Water skis ---> alpine skis

pedspeds Posts: 15 Baller
edited February 2012 in Skis Fins Bindings
Hi there guys,

I was wondering if anyone could help me out with a bit of information, I have pretty much zero knowledge with water skis - I am much more well-versed with snow skis.

I'm currently looking for a pair of water skis to remove the bindings from and re-drill them for alpine skiing bindings, for use as a ski in deep powder - I'm sure you'll all understand and appreciate the similarity in the physics at play between deep snow and water much more than most regular alpine skiers, who are familiar only with groomed and hard-pack snow.

So, I was just hoping someone could give me a little bit of an idea as to the composition of water skis, the various layers of material used in their construction - and whether or not they'll be able to hold alpine bindings, which seem to have much fewer screws than the bindings already on the ski. How much pressure can these planks usually take?

The specific ski I'm looking at is a pair of Jobe Beelines, but I simply can't find any info on it, not even on the Jobe website. Is there anyone with any direct experience of this ski on here?

Has anyone on these forums faced the question of cross-discipline skis before? I'd love to hear any input you might have.

Many thanks, all.



  • auskierauskier Posts: 448 Baller
    is this for a novelty thing or are you seriously planning on adding waterskis to your snow quiver?

    They would not last 1 run, let alone one day.

    why not some reverse camber 110mm+ proper pow skis?
    Toby Daff
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,568 Mega Baller
    An old set of ramp masters might serve you for your endeavor..?????????
    I have tried snow ski's on water but never water skis on snow.
    We used to pull each other from a dirt bike on the canals of the western salt lake valley on snow skis.
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • bajabaja Posts: 247 Baller
    Where would you like your future Darwin award sent?
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,750 Infinite Pandas
    The late Shane McConkey mounted alpine bindings on some old Stinger jumpers. These were the inspiration for the K2 Pontoons - a revolutionary and sucessful powder ski. Now most powder skis follow this lead.

    Pure powder is quite rare (and at least at Squaw only lasts for about an hour in the morning). You still have to traverse some hardpack to get there. The sharp metal edges are a critical feature for all alpine skis (and snowboards). The bevels of a waterski edge are soft and rounded for specific performance reasons. A jump ski at least has no bevel on its edge but the edge is quite soft (usually rubber). Waterski and snow ski edges are fundamentally different and mission incompatible.

    I am unfamiliar with Jobe Beelines so I don't know what the skis are like. But waterski edges, bases and rockers typically are designed to hold the ski down in the water and resist a consistent and very powerful load from the boat. A snow ski needs to float over powder and - especially in flatter pitches - have minimum drag. Again, conflicting fundamental requirements.

    One last technical problem, I have lots of trouble keeping my waterski bindings on my skis. Waterski bindings are lightly loaded compared to alpine bindings (Goode mounts his waterski bindings with Velcro - don't try that with snow skis!). Waterski manufacturers avoid excess weight so there are no durable wood cores or metal top skins to mount heavily loaded alpine bindings. A thin top skin of a couple plies of graphite (or on crappy skis, glass) covers a foam core. Your alpine bindings might stay on for a photo shoot but I wouldn't trust them for a full season.

    To seriously try the bindings, get an aluminum plate to mount your alpine bindings securely. Then screw that plate with lots of screws to the ski. At least clicking in won't pull out the bindings. Sometimes there is a bit of reinforcement where the stock bindings screw into the ski so you might not pull out right away if your custom plate overlaps the old holes.

    Definitely give it a try. It could be interesting. And report back with your impressions. And pictures!

    Where are you finding powder this year?

  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,414 Crazy Baller
    Ditto. I'd look into the Lib Tech POW NAS(Narrow Ass Snowboard).

    @Eric I skied powder the past couple of days here in Montana! Yesterday was a perfect blue bird day and no one on the mountain!
  • pedspeds Posts: 15 Baller
    Cheers for the history of R/R skis chaps, but I'm clued-up on the scene - I've been a Pontoon owner for many years now, and I was one of the first few thousand people to ski on a Spatula. Some beautiful technology, and yes, the late great Shane McConkey is why I'm looking into this. They would only be used on a few days a year, even in a good year. The non-metal edges would be a problem on the way to and from the good snow, but what would life be if you didn't have to face a little adversity now and then?

    Eric, many thanks for the insight into the construction, that's exactly the kind of info I'm after - I had something of a suspicion that what you say would be the case. I really do like the idea of the aluminium plate, I'll probably go down that route if I find the ski I'm looking for. Do you suppose the problem would be reduced somewhat if I were to find a solid, vintage pair of skis, with a lot of wood in them?

    Scotchipman, I'm in Chamonix, France, where we are having a bumper year for fresh snowfall - one of the heaviest in decades. Sorry about the slow start on that side of the pond, I've heard it's been painful! I thought the snow had started falling now, though?

    Many thanks for your input guys, I'm very grateful indeed.
  • pedspeds Posts: 15 Baller
    Oh, here's a link to a thread on another forum (TGR) all about mounting water skis with alpine bindings, if anyone has some time to kill and the subject interests them. Don't worry if you don't and it doesn't! :D

  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,414 Crazy Baller
    My only complaint about using old wood waterskis is it's SACRILEGIOUS! But if'n I were to do it, I'd throw some Tele binders on there.

    We're about 20" shy of a bad year here at Bridger Bowl, but the mountain is still skiing great. I don't have a single gouge on my bases (knock on wood).
  • MarcoMarco Posts: 1,407 Crazy Baller
    Scot- You should come ski Telluride. We started getting good snow a few weeks ago, and its skiing great right now. We got another foot in the last 24 hours, and I was skiing knee deep powder in the hike-to terrain today...
  • Not_The_PugNot_The_Pug Posts: 568 Solid Baller
    Ron Goodman mounted a pair of jumpers and rode them in deep powder at Mt Baker in WA. I will email Lucy Goodman to see if she still has a picture of it.

