New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Twin Tip skis on ice?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Looking for feedback on twin tip skis that perform reasonably well in icy E.Coast conditions. Considering the k2 Extreme, Dynastar Sixth Sense Distorter, Scott Mission as my all mtn ski that will tolerate the icy stuff. Has anyone out there skied any of these skis on icy conditions? Any input will be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 23
Hi Aremis68--and welcome to EpicSki!

As always, it is much more about "the archer than the arrow."

That said, there's nothing inherent in a turned-up tail ("twin-tip") itself that influences a ski's performance on ice. Unfortunately, though,  the intended use, the intended audience, and the typical price point of many twin tip skis makes them not the best at hard snow carving performance. Factors that influence a ski's ability to hold well on ice (besides flawless technique) include:

  • Width--narrower (underfoot) makes it easier to tip on edge, and (more importantly) makes it feel and act more like an ice skate. Twin-tips are typicallly considerably wider than optimum for ice.
  • Lift--binding plates and boot sole lift create similar performance characteristics to narrower width. But freestyle demands--the primary intention of twin-tips--don't usually benefit from added lift.
  • Torsional and lateral stiffness--Race skis tend to be torsionally and laterally stiff (don't twist or bend sideways easily) for a reason. Most twin tip skis are much less stiff than race skis (torsional stiffness would make them less forgiving, and more prone to catching edges and such), although increased width actually helps here. Still, most twin-tips I've encountered twist easily, resulting in their tips and tails tipping less than the underfoot part, making them poor at holding on ice (especially when combined with the first two bullet points).
  • Camber and longitudinal stiffness--Stiffer skis (lengthwise) with camber to distribute pressure along the entire length of the edge are the way to go on ice. Unfortunately, trends toward reverse camber and "rockered" skis, while arguably useful in some conditions (powder) and for some techniques (usually the opposite of what you want to do on ice!) provide yet another blow to hard-snow carving performance. "Cutting edge" (pun intended) complex rocker and sidecut designs (often with camber and sidecut in the center of the ski but rocker/rise and less sidecut tip and tail) are somewhat better on hard snow than pure reverse sidecut/reverse camber designs, but they're still a far cry from a true high-performance carving (ie. race) ski.
  • Tune--no ski will hold well on ice if it is not razor-sharp. Race tunes intended for ice add aggressive side edge bevel and minimal base edge bevel, both of which could create problems in the flat ski, sideslip-and-spin-oriented world of freestyle skiing where twin-tips usually live. Add to that the extraordinary edge damage that even a single slide on a rail causes, and you can forget about expecting any ski used in the park to hold well on ice.

So again, the problem is not the twin-tip's fault itself, but the fact that most twin-tip skis are meant for a use on the other end of the spectrum from carving on ice. Freestyle-based techniques (typically lots of rotary/pivoting movements with flat skis and upper-body-based rotation), freestyle-specific mounting and (de-)tuning, and use of the skis on the features of a terrain park are the enemies of ice success.

It's asking a lot of any ski to perform well on both ends of this spectrum! But if you look for a (relatively) narrower, torsionally stiffer ski, don't mount it freestyle-specific "centered," keep it very well tuned (and avoid rails and other edge-enemy features), and dial in your carving technique, you'll stand the best chance.

Your best bet, of course, is a second pair of skis.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #3 of 23
Great analysis Bob and thank you! 

Your response to the OP's question sort of answers something I've been debating internally regarding my quiver.  For the last couple of years I've been looking for an east coast bump and tree ski that will still ski halfway decent on ice.  Last year, I bought a leftover pair of 170 cm Stockli Snakes(the green ones @ 114-80-108) that have a layer of metal.  However, after skiing them on hard pack(ice) I knew the factory tune was very bad.  The skis were slow after sitting for a couple of years despite repeated waxings and the bases were concave.  Because many rave about the K2 Extremes(PE) I bought a pair of 174s for $200 and have been debating whether or not to mount these and ditch the Stocklis.  The Extremes would probably work well in softer conditions but for the northeast the dimensions and construction of the Stockli would probably fit my needs as a bump and tree ski better.  So, for now I think I will have the Stocklis ground and retune them with the hopes that they will be what I'm looking for.
post #4 of 23
My Dynastar Twin Tips have an 81mm waist, 175 length, and they're great on the ice at Hunter Mountain. They turn on a dime, too.
My ice technique involves focusing my attention on the middle of the ski, from just in front of the front binding to just behind the rear one, where the ski is stiffest.
Yes, the tips and tails will twist a bit, but the rock solid platforms right under my boots are all I need to handle the hardest ice.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post

