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Brutal Ski Chatter

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Nordica Dobermann Spitfire (black top) 170cm from last year.

 

Ski chatters on steep, firmly groomed trails. Works well in medium radius turns on flatter terrain.

 

Went back to my old skis (178cm Volant Supercarve Legends) with no chatter on the same trail, same day. Also my other Nordica skis which are softer and got more chatter with them too. 

 

Trying to figure out what about the design of the Nordica causes the chattering...

 

Maybe too soft torsionally and the skis breaking loose?

 

 

post #2 of 23

Interesting.  I have the same Spitfire Pros in a 178 and experienced some of this the other day, too.  Was the chatter from the tails?  My thought was I was trying to carve too sharply before I really set the edges.  Conditions were hard and icy.  I felt my skiing was a little off that day, so I think it was more me than the skis, but you've got me wondering.

 

I also skied my Head iM78's and they would chatter less, but they also lack the grip on ice of the Spitfires.

post #3 of 23
Jamming the brakes on in the bottom of the turn will cause this with a ski that is stiff both in torsion and along its length.

A ski that is medium in torsion and longitudinally softer will be easier to skid.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

What I experienced was the center of the ski breaking loose or chattering. If the slope has some freshly made snow on it the ski won't do it but if the slope is groomed and firm I get the chatter. My Volants are torsionally stiff but longitudinally softer and have always worked great for these conditions, but the Spitfire Pro chatters and I've never had a problem w/a ski doing that.

 

My friend has a pair of Nitrous TI's and said the same thing, getting bad chatter. Still working on why????? 

 

post #5 of 23

Is that ski a cap or sidewall construction?

 

Could it be with the stiffer ski you just need to be more "on top of" the ski?  Pressuring the tips more.

 

Its hard to tell what it could be without knowing how good of a skier you are.

post #6 of 23

This is what I think may be going on.  Not even just from jamming at the bottom, but hitting the ice and jamming up and chatter chatter skid skid chatter.

 

I think you may be breaking lose and chattering from the center because you are not carving the ski correctly, which you will be able to get away with more on the softer ski.

 

Dont let the hard snow break your form, as long as your on a good ski you should be able to pressure the tip of the ski and arc smoothly over the ice.
 

I dont know what kind of skier you are though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post


Jamming the brakes on in the bottom of the turn will cause this with a ski that is stiff both in torsion and along its length.

A ski that is medium in torsion and longitudinally softer will be easier to skid.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowCat67 View Post

Dont let the hard snow break your form, as long as your on a good ski you should be able to pressure the tip of the ski and arc smoothly over the ice.


I think what you describe may apply to my experience.  For whatever reason when I was on the Spitfires the other day I wasn't skiing as aggressively as usual and keeping enough pressure on the tips.  Once the skis broke loose a couple times I was a little frustrated and tentative and started to ski more conservatively.  I rarely ski that way.

 

I'm anxious to get out on them again and work this out.

post #8 of 23

Yup, sometimes you need to just go back to the basics.

 

As you surely know, if you are getting intimidated skiing, sitting back and getting less aggressive is only gonna make the problem worse, in any situation.  Especially on a stiffer set of skis.

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

To truly carve a ski on a steep, firmly groomed slope is nearly impossible, simply for the reason there is just too much acceleration (unless, of course, the skier finished their turns out of the fall line or skids to dump speed) and force generated. Just too much speed and force is generated throughout the turn.

 

This ski carves well on medium, groomed, terrain where speed can be maintained while still carving the ski's radius.

 

Two possiblities or a combo of both:

1. The ski is not stiff torsionally (basing this on the comparison of the steel cap Volant ski skied same day, same conditions).

2. The ski is too stiff longitudinally.

 

Technique: nearly flawless and that's all I'll say about that. ski.gif

post #10 of 23

I haven't skied either ski.  I do have some Volant Machete Gs, but they have more of a GS sidecut.  They are great in snow, but their ice grip is limited due to their edge bevel being limited to 2 degrees.  I assume your carvers are similar in torsion, but perhaps less stiff longitudinally.  I have no idea what the Nordica Dobermans are like, so consider this a stab in the dark.

 

It is possible that you are not hooking up the tips on the Volants (even though the under foot portion of the ski may or may not be engaged), but the ultimate grip of the Volants on ice is low enough that the ski tips are content to let it slide, where as the Nordicas are too stubborn to give up, biting in and releasing in rapid succession, leading to the chatter.  Your solution is either to learn to keep those tips engaged, or ease up and let them drift.


