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skidded turns

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I had my Atomic 9'12's tuned this weekend believing a fresh tune would be beneficial with the icy conditions that existed after freezing rain Friday. I popped for the $40 dollar ceramic base and edge tune requesting a 1 degree bottom edge bevel and a 3 degree side edge bevel. I thought these bevel angles were the factory specs for this Atomic ski.
For lack of a better description, I felt like I was standing on two banana peels. When the ski was weighted ,it felt like it would just"splay" outward and wash out. I spent a lot of time going sideways , skidding down the hill.
I'm sure technique or lack there of for the icy conditions that existed are partly to blame, but I felt like I never skied ice worse after the tune.
At risk of "blaming the arrow and not the Indian" is it possible the 3 degree side edge bevel compromised my grip on ice.
I've had tunes before which resulted in the skis being very grabby and hooky which were remedied by dulling the tips a bit.

My skis this weekend by contrast seemed incapable of holding an edge and immediately washed out as I came across the hill. I skied my SX-9 Atomics earlier in the morning prior to the fresh tuned 9'12's, SX-9's are 180 cm (9'12's 170cm) and although the ice was a challenge, I did not have the sensation that the ski was washing out on me to the same extent.

Does a side base bevel of 3 degrees negatively effect a skis ability to hold an edge on ice? If so , how should I compensate when skiing these icy conditions?
post #2 of 10

I didn't see any indians nor arrows yesterday, but my .5/3 worked great in western NY! If the other skis worked fine in the morning, then it probably wasn't you ...are you sure you received the tune you asked for? 3deg. side bevel should have worked great (if that's what it is) ...I'd check the base bevel as it sounds like they're not hooking up soon enough.

[edit] Also check the base to see if it's flat from edge to edge!!! Or should I say -between- the edges

[ February 09, 2004, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: cgeib ]
post #3 of 10
I agree with CGeib, RoundTurns. What you're describing doesn't sound like a ski tuned 1 and 3 degrees (bottom and side bevels). That's a fairly aggressive tune--1 degree on the bottoms shouldn't make them feel like banana peels when flat, and combined with 3 on the sides, they should hold well on all but the most extreme ice when tipped up on edge. That does assume, of course, reasonably competent technique, skis in good shape overall, and a GOOD tune.

Have someone knowledgeable check the tune. Just because you asked for 1 and 3 doesn't mean that's what you got, unfortunately. And just because a shop has a fancy stone-grinder doesn't mean they will do a good tune. If your skis are really tuned to those specs, and tuned well (i.e. sharp), and they're in good shape, then it may be time to look at the "Indian...."

Remember that increasing the BASE edge bevel too much can cause the "banana peel" squirrely effect you describe. A little base edge bevel (I usually go 1/2 degree) makes skis more manageable and predictable, less grabby especially when flat or transitioning from turn to turn. Increasing the SIDE edge bevel makes skis hold better. 1 base, 2 side is a pretty typical all-around tune for good skiers. 1 and 3 should hold well indeed.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #4 of 10
Did you by chance get them tuned at Willi's? If so, my first guess is they tuned them 1 & 1, not 1 & 3. They are notorious for disregarding your request and doing whatever they want.

Every pair I've ever had ground by them skis like crap until I go back and hand tune to the desired bevels I requested.

My last pair of salomons were tuned 1 & 1 as requested (because that's what their machine is set to do, they seem to never change it). I took one run on them the other day and threw them back in the locker room, they were horrible. I'll have to hand tune them back to a skiable shape.

It's not just me that's noticed this, it's the general concensus of most instructors in the locker room too. The tunes there are terrible.
post #5 of 10
Originally posted by Taylormatt:
...If so, my first guess is they tuned them 1 & 1, not 1 & 3. They are notorious for disregarding your request and doing whatever they want...
In my experience, this is true for lots of shops. I now:

(a) Always demand to speak to the head tech not the seasonal HS kid writing up the tickets. I establish credibility with the head tech, recount the bad experiences I have had when my Atomics had been previously tuned to something other than 0.5-3 or 1-3, and "mention" that I know it wasn't "an Indian" problem because I always double check the the angles with a guide.

(b) Directly ask how many tunes he has done this season that were not 1-1, and if none, ask if he would like me to show him how to adjust his machine to do so. I really hate to be this pushy/obnoxious, but I try to do it in as nice a manner as possible, and have had several head techs invite me "back" and we either adjust the machine together, or they let me watch while they adjust it and do my skis. One younger tech was truly grateful to have learned something new about his machine. I am beginning to think that having a bit of an attitude on this subject is the only way to get them not to ignore your request.

Tom / PM
post #6 of 10
roundturns sounds to me like you got 3:1 not 1:3 as requested.
post #7 of 10

What shop(s) in our area do you recommend? Pro-Fit in Leesburg does a good job in my opinion.
post #8 of 10
Originally posted by Coach13:
PhysicsMan - What shop(s) in our area do you recommend? Pro-Fit in Leesburg does a good job in my opinion.
Thanks for the recommendation, but I'm over in the Columbia, MD area, so Leesberg is a bit of a drive for me.

I think we may have had this discussion before, but I really like John Beltrazzi (sp?), the head tech at Ski Chalet in Gaithersberg. In all fairness, he and I know each other pretty well, so it's possible I might be getting above-average treatment. However, if you establish credibility and rapport with any good tech, you probably will wind up with a good tune or repair.

I'm not going to publicly state which shops I have had bad luck with. It would be unfair, since my sampling of them is fairly small and I could have caught them on a bad day.

Tom / PM
post #9 of 10
I agree with Pierre. I think you may have a 3:1 tune rather than a 1:3 tune. If so, this "shop" has taken alot off the life of your skis.

I too have seen many shops that always do a 1:1 or 1:2 tune pretty much no matter what you ask for. Sometimes it is due to arrogance ("We know what you need"), and sometimes due to ignorance.

Stay away from these shops, and DO publicize their names. We who care need and deserve to know.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hopefully I didn't double post. Thanks for the comments and inputs regarding my edge bevels. I'm going back tomorrow afternoon and asking the shop to check the bevel angles. I had the skis tuned at Willis at 7 Springs. Apparently, I'm not the only guy that has experienced the frustration of skiing on a ski that came off their ceramic grinder.

Probably time to purchase file guides, and files, so I can only blame myself. In fairness to this same shop, I feel I received excellent boot-stance alignment done for a very modest price on a pair of boots I didn't purchase at their shop.

I seem to have this penchant never to leave well enough alone. I had a feeling when I took them in for tuning that I was rolling the dice that I would be pleased with the results.
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