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Skis for dry slope racing...

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have a possible requirement to buy skis for dry slope racing (not too serious). Now some points:
1. Don't laugh.
2. Please don't laugh.
3. I'm serious.
4. Yes, I said DRY SLOPE racing.
5. Height: 6ft
6. Weight: 180lb +/-5
7. Ability: Upper intermediate
8. Current snow skis: 181 K2 Axis X Pro
9. Reasons for not using these:
9.1. Are you crazy?
9.2. Have you ever skied on a dry slope?
9.3. Seriously, are you crazy?

And info on dry slopes:
1. They are made of plastic matting consisting of bristles made from the same material as toilet brushes.
2. It is not one big sheet of bristles, but they are in a diamond shaped lattice.
3. Friction is reduced by having water sprayed up from small jets under the mat.
4. The result is you are skiing on something which generates a lot of heat in your skis, so, an extremely hard base is required. And a core which can withstand the heat.
5. Did I mention friction and heat?

So, I want a heat resistant ski suitable for my ability to do a bit of recreational skiing on a very predictable surface.

Any thoughts?

post #2 of 28
Atomic is doing some stuff with partially ceramic bases, and I wouldn't be suprised if other manufacturers are doing the same thing. Might want to look in that direction.
post #3 of 28
>...I have a possible requirement to buy skis for dry slope racing...

Question: How do you tell who wins?

Comment: No problem making it down the mtn to the bar, right?

With respect to heat resistant bases, there is a dry slope around here and they were trying to recruit me to teach on it, so I talked quite a bit to the people that run it. Apparently, for the skis they have on hand for walk-ins, they simply buy older demo skis from the local hills. I looked at their bases, and they weren't all that bad considering the use / abuse they received. I expected their bases to be severely worn down near the metal edges, but they really weren't. Why don't you go the same route they did and just pick up a cheap pair of rock (whoops - I mean "bristle") skis for this purpose and throw them out when they are trashed?

Tom / PM

PS - Ah, I just thought of one more thing. The surface of the slope I'm familiar with is more like a fairly dense synthetic rug than brush bristles (which I'm guessing are more sparse). I can see that the bristles would have a larger and more localized rate of heat generation.

PPS - I've never been on our local dry slope myself, but my kid seemed to do fine, albeit with noticeably modified technique. In particular, on our local device, the total amount of distance available in the uphill-downhill direction is only around 6 or 7 feet. Because of this, in the stationary reference frame of the ground, you are not actually moving very much (or very fast) in the direction of simulated downhill "travel". Thus, you have minimal acceleration in that direction. That means that the forces in that direction that you are exerting on the slope (and visa versa) are quite different from what you experience on a real slope, ie, especially in the completion phase of turns. I guess that workouts on a dry slope can't hurt, but I'd caution about assuming that all the skills you develop there would be immediately tranferable to real skiing.
post #4 of 28
How about beater Volants, with CPU heat sinks glued all over the tops if you need more heat dissipation?
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Won't the heat sinks affect my almost perfect aerodynamics? I mean, I have spent years creating a well rounded fron to smoothly allow the air to pass around me...

What do you mean "dry slope can't hurt"
Normaly injuries include:
1. Broken thumbs (falling and getting them caught in the lattice)
2. Dislocated shoulders (see 1)
3. Carpet burns (well, friction burns) (if you're not wearing suitably padded clothing
4. No "soft" areas to fall in.
5. Slope is narrow, and "ski area boundary" is enforced by the sides of the lattice.
6. Going off the side is not advised.
7. The lattice is frequently held together with metal ties. These do not always stay below the bristles.


P.S. And yes, even with all that, I'm still thinking about soing it!
post #6 of 28
Originally posted by Wear the fox hat:
Won't the heat sinks affect my almost perfect aerodynamics? I mean, I have spent years creating a well rounded fron to smoothly allow the air to pass around me...

