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Edge angles

 Poster: A snowHead
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Had a crash course on waxing skis from MartinM at the weekend. He tuned my edges as well as they weren't that sharp apparently. Martin didn't know what edge angles they came out of the factory with, and I didn't know (being a newbie); so he set them to 90.

I've since found out from Rossignol's web site that they are set to 88 and 2 coming out of the factory.

What difference, if any will I notice with different edge angles? (I've not used them since he tuned them)

Also, are the preferred angles down to the ski design, the level of experience of the skier, how aggressive they are, all of the above, or purely a personal preference thing?. It's still a black art to me.
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@Awdbugga, If heís done them to 90 and they were 88, then thatís removed quite a lot of the edges. I donít think many are set to 90, so it seems an odd edge angle to choose if unsure. Iíd always check and you can usually find the manufacturers edge angles on the Piste Office website.

Hereís a link. https://www.thepisteoffice.com/index.php/edge-angles-wax-data/15-ski-manufacturers-edge-angle-specifications.html

The edge angles are stated on his site as for instance 1,3, so that would relate to 1 degree base angle and 87 degrees in the way youíve stated the angle in your OP.
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@Awdbugga, you probably won't notice the difference in the edge angle but you should notice a sharper ski. It's easy to change them back to 88į of you want to so I wouldn't worry about it
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All Rossi's are 1,1 (=1,89) out of the wrapper.

There isn't a ski on the market with a 90 degree side edge angle (that dates back to the old straight ski days) but there are some adjustable side edge guides on the market that still have a 90 degree setting which is useful for sharpening scrapers.
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@spyderjon, It's all voodoo to me. I simply went by an answer to a question about my skis on the Rossignol web site (below)-

Question - "Hi, What base & side edge angles do these skis leave the factory with? Thanks"
Answer - For the EXPERIENCE 80 HD (XPRESS), the base & side edge angles are: Lateral Angle: 2į +/- 0.5į Base Angle: 88į +/- 0.5į.
Enjoy your skiing! The Rossignol Team!"

That's off Rossignol's own web site, so I understandably assumed it must be correct.

You say no skis these days are set to 90 degrees. Assuming I heard MikeM correctly and he did set them to 90 (I'm checking with him); is it likely to have done any harm to my skis? I'm a beginner, but am improving steadily. Would I notice any difference? By the way he used a Toko adjustable tuner.

As I say, it's all new to me. He kindly offered to show me how to wax my skis; which seemed reasonably straightforward; but he felt my edges were not that sharp and tuned them as well.


I was going to buy some equipment to wax and tune them myself in future, but now I'm not so sure. Puzzled I may just take them to a shop to do.
I would bring them to you, but it's a long haul from Llandudno to Nottingham.

What also surprised me was there is a small gouge in the base of one of them already, and they've only ever been used in the Chillfactore. Shocked
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Awdbugga wrote:
What also surprised me was there is a small gouge in the base of one of them already, and they've only ever been used in the Chillfactore. Shocked


You get a lot of lost debris in snowdomes, engagement rings, glasses, merc keys, i-phones.....

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Awdbugga wrote:
@spyderjon, It's all voodoo to me. I simply went by an answer to a question about my skis on the Rossignol web site (below)-

Question - "Hi, What base & side edge angles do these skis leave the factory with? Thanks"
Answer - For the EXPERIENCE 80 HD (XPRESS), the base & side edge angles are: Lateral Angle: 2į +/- 0.5į Base Angle: 88į +/- 0.5į.
Enjoy your skiing! The Rossignol Team!"

That's off Rossignol's own web site, so I understandably assumed it must be correct....


Their reply is total bollox. Anyone who has a working knowledge of edge geometry will know that but it's really unfair for those new to the game like yourself who are seeking accurate information.

And it's not just Rossignol. I've seen similar replies from other major players. They appear to have total idiots working for them & more often than not they seem to be working in their marketing departments.
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Awdbugga wrote:
I was going to buy some equipment to wax and tune them myself in future, but now I'm not so sure. Puzzled I may just take them to a shop to do.
I would bring them to you, but it's a long haul from Llandudno to Nottingham.

Yeah - but if you do Jon's course you'll only need to go once Wink and you'll never have blunt skis again (or at least never have an excuse for it). And it won't seem like voodoo any more! Highly recommended, and if you're the least interested in the tech it's a really enjoyable experience.
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@spyderjon, so will a beginner like me notice a difference if they have been set to 90 degrees? Would it be worth while to try and set them back to 89 and if yes, would that be easy to do? Whilst I am a beginner I am quite aggressive with my turns, overly sometimes.

