The Better Rockets ... Season 3 and beyond!

So, did they work, and how were they? Show everyone proof that your ride was a success (or even a complete failure)!

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Greg
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 11:41 am
Location: Sweden but home is NW Washington

The Better Rockets ... Season 3 and beyond!

Post by Greg » Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:15 am

I just thought an update on the "The Better Rockets" was in order, since they are now well into their third season of heavy use. As documented in Season 2, they developed a strange reverse camber that starts right in front of the binding on one ski, and doesn't exist on the other ski. They still ski fine, but they are kind of strange.

However, new for this year, they are mounted with Telemark bindings, and they seem to behave very well on the groomers and small amounts of powder that my developing tele skills can manage. I got bored of skiing alpine style and converted this year.

Along with the conversion to telemark skis, "The Better Rockets" have been modified to perform as touring XC skis. Most of my touring is in fresh snow where standard skis are just too narrow to stay on top, so, I simply made a bunch of knife cuts at a 45 degree angle right under and in front of the binding's toe piece. For general cruising around on the flat and small inclines, this method works surprisingly well and affords just enough traction. I just got back from a 2 day 40 kilometer tour around the sea and lakes, and they performed quite well through the whole trip.

The only strange thing with the cutting method of turning a pair of skis into "waxless" touring skis is that the performance of the cuts varies greatly depending on the snow temperature. When I began the trip yesterday, the temperature was about 10 F or - 12 C, and the cuts worked well for flat land, but weren't too helpful going uphill. However, this morning, the temperature rose to about 28 F or -3, and the cuts grabbed well for everything... In some cases, they even held snow that had to be kicked off in the next step.

In conclusion, The Better Rockets are a, in my opinion, perfect example of the good durability possible from a pair of skis built in a garage. And, while I am very tempted to retire this pair, they just keep going, and the bases are still in good shape (aside from the cuts), so I think I will keep using them until they really blow up, which I have a feeling will be sometime during Season 4.

I was going to include pictures of the tour, but the camera battery froze and I couldn't get any love from it :(

Greg
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 11:41 am
Location: Sweden but home is NW Washington

Post by Greg » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:40 pm

I thought I would add a second addition to this post since almost three years have passed since these skis went into retirement.

This year I got a kite and am now doing a lot of snow kiting. I remounted alpine bindings on the 'Better Rockets' and they have now come out of retirement.

The insane stiffness of these skis and their excellent tracking really helps because most of the kiting I do is in 3 to 4 inches of windpacked snow. I know, for a powder skier, 3 to 4 inches of windpack sounds like misery... except that with a kite, you mostly go in a straight line, so it is just perfect, and ever so smooth!

I think the next project will be a teleboard to be able to get maximum 'straight line carving' out of the kite. It is a really interesting feeling 'carving' with your hip scraping on the snow surface while going really fast on flat. :)
Want skis Better, Cheaper, Faster and much much Cooler... build your own.

Greg
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 11:41 am
Location: Sweden but home is NW Washington

Post by Greg » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:18 am

These skis are now in their ninth season!!!
They are still holding together well and are great to ski with. The only problem of late has been that last year the bindings (Salomon S914) broke apart from the abuse of kite skiing on windpack at high speeds.
I haven't mounted any bindings this year, but maybe next year they will get some more action.
Want skis Better, Cheaper, Faster and much much Cooler... build your own.

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