Not necessarily. I'm not enough of a fluid dynamics guy to do more than handwaving, but perfectly smooth is not always the best form for reducing drag. Here's a very brief quick start URL:


I'm actually seriously surprised that this type of work hasn't shown up on the World Cup yet, both on the skis and on the speed suits.
post #7 of 28
Originally posted by Wear the fox hat:
...PM, What do you mean "dry slope can't hurt"...
Heh ... I was was thinking more about "hurting your technique", not "hurting your bod" [img]smile.gif[/img] .

Tom / PM

PS - BTW, with respect to hurting your bod, the place around here makes every user clip into a bit of lightly tensioned nylon webbing which is connected to a microswitch. If you start to fall, the switch shuts down the motor driving the endless carpet. In addition, you clip into the webbing at a high enough point so that you actually can't fall all the way down, just a few inches, and this does a good job of preventing people from being swept off as the system is grinding to a halt, falling off completely and hurting themselves, etc.

[ March 11, 2003, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #8 of 28
Aha, PhysicsMan, I think we have a failure to communicate. You seem to be talking about a moving carpet treadmill sort of thing, but I believe Mr. Hat is talking about an actual hill with astroturf where the snow should be. From what I've read, those things are nasty, with all the potential injuries of boilerplate plus the additional chance of rug burn and also the possibility of sticking a tip into a seam and under a surface section at speed with the ensuing carnage.

I always claim that Midwesterners here in the US have to be dedicated to be skiers at all, but the dry-slope crowd REALLY has the jones.
post #9 of 28
F-Carp - you may very well be right, but if so, I wonder why Fox didn't pick up on it when I mentioned in my early post that "the distance available in the uphill-downhill direction is only around 6 or 7 feet". That's a might small mountain, bristle coated or not.

Maybe he and the somewhat stout Mr. Guiness were having a meeting at the time. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

Tom / PM

[ March 11, 2003, 12:56 PM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #10 of 28
Originally posted by Flopping Carp:

I'm actually seriously surprised that this type of work hasn't shown up on the World Cup yet, both on the skis and on the speed suits.[/QB]
Well, Atomic race skis have a dimpled topsheet. And it's illegal by FIS regulations to have a skin suit like that. But they have used it in speedskating suits.
post #11 of 28
Hey WTFH, are you talking about racing on this stuff? (WMV).

Gotta love the new schoolers.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yes I read your bit and wondered what you were talking about, then chose to ignore it ( [img]smile.gif[/img] ). We are talking about having 100m+ of this stuff on the side of a hill.

I'm at work, and not able to view the file, but I noticed the name contained the word Hillend - if it is Hillend in Edinburgh, that is one of the largest dry slopes in the world. I'll look at it tomorrow night to confirm.

post #13 of 28
Fox - should this crazy team get off the ground, I could possibly use this thread to penalise you for taking it too seriously!
For those of you wondering how it works, it is a team vs team dual slalom format. 5 racers in each team (at least one of the opposite sex to the others). When each racer gets to the bottom, a flag drops, and the next starts until the whole team are down. Winning team is the first to get everyone through the finish in one piece.
Anyone still not believe this crazy stuff (either ask Tom from Cham as we were in the same team many years ago) or drop me a mail at jallamand@kingsski.org and I will send you a copy of the finest film that Black Diamond have ever made - the carnage at Kings Finals 2001. This offer is restricted to me only having 5 copies of the film left, it is on UK format VHS, and I don't want to pay vast amounts of postage.
post #14 of 28
Forgot to say, the slope in question is:
Wycombe Summit
And the surface is:
English Snow
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
I was discussing this last night with one of the other potential team members. We are looking into getting Natives to provide us with T-shirts and beer money. Don't worry about us taking it seriously, if you read the Daily Mail mag, you'll know what awards I normally win when away with them, and it ain't for speed!
Do most of the racers just rent skis?
Most of the team we might put together have skis, but they are located in hotels/chalets in the Alps, so not sure if many have their own here.
As for me, I've been looking for an excuse to buy a new pair of skis, and this would be perfect! I notice you had a rossi jacket on at Wycombe. Do you have access to good deals on them?

