Hi folks; thanks for your great responses! I'm glad to have some input on this from people with a technical background...
|I believe that a more lengthy de-tune is what will free the ski up, while still allowing for good directional stability and no "hanging up" in tight terrain.
Definitely a good suggestion--and the one I tried first, since it was the least invasive way of modifying the skis' performance.
However, it didn't really cut the mustard. I tried this over several weeks of skiing steep off-piste terrain, in a variety of conditions. I found that the skis were still too eager to grab hold of random undulations in the terrain and start me turning (they had, at this point, a consistent .5-deg base bevel). Moreover, the turns continued to have a "locked-in" feel, of a fairly uniform radius--NOT what you want when jabbing little turns over exposed rock, etc.
What I wanted was a bit more freedom of choice in turning characteristics--including modifying my direction in mid-turn
I find that in steep, inconsistent terrain, obstacles appear with less line-of-sight warning, and as a result it's often necessary to feather your way into a shorter- or longer-radius turn than intended when one has already committed to the turn motion
. My (subjective but consistent) impression has been that my skis tuned with the standard uniform bevels give a feeling:
1) of being more locked-in to a turn,
2) that they grab on ice cookies, crusted-over tracks of other skiers, the backs of moguls--you name it.
BUT: when I re-tuned with a graduated base bevel, I found that I could hold my edge strongly underfoot (as you might expect, since this is where the most pressure is, as Skidoc noted), while the extra beveling at the tips allowed distracting or dangerous inputs from terrain undulations to slip by without hooking the skis.
Also, when I found myself, mid-turn, wanting to alter my radius slightly, I found that it was easier to release the ski from its carve to ease into a slightly different line, since not all of it was hooked up as powerfully as it might be if tuned with a uniformly-angled bevel.
That's my experience on the hill, anyway. But since for all you guys know I could be a total idiot gaper, you probably shouldn't take my word for it!
But maybe if anyone has a backup (or second-backup!) pair of rock skis, and doesn't totally dig their performance profile for the reasons noted above, and
skis off-piste a lot--maybe then someone else could give this stuff a try and check back in with a second opinion on the matter.
|Never tune race skis in this way, as it will shatter one's confidence on the race course with skis that are less responsive.
Quite right, Skidoc! *PLEASE PLEASE
NOTE* I am not
suggesting that all you good people go out and do this to your skis. I tend to ski a very particular subset of terrain, and I'm suggesting only that race-tuning protocols may be extremely good at providing the right performance in the racing environment, but might not be as perfectly-suited for the off-piste terrain I love. What a ski responds to on a race course might be deadly in a chute--and vice versa, so "responsiveness" may not be a singular goal to be sought out at any cost.
The subtext here is obviously that I do wonder if it's possible that the ski may not
have branched into its ultimate evolutionary cul-de-sac, and that, in the meantime, it's perfectly acceptable to conduct (hopefully) clever and careful monkeying around to glean more useful characteristics--for off-piste users--out of the current batch of skis.
P.S. Atomicman and SJJohston, did you guys get to ski those Stocklis with the factory tuning? Anything interesting to report?