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Volkl S5 chatter?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi all;
Has anybody besides me noticed a distince chatter or annoying "hop" with these skis on packed steeps? I don't have many days on them, but it's bugging me.
I'm 61, skied for 48 years and am a higher level skier, (for my age now, sigh). The skis are 168cm and I'm 170 lbs. I've tried shifting weight fore and aft, weighting feet 60/40, 40/60, all on downhill, (like the old days), and I'm finding they hop no matter what when I'm really trying to bring them around and bleed off speed on a steep. I had a pair of Rossi B1's, (gen 1), a number of years ago that did it and I ended up getting rid of them after 1 season. I also have Metron 10s, Rossi B2s, and Rossi B83s. They do not do this. I like the S5s other than this.
Any suggestions?:
post #2 of 24
I do understand what you mean, and I'm wondering if this is at least as much a function of technique - with that particular ski - as it is a question of the ski performance itself.

Long story short - look into technique.
post #3 of 24
How tall are you?

Are you keeping your upper body out over the downhill ski on steep turns? Because if you're not (ie, if you're leaning up into the hill), that downhill ski will probably want to shimmy.
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm 5'8". I have to admit I've been a long time skiing "old school" and have been working with weight on the uphill for the last bunch of years. I find I'm tending to vary my uphill weight distribution as the circumstances dictate. In the old skinny-ski days, I'd certainly angulate downhill, driving all my weight on the downhill ski. Now I feather the weight on the uphill as necessary because there are times I need "more edge" due to the shortness of the newer skis. We're talking eastern hardpack here, not western packed powder.

Maybe it is me...that's why I asked. Like I said in the post, I've tried numerous combinations of weight distribution and the suckers still chatter. My three other pairs don't give me these results. I'm pretty sure I don't lean into the hill....been skiing too long for that!

Thanks!!
post #5 of 24
Well, at least we know the ski length is more than enough for you.

Something you said about "more edge" poked at me mentally. On steeps, I think there's a very important distinction between weighting (verb) the skis and where your body weight (noun) is.

By weighting, I think a lot of us really mean pressing on a particular ski, and using some portion of our body weight to enforce that pressing. But, if your body weight is in the wrong location relative to the ski edges, it may not allow you to turn the weight into leverage on the ski edge.

For instance, you can drive really hard against the downhill ski, but if you lean your body uphill that ski will not have a lot of bite. The weighting is there, but the levarage, due to body weight, is not. Through leverage, your body weight is actually working to unload the very ski that you are pressing on!

The reason I mention all this is because, often, when people talk about a ski chattering or wobbling on steeps, it means they don't have their upper body where it needs to be relative to the edges. And on steeps, they are usually leaning uphill instead of putting the body down the hill. Regardless of how the skis are weighted, this can be a problem.

Normally, I roll my hips into the hill to get good edge angles, press on the skis to my preference (with a bias on the downhill for me), and then move my upper body down the hill, towards the downhill ski. This is the combination of pressing and weight position that makes for solid turns and reliable edging for me. When I don't get the combination right, I usually get a subtle reminder from the downhill ski as it loses bite.

You can get away with your upper body to the inside of both ski edges in a turn if you build up a lot of centripetal acceleration, through a combination of velocity and the turn radius. Higher velocities and shorter turns build up a lot of acceleration, which is why you see racers going around gates with their bodies way to the inside of the skis. However, as you ski slower and with wider turns, the body weight has to move in closer to the edges. On a steep, this generally puts the upper body in between the skis. In the very limiting case of doing wide turns down a steep, as many of us do on hardpack, your upper body may have to be over that downhill ski in the end of the turn.

You probably already know all of this, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Weighting and weight have a big effect on how skis bite on steep hardpack trails. Because of the sidecut and construction, the S5 is going to want to be properly driven on hardpack, or it will indeed become a little finicky.
post #6 of 24
Take a lesson. IMO your not in the correct position/technique.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Take a lesson. IMO your not in the correct position/technique.
IMHO also, though position may also include boots.

Funny enough, C.B.'s is the fourth testimonial (decades experience, chattering S5s) I've run across this season.
post #8 of 24
Agree with all ^^^
I own the 5* and needed a little time getting used to them. The 1 first hour I had the same experience like you have. The sollution was/is allowing the ski to pick up speed and let it do it's work radius wise.
In other words; if you want to make the end of the turn to narrow it will chatter. If you have just a little patience and let the ski end your turn for you it will improve, espescially when you allow higher speeds.
Combined with sufficient pressure on the downhill ski and they will cut like a razor, and are offering me huge smiles on my face!
Perhaps it is eassier for me to bend the ski properly with me being 240 lbs??
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

weighting

Trust me, I'm not leaning into the hill.