My Dynastar Twin Tips have an 81mm waist, 175 length, and they're great on the ice at Hunter Mountain. They turn on a dime, too.
My ice technique involves focusing my attention on the middle of the ski, from just in front of the front binding to just behind the rear one, where the ski is stiffest.
Yes, the tips and tails will twist a bit, but the rock solid platforms right under my boots are all I need to handle the hardest ice.

post #6 of 23
Bought my daughter 2008 Volkl Pearls and she says they have handled the ice very well, and is a teenage intermediate at about 115 pds.  This is the ugly eastern ice at Jay, Tremblant and Whiteface. The skis are 111, 81, 104.
post #7 of 23
I skied some Salomon Lords (which seem to compete in the same space...especially the Scott Mission/Punisher) and the conditions were pretty mixed.  This was "west ice" mind you, as I was in Taos, but if you 've followed their snow conditions (until recently), you'll see they hadn't had too much snow up to the point when I was there.  It was very skied off.

I was pleasantly surprised how well they did on the hardpack and icy patches, especially for a "rocker" twin tip!
post #8 of 23
I was talking with a fellow on the lift and he was quite enamoured with his Salomon Lords, but did note that they didn't hold the on the ice.  (Eastern Ice).
post #9 of 23
 no twin tip is going to be great on ice, nothing can compare to high end carvers like a progressor 9 or SS or Blizzard g force pro...but....my PEs when newish werent bad and several other twin dont suck that bad and dont resign you to doing sideslip down the hill like Bob suggest.

Twin work better for some all mountain skiers because IMO they excel at anything other than groomers and skis like the PE can absolutey rail groomers when tuned right.
post #10 of 23
Any high end twin tip will perform just fine on ice. Ice and hard pack performance is factored into a park and pipe twin tip design. Most half pipes are ice or very hard packed. If they did not hold an edge you would not be able to ski a pipe.

All mountain twins some will cater to softer conditions and some will cater to more hard pack conditions. Look for characteristics of a good carving ski, sandwich construction will hold better than a cap ski. What is going on inside to help with torsional strength? Stay away from the intermediate twin tips they are soft all around to be more forgiving.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CR0SS View Post

Any high end twin tip will perform just fine on ice. Ice and hard pack performance is factored into a park and pipe twin tip design. Most half pipes are ice or very hard packed. If they did not hold an edge you would not be able to ski a pipe.

All mountain twins some will cater to softer conditions and some will cater to more hard pack conditions. Look for characteristics of a good carving ski, sandwich construction will hold better than a cap ski. What is going on inside to help with torsional strength? Stay away from the intermediate twin tips they are soft all around to be more forgiving.

Any examples?
post #12 of 23
I ski the Line Prophet 90 as my everyday ski. It is a very stiff ski and has quit a bit of side cut and side wall, so it works really really well on ice and hardpack conditions. Do they ski on these conditions as well as a high end carving ski or a racing ski? No of course not but they are very good at what they do. And their all mountain performance is much better then that of a racing ski.

I just love tipping these skis on edge and just letting them ride.They carve phenomenally...And they work pretty well skiing switch and skiing in the deep stuff too
post #13 of 23
Skiing on Stubai glacier two weeks ago, been on my friend's almost unused white K2 PE's. Borrowed them, because my old sticks have no slightest edgehold. Skied iced up groomers and black rated boilerplates. Public Enemies were really doing wonders on ice! I was shocked i can actually carve not-so-tight turns on 40-45 degree slope, covered by "crampon-strength" snow "plate", and i had full control !!! Sideslipping folks there were frightened, i've got strange and somewhat jealous looks.

Those PE's were too short for me, 170 cm (i'm 189cm/6'2'' tall, ~77kg/170lbs with a pack), but i managed to ski them just well on 7-8 inches of wind-transported fresh over windpack/crust next day. My grins were really wide.

I even had a story on them.
When conditions went really really foggy (8-10 meters of visibility), i continued to ski in the whiteout, carving from one piste mark to the [shadow of] another, and i enjoyed this "navigation" in white soltitude a lot. Such an enigmatic feeling.. I felt the mountains, trusted my feelings, and cruised without a glitch. Heading for lift for my last ride, i kinda "lost mental contact" with the surrounding (unneeded thoughts came), then i suddenly found myself flying in the void. Missed the left turn of an easy "blue" piste, and launched into emptiness. On touchdown, i went "over the handlebars" (i guess it's poor landing technique - but there was absolutely NO VISIBILITY), and the left binding's stomp released. I was not hurt - correct release setting; but the ski... Somehow my right inside edge touched inside of left ski. The result was 60 degree 1.5-2cm long cut, and i was able to see ski's core a bit. Now i know - 2007 PE's have no metal under top sheet :-) And, i must say, PE's topsheet is way too soft for my taste.
Anyhow, the heat gun (which is used to repair cell phones) did a job, molded it back, no problem.
Edited by combiner - 3/20/10 at 1:03pm
post #14 of 23
Very well said, Bob - this thread started off with a post asking for the equivalent of a high-end sports car that gets over 30mpg in town.
post #15 of 23
Bob "the man" Barnes, nailed it, as one might expect.
post #16 of 23

You are right Bob, the twin tips aren't designed to carve.  I guess I'll be the jerk to correct you on the purpose of lift, and the importance of tuned edges.

