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MISCELLANEOUS:
sidecut: 
25 meters
tipspacer:  2 layers of extra base material (P-Tex)
inserts: double pack for G3 telemark pattern (chord center and 3cm forward chord center)
width of wood core strips:  3/4 inch
epoxy:  West System (105 resin with 205 hardener)
bladder pressure
:  35 psi
duration of pressing:  12-15 hours

GRAPHICS:   For the skis I used a new type of cloth that I found at my local fabric store.  According to the sales lady, the name of it is Buckmans cloth and it's relatively light weight.  I also chose it because of its rough texture, which should in aid in bonding with paint and epoxy.  I figured that since thick painting paper (Bristol, Oxford, etc.) isn't available in 6 foot long sections then this Buckmans cloth will have to substitute.  It seemed to work well but we'll see how everything holds up after some skiing. 

For the left ski I simply cut the white Buckmans cloth to size and coated it with several layers of cheap black acrylic paint.   I added some textile medium to the paint to ensure flexibility of the paint so that it wouldn't crack at the tips and tails but I really don't think it's necessary.  To see if the textile medium had any affect I only used the medium when making the left ski. 

The graphic of the right ski involves too layers.  The white bottom layer was simply Buckmans cloth coated with several layers of pure white acrylic paint (no textile medium added).  When soaked with epoxy white cloth tends to dull out and become translucent.  By painting the fabric white it helps ensure that the cloth remains a bright white after lamination.  The black vines/roots were cut out from black Canson paper and placed on top of the cloth during the pressing of the ski. 

BUILDERS:  Kam S. Leang (Little Kam)

MANUFACTURED DATE:  December 20, 2005.

COMMENTS

With the Governor I wanted to incorporate some elements that I felt I didn't get quite right with the Tao.  First of all was the weight.  The Tao with the two layers of Titanal, P-Tex sidewalls, and duck cloth graphics was extremely heavy.   So for the Governor, I wanted to trim down on all the fancy materials and get back down the basic setup that I used for last year.  Basically, wood with plastic.  However, being a ski that I intend to do a lot of jibbing with I used 1.3mm thick base material as my topsheet material.  I'm hoping this well help prevent damage to the wooden sidewalls.

To enhance the park riding I changed several things from the Tao.  First of all was the symmetry.  The Tao is almost symmetrical in terms of sidecut but the core was profiled in a traditional manner with a stiffer tail.   For the Governor I decided to go completely symmetrical from the sidecut to the profile of the core.   

I also made the tip and tail heights a little taller for the Governor.  For some reason I've been having trouble with my tails catching on the snow while skiing and landing switch on the Tao and the only thing I can think of is the tail height or shape.  To solve the problem I heightened the tails 10mm more and rounded the shape up.   I like the look of the round tips much more than the semi-pointy tips of the Tao.  What was I thinking when I made those anyway?

The last detail that I changed was the flex of the ski.  I softened the flex up considerably hoping to get a similar ride as with the Ahmos.  I really liked the soft feel of the Ahmos, especially for the park and liked how easy they were to butter on.  Being more oriented towards the park I felt such a flex would be good for the Governor.  We'll see if all this ends up working out how I intended. 

One last thing I want to mention was the relaxation of camber.  I have no idea why the ski completely lost all of its camber and I don't have time to investigate the matter.  It may be the particular batch of West Systems epoxy I purchased.  Or maybe it was the cool temperatures (40-50 degrees Fahrenheit) at which I pressed the ski?  None of my previous skis lost their camber, which makes me worry a little bit about this ski.  Hopefully they don't explode on their test run.  

THE RIDE:

December 30 and 31, 2005:  Mammoth Mountain Resort written by Kam S. Leang

After being stuck skiing Southern California's man-made snow for the last month or so I jumped at a cousin's invitation to head up to Mammoth.  The forecast called for a decent sized storm so it seemed like a good trip to test out all the fat skis.  Upon arrival, Mammoth looked more like a wet sponge rather than the powder paradise as the resort website described.   Oh well, at least the wet snow looked better than the dirt I ski next to in Big Bear.

Skiing the windblown snow with patches of ice was a little difficult on the soft Governors, but after some practice I forced them to adapt to the conditions well enough.  The softness of the ski wasn't able to withstand the crud, but then again this IS a park ski right?  While trying to avoid the winds on the higher ridges I spent a little time killing vertical riding switch and experimenting with the flex.  The symmetrical design makes an incredible difference in riding switch/fakie allowing me to carve with such strength and precision that it felt like cheating.  The tails of the ski are so soft that I thought they would snap them right off while trying to ride on the tails but they remained intact and are actually quite stable at a variety of speeds.  I can tell this ski is going to be awesome in the park but needs some stiffening to make it a more versatile ski.  I'm just a little worried about the durability issues concerning the epoxy bonding with the graphic layer.  Maybe next time I'll just paint my graphic directly onto the wood.


January 2, 2006:  Snow Summit Resort
written by Kam S. Leang

So the skis delammed.  Actually only the left (black ski) delaminated.  After riding the park all day and taking some massive falls the topsheet of the lower half section of the ski completely separated from the ski.  The right ski seems perfectly intact with no visible areas of separation or any air bubbles in the topsheet or base.   Maybe it's the textile medium that was added to the delaminated ski?  That's the only real difference that I can think of.

Because I didn't have any more epoxy left to fix the ski I used some simple Loctite epoxy that I bought from the hardware store.  With the aid of clamps the topsheet seems to be adhering well to the ski. 


January 4, 2006:  Bear Mountain Resort
written by Kam S. Leang  

A full day of jibbing and icy landings and the ski seems to holding up.  The Loctite epoxy is surprisingly strong and works really well.   No areas of delamination are visible and both skis are staying together.


January 9, 2006:  Bear Mountain Resort written by Kam S. Leang

They delammed again!  This time the entire front portion of the left topsheet (black ski) completely ripped away after a few icy landings.   I just ended up going back to the truck and tearing the topsheet off.  It looks a lot nicer but I really don't think the ski won't hold up too long against chipping.  The tip spacers are also separating on both of the skis.  The two layers of base material aren't bonding to each other.   I solved the problem with some rivets but this is just a temporary fix.  A new ski will probably be in the works soon. 

 

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