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chatter, me or the ski?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Dudes and dudettes,

I have XScream Series, 3 yrs old, 176cm, I'm 5'9" 175lbs. Skiing on hard pack/ice last SundayI found my left ski would chatter when I tried to hold the carve, right ski not. Skis just full-tuned for the season opening and it was 4th ski day after the tune. Is it me or the ski? Bad technique on the left side or something with the tune? Any tips for hard surface carving?
post #2 of 13
When I demoed that ski years ago, I said to myself these things done have any edge hold. Granted I'm a Volkl or Atomic man. I like the edge hold. The only Salomons I've found to have deacent edge hold were there race skis. I told my friend not to buy them, she did anyways, she was and is a Volkl girl. After a couple of day's on the Scream's she say's "these things don't have any edge hold".

I would say you have had them long enough for them to be getting torsionally soft. It's time to step up to a ski with edge hold.

This year my friend just bought Elan M10's we demoed them last March and both felt like they were our Volkl's.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, it's possible I could get new planks, it would depend on what's left after the house closing. I can get a good price on Rossi, what do think about the B2 in 176 as a replace for my xscreams? I ski in Vermont, so the conditions are "packed powder", a lot (blue ice, to you western dudes). I have a pair of Rossi shorty slaloms 160 that I like on the ice, but the xscreams have been my all-around.
post #4 of 13
Its possible the skis are torsionally soft but also possible your technique is at fault. Are you moving your torso laterally or just moving your knee in? Are you lengthening the outside leg or is it flexed? Ironically, you can experience greater chatter with a ski which is torsionally stiff if your body mechanics are not right. Softer skis would just flex in such situations and allow a skid, while stiffer skis may try to edgehold but release because of poor body position and thus "chatter". Its not uncommon for skiers to have assymetric technique. Most people have a dominant side and consequently are better moving one way than the other.
post #5 of 13
Don't assume there is something wrong with your skis because they chatter. Chatter requires that the ski has pretty good edge grip. Generally, an un-tuned, soft and trashed ski will slide out smoothly more than chatter.
Typically, chatter will happen when you start your turn with a little rotation and them try to edge too aggressively. Concentrate on a smooth and progressive edge engagement, with as little rotation as possible at turn initiation. Try to keep your whole body, and especially your feet and ankles, relaxed.
It sounds like you are half way there if only one ski is chattering. You are probably just a little stronger or less smooth on one side. Also, there is always the possiblity that your two skis are different and one is more susceptible to chattering. Did you try switching your skis right to left?

Regards, John
post #6 of 13
Mr. PH,

The Reader's Digest abridged answer may be you.

Qualifying statement to follow: I am not an instructor and haven't been an instructor for some time. Though, given the chance, I could play the part of an instructor on TV. :

For many (most?) skiers, the natural reaction when a ski is slipping or chattering is to apply even more edge. When you apply more edge in these conditions, you are now asking more from your skis than your skis are capable of delivering.

The difference from one side to the other can most likely be attributed to your personal anatomical makeup.

In fairness, it may be both you and the ski. But, I'll bet you'll find your Rossi slaloms have a higher threshold - before the chattering begins - than your Salomons.


edited to note that it took me too long to finish my response before Mr. Dowling posted his.

[ November 20, 2003, 09:41 AM: Message edited by: Inspector Gadget ]
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Although it would have been sensible, I did not think to switch skis. Comments on my technique are appreciated and I will try to apply the suggestions when I'm out next (my home area: Smuggler's Notch, opens after Thanksgiving).
post #8 of 13

It is always you. By themselves the skis never chatter

Seriously, skis chatter when they are sharp (well tuned), torsionally stiff and the skier tries to skid them. You probably have the tendency to use a down stem in your right turns (i.e. the left foot is skidding out from under you).

You can switch skis to make sure it is not a ski issue (although I cannot imagine how it can be the ski).

Otherwise you have 3 options:

1) detune the tails to allow for the tails to skid more smoothly
2) Get a ski that is less stiff in the tail (the Xscreams are known for having substantial tails, so when the tail is completely sharp you may have problems)
3) Get an experienced skier (instructor) to observe your turns and determine what is going on. Correct the problem accordingly.

I recommend #3. With the right technique, you can smoothly skid a torsionally stiff ski, even if tails are not detuned.

[ November 20, 2003, 11:21 AM: Message edited by: TomB ]
post #9 of 13
Did you just get them tuned? Check the tips and tails - they may be too sharp. Try a gummi stone to smooth them a little and they should quiet down.

[ November 20, 2003, 07:24 PM: Message edited by: Gate Crasher ]
post #10 of 13
Here's what I would try. If you haven't marked your skis left/right, do that. Then, ski a couple of runs with them on the proper feet to establish the chatter threshold. Then, switch feet and see if that left ski still chatters. If it doesn't then it's probably the ski. If it does, it's probably your mechanics.
post #11 of 13
Here's one possibility that no one has mentioned, but I have personal experience with. Have your alignment checked if you haven't already. If your alignment is out, resulting in your getting on your inside edge to quickly, the ski may jump and chatter as you increase the edge angle. Once I was aligned, this problem was solved for me.
post #12 of 13
Hallelujah!!! Coach 13 gets the prize. You probably need canting or a stance assessment fore/aft or at minimum to adjust the cuff of your boot on the ski that chatters.

I demoed a pair of X-Screams a few years ago at Whistler and skied them on damn hard snow in a fairly short length. They skied extremely well and held an edge fine. If your tuneup was done right, it is not the ski. Could be not quite enough base bevel in the tail. Is the X-Scream an ice ski? NO! but it skis fine on hard snow.

The chatter you are talking about would not come from trying to pressure to hard. I think if you were doing that your ski would simply slide.

If your fore/aft stance is off you cannot keep even pressure on your ski from the beginning to the end of a carved turn. Our bootfitter/stance person says if your fore/aft stance is not correct, your side to side alignment isn't going to matter until your are balanced fore/aft. Many boots still have too much forward lean combined with ramp angle in your bindings and boots
and this can make it very difficult to apply even pressure top your ski.

I know a racer personally who was on the US Ski Team. She was struggling and not skiing up to par. She said her right ski would shake uncontrollably making a left turn and should couldn't apply even pressure to her ski. A coach other than one of US team coaches saw her ski and told her she was canted backwards. They changed her alignment and all that waggin' her ski was doing went away & she won the next Nor-Am GS she raced in. I am relaying this directly from the racer that told me.


Over & out!


[ November 20, 2003, 09:09 PM: Message edited by: Atomicman ]
post #13 of 13
I don't think it's the Ski's Mr. PH.

This could be one of two things... it could be a technique issue, or an equipment issue.

As for technique...are you right handed? Is your right leg noticably stronger? If so, you may not be applying enough pressure to the tip of the left ski, and may need to work on evening the strength in your legs.

More likely... this is a sole canting issue. Most of us don't laterally distribute our weight evenly across each foot. To correct for this, the bootsole can be ground (in 0.5 degree increments) . The top of the boot (DIN) is ground to be paralell to the Sole. This boot modification is usually referred to as a 'Sole Grind'... the edging of each foot can be manipulated individually.

I had one of my boot soles ground 1 degree and it made all the difference in the world. It usually costs about 50$ per boot, but is only available at technology oriented fitting locations including Green Mountain Orthodics, Surefoot, etc.

You need to be seen by a boot fitter who can perform a sole grind, as well as check your cuff canting angle.


[ November 20, 2003, 10:05 PM: Message edited by: GF ]
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