Featured New ski edge bevels

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by Andy Mink, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    I've read several posts that lament the tune out of the box on skis. I've also had the fortune to test a few dozen skis over the last two seasons and have been surprised how many demo and test skis have less than stellar edge tunes. After all, most of the people at the tests are buyers for shops. Wouldn't the company/rep want to remove one of the variables they actually have control over? This got me to pondering, what should an out of the box tune be? I mean, you're dropping hundreds and sometimes in the comma range on some of these skis.

    My thoughts are a race ski, whether it be FIS or cheater/beer league, should come with a zero tune so the buyer can do what they want without having to get back to a .5 or .7 from a 1 on base. A ski made for hard conditions such as back east should be a minimum of 1/2, probably 1/3. Most other recreational skis should be 1/2.

    If nothing else, the tune has to be consistent across the length of the edge. I've seen some skis come out of the box with anywhere between .5 and 2 along the length of the edge. That makes for some weird results. Should any ski be more than 1 on the base? Or more than 3 on the side?

    I suppose my final question is, why are the edges out of box not perfect at whatever bevel they are set to be? Is it a matter of the ski not being completely set up after construction? Is it temp/humidity changes? Worn machines? A little bit of everything?
     
  2. Paul Lutes

    Paul Lutes Getting off the lift Skier

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    Damn Andy ....... next thing you'll be wanting to know is why heterotrophs evolved!

    "It's the way of the universe."
     
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  3. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Well in 2007, we had the answer- Miss South Carolina. Don't know who has the answer today.

     
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  4. eok

    eok Slopefossil Skier

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    She should run for office. She'd do well in 2020.
     
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  5. CalG

    CalG Out on the slopes Skier

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    Doesn't "New edge geometry" depend on the EXACT machinery that the manufacturer has selected to perform the task?

    Certainly we can't expect all manufacturers to have a Wintersteiger, or Montana machine just to "finish" the skis as they are pulled from the aging caves prior to shipment.

    From what I've seen, of the manufacturing process, Ski pairs are "hand selected" by flexing them over a table edge, serial numbers are then stamped. All this "matching" is done after a few passes over a belt.

    I'm sure some makers are more sophisticated, but hey! They have thousands of skis to process, and the snows are coming!
     
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  6. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    It can be a craps shoot.
    How many times do we get a ski direct from the factory and ski it before we take it to @smoothrides?
    Sometimes its great out of the box, sometimes its just okay, and sometimes its in bad need of a tune.
     
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  7. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    I feel your pain (as do many skiers, many without even realizing it).

    Whether the inaccuracy is due to the skis further curing/settling-in or less-than-stellar final finishing is irrelevant. The fact is that most skis are not 100% perfect after manufacturing when it comes to the tune. That's why the prevailing advice from those in the know is to always have a new ski tuned. As you noted, there should be more thought given by the manufacturers as to what specs the bevels should be set at, but most just slap a 1/1 on the skis and call it good. With race skis that makes little to no sense at all.

    I have found over the years that the tuning issues are especially common around the widest points at the tips and tails. This must have something to do with the machinery that most manufacturers are using. The side edges at those points are typically "squeezed" and have a depression. Also, the base bevels are almost never consistent through the up-turn of the tips and tails (if they're turned up). So the sage advice is to find a shop that provides excellent ski tuning services or learn to do it yourself.
     
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  8. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    ....and related to that; why do people post here asking what the factory tune is?
     
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  9. Thread Starter
    TS
    Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    I just find it unfortunate that a consumer may have to drop another $50-$100 to make a pair of skis "right".:huh:
     
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  10. Thread Starter
    TS
    Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    Like length and width dimensions I think factory tune specs should be easily accessible. Not necessarily printed on the top sheet but easily found.
     
