Rock skis.... Why do skiers ski over rocks?

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by Coolhand, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Coolhand

    Coolhand Putting on skis Skier

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    Locally, we are having a thin snow year. Our turn, I guess.

    Our Demo and rental skis are getting wrecked, far worse than normal. We are seeing a much higher incidence of core shots and pulled out edges, and outright broken skis. Customers equipment as well...

    So, are skis becoming more fragile and less durable than in years past? IDK, has the ultralight trend gone too far?

    Or

    Are skiers attitudes and habits causing this? Is it that people just don't care if they ski in the rocks or avoid obstacles? Is it the mentality that "It's a rental, who cares?" ? What really gets to me, is that renters, will argue with you about ski damage that they are clearly responsible for. They blame the ski or the conditions, when confronted with a bill for repair.

    I get that accidents happen, and sometimes rock damage is unavoidable. But, most of the time, damage can be avoided if you are paying attention. As the guy that repairs and tunes skis for a living, I very, very, rarely get any damage to my skis when I am skiing. I ski very aggressively, but I certainly pay attention to the snow conditions and where I put my skis.

    Curious, what folks on this forum think.

    Are skis just fragile?

    Do you have experience with ski brands that are tough and resist edge blow outs and/or core shots?

    Is this shop guy, just whining?

    ;)
     
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  2. Tytlynz64

    Tytlynz64 Getting on the lift Skier

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    Or the rocks are hidden under thin snow cover that is indiscernible from the rest of the run? That was my isse.
     
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  3. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    This season is actually not as bad here as 4 seasons ago.

    - deep tilling by groomers increases free rock churn
    - freeze/thaw/rain cycles make snow unpredictable and skiers go wider off the groom
    - thin cover as mentioned above
     
  4. Pequenita

    Pequenita Out on the slopes Skier

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    This isn't about rocks....but yesterday late in the day, I apparently skied right over fencing and sort of skied over the wooden pole that lifties were rolling up as part of lift closing procedures. I say apparently because while I saw the roll on the side and the lightweight wooden pole on the ground, I didn't see anything on the ground except for the pole at the very last minute because I was looking at the bigger object ahead, the lift. The liftie was pissed off at me, and my friend agrees that I really did ski over the fence, but I don't think I did and didn't see anything because I'm 5' tall and don't have a great angle to seeing something flat on ground that is also flat. Yes, I came in too fast to change direction over the pole, and I actually thought I was going to bite it when one ski went over it, so that is my fault. But I never saw the fencing and can only assume it was on the ground?

    All a long way of saying I think people don't see a lot of the obstacles underfoot or are already committed to a direction when they do see it.
     
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  5. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator

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    I think there may be a "cool" factor in riding over some rocks. "Dude, did you see that face? I think I must have hit 6 rocks on the way down. Heheh!" "DUDE YOU KILLED IT!"
    I can't speak to the rental end of it but it seems with the advent of "big mountain" skiing lots of folks are willing to sacrifice equipment for the "big" run, whether it's big mountain or that little lip that's barely covering a rock. We saw a telemarker come down a run a few weeks ago. He was under the lift and we could see the rock on the downhill side but he couldn't see it from above. He slid over the top and went straight to rock for about 3'. Ghastly noise! If he didn't pull his edge out those were tough skis!

    Another story was when I was at the Moment factory. They do lifetime edges and waxing, plus base repair. A kid came in with his park skis and the Moment guy asked if he skied more on the hill or in the parking lot. The bases looked like someone took a rasp to them. Bent edges, deep gouges, just generally abused, not used.
     


  6. Catskill carver

    Catskill carver Out on the slopes Skier

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    I would say stop whining and put up a sign in your shop telling people not to ski in the parking lot, that’s the #1cause I see on rentals.

    If they are rentals you could charge for excessive wear and tear, although it might backfire if you get pushback from the customer. If the damage is from customers who are willing to pay for repairs, embrace it.
    Here in Big Sky we call it the price of battle and honestly it’s inevitable. Damage is going to happen sooner or later, even with 400 inches annually.

    Would love to know how to avoid the rocks when they’re lurking under 12 inches freshly fallen snow and you just happened to hang one up on a iceberg.

