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Why are my Nordica Mach 3s so slow - lack of structure ?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I recently got a set of Nordica Mach 3 carbons.

I received them in the wrapper, set the edges to 1 base/2 side and did the usual several coats of wax.

However, the skis are moving slow. For example, my wife on shorter skis and weighing 40 lbs less than me moves faster on the catwalks despite the fact that my skis have newer wax.

Upon inspection, the bases don't seem to have very much structure. They are almost perfectly flat without the usual vertical lined texture.

So my questions are:
1. Is this common on brand new Nordica skis?
2. Any way to introduce structure without doing a professional base grind? If so, how? I do all my own edging, waxing & basic p-tex but have never done structuring.
3. Any other plausible explanations for the slow speed? -aside from lack of pilot skill

thanks
post #2 of 29
Maybe Mrs Squeaky is just faster than you
What ski is she on?
post #3 of 29
Assuming you are experiencing the same springlike conditions we are down here, I'd bet you are getting a fair amount of suction due to the wet conditions and no structure.

FWIW, I just added a blog entry on spring snow prep and there is a base structure entry in our DIY Waxing, Tuning & Repair Blog.
post #4 of 29
Maybe all those coats of wax have filled in your structure. Like dental hygiene, proper brushing is very important!
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel View Post
3. Any other plausible explanations for the slow speed? -aside from lack of pilot skill

thanks
She sinks into the soft stuff less?
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Funny replies !!!

Mrs.Squeaky has far more skill than me, but my phat arse (165 lbs dripping wet) usually works to my advantage on the flats. She alternates between Solly 1080 guns and Lotta Luvs (both around 160cm)

I did lots of brushing with a nylon brush between coats.

I have 4 sets of skis in the active rotation - and have skied all 4 this week - the Nordicas are markedly slower than the rest despite using the same wax & technique.

Vail hasn't been that slushy. In fact, the upper part of the hill has been unseasonable cool.

Alpinord...I'll take a gander at your website.
post #7 of 29
Are your bindings too far forward?
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Are your bindings too far forward?
Center of boot mark aligns nearly perfectly with the center of ski mark

thanks
post #9 of 29
post #10 of 29
Having eliminated the other obvious possibilities, I have to agree with Doc D. It's the structure.
post #11 of 29
My wife had Nordica Beast 72's a few years ago. They were slow beyond belief, even after stone grinding at the Race Place, and waxing with Dr. D's finest.

They were very soft, so maybe that was part of it, but they were so slow that I could not find a rational explanation.
post #12 of 29
Dr. D, I like the fact that you wrote up something on structure, but how about stuff for us recreational skiers that just want to get down the cat track at the end of the day during spring?
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
but how about stuff for us recreational skiers that just want to get down the cat track at the end of the day during spring?
Among other things, that is what our aforementioned DIY Tuning, Waxing & Base Repair Blog is all about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel View Post
2. Any way to introduce structure without doing a professional base grind? If so, how? I do all my own edging, waxing & basic p-tex but have never done structuring.
Do this and hold onto your hat :

post #14 of 29
The last time I was really interested, ski bases came in several different grades of P-tex, with an "eletraglide" or something like that that made them faster in the wet temperature range.

What are the bases now?
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
Dr. D, I like the fact that you wrote up something on structure, but how about stuff for us recreational skiers that just want to get down the cat track at the end of the day during spring?
On my older skis that I don't want to grind, I do something like this for a "handmade" structure:
Ptex, if you need to, then sand it with SiC paper (somewhere around 320 grit) wrapped around a flat bar/file, then take a file card or steel brush (dull the tips) and run some straight and angled patterns down the length of the ski, then fibertex buff it (maroon>gray>white), then wax with a hard wax (so the ptex hairs stand up) and when cool, scrape it with a sharp plexiscraper (use a scraper sharpner if dull) to remove all the hairs, then brush and it should be good to go.

Don't worry about the uniformity of the structure, for some conditions an irregular structure has been considered an advantage.
post #16 of 29
Why do people keep inventing their own methods of structuring skis? It seems incredibly bizarre to me that people who will spend 30 or 40 bucks on a single diamond stone find 10 or 20 bucks for a pass over a machine built expressly for this purpose somehow unaffordable.

SRSLY, there are literally hundreds of ski shops that aren't doing much this time of year. They'll probably do it while you wait. If your skis are well cared for, you just need a pass. Sometimes I wonder if many of you do your own dentistry as well.
post #17 of 29
Yeah, I don't really want to structure my own skis, just know what kind of structure to ask for when I go in the shop. I know that last spring when I asked for a base grind and new structure in the middle of March they gave me a winter structure (I guess I should have TOLD them what I wanted and not assumed they'd give me a structure for the current conditions).
post #18 of 29
Yeah I guess you might need to be explicit with some places. If you tell them you want a spring grind they should be able to work with you and settle on a good choice. Ask to see an example. As long as the linear part is pretty burly, it will work fine. There are a million patterns but coarseness is more important in spring than anything else.

