models, all featuring three layers of Titinal, fiberglass, felt and
rubber, designed explicitly for World Cup racing. (Switzerland’s
Fabienne Suter and Tina Maze have put this idea to the test.) The
SLR is built with Iso core while the GSR, SG and DH have a wood
core. All lay-ups and sidecuts have been reworked and refined for
2009-10. Carefully constructed by hand in the Stöckli Ski Race
Room, the SG and DH models have a very limited production.
$1,279 (GSR and SLR); 168, 175, 180, 185 (GSR); 155, 166 (SLR);
$1,339 (DH and SG); 210, 216 (DH); 201, 210 (SG)
Stöckli Juniors: Stöckli gives young racers the same handmade
construction as adult skis.
$859; 134, 143, 152, 161 (GS); 130, 137, 144 (SL) for $859. A few
lucky juniors may also land a pair of DH lengths in 193.
Völkl Racetiger GS Race Stock
Updated with a new sidecut to meet FIS regulations (sidecut
radius of 23 m or higher; see chart) and with an added length,
Völkl’s Racetiger GS Race Stock skis are constructed with Sensor-
wood cores, milled from vertically laminated poplar and beech.
The skis also have vertical sidewalls and two sheets of titanal for
added strength, edge grip and stability. The longer sizes include
phenolic sidewalls for more rigidity. The Racetiger is designed
for resilience, says Völkl — so the skis are sure to pop just when
you ask them to on tough, nasty GS courses.
$895; 177, 183, 187, 193.
Volkl Juniors: The Junior GS Racetigers come with a Marker
Junior Race Interface plate and feature the same Sensorwood
core with the double sheet of metal in all but the smaller sizes.
$625; 128, 135, 142, 149, 156, 163, 170.
Ryan Eittreim of Wintersteiger shares tips on getting new skis ready to race
Ski Racing: What needs to be done to brand new race skis straight from the factory
to prepare them for competition?
Ryan Eittreim: In most cases, skis coming out of the factory have a general factory
tune on them, mostly designed for skiing in Europe. The structure on the ski will tend
to be more coarse than we would
use for most U.S. resorts, although
not all. Although most race skis are
much flatter than recreational skis
out of the wrapper, we find that a lot
of skis are concave when they are
new. It is important to get the skis
as flat as possible for better glide. In
some instances the concavity can be
so great that it is possible to grind
through the base before you ever
get the ski completely flat. In this
case we are looking at the base in
one-third sections so that the outer two thirds of the base are flat, even if the ski is
still a little concave. It’s very important that the shop chooses a structure that is best
designed for the discipline and conditions that the skis race in most of the time. For
athletes that commonly travel beyond their home region, there are good general
structures that will work for the entire U.S.
SR: How do edges need to be reworked?
RE: Most manufacturers have recommended bevels for each ski they produce. When
a ski comes new, those are typically the bevels that are set. These are good starting
points, and bevels that the manufacturer knows works well on the skis. However, top
technicians know they are setting the bevels for the athlete, more so than for the
skis. It’s important for all racers to know what bevels they prefer for each discipline,
so they can work with a technician to get the same results each time. Most factory
edges come with ceramic disc finishes which are the most accurate, longest lasting
bevels available. You can tell a ceramic disc finish by the small lines on the edge.
Each time we grind the skis, the bevels have to be reset. So, if an athlete is going to
have their skis flattened and structured, they will need to have them beveled again.
If an athlete is not sure which bevels to request, they should request the factory
bevels that came on the ski. It’s very important to remember, that the sidewall must
be removed before beveling to insure proper angles and improve glide when the ski
is on edge.
SR: What happens with base and wax?
RE: Factories typically use either a straight paraffin or a soft warm temperature
wax in production. This allows for the best penetration to help protect the base of
the skis while in the wrapper. Even if the skis are flat with good structure and edges
beveled to the likes of the athlete, conditioning wax is a must. Most technicians like
to hot box new skis to help condition them before using race waxes. Using a warm
temperature wax mixed two–to-one with a graphite will help lubricate the pores and
protect the bases while replenishing some graphite they may have been lost since
production. The skis should be in the hot box for about three to four hours at around
55 degrees Celsius. Once the skis have cooled completely to room temperature,
it’s very important to scrape the excess wax off the base. Most importantly, make
sure to brush using cycles of various brushes to assist in opening and rounding the
structure, always finishing with a horsehair brush. At this point, wax the skis with a
temperature specific hydrocarbon wax for the conditions that the skis will go out in
next. It’s important to repeat the waxing and brushing several times to maximize
wax absorption and glide efficiency of your new structure.
SR: Is there anything a racer should do with the skis after this sort of tune?
RE: All new and freshly ground skis should be skied a little before being taken onto
a racetrack. This is done to break in the skis and work in the structure. The base is
always fastest once the structure has been worn just a little.
SR: What’s the difference in tuning new junior race skis and adult race skis?
RE: Junior skis are much shorter and take less time to do. Other than that, you
should treat all race skis the same.
SR: How does a tuning technician know when new skis are ready to be taken onto a
RE: A good technician knows when the skis are ready when they are done preparing them. This is a cyclical process that top technicians have down. It’s proven that
skis that have been run through a process of being skied, cleaned, maintained and
continuously wax cycled will continue to get faster. Skis that routinely go through
this process will consistently run fast versus sporadic tuning and waxing.