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Icing on waxless skis



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 12th 04, 10:24 AM
MB
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Default Icing on waxless skis

Me
To complicate matters further, hot waxing can make bc skis
too slippery for difficult terrain conditions.


Booker Bense
_ This is complete and utter crap.


Well, uhm... Thank you.

Waxing only improves turning and control.


I think you don't have experience of the difficult terrain
conditions I was discussing. If you haven't done it, I
guess you'll just have to take my word for it: Handling
well-glide-waxed skis simply is more difficult in small-scale
steep forested terrain (off-trail/off-track). In such conditions
grip (not only backwards, btw) tends to be much more important
than glide, but...

If you need slow skis to stay in
control then you should leave your skins on...


not so much, that killing the glide altogether with skins is
a good idea. With small-scale terrain, putting skins on and
off for the ups and the downs, just isn't practical either,
as you'd have to do it all the time.

What comes to "turning", I assume Booker is talking about
high-speed turns, like telemark turns. High-speed downhill
is a non-issue in difficult terrain, however.

_ Ski bases are manufactured in two ways, sintered and extruded
poly. Extruded base skis are pieces of junk because the base
has few if any pores to hold the wax. You only find this
construction on really cheap skis.


This is complete and utter... g

Eg, there are four Finnish manufacturers that currently manufacture
backcountry forest skis. Peltonen and Karhu seem to have chosen
non-porous bottoms, and Järvinen has porous ones. I haven't skied
with Harju's, but I'm quite sure they are non-porous too. Järvinen
switched from non-porous to porous for about ten years ago - and not
everyone was happy with this! None of the four are "really cheap skis",
and Järvinen isn't the most expensive of the lot, btw. Peltonen is the
current contractor for military skis (or was at least last year).
Peltonen's mil skis are very similar to the civilian ones, including
the non-porous fish-scale bottoms.

Besides, not holding wax properly obviously isn't an issue with
waxless skis. In the case of fish-scale non-porous bottoms, waxless
isn't a misnomer, although even such bottoms _can_ be waxed - it just
doesn't stay on that long - and in the case of severe icing conditions,
even such skis need to be waxed or otherwise anti-icing treated.

_ It's wax IN the base that makes skis perform, not wax
on it.


Wax _on_ the base keeps sticky snow from sticking. That's the
issue in anti-iceing.

Ski performance isn't a universal attribute - whether some skis perform
well depends very much on the actual conditions thery're used in.
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  #2  
Old March 13th 04, 02:19 AM
Hal Murray
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Default Icing on waxless skis

I think you don't have experience of the difficult terrain
conditions I was discussing. If you haven't done it, I
guess you'll just have to take my word for it: Handling
well-glide-waxed skis simply is more difficult in small-scale
steep forested terrain (off-trail/off-track). In such conditions
grip (not only backwards, btw) tends to be much more important
than glide, but...


I can't figure out what you are trying to say.

If the skis are sticky enough so that they help you not go
forward when you are in steep forested terrain, they will
suck when you come to an opening and don't want them to
stick.


Many years ago, I was skiing up a hill. I was new to wax,
and my skis were sticking much better than I expected. Nice
day, making good progress, all was wonderful...

Then I bumped one of my skis and knocked loose the snow that
was stuck to the bottom and that ski didn't stick any more.
Time to put on skins...

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  #3  
Old March 15th 04, 10:29 AM
MB
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Default Icing on waxless skis

Me
In such conditions
grip (not only backwards, btw) tends to be much more important
than glide, but...


Hal Murray
I can't figure out what you are trying to say.


My point is that proper waxing makes handling more difficult in
certain conditios (steep small-scale rough terrain, off-trail),
and actually lowers the average speed.

If the skis are sticky enough so that they help you not go
forward when you are in steep forested terrain,


The differences here are subtle. An unwaxed non-porous base ski
will still glide pretty well forward, but it is easier to handle
especially in difficult climbs (up or down) than a properly
waxed. It's my experience with myself and others on the skis.

they will suck when you come to an opening and don't want them
to stick.


Of course, in easy terrain, maximal forward glide is desireable.
It's a compromize. The easier the conditons become, the more the
optimal ski will resemble a XC racing ski - small, light, carefully
waxed and matched, and, btw, definitively without fishscale bottoms!

While glide is important, minor differences in glide are
very secondary in difficult or heavy skiing conditions. In
soft snow, flotation and tip-flex are what really matters. The
backcountry (forest) skis I'm discussing are typically 210 to
280cm tall and 7cm wide skis. They also have, typically,
insufficient camber stifness for the weight of the skier by XC
standards: Ie the kick base often 'drags' a bit, which kind of
makes smaller differences in the glide waxing irrelevant.

