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Skis Falling Apart

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi.  I have been a lurker for a while on EpicSki.  I don't post much because I don't consider myself an expert on these topics.  I find myself in need of some expert advice, so I thought I'd just ask. 

Last year I bought a new pair of Salomon Lady Rocker Shape skis. They were new last year. I like them.  Really like them.  While not as "bouncy" as the Volkl skis, they are wonderfully flexible in the moguls and around trees.  But a couple of months ago, they started to develop raised areas on the base.  There are about 5-6 of them clustered in a 6-8 inch area 1 1/2 feet from the top of one ski, and one on the lower part of the ski about the same distance from the bottom, with another bump just forming on the other ski.  They have become unski-able because the bumps (which continue to grow) act like little speed bumps.

I took them back to the shop where I bought them and was told that I probably applied too much heat on the base (I do minor tunes and waxes myself).  I was told that because I waxed them myself, Salomon might not honor the two year warranty that comes with pairing the skis with Salomon bindings.  Well, that doesn't sound right.  I have three pairs of skis (the others are Head and Armada) and I tune them all the same way, never had any problems with the other two pairs.  I use a ski-specific iron, not a household iron and I am very careful with my skis.  I don't "smoke" the wax.  I tune at room temperature and keep the skis dry while tuning. 

I've had some gouges in the skis, but no core shots that I can tell.  There was one gouge near the edge.  I repair any deeper scratches with p-tex. 

If I did the damage myself, well it is, what it is....but I'm thinking that skis shouldn't be that touchy.  Has anyone else had this problem with a pair of skis.  Does anyone have any ideas?  Did I do something wrong, or am I being led astray by a shop that doesn't want to deal with the problem?

The status is that they skis are at the shop and they are going to call Salomon in the next day or two and then call me. 
post #2 of 11
A similar thing happened to me years ago with a pair of Volkl Supersport 4-stars.  The base bubbled during a routine waxing.  It happened right under a bolt which held a cosmetic element to the top of the ski.  It seemed pretty obvious that water had somehow seeped into the core of the ski through that bolt hole, which then bubbled the base upon application of heat.  Volkl graciously replaced the ski for me.

If there is a point to the story, it's that bases sometimes do bubble mysteriously without gross abuse.  However, I'm sure manufacturers do encounter many fraudulent warranty claims concerning base bubbling, and their wary eye is totally understandable.  I'm sure if this had occurred elsewhere on the ski, the situation might not have been resolved as easily.  I guess you should just talk to Salomon and explain your situation, and see what they do.  I wouldn't suggest holding your breath for a replacement.
post #3 of 11
Hi Suz,

Welcome to Epic. No matter what your level of expertise is, there's always room to post somewhere on Epic!

If I had heard that malarky from a shop flunky, I'd have marched straight to the shop owner with an offer to demonstrate how to properly wax the flunky. If I heard that from a shop owner, I'd find a new shop. This smells big time like a ski defect. My bet is that there are rocker elements right about where the bumps are. For now, you should wait until the shop hears from Solomon. If Solomon fesses up, you'll have the opportunity to shoot the flunky an "I told you so" look. If they don't and the shop won't fight it or offer you an at cost deal, then it is time to call Solomon directly, followed up in writing (with copy to the PR dept and better business) and then find a new shop. And post a picture of the damaged skis in this thread. If you are 100% sure you did not leave the iron the skis while taking a phone call from Bode Miller and do get bad news, you might also consider asking the shop to show how to cause such damage using your waxing iron. From your description, the least that should happen is that Solomon takes a look at the skis and the shop gives you free use of rentals. More likely you should get an apology and a new pair out of stock on hand.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments DtEW and Rusty.  I do know the owner (who wasn't in today), and have been a very good customer.  I didn't know the guys behind the counter today, but they are not the fellows I usually see.  I took the shop's ski tuning workshop....pretty sure I've been doing it correctly because I also viewed numerous online tutorials as well. 

A call from Bode (!)....there's an engaging thought, but no, that didn't happen.  I'm obsessively careful with my boards, but a call from Bode could have triggered a lapse........ 
post #5 of 11
 Definitely press for a RMA from Salomon.  Out of curiousity, do the bumps correlate to any features on the top of the ski or binding area?
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I checked for a correlation right off, but no.  It isn't where the bindings are mounted, but several inches above (and below).  I suspect it is as Rusty noted, possibly the rocker elements.  That would track with the location of the bumps on both skis.  As I said, I tune the skis myself and noticed the bumps forming a little over a month ago.  I should have taken the skis into the shop at that time.  They were very small at first, but have grown over the past few weeks.   The bubbles did not suddenly appear during waxing, but just sort of developed over time. 
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
An interesting bit I found on the tetongravity forum.  "... At the shop I work at, two customers who claim to have waxed before bubbled the bases on their salomon lords. These were both not really bubbles because they were solid... I think the core might expand via iron cooking... Thin base on that ski too... we tried to grind a pair flat and went through the base material and it didn't seem half as thick as an edge."

The lords are the male version of my ski.    It seems this has happened to others.....  and they were also told that they probably ironed them too much, which may or may not be the case.
post #8 of 11
 I'm curious to see what the shop owner says when you talk to him.
I highly doubt that you caused this damage, and if Salomon is the company I think it is, they'll stand by their skis.

Let us know how it goes.
post #9 of 11

yes bases can bubble like that from ironing too hot.  This is not at all likely if you are using a ski iron though.

I would speak with the shop owner courteously and ask to have the skis sent to Salomon warranty department.  If this is a defect in the ski it has very likely occurred on other skis and Salomon will likely solve your problem. 

If your ski shop buys a lot of Salomon product then the owner should also get the rep involved if possible.

I have seen a lot of skis be replaced by warranty and this sort of problem is not easily repaired.  i would be very surprised if the ski was not replaced under warranty if it is in fact less than one year since purchase (or whatever the standard Salomon warranty is).

post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 I'm curious to see what the shop owner says when you talk to him.
I highly doubt that you caused this damage, and if Salomon is the company I think it is, they'll stand by their skis.

Let us know how it goes.
What he should say is: "let's send them back, it is Salomon's warranty, we need to see what they say."   He should then shut the f**k up. None of us have seen the skis, we have absolutely no idea what is wrong here, let the process work as it is supposed to.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oh, I'm always courteous....my nature.  But also tenacious.  If the shop doesn't contact Salomon, I will.  Like I said, if I caused the problem, then so be it.  But I am going to ask that I be shown exactly what I did wrong and I will want someone from the shop to replicate the bubbles on another part of the now useless ski - with a ski iron, kept in constant motion, used the way I was taught at the shop.  I bought the skis in April of last year - less than a year. 

And BTW, I use the shop for a couple of tunes per set of skis per year.  I don't stiff them by doing all my own work.  I only do minor work between shop tunes.  I've been very loyal to this shop and they get a lot of business from me every season - two pair of skis this year, new boots, poles, goggles, gloves and other gear - not to mention the tunes. 

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. 
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