Thinking of going to Bryce and trying grass skiing for the first time this summer. Martin, care to povide some pointers or cyber lessons to help me prep for the trip? Anyone like to join my class?
Originally Posted by comprex
* Does different degrees of tipping (edge angle) allow for turn radius adjustment, as with snow skis?
Yes and NO- as Martin Bell points out, camber is fixed. Once you engage the entire edge, that's it.
My legs aren't long enough for 90cm crossovers.
Yes, a greater tipping angle will decrease turn radius, which is why you'll occasionally see ugly A-frame positions from racers who get late in the line.
* It doesn't look like steering is much of an option with these. Is there any means of turning besides carving, stepping, or perhaps a pivot?
I could sort of wash my tails out and finesse that a bit, but the surface was just too variable and the vibration just too omnipresent to rely on it, at least with only 3 hours in the legs.
Any kind of skidding feels pretty scary.
* How do you stop, besides just rolling to a stop on the flats, or turning up hill?
People on the videos looked like runaway trains at the bottom of the slope.
As MB points out, you bring them (the tips anyway) together whilst keeping your knees apart (effectively finding the "inside edges"). At higher speeds turning uphill is the better option.
Be careful with that "tips together" move! I'd advise just turning gradually uphill - plan ahead!
* What's the best type grass skis for high end use/racing?
The SpeedyJak (see link above) is head and shoulders above the rental Rollkas with its damping and modern (protected) belts. I had a short chat with Mr Locher on opening day and he said his dream grass ski is one with cartridge bearings instead of the nylon/Zytel, just to do away with the washing (scrubbing!) and oiling tedium afterwards. Another limitation is the radius of the curves in the belts (larger for speed, but that means you're standing higher off the ground).
With the Rollkas the belt friction was such that, on the flats, I could propel myself to the actual slope better by using an abbreviated XC diagonal stride rather than a skating stride. THere is a LOT of friction in that system.
When I last competed, in 1999, Christian Balek's skis were respected because they were made ready-to-use. Rollkas at that time needed some customising before they would run really well.
* Just use my regular snow skiing boots?
Well, yess, but I don't plan to next time. I find I need a reminder that I'm NOT on snow (other than the noise) and I didn't need a stiff boot to decamber the ski so I plan on using some ultra-cush Rivals (that might just also help with the vibration).
And be prepared to clean them afterwards.
* Do they rent skis? Do they sell skis?
Rent, yes. Sell, no.
Do they have gates available at Bryce?
If not can we bring our own?
They are very nice folk up there, and actually quite enthusiastic about racing.
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Anything further north..PA/ NY?