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Hot Wax for New Skis - Page 2

post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny1969 View Post
It may take some trial and error, but I'm sure someone has figured out how to reproduce that pattern.
Picking up the phone and asking also works. (This is almost as silly as asking what "factory bevels" are though. The idea that one is "fastest" is misinformed. Some are generally better than others, but this is a snow, weather, and discipline specific exercise.)

Capability

Unfortunately none of the fun arrow/wave patterns are shown there. See pages 19-23 of the PDF in the upper right of that page.

The only structures I'm aware of that aren't easily reproduced would be those that are produced in a fundamentally different manner. Such as certain race skis coming with imprinted as opposed to ground bases.
post #32 of 54
Hey Garrett,
That was the machine that I was thinking of.

Dennis
post #33 of 54
Dennis, it is a real treat to use. I'd love to meet the folks who designed it and pick their brains about it. They certainly didn't make many compromises for cost. We have the 200mm, and a SBI in 350 for snowboard and less critical work.
post #34 of 54
Very cool maching Garrett!

AFAIK, the structure on the Atomic SL-11M was asymetrical.
post #35 of 54
Atomic race skis come very nicely waxed from the factory.

With a very nice travel wax: great protection, and a glide like the wrong x-c klister.

Step 1: Remove travel wax.

Step 2,3,4 (5,6,7 if you're really keen): Wax & warm scrape with a good universal temp wax.

Step Last: Wax & finish with the wax you want to ski on for whatever conditions you're expecting.
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Many non-race skis come with a pretty lame finish from the factory. I often grind flat, finish grind, retune, then hotbox my new skis. Takes maybe half an hour, well worth it. If I had to drop 100 bucks on such prep, I'd probably just ski them as is.
Half an hour? Wow! Do you have 4 hands?
post #37 of 54
I'm pretty sure Garrett is enjoying better living through technology. I think he has access to machines similar to the ones my local shop invested in. Takes maybe a total of 10-15 minutes (including chatting) to do bases (with just about whatever pattern you want) plus edge work -- to a degree of precision where I suspect you'd need a WC tech to do better, maybe. Then wax them up...
post #38 of 54
the P-Tex on the ski's doesn't really oxidize, but its the right thought.
The structure breaks down and drys out if air is let get into the pores.
Think of it like cheeze. If you let it sit out without wax, the outside gets hard, but the inside still stays soft. the outside is quite resistant to anything you put on it to soften it.
You wax to prevent wear and the break down of the material. If p-tex did not have any issues to air and other things, there would be no need for it to "soak" wax.
post #39 of 54
Please define "breaks down and drys out"... How does it brek down? And since it is basically pretty hydrophobic to start with, how can it "dry out"? If you are using "dry out" in a vernacular kind of way, what exactly is leaving?

The reasoning in your post seems backward. You state a need to soak wax in to prevent degradation, yet nowhere is there any credible evidence that this assertion is true.

UHMWPE is consistently described as resistant to a large variety of chemical and temperature regimes. The more I read via googling around, the more convinced I am becoming that all of the "drying out" and "oxidation" comments in the context of typical ski use and storage are nothing more than people parroting generations of old wives tales.
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
Please define "breaks down and drys out"... How does it brek down? And since it is basically pretty hydrophobic to start with, how can it "dry out"? If you are using "dry out" in a vernacular kind of way, what exactly is leaving?

The reasoning in your post seems backward. You state a need to soak wax in to prevent degradation, yet nowhere is there any credible evidence that this assertion is true.

UHMWPE is consistently described as resistant to a large variety of chemical and temperature regimes. The more I read via googling around, the more convinced I am becoming that all of the "drying out" and "oxidation" comments in the context of typical ski use and storage are nothing more than people parroting generations of old wives tales.
This could be true, just wives tales. Newer ski's mean newer technology, so perhaps the days of that is past. I'm just going by what I'm told and what seems logical to me. I personally would think to keep wax on them while they are in storage, seems natural to me, the p-tex is designed to absorb wax, so I would think you should keep them waxed.

I wish there was an easy way we could test this.
post #41 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
The more I read via googling around, the more convinced I am becoming that all of the "drying out" and "oxidation" comments in the context of typical ski use and storage are nothing more than people parroting generations of old wives tales.
I don't agree. No one is more cognizant, and paranoid about fast skis than the xc racers. Every single skier i know agrees that the more you wax then the better they run. Neglect it and they turn dull, white and really slow.