This broken structure appears to have been fed very quickly and has a more acute angle than most, but it skied well in sun baked snow over the weekend. Just brushed it a bit for the photo, needs more brush action.



Something at least that coarse should do you well through spring, and also do pretty well on manmade snow if you do that on the white ribbon in the fall.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Why do people keep inventing their own methods of structuring skis? It seems incredibly bizarre to me that people who will spend 30 or 40 bucks on a single diamond stone find 10 or 20 bucks for a pass over a machine built expressly for this purpose somehow unaffordable.

SRSLY, there are literally hundreds of ski shops that aren't doing much this time of year. They'll probably do it while you wait. If your skis are well cared for, you just need a pass. Sometimes I wonder if many of you do your own dentistry as well.
I was talking about old skis that aren't well cared for or worth the money to grind. Also, I kind of had fun structuring the ski myself. And I don't know of a stone grind for $20.

Regarding different structure patterns there is a lot on my Structure Theory page on my website.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
Also, I kind of had fun structuring the ski myself. And I don't know of a stone grind for $20.
Eh, I don't know what PA is like, but in places I'm familiar with it isn't hard to find. A "stone grind" as often sold is actually an entire tune, but you don't need that, you literally just need one or two passes across a stone. Really simple.
post #21 of 29
Nice job and image Garrett. What steps (number of wax cycles, etc) do you take after a spring grind?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Why do people keep inventing their own methods of structuring skis? It seems incredibly bizarre to me that people who will spend 30 or 40 bucks on a single diamond stone find 10 or 20 bucks for a pass over a machine built expressly for this purpose somehow unaffordable.

SRSLY, there are literally hundreds of ski shops that aren't doing much this time of year. They'll probably do it while you wait. If your skis are well cared for, you just need a pass. Sometimes I wonder if many of you do your own dentistry as well.
How bad do you really wanna know?

1) Because I can, it's fun, quick, convenient, easy and effective.
2) Saves time money and gas. In the 15 minutes or so to get the closest shop, I'm close to done (definitely in round trip time). To bring them to my preferred operator is a 1 3/4 hr round trip and burns 3 or 4 gallons of gas.
3) For rational & irrational reasons, (like many) I prefer to not run my skis through a process that could alter how I have them running.
4) If I screw something up I can fix them and learn from the mistake. :
5) It clearly a way to get in tune (pun intended) with my boards.
6) For others, a ski shop and grind is not an option. Taking time from a limited trip may not be very desirable or convenient, versus taking care of business before the trip and just going skiing on the trip.
7) I'm a chronic, boneheaded DIYer and suffer accordingly.
8) I never need to redo base edges afterwards.
9) The process tends to keep the bases flat and even.
10) etc

The above image was taken of the same skis shown below with the rilling bar pattern, from last spring. They did and still run fast and in part, I'm thinking is that the hand structuring takes off less of the built up wax layers.



I do also think that a lot of things will work to reduce suction and be an improvement over not imparting a more coarse or aggressive structure. The subsequent scraping, brushing to free structure and polishing are also important as a total package.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
...I'm thinking is that the hand structuring takes off less of the built up wax layers.
True, you need to re-saturate the bases with wax cycles (as if they were new) after a full stone grind - it takes off the wax as well as the thin layer of base material. A hand structure could be imparted with a delecate touch of sandpaper to maintain a considerable amount of wax impregnation, even after the necessary hot scraping.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor D View Post
And I don't know of a stone grind for $20.
My favorite shop does it for $15...REI does it for members for $20.

Structuring by hand isn't hard...it's the flattening that takes a skillful hand.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus_CA View Post
Structuring by hand isn't hard...it's the flattening that takes a skillful hand.
True, true.
post #25 of 29
Yeah I would agree with that too. I'm going to start hand structuring some more skis now, I think you guys have sold me.
post #26 of 29
how do you do cross structures by hand?
post #27 of 29
Diagonally sand, brush and/or rill, etc. (For more power get a Binford orbital sander. : )

Define flat? Laser flat that no one will ever feel, truthfully........or eyeball, hand made flat that works just fine, even with minor (if any) undulations/imperfections, which is easy to achieve. The stuff we all ski on has way more imperfections than a minor blip on the base of a ski.

Way to go Garrett.
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Follow up:

On Alpinord's advice I introduced some structure with a steel brush & rilling tool.

My Nordicas now ski like rockets.

Thanks for the advice !!!!!

post #29 of 29
Cool, glad to hear the feedback.

Now is Mr Squeaky faster than Mrs Squeaky and the little wheels?

(I'm starting to think I need to add Klister grip wax to my kid's skis so I keep up.)
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Why are my Nordica Mach 3s so slow - lack of structure ?