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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Skis unskiable after stone-ground, structure bad? Now fine again - help us understand what happened.
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Skis unskiable after stone-ground, structure bad? Now fine again - help us understand what happened.

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
RX8's 175 in length. I skied them 10 days they were awesome. I then had them stoneground. hrstrat (the owner of the skis) and i skied them at Wacusett this morning, they were unskiable. They couldn't turn, couldn't go straight, felt downright scary, even on very easy groomed terrain. About 10 degrees out.

We brought them in to the shop thinking they had maybe no base bevel, as they hooked up. To me they felt like they had tar on the bases. (After the stoneground I did 2 warm scrape passes with base prep wax, then a hot wax and scrape with Swix CH7. I did the exact same thing to my RX8's and they skied fine.)

Tech said they only had about .5 base bevel, so he filed them (on a machine) to 1 degree. Still were unskiable, but now had less edge hold.

Brought them back again, of course the shop tech thought we were the problem, but he did try to help. He hand tuned them, this time he said he changed the structure to a finer structure.

They were then fine, and skied as they had before the tune.

His explanation is that the structure was wrong for the temperature.

I can't imagine the structure making them SO BAD. I mean we couldn't ski them on green terrain.

What do you think?

Could the grind have done something else to the base that made them sticky, and then when he belt-sanded them to "change the structure" this fixed the problem?
post #2 of 60
SMJ: Not seeing the structure after stonegrind but only reading your description I can only say that I had a similar problem a season ago that was solved with lessening, for lack of a better word, the “severity” of the structure. The harsher structure I too believe in my case was much to severe for the temperature at mid season. I felt like I was sailing the Titanic with its anchor set in mud. A sand and re-wax process fixed it.

Regardless…In my case I did not have my base bevel redressed. How are you now with the base bevel? Do you need it back at .5 for your needs? Do you need to re-grind and reset?
post #3 of 60
I have a local shop that screwed mine up 4 times over last 2 yrs"3 times this fall" had to bring them to a 2nd shop and ever since they have been fine....As long as snow was soft"funny i ski in NY and the snow is never soft" they seemed fine .As soon as i hit ice i realized i had no edge .At first thought it was me but even the shop that screwed them up could see there was no edge.I do touch up on edges about every 3 days and my edge tool would no engage on my base bevel.when it did it was close to 2/2.5 according to my edge tool and my metrons were supposed to be done at a 1 base 3 side
post #4 of 60
Sounds like they were left either base high (making it nearly impossible to cleanly engage the new edges) or edge low (effectively engaging both edges whenever you start a new turn). Either way, you're fighting your skis and skiing is nightmarishly difficult. I've had both happen to me in years past. The only person in Massachusetts I would trust to do a stone grind is Mike Desantis at Summit Ski Shop in Framingham. Not sure where you're at SMJ, but you might drop by and ask him to take a look.

I'm certainly not an expert in tuning but having the texture "off" would seem to be the last thing I'd suspect.
post #5 of 60
Thread Starter 
We thought it was an edge issue, but it wasn't. A true bar showed the base was not convex, nor were the edges high. At first, as I said, the base bevel was very slight, but even after that was fixed it was still a problem.

The problem was definitely the base, either the structure, or some stickiness that was removed when it was sanded. DonDenver sounds like he had the same problem.

Anyone else experience a base that was that resistant to sliding?
post #6 of 60
Thread Starter 
Another thought is that the skis had so many loose ptex hairs that they slowed it down?
post #7 of 60
That just does not sound like a result of a good stone grind especially if you did your wax and scrape...

Where are the experts when you need them? Curious minds are interested.
post #8 of 60
Hey SMJ,
I just got done restructuring and waxing two pairs of skis to try out some different textures and was chewing on this thread while doing so....FWIW. Two things kept coming to mind was whether you (& Don) had checked out smoothness by hand and rubbed down with fiber pads & freed the structure of wax? If the bases are rough (ie hairs) or more wax in the structure, I'd expect more drag. After hot scraping and subsequent wax layers I usually brush as well as scraping. You'd think with more surface area in the structure, the sides of the structure, will collect wax if not brushed thoroughly, eh?
post #9 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
Anyone else experience a base that was that resistant to sliding?
Other than in extremely wet snow or very cold snow, only once, a demo pair of Fischer Atuas. Zardoz rub made for a temporary pseudofix, but they just would -not- go in anything except huge fresh pow.

