THE BETTER ROCKETS by Greg Simmons
The Bremallow on the left and The Better Rockets on the right.
Epoxy: QCM ECA-315 Hardener and QCM EHV-0050 Epoxy
Tipspacer: 4 layers (6 if you include the 2 full length layers) of 24oz
Damping elements: rubber strips placed above metal edges
Inserts: Screw-in wood inserts (low quality, « the price of the Rampa
style inserts) pattern is for Salomon S9-14 bindings.
SKI BUILDER: Greg Simmons (forum member: Greg)
DATE MANUFACTURED: November, 2005
For these graphics, I was a little lazy, so I just went to town
on them with a permanent pen after they were all finished
COMMENTS (By Greg)
After the many issues I ran into making the Bremallows, I decided to go back
to the basics for my second pair of skis. I took the leftover AK Rocket ski I
skied last year (the other one broke), and cut out bases using the ski as a
pattern. As many of you have experienced, the bases warped. This created an
A-symmetric side-cut. I would highly recommend using fiberglass for tipspacers.
Fiberglass lays up really easily and doesn't relax at all when it comes out of
the press. Additionally, because it is relaxed in its final state (as opposed to
wood which is bent) it seems to be immune to delamination. For the inserts, I
used some cheap screw in wood inserts. To say the least, I haven't been very
impressed with the inserts. They seem to hold really well, but the metal is a
pretty poor grade, and a couple of them broke apart while I was threading them
into the skis. Next time I will either just mount the bindings straight to the
skis or use something more like the Rampa inserts. After the first couple days
of skiing, the topsheet on one of the skis started de-laminating a bit because I
didn't get enough epoxy on it when I laid it up. I took the bindings off,
repressed the topsheet, and haven't had a problem since. Also during these
repairs, I coated the sidewalls with epoxy, and it seems to be holding up pretty
Two days at Alpental in hardpack conditions and one day at Mt.
Baker in extremely heavy powder snow. I was initially a little bit leery of the
a-symmetric sidecut, but it actually skied really well so long as the tighter
sidecut was on the outside edge. When the tighter cut was on the inside, the
skis tended to cross their tips quite easily. They are stiff and powerful at
speed, and I feel that they ski as well as if not better than the Salomon AK
Rockets they were modeled after. The fiberglass tips seem really solid as well.
The only problem I have had with them other than the topsheet issue, is that I
took a huge fall on a really steep pitch and one of the skis slammed into a rock
with its tail. The bare wood of the tail took some damage (imagine hammering on
a piece of wood) but a little epoxy mostly put it back together. My next pair of
skis uses fiberglass for both the tips and the tails and I think this should
solve the problem.