New Season, New Skis, New Tune
DICK COE; MILA LONE T TO (RIGH T)
with a very sharp plastic scraper, make a few passes to clean
up some of the hairs on the base. A hot scrape here is also a
good idea, with beta mix or an equivalent hydrocarbon wax.
The skis will not be very fast the next time you’re on snow, but
after a few coats of wax and three to five times on snow — even
if it’s just for two or three runs — you’ll see a difference.
Ryan Cornish, a technician for the U.S. women’s alpine team, dis-tingiushed himself on the ladies speed circuit with his great attitude
and attention to detail.
Ryan Eittreim: Maximizing a Machine Base Structure
After grinding your race skis, make sure that you ski on them
a few times before competing. Although many shops use an
overlay or facing structure, the race structure of the skis works
like a bell curve. They will gradually get faster as the structure
“breaks in” and it reaches a sweet spot. After several runs on
that sweet spot, the structure will gradually slow until it is applied again.
Ryan Eittreim is the sales manager for Wintersteiger and works
closely with tech staff from all disciplines at the USST’s Center of
Graham Lonetto: Sidewall Prep
The sidewalls are the material above the side edge and below
the topsheet of a ski. When a ski is on edge, the sidewall is in
the snow. Just as a boot at aggressive angles can hit the snow
and inhibit edgehold (known as booting-out), the sidewall, if
angled improperly, can create the same phenomenon. Sidewall
material must be removed from the ski so the metal edges can
dig deep into the snow without interference.
Most race skis are built with a vertical sidewall or torsion box
construction. This means the sidewall is vertical for the entire
length of the skis edge. When skis are built, the manufacturers
will sand or plane about a 5-degree trapezoid shape into the
sidewall material of the ski. But the first and last 12 inches of
the skis are left vertical. The tips and tails are left without shape
because the manufacturers’ machines can, and will, damage
these thinner, delicate areas. These areas of the sidewall are
left for the athlete or technician to shape for maximum performance and edge hold.
It’s important to carry the overall 5-degree sidewall shape into
the tip and tail of the ski when prepping a new pair of race skis.
Removing this material will make the skis more powerful on
edge and easier
to maintain when
Another challenge presented
by excess sidewall
material is the difficulty in achieving
precise side edge
bevels. Before you
can accurately pull
a file on a side
material has to
be removed. Otherwise, your file
will be resting on
instead of directly
on the metal edge. As a result, you will pull negative angles
instead of the angles you want.
Shaping sidewalls is a very difficult task. If you have no experience at this process, I strongly recommend that you have your
ski technician set up the sidewalls for you. A file will not cut the
fiberglass that is used in the construction of the sidewall, so
there are specific tools that have been developed to cut the
material and pull it away from the metal edge.
Graham Lonetto, a former World Cup technician for the USST, is
the owner of Edgewise Ski Service in Stowe, Vt.