It could be mass hysteria and groupthink, but that won't explain why my best skis, which never go a day without wax, are slicker than banana peels. We don't just go by feel: we glide test all the time, and the differences are visable.

How often does an alpine skier glide down a little hill, up a flatish stretch, and mark how far you went? Nordic skiers can't seem to get enough of that, and the results back up the old wives.
post #42 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
old wives.
Calling me an old wive!! :P
post #43 of 54

Perhaps Ptex doesn't oxidize or break down or dry out but what is the white film that forms on the surface then and why do I see fibers on a really "dry" base?

post #44 of 54

I was told the white that forums if from the wax from skiing on them.

But Im' sure we are not talking about waxed ski's turning white.


If a generally black material turns colors, there is some sort of change in the structure of the material.
So, if the PTex is turning white, there is some sort of reaction going on.

post #45 of 54

Abrasion (usually from snow crystals - in the past sometimes from inept belt sanding) causes the whiteness and hairs.  I've been told that oxydation does not cause the whiteness nor hairs, or at least is not the prime culprit.  UV light damage has also been mentioned.

 

I would bet that an unwaxed ski left exposed (in non-sunlight) might "oxydize", but would not turn white nor get hairs from same.  Also that UV light could cause Ptex to breakdown in some way - would be interesting to experiment with that.

 

 

post #46 of 54

For what its worth, I think abrasion often results in this whitening. "Edge burn", so called, is a fairly common phenomenom after skiing on cement like Eastern snow. This usually occurs in areas of greatest abrasion along the inside edges and toward the center of the skis. The usual preventative measure is to wax these areas with a special wax. Swix makes a powdered white wax for the purpose (is it called "CH3"?).I think frequent and appropriate waxing protects the ski base from this. Edge burn, which I think is raw abraded Ptex, is slow hence the need for wax to prevent this. Also wax is generally faster than Ptex. Ptex is formulated to absorb wax and retain it. As to the actual physics and chemistry of what occurs I don't know. Most of the material I've read on the subject was written by people in the wax business so it not surprisingly seems to find wax terrribly necessary.

post #47 of 54

I give new skis a hotscrape or two then let mid temp wax sit overnight, that's about it, and it's more for the fun of playing around with new gear than anything. This is for freeride/soft snow skis, I don't think tuning is super important other than for keeping speed on traverses and run-outs (or extreme cold). I don't even own any texture brushes right now, too lazy/cheap.

post #48 of 54

Interesting thread.  I'd like to dispel some "myths" that have been floated about in a few of the posts.

 

The myths:

"Factory tunes are good tunes / factory wax is good wax / factory structure has magical properties / tuning or grinding a new ski needlessly reduces the ski's lifespan."

 

The reality (purely from my personal experience):

 

I have yet to find a single factory tune that I would deem to be excellent.  I have been through about 20 pairs of skis in the past 5-6 years (Volkl, K2, Stockli, Elan, Volant, Atomic, Dynastar).  The best of the bunch have been the Stocklis.  I believe that all skis develop "issues" from the time they leave the factory until they get to your hands.  I think that a host of environmental factors and additional "curing" of the ski occur between the time they are tuned and when you buy them.  Shipping and handling may also cause some of the problems.

 

Every new ski I have ever tuned has had issues with the factory set edge bevels.  They are usually inconsistent from edge to edge, ski to ski, and down the length of the edge.  I will say that base flatness has improved dramatically since the "old" days, but even the new Elan M777 skis that I tuned last night had some slight concavity to one side of the tail sections.  You can either buy a really expensive tool to check edge bevels or do what I do - take a black marker, "paint" your edges with it, then use a 1500 grit moonstone placed in a good edge bevel guide (base and side - SVST, etc.) and lightly run down your edges.  Check to see if the marker has been evenly removed from your edges.  If it's a new ski I can pretty much guarantee that you'll see some problems.

 

Most of us are recreational skiers - as long as there is some degree of decent structure on the base I think we are well served.  I have had all kinds of different machine applied structures on my skis and used my own structures (created using a Ski Visions tool).  I can barely tell the difference between a linear pattern and a cross hatch (and I've skied with one pattern on each ski for testing purposes).  I just stick to the recommended fine structure for cold/new snow and coarse structure for old/wet snow

 

Waxing - I use base prep wax for hot scrapes on new skis.  It's amazing how much crap comes out of the bottom of a new ski from the factory.  Don't fool yourself into thinking that a ski from the factory is "clean" - cause it's mostly likely not.  You'll only improve the ability of your new skis to hold wax over their lifetime by taking the time to treat them right from day one.  Good, consistent wax jobs decrease base abrasion making your skis work better and last longer (that's not rocket surgery).

