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Old 02-21-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
McB OP
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Cross country skis?.

OK, so a couple of years ago I bought a pair of used cross country skis. I did a little bit of cross country 25 years ago, and, finding these for a good price, thought it would be fun to have around for those rare times it snows enough in Kansas to get on them.

Fast forward to today. 9" of nice powder on the ground, and a former state hospital grounds a mile away.

First, PIA getting them on until I discovered and removed the ice on the bottom of the boot. Then, off to a wobbly start, and finally getting some glide going. All of a sudden, one ski started to drag. Scuff it back and forth thinking I'd picked up some debris, maybe. Finally, took it off and looked at the bottom. The plastic coating was gone. Not scraped, scuffed, mangled. Just gone from the bottom of the ski. Like, the other ski has this nice white coating, and this one is pretty much black with traces of white color, and you couldn't slide a bar of soap along it without dragging.


Questions:
  • Is this common?
  • What happened?
  • Is it fixable, or being a cheap set of used skis to begin with, should I just toss them?
  • Can I use it as an excuse to say 'Been there, done that', and move on to something else (preferably something warmer and less work)?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:40 PM   #2
kobudo28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McB View Post
OK, so a couple of years ago I bought a pair of used cross country skis. I did a little bit of cross country 25 years ago, and, finding these for a good price, thought it would be fun to have around for those rare times it snows enough in Kansas to get on them.

Fast forward to today. 9" of nice powder on the ground, and a former state hospital grounds a mile away.

First, PIA getting them on until I discovered and removed the ice on the bottom of the boot. Then, off to a wobbly start, and finally getting some glide going. All of a sudden, one ski started to drag. Scuff it back and forth thinking I'd picked up some debris, maybe. Finally, took it off and looked at the bottom. The plastic coating was gone. Not scraped, scuffed, mangled. Just gone from the bottom of the ski. Like, the other ski has this nice white coating, and this one is pretty much black with traces of white color, and you couldn't slide a bar of soap along it without dragging.



Questions:
  • Is this common?
  • What happened?
  • Is it fixable, or being a cheap set of used skis to begin with, should I just toss them?
  • Can I use it as an excuse to say 'Been there, done that', and move on to something else (preferably something warmer and less work)?
Sometimes as skis age they can delaminate (depending on contruction). Yours may have had a defect when it was made and just now came apart. The bottom (without looking at your skis specifically) of XC skis is a type of plastic. Small areas that become damaged from rocks, etc can be repaired by melting a stick of what we once called P-Tex stick into the hole, scraping it smooth and applying wax. The proper method is to use a soldering iron (at least it was years ago) and NOT light the stick on fire and melt it into the hole.

I suspect the area that you are talking about is too big to be repaired and you should just toss the skis. Save the bindings if they are of good quality and you like them. Heck, there is a second hand store near my house that has so many pair of used XC skis that they just leave them outside all the time.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
2whlrcr
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The actual base has delaminated? You're sure they just didn't have a heavy layer of wax on them? Just asking.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 2whlrcr View Post
The actual base has delaminated? You're sure they just didn't have a heavy layer of wax on them? Just asking.

That's what it looks like. The good ski still has a nice, clean layer of plastic. The other one no longer has the slippery plastic; it looks like it just came off, leaving the rough-textured substrate.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:00 PM   #5
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sounds like the price might've been too good to be true

Delamination is what it sounds like to me. Skis are just different layers of material glued together (Sandwich Construction), even if they skis aren't used a lot, but are old and were stored in less than desirable conditions the glue ages faster and deteriorates leading to delamination.

I've seen heavily used Downhill skis and snow boards delam in a season or 2 of heavy use, although with those it usually starts with the top sheets. I've never ragged a pair of XC skis hard enough for that to happen.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:52 PM   #6
Kamala
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I'm so old I have XC skis with Lignostone edges!
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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Did you look around behind you for the base? Might be able to glue it back on...

I'd maybe just look for another pair. Like others have said, they are pretty easy to come by, but it's a good idea to make sure they are the right stiffness for your weight. They work much better than if they are too stiff or too soft.

It's not too hard to do, but you need help (like if you find them at a garage sale). Take a slip of paper, a dollar bill works but is a little thick. Make sure the floor is clear of debris. There will hopefully be some marks on the skis approx 6" or more in front of the toes, but it varies. Stand on the skis with your weight evenly distributed on them. Have your helper see if the paper will fit under the camber of the skis directly under your feet. It should slide from your heel to those marks. Now slide the paper to under the toe and put all your weight on that foot. It should be stuck under the ski, or just barely be able to slide out. Try the same routine with the other ski.

The right length is helpful, but stiffness is more important.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:31 AM   #8
McB OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoJack View Post
Did you look around behind you for the base? Might be able to glue it back on...

Wasn't sure exactly what had happened until I got them home, and by then the plow had been down the road I was on. Anybody know a one-legged 200# guy that needs a ski?
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