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Any grass addicts out there? - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Unfortunately at races in the Alps I never saw the soft springy turf of Butser or Gwent. It was either concrete or mud.
post #32 of 44
That ten year old is getting onto a part of the ski that has some significant rocker! Comprex hooked me up with some Rollkas (Thank you Comprex!), and I'm feeling really guilty becaise I haven't used them yet. The bottom of the Rollkas are almost flat, but I understand a good skier can turn 'em. How wide would a trail need to be to link turns of 180º change of direction? I know good skiers will not have to come that far out of the fall line, but I'm just trying to get a sense of how tight they really can turn. I have trouble visualizing grass skiing on a slalom course with a great deal of off set between gates, but if you say you saw it, PG, I believe you.
post #33 of 44
Originally Posted by telerod15
How wide would a trail need to be to link turns of 180º change of direction?
That would depend how much edge angle you could achieve, which in turn would be dependent on your speed and angulation. Bit of a "chicken and egg" situation.

My advice would be to start on flatter terrain, roll the knees over and feel the skis gradually coming around, and then build up gradually. If you find yourself on steeper terrain, you may have to step the skis around, which is what grass ski racers sometime do if they want to descend slowly, ie inspecting a course (although this is usually done by walking up).

In my experience the spacing and off-setting of grass ski SL gates is comparable to snow SL, but the gradient of the slopes used for grass ski events is usually not quite as steep as the steeper SL hills on snow.

When faced with extremely offset SL gates that are more than the curvature of their grass skis can handle, or when getting in trouble with the line, I have occasionally seen grass ski racers making an athletic move using some unweighted pivoting in the transition between the turns (a bit like Bode in this sequence:
http://www.ronlemaster.com/images/20...e-pc-gs-1.html but without the sideways drift into the gate - doesn't work on grass skis!!)
post #34 of 44
Martin, that's it exactly. You will know the Albertville Olympics slalom stadium in Menuires for example, and there wouldn't many finishers if a grass skiing event was held there!

Do you personally feel that snow technique could suffer from a few weeks in the summer spent skiing on grass?
post #35 of 44
An excellent site for those interested in skiing on the green stuff is Martin Stepanek's website (in English)

It also has some very detailed descriptions of how the Balek ski is construction, including some excellent illustrations.
post #36 of 44


I am cooperating with Austria producer named Christian Balek and I am also producing some material for grasski. So if someone is still interrested in Grassking, send me email and I can arange sending you grasski. The price for skis is around 230 Euro + shipping (depends on lenght of skis).

I have own web page www.grasski.net where are informations about grasski and pictures and more.

About skis...right now are only two producers of grasski, both are from Austria, but second one is bit falling behind. So if you are interrested in skis, I prefer Balek skis.

Development of grassking

Mr. Josef Kaiser ( Germany ) designed the first pair of grasskies in 1963. In 1979 the first World Championship took place (giant slalom, slalom special and combined race).

This sport belongs to one of the youngest ones not only in our country but also in the world. Its history begins in the 70s when company Drukov Brno manufactured its first grasskies, which were introduced to general public at the Interski event in the High Tatra Mountains ( Slovakia ). The first greater boom was recorder near the town of Piešťany ( Slovakia ), were public test rides were demonstrated during the SNP Cup competition. The organisers wanted to show a more effective way of summer training for alpine skiers.

The first official competition took place in Piešťany in 1980. After these pioneer years grassking began to develop also in other ski resorts, in Kálnica near Nové Mesto nad Váhom and Tišnov near the city of Brno . Thanks to perfect organizational skills of the Kalnica ski team members our grassskiers gained their posts at the international scene in the following years.

First international FIS competition held in the Czech Republic took place in Kálnica in 1986. Also this very well organizationally and socially prepared event was a reason why after ten years of development of a new sport discipline its founders could celebrate their first greater success. Grassking was accepted by the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Association of Physical Education in Prague into the system of Czechoslovak physical education.

Grassking recorded its development side by side also in Bohemia and Moravia , especially in Brno , Tišnov, Ostrava , Vrchlabí and the region of Beskydy Mountains . The first official National Championship took place in Tišnov in 1986. Greater mass development of grassking was slowed down by lack of special equipment and skies.

In 1988 two manufacturers of equipment for grasskiers appeared on the market. It was the Koh-i-noor company situated in Bílovec, the traditional manufacturer of ski equipment under the Massag trademark. The second one was the former Agricultural Cooperative in Plumlov.

Bit info about grassking
Like normal alpine skiing, also grasski underwent big changes in last years. I mean mainly the speed of skis and turning of skis. We used GPS to measure speed in slalom at very flat slope and we get amaizing 65km/hour in SLALOM!! And there are slopes like Forni di Sopra in Italy, where I suppose, that in SG we fly around 90-100km/h.
Skiing technique is in slalom very similar to alpine skiing, bit diference I see in gigant slalom, where you have to push more carefully on the edge.
I am training only on grasski, but racing also in winter and I have 70 slalom FIS points without training on snow! In summer I belong to top 5.
post #37 of 44
Grasski Martas, do you assemble Christian Balek's skis yourself then? Are your prices cheaper?!