Sorry to be a pain. rolling eyes
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Awdbugga, in soft snow the edges are just along for the ride as the whole of the sidewall of the ski digs in the snow. It's on hard snow & ice were the edges take effect - providing the pilot has the skill set to tip the skis on edge.

The most important thing is that the edges are burr free and sharp, irrespective of whether you have an 89, 88 or 87 degree side edge. After that, assuming everything else being equal, then the steeper the side edge angle the more the bite/cut in to the snow. And assuming reasonable service intervals there's no loss of durability between an 89, 88 or 87 side edge. Side edge angles greater of 86 or greater will need a diligent owner!

However, if your side edge angles are now really at 90 degrees then, when combined with the factory base edge angle of 1 degree, you'll have an obtuse subtended angle of 91 degrees - which even when maintained won't have much bite/cut so yes, I'd recommend steepening them up.

Note that steepening the side edge angles does not remove any life from the ski but reducing the side edge angle does. To increase the side edge angle it's highly likely that the sidewall will first have to be trimmed back to give some clearance but that's a standard requirement when hand tuning the majority of skis whether altering the side edge angle or not.
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@spyderjon, thanks for the explanation. Iíll have to see what MikeM comes back with. I may have misheard him. If they are now at 90 and 1, Iíll have to see how they ski. When I was at the CF last Friday, there was a large area of ice near the lower step. My skis handled it fine and edged in ok. Iíll have to suck it and see. If they donít grip well on ice Iíll have to take them to Sail and Ski and see if they can tweak them for me, as I donít have the equipment, or the experience yet. Fingers crossed theyíre OK.
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@Awdbugga, I think you're confusing internal and external edge angle measurements. Your friend has most likely put 1, 1 on them which is a common setting.
1 base, 1 side (external angles) = 89 measured from the horizontal but the internal angle of the edge at the tip = 90.

Think of it as starting with a 90 degree piece of metal (the edge) that is laid flat next to your ski base. If the amount you tilt the edge upwards (1 degree) is the same as the amount you tilt it inwards (1 degree), then the actual edge has not changed, it is still 90 degrees internal.

I had the same issue last year with a new ski tech at my local shop in LT who told me that 1,1 = 88 at the tip. I told him that 1,3 = 88 at the tip, 1,1 = 90. The shop owner then came along, drew a diagram and told his tech that I was right wink I run my skis on 1,2 which is 88 from the horizontal but 89 at the tip. i.e. Slightly sharper than "normal", if normal is 1,1.

Rossi's answer refers to the side edge angle when measured from both directions off the edge. Vertical side edge = 90. 2 degrees from vertical (their Lateral Angle) = 88 from the horizontal (their Base Angle). So they have not answered your question in the same way you asked it because they haven't referred to the base edge at all, only the side edge in two different ways.

To achieve this on your skis, you need to ask your friend to set them at 1 base, 2 side, which will be 89 at the tip. Slightly sharper than they are now. At your level, whether you'll notice any difference between 89 and 90 at the tip is highly debatable and probably subject to the snow conditions more than anything. A sharper tip gives more grip but it also gives more bite, which you may find harder to control. It's a trade-off. Smile
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MikeM has confirmed he set them to 90 and 0. I'll see how they are the next time in the CF for now. I'll check them out on the bare icy patches towards the end of the afternoon. Toofy Grin
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Awdbugga wrote:
MikeM has confirmed he set them to 90 and 0.
In the normal way of expressing edge angles, that would be 0,0. If they came out of the factory at 1,2 that's pretty much impossible unless he did a base grind on a machine at the same time.
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Raceplate wrote:
Awdbugga wrote:
MikeM has confirmed he set them to 90 and 0.
In the normal way of expressing edge angles, that would be 0,0. If they came out of the factory at 1,2 that's pretty much impossible unless he did a base grind on a machine at the same time.

+1.

Or it shows that MikeM also doesn't know how the angles should be expressed.
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@Raceplate, you're right that Rossi have actually quoted the side edge angle in two ways - which is bad enough - but to make it worse their side edges are all actually 1(89) and not 2 (88 ) as they've stated rolling eyes
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spyderjon wrote:
Or it shows that MikeM also doesn't know how the angles should be expressed.

That was my other thought but you're more qualified to cast aspersions than I am Laughing Laughing Laughing
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@spyderjon, ah, but one on the base plus one on the side is two yeah and when you're a cool dude that works in marketing being two is better than being one like the competition.

