Gatormod powershell inadvertent flex adjustment

gator1gator1 Posts: 591 Crazy Baller
So I'm kind of evilly chortling in the workshop up here in the great white north. As I was putting the finishing touches on the velcro gatormod, while in a drug induced stupor due to taking pain pills after PRP, it struck me that I had also invented a mechanism for adjusting the flex of the ski.

If you put a gatormoded g10 or powershell plate on your ski you'll be able to adjust the stiffness of your ski, from stock to pretty damn stiff. And, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to adjust the damping of the rebound, from stock to smushy.

Here's how:

The Velcro plates have a nice advantage in that they are flexible, and hardly add any stiffness to the ski as they are velcroed down.

However, this creates a big safety risk in a crushing OTF. Your rear foot can pull the back half of the plate off the ski, while the plate bends between your feet, leaving your front foot still attached and then overflexed as you crush down onto your front foot.

So, in order to combat that, I had to add aluminum rails to each side of the plate. In order not to affect flex, I hard attached the rails to the rear of the plate and slotted the screw holes holding the rails in the front of the plate. This allows the plate to bend, and the front screws slide in their slot as the bend increases.

Then, in the center of plate, between your front and rear foot, I added two bolts, one on each rail. These bolts are loose, with about a 3/4 inch clearance. That what, as the ski flexes and plate bends, the rail separates from the plate, adding no stiffness to the plate. But, if the plate tries to bend too far in an OTF, as the gatormod starts ripping the heel of the plate off the ski, the bolt runs
up against the end of its travel and the plate becomes, in effect, infinitely stiff.

So then, as I'm sitting there with my trusty bag of ice being mildly entertained by the gentle spinning of the room, it hit me. If we put springs on the clearance bolts, like those on the heel of the powershell, we can infinitely adjust the stiffness of the plate. From no effect, to almost 0 flex.

And we can adjust rebound rate by using elastomeric dampers instead of springs.

Think of the fun we can now have! Add it to a D3 with rocker block, and we can essentially short circuit our pea sized brains on every ski pass with thoughts of "what if I change..." this or that setting.

@OB, no need to type "uncle". I'll show you this end of Dec.



  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 1,176 Mega Baller
    implement wing-nuts or similar so we can adjust flex at the end of each pass...
  • gator1gator1 Posts: 591 Crazy Baller
    @gloersen, will do. Developing a 3D lookup table to calculate desired stiffness settings (wingnut tension) against water temp, wind direction and degree of trailing arm pressure desired. It'll be a iPad app, so your buddies can shout new settings from the boat at the end of each pass.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,463 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I remember HO doing this with "Power Stix" and O'Brien with the Vengeance or Allegiance can't remember which. Both adjusted tip and tail rockers. That didn't last long. So this would adjust the rocker in the middle (under the boots) of the ski? Isn't that supposed to be somewhat flat? Very cool to hear new ideas and innovations. Wonder how many come from a drug induced thought process.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • gator1gator1 Posts: 591 Crazy Baller
    @wish. This would not change rocker as the ski sits on the dock. It would increase the skis effective stiffness as the force of your feet try to bend the ski as you ski. It would be like having an infinite number of skis, all from the same mold, but with differing amounts of graphite cloth in the layup. Basically the same as being able to change Goodes "amp" rating real time, on the dock.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,308
    @gator1 Don't take this the wrong way because I applaud your innovation and ideas. But just because you can do something, doesn't always mean you should. There's probably less than 2 dozen skiers in the world that really understand flex and how it is used in the skis they use. The problem as I see it is that you would only be changing the center flex. A ski that's stiffer in the middle is usually stiffer in the forebody, tip, and tail also. So by increasing the center stiffness, do you upset the balance? Also, to give a usable range of adjustment, you'd need to start with a really soft ski, so you can adjust flex stiffer from there. And if you do that, then you've got a ski with a too soft tip and tail.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • gator1gator1 Posts: 591 Crazy Baller
    @shaneH; Yep, agree with everything you said. That's why the "evil chortle" keeps happening. And thanks for the disclaimer at the beginning.

    It might be fun to play with this in a very slight way though. When I busted my '13 Prophecy, and the most excellent guys at Connelly were sorting thru their inventory of skis to find me a match to my beloved Big Orange, I was amazed at the variation in flex which occurs in standard production. I'm convinced their process is as tightly controlled as any in the industry. And I don't know how much it takes for us to actually feel a difference in performance. But, clearly, out of a desire for excellent customer service, they were convinced I was going to feel a difference, from the UNINTENTIONAL process variation. So, they went to the trouble to find me a match.

    And that makes sense to me. We've seen the videos. Building a ski is a manual process, using materials developed for industrial applications to make a product which affects our performance in ways nobody understands perfectly. In that situation, any engineer would say the product is not going to behave 100% consistent from part to part.

    So, if by a slight variation in stiffness Connelly feels they can make me happy, then maybe, with the ability to slightly modify that stiffness I could be even happier. "Evil chortle".

    And, you are right, a gatormodded Velcro setup could only be adjusted to make the ski feel stiffer.

    Regardless, this is just a free benefit (?) of gatormodded Velcro plates. Main intent is to save Achilles.
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,460 Crazy Baller
    @gator1 out of the possible binding release options (Fogman/Connelly or Dual Lock) which do you think is going to have the best release characteristics with the GatorMod? I am wrestling with drilling my Mapple for the Fogman Release Units, or applying my G10 Fogman adaptor plate with Dual Lock, or getting a @Teammalibu G10 plate for my Stradas and using the Dual Lock for the release.

