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  1. #26
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    I used 175 Rossi BC110 with Rottimat NNN-BC Magnums & BCX10ís for bushwhacking in the Midwest.

    Too bad ORS went out of business. They carried a wide range of XC gear and had the best videos.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWFlow View Post
    How in the wide world of sports haven't i thought of this? Are you finding your descent slidability to be terribly compromised? I guess it would be just like xc skis though
    Iím not sure why fat fish scales get all the love, and grip wax on fat skis is overlooked. Maybe people coming from the alpine skiing world are afraid of grip wax voodoo, or maybe the industry would just rather sell you a new ski/binding combo than a $10 stick of xc wax.

    With the right wax in good conditions, grip wax can have both better grip and better glide than scales. If you are way off on the wax choice, you will either get no grip, or grind to a halt as snow sticks to your base. However, apart from icy conditions and temperatures within a few degrees of freezing, wax choice is not really that difficult. Where I live, Swix Blue Extra works for xc skiing 90% of the winter days and I switch to scales in the spring when waxing is tricky.

    Depending on your local conditions and your interest in ski prep and maintenance, grip waxing may or may not work for you, but itís very inexpensive to try it (if you already have tele or touring skis).

  3. #28
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    Dec 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueNorth View Post

    Depending on your local conditions and your interest in ski prep and maintenance, grip waxing may or may not work for you, but it’s very inexpensive to try it (if you already have tele or touring skis).
    Local conditions: Poor
    Interest: High (poor execution however)

    Thanks for the info, I'm gonna try this out. Guessing it's just like waxing xc skis? Grew up with that, but for some reason never connected the dots to giving it a whirl with (alpine) touring skis.

  4. #29
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    Yeah, it's like waxing xc skis, except the skis don't have a defined wax pocket so you will have to experiment with how much of the ski length to wax (balancing grip vs. glide).

    Also, you can put skins on over top of cold/hard grip waxes, but warm/soft waxes might stick to skins.

  5. #30
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    Dec 2008
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    Thanks! My skins are in such deplorable condition a bit of red stuck to the bottom may actually improve the situation anyway

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueNorth View Post
    I’m not sure why fat fish scales get all the love, and grip wax on fat skis is overlooked. Maybe people coming from the alpine skiing world are afraid of grip wax voodoo, or maybe the industry would just rather sell you a new ski/binding combo than a $10 stick of xc wax.

    With the right wax in good conditions, grip wax can have both better grip and better glide than scales. If you are way off on the wax choice, you will either get no grip, or grind to a halt as snow sticks to your base. However, apart from icy conditions and temperatures within a few degrees of freezing, wax choice is not really that difficult. Where I live, Swix Blue Extra works for xc skiing 90% of the winter days and I switch to scales in the spring when waxing is tricky.

    Depending on your local conditions and your interest in ski prep and maintenance, grip waxing may or may not work for you, but it’s very inexpensive to try it (if you already have tele or touring skis).
    Scraping kick wax sucks on narrow XC skis. Having to remove a 1/4 can of Violet Special from some 112mm underfoot skis would be a pain in the ass.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peruvian View Post
    Scraping kick wax sucks on narrow XC skis. Having to remove a 1/4 can of Violet Special from some 112mm underfoot skis would be a pain in the ass.
    Agreed, but I don't think I've used any wax other than blue or green in years. If those won't work, I'm on scales or skins, or skate skis. Wax is just another option that works well in some circumstances, and not so well in others.

    Also, I rarely scrape my kick wax. Usually it wears off on the snow, and I just apply more of the same kind over top. The exception is if I'm skiing in poor conditions and the wax picks up lots of leaves or dirt, in which case I scrape just enough to get the debris off rather than trying to get a pristine base. This works well enough for a hack skier like me.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueNorth View Post
    Iím not sure why fat fish scales get all the love, and grip wax on fat skis is overlooked. ).
    Because you just walk out the door, throw them down and click in. A good wax job is better, but just an occasional wipe down with Maxi Glide is frickin easy.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgilligan02 View Post
    Apologize, I have explained poorly. I had read that article about The Farmer previously and was similarly thinking more about cutting fish scales in some alpine skis (or acquiring some) than XC skis.
    I think trying to cut your own fish scales ^^ is a dumb idea but I am curious if anyone has tried cutting their own and how did it work
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  10. #35
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    Yes, I own Vector BCs and Hoks and I appreciate the convenience factor. I'm just pointing out that not many people seem to realize that they can use grip wax instead of (or in addition to) skins on any pair of touring/tele skis. It takes maybe 5-10 minutes extra to prep the skis, but it's a lot cheaper than a new set of skis and bindings, and you are not limited to the handful of skis that are available with fishscales or integrated skins.

  11. #36
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    Here is another wide/scaled ski to consider.

