Altai Skis Hok Review

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lilcliffy
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Re: Altai Skis Hok Review

Postby lilcliffy » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:27 pm

woodchuck wrote:Altai says "Do not hot wax the skin". What could go wrong?!


I think that Altai's warning against hot-waxing the skin is because of potential effects on the adhesives attaching the skin permanently to the ski base...

Hot-waxing a removable skin is obviously fine.

You are brave to hot wax that permanent skin! Let us know how you make out- if the skin stays attached, I may just consider trying it...

Have you tried a rub on wax like the BD Glop Stopper?
https://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/sk ... 0ALL1.html
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

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lilcliffy
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Re: Altai Skis Hok Review

Postby lilcliffy » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:45 pm

12gaugesage wrote:I started on the 125's, went to 145's, for more fore/aft stability. Ive used them with the uni bindings, nnnbc, and now finally 75mm/T4's to try and get a little more DH ability. While I am pretty blown away with the control of the T4, I find myself now going for steeper. longer descents, and again they're getting away from me a bit, the tails coming out from under me and dropping me on my ass.

At 6'1" 210#, am I just at the limit of this skis capability, or is it more a matter of technique? I find myself leaning low and forward to compensate, but thats not a great position to recover and control from, though its a nice place to bail, tuck and roll from, lol.
Any insights?
Thanks


Not sure if I can help you here without actually skiing with you...but I will try! :D

First it sounds like you may have been skiing "in the backseat" meaning perhaps you were not balanced on your skis?

Second- and this may be the fundamental issue- at your weight and height, even 145cm is a very short ski- especially downhill skiing in the backcountry where the micro-terrain, and snow conditions can be so variable. 145cm does not offer much stability at any siginificant speed. And- those rockered tips make the effective edge of the Hok significantly shorter than 145cm- so, on snow that you need some edge hold, the 145cm Hok is going to feel VERY short and unstable at speed.

(Of course, traditionally skiers used a single pole ("lurk" or "tiak") in order to deal with downhill stability issues- both fore-aft and lateral. Have you tried a single pole with your Hoks?)

Sounds to me like you are starting to do some serious downhill skiing in the backcountry...

I am thinking that you are going to want a longer ski that offers better downhill performance and stability than the Hok...

The other issue may perhaps be that grippy permanent skin...

I keep my feet moving on the Hok- even when downhill skiing- in order to prevent the staggering effects of catching that skin at speed. In other words I treat the Hok like a XC ski on the downhill (despite the width and smooth, soft, single camber). I find that if I try to just ride the Hok at speed, I end up catching the grippy skins which leaves me staggering (this is less of an issue with the tiak). Step turns/telemarks seem to improve glide and keep me better balanced...
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

woodchuck
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Re: Altai Skis Hok Review

Postby woodchuck » Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:24 am

lilcliffy wrote:
woodchuck wrote:Altai says "Do not hot wax the skin". What could go wrong?!


I think that Altai's warning against hot-waxing the skin is because of potential effects on the adhesives attaching the skin permanently to the ski base...

Hot-waxing a removable skin is obviously fine.

You are brave to hot wax that permanent skin! Let us know how you make out- if the skin stays attached, I may just consider trying it...

Have you tried a rub on wax like the BD Glop Stopper?
https://blackdiamondequipment.com/en/sk ... 0ALL1.html


I tried a rub on glide wax on the skin and it improved the glide, but only for a very short time (about an hour). The same with silicone spray (recommended by Altai). Haven't tried the glop stopper.

The iron on wax I am using is a very low melting temp universal wax from Hertel -- "Hot Sauce" iirc. It's soft, rubs on the skin ("dry") easily, irons in rapidly with the iron at 60 C, the skin is barely warm after the ironing pass. It's a small amount of wax, can't imagine it will affect the adhesive layer. I've done this twice, no issues, the skin performs well with the wax and this at least lasts a couple or three hours. If I screw 'em up, I'll let you know.

12gaugesage
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Re: Altai Skis Hok Review

Postby 12gaugesage » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:41 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
12gaugesage wrote:I started on the 125's, went to 145's, for more fore/aft stability. Ive used them with the uni bindings, nnnbc, and now finally 75mm/T4's to try and get a little more DH ability. While I am pretty blown away with the control of the T4, I find myself now going for steeper. longer descents, and again they're getting away from me a bit, the tails coming out from under me and dropping me on my ass.

At 6'1" 210#, am I just at the limit of this skis capability, or is it more a matter of technique? I find myself leaning low and forward to compensate, but thats not a great position to recover and control from, though its a nice place to bail, tuck and roll from, lol.
Any insights?
Thanks


Not sure if I can help you here without actually skiing with you...but I will try! :D

First it sounds like you may have been skiing "in the backseat" meaning perhaps you were not balanced on your skis?

