 grit.  Only touch the base to knock the burr off.  I do the edges first, then maybe one pass on the base, and then one pass back on the edges.  I brass brush the bases and then hot wax with a warm temp wax.  I do that until wax is clean... maybe twice, sometimes once.  Then I use a universal wax.  If anything I'll add in a cold temp wax, but haven't done that recently.

 

I know what you mean about 4-5 days not being an issue.  But wouldn't it be nice if that was more like every 2 weeks?  If I go longer than a week on my current setup than the bases start to look dry on the edges and the skis certainly don't perform quite as well.

 

 

No big deal, but I don't know that I haven't waxed a ski after 4-5 days on snow in my entire 15y.o. ~ current lifetime. I find it relaxing... meditative in fact. :)  

 

Don't know what to tell you about the edges. I don't think any ski made in any catagory will meet your standards. 

 

Beginners on skis... this happens occasionally, but I haven't had much damage done. So you have a pair of E88's... why not buy a new pair and use them for your training/testing skis, and your current ones as your teaching skis? I know the PSIA deal isn't super great on the E-88, but it's better than retail for sure.

 

Most of the people I know teach primarily on one pair of skis. It's a given that there's going to be some work related wear and tear. Don't know too many who worry all that much about it though. The only damage to top sheets that matters is if something chips or gouges to the wood. Marine grade flexible epoxy, probably around $14 for a mini fix kit, does the trick. Haven't had to do that one in awhile, but it works well.

post #18 of 22

The 2-week edges you speak of were made, search here on Fischer Plasma Edge.     

The downside is that they were absolutely beastly to sharpen by hand.    So, exit the old tradeoff and enter a new one - no sharpening for a long time and then a machine grind on the 15th day.

 

Atomic were doing some experimentation around that time also, mostly in a stainless steel type direction.  

 

 

There are plenty of waxes that can last 10 days if a) you don't mind paying for premium wax b) you don't mind that breakaway speed will steadily creep up with use c) you take the trouble to match the wax to the operational temps & snow quality. 

What are you using now, and where do you teach?

 

For skis, you can always get on eBay and grab one of the euro market Atomic Bluesters with the Aerospeed golf-ball dimple topsheets.


Edited by cantunamunch - 3/26/15 at 11:33am
post #19 of 22
If you're just using diamond stones, I'd call that polishing, not sharpening. I do that every time I wax, which averages every 60000 feet. I only SHARPEN, with a file, once or twice a season, maybe a third time this season, but haven't done it yet. A season being a million feet or so.

The topsheet on the K2 Amp 82 Rictor Xti seems pretty tough and my long term experience with the Recons and the Outlaws shows them looking almost new with 200 days apiece, even though they are skied out. No experience with your skis. All cap skis for the K2s, don't think my Nordica skis are going to hold up looks-wise. Seem VERY prone to top sheet damage.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

 

 

No big deal, but I don't know that I haven't waxed a ski after 4-5 days on snow in my entire 15y.o. ~ current lifetime. I find it relaxing... meditative in fact. :)  

 

Don't know what to tell you about the edges. I don't think any ski made in any catagory will meet your standards. 

 

Beginners on skis... this happens occasionally, but I haven't had much damage done. So you have a pair of E88's... why not buy a new pair and use them for your training/testing skis, and your current ones as your teaching skis? I know the PSIA deal isn't super great on the E-88, but it's better than retail for sure.

 

Most of the people I know teach primarily on one pair of skis. It's a given that there's going to be some work related wear and tear. Don't know too many who worry all that much about it though. The only damage to top sheets that matters is if something chips or gouges to the wood. Marine grade flexible epoxy, probably around $14 for a mini fix kit, does the trick. Haven't had to do that one in awhile, but it works well.

I can tell the first time I ski after waxing!  

 

I don't wax unless the bases start to dry out.  As soon as I see that, I wax them.  

 

I thought about relegating my current E88 (178) to instructing duty, but I'd like something a bit shorter.  I think 170 might be the ticket in that ski for what I'm doing... which is a lot of beginner lessons and some privates.  I've really come to enjoy the ski quite a bit, but when a never-ever skis on top of my skis, they always take some of the top sheet with them.  I file the scrapes and gouges down when I'm doing maintenance on the skis.  I try to smooth the top sheet out so they're retain some catch-free characteristics.  Not sure if that's working or not.

 

The Rossi pro-form deal is done for this year.  It was a decent discount, but this time of year most retailers can get close to it or even beat the price.

post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

The 2-week edges you speak of were made, search here on Fischer Plasma Edge.     

The downside is that they were absolutely beastly to sharpen by hand.    So, exit the old tradeoff and enter a new one - no sharpening for a long time and then a machine grind on the 15th day.

 

Atomic were doing some experimentation around that time also, mostly in a stainless steel type direction.  

 

 

There are plenty of waxes that can last 10 days if a) you don't mind paying for premium wax b) you don't mind that breakaway speed will steadily creep up with use c) you take the trouble to match the wax to the operational temps & snow quality. 

What are you using now, and where do you teach?

 

For skis, you can always get on eBay and grab one of the euro market Atomic Bluesters with the Aerospeed golf-ball dimple topsheets.

 

Interesting!  I guess a harder edge has been tried.

 

The wax I use is the cheapest stuff I can find.  It's the universal stuff from racewax.

 

I teach at a small mid atlantic resort.

 

Never heard of the Bluesters.  Will check them out.  

post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtViking View Post
 

I can tell the first time I ski after waxing!  

 

Well, yeah, that's when the breakaway speed is lowest, that's when you can just stand around and shuffle in place and the skis feel slipperier than greased snot on a banana peel.    As you've already found out, that's the feeling that disappears quickest, even though the ski still feels waxed to the touch.

 

 

 

The wax I use is the cheapest stuff I can find.  It's the universal stuff from racewax.

 

I teach at a small mid atlantic resort.

 

I've only used that stuff once,  on Hood on Memorial Day, so can't really speak to it's durability.  

I have done 10+ Midatlantic days with no greying or near-edge problems with:

 

Swix LF4

Toko HF blue
Maplus RB medium (purple)
Zardoz white (cold)

 

None of the universals have been able to last half that long.
 

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