How good do you think the Japanese skis (Esak) are in comparison?

I spoke to Jiri Russwurm (FIS Grass Ski Committee Chairman) in 2003 in Nove Mesto and he spoke of his hope that technology for grass ski would move on. That it could become a "mass produced" ski one day if a manufacturer could be found. Do you see any hope of that?
post #38 of 44


Originally Posted by PG
Grasski Martas, do you assemble Christian Balek's skis yourself then? Are your prices cheaper?!

How good do you think the Japanese skis (Esak) are in comparison?

I spoke to Jiri Russwurm (FIS Grass Ski Committee Chairman) in 2003 in Nove Mesto and he spoke of his hope that technology for grass ski would move on. That it could become a "mass produced" ski one day if a manufacturer could be found. Do you see any hope of that?
We (Me and my father) are assembling skis from Balek´s basic, but only for race purpose, because we use special and expensive materials like titan and carbon+kevlar. This skis are one of the fastest in the world - I am in top 5 on the world. So I am not sure, if this is what you want. Beside producing special skis, I am also distributor of Balek skis and also producer of some spare parts like belts and rolls. Please, if you want know more about prices, contact me on my email: m.stepanek@grasski.net I will write you detailed information what you should buy, how much it costs and where.

Japanesse skis are Esam not Esak. Anyway, even Japanese people uses skis from Austria, because Esam are far behind in developement. In my view, Balek skis are much better than Esam. But as someone mentioned here befor, you must be kind of mechanik, because if you want, you can totaly change behaviour of your skis - I mean stiffness, radius of turning and other things.

BTW: for one grasski season I use about 12-15 pairs of skis. Each ski is used for two seasons and after I sell it to juniores - and they use this ski for another two seasons for racing. All my skis are hand made from Balek´s rails and elements, but everything else is different - my own wood with special radius for turning, special rolls, carbon protectors, very light binding and so on......
post #39 of 44
Wow, these things have developed a long way since I last used them in the mid/late 70s. As I recall the Rollkas I used then were only about 24inches long and used a much bigger tread on the belt. Come to think of it I wonder where they disappeared to!:

Also as I recall in the very early stages (~1974/5) there was also another (cheaper) grass ski which didn't last very long. Can't remember what it was called but it was basically an aluminium channel section with 4 or 5 large plastic rollers mounted on it. Didn't go very well but you could actually skid them a bit which you couldn't do with the Rollkas.

Would be fun to try grass skiing again tho, even if the old bones don't bounce as well these days !!
post #40 of 44
ScotsSkier, a French firm made something similar for many years, SkiNov (made by Patrice Kopp in Bourg St Maurice)...

No use for racing - too slow - but easier for beginners, especially if they've spent little time on snow.

He stopped manufacturing a couple of years ago - Balek skis etc were taking over.
post #41 of 44

World Grass Skiing Championships in Iran last weekend

Some news of the the Dizin World Grass Skiing Championships held in Iran over the weekend in these two articles:

Days 1 & 2

Day 3

Articles courtesy of Brice Martin of Strasbourg France...
Thanks to Martin Stepanek of the Czech Republic for the photos...

Loads more photos on Martin's site - www.grasski.net
post #42 of 44
Hallo everyone,
thank you for very nice article about World Championship in Dizin (Iran). I must say, that it was very nice race - and also very difficult.

Slalom: first run was set by Daniel Macat (czech coach). It was very nice and differences between first 8 were minimal. But second run was set by Stein (german coach) and it was veeeery difficult. He underestimated how fast grasski are and that we don´t have edges like in winter, so there was one more than 90 degree turn that was veery difficult (so, I must say, that complete second run was about one gate).

Giant slalom: well, my race finished in fifth gate, but honestly, I am stupid : anyway, it was very interesting race, because differences in top ten were so small, that nearly anyone could win. Only Sarto made very good second run, so he jumped a bit and improved his gap to second Nemec.

Super-G: final race, final battle. Well, I can´t remebmer, when it was so tide. Between 1 and 19 place was les than one second......

PS: do not miss my beautiful photos. First photo gallery is from race (Photo Gallery 1 ), second one is containing pictures around race - nature, people and so on (Photo Gallery 2 )
post #43 of 44
Respect to Ingrid - still going strong!
post #44 of 44

Some informations about the second grasski manufacturers

I read this discussion and I have to write some informations about grasski manufacturers, for the better understanding the situation on the market.

In the world there are two main producers of the grasski(sorry for the japanese skis - I mean european market) Klaus Spinka(see www.grasski.biz) and Christian Balek(see www.grasski.com).

Last season(I mean 2005) our company started cooperation with the Klaus Spinka and we prepare the first type of the real race grasski which is possible to buy by almost everyone. Christian Balek and people around his business would like to start selling skis like ours - so next season might be big jump in the development of the grasski. Of course we prepare some improvements too(the skis will be faster than this season for the similar price like 2005 models).

Anyway we had similar market share in this time than the second producer(but it just start ) - I calculate with all grasskis countries in the world.
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