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Ski bases

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Why hasn't there been any improvements in ski bases? P-Tex has been around along time,isn't there any other poly-materials that would be????faster,stronger,ect. I ran onto this Teflon material at a job a few years ago that was so slick you couldn't stand on it on flat ground. Started me thinking of a certain application.
post #2 of 12
Interesting Question. The bases are actually usally sintered high density polyethylene to make it hard and impact resistant. Since polymer science has progressed, I would have thought there would be other materials that would be available, although at some higher cost. But if you didn't have to wax them so much there would be an offset.

Speaking of waxing, I have a question to te experts here. When waxing, the thought is to melt the wax so it penetrates into the base. What good does that do? We only ski on the bases so if wax penetrates a few thousanths of an inch into the base, what good does it do?
post #3 of 12
So you don't ski off all the wax in the first few hundred feet you go.
post #4 of 12
I work in an X-C shop right now(It is closer and pays better). Our main line of skis that we carry is Madshus. They are one of the only companies to offer their WC ski instead of a toned down versoin. That said, on their race skis they have a Cera F base instead of a Sintered 4000. I can't really tell you how they differ but the Cera F is faster.

From the last few months working a this x-c shop it seems that downhill could take a few lessons from cross country. They are so into waxes(mainly because if you don't wax right you'll be sliding fast but in the wrong direction).
post #5 of 12

I don't know that I am buying that explanation. Polyethylene (PE) bases are slightly porous, but less so with the sintered high-density PE. We need to heat wax to over 200 degrees F to melt it so it will flow and even then not that well. I think the combination of the viscous wax (even if it is molten) and the small pore spaces would make flow by capillary action negligible. So I still ask, what is the reason?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 11, 2001 03:23 PM: Message edited 1 time, by SnoWonder ]</font>
post #6 of 12
I'm guessing, but I would think the goal is to get a uniform surface. Friction is caused by an uneven surface. If you wax to fill in some of this unevenness you reduce the amount of friction and the ski slides.
post #7 of 12
Those ultra slick bases you ask for do not have a market that is viable. Yes there are many ultra slick polymers out there that ski manufacturers could use, but it is the wisest choice to stick with one that everyone else is using so your product can be serviced. You don't want a pair of skis that require a trip to a NASA space center for tuning or repair. --- In a slightly different vein, would you really want a super slick surface? Having some 'traction' on the snow is useful. I bet (and I'm just guessing) that the current bases are considered to be the best compromise between cost, serviceability, and dependability.
post #8 of 12
Lib Tech

Best damn boards on the planet and until another way to do it is found, no one else is gonna have it. :
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link to Lib Tech. Maybe some of you missed my point. Who cares how much the skis cost or their durability. I was thinking more on the lines of if you win races that would make up for any other cost factors to a point.
post #10 of 12
Teflon has been tested before [img]smile.gif[/img]

The problem with teflon is that once it's damaged, there isn't a way to fix it. You see, teflon coating something works like this. For example, a frying pan. The surface of the pan is literally microscopically etched so that the teflon can grip the frying pan. Similar thing would need to be done with ski bases. Once there's a core shot in the base, you can't really put teflon back on...if you could, it'd be costly and we don't want that...i think that's how it is.

post #11 of 12
You can buy it or not buy it, but a sintered base's microscopic pores will open with heating and accept wax. In fact, WC techs will wax a base and then scrape several dozen times in order to fully impregnate the pores with wax.
It works for them.
post #12 of 12
Getting the wax into the base changes the molecular structure of the base. it protects the base too. The magic temp i go by from reading many different manuals and asking a lot of people is 248 degrees. This seems to be the most grams per minute absorbtioin of wax ( usually warm temp wax) into the base without melting the snot out of the base. A melted sintered base melts back into its extruded form which is a slower base, and we don't want that. (I'm having a hard time typing... just downed a Mike's Hard lemonade.) Ok... call me a light-weight! of course... to melt the base you probably would have to leave your iron sitting there while you go smoke a rope or two.
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