 

The plates are there to fix the problems that come with the narrow waist.  The narrow waist leaves less material, therefor it is less stiff.  The plate stiffens the narrow part of the ski, which is also the part (middle and under-foot) that has the strongest forces working on it.  On race skis, you'll see very high plates to lift the boot away from the edge.  With the ski so narrow under the boot, extreme edge angles can cause a "boot out".  This is when the ski is leaned over so far that the side of the boot contacts the snow and lifts the edge off the snow.  The lift is there to increase the angle that the ski can lean before a "boot out" occurs.

 

About edges, as a full-time race coach I ski every day and set courses.  I don't wear my race skis to practice, I wear my beaters.  They haven't been tuned in 3 years, I use them 100+ days each season, and spend a lot of time side-slipping down an icy course while carrying a bundle of gates.  The edges are round, not sharp at all.  I have no problem jumping into a course wearing these skis.  I can carve right down an icy race course with no problems, as long as I am carving.  When you carve, your edges don't really have to grip that much.  You are moving forward on them, they aren't skidding to the side at all, and the only real forces on them are centripetal from your body weight pulling you out of the arc your skis are making.  If you don't carve properly, or break out of the arc to slow down, THEN you will really notice your dull edges.  But when you are carving their sharpness doesn't really matter.

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by easternRacer View Post

You are right Bob, the twin tips aren't designed to carve.  I guess I'll be the jerk to correct you on the purpose of lift, and the importance of tuned edges.

 

The plates are there to fix the problems that come with the narrow waist.  The narrow waist leaves less material, therefor it is less stiff.  The plate stiffens the narrow part of the ski, which is also the part (middle and under-foot) that has the strongest forces working on it.  On race skis, you'll see very high plates to lift the boot away from the edge. 


Umm, isn't that why the ski is THICKER under foot as the width gets narrower,.... to increase stiffness in the narrowest region that carries the heaviest load?  I agree that lifter height helps prevent boot out.  But, I'm under the impression that the key function of a plate is to allow the ski TO flex freely without the boot and binding creating a dead spot under foot.  Paging Vistman!!! 

post #18 of 23

Hate to rain on your parade, but twins are typically very subpar on ice.  What kind of a skier are you, as well as why do you need twins?

post #19 of 23

OOoooo, controversy.  I think I'll hang around and watch this one......

 

nerds[4].jpg

post #20 of 23

^^^What are you trying to say?

070201-04.jpg

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by easternRacer View Post

 

About edges, as a full-time race coach I ski every day and set courses.  I don't wear my race skis to practice, I wear my beaters.  They haven't been tuned in 3 years, I use them 100+ days each season, and spend a lot of time side-slipping down an icy course while carrying a bundle of gates.  The edges are round, not sharp at all.  I have no problem jumping into a course wearing these skis.  I can carve right down an icy race course with no problems, as long as I am carving.  When you carve, your edges don't really have to grip that much.  You are moving forward on them, they aren't skidding to the side at all, and the only real forces on them are centripetal from your body weight pulling you out of the arc your skis are making.  If you don't carve properly, or break out of the arc to slow down, THEN you will really notice your dull edges.  But when you are carving their sharpness doesn't really matter.

 

Surprised there hasn't been more comment on this section of this post (I added bold text). Carving on ice with dull edges??

 

I'm a progressing skier, level 7-ish, who's getting some good snow time and skiing more of the mountain this season. I'm improving slowly in different areas, but one thing that still throws me is hitting steep, icy patches. At this point about the best I can do is semi-balanced sideslips when I encounter that stuff - I haven't been able to maintain controlled turns, carved or otherwise.

 

I am skiing twins - Line Prophet 100's. They are fantastic skis that I'm pretty comfortable with in most of the conditions I run into here in Colorado, typically soft snow, from minimal cover up to about 12" powder. But after several days of no fresh snow (not to mention holiday crowds) a lot of the marked trails get skied out and icy.

 

For those who know Breckenridge there's a short black run called "Shock" that connects to the midway load of the Peak 8 Superconnect chair. Most often it seems to be a bump run, but I went through yesterday, and it appeared to have been groomed, and skied out on top of that, so the middle of the run was bare and icy. There was some soft snow on the side, and I could string together a few linked short turns there, but if I got out into the middle the best I could muster was the aforementioned semi-balanced (stayed up, but lots of lurching/recovery, not pretty) sideslips.
 