Three things that ran through my mind as I read:

- Hairs (I was a little doubtful about this one as you hot waxed and scraped)
- Deeper structure and CH7 not completely brushed out on very cold snow
- The above combined with static on very cold snow
post #10 of 60
Thread Starter 
Alpinord, here's what I did: These were my friend's 05 RX8's that I had just brought back from skiing 10 days on in Colorado, so wanted to get them ground for him to return the favor of the loan.

The skis were stoneground at a shop.
I used my steel cleaning brush on the bases.
I used Toko base prep wax, 2 passes, scraped off the wax pretty much right away.
I hotwaxed with Swix CH7 left the wax on for 24 hrs.
Plastic Scraper
Brass Brush
Horsehair brush.

(I did this exact same process on my brand new, never been skied before RX8's at the same time.)

Next morning:
My skis, awesome.
His skis, Like the Titanic with the anchor down (thanks DD)

To the shop (at the mountain we were skiing at.)
They increased base bevel. Didn't help.
They then hand tuned edges and ran skis over I think a 180 belt sander.

This fixed the problem totally and the skis were fine again.

Shop tech insisted it must have been the first structure they had put on being too open for the conditions (very cold day, New England hardpack with some ice.)
post #11 of 60
Was the first structure deeper than your factory stock?
post #12 of 60
When you say unskiable? Are you saying they were, slow, grabby, unpredictable????: :

Erratic in transition?????:
post #13 of 60
Any idea on whether or not the bases had hairs needing some attention? Seems like, as Don said, you could've tweaked the texture with a little sanding??

FWIW, here are two structures using the rilling bar and steel brush. I'd put it in the ballpark of a 200 grit (+/-). With Maplus Race Base medium (prep) and P1 medium these work well for me in all conditions up to saturated snow.



Close up of rilling bar pattern (the maximum depth of the rilling bar teeth are around .25mm. I'd guess the depth actually is half that at best.):



New structure with 60 grit to compare above. Both, with Race Base Soft & P2 Hot (low fluoro):

post #14 of 60
FWIW SMJ, my sequence (except base bev change) I believe identical:

Shop does:
Stonegrind
Structure (question Alpinord…is the structure imparted as part of stonegrind or just afterwards?)

I do:
Waxing process
SKI the boys…anchors away!
Return skis to shop

Shop does:
Sanding

I do:
Skiing
Me likey now…

I assume results of improvement due to less “harsh” structure depth and pattern?

Also YES Comprex, the original structure much deeper and pronounced than stock.

Cheers. I’m now off to wax them up as snow is falling in the mountains this eve and Saturday morning.
post #15 of 60
My structure (original from shop) much more pronounced Alpinord then your excellent examples. After their sanding and re-work THEN they looked more like your photos.

I’m in hijack zone…sorry. SMJ drives.
post #16 of 60
Here's an interesting read (among others): Hand Structuring Guidelines

I'm sure, as this states, the Rockies versus the East have differences that come into play. Sure is an interesting discussion.
post #17 of 60
Just a thought here but...CH7 is rated 28to 18 degrees. You stated that the air temp was 10 degrees so the snow was probably colder. Sounds to me like your wax might have been the problem
post #18 of 60
Thread Starter 
I don't know what the shop structure was, he said something about them using 11 and 13 depending on temps. Not sure which he used.

CH7 was also on my skis skierhj and they skied great. It was hrstrat's skis that had the problem and had just been ground. Identical skis, different years.

It WAS very cold - air temps the two nights before of 0 F or lower. But remember wax temps are for the SNOW temp, not the air temp.

Based on all of this useful info, I'd say that it was a combination of the depth of the structure combined with the CH7. My skis were straight from the factory so had a different structure then hrstrat's which were the ones that were just ground.

I'm truly amazed that a structure could make a ski so bad.

Atomicman, to answer your question, they were grabby, didn't want to turn, didn't want to go straight, felt downright scary, even on green terrain. It was impossible to tip them simultaneously, or to move them side to side. Very pronounced effect, not subtle, 15 feet on the flat and you could tell right away.
post #19 of 60
I've seen structure totally change XC skis. No edge issue there! It has been found that it can even make the ski stiffer.
post #20 of 60
It occurred to me that the problem was a combination of the wax and the structure -- if only because the problem went away when the shop sanded them the second time, removing both the wax and the structure. In reality, we can't conclude which factor (or perhaps an interaction of the two) was responsible, because they were both changed in one shot, and the skis were not re-waxed afterwards.

