A foray past the technical wing of Powell’s Books turned up a bunch of fun reading. Among them is this informative book on snowflakes.
Written by a physicist who developed a specialty in snowflake formation, and beautifully photographed. It’s a broad treatise on snow that’s accessible to everyone, from kids to graduate-level physicists. If you need a snow-focused holiday gift for someone who already has too many skis and bindings, this might be it.
After a fun demo of a pair of lightweight 120 mm skis at Vertfest, I’d kept an eye out for a sweet deal on a pair of truly fat skis. The Drifter, at 153/128/141 mm, fits that bill.
These skis are used, but in stellar shape. The previous owner posted a review here. These skis are almost certainly from Voile’s “zero-camber” sale of 09/10 skis. Durability-wise, the previous owner claimed 70+ days; the bases are in stellar condition given that much use.
Weights: From the Wayback Machine in April 2010, the 192 claimed weight/ski was 2.11 kg/ski. The skis weighed in at 2231 and 2217 g, yielding 2224±12 grams. That’s 5% high, even with binding holes drilled and some wear; perhaps pre-production weights were overoptimistic.
The ski dimensions are internally consistent at better than 100 microns, comparable to the amount of material removed by sharpening an edge. I haven’t yet made a major effort toward quantifying ski dimensions, but this is the best I’ve seen. Very nice work, Voile. Repeatability at that level hints at quality in other contexts. The ski topsheets claim 153/128/141 mm. My measurements give 155.1/127.3/141.3 mm, with uncertainties < 0.1 mm. The ski shovel is so huge, it’s only barely measureable with a 6″ shop caliper!
I have a pair of OR Stormtrackers from 2010/11 that I really love – they’re my favorite glove ever. The softshell material keeps hands warm, but not too warm, in most temperatures we encounter in the Cascades. The Windstopper keeps things dry, at least until the DWR wears out. The old pair is now worn out/holey after two hard years of use, so it’s time for something new. What better to replace Stormtrackers than Stormtrackers? Found a minor winter/spring sale and bought a pair.
This year’s pair is red, which is nifty. The fit at the wrist isn’t as close as before, but the zipper closure does a better job of sealing at the wrist. Not sure which I’ll prefer. Dexterity is comparable. After some break-in, it may be equivalent.
What about weight? With the usual caveats regarding assessing uncertainty from two measurements, I measure 63.1±1.5 grams per glove, for size XL, or 126.1 g for the pair. The packaging claims 168 g/pair in size L, but the current OR website claims 116 g/pair for size L.
A friend brought a beater pair of Goode 95s by for a mount on the mill. The skis themselves are in great shape, but they’re on their third or fourth mount. Skis have six inserts/ski for tele, and we added eight inserts/ski for La Sportiva bindings. Skis have had other holes filled (or not) with JB Weld.
Skis are stiff, minimal camber. The contact points are quite close to the ends of the ski. Looks like a very traditional design, and may be less forgiving of technical error than some modern skis. Torsional stiffness is excellent; I’d expect it to hold an edge well.
For these skis, after calibration and unbiasing, I measure 1256 ± 40 grams . Individually, they weighed in at 1279 and 1234 g. While these skis are holey, I’d be surprised if all 45 grams of difference between the skis is due to their post-sale history. 45 grams is a lot – almost two ounces. But, without a pristine pair, we cannot be sure.
New skis would be somewhat lighter, perhaps 20-30 g. Each ski has 17g+ of inserts alone.
Got schooled by the kind and knowledgeable folks at Marmot Mountain on the ins and outs of skate poles. Considering my budget, the mid-grade Swix poles seemed to strike the right balance. These are the ones with the blue hatching. Definitely found the middle ground in stiffness in the Swix line, but seemingly stiffer than the full-carbon Yoko pole of the same size.
Poles weighed in at 261.6 and 263.3 g, so 262.5 ± 1.5 grams (with usual caveats about measuring errorbars off two points). Couldn’t find a Swix spec for the poles’ mass.
The skate gear continues. As a review goes, I’m still calibrating myself as much as the skis for skate gear. No flaws, binding mount went smoothly, skis go fast.
If you’re looking at the photos, the 2000/2006 g calibration factor applies to this scale. One ski weighed in at 700 g, the other at 708 g. With the usual caveats (2 measurements is a poor way to sample a distribution), this comes to 704±7 grams for each ski. I can’t find a spec from Fischer for the 192 cm ski.
Skate gear is starting to cross the MeasuredMass scales. Once these bindings get some snow time, I’ll post a review. What did they say on the scale?
121.0 g and 121.3 g, respectively. Two samples is too small to reliably estimate an uncertainty, but if I do, it’s 121.15±0.27 g. Rossignol quotes 240 g/pr, so these might be less than 1% high, but without an uncertainty from Rossignol (depending on significant digits, that 240 could be 240±5), it’s impossible to tell.
Looking forward to getting some time on them!
I’d been thinking about a serious rescue beacon (PLB) for a long time, perhaps leaning toward the DeLorme InReach, when the ResQLink arrived under our tree. The two-way communication feature was very attractive, but the requirement of a (hardly rugged and heavy) smartphone and the substantial subscription fee kept me from buying in.
We decided not to let the perfect in the way of the good, and I’ve kept the ResQLink. The NOAA registration online was quick and easy.
It’s measuredmass.com though, and weight matters on a device like this. It’s really just dead weight; unless you’re almost dead, then it’s useful. The box and website claim 4.6 ounces / 130 grams. What does it say on the scale?
143.8 grams (or 5.1 oz). That’s 11% high. Without more samples of the device, I can’t comment on product variation. The strap weighs 1.8 grams, so that isn’t the cause. For a product whose weight is an important feature, even 9% is a lot.
A pair of Rossignol X-8 boots came through today, just in time for the beginning of our cross-country ski season. A fit comparison with the Fischer RC3 (matching pricepoints at REI) found that the X-8 fit was somewhat wider and softer in the forefoot at equal size. The boot is soft-enough that it’s instantly comfortable.
Haven’t had a chance to get them on snow (edit: they ski great!), but it was easy to get them on the scale.
A friend ordered a pair of Maestrales, and they found their way onto the scale.
The balance’s usual 2000/2005 calibration constant applies. The left boot was 1494 g, and the right 1489 g. For this pair, with stock liners, the Maestrale’s weight per boot is about 1492 ± 5 grams in size 25.5.
Liners, and on-snow review/thoughts, after the bump.