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Not being able to maintain speed

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've noticed that I can ski down the steep parts fairly quickly but slow down considerably when I'm on the gentler parts. I'd like to think I'm spending most of my time on the edges.


It could be my smaller stature (5' 8", 155 lbs.) or my skis (3 year old Volkl 320 energy), but it's more likely that I'm doing something wrong.


Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks in advance.



post #2 of 10
Originally Posted by Dgudaitis View Post


If your glide is slow, check to see if your wax matches up to the snow conditions.


Originally Posted by ct55 View Post


right - wax em up.


you'll find it's soooo much easier (less effort) to ski also.  Although the quickness is a little unnerving at first, you get use to it and then you become much more maneuverable.



Originally Posted by 5ki8um View Post


Thanks I'll try that.


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post #3 of 10

The waxing suggestions above may be right on. Still, another possibility is that your carving technique may contain a bit more Scarving than you realize which may deplete speed quickly without a steep slope to overcome the added friction of scarving. If so, cleaner carving will help maintain speed.


You may also be using too much edge-angle for the desired turn shape/radius.


Instead of tipping quite so much we can generally achieve the same radius by reducing edge-angle and adding Independent Leg Steering in it's place.  This will produce a turn that feels more 'skidded' but the flatter ski will ride up higher on the scraped-off snow and create less friction overall because pressure is distributed over more of the base material and less intensely against the metal edges.


With regard to waxing technique, most of us wax the skis quite well down the middle of that slippery base material - but it's near the edges where slipperyness is most needed. When a ski is 'flat' our weight is distributed over the entire base and the kind of wax used there should be such that it slips well with low pressure in the target snow conditions.


When a ski is on largely edge, only the narrow section of base material next to that edge supports our weight and the pressure per square inch there is much higher than when the ski is flat. This suggests that wax near the edges should be such that it slips well under higher pressure in the target snow conditions.


Another thing to consider is that Base Prep near the edges might need to be managed differently than down the center of the base due to the greater abrasion and higher friction in that zone (due to the higher loads experienced there). For this reason the base structuring as done down the middle might not be ideal for base structuring near the edges.


Racers looking for maximum performance should probably consider all this when selecting their base prep and wax application technique.



post #4 of 10




Dull edges can also be quite a drag. When's the last time you had your skis tuned? Do you carry a pocket stone to do "touch ups" to take out little burs?

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 



Thanks for the tips. I didn't understand the term "scarving". I got the independent leg steering. I'll pay attention to that next time I ski. Waxing near the edges also made sense. There's just so much to skiing that I don't know of, it's almost alarming.


Thanks again,






I haven't had anything done to my skis since last season! I'll have to look into a pocket stone also.




post #6 of 10

scarving = skidding + carving (yes it is an oxymoron, but after you do it it makes sense)


A fresh tune (wax and sharpen edges) not only lets you go faster in the flats, it makes turning anywhere a lot easier too. If you carve a lot and have dark colored ski bases, you can see the edges of your ski bases get noticeably lighter in color in between tunes. When you can easily see the color difference, it's past time for a tune up.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I was reading the various things people have said about skidding, slipping and a whole bunch of other terms in another post


Can scarving be quantified as the amount of snow you're scraping off on each turn?


I'll have to check the underside of my skis tonight.

post #8 of 10

A pure carve would leave pencil thin tracks in the snow (skis pointed in the direction of travel) because the edge is fully engaged in the snow surface. A pure skid would leave "flat" "washed out" tracks because the skis are totally flat to the snow surface and not pointed in the direction of travel. A  skarve, being in the eye of the beholder may be anything in between. However, a skarve is typically meant to be more towards the carving description than the skidding description.

post #9 of 10

Scarving is steering done by people who know how to do it well.



post #10 of 10

MA touched on something that I would like to expand upon. Cookie cutter turn production. Doing the same turn using the same skills blend on flatter terrain. Carved, skidded it really doesn't matter, if you are doing the same movements the outcome is slowing down. Gliding across the flats simply requires better near flat skiing skills. More edge / pressure/ steering isn't always better. Maybe a lighter touch across the flats would work better.

Waxing is something I do daily because if you see the oxidation (burning) Rusty described you have also worn away a bit of the plastic as well. Snow is abrasive and acts like sandpaper. Just ask anyone who has road rash from their bare skin sliding across the snow. Protect the bases with a thin coat of new wax daily and your skis will last a lot longer.



Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/3/2009 at 01:44 pm
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