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  11. Noodler

    Noodler Now trading turns for swings... Skier

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    I think there's an assumption on the part of some skiers that the factory tune bevel angles are "recommended" for a particular ski by the manufacturer. What is missing is that edge bevel angles should be matched to the skier's preferences/skills, not specifically to the ski. At least that's my belief.
     
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  12. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    They have to get bindings on 'em, no?

    Both Elan and Atomic have done this until they were blue in the face; didn't help because a) skiers want exact numbers so specs like 1.5+/-0.5 were disregarded and b) absolute numbers like 1 base and 3 side were disbelieved.
     
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  13. Thread Starter
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    Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator Pugski Ski Tester

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    A given unless it's a system ski. Bad tunes shouldn't be a given.
     
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  14. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    Both Elan and Atomic did this until they were blue in the topsheet. Atomic's was so specific that everyone knew better (read: different) and Elan's was so general that nobody knew what it meant.

    Because getting edges perfect out of the box is like winning a circular argument. A bevel is defined from a flat base - but on a new ski "flat" bases are defined by a straight line between edge high points. You can't use the topsheet or the ski thickness as a reference - that accuracy is completely unknown.

    There is no "correct" datum plane physically observable on the ski. It is only later, when there are large averages (average straight lines between edge high points and average planes of ski base) ground into the ski, that we assume those averages are a reference. Those large scale averages are only "correct" in a "future cost minimum" sense, there is no saying how much it cost in grinding or alignment to get there.

    My point here is - current factory tunes are to "perfect" factory tunes like flat skis are to system skis. Yes, there is extra expenditure after the purchase, but letting everyone find their own optima keeps them happier.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
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  15. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Out on the slopes Skier

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    Mine had jagged file marks at the tips and tail; once I filed those down they were great. Light stoning on the base edges indicates they're a pretty consistent 1 degree. Seems that b&m shops could add some value by tuning new skis for a discount - wishful thinking?
     
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  16. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    The good ones already do this.
     
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  17. Doug Briggs

    Doug Briggs Skiing the powder Industry Insider Pugski Ski Tester

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    Most skis from major manufacturers come in with a machine tune. The aberrations in the tunes can be from wear in the machine, operator, skis still not fully cured or a combination of these things. The tunes are generally not bad but can't be relied on.

    Skis from indie manufacturers are all over the board. Some just belt sand the bases which is a poor finish but also doen't really flatten a ski from tip to tail reliably. Those skis require an excessive amount of preparation to ski well. Others are bettter and some are excellent. I won't discuss brands specifically.

    Race skis can come with nice tunes or none at all. Head puts labels on their skis that haven't been tuned indicating that they require tuning. This is akin to plug boots that come with non-DIN soles.

    orca-image-1512611480213.jpg_1512611480376.jpeg

    I received 18 pairs of Fischer skis to mount and tune for demos a few weeks ago. The higher end ones came with .5 and 3. The junior models came with 1 and 3. We wanted .75 and 3 so did all of the high end skis with the Scout. We did some touch up on the junior models, but mostly just waxing as their edges checked out.
     
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  18. Sibhusky

    Sibhusky Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Really, this thread should be a sticky somewhere so that the "factory tune" members (I used to be one years ago) can see it. 99% of my ski friends think they got a factory tune and that when they took it in to the shop, the shop used those specs when they tuned the ski. They don't believe me when I tell them there isn't one.
     
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  19. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Maybe on race skis?
    I know few shops that grind a new ski without asking.

    The fact is, few people want to pay for a new ski, then pay for it to be ground. They think it's unnecessary, or they think the shop is ripping them off. Like when the shop tells people they can't touch their non indemnified binding.

    Some skis are unskiable, some are bad, some ok, some are very good.

    People might want to read this post about an expensive ski series, Volkl V werks, that often arrives in horrible shape.
     
  20. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Out on the slopes Skier

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    I'm not even talking about a grind, if the bases are ok just hit the edges so they are skiable. If you pay $800 for new skis and they're so railed they need a $100 grind and tune, well that's life.
     

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