Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

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Cloxxki
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Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby Cloxxki » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:37 pm

Once more inspired by this video (seriously, AWESOME, good stuff starts immediately)
http://youtu.be/xquP1GjD658?t=1m10s

I want to get into XC skating on the beach. Really want to, and not FAIL.
Not really interested in classic, although I know it's easier to train that on the beach. BTW, notice the girls doing a classic dash race on skate skis!

Consideration:
Those beach girls have awesome techniquee, probably 187cm skis, and weigh just 60kg max
I, can't buy skate skis over 197 (only when lucky), else 195 Madshus. I weigh 90kg on a summer day. Nearly 50% more pressure per square cm, much less chance to get aquaplaning to occur at realistic skating speeds.

As I've read from Bill Koch who popularized beach skating for a while (no footage I am aware of), this will *work* due to a combination of a certain grain of sand, the sand consistency (firm/soft) and the layer of film on it making for a type of aquaplaning.
Bill wrote that short skis work best. Now, he said so a long time ago and I don't know what to think of it.

When I think of ways to get the best chance to skate any ski on a (likely less than even halfway ideal) Dutch beach, I get:
- Long skis spread load better, less pressure per square cm, better aquaplaning
- (my guess) a low camber ski that firms up greatly above 100% of body weight, would spread load best, and aquaplane better.
- Wider skis on snow are slower, but on sand and water, the improved aquaplaning may offset increase sand drag, if any?
Those are things I could try to pursue going to stores for snow-designed skis. 210-215cm classic skis might do the trick. Length wasted in the tip obviously.

A low camber too-soft classic ski, I might be able to firm up by adding some poor man's cold setting low pressure carbon-like layer on the binding sides of the skis.

Now, what if I won the lottery and set out to have a ski manufacturer make my perfect beach skis?

Some things that came to mind, not all necessarily wise or to be combined:
- (unsure) a very low camber ski with still a preferred pressure distribution for higher-intensity skating.
- A base grind structure obviously tailored to pure water, with great hardness to glide over coarse sand.
- Ski wide at front, tapers to the tail. Straight taper for limited steering influence I suppose.
- idea is to scoop up a higher amount of water and somehow channel or even trap that under the ski.
- Deep grooves down the length of the ski base
- both narrowing and shallowing to offer optimum water-support.
- at least one central groove
- outer grooves acting like inverses tire tracks, running inwards towards the back of the ski, urging water to exit only at the tail
- Also not sure: slightly hollow base for the first halff meter or so of the base, to trap yet more water

Another idea I had. The skis could be as much as 60mm wide, and 210cm long. I tried my classic skis and they're not too long for skating if I practice more. I'm way tall, all legs. Anyway, with the elaborate groove structure channeling the water to get the hoped for aquaplaning, the actual surface of the ski with the sand could be 40-45m or less. That might reduce sand friction to a minimum (it works for snow...) yet enhance the aquaplaning by using a greater water surface to rest on.
Yes, the earlier suggested inward grooves would also increase sand friction greatly.

One possible design would be:
* 210cm long
* 60mm wide at front, tapering to 40mm at tail
* hard base material could be stainless steel sheet with extra hard coating (aluminum hates salt).
* base structure to let water run over more easily.
* low camber, like a classic ski or lower
* stifff, like a skate ski, closes fully at over 100% body weight, and firms up over that.
* central groove 20mm wide and 3mm deep at tip, 10mm and 0.5mm at tail. Meant to feed water in between base and sand all down the length
* do I want sharp or smooth edges for sand? I am not sure actually.

A whole train of thought I didn't explore yet: air under the ski. Surf often has bubbels. There is bound to also be air in the mix. We'd want to trap that as well, it's as good or better than water to cushion, although laterally grip may suffer.

Serious comments are welcome. And not addressing my mental health please.

Thanks,
J
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Re: Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby MN Hoser » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:45 pm

I'd pick your worst pair and go give it a whirl. Skis may not matter much.

jay

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Re: Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby Cloxxki » Tue May 01, 2012 12:23 am

MN Hoser wrote:I'd pick your worst pair and go give it a whirl. Skis may not matter much.

jay

According to Bill Koch, the beach itself matters.
As a science geek though, I see ways for skis to improve 2-fold or more for this application. Snow is an easy thing to tackle, it's slipppery under pretty much any pressure.
Bill's explanation that it's about the film of water leads me towards that hypothesis. Having pondered my own skimboard design decades ago, the physics are not totally new to me. The challenge however multifold.

