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Grass ski maintenance

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have just acquired an old pair of Rollka grass skis as an experiment to see how I get on with them before spending more money on a modern pair. Hopefully I can do some summer kite skiing...

Does anyone know how I should maintain them? I would have though that they would benefit from lubrication despite having nylon rollers, but the lubricant would have to be carefully chosen so as not to attack the belts or runners. I was thinking silicone grease or possibly PTFE bike chain spray? Can anyone put me on the right track?


post #2 of 7
I actually have skied on those things, many years ago at Camelback ski area in PA. If i remember correctly they used either silicon spray or possibly a teflon dry lube spray. Some kind of dry lube would probably be what you want to use as anything wet will attract dirt and wear out the track and what it slides on. Post a video is you get them working!
post #3 of 7

Because you have to wash them carefully after each use.

If you use anything else, both grit and grass bits will become embedded in your lube and won't wash out.

If you don't wash them each use, the grit gets in the belt and sands away the fibers from the inside, presto-change-o-> no belt no more.

Good luck with the kite-Rollka project. I think I would have chosen something a little faster-rolling, less noisy, and less adapted to edging than the old conveyor belt design, like a Gates skate or a Rockville model. Because a lot of the steering will be done with the kite, not the feet, and air time in Rollkas doesn't really turn out well. Propping up the front and back half-loop with a rubber chock is a good idea, just to lessen their propensity to squish together flat on landing.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks! The chocking sounds like sage advice; I've not stripped them down to clean them up yet, but will have a look when I do...
post #5 of 7
Good luck with the grass ski re-juvenation. I used to race on those puppies in the mid-late 80's. I think I remember using a teflon based bike lube but the comments on keeping them clean are spot-on. There is a HUGE difference in how a clean ski and a dirty ski runs. I definitely remember using Dynamo laundry liquid to clean them- just dunked them in a bucket of suds'd-up water and gave them a good spin. This was in Australia so the same stuff may go under a different name elswhere- it was a light blue, creamy liquid and did a fantastic job. I wish I still had the skis as it seems to me that the correlation between grass skiing and skiing on snow with a good carving ski is much closer than it was to skiing on older non-carvers. Even back then I could feel the benefits of the grass skiing when I got onto the snow for the winter. Of course all the bad habits came back on the snow and the first run of the summer on grass was always a bit spooky!
post #6 of 7
interesting post. just to add, i picked up a nice conditioned pair of old compact 42 cm Rollka's that require nothing more than a hose to remove the grass strands. and WD40 lubes them up perfect. Now i think ski surface will determine how they are maintained because i bought mine off of ebay from a seller in Australia. i gotta tell you, there was some funky looking soil embedded in the tracks. That soil definetely looked foreign, kind of like he was skiing the surface of Mars.
post #7 of 7
I think back in the day we used Dromus B for oil because it was water-soluble so easier to clean.
The hard part will be getting hold of replacement parts becauseRollka is no longer operational, I think. The current manufacturers may make parts which are similar-sized and usable:
Last I heard these were:
Christian Balek http://www.grasski.com/
Rollracer, E'sam, Ongtex (the last two in Japan I think).
Good to see some old grass skiers coming out of the woodwork but I think the boom days of the sport are over.
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