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Serrated Edges on Lindsay Vonn's SL skis

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
http://www.denverpost.com/preps/ci_11435013

Looks like she skied the 2nd run of last weekend's slalom on skis with serrated edges. First I've ever heard of anything like this - anybody have more info on it?
post #2 of 26
Lib Tech has a "wavy" edge called Magna-Traction.

That's a start.

-nerd
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInstructor View Post
http://www.denverpost.com/preps/ci_11435013

Looks like she skied the 2nd run of last weekend's slalom on skis with serrated edges. First I've ever heard of anything like this - anybody have more info on it?
Yeah, it's a new tactic. The snow in Maribor was just about the hardest ice seen on the World Cup in many seasons: very hard, very slick. It was a big challenge for most of the women, where the stronger women had a bit of an advantage (edge: Vonn and Riesch).

Vonn seems to have felt that her skis - which are already 165 cm mens' race stock from Rossi (Riesch uses similarly burly skis from Head) - needed more grip in the second run, when the late-afternoon shade would be caausing the course to get even harder. Thus, the serrated edge was broken out.

It seems to me that a mild serration would provide a more decisive edge grip while still maintaining a lower drag setup than the old "cracked edge," which was the bee's knees on boilerplate back in the days of the Mahres and Stenmark. Additionally, unlike the other ice edge treatments out there (e.g. the double-grooved ice edge tried 5-7 years aago), it doesn't do permanent damage to the edge, allowing a smooth, straight edge to be milled back into the ski in subsequent tuning.

This is just speculation, mind you.
post #4 of 26
I wouldn't really say it was hardest one. Maribor last week was just plain weird snow. When I was going down the course to my photo position (I normally go with skis), it felt like on places it slides, and on places skis just got stuck.
But ice was not really all that bad. For example, last two years in Zagreb, it was much worse. This year was fine, but previous 2 races were really on ice rink. Then last year's men SL and GS in Bad Kleinkircheim were much worse too. But yes it was still pretty hard ice
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post
I wouldn't really say it was hardest one. Maribor last week was just plain weird snow. When I was going down the course to my photo position (I normally go with skis), it felt like on places it slides, and on places skis just got stuck.
But ice was not really all that bad. For example, last two years in Zagreb, it was much worse. This year was fine, but previous 2 races were really on ice rink. Then last year's men SL and GS in Bad Kleinkircheim were much worse too. But yes it was still pretty hard ice
Interesting insight, Primoz. Stick around here and tell us more! You have a unique opportunity to acquire first hand knowledge of things that many people can only speculate about, but are very interested in.

Thanks.
post #6 of 26
Would somebody please define "Serrated" as it applies to edge? I was thinking "cracked" edge. Is it serrated along the actual angle of the ski edge, just the side edge, etc.?

And how is it created/tool used, etc.?

Thanks.
post #7 of 26
Unless you've been on injected snow at a world cup race, it's really hard to fathom how damn hard/slippery the surface is, and how sharp your skis need to be.

I've seen people accelerate while sideslipping, coaches and support staff bail into the fencing, and spectators (usually drunk ) fall instantly on their asses when they duck the b-netting at the end of a race.

Skis will usually be re-sharpened (diamond/ceramic stoned) after just 1-2 training runs on this type of surface. Side edge angles are often in excess of 4 deg based on event, ski, surface, and preference. So the tech skis have a very short lifespan!

I too would be interested in hearing more about the serrated edge . I wonder if this approach trades off contact surface for better penetration...?
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NE1 View Post
Would somebody please define "Serrated" as it applies to edge? I was thinking "cracked" edge. Is it serrated along the actual angle of the ski edge, just the side edge, etc.?

And how is it created/tool used, etc.?

Thanks.
Yeah, I'd like to understand this as well. What I am picturing sounds like it would interfere significantly with glide.
post #9 of 26
Yesterday, in this thread Wibby posted this link to the site with that way of doing edges.

.ma

EDIT: Just looked at the article. She said, "My ski tech serrated my edges for the second run..." which implies she wasn't using the wavy-edge skis but rather just did what I described in the other thread - hacking in a few serrations manually. I wonder where he put them (I'm guessing tip to midsection) and how many/how deep.

This might be a case where the benefit of added hold & control far outweighed the drag induced by the serrations.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post

Vonn seems to have felt that her skis - which are already 165 cm mens' race stock from Rossi (Riesch uses similarly burly skis from Head)
Are any men using SL skis longer than 165?
post #11 of 26
My guess is that she had an edge treatment known as "Ultimate Grip", which is an edge serration treatment developed by a Swiss guy about 5 years ago. I believe that a Winterstieger machine can be fitted to do the edge work. I've seen race skis tuned this way, as an experiment, a few years ago. It was only done under the binding. From what I was told, a lot of grip, but equal challenges releasing the edge. I tried to Google it, and get an English link. Can only get one in German. Pretty sure this is it.
post #12 of 26
Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry interesting. I have often pondered about serrated edges as one of my mad scientist ideas....looks like it wasn't such a bad idea after all.

Wonder who will be the first to bust out some real Damascus steel edges....that'll be the shiznet!
post #13 of 26
From Denver Post:

"You have no idea how careful you have to be with edges as sharp as I had for the second run. If you run your finger down a serrated edge, you would cut your finger seriously. It's very, very dangerous. The edge I had for the first run was very sharp as well, but it was smooth. You could run your finger down it without cutting it."

Patrol rooms get ready!
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
From Denver Post:

"You have no idea how careful you have to be with edges as sharp as I had for the second run. If you run your finger down a serrated edge, you would cut your finger seriously. It's very, very dangerous. The edge I had for the first run was very sharp as well, but it was smooth. You could run your finger down it without cutting it."