    Picking my skis up later today after a massive core shot on Friday, the damage left a flap so big it was an e-brake, had to cut it off mid run just to keep moving.
    It was a super sweet run until till that happened.
     
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  7. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    I usually see at last minute and cringe..I mean, what can you do? I'm not an expert skier..I do the best I can but sometimes, stuff is in the way of where you're trying to go.
     
  8. Coach13

    Coach13 Getting off the lift Skier

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    I have a hard enough time just skiing on snow...
     
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  9. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Ski design today enables more people to ski off-piste.

    Even if you're careful with your line choice you can hit a good number of rocks as your turns uncover things you didn't realize were there. Even in a very high tide year, on high-traffic trails, I still uncovered stuff hidden under the windbuff yesterday. It happens without malfeasance or abuse.

    There are some manufacturers who make extra durable skis (on3p and Jskis are the only people using 1.8mm 4000-series durasurf bases) and on3p uses 2.5mm edges (most use 2.2mm or smaller). In a shop context, the durablity to cost benefit I doubt is worth the extra $$$.
     
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  10. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    Good reason to go with extruded bases.
     
  11. Wilhelmson

    Wilhelmson Getting off the lift Skier

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    More people skiing in the woods and then ski sideways instead of downhill because they don't know how to ski in the woods.
     
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  12. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    I remember at Alta once we were standing looking how to get around a huge rock outcrop. Then two guys came and skied straight over the rock without pausing and kept going. I'd say we were totally schooled. We hadn't even considered there was such a school.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  13. graham418

    graham418 Out on the slopes Skier

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    When I'm skiing., I am very careful to avoid the rocks. Some places ( I'm thinking of Mt Ste Anne in my youth) have a lot of rocks in the early and late season where its pretty much unavoidable
    In the construction business, we have a saying, " Don't be gentle, Its a rental" Its why you always initial the damage waiver!! ogwink
     
  14. tball

    tball Zipped up Skier

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    Texting and skiing?

    Nope, been getting core shots since long before cell phones. Must be me. :D
     
  15. Don in Morrison

    Don in Morrison I Ski Better on Retro Day Skier

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    If I see rocks, I try to avoid them. Still, I used almost 3 P-tex candles on one pair of skis from last season, used about 8 times, on blue and green groomers. There were a lot of thin spots last year.
     
  16. Wade

    Wade Getting off the lift Skier

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    If there's something I really want to ski, I'm not going to let a few rocks stop me.

    The Cirque at Snowbird is a great example. The ridge above the Cirque is super windswept and regardless of how much cover the mountain has, there are always exposed rocks. If if you refused to ski over rocks to get to it, you'd never ski it, and you'd miss some of the best skiing on the mountain.

    Another example was early season at Alta this year. 20" powder day but with typical early season cover underneath. The snow was super light, and it wasn't hard to hit the bottom even with that much snow, and sometimes the bottom was a rock. Also, High T was a rocky mess in parts, but navigating through it delivered the goods on the other side. I guess I could have skied on the groomers all day and avoided the couple of core shots I picked up, but I also would have missed skiing some awesome snow and great terrain - the hour it took me to repair and tune my skis when I got them home was worth it.
     
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  17. Erik Timmerman

    Erik Timmerman Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I do my best to avoid them sometimes shit happens. As far as the skis are concerned though, I think they are more durable than they have ever been. I'm kind of amazed at how much they can take. In the '80's it was a nightly ritual to light up a P-tex candle.
     

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  18. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    The granite hop is an essential move.

    Today's P-tex seems SO much tougher than in days of old.
     
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  19. Scruffy

    Scruffy Getting off the lift Skier

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    I'm more worried about my edges than the ptex; core shots are easy to fix and if repaired right do not effect the the ski performance, but edges, a rolled edge is not easily revived and performance on ice suffers.
     
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  20. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    We have a little "black diamond" glade run at the small bump where I patrol. It's seldom open due to the amount of rocks and the amount of snow we get. In the past I have been so tempted by it that I have gone in and scratched my skis. Now even though it is very tempting and my favorite run on the hill, I won't ski it until there is way more snow cover, but the kids go in and scratch up their skis. They have no self control. I suspect a lot of adults are in the same boat.

    When I rented demos I avoided the rocky runs. Not all folk seem to have the same respect for someone else's property.
     

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