Hopefully, if @awdbugga is lucky, MikeM really didn't know what he was doing* and only ran a couple of passes with the tool set at 90 and just flatted the corner slightly without taking much material off.

@awdbugga how many times did he run the edge tool along the ski?

*which seems a to be the case if armed with an adjustable tool he couldn't work out what the existing edge angle was set to..
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Awdbugga, here's some homework for you: https://www.thepisteoffice.com/index.php/1-tuning-advice/terminology.html
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My question in all this is about accuracy of .5 or 1 degree or more etc
I dont buy into it but am prepared to try !

How flat are the bases ?
If the base is convex or concave in areas wont this screw up the whole side or base edge accuracy talk show .


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Tue 7-11-17 12:24; edited 1 time in total
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spyderjon wrote:
Awdbugga, here's some homework for you: https://www.thepisteoffice.com/index.php/1-tuning-advice/terminology.html
Good article. Didn't realize that the US quotes the edge angle differently to the EU. I wonder if the reason that Rossi answered the way they did was because they were trying to cover both ways of expressing it, not knowing where the enquirer is based?

I have my own view of why they ignored the base edge angle question, which is that the majority of ski servicing machines don't have any base edge setting adjustment. Therefore, better not to confuse the punter by having him walk into ski shops asking for something they can't do. I learnt this the hard way. Embarassed

I will add though, that the latest Wintersteiger machine CAN adjust the base angle. All lasers, digital displays and ceramic discs with adjustments in .25 degree increments. Amazing. My local shop (in LT) has one and it gives terrific results.
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Tubaski wrote:
@spyderjon, ah, but one on the base plus one on the side is two yeah and when you're a cool dude that works in marketing being two is better than being one like the competition.

Hopefully, if @awdbugga is lucky, MikeM really didn't know what he was doing* and only ran a couple of passes with the tool set at 90 and just flatted the corner slightly without taking much material off.

@awdbugga how many times did he run the edge tool along the ski?

*which seems a to be the case if armed with an adjustable tool he couldn't work out what the existing edge angle was set to..


He only ran the tool a couple of times. It didnít seem to take much off to me, but then Iím no expert. He said his skis, which are ten years old are set to 89 and 1, but he believed that manufacturers these days set them to 90 and 0, so did mine accordingly. It was well intentioned and very kind of him to give up his time.
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Tirol 164 wrote:


How flat are the bases ?
If the base is convex or concave in areas wont this screw up the whole side or base edge accuracy talk show .


In my experience if the base is concave they'll be all but unskiable
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My point or question is you can be as precise as possible with brand new hand tools and workshop vices but what if bases are not 100% flat along the full lenght ?

The hand tools run off the base so if its wonky ie concave or convex then surely the edge angle your cutting must be out by the same amount ?

Because .5 or 1 degree is so small so precise the base would have to be very very flat too get this level of accuracy .
Would this be the case or not ?


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Tue 7-11-17 17:47; edited 1 time in total
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Awdbugga wrote:
It was well intentioned and very kind of him to give up his time.


Quite, seems to me that people are being quite harsh on the fella. We should encourage people to be similarly helpful (I had the benefit of Scarpa showing me the basics). Although it might be advisable to have a quick google search to check angles on skis before sharpening.

I would caveat that Iím possibly not the best person to comment on the issue, Iíve pretty much learnt how to tune skis by reading Jonís website and watching a lot of YouTube videos.
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Hi Guys,
Just picked up on this. To ease everyone's mind I've been servicing my own and friends skis for 30 odd years without problem. I don't profess to be as good as a professional but for recreational skiing the edge and waxing I've been doing on my skis has always been good enough to hold on ice at speed and glide well enough. It'll never be good enough for competition, but I don't compete Very Happy .

Right, 90 degrees was the angle given to @Awdbugger as that is what my edge tuner (Toko professional) was set at according to the scale written on it - the tool allows a setting from 85 to 90 degrees which is why I use that terminology and not 1,1, 2,1 etc... I set the tool at 90 degrees as I assumed (erroneously) that the "factory setting" on his skis was 90 degree and I didn't want to change anything as the edges (although a bit blunt in my opinion) were perfectly serviceable. I ran a couple of passes and hardly anything was taken off, so I'd assume that @Awdbugger won't see any difference, but I've advised him to try them out to see if he can notice any difference before I retune them to 89 and 1 degree respectively (as set by the scale written on the tools I use), which is also how I set my own.