    They all have their advantages and disadvantages. The Fogmans add weight, stiffness (especially with the G10 adaptor plate), and the hassle of getting in and out of those boots. The Stradas would be more convenient, but I've never used Dual Lock as the release mechanism and that worries me a bit, and I hate the lack of precision I suffer from when I'm trying to apply the binding plate to the ski with the dual lock. I always seem to be off by a fraction of an inch. Then there's the guess work involved with determining when the Dual Lock has lost its adhesiveness both in regards to the velcro and the glue holding it down.

    I've heard that bindings attached via Dual Lock are actually stiffer than skis attached using a device like the Radar Sequence Plate.

    Thanks for all the fun inventing! My ankles and achilles appreciate it!

  • gator1gator1 Posts: 591 Crazy Baller

    These are just opinions, so take them with a grain of salt:

    First, in order for gatormod to work, both feet always have to stay in both boots. (Wait, that part is not opinion, take it as gospel) . I don't know if you can guarantee that with stock stradas. They are designed to release via the properly loose bungee cord laces, but as BOS guys have shown, they sometimes don't. I've never messed with them to see if, going the other way and replacing the bungy laces with cord, then fully tightening the laces, I could convince myself they'd stay on.

    If enough people want to, there is a way, anticipated in my patent, to keep a compliant binding like Strada on all the time without losing the stock compliant feel. But I don't want to start modifying Stradas at this stage in my tinkering.

    There are other compliant boots that were designed to stay on that you could use in place of Stradas, for sure the boots that hurt me DON'T EVER FRICKING COME OFF.

    So, if you wanted to go with some kind of compliant boot on a Velcro plate, we could talk about which boot.

    Which brings me to Velcro vs. fogman/stealth.

    Fogman/stealth are definitely some heavy bastards. Gatormod works great with them, but unless you buy a prophecy, (which I recommend but that's another story), you've got to add another adaptor plate or drill your ski in a weird and scary spot. The main plate is stiff as hell, so when it bottoms out against the ski it does affect flex. I like the stealth boot itself due to stiffness and extra ankle support, but that is just because I am wounded. The support is worth all those laces, but just barely.

    On the other hand a velcro plate is about as light as you can get. You can modify it just a touch, and that will guarantee you've got it back on the ski in exactly the same place every time. The gatormod doesn't add much weight to a velcro plate, so its still the lightest option.

    I haven't flex tested a ski with Velcro vs a slotted plate like a sequence. From a theory standpoint, I'm convinced there wouldn't be that much of a difference. I'd sure be interested to hear of any data on that front, though.

    The gatormodded Velcro has an advantage over standard, in that you don't have to be as precise on how much Velcro you use. Since the mod is going to force the plate off the ski in an OTF, and in twisters as long as both feet stay in you are fine, you can use a LITTLE extra Velcro. Thus easing your mind on the inadvertent releases due to wear.

    As far as adhesive worries go, I'd strip them once a year and replace just as a matter of peace of mind.. to address both nub wear and adhesive degradation.

    So, were I not wounded and in love with my Prophecy, I'd go with a non-releasing hardshell on a gatormodded Velcro plate, and also modify the plate to guarantee proper location on the ski after every re-attachment.

  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,314 Mega Baller
    @gatormod I can tell you have a lot of time in your hands. Lots to read and digest above and I will have to do again when I get to a computer. But something just hit me. If a gatormod user adjusts their binding placement do they have to adjust the length of the cord to make the performance of the device the same?
  • gator1gator1 Posts: 591 Crazy Baller
    @mattP: Um. How am I meant to take the first line of your post?
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,314 Mega Baller
    @gator1 no clue. With a grain of salt?
  • gator1gator1 Posts: 591 Crazy Baller
    @mattP. Ok. Grain of salt it is. Along with some gritted teeth. If you meant it as an insult, peachy. If not, some free feedback for you from a 30 year veteran of international relations and business (your field of study, no?): That would be taken as an insult by most of the people with whom I do business.

    Answer to your question: No. Tolerance on the cord is easily +/- 1/2 inch or more. Binding moves are typically way less than that.

  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,460 Crazy Baller
    @gator1 Thanks for the detailed reply. Good point about the Stradas compliancy. My old RS-1's were far less compliant than the new Stradas. I know @scotchipman has been using the RS-1's with Dual Lock for years and loves that setup. I feel like I can really cinch the Stradas down and still release but I run them very loose. They may be too pliable to work properly. The more I think about it, the more likely I am to drill and use the Fogmans. The Fogman adaptor plate should make a nice template, and I'll know I'm not experimenting or using myself as a guinea pig! I love those Stradas so much though!
  • WayneWayne Posts: 584 Crazy Baller
    Back to the flex topic I pose a question. Instead of using a device to adjust ski flex infinitely, what's to stop a person or company from using it to deal with the production tolerances and unintended variations in flex? The reason I ask is as @gator1 pointed out Connelly was really trying to find you a "twin" to your broken ski. This should reduce the needed range of adjustment and take some importance out of the whole tip/tail flex issue with having an "overly soft" ski so you could stiffen it up. You just need to make sure the skis you make are on the low side of your desired flex but not by much. Then adjust accordingly to the target.
  • gator1gator1 Posts: 591 Crazy Baller
    @wayne. Yep. That would work. But you'd need adjustability in all three zones of the ski-tip, mid section and tail. This goofy thing I stumbled across would only work for midsection, like @shaneh said.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 584 Crazy Baller
    Would be curious to see the ski flex tolerance/variability for a particular ski for each section. You do have me thinking of how to make all three adjustable but it might be something that is put in the ski during construction to pull it off. The idea is still to make it so you can get every ski you build to the same flex pattern but one could abuse it and use it as another degree of freedom for adjustment. Beyond my brain to tweek but nailing the same flex patter every time may be a good start.
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