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Do you enjoy ski tuning?


Than_Bogan
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Just kicked off a big test run (at work), and thought I'd take a break to ask a frivilous question.

I'm currently in the process of tuning up my fin.  While in some respects this is interesting, I personally would be a lot happier if I could just push a button and get the perfect settings.  The main problem is I feel I have so few sets in me in a year, that "spending" them on evaluating fin changes seems annoying.  In addition, my time is so tight that spending it measuring up fins and turning the same screws again and again is something I'd just rather not do.

But I'm also performance-focused enough that I don't want to give up any potential performance from my ski.  So I guess I feel I "have" to do ski tuning.  But as soon as I get to a point of having no complaints at any point in the course, I'll stop and most likely not adjust my ski ever again.

How do others feel about the process?  Enjoyable?  Annoying?  Adjust often?  Never?  Just when ski is new?

I'm getting the impression that folks here adjust for every change in temperature, location, and maybe even other short-term factors.  It seems like that would drive me insane and send me to a different sport.  So that makes me even more curious if people view this an entertaining aspect of the sport or more as a chore needed to maximize entertainment later.

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I guess I'm fortunate to have enough "tweakers" around that I can settle in on a setting and rarely change it.  I did adjust the wing angle on my D3's when the water temp moved above 95 but on my current ride, I haven't touched it since first of June.  It was set up by someone who knew the ski model very well.

"I'm not supposed to be within two hundred feet of a school... or a Chuck E. Cheese"

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considering this sport ends in failure no matter the circumstances, this shouldn't bode well??

"But I'm also performance-focused enough that I don't want to give up any potential performance from my ski.  So I guess I feel I "have" to do ski tuning"

 

 It's not the ski.

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I'll tweak my fin only as long as it takes to get the ski dialed in for my skiing.  Once I get it where I like it, I typically leave it from there on out unless I'm looking for a particular performance change.  I don't change settings for water temps (we never get past 80 +/-).  If only I could change my brain settings, I might see improvement.
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I think a lot of the "pro" settings are too deep and short for the average skier. I include myself in that definition. I also consider myself a Tweaker (but not nearly as addicted as my friends think).
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I haven't tweaked my fin since last season when I got it dialed in.  I do check the measurements every two or three weeks.  The only movement I make is a front binding move depending on water temp.  Skier input seems to be the biggest factor and I have plenty of input to work on not putting in. 

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I was once a fin adjsuster. Now I get it to where it feels good and leave it for months or more.

Seems like a the folks who tweak the most are the ones show should tweak the least. You see many guys who run deep shortline tweak a lot? My guess is not many, I am sure there are some but not as many as 28 off guys ...

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I feel that anyone who fits into the normal proto type size of 66" and ski's short line, has a much better chance of actually running the Factory #'s with confidence. Simply due to the Fact that the Ski is developed, tested and perfected by some very accomplished skiers, (technically) skiing at speed on very short line.

I personally don't think this process will produce absolutes for the skier with less then effecient skills, skiing below 34 mph and/or requiring a 68" or a 69" or bigger ski. But, I bet the #'s are not too far off either...

WTS, I come from the era when NOTHING was adjustable except your technique! -the Good 'ol days!?!?       

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It is always fun to make an adjustment and cure a problem or make things better.  Many times a problem is down to the skier, but there are problems that can be cured / helped (or made worse) with an adjustment to either boot position or fin/wing settings.  There are people that can ski around a non perfect fin setting and some that either don't want to or have a hard time doing it.  I personally, want to try to make sure my settings are as good as I can make them, so I tend to try to adjust for conditions or problems.  You should track all of your changes and understand what every change will do for you so that when you encounter a problem or condition you have a good idea what direction to go to adjust for it or return to something that worked.  I do agree, there is limited time to allocate to fin tuning for most people, so it is easy to go with what you have and deal with it.
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Lots of interesting comments, although I think DW just became the first person to actually adress the question of whether the process is enjoyable!

Anyhow, it seems I'm with the majority in the way I approach it: A tuning period for a new ski (mine was delayed because I just hit 100% health/strength recently), and then generally leave it.

Personally, I see a real benefit to that tuning period, but I still wish I could fast forward past it.

The good news is I'm real close.  I am optimistic the change I just made is the last one for this ski.  Now if it will just stop raining so I can try it!!

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"The good news is I'm real close.  I am optimistic the change I just made is the last one for this ski.  Now if it will just stop raining so I can try it!! "

 Remember, that next lotto ticket is going to win, and your next pull on the lever will spill all the cash out of the machine/vanillaforum/js/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif

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Remember, that next lotto ticket is going to win, and your next pull on the lever will spill all the cash out of the machinehttp://www.ballofspray.com/vanillaforum/js/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif

GOOD TO KNOW!  Looks like a trip to the convenience store and Foxwoods should be planned in for today!

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I am fortunate enought to live around Eddie Roberts and Richard Doane.  Between the two of them they get my fin where it should be and I never touch it......Maybe after my technique is perfect I will start to play with my fin.  Until then, I don't mess with it and just ski....OF
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If you are in a slump, consider a fin adjustment. Only after careful analysis of what a problem area is. Must read Schnitz's info prior to change.

