Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

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fisheater

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Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

Postby fisheater » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:50 pm

The following is written from my experience with the FT 62. The ability for a ski to have a wax pocket while being single cambered is important well beyond any one ski. Perhaps it is something that others have experienced and I just think is new. I am thinking this is could why people there are all the positive reviews of the Vector's touring prowess. Ok here goes:

We all know the wax pocket is the area underfoot and forward of the binding that does not compress when 1/2 of the skiers weight is placed upon the ski. I believe this is best tested on a flat surface (marble table), utilizing paper or similar shim material to determine the area (wax pocket) that does not compress to the flat testing surface.
Many times when flex skis to get a feel for their capabilities, we will place skis base to base and squeeze them by hand. We expect to not be able to fully compress those skis in the wax pocket. We also can flex those skis by placing the tail on the floor. We then hold the tip with one hand, and using the other hand and flex (bend) the ski. Skis with wax pockets have a straighter area where the wax pocket is located, that does not bend. This area of tension rides above the snow in the glide portion of kick and glide.
Now with the FT 62 a 12 year old girl can compress the skis base to base. Obviously there is no wax pocket utilizing the paper test. Hand flexing indicates a nice round flex, no straight area. So how does the FT 62 have a wax pocket in soft snow? Which I can confirm exists in as little as 4" of soft snow.
The reason is that the FT 62 is a soft flexing ski, but still stiff enough to offer support for my 195 lb lead a$$. When I flex the ski, it my hand in the middle of the ski bending it into that nice round single camber flex. Just as the force generated by turning bend the ski into the single camber flex. What I found out recently is that if I just place the tail on the ground, and hold the tip, flexing the ski without pressuring the ski center. The ski's flex shape has that flat area, a kick zone. That is what Asnes calls moderate tension. It works the same as double camber does in the 3D environment of soft snow.
So that's it, pretty simple stuff really. It only took me a year to figure it out. The real question is do Voile skis flex similarly??? Because the Tindan 86 does!!! Yes, I am predicting soft snow k&g perfomance!
Edit: Please be aware that in k&g performing, the tip rocker still takes a radiused path to the surface. The wax pocket which is "under tension" does not arc or at least not to the same degree.
I think this explains what I felt when skiing this ski.

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Re: Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

Postby Verskis » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:35 am

fisheater wrote: What I found out recently is that if I just place the tail on the ground, and hold the tip, flexing the ski without pressuring the ski center.

Sorry, I don't really understand this. How do you flex the skis without pressuring the center? Are you bending the tip so much that it starts to bend the whole ski?

And have you done the same test to some other single camber skis, and found out a different behaviour compared to Åsnes skis?

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Re: Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

Postby fisheater » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:59 am

I place both hands on the tip. I hold the ski about 20 degrees away from me. I put my boot up against the tail. I press down firmly to flex the ski. It isn't easy with my old Vokll.
The flex on my alpine skis are pretty even. I cannot get the Sbound to flex using this method.
What flexing these skis proved is they did have extra tension underfoot that allows for a wax pocket in soft snow. The tension is pretty finely tuned. If you put some weight on the ski by pushing it in with your hand you can flex it in. Just as the ski arcs nicely with the forces of gravity in a turn. However there is enough tension to support half your weight in kick and glide.

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Re: Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

Postby lilcliffy » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:53 pm

Very interesting stuff Bob.

Asnes is doing some very innovative stuff with their BC Nordic touring skis.

In addition to this- across the board- the Asnes Fjellskis have much lower profile initial cambers than their similar equivalents from other manufacturers (e.g. E99 vs Gamme 54; Ingtad vs E109/78/Eon)- depsite them offering full-length stability and loads of tension underfoot. That low profile camber- combined with underfoot tension produces the amazing combination of being able to evenly pressure skis in downhill turns- while still offering much XC snap!

I have examined my FT62- its flex pattern is the same as what you describe.
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Re: Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

Postby lowangle al » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:48 pm

Bob, what makes you think that there is a wax pocket on single camber skis? Do all single camber skis have it or is it only found on "Nordic" skis?

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Re: Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

Postby fisheater » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:49 pm

I have a wax pocket on my Falketind 62. Because of the ski's flex and single camber it needs about 4" of soft snow to work. However in soft snow the wax is preserved for at least 10 miles or so. I was confused as to how this could be. I only figured (or think I figured) it out as I was flexing the Falketind and my new Tindan as I was trying to figure a pin line on the Tindan. The Tindan has a similar flex pattern, so I am assuming it will also have a soft snow wax pocket. If you prefer, call it an area underfoot and going forward that holds wax, and gives good kick and glide performance in soft snow.
All this makes me wonder about the Voile skis. There has to be a reason for all the good reports on their good performance when kicking along. I don't doubt they have a great scale pattern, but could they also have this limited tension underfoot that allows the ski to fully arc in a turn, but allow for some clearance of the scales in the wax pocket?
I don't know the answer. Where I live I need to mail order any of these skis. The only thing I know for sure is my FT 62 is what I hoped my Sbound would be. The Tindan is about the size of an Objective, so it is bigger and stiffer flexing. I don't know where I will go from here. I just think there may be something more similar between these Asnes and Voile than different.

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Re: Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

Postby lowangle al » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:05 pm

Voile says the Vector has traditional camber underfoot. This might be the flat spot you are seeing when you bend a ski without pushing on the center. I assume all of the single camber skis that I have been kick waxing over the years have traditional camber and they all held wax. I never really noticed much difference in how well single or double camber skis hold wax. In abrasive snow a double camber ski may hold wax longer but you will still be reapplying.

It could be that this traditional camber helps with wax retention but I think a ski without any camber at all would still hold wax.

Could it be that the traditional camber is what you refer to as a wax pocket or do you think it is something more specific to a single camber Nordic touring ski?

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Re: Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

Postby fisheater » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:30 pm

Al, I don't really have a good answer. Perhaps it what I am seeing is traditional camber. I also can't say that what I am seeing is specific to Nordic skis. What I do know is this type of flex is good for kick and glide in soft snow, and very solid when making turns. If I ever get a chance to flex some Voile skis I will see if they are similar, or two different approaches to get good results

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Re: Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

Postby Woodserson » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:07 am

SO I think I really like this explanation in the OP but I really don't understand it. Can someone translate Fish for Woodserson-Dummyman?

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Re: Mystery of the Single Camber Wax Pocket Explained

Postby lowangle al » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:33 pm

Funny thing is that when I'm xc skiing and kick off of one ski all or almost all of my weight is on the gliding ski. The wax pocket is compressed with the wax on the snow yet it still glides. On a properly waxed ski it doesn't stop gliding until it momentarily stops which is the kick. I don't think you get the benefits of the double camber until both skis are weighted which probably happens at the end of the glide phase and between kicks when your skis are side by side and you are going fast.

I think the moral of the story is that a properly waxed single camber skis tours really well, it just doesn't have the top end speed of double camber. In my book the wax pocket is the part of the ski base that is not in contact with the snow when both skis are weighted and I don't think you get this with single camber.

Bob, as far as the Vector being considered a good gliding ski, this refers to the bc version. It could be the base material or the pattern design. When I ski my waxable vectors they don't seem any better than any of my other waxable single camber skis as far as kick and glide.


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