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how much edge is still enough?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I want to buy used skis and need some info about edges-what is the minimum edge width you can still ski? is half of edge left OK?
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 
anyone, plz
post #3 of 12
If you are wondering how many tunes may be left on a ski, the answer is...it depends.

Is there more than a 90-degree side edge bevel on the ski? If there is a 3-degree bevel for instance, you may have to take off some of the upper sidewall material (again - depends on the shape of the sidewall on the particular ski) with a skyver, or sidewall planer.

A vertical sidewall ski will require planing before other types of sidewalls.

You can ski on any amount of edge down to even with the sidewall, but that leaves you no room for tuning. People take off way too much edge in tuning, for the most part. Tune lightly daily instead of periodically tuning a lot of edge off, and you will preserve much more edge material.
post #4 of 12
Labas, KP! (Whoops, wrong Baltic country .)

Welcome to Epic.

The problem with too thin of an edge is not that you won't be able to ski on it, but that it is too fragile. For example, it may get damaged beyond repair the first time you hit a rock, and even if you never damage it severely, you certainly won't be able to sharpen it many times without making it even more fragile or it disappearing completely. This is why used skis whose edges are thin from multiple tunings are worth less than ones that have more of an edge left on them.

By the way, for what its worth, racers sometimes actually want skis with thin edges because the friction of snow against metal is higher than the friction of snow against p-tex, so they wan't to minimize the amount of metal showing. Racers may have multiple pairs of skis, be sponsored, etc, and not be as worried about ski longevity as us normal folks.

Hope this helped.


PS - I know its a big region, but by any chance, have you ever run into a teenaged racer named Teddy Volkskas and/or his dad, Edvardus from Vilnus?
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
just wanted to know how much edge is enough for normal use-not racing on rocks! I bought volkl P50 worldcup slaloms with about 50% of edge left, used quite rarely but tuned with barbaric methods. I'm tuning myself, I guess I will be able to ski on them for a couple of seasons (useing the skis reasonably)
post #6 of 12
KP, as others have said, welcome to Epic.

The amount of edge left on a ski is not like the amount of rubber tread left on a tire. As the tire wears out, it will gradually perform more poorly (on wet/snowy roads). When its finally totally bald, you will be skidding all over the place on wet roads.

Skis are not like this. As a ski's edge gets thinner (from successive tunings), you will probably not notice any change whatsoever in its performance until it becomes so thin that it finally breaks either (a) while in use (from the most minor of trauma), or (b) when tuning.

So, if you are asking how many ski days can you get out of a pair of skis with half their edge gone, but using good conservative tuning technique, the answer is probably in excess of 50 days if you never hit anything. However, the thinner the edges are, the less trauma it will take for something to irreparably damage them. Estimating when this will happen is like estimating how long it will be until you run over the next nail in the road, hit a really deep pothole, etc. Another analogy might be estimating how long someone will live who is currently 50 years old and in good health. The variability is huge - they might make it to age 100, or they might stay perfectly healthy until they get hit by a car or come down with some uncontrolable infection in the next six months.

From your location, I presume you sometimes ski in southern Poland. Friends who have skied there tell me that their snowmaking and grooming is much worse than in the USA, so you won't have to be doing anything extreme like "racing over rocks" to eventually have a close encounter of the kind you won't like. Its inevitable here, and its probably even more likely over there.

About the best you can do is take reasonable care and just run them till they die.

Good luck,

Tom / PM

PS - Why don't you tell us something about yourself and what skiing is like in your part of the world? I'm sure most people on Epic would love to know more about it. Is southern Poland indeed your "home" ski area? Do you have any pictures you could post? I see someone mentioned racing in Lithuania. Is this a big thing in Latvia as well? I hear that since Putin skis, skiing in Russia has become extremely popular. Has any of this carried over to Latvia, or maybe the dislike of anything related to the former USSR has had the opposite effect?
post #7 of 12
Unfortunately, and ironically, the more you need those edges, the less long they'll last. If you ski rock-hard snow and need them constantly razor-sharp and heavily beveled on the sides, you'll need to tune them often, and the tune won't last long. If there are many rocks in the mix (as there often are in such conditions, because hard snow is often also thin), the need for serious tuning increases further, and you may only get one or two real tunes out of a very thin-edged ski.

On the other hand, if all you ski is powder and deep crud, you don't need edges much anyway, so it won't matter if they're well-tuned. Barring major rock damage, they may last a long time.

Keep in mind too that if the edges are severely worn, it may be a sign that the skis have had a lot of use. It may be not only the edges that are worn out....

Personally, I'd be pretty careful about buying a pair of skis with significantly worn-down edges, unless they are a very, very good deal.

Sorry--this may not be what you wanted to hear!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #8 of 12
PS--I'll second Tom/PM's request, KP. I'd love to hear more about you and the skiing you do over there. Welcome to EpicSki, and thanks for joining us!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #9 of 12

Kak zhiznya v Rige?
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
i'm skiing on local ski areas every weekend/free day of the season.since Latvia is so flat the runs are too short (400m the LONGEST!!!) for any skiing, thatswhy i am interested in short slalom skis.I love to go fast but it is impossible here. at least the lenght of season is ok-usually end of nov.-march/april.there are no rocks here, so you can ski until there is almost no ice on the slope
haven't been to southern poland for skiing-slopes are ok, but weather should be very unstable there/don't want to ruin my skis on polish rocks in a thaw (and I want to leave the skis by restaurant and find them there after a while, I guess it's not the case there ). I prefer going to finland-more snow, almost empty slopes on weekdays, although impossible to ski if T drops below -20 or -15C.
U can get some pictures of slopes at:
click on the yellow or green circles on the left of page to see some other slopes.please don't laugh, in fact it is sad...
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
alpine skiing is quite popular over here, but more like a status symbol(like having a BMW). anyway, I am skiing because I love it, not because of my friends/business partners think it is cool etc. hate people with miserable skills and without any wish to improve it, wouldn't mind if they crash in a tree, wouldn't like them to crash in me.I am not an expert/racer, this will be my 3d season on skis and i am upper intermediate (rated by an elite instructor from austriaracingcamps. I can recommend www.austriaracingcamps.com very reasonable offer/elite coaching-there were only 5 skiers in beginners group when i participated, so it was extremely useful, although the weather was terrible-too warm/not enough snow)
post #12 of 12
KP - Thanks for giving us some insight into Latvian skiing. The photos on that website gave me the best idea of the skiing conditions that you are dealing with at home. Is that website yours, or have you contributed to it?

The lack of big ski hills may be somewhat discouraging to you, but all those little mom and pop ski areas in Latvia remind me of the way it was in the USA in the 1950's and 60's, and that isn't totally bad. There was a nice family & friends element, less of a show-off aspect, and, at minimum, at least people are getting outside in the winter and getting their ski legs should they eventually want to go to larger ski areas.

BTW, I mentioned southern Poland because the (older) people that I know were not able to go to Finland as easily when the Baltics were still under the influence of the USSR. I have also heard about the theft problem in Poland. The long season in Finland sounds great. I presume that being that far north, sometimes you are night skiing under the Aurora? I have acquaintences from Iceland that have described this, and it sounds fantastic.

By any chance, do you know of any Finnish web site (corresponding to the Latvian one) that has lots of informal photos of Finland ski areas? On Google, I can find lots of formal advertising shots and photos from people doing ski touring (cross country skiing) in Finland, but no informal photos of the lift served downhill (Alpine) areas.


Tom / PM

[ October 20, 2003, 01:43 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
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