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Micro-managing base structure exposure

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Maybe too early to say for sure, but I'm very encouraged after the last few outings increasing glide on my skis.

After messing around with a Ski Visions Base Flattener and Structuring tool after flattening and playing with different structures and multiple wax cycles, my Legends just were not as fast as my Havocs which I've left the base structure mostly alone of late. Even after reducing the structure a bit, there were some coarseness left that was clearly more so than that on my Havocs. Using the same wax, the Havocs just felt slicker.

So......I tried applying hard wax (Maplus RB Hard) and not roto-brushing enough to fully expose the structure. (This also worked well to fill/reduce minor scratches). I then applied RB Medium and have been enjoying very fast skis on dry, high teen to mid 20°F snow. It's impossible for me to know for certain whether this is solely a structure issue and not also a function of multiple base coats, but it certainly lends itself to more focus over time.

One of the issues we always have is up to a 30°F temperature swing in any given day. In the past week we have also gone from sub-zero to melting temperatures and dry fluffy powder to melting snows and everything in between. Frequently changing the base structure is of course impracticable and far from convenient.

Changing the exposure of a moderate structure is very easy, but is also dependent on the abrasiveness of the snow and hardness, along with quality, of the hard wax.

Anybody have other thoughts or experiences here?
post #2 of 9
When you say reducing the structure, did you use one of the fine ruby stones after you layed down structure with the coarse? The coarse stone to me is more of a cheese grater and better for flattening a base high ski moreso than imparting structure. Maybe try doing some light passes with the blade and then using one of the fine stones?

I found out the hard way any agressive base flattening is best done with a true grinder than the Vision tool. Especially with an edge high ski. I might of been too heavy handed but I managed to make my problems worst than better.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Initially, I used the extra coarse to take off base high material faster (use the blade for edge high). I then used the blade to moderate the coarseness and then the medium, followed by the blade (for any hairies removal) to get this structure:



All in all, I was very satisfied with the results after using the planer. A shop tech also gave the thumbs up.

After a couple outings, I used the blade to reduce further and the fine ruby stone to even out the structure. Tested again with decent results after a few RB soft, then hard and medium wax cycles. Then decided to try minimizing the exposed structure with leaving a bit more of the hard wax and had better, in fact, great glide.

If this warm spell continues I can easily brush out the excess wax and free more structure for wetter snows. Then re-wax warmer and add LF or not.
post #4 of 9

 

I need to adjust this  technique to allow easier pivot slips.

 

 

Take a stiffish ski with a big side cut and a highly linear, deep spring structure.   The big side cut will engage the moment one edges the ski, the linear structure will resist pivoting the ski when flat.  

For an ~L6 skier this makes for quite a bit of muscle work when intentionally pivoting.

 

 

 

So.   

 

Would you wax the entire ski with a hard wax and only brush out the midsection,  or only wax the ends?  

 

A third option would be to leave a center strip as wide as the waist unfilled over the entire length of the ski.

 

This is for April Colorado snow.  157cm ski with ~11m sidecut; WOD would probably be a rub-on mid hard fluoro, assume the skier won't do much of anything on that front.

 

 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Are you concerned about when the snow is saturated and maleable or when it's frozen crust/coral reef?

 

With full on, highly variable spring conditions here, tweaking the structure this week is on the A-list. During one of the storms this winter, a dirt layer was deposited which is now evident everywhere here. So, for Sunday, I tried some Toko Moly LF over the Maplus RB Medium on an excellent all around (moderate structure) to see if the dirt resistant properties made a difference to the drag. (Even though Toko suggests foregoing the Moly over -2°C or so.) I'd characterize the glide and turning in saturated snows/mank as not great, but also not slow either and still decent. On less saturated and frozen, the glide was excellent as it had been with just the RB Medium. (Note: A few high speed runs prior to getting into the wet stuff was on extremely abrasive 'cordur-reef' and frozen crust/chunks that may have removed a fair amount of the moly LF.) An initial base cleaning still removes tons of dirt and hard to say if it's really that much difference than Saturday's dirt collection with just the RB Medium.

 

Past experience suggests that in the spring saturated conditions the flow more than compensates for any side resistance to pivoting and getting a very positive water flow/suction resistance under foot is the primary concern. The topper is putting on a more hydrophobic wax like an LF. The medium/harder (P2 Med) might be a better call for durability than the softer/hotter wax (which you can still overlay).

 

In short, maybe micro-managing the base structure in spring conditions might be fun to mess with by removing a little more after a few runs, but might also be a waste of time. Unless of course, the temperature drops or you get new snow.

 

Maybe approaching the removal like you expand a grip zone in wetter snow has some merit???

 

 

Best regards,

Terry


Edited by Alpinord - 3/24/2009 at 02:31 pm
post #6 of 9

 

To answer your question, pivoting in soft and malleable snow is the prime concern.   

 

Straight glide in new snow is the secondary concern.

 

I found a sample of RB Hard and was going to use that for the edge contact  zones for the cordur-reef, and on the tip and tail.    

 

What is left is the chance of new snow.

 

It seems to me you're saying to leave the structure filled with medium-hard, and give her a brush and some LF-equivalent overlay  in case she doesn't get new snow?

 

Plan = made.   Thanks.

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I was thinking more the opposite if you are expecting predominantly wet conditions. But if the wax is filling the deeper structure, it can always be brushed out when you know for sure what the conditions are at the moment. A moderate structure still could provide a best of all worlds option, however, except for the slurpy conditions. The LF will help and the corn still runs 'OK'.

post #8 of 9

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

 

I was thinking more the opposite if you are expecting predominantly wet conditions. But if the wax is filling the deeper structure, it can always be brushed out when you know for sure what the conditions are at the moment. A moderate structure still could provide a best of all worlds option, however, except for the slurpy conditions. The LF will help and the corn still runs 'OK'.

 

Yeah, unfortunately the skis have already been ground for slush

 

 

and she hated it.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

You can also reduce the structure a bit with the SV steel blade, can't you?

 

FWIW, here's the 'moderate, all-around grind' that's been working well most the season (click to enlarge):

 

 

The extra coarse structure (SkiVisons planer), followed by a few light scrapes with the steel blade and then coarse fiber pad:

 

 

Side by side:

 

 

You can just feel the moderate grind while the coarse ruby stone leaves very obvious micro ridges. The depth of the structures appear similar.

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