[quote=Harry_Morgan]Respectfully speaking, you are talking out your hat. Tuning variations makes quite a difference in performance. Consider this (from Tognar):
"Racers and high-performance skiers and riders, however, may want to adjust the bevel more to suit their particular needs. A slalom racer, for example, might choose a 3 to 4 degree side and 0 to 1/2 degree base edge bevel for super sharp grip when making quick turns on an icy course. A giant slalom skier might stick with a 1/2 to 3/4 degree base edge bevel, but reduce the side edge bevel to 2 or 3 degrees so the skis glide fast, but aren't too grabby. Speed events such as Super-G and downhills usually dictate more base bevel and less side bevel. When Bill Johnson won the Olympic downhill years ago, his skis were tuned with a 4-5 degree base edge bevel and a slightly reduced side edge bevel...this provided the fastest possible speed for Johnson on a relatively flat, soft downhill course. By contrast, Tommy Moe won his Olympic downhill gold with only 1 degree of bottom edge bevel. This was dictated by the steep, icy conditions on the course in Norway."[/QUOTE
Harry, I can't dispute what you say because I can't prove it for sure. You see I try not to make a habit out of "talking out of my hat," and Jack from Tognar spent the afternoon in my race room, which is where I explained to him my low variable approach. This approach came to me as I learned more and more from my World Cup experience and helping Hilary Lindh achieve her level of success. Suffice to say, I believe I over-beveled her skis and actually kept her from doing as well as she could have. If I could do it all over again I would have set her base bevels with a ceramic disc somewhere around .5-1.0 degree regardless of conditions. Too much bevel on speed skis can keep them from tracking properly and actually slow them down. If an athlete has 10 different pair of skis with varying base bevels, that would require them to drastically change their technique every time they got on a different pair. In my opinion this would not be a good thing. What I can tell you for sure is that Katja Seizinger's tech Gunther Dorfner, would send me her skis to put my speed grind on, not all, but some. He would then proceed to base file .5 degree of base edge bevel on every single pair of her skis regardless of the event. The only variation on her skis was a 2 degree side edge for all speed skis and 3 degree for technical skis. This preparation, besides her amazing talent is what made her in my opinion the best female DH skier in the world. God knows she definitely has the Globes to prove it. If you don't believe me I would be happy to give you my good friend Gunther's phone #.
The reality is that things change over time as a result of testing, and I would bet my shorts that it would be an extremely rare occasion that one would ever find 3-4 degree of base bevel on any World Cup athlete's speed skis today. I know Burntski use to say he did it for Edie Thys. But trust me when I tell you she was far from being a world beater when she was on Dynamic. I know, I was there.
When I say "identical" I'm ultimately referring to principal. I admit that I'm guilty of tuning Chris and Paul Casey Puckett's tech skis to 5 degree of side edge angle, and Heidi Voelker's to 8 degree. She finally relented and found 3 degree to be just right. These angles are something I would only recommend for the strongest of athletes, as severley acute side edge angles create enormous amounts of instablity when the ski becomes tipped on edge. How do I know that? By actually giving other athlete's on the USST Heidi's skis to test, and their feedback was that they "royaly sucked!" I generally don't tend to mention these things because these edge applications are so rare.
Bill Johnson was a unique talent that functioned more on sheer will than technique. His personality type allowed him to overcome many obstacles in his way, like Klammer. I would be willing to bet his 3-4 degree of base bevel was just one more obstacle that he was able to overcome to win the Gold. I would also be willing to bet if Herman Maier's tech gave him 3-4 degree of bevel, he would rip him a new AH. However, that is just speculation.