    SPECS:

    133/97/119

    Radius: 18m

    Lengths: 165, 177, 184 cm

    Weight: 6lb 4oz per pair

    Base: Waxless/"Fishscale"

    Core: Paulownia/ reinforced in binding mounting area

    Carbon

    Sidewall: Slant

    Warranty: 3 yr

  12. #37
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    If it's truly a workout the OP is seeking, paraffin and herringbone will get the heart pumping. As I recall.
    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    I think trying to cut your own fish scales ^^ is a dumb idea but I am curious if anyone has tried cutting their own and how did it work
    I picked up some Fischer Profoil "skins" (basically plastic fishscale skins) for cheap with the intention of cutting out a piece of the fishscale pattern and semi-permanently gluing it onto some old skis, but I have not actually done it yet.

    I think Fischer should make those Profoil skins with a smooth tip and tail section, and scales only underfoot. That would allow any ski to be converted to a fishscale touring ski, in a completely reversible way.

  14. #39
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    Jan 2004
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    bobz


    I guess I'm kinda between #1 and #2, considering I'm a fkn beater on narrower xc gear these days - I just don't use it that much. I like a big, stable base underfoot. I recently scored some Voile Vector BC for snow survey work. I'm going to put G3 Targa on them and use a T3 boot. (all of the skis the program owns are mounted with Targa) Seems like the perfect setup for me for this. I'll still carry skins - at least some sort of kicker. I'd be fine with something a bit narrower - 85-90mm would be cool - but I don't see those on the market these days.

    You know the terrain. It's mostly 1/2 day tours over moderate to dodgy terrain through the never ending variety of mid elevation Sierra mank over dirt, rocks and bushes. The wax quandary sometimes becomes deciding between waxing for mazanita and whitethorn or willow and alder. We also do a 3-4 day backcountry trip, using the snow survey cabins along the way. With a helicopter drop off at a high sierra station and a pick up on the other end, it's a 60 mile meadow skip mostly downhill, perfect for these skis for me. We keep a stock of Targa parts at all of the cabins and always carry extra bits. They're light and functional and easy to fix.


    Quote Originally Posted by bobz View Post

    1) What's basically low- to moderate-angle topography, but with enough 3D snow (open terrain crud-crust-powder-cement-etc) that would make the otherwise more appropriate narrower gear difficult to manage, even with good skills. (This is probably the best application for fat+patterned gear)

    2) Low- to moderate angle topography, but skier wants to feel right at home on gear that behaves a lot like what they're used to from downhill skiing, doesn't want to bother cultivating skills and balance to be on XC or BC-grade gear. (This is almost certainly the most popular application for fat+patterned gear).
    Last edited by ~mikey b; 09-23-2020 at 12:27 PM.
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueNorth View Post
    I picked up some Fischer Profoil "skins" (basically plastic fishscale skins) for cheap with the intention of cutting out a piece of the fishscale pattern and semi-permanently gluing it onto some old skis, but I have not actually done it yet.

    I think Fischer should make those Profoil skins with a smooth tip and tail section, and scales only underfoot. That would allow any ski to be converted to a fishscale touring ski, in a completely reversible way.
    15 - 20 yars ago there was an eclectic ( lotta drugs eh) group of back country snow boarders up here who made approach skis for the up by gluing scrap climbing skin to 130cm kid skis which were then easily carried on the pack for the down
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  16. #41
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    Oct 2015
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    Fish scaled skis? Also: dumb idea alert.

    Wow, the collective delivers as usual. Need to sort through and digest this stuff.

    I live in northern IL (yes it sucks), and I really am just looking for the quick hit within 30 minutes of my house. Some sledding hills is about the best I can hope.

    For the up on those the Marquette/Hok genre sounds about perfect. Not sure about the sliding on the down, thoughóthey may need a decent angle to be much more than a crawl on descent?

  17. #42
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by wra View Post
    my son told me his getting a pair for skiing PNW mountains this winter. Claims they will be perfect for the long approaches to Jefferson and Adams.
    off your knees Louie

  19. #44
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    Oct 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by wra View Post
    Sorry, I must be missing something. $650 skis + needing to source touring binders/boots is cheaper than the Marquette/Hok route?

  20. #45
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    Jan 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~mikey b View Post
    bobz


    I guess I'm kinda between #1 and #2, considering I'm a fkn beater on narrower xc gear these days - I just don't use it that much. I like a big, stable base underfoot. I recently scored some Voile Vector BC for snow survey work. I'm going to put G3 Targa on them and use a T3 boot. (all of the skis the program owns are mounted with Targa) Seems like the perfect setup for me for this. I'll still carry skins - at least some sort of kicker. I'd be fine with something a bit narrower - 85-90mm would be cool - but I don't see those on the market these days.

