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Bad tunes on demos!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
This is more of a rant, but...is it just me? Are more and more demo skis being tested with very poor tunes? I have been skiing some regional reps skis recently, and have had some really questionable tunes from a couple of reps specifically. Skis weren't quite flat and bevel was non-existant on the last 2" up to the tip. Some models that I know I normally like (because we carry that model and I have skied our shop demo, which had a good tune) were very poorly tuned and either grabby or tuned with too much bevel. Sure, they can be skied, but aren't even close to their potential. I see some reviewers on the forum giving poor marks to certain models (reviewers that I know can ski, on skis that I know perform) and I have to chalk it up to the tune (or lack thereof). If I was a rep, I would take the ski flat, add a suitable structure, and re-bevel by hand before sending the ski off. Why lose a sale over a lousy tune?

So, what is going on? Of all the skis in the fleet, wouldn't a rep or shop want their best tune going onto that demo ski? I have heard this excuse on more than one occasion from a rep: when I told him a ski that I had borrowed wasn't skiing well, he tells me "it must be the tune". Well, get it fixed!
post #2 of 24
I agree, demo ski tunes are horrible. Usually reps will keep their stuff well above the level that resorts and shops keep their equipment at, but it is still not saying much. Some of the best demo ski tunes I have had were from Elan and Salomon. Some of the worst were Volkl and Rossignol. Having a fresh tune can make the difference between loving and hating a ski. Those who are in the business of wanting to sell skis should concentrate on getting their stuff up to par. If you blow someone away with the preformance of a ski the first time they try it, you will most likely gain a customer - which to my knowledge is the end result.

Dawg, maybe you're in the wrong end of the business? Maybe you can get a lower price on your orders if you offer to tune some of your reps demo skis? Personally, it is very comforting when you see a rep who genuinely cares about their demo fleet and keeps them in top shape. Not only do they ski well, but you see a rep who really cares about the equipment they sell to you - which says a lot.

Later

GREG
post #3 of 24
"bevel was non-existant on the last 2" up to the tip"

I'm not sure why this would matter.
post #4 of 24
I also wonder about bevel. I have skied the same exact ski (RX-8) with a 89-deg edge and a 90-deg edge. Both were very well tuned and sharp. Honestly, I could not tell the difference when I was skiing fast and blasting out carves. I would be real surprised if most people could tell. As long as the edges are sharp and continuous, my personal opinion is that edge bevel is a secondary effect.

On my own RX-8, I notice right away when the edges are dull or burred. A quick hit with a stone or edger usually brings them back to ship shape. I would pity someone who demos dull skis (especially carvers like the RX-8) because they really lose their character, moreso than other skis.

Craig
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Some of the best demo ski tunes I have had were from Elan and Salomon. Some of the worst were Volkl and Rossignol.
That's funny because I find that to be true in Maine and NH demos as well.

I will also add that the Head skis are well tuned and I believe Mike Desantis tunes a bunch of them for the regional rep which helps.

The B2's I was on felt like I was going to slide to my death.

My wife was on a pair of Volkls last year at SR and she wanted to toss the things into the woods about 1/4 way down the road.
post #6 of 24
I demoed 5 skis last January... one, possibly two had an acceptable tune. The K2 Hellfire I had basically felt like someone had dulled the whole edge and the Volkl 5* had so many burrs and irregularities in the edge it was really unpredictable and grabby. Both were so bad that I am sure they had taken away some potential sales.
post #7 of 24
The thread started by dawgcatching and echoed by others above is why I tend to take the the mantra "Demo, Demo,Demo..." with a grain of salt. In a perfect world it would certainly make sense to always "try before you buy."

