james wrote:Hello Backcountry Pilots,
Is there any advantage in waxing airplane skis? The bottoms on my skis are mirror smooth plastic. Downhill snow skis are not smooth and are slightly groved the length of the ski. Anyway I landed in some real heavy snow yesterday and it was about 40 degrees F. It was real difficult to get up to take-off speed under these conditions. Everywhere else they worked just fine. Any "constructive" advise would be greatly appreciated.
wet snow can be a bitch, wet snow with wheel skis and you can be waiting for it to cool off before you get out. I know several people who have had to wait till the next morning when it was colder to get off the snow, even after they tried to pack it down with snow shoes. A tail ski will help you out alot too. Without it, your pushing forwards to get that tail wheel up, but then your really loading you main skis and compounding the problem. I was always the guy that swore he didnt need a tail ski till I actually tried one. Holy shite what a difference it made!!
by Zane » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:10 pm
Warmer snow has always compelled me to wax my [human]skis more than any other condition. It can be extremely draggy.
I usually use Swix yellow, which is formulated for 32 F and greater. I rough up the base a little with a fine brass brush, and drip the wax arlong its length just to get some on there. Then I use a regular cloth iron set very low to smear it around and melt it into the texture. After that dries, I scrape it with a polycarbonate or even chamfered aluminum scraper. Excess wax does nothing.
As to the composition of the bases for aircraft skis, you're right. Downhill skis have a fairly smooth finish, but they have enough texture to retain wax. None of my skis have grooves. It's all the same stuff-- UHMW or HDPE/HMPE. Courierguy told us a story about some ski shop that refused to wax his Datums because of the base material. Well, it's the same stuff! My theory is that most ski shops have a machine that they run the ski through and it does all the work, and Courier guy's shop might have been a lazy stoner unwilling to do it by hand (just a theory, Tom! I've been in too many shops to have any other opinion )
Biggest issue is that a wax job will not last long, maybe a day or 2 or use. Getting to the bottom surface of that ski is major PITA
courierguy wrote:...it is different stuff.
wikipedia...UHMW wrote:The bottom of most modern skis — the surface that contacts the snow — is coated with UHMWPE, treated for compatibility with waxes and with epoxy base material. These treated materials are known as P-tex, Isospeed, or Durasurf.
goldfinch wrote:Wet snow holds you back no matter what you do. Lower temperature is the only way out of some of that stuff. In the spring, an experienced guy will quit using skis before he can use wheels. Snow will still be on the ground so it is hazardous for wheels, and on skis you won't nose over but can't get back out if its too wet and sloushy. Cold snow---to---- dry ground is the longest wait time of the year for the BCP.
DonC wrote:Chip sounds like u have been there done that I know I have Never got stuck over night but came close a few times. Heavy duty leaf bags or visqueen always saved me. Would be a hoot watching these guys try and wax their skies, never heard of that one before. I was just happy when they came up with the white P Tex , or what ever they call it now a days, that made a big difference. Never stop till u got a take off runway beat down or have snowshoesgoldfinch wrote:Wet snow holds you back no matter what you do. Lower temperature is the only way out of some of that stuff. In the spring, an experienced guy will quit using skis before he can use wheels. Snow will still be on the ground so it is hazardous for wheels, and on skis you won't nose over but can't get back out if its too wet and sloushy. Cold snow---to---- dry ground is the longest wait time of the year for the BCP.
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