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'chattering ' on steeper,'firm' slopes

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have been trying to emphasize carving(with very mixed success-can't seem to get high enough up on edge) but I also notice an intermittent problem-on finishing a turn sometimes one of my skis will 'chatter' and leave a track like this: ___

(but much closer together to each other)before resuming its direction. do you know the cause for that type of 'chatter'? thanks.
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
correction:::the ____ lines should be parallel to each other-not the pattern shown in the posting above.
post #3 of 6

Skids happen


This is a common issue. One contributing factor may the quality of your tune. Another contributing factor to consider is how much of your turn is occurring above the fall line. The less round the top half of your turn is, the more likely you will need to control speed in the bottom half of the turn through skidding instead of turn shape. The final factor offered today is speed versus turn shape. The faster you go, the more narrower your turns will need to be to avoid skidding. One tactic to deal with chattering is to simply give up on that turn and start a new one. It takes a combination of gear, skill and tactics to carve on steeper/firmer slopes. But no matter what combination you bring to the slopes, sooner or later there will be slope that is simply to steep and/or too firm for you to carve.
post #4 of 6
Causes of chatter in the second half of the arc (in no particular order):

- Ski not tipped over enough (tip foot/ankle/knees inside the arc)
- Weight on inside ski (commit to the outside ski)
- Overcanted (alignment issue)
- Skis too sharp
- Skis overloaded (pressure the ski in the fall line, not at the end of the arc)
post #5 of 6

I would say without some idea how you turn it is hard to say for sure. Where is it hard to create high edge angles? What are you trying to do when the skis chatter? How much are you working the skis in the finish?

post #6 of 6

I would add another potential culprit: Bindings.


If the binding is torsionally 'loose' (not holding the boot tabs tightly) then it will permit a bit of play between the angle of the boot tabs and the angle of the ski.  When the ski edge loads up with high G-Force the binding it may twist in relation to the boot tabs (especially the toe piece).


If this is the case, the edge will hold firmly while still inside Critical Edge Angle but as the force on it builds the binding will allow just enough play for the supporting edge to tip beyond Critical Edge Angle thus releasing its grip for a moment.  Once released, the binding/Tab will re-align and you'll have the greater edge-angle back again, it will hold again, then forces will build again - until it releases again.


You may be able to stop the chattering by over-tipping the ski (well beyond Critical Edge angle) in which case you'll be tipped further than any 'binding play' can release.  If this is the case, you may want to take a closer look at the boot and binding. (People who find one ski model holds nicely while another does not may actually have a binding model that holds and one that doesn't.)


Note that if every ski you ski on tends to chatter it may be a boot issue in that the boot may be 'giving' laterally (poor lateral stiffness & support) - or the bottom of the boot (where it stands against the binding) may be rounded over from walking on concrete and gravel.



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