Unfortunately, it's a far from perfect demo world out there. To me demoing is just another factor to consider when buying skis along with other information available and the brands of skis you have liked in the past-the "ski flavor" approach. I won't hijack this thread by going off on another factor, the demo binding effect, except than to note that demo bindings can also skew he perception of a particular ski.
post #8 of 24
It depends on the rep, obviously. The Volkl reps here in Colorado keep their skis pristine. The Nordica, Atomic, and K2 reps did pretty well. Some of the folks had a difficult time with their skis flying out more quickly than they could tweak them. With a couple of exceptions, though, I would say that the tunes here, even for consumer demos, are quite good.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to let you know about the trade demos in a few weeks...
post #9 of 24
As a first time ski buyer waiting for my Head Monster I.M 72's to arrive, will I need to have them tuned, or should they be good to go?
post #10 of 24
Quote:
My wife was on a pair of Volkls last year at SR and she wanted to toss the things into the woods about 1/4 way down the road.
I have known racers who hated their Volkls so much that they actually DID take them off at the bottom of the course and throw them into the woods... Want to see a rep (standing in the finish area mind you) get really pissed at his newly sponsored racer? The amusing part now, is that the ski-tossing racer is a race rep for Volkl...

BTW, Regarding your heads - I never use a ski without hand tuning it first. you don't have to do much to a new ski, but giving it a once over is not a bad idea. If you are good at giving a hand tune (does that sound poorly worded?) then I would suggest tuning your new skis lightly befor skiing them (don't break out the 12" bastard file that takes half the edge off in one pass - second cuts or finer usually work fine).

Later

GREG
post #11 of 24
The worst tune I have ever skied was an Elan SLX at Mt. St. Louis Moonstone. It seemed as if it had been tuned by a snowboarder with a gummi stone before riding rails in the park the day before I got it and then not retuned. He must have fallen a lot too and cooked the binders, because it came off just skating to the lift. Pissed me off greatly that I had a scheduled lesson and couldn't get rid of them until after the lesson; they had no grip on hardpack, but could turn in deep snow so long as you kept the force purely perpendicular to the ski (to keep the binding from releasing).

I've been skiing for a long time, and think I can tell the difference between a bad tune and a bad ski, but I'm willing to bet that there are a lot of skiers who can't.
post #12 of 24
I used to really enjoy taking skis out during demo days, but the tunes have been so bad the last couple of years I don't bother anymore. The skis always felt "grabby". Until last year when AtomicMan pointed out that this was the result of a "hanging burr" I never could figure out what made the ski not able to release the edges.

A stone will remove this burr, and the reps ought to take 5 minutes and prep the ski better so the reference the demoing skier has of the product is more positive.
post #13 of 24
Is it just me or are skis, especially slalom race skis becoming much more tune sensitive? I can always tell how tuned my skis are, and when they need to have the edges done again. I usually brush them up with a light file every second or third time out skiing. As skis get shorter and allow you to ride the edge better, you end up putting more power into the skis, thus the edges seem to wear faster. This could be a huge contributing factor to demo skis - especially if they get tuned once a week or once every two weeks (say on Monday), and you happen to catch a ride on them on the last weekend before a tune. I am certain that a rep could spend an entire day maintaining a fleet of 20 skis. Properly tuning (even a machine tune) a ski is not an easy task, and takes quite a bit of skill to do properly.
Later
GREG
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
"bevel was non-existant on the last 2" up to the tip"

I'm not sure why this would matter.
Many of the skis "out of the wrapper", when they get the factory finishes from the ceramic wheels (or whatever they use these days) end up starting the base bevel about 2" down from the contact point. This makes the tip very aggressive. A good skier can make it turn, but there isn't much finesse involved.

With regards to the person purchasing the iM72's, make sure that the tip has been base beveled. Other than that, Head's "out of the wrapper" finishes are some of the best I have seen. They put a great chevron structure on. Your shop should also re-wax them for you, or maybe they can hot-scrape it a few times if you ask them nicely!
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
"bevel was non-existant on the last 2" up to the tip"

I'm not sure why this would matter.
make the shovel hookier than the rest of the ski, which the sidecut alone already should be doing.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy
The thread started by dawgcatching and echoed by others above is why I tend to take the the mantra "Demo, Demo,Demo..." with a grain of salt. In a perfect world it would certainly make sense to always "try before you buy."

