The evolution of Nordic ski base maintenance.
In 1993, to complement its ski & boot fitting know-how, waxing prowess, and coaching excellence in the Nordic racing community, Finn Sisu added stone grinding to its growing ski service reputation. The first machine dedicated to Nordic grinding in the Midwest, the Wintersteiger Micro1 stone grinder brought its strong Austrian engineering reputation to University Ave. in St. Paul. It didn't take long for the Midwest racing community to respond in earnest to stone grinding. Soon, race skis across the area were plastered with the unmistakable Finn Sisu “Uni” grind sticker. And so it went for years. In time, other regional Nordic shops entered the stone grinding market, proving their commitment to providing great Nordic ski care.
Fast forward to 2015 and Finn Sisu is raising the stone grinding bar once again with its purchase of the advanced Wintersteiger Omega RS 150 stone grinder, one of only five in the US. These machines are produced only when ordered. Each subsequent new machine ordered is an upgrade over the previous -- the evolution of new grinding software is continuous. The Omega RS 150 race service software includes parameters for any specific structure. This is determined automatically by the grinding tech's input selection of snow & air temperatures, air humidity, and type of snow. More importantly, an experienced grinding tech's own knowledge of geography, climate, and snow parameters can be input manually to achieve the desired structure.
Paired with our workhorse Micro1, with its slightly more aggressive pink stone, the new Omega RS 150, with its very fine-grained grey/brown stone, complement each other in the stone grinding process. The Micro 1 offers flattening and thorough removal of damaged bases, while the Omega RS 150 offers clean and exact base structuring.
Yes, there are other brands of stone grinders that do great work, but here is why we have chosen Wintersteiger:
- Wintersteiger is a trusted ski service brand since 1978.
- Every major ski manufacturer has a Wintersteiger machine in their factory and every major World Cup team has Wintersteiger grinds on skis in their fleets.
- Wintersteiger has a full service department based in the Salt Lake City, Utah.
At Finn Sisu, we have worked with Wintersteiger for over twenty years and we are looking forward to the next twenty!
If you have any questions, theories, or just want to talk structure, please contact Tom Novak at Finn Sisu: 651-645-2443 or [email protected]
For more information on stonegrinds, read up on Tom's stonegrind musings:
Skate Grind Menu
|FAC5 III||- Approximately 0° to 10°F — Cold dry abrasive manmade or natural, hard or soft snow.|
|FAC5 11||- Approximately 12° to 30°F — Uni range. Cold dry abrasive manmade or natural, hard or soft snow.|
|YD42||- Approximately 30° to 35°F — Moister snow, about when you can start making a snowball.|
Classic Grind Menu
|WSL II||- Approximately 0° to 10°F — Manmade or natural snow.|
|WSL 42||- Approximately 12° to 30°F — Uni range. Manmade or natural snow.|
|BW83||- Approximately 30° to 35°F — Tracks becoming wet but not saturated.|
*Customer can consider hand structuring over any of the above grinds. Additional grinds exist off-menu for narrower ranges. Call/email Tom Novak ([email protected]) or come in for recommendations.
**Note—Some skis that come in for stonegrinding have bases that are excessively uneven. This can be due to simple wear or some manufacturers choice of proprietary core materials that have a high susceptibility to thermal damage (i.e. when waxing skis). Tom strives to get skis flat, but it is not always possible—your ski base has only so much polyethylene.