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Base and edge materails lacking

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Why can't ski manufacturers make a ski base that is stronger than they are today.

In this day and age of high tech materials why is a material that is more scratch and gouge proof not being used for bases?

The same would go for ski edges. I know there are materials that would leave gouges in the rocks instead of on my edges.

Of course all will say cost. I would pay more up front if it meant not having $38 worth of base and edge repair after every mountain outing.
post #2 of 7
They are doing this. Often to get a very hard base you need to move up to a WC ski. They may use the same type of material for your retail skis, but race ski materails usually come from a section of the p-tex roll that is substantially harder than other sections. This is why certain speed skis are often faster than an identicle counterpart. Despite materials being exact, there is a decent amount of variability within them.

Edges can easily be made of a harder material. The only problem you run into is that you couldn't sharpen them. If you made a stainless steel edge, good luck hand tuning it. It would never rust, and you could carve on rock, they wouldn't break, and they wouldn't burr as easily as carbon steel edges, but once they were dull... they would be dull. No hand tune would fix that.

To avoid $38 worth of repair after every trip, watch where you ski, and learn to fix things yourself. Only grind your skis when they absolutely need it. The only skiers who really need a "perfect" ski every time they ski are racers. If you can maintain your skis by hand, you should only have to grind in extreme cases. Plus you should watch where you ski and learn to unweight a ski that might be hitting a rock (ie: turn on your inside ski).


post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Heluvaskier: if Harder Ptex is available why not use it in more off piste orientated ski lines where ski damage is more likely and frequanatly occurs. Why wouldn't they use this as a selling point.

Edges well if stainless would do this then they should make the ski with them and the industry will have to keep pace with new stainless edge sharpening equipment. I don't hand tune now so it wouldn't change my routine of using shops to keep my skis in shape.

I am very cautious of where I ski when on my good skis, but after spending 4 hours driving I am not about to stay out of a whole particular area just becuase they may be rocks there because inevitably the rocks are always there regardless of snow fall. I definately ski light and unweight but it's impossible to ski off piste and not get damage. All I wonder is why can't they use tougher materials. IE LEXAN, Teflon, Hell even carbon fiber.
post #4 of 7
a) tougher bases: remember eSki1's Custom skis thread? request the frp bases.


At this stage, it's more a question of sorting out what works best than realisation of need. Notice the center edge on Elan MO2s, also somewhat experimental.

b) It's been done, even harder than stainless. I had Fischer Plasma edges as late as (1999?) on a pair of Telepathics. I cannot tell you how annoying those were- I swapped them (with Skyhoys) for $50.



Tooling cost to machine these back to spec is just too prohibitive: would you pay $150-200 for a tuneup, help pay for it all?
post #5 of 7
Atomic tried this with their ceramic/ptex combo base edges on the R series.

I still put gouges in them and it was a pain to repair them because the ptex wouldn't bond well. You needed to use a ptex and metal grip/epoxy combo to make it kind of take.

They stopped making the R series and never put the harder edges on other models.

Some twin specific companies are using harder base material and thicker edges.
post #6 of 7
For bases: there are harder things, some of which have even been used (aluminum, Teflon), but even if they don't gouge as easily, they dent, and then you can't repair them.
post #7 of 7
The harder materials that exist are parts of already hard rolls of P-tex. That is the same P-tex that is used in most high end skis (graphite/sintered stuff). They save the hardest sections of those rolls for WC skis, as that material is very rare and expensive (due to limited quantities). Other materials could be used, but the drawbacks to using something else still outweigh any durability advantages. If I were you I would learn to do some of the repair myself, or be satisfied skiing on less than perfect edges and bases every time you go out. Most skiers can't tell when their edges are burred and bases have holes in them anyways. Once you start working on your skis by hand though, you will become much more sensitive to what the base/edge conditions of the skis are.
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