Unfortunately, it's a far from perfect demo world out there. To me demoing is just another factor to consider when buying skis along with other information available and the brands of skis you have liked in the past-the "ski flavor" approach. I won't hijack this thread by going off on another factor, the demo binding effect, except than to note that demo bindings can also skew he perception of a particular ski.
I'm with Lostboy on this one. to me, "demo demo demo" is applicable to Joe and Jane Average who don't find their skiing affected by a poor tune, by the clunky overall demo binder, or by the undisclosed sub-destructive impact of prior unskilled and/or apathetic demo users. and even there, Joe and Jane probably would be better suited to some other course of action, such as inquiries in this forum and others like it (TGR, Snowheads, etc) and by the more comprehensive and helpful reviews like Peter Keelty's and Ski Canada's.
post #17 of 24

A New Tag

Gonz, a new tag, what happened to JWB the village idiot?
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxman
Gonz, a new tag, what happened to JWB the village idiot?
the point is self-evident now. reiterating it is dull. besides, Schmidt's sentiment is timeless.:
post #19 of 24
Who's responsible for the consumer demo tune ups? It's the reps, right? Or if you're demoing from a shop then the shop does the ski setup. So we can't really say that one manufacturer or another has poor demos across all regions of the country - some reps are just more diligent about this than others. ssh was right on for the Volkl demos in Colorado - those reps were definitely on their game and it showed.

So the real question for me is what I should do before demoing skis. Should I bring some tools and do a touch-up myself - what would the rep say? Should I just bring tools to check their work and then decide whether or not to demo? I know that the consumer demo days during the early Colorado season can be so hectic that it's hard to find time to do these checks/touch-ups if you're trying to ride a lot of skis in one day.
post #20 of 24
Noodler, I find that speaking with the reps during the demo day does wonders. Last year, I mentioned the tune of the Dynastars to the rep and he took on checking them and doing a touch-up. With a number of the reps, they are willing to check and touch them up when you ask. I would not recommend doing it yourself--they would likely be concerned that you are messing up their skis (which, remember, they have to buy!).

Guys like the Blizzard rep who are there alone will have a tougher time, but they're still likely do to it. They're just human, but they are there to sell their skis!
post #21 of 24
So is it considered poor protocol to take out your mini tuner at the top of the lift and give a quick side edge tune w/ a file? If I do it with my 200 Moonstone is that more acceptable?

I ask because not all demos are from Reps. I demo a lot from on mountain shops and have had inconsistent tunes from the shops. Maybe I am adding value by giving the edges some love, for the next customer.
post #22 of 24
I had an unusually good experience with a demo, but it took some work. I found a shop with a demo I wanted to try, got the skis in late afternoon, and took them home for a tune. I hot-wax cleaned the bases, ironed in a coat of base wax and then running wax, checked the edges (OK), and tried them the next day. They skied great, so I bought a pair. The next guy who demoed them got a great tune! Not everyone can do this, of course. The typical demo ski looks like it was used to ski an Interstate. Why anyone thinks they can sell skis with trashy demos is a mystery to me.
post #23 of 24
I have had just one bad tune job on a demo ski and that was a pair of Rossi '05/'06 B2's. I thought I might have just been having a bad day until I skiied a pair of Dynastar 8000's. It all depends on the shop ski rep for your particular area. If you notice a particular issue with a tune on a demo ski, why not just advise the rep when you bring the ski in?
post #24 of 24

Scrape it HOT!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching
or maybe they can hot-scrape it a few times if you ask them nicely!
ha ha ha...
i always hot scrape my boards. great way to clean your bases without using base cleaner. the stuff really dries out your skis. i only use it to remove spring dirt and grease.
big up on the hot scrape!
peace,
PE23
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