Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Materials and more Materials.

The second ski class was based around materials and what goes into a ski. They asked us to watch videos of skis being made before class to get a idea of how the process works.  The style of construction used is called sandwich construction. You literally build the ski layer by layer. You start with the base and edges then run rubber strips along the edges and add fiber glass. Then you follow that by adding the core and more fiber glass and carbon fibers if that is what you choose.  You then add side walls, tip and tail spacers and more fiber glass over the mounting area and then the top sheet.  I am not sure this is the exact order but its close.  We also discussed the weight of skis and how each material affects the weight of the skis. The types of materials we will be using are Poplar core,  2.0 mm edges durasurf bases, UHMW top sheets and sidewalls, Carbon fiber and Fiber glass.
The most interesting part of class to me was talking about core profiles. I just figured the flex of the ski was determined by how much fiber glass you used rather than the core profile. We were shown on a graph 2 core profiles.  One was a symmetrical core that had a buildup in the middle of the ski, giving it more of an equal tip and tail flex. The second was a traditional core where the buildup was moved back from the center of the core giving the ski a more traditional feel.  We also talked about how milling just a fraction of the tip or tail or waist will change the flex.  The flex can also be altered by the weight of the fiber glass, carbon and how much of each you use in building the ski.
Overall, it was a great class and I’m looking forward to getting started.  I have been trying to decide which type of ski to build. As of now, I think I’m going to build something around 188 cm in length and a 115 mm waist.  This is more of a charger directional ski that will compliment my current quiver of skis quite well.  I have an idea of my graphics, the rocker and camber profile and the flex I want out of this ski. Let’s get started!

Raw Material Pics for skis

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ski Building 101

About 3 weeks ago, I got a email from Jared at Bluehouse Skis telling me they were going to start a ski building class and he asked what I thought. He explained that the class would be 8 weeks long and anyone who did it would get to design a pair skis from start to finish. The first session of classes will be the pilot classes to see how things will work and to see what adjustmens will need to be made for future classes. During the classes, a person will get to design a mold, pick the materials, pick the graphics and chose the rocker and the camber profile of their skis. You get to make two pairs of skis total.  You get to design one mold and then pick one of theirs molds to make the second pair. They will help you build the first pair of skies and if you choose, you can build the 2nd pair on your own. After getting to ski on the 191 Pricint with the new rocker profile, I was sold.  They skied great! So sign me up.  This is something I have always wanted to do.

The first class started last Thursday.  We talked about what kind of skies we would like to design, had a tour of the shop and received a overview of the different equipment and materials we would be using. And so it begins. I have my homework and I have a friend, Kenzie Morris designing my graphics for my skis. I have two ideas I'm trying to decide between.  I am either going to make a all mountain ski with a 110 mm waist, tip rocker and tail kick or a powder ski with 125 mm waist. I just am not sure which to make. I am also interested in making a ski that is similar to the Pricint but I would change the flex and chop 5cm off the tail.  You can comment if you have any opinions. I will be documenting the whole process from start to finish on my blog describing the experience and posting pictures. Should be a great time and a interesting journey.