 

I have yet to grind a ski to death.  I have one grind done per season on skis if I feel they need it.  Given the typical lifespan of a ski I find it hard to believe that anyone could grind a ski to oblivion unless they were doing grinds weekly.  Rather I believe that you're really doing yourself a disservice by skiing that great brand new ski you just bought without having it tuned properly to begin with.  If you truly believe that the factory tune is great (sufficient, whatever) then at least do yourself the favor of actually checking it out with a truebar and bevel guides.  You may avoid a large amount of disappointment when you take out your new skis for their first day.

 


Edited by Noodler - Thu, 05 Feb 09 18:07:00 GMT
post #49 of 54

BigE.... 15 years old Wintersteiger machines (I went out of WC serviceman business exactly 10 years ago) were able to do pretty much any pattern you wished... from liner to non-linear. Ok I'm talking about those machine which we were using in World cup at that time, but I would guess such things are pretty normal now with machines used in normal ski services.

Otherwise I always take new skis to stone grinding first. When new skis come out of factory, they have some universal structure, which normally doesn't work best anywhere, but that's why it's universal :) So I actually want to "destroy" that structure.

And anyone thinking skis from factory are tuned already, is totally wrong. Yes sure, they have some base wax, they have edges sharpened someway, but that's far from enough. I still say that every new ski should be waxed... and not once. With racing skis, you lose about 20-30% of their speed if you take it to snow before it's properly prepared (15-20 repetitions of waxing without hotbox, or about 5 with hotbox). Surely this is not so important for hobby skiers, but I would still think that it's much more fun skiing with good skis, then with crappy ones. And once you put unprepared ski on snow, there's no going back anymore. Dirt comes into dry base, and you will never get that thing out later on.

And last thing... someone was claiming oxidation is just a myth. It isn't ;) Base of skis do oxidizes. Waxes do oxidizes too. Ok maybe oxidize is not right word for this, but waxes do lose their characteristics... some of them pretty fast. Fluoro powders are pretty much useless after day or two after they were ironed to skis etc.

post #50 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

Interesting thread.  I'd like to dispel some "myths" that have been floated about in a few of the posts.

 

The myths:

"Factory tunes are good tunes / factory wax is good wax / factory structure has magical properties / tuning or grinding a new ski needlessly reduces the ski's lifespan."

 

The reality (purely from my personal experience):

 

I have yet to find a single factory tune that I would deem to be excellent.  I have been through about 20 pairs of skis in the past 5-6 years (Volkl, K2, Stockli, Elan, Volant, Atomic, Dynastar).  The best of the bunch have been the Stocklis.  I believe that all skis develop "issues" from the time they leave the factory until they get to your hands.  I think that a host of environmental factors and additional "curing" of the ski occur between the time they are tuned and when you buy them.  Shipping and handling may also cause some of the problems.

 

Every new ski I have ever tuned has had issues with the factory set edge bevels.  They are usually inconsistent from edge to edge, ski to ski, and down the length of the edge.  I will say that base flatness has improved dramatically since the "old" days, but even the new Elan M777 skis that I tuned last night had some slight concavity to one side of the tail sections.  You can either buy a really expensive tool to check edge bevels or do what I do - take a black marker, "paint" your edges with it, then use a 1500 grit moonstone placed in a good edge bevel guide (base and side - SVST, etc.) and lightly run down your edges.  Check to see if the marker has been evenly removed from your edges.  If it's a new ski I can pretty much guarantee that you'll see some problems.

 

Most of us are recreational skiers - as long as there is some degree of decent structure on the base I think we are well served.  I have had all kinds of different machine applied structures on my skis and used my own structures (created using a Ski Visions tool).  I can barely tell the difference between a linear pattern and a cross hatch (and I've skied with one pattern on each ski for testing purposes).  I just stick to the recommended fine structure for cold/new snow and coarse structure for old/wet snow

 

Waxing - I use base prep wax for hot scrapes on new skis.  It's amazing how much crap comes out of the bottom of a new ski from the factory.  Don't fool yourself into thinking that a ski from the factory is "clean" - cause it's mostly likely not.  You'll only improve the ability of your new skis to hold wax over their lifetime by taking the time to treat them right from day one.  Good, consistent wax jobs decrease base abrasion making your skis work better and last longer (that's not rocket surgery).