Any input from people with experience would be warmly welcomed.
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Re: Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby JeffOYB » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:36 am

You need to just TRY it! ...Bring any disposable skis you have and see what works. Testing is the only thing! ...Then report back.
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Re: Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby JeffOYB » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:50 am

ps: Whoa, I just checked that video. Fun! Did you notice that it's a MOM and her kids? What a fun entry to this UST video challenge!

And it's even funnier to me that one caption mentions Beth being '83 xc ski champ. Well, sure, but you might better know her maiden name HEIDEN. She was also WORLD CHAMP in bike racing AND speedskating! Trifecta! She's long been a hero of mine. How many have medals in all three? C'mon! It must be rare. Maybe she's the only?

It's funny that she doesn't say anything about it in the caption. I had to add a bit of a teaser...

(I've long admired the few Summer and Winter combo Olympians. How many are there? Not many!)

(Her bro came close by being so huge in Speedskating Oly's and also getting a US Pro Nat'l road bike title, as I recall. Also a friendly guy.)

I recall seeing Beth skiing on the Tech Trails in the U.P. back in, well, '82 and thinking she was a kid. I tried to catch up to her and it took me a half hour and I think in the end I cheated and took a short-cut -- who is this kid? It was Beth! She skied like she was made of rubber. It was amazing. And all smiles. I think she's still a yooper... Wonderful!
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Re: Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby Cloxxki » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:22 am

I've not skied in a while (no snow, no budget) but the virus is working me again.
Still need to man up and take to the (busy) beach with skis. In any weather it's just crowded here.

New (older) evidence has emerged! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT9c8Uy8-1g
Amazingly, NO AQUAPLANING involved! European beach, which does lend me some hope.

Seems that a heavily packed, very novice skater, gets LOADS of glide on a patch of packed (cold) beach, and managed to get forward aided by a hefty tailwind.
Surely a good skier could have freeskated nicely there? Even without any wind? Loose sand over a very smooth and firm base?
If one is dependent on hard wind to skate, on the way back friction might be such that classic diagonal "climbing" works decently?
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Re: Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby MN Hoser » Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:14 am

In two of those videos, the glide looks terrible. I wondered how you got glide skiing on sand, and the answer is, you don't (get much glide), particularly skating. It looks like they're falling over the front of their skis on the V1 and they're mainly pushing with their arms. In classic you can throw the ski forward and get some glide.

The guy with the lousy technique (in the red jacket) must be on frozen sand (there's snow in the background), and he's getting good glide from the ice.

I'd much rather rollerski.

Jay

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Re: Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby UPrSKr » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:12 pm

No roller skiing where I live,
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or even ice skating for that matter.
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But good powder skiing, at least for now.

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Re: Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby MN Hoser » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:52 pm

I heard Houghton got two feet the week of nationals. Speaking, what is Mount Bohemia Nordic?

Jay

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Re: Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby UPrSKr » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:04 am

Yeah, we've been getting lots of snow but still way less than last year. It stopped snowing long enough for pretty fast tracks in the distance classic race especially on the downhills. I finished the course well off the back of the pack as expected. My diagonal striding is not great, but sand skiing helped me run up the hills anyway. It's actually very relaxing to ski all alone, the only real stress was having to pick up the pace enough to not get lapped by the leaders before starting my third lap!
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Mount Bohemia Nordic is a pretty small club, with only two members currently. Steve Rowe, who does the grooming, and me skiing the trails and providing feedback on how they are looking. Steve also is the chief architect of the backcountry downhill runs and ski patrol so Nordic grooming was on the backburner through this powder cycle. I'm heading out on the Nordic ski trails to check them out this morning.

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Re: Ultimate gear geekness: skis for beach skating

Postby FrontRunner » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:53 am

I used short skis...the shorty peltonens that came out a number of years ago and they worked fine. Actuall did it on the same beach as Koch in Maui. Fine sand is the key. Ski on the wet sand just after the wave recedes. I found classic a little better than skate, but both worked. Harder on the boots than the skis.


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