Patrol rooms get ready!
Bah.....at ESA Stowe my edges were sharp enough to slice open my new Leki WC gloves and then go on to slice my finger......wassup Vonn whatcha got!?
post #15 of 26
Serrated edges have been around for a while, now. There's a Swiss machine called a Skibo that cuts an edge onto your skis, in fact I had this done to my Olin Sierras! You can't feel anything different when skiing on them, other than a more stable feeling on ice.

It does actually work, especially if you carve more than you skid, however it doesn't stop you skidding a bit.
post #16 of 26
I don't know about serrated edges, and to be honest, I forgot to ask guys this weekend in Zauchensee about this. But next WC I will be shooting is going to be quite soon so...
Anyway... last time I got my skis prepared by one of these guys, I was looking pretty weird at edges of my skis. Normally they were sharp, but smooth. This time, they had some sort of pattern (I guess that's closest expression I would use for this, but English is not my native language so... ) They were actually working much better on icy WC courses, then regular ones. I have no idea how it was done, since I was not around when he was doing my skis, but I would say they were done with some machine as they do all other sharpening these days in WC. Nowadays hand work is pretty much history, and pretty much all sharpening of edges is done with one of these machines.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post
I don't know about serrated edges, and to be honest, I forgot to ask guys this weekend in Zauchensee about this. But next WC I will be shooting is going to be quite soon so...
Anyway... last time I got my skis prepared by one of these guys, I was looking pretty weird at edges of my skis. Normally they were sharp, but smooth. This time, they had some sort of pattern (I guess that's closest expression I would use for this, but English is not my native language so... ) They were actually working much better on icy WC courses, then regular ones. I have no idea how it was done, since I was not around when he was doing my skis, but I would say they were done with some machine as they do all other sharpening these days in WC. Nowadays hand work is pretty much history, and pretty much all sharpening of edges is done with one of these machines.
Wow! You just opened me up top a whole new world of tuning tools that I now NEED!

Good info keep it coming!

Atomicman, Finndog and UP, I know you're right there with me....
post #18 of 26
Thor Verdonk, the US Rossi Team rep also markets a similar machine. www.verdonkracing.com

The machine is very slick. Check out the videos. I've seen a couple in action. I'm getting the full court press to acquire one, but $3200, plus a couple of stones is a LOT of money. Buys a couple lifetimes worth of stones and files. But, these machines work. No question.

Thanks for the post. I hadn't even connected this to the serration. Must have a "stone" cut to accomplish that.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muleski View Post
Thor Verdonk, the US Rossi Team rep also markets a similar machine. www.verdonkracing.com

The machine is very slick. Check out the videos. I've seen a couple in action. I'm getting the full court press to acquire one, but $3200, plus a couple of stones is a LOT of money. Buys a couple lifetimes worth of stones and files. But, these machines work. No question.

Thanks for the post. I hadn't even connected this to the serration. Must have a "stone" cut to accomplish that.
That looks overly complicated.......they need a designer to step in and clean up what the engineers concocted IMHO.

But yeah at $3200.....I will not be getting one anytime soon.
post #20 of 26
It's actually pretty simple to use, and really beautifully made....and....yeah....almost $4K with the right stones, etc. {at retail}. We have a couple of friends who have them, and frankly are skiing at a level where every little thing makes a difference. My son and I were actually discussing them this weekend, as he's "sold" on them. And woefully underfunded for one! Me, too!
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
That looks overly complicated.......they need a designer to step in and clean up what the engineers concocted IMHO.
Thor has cleaned up some of the elements like the power cord attachment point that appears to get in the way in some of the videos.

It is actually a very easy (and nice) machine to use .
post #22 of 26
I saw Jimmy Cochran using one. He is worthy. As much as I'd like one, I am not worthy.
post #23 of 26
Yeah but Jimmy's an engineer, so he's attracted to shiny techy things .
post #24 of 26
It's pretty cool to see a lot of Jimmy's "work".....like his plates. I've actually seen that very machine, and a brand spanking new one as of a couple of weeks ago with another athlete. Pretty slick. I'm not expecting to see too many barely used ones for sale. I heard of one racer contemplating selling his car, buying a beater and using the diffference to buy Thor's machine. I would agree on the very nice and easy to use assessments.
post #25 of 26
You could offset the cost by making a business case for it. Charge X amount (whatever the market will bear) times the number of potential customers (imagine setting up at the bottom of a race with a generator for power) = return on investment.
post #26 of 26

Agree...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muleski View Post
My guess is that she had an edge treatment known as "Ultimate Grip", which is an edge serration treatment developed by a Swiss guy about 5 years ago. I believe that a Winterstieger machine can be fitted to do the edge work. I've seen race skis tuned this way, as an experiment, a few years ago. It was only done under the binding. From what I was told, a lot of grip, but equal challenges releasing the edge. I tried to Google it, and get an English link. Can only get one in German. Pretty sure this is it.
...actually, I think a few year's back, Atomic had a "Diamond Glide" or some similar name technology they were putting on some skis at the factory. I got a pair of speed event skis that had this kind of stuff going on...it actually looked kind of like a cross-hatched base grind...and I'll bet it was for injected courses like the Birds of Prey DH. They were way, way too tacky for the kind of hard (but not WC hard) snow you find out here in the Rockies for Masters races, so I took it all off with a series of diamond stones...I doubt any of us are ever going to be on a course this hard, so I'm just fine with the edge bevel/sharpening I get with an SKS Swing Cut 3000, which is what I use...
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