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Technique, Tune, or what?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
First: I'm skiing Atomic Metron Xs in 178.

When in crud and (soft) moguls (not so much pow) trying to make shorter turns my tips would sometimes dig in a bit preventing them from steering up the hill. At the same time the tails would also dig in quite well and refuse to slide in any way. Basically the tip and tail of the ski would lock in to almost a "carved" type of turn while the area underfoot would be high-centered resulting in less turn than desired or coming to a stop when not desired. I have several theories and would love some help in narrowing down what I should be trying when the white starts falling.

Hmm. Just noted that the feeling is very similar to being high-centered between two moguls. This might even be the case most of not all of the time to a varying degree.

Here's what I'm thinking:

1) I'm a tool and a total gaper. Yes, I know, but maybe some good advice will help that.

2) I'm actually using too much edge angle for the snow condition and turn shape I'd like to make. If I use less angle I shouldn't dig in those tip and tail edges, even with the enormous tips and tails on these skis.

3) The edges on the tips and tails need to be de-tuned. I don't think this is true since on hardpack and groom I really like the way the skis perform with very sharp edges along their entire length. One might describe them as "hooky", but to me that's the point. I tip my skis, they turn, a lot. If I didn't want that I wouldn't have bought metrons!

4) Some other technique deficiency related to how I actually am making the turn that is causing this difficulty.

Thanks for any advice,

-Adam
post #2 of 13
Adam,

What you are feeling may in-fact be the way the ski is turned. Many Atomic skis are slightly concave in the tip and tail area. Rather than de-tune the edge in these areas (no going back), work on staying more over the outside ski in these conditions so there isn't as much edge angle between the ski and the snow surface (softer curd snow and soft bumps don't require as much edge angle as harder packed snow).

Hope this makes sence to you and helps.

RW
post #3 of 13
This is interesting. Now while I can't say for sure without seeing you ski, I think Ron nailed the cause of your problem. Atomic's are famous for excessive concave in the bases, especially at the tips and tails where the skis are widest.

However I think Ron missed the cure. On hardpack, reading between the lines on your post, it seems you are able to roll quickly from edge to edge and make "carved" turns (please dont turn this into another debate on what a carved turn is)....basically you are on edge virtually all of the time, and hence the concaved base is managable.

In soft snow, especially bumps or crud, it would not surprise me to see that you are unable to edge to the same degree as on hard pack. Further again based on your post, it seems you desire to make shorter turns...again nothing wrong with that...but to do so you would need to pivot the ski more, hence that concave base would now be a signficant problem. It would give that "locked in" feel, without much turning you describe.

The solution....tune your skis flat...or get better skis...or accept you need to make bigger turns in that stuff.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by abertsch View Post
Basically the tip and tail of the ski would lock in to almost a "carved" type of turn while the area underfoot would be high-centered resulting in less turn than desired or coming to a stop when not desired.
Even if you have the most "its not concave because Marketing said so" Atomics ever, you've got to be standing on your uphill ski for you to feel "high centered" in the turn. A concave base might reinforce such a defensive move, but its not the root cause of your problem. For one thing, they haven't been all that bad lately.
post #5 of 13
It is my understanding that the tips and tails are designed to dig in. That's what they do. Tip skis, which bends skis into curve. Follow the curve. Easy.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
It is my understanding that the tips and tails are designed to dig in. That's what they do. Tip skis, which bends skis into curve. Follow the curve. Easy.
Hah! Thanks Ghost!

But seriously, sometimes I do want to turn shorter than that, and getting the right edging (or lack thereof) to accomplish the turn seems really tricky. As for getting on to the inside ski, I do sometimes see that happening in my skiing. I'm sure you've all seen it before. Steep bumps, nervous skier, leans in to hill, weight over inside ski... nothing good can come of it. Thanks for the advice, everyone.

-Adam
post #7 of 13
Two things you can do in soft moguls is seperate your edging from your pivoting (ie. turn first, then edge) and keep more weight on the tips. Trying the get the tips to go up won't be as easy as letting them stick and moving the tails down. But then again I suck at moguls, so take my advice with a grain of salt.
post #8 of 13
No one else has asked, so I will: what is the edge angle on your skis. I skied some Fischer RX-8's with excessive edge angle, and they were really hard to skid (you have to skid a little to get a shorter turn radiius than the skis are designed for) at all, and were very challenging to ski. That sounds something like your experience. In my case I already owned one pair of RX-8's so I knew they didn't have to ski like that. I refused to buy them with that tune. The ski owner had them retuned to 1 degree base and two degrees side, and they skied just fine, and I bought them. With modern skis the last thing I would recommend is any detuning. FWIW I feel that Atomics and Fischers ski very similarly, and like both brands. I prefer the Railflex binding to the system bindings on Atomics, and prefer the generally lower prices on Fischers.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
The edge angle is the Atomic factory recommended angle, which I believe is a very aggressive 1 and 3. This might be one of those areas where you either get crazy hold on hard pack OR you get buttery short turns. De-bunking the one ski quiver myth a little more.

-Adam
post #10 of 13
1/3 is not what anyone should call "aggressive" edge unless you are doing ballet or spend all day in the park. Its a good conservative choice. Aggressive would be .5 and 4 or 5...then you start getting into places where bumps and crud would get annoying. By all means ensure you skis are in a good state of tune, but don't start chasing problems that aren't problems.

If people out there are finding 1/3 edges less than linear and predictable in their response, I would suggest they are doing it wrong. Take a very careful look at the base bevel at the tip and tail.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOG
I skied some Fischer RX-8's with excessive edge angle, and they were really hard to skid (you have to skid a little to get a shorter turn radiius than the skis are designed for) at all, and were very challenging to ski.
It doesn't really work that way. The feel varies far less strongly with edge acuteness than it does with base bevel. A totally square ski will be fairly difficult for most people to get used to, but a ski with a 1 degree base and a 4 degree side will be easy enough for anyone to master in a run or two. I'd actually love to setup a double blind comparison of this someday. My guess is that your ski you didn't like had something wrong other than the bevel that got fixed on the retune.
post #11 of 13
Adam,

I think you're on the right track about skiing with too much edge angle. I bet that if you play around with skiing a flatter ski in the crud and bumps you'll feel more comfortable. Those skis have such a fat tip that if you give them too much edge in those conditions they can give you the rope-a-dope.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Just to be clear, what I meant by "using too much edge angle" is that I am tipping my skis too far. Meaning: A technique problem. The tuning of the skis to different bevel is something else entirely. Hopefully that's what everyone thought I meant in the first place.

I'm not going to change the tune of my skis to start with. I'm gonna get out there early this season and work on getting all my balance over that outside ski and then seeing what happens as I flatten it more and more while using basically the same movements. After that I'll report back with my observations and only then consider tune changes. Given my level of experience at this point it's FAR more likely that I need to fix technique than that I need to fix the ski.

As usual thanks for all the good discussion here. Bears rock.

-Adam
post #13 of 13
another thought, and I am not familiar with that ski and have not skied it but....perhaps it has a softer tip and tail and the fact that ESS/Atomic binding create a big flat spot under the foot could have something to do with this?? On firm snow it would not be as noticable.
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