IMPROVE YOUR SKATE TECHNIQUE
Have spent a great deal of time looking at video from World Cup skate races and at video of elite skiers training free style technique on roller skis. On snow you have a nice long flat platform and the top World Cup skiers ride a flat ski. But, on roller skis even some of the better skiers have a tendency to edge too much. The reason is quite obvious. It’s much easier to edge when you are riding on a very narrow rounded wheel instead of on a long flat ski. When people edge and grind the roller ski forks or ski shafts the chance that the ski will fracture prematurely has increased by a very large factor. Click here for a link to fatigue failure and how different materials behave.
For a long time I have been evaluating sacrificial devices that could be mounted to the ski that would eliminate excessive edging and also prevent damage to the ski. The problem with all the earlier attempts is that when the shaft guard hit the pavement it would slow the ski and the friction caused the guards to wear quickly. Another major problem was that all the previous devices that we tried reduced the height from the bottom of the ski to the tarmac.
For the new XLA and XLQ98 skate skis have developed a device that weighs only 27 grams. A bearing is mounted to a stainless steel plate that mounts to one of the wheel fork bolts. There is no loss of ground clearance as the bottom of the bearing is flush with the bottom of the ski, but since the bearing is outside of the fork housing as you tilt the ski the bearing touches the pavement first and prevents further edging. This not only prevents newbies from over edging it prevents the skis from being damaged. When the bearing touches the pavement it just rolls so there is virtually no friction. So with two of these devices, one on each ski, beginners will be limited by how much they can tilt the ski. Although the bearing is outside the wheel fork it is much closer to the ski shaft than the outside of the ski boot so there is virtually no chance of the bearing catching something.