Edited by Ghost - 1/8/11 at 8:21pm
post #11 of 23

Brutal Ski Chatter

I think this whole website should be renamed!

post #12 of 23

from reading cc1's posts I don't think we should be looking for technique explanations.  I get the impression that cc1 is a very good modern skier and is interested in some of our more expert ski people to discuss WHAT in a ski causes chatter.  

post #13 of 23

Whereas I do think it's technique as I get the dreaded chattttteerrr some days and not others. That applies on my Elan SLX or my Rossi S7's. I KNOW i'm doing something wrong on the bad days, but what. Not steering (sufficiently) via the tip sounds plauseable.

post #14 of 23

perhaps it's harder to release the edge smoothly on set, stiff, rough tracked chalk. I am working on relaxing my ankles and driving (?) my hips to have a softer edge set. You have to either rail it or release it. in between will chatter.

post #15 of 23

Given "perfect" technique - do none of you think that some skis might chatter more in some conditions then other?

 

If you do think this - the question the OP is asking is "why?"  What about a ski causes chatter?

post #16 of 23

You've got 3 possibilities:

 

  1. Ski characteristics (torsional and longitudinal stiffness)
  2. Ski alignment (fore/aft stance issues, binding mount position differences)
  3. Skiing technique/skill

 

I'm a firm believer that any ski can be skied without chattering.  You just have to find a balance in those 3 variables to get to that point.

post #17 of 23

Next question:

 

Is it easier to stop chattering on a wide-waist or a narrow-waist ski, after it starts?

post #18 of 23

Chatter is always pilot error.

Some skis are prone to chatter more than others, some a lot more, but you can always avoid chatter by edging less and reducing pressure.  You need good feel for the snow, which you won't have if you are too tense or intimidated. I think wider skis chatter more than narrow, and stiffer chatter more than softer, all else equal, but I'm not sure why, and in any event that opinion is based only on my experience with a few different skis.

 

BK

post #19 of 23

If we follow SMJ and assume no pilot error, then most likely equipment issues would be either irregular tune (likely) or the innate design of the Spitfire, which is said to be much stiffer in front than in back. Conceivable that the shift between the flexes is defined enough that the ski itself will grip/release/grip as the load from the turn stays in that transitional flex zone. OTOH, others such as Sierra Jim have praised the Spitfire's handling on ice, so not sure...

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post

Chatter is always pilot error.

Some skis are prone to chatter more than others, some a lot more 

BK


I had a pair of foam core Salomon skis which chattered so bad I gave them away to someone who doesn't use big edge angles..  The pilot, while far from perfect, doen't have that problem on other skis.  Not sure what the cause was, just know I don't miss them.
 

post #21 of 23

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam clarkson View Post

Brutal Ski Chatter

I think this whole website should be renamed!


ROFL!

post #22 of 23

I'm obviously running really slow today because I finally got that one. ROTF.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam clarkson View Post

Brutal Ski Chatter

I think this whole website should be renamed!


ROFL!

post #23 of 23

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post

Chatter is always pilot error.

Some skis are prone to chatter more than others, some a lot more, but you can always avoid chatter by edging less and reducing pressure.  You need good feel for the snow, which you won't have if you are too tense or intimidated. I think wider skis chatter more than narrow, and stiffer chatter more than softer, all else equal, but I'm not sure why, and in any event that opinion is based only on my experience with a few different skis.

 

BK


I agree.

 

Skis chatter because they have insufficient edge angle (factor a) and inadequate pressure into the snow (factor b) to hold a carve yet too much grip to permit smooth skidding. The easiest way to end chatter is to switch your edges as soon as chatter begins so that you start a new turn. As racers will tell you, if your edges are chattering, you've been on your edges to long.

 

Physical strength is a key factor in preventing chatter. If you are making hard, fast turns and your skis chatter, it is likely that you don't have the strength or technique to maintin the edge angles (factor a) necessary to carve. You can't emulate a WC athlete's angles without a WC athlete's strength.

 

Another factor is body position. If you aren't pressuring your skis you succomb to factor b. Leaning in will make the inside ski grip, but the outside ski will generally loose sufficient pressure on the snow to hold. Since you are leaning in you'll have a hard time releasing edge angle on the outside ski so it chatters.

 

In almost all cases, chatter is associated with higher speeds and high edge angles. Slow down to avoid chatter. You won't need the high edge angles or extra strength required to maintain those edge angles and snow contact.

 


 

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