Faster Skis in Warm Weather
We are very lucky to have our man-made snow loops to keep skiing happening even with above freezing temps for two weeks straight. This weather certainly wasn’t in our plan book – but we at Gear West are making the best of things by testing warm weather products: skis, hand structures and grinds for the warm, crumbly and wet snow.
There are plenty of ways to boost your enjoyment even with warm and wet conditions. Designated warm skis, warm structure patterns, hand-structure tools, warm weather waxes are our focus these past several weeks.
If you are disappointed in your ski’s performance in the recent wet snow, consider adding a warm ski to your ski quiver. Skis are built with different flex patterns. Warm skis have considerably less contact zone with the snow and more tip and tail splay, allowing for the ski to break suction easier and ride over loose snow. When these warm skis are paired with the correct grind structure in the base material they excel in glide. You will be amazed that even without fluoro waxes, warms skis and an aggressive grind can make skiing in wet slushy snow, super fun.
If a new ski is not a solution for you, there are effective ways to boost performance of your currents skis in warm conditions. Aggressive warm, stone grinds can turn skis into a warm weather rocket. Through the stonegrinding process we flatten skis, polish them, and add a structure pattern to the base material. Warm weather grinds have deeper grooves and rougher patterns that help to displace water under the ski and break suction. A sophisticated stonegrinding machine and a knowledgeable operator has the ability to program in a grind which varies the depth and pressure of grinds as the ski is passing over the stone. Skis with less structure at the tip and more structure at the tail displace water better in the places on the ski where it is needed most. Warm stone grinds can help your current skis run better in warm conditions or can help to turn that second pair of skis in your garage into a warm weather ski.
We have also used the warm weather as an opportunity to test some of the new non-fluor warm weather waxes and application techniques. We are still learning about the products in this category, but have identified some good waxes that can help to boost performance when paired with the right ski and structure. Check the website for our race wax recommendations or stop in to chat with us about waxes we recommend.
Lastly – a good hand structure tool can go a long way towards making skis fast in warm, wet conditions. Hand structure tools press a temporary structure into base material to produce a pattern that helps displace moisture, same as a stone grind. The benefit is that these structures are mostly temporary and will ‘pop out’ with a wax job plus scraping and brushing. We test a lot of tools during a winter and one of our favorites has been the new Toko Structurite Tool. This tool is very easy to use and comes with three different structure patterns that work well in different conditions. You can experiment and tweak the three different structure patterns using multiple passes or varying pressure with your passes,. This tool is inexpensive and invaluable to coaches and athletes in warm times.
Regardless of your ability level and commitment to the sport, everyone can benefit from a little know-how when it comes to boosting your ski’s performance. Stop in and chat with us about ways that we can help you enjoy fast skis during warm days.