I've worked in the chemical indusrty for 40 years, in the testing lab. The reason I mention this is the data presented to me in this instance by one pair out of my 4 ski quiver doing this tells me that most likely it's a characteristic of the ski. I'm hoping to find a solution that won't require me to re-learn skiing.

I'm not bragging by any means; heavens knows, there are many better than me, but I am a high level skier and I do understand the forces at work. I have tried all sorts of weight, (pressure if you must), combos and nothing seems to work with these skis. Admittedly, I don't have many days on 'em, so maybe it'll come with time.

My wife has a pair of 5 Stars, (women's model), and she sees the same thing.

Comprex's and QmQ's replies tell me that maybe I need to try something different in either tune, (not likely), or maybe these things just do that, I donno.

A ski lesson would most likely not serve me well as I'll spend too much time trying to unlearn what is already a solid technique. Like I said, it's no coincidence, (science people tend not to believe in coincidences ), that my other 3 pairs do not exhibit this.

The more I think about it, (we testing people tend to over-analyze!), maybe the S5 was just not the right ski for me at this stage of my life. Like I said, I'm 61, and while I do like to let 'em run now and then, It's definitely not on the steeps. I guess age makes one think that the healing process is much longer than when I was in my 20s. I like to make lots of quicker turns on the steeps to keep the speed down and sometimes my line will be such that I'll need to really hit the edges to get back to my comfort zone and that's when I get the chatter. Maybe they want me on-and-off the edge quickly and on the steeps that's not what I do when trying to bleed off speed. I guess you could call that technique, I choose to call it an age-related compenstaion factor, (grin).

I bought these skis with a desire to get back to a good, old-fashioned quick ski. Maybe in reality I don't ski that way any more; hmmmm. Clearly, my other skis are not of this genre and I'm skiing the S5 like my Metrons, (which don't complain about anything!).

On well, thanks all...ski safe!
CB
post #10 of 24
May be demo the AC30 or Tigershark 10. I'm on the AC40 and AC4 and find them great for a everyday ski.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
May be demo the AC30 or Tigershark 10. I'm on the AC40 and AC4 and find them great for a everyday ski.

The S5's were new last season and I don't have many days on them This year I bought a pair of Rossi B83's for my Colorado trips, (great ski...I've never met a Rossi I didn't like!).

Trying to talk the wife into another ski would clearly be suicide! I'm starting to think my S5 pruchase was made from my memory of the days I wouldn't ski on anything but a slalom ski and in reality I don't ski like that anymore, (love those long arcs now).

Thanks!!
CB
post #12 of 24
I am in no way a gear head, but I do own a pair of 5 stars. I too find that they like to run instead of make sharp turns. Max is right about the AC30. I have an older pair of g3's and they will handled sharper turns better. But this is just my 2 cents.
post #13 of 24
I really don't think a huge technique shift is neccessarry!
Just have a little patience, and trust your edges on holding, let the edges do their work and don't loose speed beginning the turn but rather at the end off the turn by finishing the turn.
post #14 of 24
Hardware:

Volkls are very stiff torsionally with a small segment near the tail where the extended double grip ends. The transition from the torsionally softer section to the board stiff middle part is relatively abrupt. While Volkls grip as well as about anything, they can at times feel a little harsh on hard steep snow or in firm broken conditions (think hard "chalk"). A B3 for example is about medium in torsion but the transition of the softer extremeties to the firmer mid section is more gradual. Hence the B3, while not holding as well, may well feel smoother in those conditions. Fact is, you can't make the ski hold a perfect carve on those conditions. (wellll....you can but you'll be going a gazillion mph in two turns)

Technique:

Stay lighter on your feet. "sting" rather than "punch" the bottom half of the turn. Also, keep your core and your outside ankle slightly "soft". You can't fight those forces anyway, so soften the outside edge with ankle movements and let the ski skid more smoothly. It's going to skid a little anyway but if you tense up and fight it, it will just chatter more.

SJ
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Hardware:

Volkls are very stiff torsionally with a small segment near the tail where the extended double grip ends. The transition from the torsionally softer section to the board stiff middle part is relatively abrupt. While Volkls grip as well as about anything, they can at times feel a little harsh on hard steep snow or in firm broken conditions (think hard "chalk"). A B3 for example is about medium in torsion but the transition of the softer extremeties to the firmer mid section is more gradual. Hence the B3, while not holding as well, may well feel smoother in those conditions. Fact is, you can't make the ski hold a perfect carve on those conditions. (wellll....you can but you'll be going a gazillion mph in two turns)

Technique:

Stay lighter on your feet. "sting" rather than "punch" the bottom half of the turn. Also, keep your core and your outside ankle slightly "soft". You can't fight those forces anyway, so soften the outside edge with ankle movements and let the ski skid more smoothly. It's going to skid a little anyway but if you tense up and fight it, it will just chatter more.