I have tuned my skis probably hundreds of times over the last 20 years. One thing I learned long ago is that trying to go with a specific structure and a specific temperature range wax will come back to bite me about 20% of the time. There will always be a day when the wax and/or structure are totally wrong for the snow in a way you couldn't predict, and it makes the ski feel terrible. About 10 years ago I started using universal wax and no or very little structure (from light sanding) and I have not encountered any more of those 20% bad combinations. The trade is that my skis are not going to be as optimized as they used to be, but my feeling is that this is not a real issue for most recreational skiers (especially people like me skiing in the mid-Atlantic, where conditions change all the time and can flip back and forth in a matter of days -- hard to continually optimize wax/structure in this scenario). I have yet to be in a situation where I thought my skis were slow or had poor glide. The universal wax and basic structure probably give me 90% performance all of the time. From an engineering point of view, that's acceptable to me, and better than the those 20% cases where the wax/structure was all wrong and potentially ruined a ski day. It's just not a good day when the skis totally suck.
post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
I don't know what the shop structure was, he said something about them using 11 and 13 depending on temps. Not sure which he used.

CH7 was also on my skis skierhj and they skied great. It was hrstrat's skis that had the problem and had just been ground. Identical skis, different years.

It WAS very cold - air temps the two nights before of 0 F or lower. But remember wax temps are for the SNOW temp, not the air temp.

Based on all of this useful info, I'd say that it was a combination of the depth of the structure combined with the CH7. My skis were straight from the factory so had a different structure then hrstrat's which were the ones that were just ground.

I'm truly amazed that a structure could make a ski so bad.

Atomicman, to answer your question, they were grabby, didn't want to turn, didn't want to go straight, felt downright scary, even on green terrain. It was impossible to tip them simultaneously, or to move them side to side. Very pronounced effect, not subtle, 15 feet on the flat and you could tell right away.
I know I blame grabby skis on this all the time, but my guess is that final belt sand knocked the hanging burr off.

My educated guess is even though these guys were fixing your base bevel normally when you change base bevel you must also redo the side edge, if they were not knocking the hanging burr off, your description of the probelem is exactly what a hanging burr does.

I highly doubt it had anyhting to do with the structure itself.

After the brushing and scraping you did, there is just no way the structure would make the skis this grabby.


That microscopic curl on the edge plays absolute havoc espcially on ice and very, very cold hard snow as well as very wet warm snow.

Hero snow and pow it just does not show up much
post #22 of 60

bizarre

Wow thanks everyone for chiming in on my skis. They were very sick. I was able to ski them, but I was unable to tip them simultaneously, shortswing was very tricky...they were just sluggish. I was thinking I was having a bad day on the hill....only with all due respect I have had skis on my feet since I was a baby, some years 100+ days and I had never experienced these sensations. I was ready to call it day, declare the skis junk/blown out and head home.

Fortunately my friend SMJ found my attitude unacceptable You want a fella to be in a fox hole with on the the perimeter folks SMJ is your guy

Soul searching since the incident occurred has lead me to the following revelation/conclusion.

For over 15 years I have had new skis. Having been an instructor for many years I was lucky enough to be able to pro form new gear, usually 2 pair a year. I realized in retrospect that only on 3 occasions had I had skis tuned. 2 pair of K2 fours and one pair of volkl p40 plats. These were hand tuned by my personal tech at the time( Kevin Smith at Smitty in RI) dead on to factory specs while I watched.

Thus in recent experience I had never ski'd a ski that did not have the factory tune....usually a brand new ski. When a ski needed to be tuned, it was time for a new pair. Skier291, I think this would primarily thus correlate with your thoughts....

I wonder out loud then, how many folks on the hill ski gear improperly tuned and thus can never experience the bliss of high performance gear.?No chest thumping here, fact....I can ski. I have multiple years of 100+ days on the hill. Skis feel like an extension of my body most times.

I couldn't ski above level 6 on that tune. Perhaps I could have dialed it in....but I was ready to go home.

When SMJ and I swopped and I clicked into his 2007 175 RX8's my feet became alive again.....

It was very bizarre....what it all means I am still sorting out....:

Further discussion is welcome.
post #23 of 60
Just for edification by tuning I mean including stone grinding. I have waxed my skis personally for over 15 years....usually after every ski day. Usually with uni, or a temperature specific uni wax. Nothing tricky.

In other words by the time a ski required excessive ptex work, grinding or would no longer hold a carved edge on hardpack I moved on to a new ski...thus my statement I never experienced anything other than factory tune for at least 15 years....

This experience made me realize I know zero about tuning other than maintaining a well waxed base and deburring an edge. No need, I always move on to the next pair of skis.

