How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby NoCleverName » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:43 am

HighAngles wrote: I have used 1.0* out at the tips and tails, 0.7* in the forebody and just behind the binding heel, and 0.5* underfoot (directly below the binding area).


You're dreaming if you think you can control those angles with standard hand equipment. The 0.25 degree difference between 0.5 and 0.75 degrees is about 0.0005 inches of metal (that's 1/10 the diameter of #36 wire) ... and that's at the far edge. Near the base the removal has to be zero. As far as the grinding machines go, maybe you can count on something resembling accuracy just after they put on a new, freshly dressed stone. After a few days or weeks of chopping thru skis of questionable edges ... not likely.

While there's probably some sort of performance difference between skis with 1 degree and 2 degree bevels, I'm thinking the differences claimed for small differences between 0 and 1 are largely observer bias. Run some blind tests with three or five similar skis on the same run using a couple of different settings and maybe I'll believe it ... a little.
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby Smackboy1 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:14 pm

HighAngles wrote:I don't want to further complicate this discussion, but I thought I would mention another approach that I've used on a couple pairs of my skis this season that has worked very well. The approach uses a "progressive" variable base edge bevel. Progressive means that the bevel is variable down the length of the ski. I have used 1.0* out at the tips and tails, 0.7* in the forebody and just behind the binding heel, and 0.5* underfoot (directly below the binding area).

So if you have control of your edge bevels (you're doing them yourself and you have the experience to set them correctly) or you have a trusted shop that knows what they're doing, then this approach can give you the best of both worlds; a more "relaxed" base bevel out on the tips and tails with a more responsive base bevel underfoot. This is clearly a more advanced approach, but should be considered in a more complete discussion of base bevels for high performance skiing.


This is the so called "radial base bevel"? Someone was telling me about this and how it requires a special setting on the machine. What kind of conditions and what type of skis benefit most from a radial base bevel?
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby Max_501 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:29 pm

NoCleverName wrote:While there's probably some sort of performance difference between skis with 1 degree and 2 degree bevels, I'm thinking the differences claimed for small differences between 0 and 1 are largely observer bias. Run some blind tests with three or five similar skis on the same run using a couple of different settings and maybe I'll believe it ... a little.


HH can easily identify a .5 or 1 degree base. I know because I've tested him on a couple of occasions. I'm sure Heluva, Jbotti, and many other high level skiers can feel the difference. And a beginner on a .5 will complain that the ski is too grabby.
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby ToddW » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:57 pm

NCN,

Yes there is an issue with mechanical tolerances. But a ski that has been nominally tuned to 0.5 skis very differently ... unmistakably differently ... than a ski that has been nominally tuned to 1 base.
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby jbotti » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:17 pm

Something to remember with skiing and almost all endeavors in life is return on invested time. For many skiers on this forum spending an extra 45 minutes on tipping drills will deliver vastly superior results than spending 2 hours on finding the right base grind. I'm not saying it can't make a difference but how much time and energy is to get the result? In general I prefer not to base grind my skis and I try to ski the factory grind as long as possible. I have had too many bad base grinds where I could never get the ski back to the way they skied before it.

HA loves this stuff and its a passion for him so the time he spends on it is fun for him. So if its fun go ahead and mess around and learn what you can. Otherwise dedicate the time to drills!!
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby NoCleverName » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:31 pm

Myself, I have no personal experience ... I'm sure my skis have had all sorts of angles on them but it hasn't made a wit's worth of difference to me :) ... which only means at MY level it isn't super critical. And that's my point. If somehow PMTS is absolutely impossible to learn without exactly the right equipment tuned to exactly the right specifications ... what good is it? Is it really a case of the tools and not the craftsman?

Obviously, no one here (including myself) is going to argue that. The system works even though I don't have "perfect" equipment to either "learn it" or "do it" with. As far as I can tell, the only barriers to learning PMTS (tool-wise) are too-wide skis and bad boot fitting. There is no reason to obsess about equipment and tuning. Otherwise, it's going to be mighty expensive for Welch Mtn to run a beginner's ski school. :lol:

Now I will grant you that the competent PMTS practitioner has the ability to draw from their equipment far more than the TTS graduate (if anyone actually graduates from TTS :P ). This, to me, at even my lowly level of accomplishment is clear.

So 2 degrees or 3? Who cares? As long as you can find a slope to practice your garlands without being picked off by boarders or death-wedge TTS students, it won't matter.
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby Max_501 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:50 pm

NoCleverName wrote:Myself, I have no personal experience ... I'm sure my skis have had all sorts of angles on them but it hasn't made a wit's worth of difference to me :) ... which only means at MY level it isn't super critical.[/i]


How do you know if you have personal experience? Is it possible that you'd be progressing at a faster rate if you had and maintained edge bevels well suited for the type of conditions you are on?

NoCleverName wrote:So 2 degrees or 3? Who cares? As long as you can find a slope to practice your garlands without being picked off by boarders or death-wedge TTS students, it won't matter.


If you are talking about base bevel then it really is a huge difference and the ski should be given a grind and taken back to 1 right away. No difference for side edge bevel in most conditions.
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:01 pm

Max_501 wrote: I'm sure Heluva, Jbotti, and many other high level skiers can feel the difference.


