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Skis too sharp???

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

 

I know a ski may have a hanging burr, but if that is removed, then how is it possible that a ski can be too sharp?

 

 

post #2 of 22

Can't imagine.

 

Anymore context to offer? 

post #3 of 22

I suppose at the elite levels of ski racing (NorAm, WC, etc) it is highly dependent on snow conditions... Although since most of the snow conditions they are skiing on at those levels are usually prepped/injected courses I'm thinking they probably go with "as sharp as possible absent of burrs." This doesn't take into account skiers using serrated edges of course. 

 

Most of the time, when I see someone complain that a ski is too sharp or too edgy, it is not the ski or it's edges that needs improvement. Those complaints are coming from skiers who can't effectively take advantage of what a sharp edge (or any other kind of edge) can offer them.

post #4 of 22

Maybe the original poster's ski bases are concave, or "railed" meaning the base material is worn and is further from the snow than the metal edges.  If this is the case, the skis can feel like their edges are too sharp.  This can be determined by looking at the bases with a true bar to see if they are flat.

post #5 of 22

100 percent arc to arc there is no such thing as to sharp.

 

I run 1/3 on my 2 main everyday skis keep them burr free and they allways feel IMO just right

 

post #6 of 22

Back in the day of cambered skis and narrow skis, it was fairly common practice to "detune" the tips somewhat to keep them from hooking up.

 

Especially, my bump skis.

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

 

Back in the day of cambered skis and narrow skis, it was fairly common practice to "detune" the tips somewhat to keep them from hooking up.

 

Lucky for us skis [and complimentary technique] have come a long way since then and that is no longer necessary...

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Actually I read that the notion of chatter can be related to a ski that is too sharp -- I really don't get that.

 

I'd be guessing that it's too sharp because instead of skidding, the ski chatters.  Maybe applying pressure "too late" is more realistic. 

 

Seems like if a skier uses "late pressure", they should have duller skis to avoid chatter.....or just fix the technique issue.

 

 

 

post #9 of 22

I remember reading that too E. Didn't make sense to me either. Chatter would come from oversteering versus the edge angle, or simply not enough edge angle or pressure to hold. It's so easy to blame our gear. I catch myself doing that from time to time too.

post #10 of 22

"Back in the day of cambered skis and narrow skis, it was fairly common practice to "detune" the tips somewhat to keep them from hooking up."

 

Or, to be slightly more to the point, the days of 0-degree base bevels.

 

post #11 of 22

"Actually I read that the notion of chatter can be related to a ski that is too sharp -- I really don't get that."

 

I'm not totally sure I get that either, except, as you suggest, that a dull ski makes sliding more likely than chattering.

 

There are three things an edge can do in response to the difficult situation of being asked to resist a lateral force while resting on firm snow:

- hold

- chatter

- slide sideways (with varying degrees of friction)

 

In a particular situation, a less sharp ski would be more likely to do the third (slide sideways) than a more sharp ski. It will, of course, also be more likely to slide sideways than to hold; and in a situation where both the sharp and the dull skis are sliding sideways, the less sharp ski will do so with less lateral friction.


Edited by sjjohnston - 2/23/2009 at 11:03 pm
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

So we could say that a ski may be too sharp for either the skier's technique (defensive, not moving body in the direction of the turm), tactics (turn shape), edge control skills (jamming, not slicing) or pressure control skills (late flexion/release).

 

I can live with all of that. 

 

 

post #13 of 22

BigE,

 

I agree with your summation.  It is also possible that a ski can be stone ground flat and it can also feel too sharp because there is no base bevel on the edge.  I skied my skis with no base edge bevel after having them stone ground.  The skis felt very grabby until I filed the base edges to 1 degree.

 

RW

post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

 

I bet they did!

 

Back in the day when I first skied, I had a pair of Kneissl Whitestars, 210cm long.

 

They came flat from the factory.

 

I skied them that way.  BOY DID I LOVE THEM!

 

Then I thought "imagine if they were even sharper!" So I had them tuned.

 

Imagine my surprise when they came back with a one degree base.  I HATED THEM!

 

Worse thing, was, I did not know why..... being a former hockey player, I was ALL about edging.  Just loved that square edge feel -- it made sense to me.

 

 

post #15 of 22

Too Sharp?!?! There is no such thing!

 

post #16 of 22

Tunes need to match the event / application. A slalom tune may use a five to seven degree side bevel but I can't imagine trying to ski a ski that sharp anywhere outside an injected SL race course. In fact, I remember a SL race in Aspen where the tech's were blamed for half of the field DNFing due to the severe edge bevels being used. Imagine a downhill racer using a twitchy, slalom ski and you get the idea how important the proper tool and tune can be. Which should explain why I feel most of the advice about no tune being too sharp is so misleading. Yes a ski can be too sharp, especially if it inhibits the skier's ability to control the skis. 

post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

Some good thoughts there..... can you hold that edge? Can you RELEASE that edge.  That expands things to beyond just thinking about 1 base, 2 side.  