  • pedspeds Posts: 15 Baller
    Hey dudes, just a picture to end the story with. Thanks for all of your comments!

  • pedspeds Posts: 15 Baller
    Brent, I'd love to, but I'm going to need a dump of about 40cm of snow before that happens!
    Keep yer fingers crossed for me...
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,414 Crazy Baller
    Those may be the secret weapon for the pond skimming contest at the end of the ski season.
  • MSMS Posts: 5,049 Mega Baller
    I would stick with the K2s.
    Shut up and ski
    [Deleted User]
  • Not_The_PugNot_The_Pug Posts: 568 Solid Baller
    Here is the picture of Ron on Jumpers in powder from Lucie Goodman. She said they worked great in powder, but not so well on the packed.

  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,261 Mega Baller
    Scot - you don't snow ski on Goode's!? What!?

    Reverse camber = "rocker". There are a ton of rocker'ed powder skis.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • SkiJaySkiJay Posts: 2,314 Mega Baller
    Great story @peds! I admire your pioneering spirit! Most of the truly great stuff in life is well outside our comfort zone.
    www.FinWhispering.com ... Your ski should be your dance partner, not a wrestling opponent
  • pedspeds Posts: 15 Baller
    Thank for the comment SkiJay! I agree, sometimes you've got to get cold or wet or a little bit scared to truly enjoy life, but I would say that during the actual descent (the part in good snow, not the icy bits up top or the trees below) I was outrageously, deeply comfortable :D
  • pedspeds Posts: 15 Baller
    edited February 2014
    Sorry for bumping the thread again, please feel free to ignore this! I borrowed a camera off a dude I work with and made a short documentary about the skis. It's about six and a half minutes long.

    Oh, and there's just a couple of photographs of them in action last week if you look near the top of this page:
  • ralral Posts: 1,701 Mega Baller
    Rodrigo Andai
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,261 Mega Baller
    @peds - looked way fun. So the Plan d'Aiguille is in Chamonix, right? I'm confused. You were skiing completely untracked powder with no one in sight after riding the tram up. How is that even possible? Is there that much unskied terrain available there? If so, I guess I need to go. At my home hill (Squaw) on a powder day, it's like a race to get to any available untracked snow and that literally lasts for a couple of hours, then it's shredded. The shredded stuff is fun, too, but the only way to get untracked snow for a few runs is to be extremely lucky or go backcountry.

    Will you stay on your Jobes or are you going to go back to a rockered powder ski? Seems like a pair of jumpers with their flat bases and square edges would be better than a pair of combos or slalom skis, but those wouldn't be good as a pair of the right snow skis.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,801 Mega Baller
    edited February 2014
    I wish I had enough time to ski powder to fool around like @peds. I still can't see that skiing on a pair of water skis would be as good as a pair of rockered powder skis but I love the initiative to find out.
    Mark Shaffer
  • pedspeds Posts: 15 Baller
    @jimbrake, yeah it's Chamonix, you have to play your cards right to get fresh tracks here! It was a funny start to a good powder day, there wasn't much accurate info available on what lifts were going to open and when... we've got five or six different areas here, so you've got to make a decision pretty early on as to where you want to go. The info for Plan d'Aiguille said opening at 11am, so most people would have decided straight away to go elsewhere, at least a bus ride away, but they actually opened at 0915. This attracted hundreds of coach-traveling tourists (here to see the view from 3800m for the bargain price of 50 euros), making a massive queue, and scaring off most skiers... so you just had to dive into the queue, really. I was there for about 40 minutes before getting on the lift.
    So yeah, you've got to pay attention to the weather, the lifts, and the general mood to get the good snow here.
    I'm going up on my regular rockers, the Pontoons, tomorrow, as there has been nearly three feet of snow in last 24 hours... tomorrow will be a good day.

    @Chef23 They as good as regular skis for a different reason... they might not be very lively or have much pop in them, but they feel pretty bloody powerful, and I'm keen to see how far I can take them safely. I think they'd handle some speed very well indeed.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,337 Mega Baller
    Powwwwder? I've heard of it but never seen it ;) Thankfully it has been below 0 on almost every race night leaving the snow in its most solid and consistent form. I've considered using speed skates on the course, but never water skis.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,089 Mega Baller
    Digging through my pile o' stuff I came across this and it reminded me of this thread from last year. Anyone have one of these?

    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • pedspeds Posts: 15 Baller
    That's awesome! The design is so similar to my skis... could it be an earlier (or slightly later) design of my Jobes, just with the name scrubbed off or painted over or something?

    Thanks for sharing it dchristman.

    Just an update - I broke my shoulder at Christmas and haven't been skiing nearly as much as I'd have liked to this winter, and snow conditions have been pretty bloody terrible in my part of the Alps this year, so big fat powder skis haven't really been the tool of choice anyway. But the winter isn't over yet, hopefully I'll get at least one day on my waterskis before the summer starts again!
  • pedspeds Posts: 15 Baller
    edited March 2015
    Accidental double post, sorry. Here's a picture instead.

  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,089 Mega Baller
    @peds that ad is from 1978!
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,337 Mega Baller
    edited March 2015
    @dchristman - wow, I had no idea that the Monoski idea went back that far. I've never had one that looks like a water ski, but have had a couple Rossignols, a White Knuckle and a SnowShark

    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
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