For bc skis, a careful stifness/weight match would be rather
useless too, as the skier weight will vary upto 60lbs or more
depending on the pack worn. Too stiff is a no-no though, it
kills mobility.
  #4  
Old March 15th 04, 03:39 PM
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Default Icing on waxless skis

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

In article , MB *@*.* wrote:
Me
In such conditions
grip (not only backwards, btw) tends to be much more important
than glide, but...


Hal Murray
I can't figure out what you are trying to say.


My point is that proper waxing makes handling more difficult in
certain conditios (steep small-scale rough terrain, off-trail),
and actually lowers the average speed.


_ Any ski that can't be waxed is just a snowshoe with delusions
of grandeur.


If the skis are sticky enough so that they help you not go
forward when you are in steep forested terrain,


The differences here are subtle. An unwaxed non-porous base ski
will still glide pretty well forward, but it is easier to handle
especially in difficult climbs (up or down) than a properly
waxed. It's my experience with myself and others on the skis.

While glide is important, minor differences in glide are
very secondary in difficult or heavy skiing conditions. In
soft snow, flotation and tip-flex are what really matters. The
backcountry (forest) skis I'm discussing are typically 210 to
280cm tall and 7cm wide skis. They also have, typically,
insufficient camber stifness for the weight of the skier by XC
standards: Ie the kick base often 'drags' a bit, which kind of
makes smaller differences in the glide waxing irrelevant.


_ You're talking about skis and conditions that really have
no parallel to us North Americans. The only 280cm skis you can
get in the USA are jumping skis. For the conditions you
describe, tight trees and deep snow, I would think a 280cm
ski would be very difficult to maneuver, waxed or unwaxed.
The other solution to this problem I've seen is the Siberian
one of very wide ( 100mm + ) and relatively short skis.

_ Booker C. Bense


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  #5  
Old March 15th 04, 05:13 PM
Tommy T.
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Default Icing on waxless skis


"MB" *@*.* wrote in message
280cm tall and 7cm wide skis


I've completely lost the sense of these comments.

Why would anyone choose a 280 cm ski for "small-scale steep forested
terrain?"

Tommy T.


  #6  
Old March 15th 04, 11:26 PM
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Default Icing on waxless skis

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

In article ,
Tommy T. wrote:

"MB" *@*.* wrote in message
280cm tall and 7cm wide skis


I've completely lost the sense of these comments.

Why would anyone choose a 280 cm ski for "small-scale steep forested
terrain?"


_ I guess you have to be finnish or something, but these skis do
exist and are used in Scandinavia. It's only my vague
understanding obtained via the web, but apparently these
things are just the ticket for really deep powder and
relatively flat terrain. And I mean really deep, light
powder like 6 feet or so. This is the best link I could
find off-hand. I'd love to see some pictures of these
things in action.

http://www.helsinki-hs.net/news.asp?id=20020129IE21

_ Booker C. Bense



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  #7  
Old March 16th 04, 10:00 AM
MB
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Posts: n/a
Default Icing on waxless skis

Booker Bense
_ Any ski that can't be waxed is just a snowshoe with delusions
of grandeur.


Nonsense. Unwaxed "waxless" skis beat snowshoes with ease in
speed, dexterity and efficiency. Not to mention fun. And with
a wide margin on all points.

_ You're talking about skis and conditions that really have
no parallel to us North Americans. The only 280cm skis you can
get in the USA are jumping skis. For the conditions you
describe, tight trees and deep snow, I would think a 280cm
ski would be very difficult to maneuver, waxed or unwaxed.


As I said, the backcountry forest skis come in different
lenghts, current ones typically 210 to 280cm, all of
these nowadays 7cm wide. For the conditions that I
described, steep and small-scale, I prefer my 225cm shorties,
although 250cm is still manageable for me (177cm tall). I find
that heel turns and fishbone - the factors limiting the
mobility of longer skis - are still practical with 250cm.

Longer skis yet (even 300+cm) are markedly more efficient in
easier (ie less steep, more open) terrain in deep soft snow
conditions. In easier terrain glide waxing helps too, btw. The
soft snow doesn't need to be that thick in order for the longer
skis to pay off - two feet is plenty enough.

My point about waxing making skis more slippery and thus more
difficult to handle in steep small-scale terrain is entirely
unrelated to ski-lenght, however, as it affects handling in
a completely different way.

For open fjelds (gently rolling mountains) with packed
snow, telemark/"backcountry" skis are often used over here
too: stiffer, shorter, steel edged. Forest skis are quite usable
in the fjelds too, however, although the lack of steel edges can
be a problem.

The other solution to this problem I've seen is the Siberian
one of very wide ( 100mm + ) and relatively short skis.


Such skis are used in Finland too, but aren't very common.
I've got a pair of Karhu's Jakt ('hunting') skis 170cm x
12cm, iirc. They resemble the (shoter) Karhu Metas(?) sold
in NA, but come with fishscale rather than permanent skins.
Such skis are rather similar in dimension to ancient ones
found in archeological excavations, and represent an early
part part of the evolution from snow shoes to short skis to
unequal lenght skis (long glide ski and short skinned kick ski
(kalhu& lyly)) to equal lenght cambered modern skis.

