Originally Posted by Jakub
just wanting to confirm if its safe to assume that new skis come with 0 degrees base edge angle and a 0 degree side edge angle, giving a 90 degree included angle on the edge. Or does it depend on the type of ski, ie SC will have about 0.5 at the base etc from the factory. Ive been a bit lazy and forgot to measure with a striaght edge and now have the skis packed.
Can this be assumed, 0 degrees?
I worked for Volkl for 11 years. A great deal of that time was spent at the factory.
Virtually all major manufacturers' with very few exceptions, call for a base edge bevel between .5-1.0 degree, and a side edge angle between 2-3 degree. Do they come to you this way? Some are quite close, but very few are on the money. Does it make a big difference? You bet it does.
You also must understand that just because the factory states it has 1-2 degree on the side edge, does not mean you should not change it to 2-3. 1 degree of side edge will not allow any shaped ski to be used to its full potential. The reason is the same as the "booting out" principal. You will only be able to tip the ski on edge so far until the upper part of the edge kicks out the lower part of the edge. It is that this time you will fall right on your butt.
I think most people are beginning to understand the level of commitment it takes to inclinate your body to find the ultimate carving thrill. Your ski needs to give you the confidence and trust to engage in this technique. 1 degree will not let this happen.
There are no maintenance issues regarding a 3 degree side edge. The difference in acuteness over 1.5-2mm height of the side edge is negligable. However, the difference in performance is profound. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation regarding this subject. The edge will not be more difficult to maintain, nor will it become duller any quicker than a 1 degree side edge angle.
The reality is that much of the character of all skis when tipped on edge has to do with the actual shape of the sidewall and how it interfaces with the snow surface when the ski becomes tipped on edge.
All skis become easier to drive when the base edge does not exceed 1 degree of base bevel. Why? Because the ski will engage its sidecut earlier in the initiation phase of the turn with very little effort. Resistance from the snow surface will come back into the ski allowing all the benefits of its constructuin to go to work for you. Excessive base bevels alway de-power shaped skis and create instability in turning and straight line performance. It will make you work harder to get any of the benefits the new technology has to offer.
A shaped ski that is prepared correctly should ask nothing of you, but give you everything you ask from it on command.
Good preparation creates a ski that is as forgiving as it is high performing.
Ever drive a BMW M3? Even if you have not, the reality is that these cars are cool as a cucumber in normal everyday driving. But, if you want to take it to the race track for the weekend, it will rise to the occasion. Get the picture?
Have a great season!