 

I actually made a large adjustment between rounds at a tournament and it really helped.

 

Fin adjustments can better your understanding of how your ski feels. it's just skiing, you can always put it back. Once you find the "the spot", leave it.

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Not enjoyable, but something you need to know how to do.

Trouble is it's tough to control all the variables with the "Loose Nut" on top of the ski.

I have to ride each change for a couple of sets before I can tell if it's really an improvment or not.

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To the question. Having an engineering background I enjoy fin tuning and seeing what works and doesnt work. I think I have more fun adjusting my sons ski more than mine. Since he is a good skier with solid technique I know from set to set the technique will be the same so the outcome is a result of the change. That being said it seems like we always have some big tournament coming up so we dont want to be changing a bunch of stuff. I did adjust his fin one year after a practice set at nationals. needless to say I was sweating it as if he skied bad I probably would have been blamed. It was a happy outcome as he got a PB that year. Regarding the Elite it seems sensitive to fin settings and the fin box sucks. I have a devil of a time adjusting it and dont feel comfortable being able to adjust only one parameter at a time. He is on the A1 now its easier, but we haven't messed with it much

 Dave

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Developing a response to change spreadsheet is a big help in making changes in the heat of battle.  Nascar is a great example of constantly making changes to keep up with changing conditions and those that do it best win.  You can also see where former great drivers can struggle if the "brains" behind making changes due to changing variables are not as adept as a previous crew chief or race engineer.

To MS and JTH, you think messing with someones fin gives a rise, what do you think an endurance driver thinks when the prior driver leaves him a damp "present" in the seat when he hops in!  Empty the drink bottle. . .

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I for one do enjoy fin/wing adjustments. Its like figuring out a puzzle.......if I break at the waist at 1 ball. Use the Hammer. If I break at the waist at 2 ball add the chisel.

No seriously, the fin is the keel and has a big impact on the skis ride/ attitude in the water. I have been finding that I can run much more aggressive settings then "factory"

When adjusting depth, I have been going more shallow until the ski loosens up too much and then back off.

DFT has had the worst response. Skiing smaller skis this seams for me to be the place where the ski no longer feels good under me. Probably because it is too short and has a tendancey to get behind me and not out front where it needs to be. 

Length has been fun to play with as for me it intoduces "bit". With less length in the fin the ski will really turn hard and bit at the ball. 

All of this means nothing to anyone else ......just ask my wife.

So yes................tuning is Fun! 

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Tuning is fun as long as you are going places doing it.  I like to get things right then leave them alone but sometimes right can be hard to come by.  I have used approximately the same fin settings on the last three skis I have ridden.  I am currently riding a 67" Elite using AM's fin settings which I haven't bothered to change yet while I am playing with binding placement. 

I just started using Radar Stradas mounted on a sequence plate and really appreciate the different adjustment options.  I have had chronic bad offside turns (LFF) but by having the option of rotating the front binding I think I have solved that problem.  Turning the front binding a little counter-clockwise has made a world of difference.  In fact I turned it so far my onside suffered so I had to bring it back a little to even things out.  Nice to be able to adjust binding spacing (if you are into that) and also neat the way they can be moved forward and back in half hole increments.  At this point I couldn't be happier with them.

I am just returning to regular slalom sets after rupturing my quadriceps in March so set-up and technique are high on my list.  I don't have much in the bank for recovering from mistakes so I work to ski as cleanly and as efficiently as possible.  Yellow and green are going down fairly easily hopefully I can get after blue soon:) 

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I enjoy watching MS tune my skihttp://www.ballofspray.com/vanillaforum/js/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-wink.gif

I was a little scared to open that picture -- I was kinda expecting to find a butt shot of him leaning over the ski or something...  Hm, that reminds me: I should get my wife to tune my ski for me.

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I'm pretty sure MS tuned my ski this weekend. The crappy skiing couldn't have been my fault!! Great tournament MS and KimI It took some patience to get some good water in gale force winds out of the south but you pulled it off with 5 good rounds of slalom. Oh, I'm sending you my doctor bill for my hammie!!!
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Chef -- remind me to demonstrate my "awesome" new method of DFT measurement.  Repeatable to within 0.002" easily, and I think 0.001" with a little effort.

I keep saying I'm going to take pictures and publish it, but apparently I haven't made a priority of it.

I'm no expert on fin tuning, but at least I've finally established some very reliable methods of measuring where it actually is!

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TW. That's awesome! My favorite current commercial series with a skiing twist.

Scoke. Sometimes it is the ski. What about that change I made to Brian's Goode?

Personally I don't enjoy tuning my fin. Basically because it means I do not have confidence in my current set up and am likely skiing badly. (Which is why I've been tuning for the past 2 years) My best skiing ever was on a Goode 9500. After it was set I moved the fin one time in two seasons. That was only to take out a couple of thou.

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Is there an international award for best water-skiing related Photoshopping?  I'm thinking TW is gonna take the top 3 places.

I especially love the caliper.

Not quite as funny as TW's podium re-photoshopping, though.  Still laughing just thinking about that one.

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