It's been awhile since I have posted in BAJ. My apologies, but I am going to try to make good for you guys.
The reason why we are always having trouble maintaining speed with artificial surfaces is that a petex base will always be slower on a synthetic surface than it is on snow. The reason that Msnow works well is because it minimizes the amount of contact that the ski base has with the surface at any given time.
I would definitely still recommend buying Msnow if you can afford to because it is just easier. There will be fewer issues that you have to work out with your setup. As long as your transition is mellow and smooth and your lip is right, your setup will work great.
For those who still want to go with turf, I had an idea. Use two layers of turf. The bottom layer will be cheap low pile turf. The top layer should be a thicker pile with pretty stiff bristles. Take that turf and cut a diamond pattern out of it. I'm thinking that the diamonds should have 2 inch sides, and be spaced about 2 inches apart. Here is a drawing I did:
Basically you are making a lattice form out of turf. This should be fast without having to wet it much and you shouldn't have to use soap. It should also work for setting an edge for your take off. I really think that this is a way of making turf work by decreasing the amount of surface area that your base is going to come in contact with. If you are doing a set up like drop in like OP's you can wrap the cheap thin layer of turf around the 2 x 4's and then wrap the diamond cut out layer over it. That will make the drop in even faster. So you don't waste material I would attach the diamonds that were cut out to to the top flat surface of your drop in.
Feel free to PM me if you have questions.
Huck off and fly!!!
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