The thought provoking part is I realize I am not the typical skier. Most folks don't have the luxury of a constant stream of new skis. Therefore I would be willing to bet a lot of recreational skiers are skiing on crap tunes. They are not dialed into what a good high performance ski can do based on limited days on the snow in their ski career.....they just don't have the experience to know the difference.

Another reason for the terminal intermediate or the frustrated skier who walks away from the sport....???

These things never crossed my mind until yesterday....

I got tecnica boots that fit like a birthday suit, always have....and I have always had a new ski with a factory tune.

Lucky puppy I am?
post #24 of 60
Was the shop guy's name Scooter Libby? I think SMJ trashed your skis at Vail and was covering it up.

Kudos to SMJ for trying to return your skis like new and the follow up.

(FWIW, I'm at the other end of the spectrum trying to keep my boards running well, long past there life expectancy.)
post #25 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
I know I blame grabby skis on this all the time, but my guess is that final belt sand knocked the hanging burr off.

My educated guess is even though these guys were fixing your base bevel normally when you change base bevel you must also redo the side edge, if they were not knocking the hanging burr off, your description of the probelem is exactly what a hanging burr does.

I highly doubt it had anyhting to do with the structure itself.

After the brushing and scraping you did, there is just no way the structure would make the skis this grabby.


That microscopic curl on the edge plays absolute havoc espcially on ice and very, very cold hard snow as well as very wet warm snow.

Hero snow and pow it just does not show up much
I had a pair of skis that came out of a tune and were unskiable like that. turned out the shop ran the ski tip off the stone, and left a lip along the outside edge of the edge just in front of the running surface. I took that down, and all was good again.
post #26 of 60
With a hot wax after the shop tune, I can only suspect the wax in this case.

I trust you would have noticed any big mechanical defects while you were waxing.
The rework performed by the shop on the edges was a total waste.

I have had the same experience when my own misjudgement on "tomorrow's temperatures, or a shortage of blue wax left me at the summit with warm weather wax on a cold day. There is a certain kind of snow that this really shows up on. "frozen blown" I call it.

I live with it for a lap or two until the abrasive snow wears the soft red wax off the bases. Dangerous though, and no fun skiing figure 11's top to bottom.

CalG
post #27 of 60
Thread Starter 
Cgrandy, if you read my post you'd see that I had the exact same wax on the other pair of RX8's (brand new pair) and they ran fantastically.

It was either the structure, or a hanging burr.
post #28 of 60
SMJ, if you're up to experimenting, try combo1: brass + horsehair against combo2: copper + soft nylon for the same conditions, one each ski?
post #29 of 60
I had a very similar experience last week. I was skiing on a pair of Head 77 (Rental). The temps however were warm 40-45 deg. I was applying a warm temp "glide wax" daily to help with the wet snow. The wet snow was getting a bit packed and the skis were very dull so at the end of day three, I brought them back to the shop and asked to have them sharpened. The shop guy said they would have to send them out to the main shop and "put them through the machine" and they would have them for me next morning. I agreed.

Next morning I picked up the newly tuned skis which looked in good shape by casual inspection. Again I applied a little extra glide wax and headed up the Gondola then up a mid station lift from the top of the Gondi. I set off on an easy blue run and couldn't understand what was happening. I felt like I absolutely could not ski on these skis. I felt like a never-ever on a Double Black. The skis wouldn't track, wouldn't turn, and seemed to catch and snag every few inches. I was really afraid I was going to be hurt because there was NO WAY I could ski them. I had to ski one or two turns and stop to steady myself. It was horrible. I too had the impression that this must be what it is like to have no base bevel. I was convinced that they had stone ground the bases and forgotten to re-bevel the bases. I knew I would never get all the way down so I skied in fits and stops to the mid station and rode the Gondola back down to the base. I went back to the shop and tried to explain to the kid at the counter what was going on. He of course assumed that I didn't know how to ski with sharp edges, etc. He said that they couldn't have forgotten the base bevel because the "machine was automatic". None the less, he gave me a different pair of skis and all was well. I hadn't simply forgotten how to ski, but I have to admit that I sure felt like it and I was starting to doubt myself, but did just fine on the new pair.

Now, I still don't know exactly what was wrong. I am certain that it was not a "structure" issue-bases were quite smooth with minimal structure. Wax, applied by me, was same glide wax I had been using all week. Given all the above comments, I can only assume that the bases were not beveled (despite the "automatic machine), the bases were edge high, or perhaps there was a hanging burr problem. I will never really know but I am confident it was not a structure or wax issue. I was surprised how badly the skis could behave because of a "bad tune". Not just poor performance, but totally unskiable. Amazing.
post #30 of 60
Hanging Burr It Was!
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