@Awdbugger, who is a nice guy, was very grateful and the bottle of (very good) wine he gave me for helping out was gratefully received and I don't want him to think I've ruined his skis after reading all of the above 'cos if I have then I must have butchered my own and many other friends skis over the last 30 odd years (@Awdbugger - I haven't, honest wink Very Happy )

Personally, I'd advise any recreational skier to do their own servicing, it's not that difficult and unless you want to gain an extra second or so against your mates is well worth the time. But, I would advise going to a professional if anyone is in any way unhappy with what they are doing.
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
Awdbugga wrote:
It was well intentioned and very kind of him to give up his time.


Quite, seems to me that people are being quite harsh on the fella.

I don't think anyone is questioning the intent or motivation of MikeM.

What we are questioning is the terminology being used by Awdbugga because it's not the norm and therefore makes his original question ambiguous at best and impossible to answer at worst.
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@MikeM, Mike, Iím very grateful for your time and hospitality the other day. As you know, all this about base and edge angles is completely new and confusing to me. The only reason I opened the thread was when I tried to find out whether the angles should be a defacto 90 or whether Rossignol shipped them with a different setting. As it is, the info on their own web site seems to be wrong anyway, or at least confusing. Being a newbie I have no idea whether it would make any difference what they were set to, or whether it was down to personal preference and skiing style and whether as a beginner I would even notice. Hence me asking the question. I didnít want to keep bothering you. What hasnít helped is me not fully understanding the technical side of tuning and perhaps using the wrong terminology. (Newbie syndrome)

As to me taking them to Sail and Ski to be tweaked if they needed to be, that was purely because I didnít want to impose on you any further; even though you have kindly offered to tweak them again, if needed. Plus, my friend who is going to Arabba in February with me needs to get custom insoles made there before we go and I was going to go with him.

The purpose of my visit to you was to see how to wax skis. The edge tuning was a real bonus. But they were not sharp, even I could feel that.

I donít think for one moment youíve ruined my skis. I was just unsure whether it would make a difference to a beginner like me that they were no longer at the factory setting and if so how it would manifest itself. To be be honest, if someone on here had said, ďIíve seen you ski and you could have them set to 86 and 3 or 90 and 2 and you wouldnít see a difference, Iíd have believed them, because I donít know any better.

My sincere apologies if some of the comments on here have besmirched your name. You kindly gave up your time to help show a beginner how to look after his skis, and for that I am truly grateful.
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Awdbugga wrote:
My sincere apologies if some of the comments on here have besmirched your name. You kindly gave up your time to help show a beginner how to look after his skis, and for that I am truly grateful.


Good grief, no offence was taken at all so no apology necessary. I understand absolutely why you opened the question, the combined knowledge of the snowhead community is greater than one person (..something Star Trekky there Very Happy ) and edge angles have far too much of the dark arts about them that any explanation from the experts that makes this clearer is helpful to all of us amateur service enthusiasts.
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@MikeM, thanks for the clarification. Your way of expressing it is the US way in reverse, if I've understood correctly. The tool you've used is a Side Edge only tool working off the US way of expressing side edge angles (degrees from Horizontal rather than Vertical). Therefore, from your explanation above, you've put a 90 degree vertical edge on a ski that already has a 1 degree base edge, creating an obtuse 91 degree internal edge angle.

It may not a big deal but at least in theory it makes the edges blunter. If you go back and put the 89 degree edge on, it will match the original factory setting (as expressed in the EU) of 1,1, (89, 1, as you say) assuming that Rossi's email reply of an 88 degree side angle is wrong.
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Raceplate wrote:
@MikeM, thanks for the clarification. Your way of expressing it is the US way in reverse, if I've understood correctly. The tool you've used is a Side Edge only tool working off the US way of expressing side edge angles (degrees from Horizontal rather than Vertical). Therefore, from your explanation above, you've put a 90 degree vertical edge on a ski that already has a 1 degree base edge, creating an obtuse 91 degree internal edge angle.

It may not a big deal but at least in theory it makes the edges blunter. If you go back and put the 89 degree edge on, it will match the original factory setting (as expressed in the EU) of 1,1, (89, 1, as you say) assuming that Rossi's email reply of an 88 degree side angle is wrong.


