Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The best time of year to...

do any type of repair to your equipment is in the winter. I've had to mount new jump bindings and repair the right edge of my trick ski before spring, and I have done so in a fashion that is nothing short of anal. To fix the trick ski, I mixed up a dollop of JB Weld Steel epoxy resin, and spent a good forty 45 minutes applying a thin strip along a 6 inch section of the edge of the ski. After waiting 24 hours for the axes to cure. I sanded it with two grades of sandpaper: first 100 grit to get rid of the bumps, then 400 grit waterproof sandpaper to remove the imperfections along the outer edge and bottom side. If I had noticed this in the summer, I would have quickly applied the resin, smoothed it out with my finger, and called it done.

Mounting my jump bindings has been almost as bad. I spent a good hour per ski filling each hole. I twirled each toothpick in a the tiny puddle of JB Weld, allowing a string of gray thin enough to fit into the old binding holes. Slowly lower trail of JB into the tiny hole, repeat five times per hole, repeat for five more holes. Wait 24 hours and sand to a relatively flat surface, as shown

jump ski


That was the easy part. The next thing to do was to mark the new hole pattern on top of the ski. First, I measured the distance from the rear horseshoe to the tail of the ski. Freddy Kreuger recommended 29.5" when I asked him about it at the Midwest winter conference in Iowa City (Nice job hosting, Christy and Co.). That's about as good as source as I'll get, so I went with it.

After getting the tail measurement, I measured the distance across the skis at three points, each corresponding to hole locations. Then I measured the distance across the binding plates (yes, they do get narrower toward the heel end)and did some subtraction and division. An hour of measuring later, I'm within a millimeter of center with both boots. To mark the holes, I pressed down on the binding to account for the slight bend in the plate. Pressing down, I dabbed inside the holes with fingernail polish. A lovely shade of pink, I might add. The bindings however, are not yet mounted. I'm holding out until this weekend when I can use my father-in-law's drill press to make starter holes. till then the boots just sit idly, like this

jump bindings

In the summer, I would have covered the old holes with duck tape, measured tail distance, eyeballed side-to-side distance, and drove the screws straight in with elbow grease. 20 minutes, done. I would not want to waste that much ski time fixing equipment. Lucky, for winter, I guess.

No, winter sucks.

1 comment:

P Strange said...

Rykert:

Well, after reading your posts I have come to the conclusion that you know a hell of a lot about skiing. While I was doing a whole lot of nothing, you were learning a skill. Pretty Impressive.

Thought I'd drop you a line. Reagan sent me the link so I checked it out. I hope all is well in Iowa and be safe out there on the frigid waters of the Midwest.