When I got to the bottom I looked up and a man and woman came skiing right down the middle at a fast clip, staying pretty close to the fall line. I would describe what they did as quick carved turns with a quick bit of edge set and skidding at the end of each turn, then rebound into the next one. Operative word "quick". Controlled, smooth turns all the way down, always in balance. Pretty to watch.

 

Didn't grow up skiing ice, ( didn't grow up skiing, came to it recently ;-), but amongst many other things would like to learn to do it better. Is it ultimately just a matter of commitment, pointing em down and staying balanced in an offensive turning stance?

post #22 of 23
Quote:
The plates are there to fix the problems that come with the narrow waist. The narrow waist leaves less material, therefor it is less stiff. The plate stiffens the narrow part of the ski, which is also the part (middle and under-foot) that has the strongest forces working on it.

EasternRacer--with all due respect, you've got to be kidding! You think the plate is there to stiffen the ski just because it has a narrow waist? Where have you been? Do you recall skis from the past that were much stiffer than today's skis, yet considerably narrower and longer than even today's race skis, and without plates at all--and yet with "cracked edges"? Do you really think that modern materials and construction techniques cannot make a "narrow" ski as stiff as anyone would want without the need to add a plate? Have you not noticed that many plates are actually hinged in the center, or lacking a center portion entirely (eg. Vist TT), and that many plates incorporate various attachment methods designed to minimize the plate's effect on the stiffness of the ski, to prevent "flat spots" beneath the plate?

You are right about the plate's benefit in reducing the likelihood of "boot out." But the main advantage of a race plate is that in lifting the skier's foot further from the base, it effectively reduces the torque created by the ski's width acting as a lever arm to twist the ski off edge--in effect, making the ski behave more like the blade of an ice skate. Narrow skis are already better than wider skis in this respect, but adding a plate increases their advantage in edging even further. Adding a lifter to a wider ski will give it more solid edge grip, and make it easier to simply roll onto edge rather than needing to be "pried"--making it carve more effectively on hard snow. (Of course, nothing comes for free--plates can add substantial weight to a pair of skis, and can actually make it more difficult to release the edge, especially when the skier is a bit off-balance.)

Sorry to be so harsh, but seriously, your misinformation is showing. I'll also call foul on your claim that you can "carve right down an icy race course with no problems" on dull skis that have not been tuned in 300 days. Sorry--you're right that technique has a lot to do with it, that no ski will hold if your technique isn't up to it, and that "carving" allows edges to slice into the snow like a bread knife, but either your courses are not as "icy" as you think, your skis are not as dull as you claim, or your definition of carving is a whole lot different from mine. "When you carve, your edges don't really have to grip that much." Really? Apparently, your definition is different from mine, because carved turns and other race turns, as I know them, involve considerable "g-forces." While I'm at it, I might as well point out that centripetal force is not "your body weight pulling you out of the arc your skis are making," as you suggest. Nevertheless, whether you want to discuss the force from the snow pushing you laterally into the turn (centripetal force), or the centrifugal force you feel pulling you out as a result of the turn, either one is a lateral force that does very much require your edges to "grip much."

Well, with just one post nearly a month ago, it doesn't look like you've decided to stay around. If you change your mind, though, EasternRacer, please recognize that EpicSki is not likely to be a place where you can just throw out blatant misinformation without getting called on it. You'll find good conversation here, with controversial points, differences of opinion, and earnest dialectic inquiry and debate welcome. But pseudoexperts are quickly exposed.
Quote:
I guess I'll be the jerk to correct you on the purpose of lift, and the importance of tuned edges.

You asked for it! You must be a Heluva skier!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #23 of 23

I also have to throw my support behind the PEs as twin tips that perform well on ice when they have a good tune.  I agree with Bushwacker that "skis like the PE can absolutey rail groomers when tuned right."

 

The 06/07 and 07/08 iterations of the PE and the 08/09 and 09/10 Extreme are the same ski, except the Extreme has less offensive graphics.

 

I ski the 06/07 version of the PE in the 164 cm length.  I'm 155 lbs and my PEs are mounted 3 cm forward of the rear mounting line (or 4 cm back from the forward mounting line).  The forward mounting point may contribute to their grippiness.  However, if I had it to do over again, I would move them back one cm and mount 2 cm forward of the rear line.  Also, I use them as an all mtn. ski, not a park ski, so I don't de-tune the edges.

 

I have been skiing my PEs at Gore through the recent cold snap (and today in 45 degree spring-like conditions!?!?).  They do not hold as well as my 66mm waist Fischer RX8's on ice, but they are more than adequate to the task of skiing in the sometimes icy northeastern conditions that we experience at Gore Mtn. NY.

 

STE

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion