Preparing Test Skis for the World Cup

I'll be heading for the World Cup on Monday. Getting ready for the trip takes a little planning, and time for organizing tools and equipment.

Part of the job for me is preparing test skis. Ultratune has a set of eight factory matched Madshus Nanosonic skate skis. When they're used for wax testing, these all have the same base grind, prepared in the same way, in the same batch, on the same day. Then they're waxed and prepped identically.

The skis got a fresh grind yesterday, and wax. Today a 2nd waxing, then all the skis went to the Liberty Bell race course for testing with a speed trap. Today's test was a basic "zero test". The zero test provides a baseline so that test skis can be used to objectively compare wax preparations. The goal is to demonstrate uniformity, or document differences. These skis are well matched, and variance pair-to-pair is only a couple 1/100ths of a second.

Thorough testing with a big bunch of skis is time consuming. I started working on the skis at 6 a.m. in the shop, and finished on the snow at around 2 p.m. with no breaks. Quitting time was determined by Mother Nature today... ...a snowstorm started and got heavy in a hurry. Once the tracks change, the data is too variable.