    You know the terrain. It's mostly 1/2 day tours over moderate to dodgy terrain through the never ending variety of mid elevation Sierra mank over dirt, rocks and bushes. The wax quandary sometimes becomes deciding between waxing for mazanita and whitethorn or willow and alder. We also do a 3-4 day backcountry trip, using the snow survey cabins along the way. With a helicopter drop off at a high sierra station and a pick up on the other end, it's a 60 mile meadow skip mostly downhill, perfect for these skis for me. We keep a stock of Targa parts at all of the cabins and always carry extra bits. They're light and functional and easy to fix.
    Yeah. Well, like I said, if it's low-moderate angle and likely to be 3D or otherwise funky snow, that's my Category 1, and I totally get fat+patterned for that. Most people going out on lower angle tours are either on tracked out trails or it's sort of nice snow out. I mean, you or me, we'll go out and do some not popular trek on the map even if it's horrible breakable crust out, hey, it is what it is and today's a ski day so let's go; most people will say "that sucks" (because it kind of does) and stay on the tracked out route when the snow's nasty (non-deep powder's actually still very doable and fun on narrower gear).

    For my Category 2, I think a lot of these folks are on bigger fatter gear (and/or fixed heel) than necessary, for pretty much the same reason that even more people are out on snowshoes. Clunkier but easier. While I get people wanting stability, I think it's a bit of a shame to optimize gear for a really small part of a mostly low-angle tour.

    As for the OP, again, get something, anything that slides, and have fun, it's all good (and if you decide you didn't choose quite right, just get more skis etc, and the old ones will probably still have their place). But out in the rather flat midwest, it seems to me that not having at least one set of (BC-oriented, not groomed-oriented) XC gear would be like living in Teluride and not having powder skis.

  21. #46
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    Mar 2015
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    I'm a HUGE fan of fish scaled skis. Started on them in about 2010 and still use them more than anything else I have. I use them for nearly everything out of bounds, and even at the ski area at times. They rock for getting around on low angle terrain, but also steeper spots making lots of switchbacks.

    They do not play so well when you are out with others on flat based skis, since they and you will have totally different times to use skins, and because they can out glide you on low angle runouts.

    Anyway, I actually cut scales into my own skis. They are a design not available with scales I had a specific use for: corn skiing. I wanted really narrow, all mountain shaped skis with scales because kick wax doesn't work on wet snow and scales break up suction.

    I used a milling machine to do the work and was 100% successful; compared directly with Vector BC's they grip about 80% as well, and also have noticeably better glide. I wanted that outcome. Only downside is they make a little more noise than the Voile's skiing downhill on firm snow.

    So I was successful- but had access to a machine, that I know how to use. Had I had to pay someone else it would have been several hundred dollars with no guarantees. And without machine tools? It would likely have failed.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  22. #47
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    Sep 2020
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    My G3 Findrs perform well enough, but only on fairly flat approaches. Unsurprisingly, they also struggle when the conditions crusty/icy. They are definitely better suited for certain areas, but they aren't ideal for areas like the Wasatch.

  23. #48
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    Oct 2003
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    I've got an old pair of Karhu mountaineering skis with metal edges & fish scales setup for 3 pins & leather boots.
    I don't really use 'em to ski, more to walk around in the woods, I just happen to be on skis.
    I prefer to use these instead of snowshoes. Almost as easy to climb up but can actually slide around and pick up some speed going downhill.
    Good for rolling terrain as others have said. I'd never even consider taking 'em someplace I actually wanted to ski down.
    I wipe 'em down with Maxi-Glide so they don't get sticky & clump up.
    "The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size."

  24. #49
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    Feb 2005
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    373
    Quote Originally Posted by Yoyo View Post
    I'm a HUGE fan of fish scaled skis. Started on them in about 2010 and still use them more than anything else I have. I use them for nearly everything out of bounds, and even at the ski area at times. They rock for getting around on low angle terrain, but also steeper spots making lots of switchbacks.

    They do not play so well when you are out with others on flat based skis, since they and you will have totally different times to use skins, and because they can out glide you on low angle runouts.

    Anyway, I actually cut scales into my own skis. They are a design not available with scales I had a specific use for: corn skiing. I wanted really narrow, all mountain shaped skis with scales because kick wax doesn't work on wet snow and scales break up suction.

    I used a milling machine to do the work and was 100% successful; compared directly with Vector BC's they grip about 80% as well, and also have noticeably better glide. I wanted that outcome. Only downside is they make a little more noise than the Voile's skiing downhill on firm snow.

    So I was successful- but had access to a machine, that I know how to use. Had I had to pay someone else it would have been several hundred dollars with no guarantees. And without machine tools? It would likely have failed.
    Nicely done, can you provide more details on machine and bit used.

  25. #50
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    May 2016
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    I have always been curious about fish scales but Voile BC skis are not cheap and hard to find used and might not even work for me.
    This season I plan on taking an old pair of skins and cutting them narrow/short so they go on and off super easily. I have seen skimo guys rip and apply skins super fast while keeping skis on. I can rip my regular skins fast standing up. getting them back on and my heel free is another story. But I might set this up on hard boot tele stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    Nothing in the ski industry is ever as it seems or is being made out to be - unless you were just buried in an avalanche.

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