SJ
This is starting to make some sense. I've tried "fighting it" and you're right, the chatter shakes my whole body. So what you're saying is a quick but firm edge to control speed. What I've found is that sometimes I'm going that gazillion mph you mention and want to slow up, and if I really crank it to a stop, I'll get the chatter.
I notice this chatter the most if I come to a stop on a steep.
Thanks, I'll try the softer outside edge. I'm sur I really need more time on these things.
post #16 of 24
I'm trying to picture the S5, I'm a volkl guy. I'll have to look it up.

There were 5 stars, and 6 stars.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
I'm trying to picture the S5, I'm a volkl guy. I'll have to look it up.

There were 5 stars, and 6 stars.
Basically, last year's 5 Stars.
post #18 of 24
I'm looking at Sept 06 Skiing. It say's the S5 is built like the Allstar but skis worlds apart. More of a pure high speed cruiser...the S5 is less playful on corduroy but is buttery-smooth and predictable in medium and long radius turns.

Grips:Stay forward or it will get away from you. Props: Bomber hold and versatile.

Key thing here is you need go skills to ski this ski.
post #19 of 24
Here's my guess.
The stiffer middle of the ski has fooled you into tipping the ski more than you really should for the situation. Then the sidecut and softer tips follow a tighter than you really wanted turn path, so tight in fact that the ski really can't deliver that turn and it lets go. Once the edge lets go the cycle starts over again, chatter.

What to do, what to do?
Don't ask more of the ski than it can give you, ie. try to be a little more gentle and don't turn quite so tight at that speed, or get a burlier ski.

A very stiff ski tip might well not arc that tight either, but it would start to slip right away if over-turned without trying so hard tto arc.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.B. View Post
This is starting to make some sense. I've tried "fighting it" and you're right, the chatter shakes my whole body. So what you're saying is a quick but firm edge to control speed. What I've found is that sometimes I'm going that gazillion mph you mention and want to slow up, and if I really crank it to a stop, I'll get the chatter.
I notice this chatter the most if I come to a stop on a steep.
Thanks, I'll try the softer outside edge. I'm sur I really need more time on these things.
I would put the S5 in the category of focused hardpack carver. Like other skis in this category, they are happy as heck to carve at the design radius of the sidecut, but will begin to show signs of protest in other turn shapes. Some skis are more versatile and forgiving, and will allow various shape turns and partial skid turns. But many of the carvers can act like one-trick ponies, and won't respond well as you get away from that design turn radius. I felt that way about the 6-star, and perhaps the 5-star/S5 carries the same trait despite the softer flex.
post #21 of 24
Just got back from a weekend of skiing at Mammoth (beautiful sunny fri, gusty/cold sat w/ a post-lunch reward for those that stuck around, gorgeous still conditions again today). Five days on the ski now.

As I've progressively learned what the ski does and doesn't like, I can honestly say my grin is so wide my face is about to explode. Let the skis run, let the sidecut work their natural arc. They love mph and seem most happy at speed. I didn't experience any chatter at all this past weekend -- and my initial impression of 'tiring' is completely gone.

I would say the S5 can be a fickle mistress, but if you push her buttons correctly you will be handsomely (and satisfyingly) rewarded. Perhaps you're taking too technical an approach. In short -- don't fight her CB!
post #22 of 24
I ski an S5 which is basically the six star with a bit softer flex. What I have noticed is that the ski skips if you are coming in fast and the skis at the end of the turn come accross the slope. This usally happens for me when you are doing swivel turns and you are coming accross the fall line. What I have done is get off the turn and hop into the the new turn. Also if you are doing gs like turns and you come accross the fall line they seem to skip as well. I think Getting off earlier will eliminate the problem
post #23 of 24
Although I've never skied the 5 stars I have skied the Allstars for two seasons for about 100 days. These are stiffer and less prone to chatter than the 5 stars, but honestly they chattered MAYBE a total of 10 runs all that time. I now ski the AC 40's and they've chattered a few times this year on MAYBE 5 runs the entire season. It's pretty hilarious all the "technical" ski advise from the know it all's to on how to address this problem...This is the only advise you need.. LEARN HOW TO FIND SOFTER SNOW
post #24 of 24
My Allstars do not like abrupt movements in high speed short radius turns. They remind me everytime. I just use Satchel Paiges' advice "be quick but not in a hurry."
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