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Grass Skiing (Racing)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ok, this post from Ski Racing Magazine got me curious about Grass Skiing.  Video makes it look very fun.

 

http://www.skiracing.com/stories/short-grass-skiing-season-highlighted-by-event-in-iran

 

 

I have never done this. 

 

Any thoughts on...

- Getting started in Grass Skiing
- Is Grass Skiing easy to pick up if you are strong skier?

- Can it help your snow skiing?

- Risks or injuries
- Types of hills to seek out for Grass Skiing
- Purchasing Grass Skis (options, price, sizes, etc.)

 

Any thoughts on this would be most welcome.

 

Thanks for the time.

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ok, so not a lot of grass skiers out there. 

 

Probably explains why I have never done it either.

post #3 of 9

Grass Skiing really feels more like downhill rollerblading than skiing. With that said, it is definitely easier for strong skier to pick up as the short skis require a tremendous amount of balance since you aren't able to snowplow or throw grass skis sideways the only way to control speed is through turning. Finding a pair of these probably presents the biggest challenge, the only manufacturer that I'm aware of is Rollka they have a few newer models you can find on ebay but they run north of $600. The sport basically died in the 80's so you can occasionally find a good antique pair.  I'm currently rocking a sweet pair from the 80's I found on ebay, with a bit of bike chain lube on the interior rollers they work great. The skis work best on any mowed grass terrain. Inspection for rocks is key, a fist sized rock can both take you down and destroy a irreplaceable pair of skis. I've found mountain biking safety gear to be pretty effective. Its definitely a fun unique sport that you will turn a lot of heads doing.

post #4 of 9

Apparently it's a blast on those Rollka grass skis.  They apparently carve really well, but stopping involves more of a big carve uphill as you can't just hockey stop.

 

Had a friend (former racer) that used to race in Europe on those things in the summer.  

Was looking to source a pair for fun out here, but they are pretty spendy, require quite a bit to maintain and the slope needs the grass to be cut, groomed so it's free of rocks and the like.

 

If you normally like ripping up the groomers, these are right up you ally.

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moose32 View Post
 

Ok, this post from Ski Racing Magazine got me curious about Grass Skiing.  Video makes it look very fun.

 

http://www.skiracing.com/stories/short-grass-skiing-season-highlighted-by-event-in-iran

 

 

I have never done this. 

 

Any thoughts on...

- Getting started in Grass Skiing
- Is Grass Skiing easy to pick up if you are strong skier?

- Can it help your snow skiing?

- Risks or injuries
- Types of hills to seek out for Grass Skiing
- Purchasing Grass Skis (options, price, sizes, etc.)

 

Any thoughts on this would be most welcome.

 

Thanks for the time.

 

 

1) go to a place that has grass ski rentals because they will have combed all the rocks out.   It is *very* hard to find a place that is smooth enough and open enough to do on your own.    You essentially need a golf course on a tilt. 

2) Yes and no.   It is very easy to carve.   There is a *lot* of vibration and you will tire out in about 1/3 of the time you normally do on snow.    Even if you carve steep blacks you will not advance past easy blues in your first couple of sessions. 

3) Rocks are risks;  injuries can be anything from wrenched shoulders to twisted knees (these are *not* release bindings) to pulled quads from going over the handlebars to smashed/twisted  thumbs because you were gripping the pole wrong. 

4) Ones where there is a grooming crew.    Any rock bigger than 1/2" on a side can trip you up. 

 

5) Rollkas are old and noisy and bad for jumping (you *will* crush the channel unless you stuffed spacers in between) and require cleaning and soap lubing after every session - but you can get them for under $100 on ebay.   If you go this route there are three things to check for - a) no tears in the nylon belt b) the channel is not crushed and dented c) that the heel throw on the binding closes /all/ the way on your boot lug.    There are some boots where it simply will not no matter how you adjust it.

 

     Jak type new designs are much quieter and much faster.     Pneumatic wheeled 'skis' are much more resistant to rocks but get caught in wet ground/ruts.   They also feel less like regular skis. 

post #6 of 9

I remember when these first cam out and wanted a set.  At that time your could get them at a big box store.  Back then the adaptation was not as big as expected and was a very short lived fad, other than the few diehards that keep it alive.

 

Now I older and smarter and realize that speed and grass (stones, rocks and other stuff) that I would ski on really hurts when you fall.  And to wear protection on the hot sunny days is just wrong.

post #7 of 9

Reminded me that there was grass skiing at Bryce in northern VA for a while.  There was a connection to the Bryce ski team.  But can't find anything current.  Video is from Sept. 2013.  Can see the gear in the first minute before the chairlift ride.

 

post #8 of 9

Apparently grass skis are being used for kiting in Europe.

 

http://www.grasski.com/en/faq.html

 

"Can I use my grass ski for KITING?

YES. In fact, grass ski are ideally suited for kiting – especially if the slope and winds enable the kite to bring the skier back up the slope with very little effort. Since 2003, my grass skis have increasingly been used for kiting and have even opened up a new market for products, recreation and competition with no complaints or negative results to date. Recently, I obtained a kite for myself and enjoyed my first kite ride using my grass ski and enjoyed it immensely. Note that this sport requires much more strength and endurance than just skiing on a snow or grass slope – but additional equipment is available to lighten the load for the kite skier. See the section on kiting at: www.Kite-Power-Shop.de

What is the GRASS SKI LENGTH recommended for KITING?

The same lengths as recommended for grass slopes:

  • Ladies – 80cm
  • Men – 85cm

At the start, slowly start moving. Afterwards you can do larger curves. When using the recommended length for the ski you are well positioned to the slope and will not feel every hole in the surface of the grass. Already with these lengths the ski is steadily moving on the grass."

post #9 of 9

I spent a few summers grass ski racing in the 80,s after running gates on snow for 3 or 4 seasons. The initial experience was fairly scary due to a combination of extra height from the ground compared to snow, the ingrained reflex to slide the skis around a little for speed control and the hardness and lack of lubricated sliding if (when) crashing! I seem to remember it taking about 3 hours to learn the patience to let the skis do their thing. Of course there was very little scope for getting in the backseat and going over the handlebars was not uncommon but once I learnt to stand on the middle of my feet, plan a good line and let the ski do what it was designed to do (sound familiar?) I really enjoyed it. An unexpected bonus was a far superior feel once I got back on snow. This was also the time I changed boots from Salomon SX90 Equipes to Koflach Super Comps and the increase in lateral precision from a rear entry boot to an overlap boot made an unexpectedly big difference to my control. Give it a try. In my experience there are benefits to your on-snow technique, particularly considering the carving nature of modern skis.

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