 

I have yet to grind a ski to death.  I have one grind done per season on skis if I feel they need it.  Given the typical lifespan of a ski I find it hard to believe that anyone could grind a ski to oblivion unless they were doing grinds weekly.  Rather I believe that you're really doing yourself a disservice by skiing that great brand new ski you just bought without having it tuned properly to begin with.  If you truly believe that the factory tune is great (sufficient, whatever) then at least do yourself the favor of actually checking it out with a truebar and bevel guides.  You may avoid a large amount of disappointment when you take out your new skis for their first day.

 


Edited by Noodler - Thu, 05 Feb 09 18:07:00 GMT

 

Ill add that I think that with the new wider skis, the chances for not having a flat base increase dramatically simply due to the much larger surface area.   As much as I am loving my new Monster 88s, upon waxing and scraping I immediately took note of a few areas where the base is not perfectly flat. 

post #51 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

 

A base grind on purchase will destroy the factory structure.

Perhaps that is why Andrew's Heads are remarkably slower than the Stockli product?

Atomic was claimed at one time to have the fastest structure in the business.

I base grind ONLY if there are problems with the ski -- ie, not flat or loss of structure. It's pointless otherwise.

Read my post - the bases were off true and slow from the factory. The only positive thing one could say about the factory structure is that perhaps there might have been a snow condition somewhere in the world that it may have worked on. I am not sure what it would be though (perhaps boiler ice was the only thing they were going to get any speed on in the condition they arrived).

 

They were remarkably slower because there was no significant wax in the bases. Essentially dry with a shipping wax on the surface.

 

For 99% of skiers a flat base, true and consistent edges and a good structure with lots of wax is about reducing the turning effort and allowing consistent and predictable edging with each turn. As such I would argue that it is actually more important to deliver a good tune on a consumer ski than on race stock as a race ski is going to be worked for several hours/ days by the racer (or his tuner should he be so good) to get it to personal preference.

post #52 of 54

primoz,

 

thanks for the info.  I was wondering if Atomic could put on a non-linear structure on hundreds of skis, how would they do that? clearly, some tuning machine has to be able to do it.

post #53 of 54

A Wintersteiger can machine any one of about 20 different structures into a base (I am sure Montana are just as versatile). It just depends on what the shop pays for when they buy one. There are lots of non linear patterns.

 

For most people the variation is fine/ medium/ course depending on snow type (crystal size & type/ temp and humidity) in order to break suction and allow efficient and smooth glide.

post #54 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post

 

BigE.... 15 years old Wintersteiger machines (I went out of WC serviceman business exactly 10 years ago) were able to do pretty much any pattern you wished... from liner to non-linear. Ok I'm talking about those machine which we were using in World cup at that time, but I would guess such things are pretty normal now with machines used in normal ski services.

 

Otherwise I always take new skis to stone grinding first. When new skis come out of factory, they have some universal structure, which normally doesn't work best anywhere, but that's why it's universal :) So I actually want to "destroy" that structure.

 

And anyone thinking skis from factory are tuned already, is totally wrong. Yes sure, they have some base wax, they have edges sharpened someway, but that's far from enough. I still say that every new ski should be waxed... and not once. With racing skis, you lose about 20-30% of their speed if you take it to snow before it's properly prepared (15-20 repetitions of waxing without hotbox, or about 5 with hotbox). Surely this is not so important for hobby skiers, but I would still think that it's much more fun skiing with good skis, then with crappy ones. And once you put unprepared ski on snow, there's no going back anymore. Dirt comes into dry base, and you will never get that thing out later on.

 

And last thing... someone was claiming oxidation is just a myth. It isn't ;) Base of skis do oxidizes. Waxes do oxidizes too. Ok maybe oxidize is not right word for this, but waxes do lose their characteristics... some of them pretty fast. Fluoro powders are pretty much useless after day or two after they were ironed to skis etc.

Let's add Head skis to the list of 'comes from the factory as a disaster'.

 

What's the big deal about waxing? If you don't want to then don't! Claiming it makes no difference, is ridiculous.  Sure, if you always ski steep powder just remove the ptex and spray the metal underneath with silicone - or that can of wd40 that's in the car. That'll 'work'.

 

"To wax or not to wax that is the question"?

You can always slather on some paste stuff. That's better than nothing.

Or just be like Ingrid Backstrom, and claim you never do anything to your skis. She of course get's dropped off in a chopper.

 

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