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What's with the bases on many new skis?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Why on many new skis are the bases at the tip and tail concave? The center is nice and true but the tips and tails aren't. I've also noticed that it varys between manufactures. Atomics I have found are the worst when it comes to this. Don't get me wrong I really like my Atomics. But Fisher, Blizard, Head, and Volkl don't seem to be nearly as bad. What's going on with this?

Also, what are they making the bases out of that will not hold wax as long or except wax as easily?

post #2 of 9
This is the opinion of various people, but i guess they say that alot of it has to do with how the ski is cured and how fast it's done as well. For example, take a piece of paper and wet it, and dry it out quickly with a blow drier...you get a not so flat piece of paper anymore. On the contraray, if you lay it down on a table and gradually dry it, it won't be as bad as the quickly dried one.

Also, for Atomics, I've heard this explanation...with the beta construction being closer to the edges nowadays, it's putting so much pressure on the edges and a lack of pressure in the middle that the ski becomes concave...I'd like to see what BetaRacer thinks about this...i'm curious [img]smile.gif[/img]

I think bases are made of Ptex Electra 2000 and 4000 depending on which ski it is...polyethelene i think...don't quote me on that.

Hope there's some truth to what I just wrote

post #3 of 9
I did sell my 174 cm K2 Mod 7/8's and was fortunate to find an unused pair of 167 Mod 7/8's new in the plastic - same as this year's Axis but LAST YEAR'S MODEL LEFT OVER. These are WOOD CORE skis. Gues what? Flat under the foot, slightly concave under tip and tail. The techy said that's not uncommen and to ski on them first, but I said no, just flatten the bases and give them a full tune. He complied. Now I need snow, time and imporoved health, and I'll let you now how these work out. Question: Can this tip and tail concavity be partially the result of lying around unused since last season?
post #4 of 9
oboe - you just took a bit of life away from your skis for no reason. Most skis with wide shovels and tails are a bit concave. It does not matter at all as long as it is flat under foot. Yeah, Atomics are the worst, but they ski very well right out of the wrapper. Don't grind them. You will ruin them.
post #5 of 9
I'm confused. In the past, for example, I had a pair of Salomons brand new, and the dealer said to take them out for a ski day before tuning. I did. Damn things were really hard to turn. Took 'em back, they were concave. Got 'em ground, they were fine on the hill. Now, a "full tune" in these here parts generally means stone grind, sharpen, wax, minor repair, etc. Are we saying that I should never get a full tune? Not being a technician, rep or other knowledgeable expert, I need to have this information. In my experience, concave tips and tails are hooky and harder to ski, while flat bases are better. Would someone who is knowledgeable - and Spinheli being a K2 rep is my first choice - please enlighten me?
post #6 of 9
you took extra life away from your skis because you had it flattened out. they will ski fine with out the bases being ground flat... (at least this is what i have understood for previous discissions about this topic). By flattening the bases you took away extra edge that did not need to be taken away. In reality you would have to grind your bases MANY (as in 20 - 30+) before the bases were shot. I asked a tech about this a few seasons ago and he said that the amount of material that is taken off your skis is so minute that it makes little or no difference. Obviously that after several grindings you will notice a difference. By gringing your bases flat right at the start not only did you use up your first tune but you took away extra material from the edges, thus decreasing the life of the ski.

My take on this is that it will not make a significant difference in the life of the ski. If it were me i would have skied them 3 or 4 times then had the grind done - factory tunes are not always the greatest. I may have wanted to ski on the concave base ski first just to see what the difference was, but i would assume that it is minute, and only noticable if you are really engaging your edges on ice. As for your skis i dont think that you ruined them. By grinding too much material away of course you would ruin them, but i dont think that is what you had done. A normal base grind will flatten your skis out and is just a regular tune.

One thing that i have heard is that the grinders being that they are designed to take away edge as well as base material can take away the base material faster than they grind the edges. This would result in a concave base, so if it is an issue oboe, im sure that it would be adjusted and dealt with, although not my reccommendation. I wouldnt worry about it, when we tune our skis to race we take a file to them and make sure the base is flat - then we perform the tune.

Much of that is assumption, although i dont believe it to be far off base, i woudlnt lose sleep over it until you ski them and know for sure.
Later all

ps. going to bed now and getting up to go skiing :
post #7 of 9
I like to start with flat skis and go from there. Oboe I don't think what you had done is a problem at all. If you are like most of the rest of us here, you won't keep the skis long enough to wear them out.
post #8 of 9
Lucky?! You got my number!
post #9 of 9
I'm still waiting for BetaRacer to check in on this, but I recall a discussion last season about the concave bases of Atomic skis. It was suggested that they are concave at the ends on purpose. Because they flex so much under stress, apparently the concavity is necessary--they flatten out when tipped on edge and pressured.


Best regards,
Bob Barnes
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