Wide and fat was much easier to manufacture with primitive
means, and, more relevant to modern times, requires much
less skill from the skier. But, they are easily outperformed
by a reasonably skilled skier on proper (longer) skis in
practically any terrain.

There are several problems with short&fat: The biggest one is the
lack of end flex: a short ski simply can't flex that much. Firstly,
the lack of flex tends to result in noseplants in rough terrain,
as the tips submerge and get stuck rather than bend over an obstacle.
This is very obvious with XC-track skis in rough off-trail too,
btw. Secondly, submersion of stiff tips severly hurts practical
flotation when opening track - again, rather the same as with small
XC skis. In addition, more snow has to be displaced with wide&short
than with long&thin with similar surface pressure, so opening track
is heavier with thick shorties for this reason too. Otoh, thick&fat
of course outperforms small XC-track skis in opening track due to
the better flotation allowed by the lower surface pressure.

  #8  
Old March 23rd 04, 09:34 PM
pinnah
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Default Icing on waxless skis

"MB" *@*.* wrote in message
280cm tall and 7cm wide skis


Tommy T. wrote:
I've completely lost the sense of these comments.

Why would anyone choose a 280 cm ski for "small-scale steep forested
terrain?"


Booker wrote:
_ I guess you have to be finnish or something, but these skis do
exist and are used in Scandinavia. It's only my vague
understanding obtained via the web, but apparently these
things are just the ticket for really deep powder and
relatively flat terrain. And I mean really deep, light
powder like 6 feet or so. This is the best link I could
find off-hand. I'd love to see some pictures of these
things in action.



Hey Markus (and Booker),

First off, long time no "see". Hope all is well with you.

Markus, 4 or 5 years ago, you used to have some pretty instructive
pictures posted to the web of you and a friend bashing about.
This would be a great time to repost a url if one exists.

Also, if you have any urls about NATO bindings and boots, that would
be cool too.

Dave Mann
  #9  
Old March 24th 04, 08:24 AM
Anders Lustig
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Default Icing on waxless skis

pinnah wrote in message . ..

Also, if you have any urls about NATO bindings and boots, that would
be cool too.


And while you are it, can you identify or date a pair of
old wooden skis I found inside the garbage shed: Lampinen,
"yleis11", wide, stiff and heavy, 190+ cm, Tyrolia bindings,
plenty of that "No need to heat!"-tar all over?


Anders
  #10  
Old March 26th 04, 08:06 AM
MB
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Default Icing on waxless skis

Dave
Hey Markus (and Booker),


First off, long time no "see". Hope all is well with you.


Hi Dave, nice to see you too .

Markus, 4 or 5 years ago, you used to have some pretty instructive
pictures posted to the web of you and a friend bashing about.
This would be a great time to repost a url if one exists.


I seem to get involved in discussing backcountry forsest skis
almost every year, below's an extract from rsn last winter which
has some URL's. Each time it bugs me that I rarely carry a camera
(and when I do it's an analog one) and all the coolest tricks remain
undocumented. Some of the modern forest skis are strong enough
to allow powerful techniques that would have easily broken the old
wooden ones, but people in general tend to be unaware of this.

Perhaps me&co should some year do a forest ski&technique documention
trip. I might have a few old pics of the gear itself non-online,
and, if I can find them, I could e-mail them on request (the same
ones Dave got years ago).

: I don't know of any detailed online pics of the skis themselves.
: Below are some links to pics on the web pages of some of my
: friends, where various forest skis can be seen.

: Some of the pics show typical conditions, and others
: not so typical at all, yet others are rather old and
: obscure . Happy surfing.

: http://www.sll.fi/mpe/vodla/88Sy.JPG
: http://www.sll.fi/mpe/vodla/92K.JPG
: http://www.megabaud.fi/~jel/pp/sarjak1.htm
: http://www.kolumbus.fi/laaksonen.jou...nat/lemm98.htm
: http://www.sll.fi/mpe/sisa/smhl/index.html
: http://www.sll.fi/mpe/sisa/oo/003/index.html
: http://www.sll.fi/mpe/lapinmetsa/panoramas/index.html

Also, if you have any urls about NATO bindings and boots, that would
be cool too.


Unfortunately, still none. There's a good pic of old Swedish mil
bindings on old skis with new boots, though:
http://www.billingedalen.com/bilder/m90vkanga.jpg

Btw, Erä magazine of this month tested about all the off-track
skiing gear that's currently commercially availble in Finland.
Skis, poles, bindings, boots. The story isn't available online
though. Nato bindings were tested too, although it was noted that
the availability is bad. The Swedish bindings got the lowest
score of the lot in the forest category, btw, although they too
were found to be ok. The author was Jouni L, who's also found
in some of the old pics above.


 




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