post #16 of 28
The people that are serious about their racing use their own kit, but a fair few use the slope kit on the night (rental is free to racers).
When they were first released at the start of the 2001/2002 season we got the only 25 of the Rossi jackets that made it to the UK. We had pre-ordered them from the UK distributor, and so Rossignol had to honour the deal. They didn't send any more over as demand was too high in Europe. From time to time we do get offered deals on kit, so I can let you know in the future should anything turn up.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm disappointed with you.
I had to go onto your web site to find out about your ball. I guess I should have known - Hugh Jarse, one Big Ball.

post #18 of 28
This calls for ingenuity. Get some silicone spray cans and mount one on the tip of each ski with the spray pattern directly ahead of the tip. Rig up some sort of trigger with at string arrangement and just pull the string when you want a shot of speed.
post #19 of 28
Most racers use Mr Sheen or WD40
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
The dry slope I learned to ski at had a large tray (about 8x8ft) which was about 1/4" full of a washing up liquid solution. Allegedly the washing up liquid helped make the bases run better!

post #21 of 28

What's a kit?

Is it like the WWI song, "pack up your troubles in your old kit bag"?
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Actually Rusty, you're on the right tracks.
Kit = stuff = belongings = gear = equipment

A soldier's kit bag would have contained his rations, canteen, clothes, etc. Basically, a rucksack.

But, in modern parlance, you might ask:
What kit have you got on?
i.e. what gear are you wearing?

What kit is in your car?
i.e. What equipment/options have you in your automobile?

Are you bringing your own kit to the dry slope?
i.e. Have you more money than sense, and have decided to bring your own skis to the dry ski slope, where the bases will get the wax removed very effectively?

Hope this helps.

post #23 of 28
How in the *********** would you carve on this stuff? We have some of it in the lift lines at my hill for when the snow really gets bad, but I don't understand how you could possibly do anything but skid turns in it. I'm talking the bristley kind.
post #24 of 28
Perhaps this man dressed as a woman can demonstrate:
post #25 of 28
Warren/ Fox,

That is indeed Hillend in Edinburgh, billed as the longest dry ski slope in Europe, possibly in the world. If you were to look very closely at some of the video of the jumpers you could see my house in the distance !

How do you carve on it......not very easily if at all !!

But if you dont have snow- which we dont- you make do as best you can.

The views from the top lift, in any event are great- you see all of Edinburgh, including the Castle etc, the Firth of Forth, the Forth Bridges (for our US friends think Golden Gate but better), over to Fife and east/west of Edinburgh for 15/20 miles.

You will gather I am biased.
post #26 of 28
hillend, posibily the most scary slope in the world with its famous wall. Skied it for the first time in 2001 and took flight when taking part in a uni slalom race. and proceeded to slide down on my arse, made worse by the fact i was wearing a catsuit. I dont know about all the other dry slope people out there, but i actually prefer it to snow. can carve really easily on the stuff and can get some good speed out of it. The best thing to do is use swix CH4 wax by the bulk box load availble from a popular racing shop at wycombe. this stuff is really hard and you dont have to scrape it. Put it on at the beginning of a training session and just ski it . then half way through a session stick some more on and your skis will be fine.
post #27 of 28
A while back (maybe almost two years) someone had a thread on sand skiing and was looking for a special glue to adhere titanium to p tex. Seems like he got some scrap sheets of .050 inch(?) titanium at the Boeing scrap yard and wanted to mount them to the bottom of his skis to go sand skiing! I believe he did end up doing it.

I'd imagine this might be quite a good material for your brush skiing heat.

I love the idea of the Volants with the heat sinks (don't use the newer versions though with the fiberglass sidewalls). Another suggestion might be those old Head skis that are steel?

Question: What are those square gaps in the middle of the hill with no brushes on them? Speed traps?

I dont know about all the other dry slope people out there, but i actually prefer it to snow.
some of us ARE sicker than others!

[ March 18, 2003, 09:31 AM: Message edited by: Tog ]
post #28 of 28
well as im a poor student in england, i,ve hardly ever got any money to get to snow and well you spend some 15 years on the stuff , you do tend to love it. if only i was a rich snow racer i may have a different opinion of the stuff
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