Exactly, but I didn't put too many passes on it as the edges were sound if a bit blunt and I didn't touch the base, so the angle as you point out is a 91 degree internal edge angle, rather than the 90 I was aiming for, as you say a bit on the obtuse side. @Awdbugger is a beginner (albeit an extremely passionate one, so I doubt he'll hold that description for long!), and it's unlikely he'll see a difference skiing at Chillfactor which won't have the bullet plate ice that really sharp edges are needed for. It's a 5 minute job to put the 89 degrees back on so I've advised him to try them out as they are and then I can retune them to 89 degrees and he can see if he can feel a difference. At the very least he'll be able to get a feel of what it's like to ski on dull edges compared to freshly sharpened before he goes on the SH bash to Arabba and finds out what skiing (sliding??) hard ice is like.
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MikeM wrote:
It's a 5 minute job to put the 89 degrees back on so I've advised him to try them out as they are and then I can retune them to 89 degrees and he can see if he can feel a difference. At the very least he'll be able to get a feel of what it's like to ski on dull edges compared to freshly sharpened before he goes on the SH bash to Arabba and finds out what skiing (sliding??) hard ice is like.
Agreed it won't take much to put them back. I guess it's one way to educate a beginner on skiing sensations! Laughing

All's well that ends well... snowHead
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Fairly good write up with diagrams IMO

I set all my families side edges to 3 to get the grip on hard packed which at the @rse ends of the season we ski is a regular occurrence. Plus the missus complained when I set it at 1. Base edge I never touch aside from a light angled swipe to take away any nasties.

I agree self servicing is a good thing. Not overly difficult and quite theraputic!
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Layne wrote:

I set all my families side edges to 3 to get the grip on hard packed which at the @rse ends of the season we ski is a regular occurrence.

3! (or 87 degrees in my terminology wink ) . Must be pretty damn icy to need that! Where do you ski?
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I've set all my skis to 87 degrees for over 10 years. SLs, all rounders, even the 120mm powder skis. In soft snow it makes bugger all difference, they don't seem to wear any quicker (they do need more frequent light tuning though to keep that edge sharp), but get them on edge on really icy hard pack and the enhanced grip is very noticeable.

However, the downside is that they do engage and bite quickly so you need to be happy with that level of feedback. I've taken my fat Bent Chetlers down very steep icy blacks and still been able to turn although the tips and tails weren't half flapping about Toofy Grin


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Tue 7-11-17 17:26; edited 2 times in total
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Some of the racers I know use more acute edges than that, but unless you getting to a serious competition level where you are tuning your skis to specific conditions it is way over the top.
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MikeM wrote:
Layne wrote:

I set all my families side edges to 3 to get the grip on hard packed which at the @rse ends of the season we ski is a regular occurrence.

3! (or 87 degrees in my terminology wink ) .

Or indeed as it says on my edging tool Happy

MikeM wrote:
Must be pretty damn icy to need that! Where do you ski?

Ice cliffs! No, really. We ski French mega or medium resorts - Paradiski a lot as an example in December and April. We ski everything but need the edges for the most challenging pistes when it is cold and icy. The edges need to be set for the worst you encounter. Mind you we were once on the Bellecote glacier when all the snow had been blown off and quite frankly only harscheisen would have sufficed! It was like bowling balls and pins.

If 1 (or 89) works for you then no worries but there isn't much, if any, downside to going more acute from what I've read and understood.
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Scarpa wrote:
I've set all my skis to 87 degrees for over 10 years. SLs, all rounders, even the 120mm powder skis. In soft snow it makes bugger all difference, they don't seem to wear any quicker, but get them on edge on really icy hardpack and the enhanced grip is very noticeable.

However, the downside is that they do engage and bite quickly so you need to be happy with that level of feedback. I've taken my fat Bent Chetlers down very steep icy blacks and still been able to turn although the tips and tails weren't half flapping about Toofy Grin

Very useful post. I've skied for (too) many years set at 89 and just got used to it. I think I'll tune them to 87 and see how I get on. Holding out on steep ice seems to have gotten more difficult and I'd put this down to the age of my skis (and me!) so maybe I can get a bit more control back by changing the angle. I'd always thought anything less than 89 would be too twitchy and don't know why I never considered changing it - servicing habit I suppose.
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MikeM wrote:
I'd always thought anything less than 89 would be too twitchy and don't know why I never considered changing it

I've had no complaints from the wife or kids or indeed myself - since I changed 3-4 years ago.
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Layne wrote:

If 1 (or 89) works for you then no worries but there isn't much, if any, downside to going more acute from what I've read and understood.


I seem to have got a win-win from this thread. Not only did I get a bottle of wine from @Awdbugger for showing him how to wax his skis I may also have revitalised my own skis and solved my steep ice control issue along the way. Ain't snowheads wonderful snowHead snowHead
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