After ski fitting the next most important step in finding the perfect ski experience is choosing the right grind. In what can be a complicated topic, at Gear West we strive to make structure decisions simple and easy. We do this by passing along our understanding of our grind menu and our experience with testing and development. Our key grinds perform over a broad range of conditions, but we also are able to cut more specific grinds that can be used to maximize performance in specific conditions. Stone grinding is one of the pieces we have in place that sets us apart from our competitors.
Stone grinding is the ultimate in care for your skis. The process starts by removing a small amount of base material from the ski. This achieves a few things, it flattens the base, minimizes any imperfections, and also takes away material that has been damaged by excessive heat from waxing. Opening up the base material this way allows the sintered structure of the material to accept wax better. In the new world of liquid waxes this is especially important to help improve the durability of the wax applications. After flattening, the ski is polished to a mirror like structure before a new structure pattern is imprinted into the material. Lastly the base goes through extensive post-grind steps to further clean and polish the ski before waxing. The end result is a base that looks great, is easy to work with, and is ready to perform at its best.
An important piece of cutting the right grind is starting with a quality grinder. At Gear West we have a Tazzari RP-23 made in Italy. It has the reputation as one of the best Nordic grinding machines in the world. The RP-23 was developed by Lars Svensson. a Swedish technician who has many years of experience stone grinding with Tazzari. Lars and his grind menu have been behind many gold medal performances at the Olympics and FIS World Championships. Through the years Lars has developed the best stones and stone cutting diamonds in the industry and continues to develop and tweak the moving parts of the machine. The RP-23 has Variotech technology that allows for grinds to be altered as the ski passes over the stone from tip to tail. This is especially important for transformed, man-made and wet snow, but we will continue to test this technology in other conditions. We also have operators with years of experience on the RP-23 and are able to use that experience to bring out the best in the machine.