Sunday, March 29, 2009

Home made skis

I have been slacken on my blog lately. I've been consumed with my latest project of making a pair of super wide powder skis. As you know, you can find out how to do just about anything on the internet. Having made several wake/kite boards a few years ago I had some of the equipment like a vacuum pump and lack of common sense. is the place to go. I was able to buy enough materials to make 2 pairs of skis for about $180. I'm not even going talk about the cost of my labor, but let's just say I have well over 40 hours into this first pair. I patterned my skis from the Black Diamond Mega Watt(left). I have my poplar cores in the middle and my template to the left. My measurements are a plump 163-125-135. Planing the profile of the core was a bit time consuming. I build a jig where I planned the profile with a hand router. I purchased the wood core already laminated 11mm thick. I shaped it down to 9mm under the boot and down to 3mm at the tip and tail. I then cut the P-tex to the shape of my template and super clued the steel edges to the P-tex.Gluing the edges is definitely the most tedious task. In the left of the picture you can see the mold I made with particle board. Once the edges are glued I placed it on the bottom of the mold. Then I mixed up some epoxy and added a layer of 24 oz fiberglass. You can see the wood core is waiting to go on top of the bottom layers. Ihave the fiberglass wet out with resin in the mold. I placed 2 strips of carbon fiber in the skis for good luck and to increase its value. Anything with carbon is worth more. Next the wood core is laid on top of the wet fiberglass. Another layer of 20 oz fiberglass is laid on top as seen below. I placed the whole mold in a bag which is sealed and I apply a vacuum pump to suck all the air out and press the ski into the mold. I leave the vacuum pump on for 8 hours until the epoxy is cured. You can see some of the black epoxy soaked through the breather cloth, which is fine. The ski comes out of the mold with a lot with flashing around edges. A belt sander cleans up the edges pretty good. I opted not to lay in the graphic layer. I wanted to make sure the flex was good before topping of the tops.

I skied on them for the first time last Thursday at Brighton. It took me a couple runs to get used to the extra width but man, they float like a snowboard. It's so easy to ski with them. I have no use for my snowboard now. These skis are awesome.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kiteboarding Rush Lake Mar 4th

Kiteboarding penguin session was a nice ride this morning Wednesday Mar 4th. Thanks to Kenny for talking me into this early season insanity. It was a classic Rush dawn patrol, smooth SE wind, air temp was mid 40's, water(really mud) temp was mid 40's. I had to make an exception to my 100 degree rule which is the air temp and water temp added together needed to exceed 100 degrees. We were riding by 7:00am which was few minutes before sunrise. Water is way low this year. I have not seen it this low in the March in many many years. Water depth was about 4 inches in south and pushing 6-7 inches in the middle. Kenny took a good ride to the north and was able to find 12 inches of water. The SE directions opens the lake up since its pretty small. We packed it up at 8:30 and headed to work. The wind was getting punchy when I left. According to forum we were the first kiters on rush for 2009. RUSH IS PLUSH