Second- and this may be the fundamental issue- at your weight and height, even 145cm is a very short ski- especially downhill skiing in the backcountry where the micro-terrain, and snow conditions can be so variable. 145cm does not offer much stability at any siginificant speed. And- those rockered tips make the effective edge of the Hok significantly shorter than 145cm- so, on snow that you need some edge hold, the 145cm Hok is going to feel VERY short and unstable at speed.

(Of course, traditionally skiers used a single pole ("lurk" or "tiak") in order to deal with downhill stability issues- both fore-aft and lateral. Have you tried a single pole with your Hoks?)

Sounds to me like you are starting to do some serious downhill skiing in the backcountry...

I am thinking that you are going to want a longer ski that offers better downhill performance and stability than the Hok...

The other issue may perhaps be that grippy permanent skin...

I keep my feet moving on the Hok- even when downhill skiing- in order to prevent the staggering effects of catching that skin at speed. In other words I treat the Hok like a XC ski on the downhill (despite the width and smooth, soft, single camber). I find that if I try to just ride the Hok at speed, I end up catching the grippy skins which leaves me staggering (this is less of an issue with the tiak). Step turns/telemarks seem to improve glide and keep me better balanced...


Hmmm.... Digesting all this as I was on my Hoks the other day, hitting a fairly steep (to me), narrow local chute, I start off forward and low, then I end up in the "backseat" when I gain speed. I was able maintain a bit of awareness the other day and catch myself with my poles when the skis were getting away from me. A single pole used in "tripod" fashion would definitely be the ticket, not sure if I would want to maneuver it in tight woodland terrain though.

Ultimately It seems the hoks are perhaps better suited for heavily rolling terrain and for more utilitarian duties.
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nilsy
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Re: Altai Skis Hok Review

Postby nilsy » Wed May 03, 2017 7:20 pm

Hi all,
Nils here from Altai Skis.
I thought I would offer some info/opinions on a few of these topics regarding the Hoks.

Waxing - we do not recommend hot waxing the Hok skins as it is pretty easy to melt the fibers, which turns them in to velcro. I have - sadly - done this. A too hot iron or a slight delay in movement and the skin is toast and not fixable. As described above (low temp and constant movement) it does work well an improvers the longevity of wax. I generally wax with Swix F4 paste (small round tins) which works well if put on before use and rubbed in well. If done repeatedly over a few days this lasts quite a long time. This can also be ironed in with a warm iron.

Downhill on Hoks - I ski Hoks in mountain terrain a lot. I use a 3pin and a T4 or Excursion, which I find to be ideal for this. I keep the bottom buckle snug and top buckle with the ratchet strap in but not buckled. This is great for touring and when skiing downhill in anything soft gives me tons of ankle flex and range of motion. I ski the Hoks exclusively with a tiak (single pole). This is the secret weapon for downhill on the Hoks, negating the fore/aft stability problem inherent with short skis. The tiak forms a tripod and on downhills it is used on your preferred side (not switching from side to side). This is the traditional style of single pole usage that was used throughout the skiing world prior to 1900. This tends to put the skier in the back seat a bit as apposed to a modern skier's stance with balance on the center of the skis. This is very counter to what most of us have been taught. I find many skiers that have invested so much time in learning the difficult task of using 2 poles and staying centered are resistive and dismissive of this. I get it, having taught skiing for over 35 years, I was the same way. I know I can out ski myself on my full bore tele gear with Hoks and a single pole in many situations - most notable being tight trees.

Apart for the simplicity and functionality of skiing with the single pole, it is just plain fun. The stick has been judged by some as the greatest toy of all time (see below) and is defined as a " loose part" type of toy, a definition that can apply to tools as well. Loose parts let your imagination decide what it might be used for.....

I know the Hoks are not for everyone. They are not really meant to compete with modern AT or max tele gear. Hoks are definitely not high tech, if anything their design is a bit of a throwback to the idea of skis as a utilitarian thing, willing to sacrifice some glide for continuous travel through a great variety of terrain and conditions. They are simple tools that go on easy and disappear during use.

Have fun out there!

Happy(ski) trails, nils
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kumachan
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Re: Altai Skis Hok Review

Postby kumachan » Thu May 04, 2017 11:40 am

Some downhill Hokking:

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Woodserson
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Re: Altai Skis Hok Review

Postby Woodserson » Mon May 22, 2017 5:04 pm

Check out this guy ripping!


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lilcliffy
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Re: Altai Skis Hok Review

Postby lilcliffy » Tue May 23, 2017 9:23 am

Great videos! Lots of evidence of the Hok clearly being a "ski"- as opposed to a ski-shoe.

Skier in that last video has the same setup as me- NNNBC. That last video clearly shows how much fun the Hok is to just ride in deep soft snow.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry


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