 

For normal recreational angles, I will agree that a ski can't be too sharp.  But I'm sure a 0.5 base and 3 degree side on a ski for an 8 year old will be way "too sharp". 

 

post #18 of 22

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post

 

There are three things an edge can do in response to the difficult situation of being asked to resist a lateral force while resting on firm snow:

- hold

- chatter

- slide sideways (with varying degrees of friction)

 

While the above statement is true, there are other factors involved, for example:

- torsional stiffness

- longitudinal stiffness

- vibration damping

 

In addition, this thread seems to equate "edge sharpness" with edge geometry (as base and side bevels).  A well maintained 1/90 edge can be sharper than a 0/87 edge which has been rounded off, at least in the thumb-nail test.  How does that relate to skiing, I don't know.  I'd be very interested in actual data.

 

 

post #19 of 22

The chatter is usually caused by not starting the turn right.  If a turn isn't started right, there is no chance of ending the turn right and chatter is one common result.

 

No such thing as too sharp, except maybe for trauma park stunts.  Wrong edge angles, sure.

post #20 of 22

Just inserting myself into this conversation. I will go against everyone here, as an all mountain skier and a racer.

 

If you just carve medium to big turns, can't be to sharp. IMO if you just do this type of turns, a poor skier will result out of this.

 

But if you steer shorter turns/bumps and you feel that the skis wants to take you in it's own path, the skis are too catchy or hooky. They need some adjustment.

 

A good tuned ski should allow you to cut the snow while allowing you to skid or steer at any moment of the turn (based on the result that YOU want to create, not the equipment dictating something un desired), if it can't be release off the edge set you gave them, it's not good.

 

I personnaly like a more detune skis, at the tip and at the tail, it allows more forgiveness and an easier in and easier out. My skis are tuned by two WC technician. When the edges are too square it doesn't allow a proper and effective steering, it can be dangerous for the knee joint as well.  

 

Chatering is a result of a late impulse or lack of motion (rotational/latereal), it's the same as a side slip, but on steeper icy terrain.

 

post #21 of 22

E, you defined a clean edge in your original question. So discussing a hanging burr seems pointless to me, because as you wrote it has already been removed. Leaving only edge geometry, ski dampening, and technique as reasons for chatter. As everyone has already pointed out.

I would like to offer an idea or two about chatter though. A car that has a wheel hopping off the ground creates a similar problem. The loss of contact severely affects grip and control. To eliminate wheel hop we balance the wheel, or put new shock absorbers on a car. We do much the same with ski construction, binding interfaces. Finding a ski / binding set up that works best for you can eliminate most of this problem. Although as that equipment ages it may lose some of it's ability to hold such a strong edge.

The technique side of things may include a strong pressuring phase somewhere in the turn (to close the radius of the turn) but driving the edge deeper into the snowpack may not be possible unless you have the leg strength to pull that off. It may also depend on where in the turn you are adding that pressure. Late pressure is often when we see chatter occuring and from what I read so far that is what others are referring to as an error. How about when you are forced to pressure the skis late in a turn? Say in a race course where you have a gate set out wide for a rhythm change. My feeling is you almost need to expect some chatter to occur in that circumstance. When that happens should we try driving the ski harder into the snow, or try to absorb some of that pressure? Since chatter reduces pressure I would say lower pressure will eliminate the chatter but if done too much the reduced pressure will make the skis skid because you lose edge purchase. Trying to increase pressure doesn't seem viable since we're talking about recreational skiing and most skiers simply do not have enough strength to put more pressure on the skis.

post #22 of 22

E, you defined a clean edge in your original question. So discussing a hanging burr seems pointless to me, because as you wrote it has already been removed. Leaving only edge geometry, ski dampening, and technique as reasons for chatter. As everyone has already pointed out.

I would like to offer an idea or two about chatter though. A car that has a wheel hopping off the ground creates a similar problem. The loss of contact severely affects grip and control. To eliminate wheel hop we balance the wheel, or put new shock absorbers on a car. We do much the same with ski construction, binding interfaces. Finding a ski / binding set up that works best for you can eliminate most of this problem. Although as that equipment ages it may lose some of it's ability to hold such a strong edge.

The technique side of things may include a strong pressuring phase somewhere in the turn (to close the radius of the turn) but driving the edge deeper into the snowpack may not be possible unless you have the leg strength to pull that off. It may also depend on where in the turn you are adding that pressure. Late pressure is often when we see chatter occuring and from what I read so far that is what others are referring to as an error. How about when you are forced to pressure the skis late in a turn? Say in a race course where you have a gate set out wide for a rhythm change. My feeling is you almost need to expect some chatter to occur in that circumstance. When that happens should we try driving the ski harder into the snow, or try to absorb some of that pressure? Since chatter reduces pressure I would say lower pressure will eliminate the chatter but if done too much the reduced pressure will make the skis skid because you lose edge purchase. Trying to increase pressure doesn't seem viable since we're talking about recreational skiing and most skiers simply do not have enough strength to put more pressure on the skis. Perhaps a better solution is to open the radius a bit and avoid the chatter altogether.

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