Dave’s Superguides

No sooner had I dropped off the newly repaired Scotts with Doug than I was picking up another set from his mate Dave. Dave’s skis are a year older and, remarkably, had sustained even more damage than Doug’s. It’s not often you see a bulge like this:

The destruction continues on the underside:

The edge started to come away after a bump and Doug decided he had nothing to lose by sticking some unnamed adhesive in there before heading off for another week’s skiing. It all seemed to hold together but it means an extra step for me as I have to pick all the gunk out of the wound.

Regular readers will know that there is only one path from here – clean out the gunk, straighten the edge as far as is possible, sloop some hot Araldite in and clamp that puppy good & tight for a couple of days.

Once the wraps were off it didn’t look too bad if I say so myself.

The edge is shiny with Araldite which will need to be cut off, but not bad – only a slight upward curve . The base was even better with a nice straight line and the topside bulge completely absent:

You can see from that snap that the base was pretty badly scraped up. Here’s another picture of the damage, before the edge was glued:

As I’ve pointed out before there’s next to no P-tex on these touring ski bases, so we need to weld in new material and scrape it down to size.

Just in case that doesn’t look like enough new P-tex here’s another one:

The photo above highlights a couple of things – mainly the shocking state of dave’s bases, but also my mantra about long linear scratches not really being a problem – they just become part of the structure. I’ll only fill them if they’re just a bit too deep to ignore. However the diagonal scrapes, and any hollows, will need to be filled as best we can.

So, after scraping off the excess P-tex, structuring the base, sorting the edges and waxing the skis here’s the original knackered edge:

You can still make out the scrape that led to the edge battering but it’s all pretty much where it needs to be and ready to go off and find some early season snow. Here’s another shot, this time with Fraser’s much less problematical K2s:

Doug’s Superguides

I don’t get many Scott skis through the Cave and the ones that have been in have tended to be stiff & weighty piste skis. So it was interesting to see Doug’s Superguide tourers:

The skis are very lightweight and boast wood, carbon fibre & aramid (presumably kevlar) in their construction. Like a lot of touring skis they have skinny P-tex on the base – somewhere between 0.8 & 1.0 mm, instead of the 1.2 or even 1.8 mm on sturdier equipment. They also have thin edges, which might be stainless – the Scott website has dumbed everything down so no help there. Stainless edges are the very devil to sharpen, they are much more prone to breaking than normal carbon steel and they can get quite discoloured even if they don’t actually rust. I’m not a fan.

Anyway the skis had a few little issues with rather a lot of stone damage.

There was a baby core shot:

An edge break:

A fracture in the lacquer on the topside:

And finally a bent upwards edge. The base was also a bit warped from all the rockhopping. This is one of the weak points of these very light skis.

So the starting point here was to sort the edges first. The bent edge pictured above was bent back straight as far as possible with a hammer & chisel without delaminating the entire ski. This is not work for the faint-hearted. You get to the point where it’s definitely better but you don’t want to push your luck by trying for completely straight. The broken edge was relatively simple but there was no real gap between either the two broken pieces or between the edge and the rest of the base/sidewall. That’s a problem as the glue needs somewhere to go if it is to bond the various bits together. So out with a mounted needle to dig out some space around the break, heat up the Araldite and apply to both damaged areas (different sides of the same ski). 48 hours later it’s time to repair the gouges and see if we can do something about the ripple that the big impact has left behind:

I’ve forced the exposure to highlight the black P-tex against the black base.  The gouges ranged from narrow & deep, easy to fill & scrape, through broad & shallow, hard to sort, to a long slow wave which proved very hard to do anything constructive with. If these were piste skis we could possibly have flattened the entire ski to take out the wave but there’s so little base and edge anyway that we don’t have anything to play with. Here’s the base with the wave half-filled after the first phase of filling:

The broken edge seemed to have taken pretty well to the glue and it filed down to a nice smooth line:

Once the bases were scraped and structured and edges were sorted – and we’re not talking a five minute job with stainless edges as they seem to delight in developing nasty burrs which are extremely hard to file out – it was time to sploosh on the pink Zoom base renew wax, scrape and then get the green universal wax on top. The bent edge and associated wave were never going to be perfect but I’m not unhappy with the result. Good enough to ski on and cheaper than a new set of Superguides.

We three boards

It’s getting close to Xmas so a cheery festive heading. Martin dropped off a brand new Rossi and a used baby Burton while Stuart dropped off his big Burton for a quick edge & wax. Here they are before – note the brown rusty edges on the baby Burton:

And here they are after a good deal of rust removal. The Rossi had OK edges for a brand new board, pretty flat & even rather than the lumpy grinder marks some new kit has. Stuart’s board was in for the second time and was dealt with very quickly.

As the tops are quite attractive here they are too:

A Tale of Two Atomics

Having threatened to drop skis off for at least the last two seasons Roger finally walked the 20 metres from his house to the Cave to drop off his sons’ Atomics. His cunning plan is to use them himself so he brought a boot for setting up the bindings too.

As is so often the case they looked OK on a quick once over in the living room but the bright lights of the Cave often highlight defects that have been missed.

First the good news: even though they’re Atomics (a pair of newish Redsters and a pair of slightly more mature D2s) the bases were reasonably flat, so no need to plane them down as is so often the case with the Austrian planks.

However the D2s had a little secret: at some point one of the edges had split. Hard to see any peripheral damage to explain what insult actually caused the split; usually there is a gouge or bulge from the rock but I can’t really see any smoking gun here. What you can see, for technical interest, is a little burr at the bottom of the side edge to the left of the crack. These are the very devil to photograph and it’s good to see I snapped this one by accident.

Anyway, regular readers will know the pragmatic response to this type of damage comes in three steps:

  1. Pour some warm Araldite into the crack and leave for 48 hours
  2. File to approved angles
  3. Mark the ski, in this case left, to make sure the crack will always be on an outside edge in future.

Here’s the repaired crack, all sorted and shiny:

So once the D2s were organised the Redsters had a wee tale of their own to tell. Not quite so impressive but they had endured a little bump at some point, and this time the stone had left a bit of base damage too. See the way the light only reflects off half of this little section of edge:

That’s because the light is reflecting of the left hand side of the ding. It’s not massive but again, once it’s been filed into submission we need to mark up this ski so that the ding stays on an outside edge from now on.

Once the bindings are set up for Roger’s snazzy boots they’re all ready for collection. John’s wavey Factions and Myles’s Armadas are in the shot too but they were soooo easy to fettle, having been through the Cave already, that there’s really nowt to say about them.



A Gnu or two

It’s December, the Cave is getting a bit parky so it must be time for snow bums & bunnies to dig out their rusty gear and get it sorted.

The annual multi-channel, multimedia, star-studded marketing blitz resulted in 4 sets of skis & 3 boards arriving to kick the season off. Here they are during the dullest part of any service – dewaxing/base cleaning.

Once they’re all clean the Rossi and white based Gnu needed some base repairs:

Neither of them was too bad but still needing some TLC. Once the bases were scraped and structured they drank immense amounts of base wax. In fact the white Gnu needed a third coat of wax to get to spec, something I’ve not had to deal with before – and I’ve worked with some pretty dried out bases. Both boards had pretty battered edges too but nothing terminal.


Eagle-eyed readers will recognise Susan’s blue Gnu. As it’s returning to the Cave for a freshen up it just needed a quick once over to get it back to perfect condition. Here they are all sorted and ready to be collected.