dude, this is not a simple answer. there is alot that contributes to making a base. it isnt just plastic. ill lay down what i can. if you really want to know more, research ski construction and base materials
Sintered: as said above, the raw material, in pellet form, is pressed under extreme preasure. the more preasure exerted, the harder the base. the harder the base, the more durable it is (duh) however, a very hard base is not as pourous as a softer one, therefore not allowing for as much wax to be absorbed. the more wax penetrating the base, the faster the ski is. that is my they dont use racing bases for park skis. its a balancing act between durability and speed. as with color, clear and black are the two most common colors for base material. cheap skis have black bases, intermediatly priced skis have clear bases with graphics silk screened on the back, while higher end stuff has die-cut bases. (the base is cut out like a jigsaw puzzle, in different colors) race skis also use a black base, but it is a much higher grade material, which contains graphite. the reason its theare is to decrease static between the base and the snow. Special wax must be used to prevent pulling out the graphite.
Extruded: the plastic pellets are melted down and squeezed out into a sheet. they suck. they are pretty much nonpourous (if youve worked in a ski shop, they stick out like a sore thumb because they dont take wax well) they are also very soft.
a base grinder can be cut many ways (for those who dont know, its a large sanding grit drum, and you can 'dress it' with different paterns that in turn cut different patterns into the base.) what this does, is reduce surface tension between the base, the water, and the snow.
For the edges, they definatly make difference. most professional shops will offer an edge bevel. this angles the edges up away from the base, which reduces the chances of catching an edge. however, it also keeps the edges from being load bearing while skiing strait. they still are in contact with the snow, but arent digging in like they would if they were parralell. again, this is a balancing act, because going too far will hurt your handling, while not doing any will slightly slow you, but make the ski MUCH less forgiving. you do not want straight edges for park riding. and instead of detuning your edges, you can ask your shop to do a 2 or 3 degree bevell. three is pretty steep, but doing this will make the ski butter-able without losing edge hold. it is possible to detune your grind area this way, but i think it is much easier (with better results) to do it by hand.
So anyway, your not gonna find a racing base on any park skis (except the salomon Candide/CR skis) so these are the steps you should take to get the fastest ski possible.
go to a shop. the biggest ones definatly arent the best. the little core shops with real skis techs are the best. have them stone grind your base, bevel your base and sidwall edges. If you would like talk to them about a custom bevel. it may be a few extra bucks, but its, probibly worth it. Talk to them to pick a bevel that would work best for you. 2-3 is just a rough estimate. pick up some wax(the real stuff, not rub on) when you pick your skis up from the shop. ask for a high flourine content wax, all temperatures for you poor bastards, and a range of temperatures for you with some extra cash. most of the time it doesnt matter, except when its REALLY cold or REALLY warm. Swix F4 is a great all around wax thats pretty cheap. also, pick up some Zardos notwax. if that shop doesnt have it, go get it elsewhere. this shit is pretty much rediculous. its kinda pricy, but youll see what i mean when you slap some on.
Now go home and setup a work area. what i like to do is make a wooden temlpate of my boot, stick it im my bindings, and clamp it with a worckbench clamp. whatever you do, you need to have the brakes down. those good rubber bands that come on brocli work great for this too. you need a clean iron, (this is important, if there is anything on there but wax it will scratch the fuck out of your bases. i recomend piccking one up specifically for tuning (i recomend the black bakoda one), but if you cant afford that go get a cheap one from kmart or somethin. DONT use your moms! the tunning ones dont have those holes in the bottom, which collect wax and dirt. turn the temp to one or two, and hold the bar on the iron. once it starts to melt, put the tip of the iron on the base and draw a zig-zag up and down the ski, in both directions. this is much more accurte (and cleaner) than just dripping it on. then, go back and iron it all in. be careful not to over heat the base. if you see wet wax where the edge tabs are, that is not good. if the edges get too hot, it breaks down the bond with the epoxy, and they WILL fall out. as soon as the wax cools, take a scraper, (metal ones are much better, but can do damage if not properly maintained)and scrape all the wax off. dont try to go along the edges or something and plane it off. just scrape in nice long strokes. the more you get off, the faster it will be. (you dont want wax on the glide surface, but inside of it to reduce cling) then, thake a clean scotch brite pad and polish the base, up and down the ski, not across. gently wipe the base with a paper towel, and apply Zardos. this ski will now haul ass.
Also, if you are not getting your skis tuned, but are just waxing them, wax them twice. it may sound odd, but if your bases are dirty, this will pull all the particles out and leave you with a nice, fresh base.
peace, and i hope your grateful i just typed all this shit. your lucky im bored!
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