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Sidewall prep on race skis...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm just trying to collect more people's tricks on this somewhat voodoo task...I just finished prepping my new SL skis yesterday. Here's the quick lowdown:

Using a Ski Man rolling sidewal planer, I planed the entire sidewall to flat, eliminating the raised area immediately next to the side edge.

I then used a medium-grit sandpaper to smooth the entire sidewall, particularly the transition to the edge.

Then, I smoothed the topside edge.

Finally, I used some acetone and a rag to go over everything that I sanded, giving it that oh-so-silky soft feeling.

My big area of interest is the area where the sidewall meets the edge...the three approaches I've seen and heard of are angled transition, no (stepped) transition, and a curved transition.

What do you guys think?
post #2 of 5
Curved transition.... for that you need a special tool!
post #3 of 5
Sounds allright. For a race you could then additionaly wax the sidewall. This is however more needed for extremecarving.
post #4 of 5
another tip: with blue painters tape, tape the topsheet first. This lets you sand & smooth out the sidewall to top trasnistion well. Then peel off for a real smooth finish
post #5 of 5
I would never remove more sidewall than required to get the edge-angle I needed. That material above the edge is structural and gives the edge more strength, especially on boiler-plate where the edge is trying to be forced upwards against the pressure of carving.

Smoothing and waxing the sidewall and topedge are fun to do and cool to look at... but the actual yield is probably in the hundreths of a second. One mistake in one turn would lose far more than that.

I always am amazed at the immense difference tactics and technique can make... even though I'm such a gear-geek that I can't help but over-prep my gear anyway.

I watched Phil Mahre at the Junior Nationals (in Slalom) miss a gate, stop, step up, and restart. He then opened the throttle all the way and went through a flush seemingly without touching the snow. He won the run, and the race, and earned a place on the US team.
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