I can feel the difference on a hard surface before I even make a turn. For those with sensitive edge feel, they can usually feel how an edge is going to react while standing in the lift line.
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby HighAngles » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:11 pm

Well I guess I should have expected that a bit of a firestorm would ensue. As JBotti stated, this is a "passion" for me so I like to experiment with different things in my setup. Mind you that I own a fleet of skis (well over 12 in the current active quiver) and I've only begun experimenting with this idea on 2 pairs of skis. Would I be able to differentiate in a blind test? I think so on hard pack. I can say this from my experimentation. Note that I do not like (cannot sufficiently handle) a 0.5* base bevel across the entire ski. Although the last time I tested that was a few seasons ago so my observation could be different now since my skiing is now different/better.

BTW - This is all the rage in high level racing currently (including some on the World Cup). Do some searches and you'll find lots of chatter about variable base bevels and how they're being used.

BBTW - Absolutely agree with JBotti that your time is most likely better spent on drills (on skis that are at least setup with consistent quality bevels).
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby Max_501 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:19 pm

HighAngles wrote:Note that I do not like (cannot sufficiently handle) a 0.5* base bevel across the entire ski. Although the last time I tested that was a few seasons ago so my observation could be different now since my skiing is now different/better.


Based on what I saw with your skiing last season, my suggestion is to test again. On my carvers I'm only running .5 and I love it. Made the switch after input from HH.
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:23 pm

NoCleverName wrote:The system works even though I don't have "perfect" equipment to either "learn it" or "do it" with. As far as I can tell, the only barriers to learning PMTS (tool-wise) are too-wide skis and bad boot fitting.


PMTS is designed to target deficiencies and overcome them through coaching, drills, video, alginment, and proper equipement selection. Just as the drills they are doing change based on the current SMIM; equipment needs may change as a skier develops. If a skier knowingly chooses equipment that may handicap their progress, they are only doing themselves a disservice; just as if a skier were to try to blend PMTS with a TTS approach. The correct approach is well documented and the results are proven.
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby NoCleverName » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:45 pm

The book is called "Anyone Can Be an Expert Skier", not "Anyone on Head Skis Tuned to 0.5/3 for Hard Snow And With Dodge Boots Can Be an Expert Skier" . Now, HH has been pilloried for calling the book what he did, but I think that anyone skiing on most anything anywhere can make important improvements in all the Essentials by heeding at least some of the advice. This is not true for other so-called "systems". There is nothing in PMTS, even taken in isolation, that is bad for you.

I look at as if it was called "Everyone Would be Better Off If They Did Just Something in This Book". So I resist demanding you start at Chapter 1 Page 1 and then the number shall be 2, etc. Most people don't have enough ski days in the year to consider that, so cherry-picking is inevitable. Now, if this forum is advertized as Only for the Elite or Those Who Would Be Elite, then it's missing the boat.

I'm sorry, but I don't wish to reach the 12th-degree double-black level where I can tell in the lift line that my run will be perfect because I have chosen the proper equipment for today's conditions and terrain. I have a simpler goal: just have fun. I think this is pretty much the same goal all the other slobs slogging through the lift line have, too. For me, PMTS has turned situations that in the past Were Not Fun in those that in large part Are Fun.

Nevertheless, I realize learning PMTS does take a certain amount of devotion. Most skiers don't understand the amount of time it takes to get better. Maybe it's just a matter of expectations: after all, in all the other lessons they took they were just one or two "tricks" away from conquering the mountain, weren't they?

But I'm sort of arguing against myself. Yes, it takes time to learn. No, I don't think one needs a Master's in Skiing to enjoy the sport. Is there a middle ground? (To be fair, it only takes a lot of time to learn because you have so much to unlearn).
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby RRT » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:04 pm

I've been following this thread and am wondering if anyone would care to present a brief synopsis (Max, High Angles, etc. ?) of the tuning of ski base and bevels as they pertain to level of skier, groomed, off piste, etc.? I know it's imbedded in the discussions but I'm finding it hard to discern and easy to get confused especially with the disagreement going on.

Eg.: .5 - 1; 2 for hard conditions; 1; 3 for soft

It may not help by way of agreement but it would provide a basis upon which to experiment.
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Re: How critical are base/edge angles to PMTS?

Postby Max_501 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:06 pm

Green/Blue Level PMTS skier -

All skis 1 base / 3 side (or 1/2 if you only ski in soft snow)

Dark Blue Level PMTS skier -

Carving skis* - .7 base / 3 side or 1/3 (if you are having trouble with a making a chatter free brush)

Off piste skis - 1 base / 2 side or 1/3 (if you ski in off piste with variable and sometimes icy conditions)

Black Level PMTS skier -

Carving skis* - .5 base / 3 side or .7/3 or 1/3 (if you are having trouble with a making a chatter free brush)

Off piste skis - 1 base / 2 side or 1/3 (if you ski in off piste with variable and sometimes icy conditions)

* if you are skiing in the PNW (including Tahoe) you may want to stick with a 1 degree base bevel because anything less can feel grabby in that type of snow.

Note - if you have the bases set to .5 and the shop doesn't finish by hand you may want to do a soft finishing pass or two yourself with a fine file. This will smooth out the edge and lead to a smooth slicing feel.

Disclaimer: Every ski tuner is slightly different and every machine and stone for the tune is slightly different (unfortunately some are way off). So the actual results may vary, and the quality of the tune you get will depend on the quality of your tuner and the accuracy of the tools and machines they use.

These standards have been approved by Harald Harb, Heluvaskier, Jbotti, and Max_501
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