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The Tale of Mark and the Forever Dull Rollerski Tips
By:  Mark Rajack   (2014/08/28)

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My very first time rollerskiing was last year and only being familiar with poling on snow, I was unprepared for the different feel of striking the pavement using rollerski ferrules (or tips).


As you probably already know, rollerskiing requires the user to strike the ground harder to achieve the same grip that a basket/snow combination offers in winter.


What I didnít know was the importance of having properly sharpened rollerski tips. When sharp, they donít slip, I don't get frustrated and most importantly, I go faster. I also was unaware, that trying to compensate for dull tips by striking the ground harder, would result in swollen and painful elbow tendons. Needles to say, I learned this the hard way.


What to sharpen with:


There are several methods of sharpening rollerski tips that were not for me. I found diamond files took too long and didnít sharpen well enough. I donít have access to a shop grinder, so that also wasnít an option. My household drill with grinding attachment didnít work for me either as the RPMs were too low to be effective.


My solution lie in a trip to the hardware store and the purchase of a Dremel Stylus and a diamond wheel attachment. Lots of RPM, efficient sharpening in a matter of seconds and very sharp rollerski tips!



Dremel Stylus and diamond wheel. I use the highest RPM setting.


So far, the battery charge lasts quite a while. Avoid sharpening your tips the hour before practice, just in case the battery needs recharging at that moment. †In my opinion, itís a great tool to have if youíre a coach, because thereís always that one kid that wonít be prepared.

 

How to Sharpen:


Here is a picuture of a brand new rollerski tip from our friends at Canadian Winter Sports.


 

Canadian Winter Sports is a distributor for some pretty awesome Nordic brands, including Vauhti, an amazing sponsor of XC Ottawa! Be sure to check them out here.

 

For ease of explanation below, Iíve coloured the angles red, yellow and green.




New rollerski tips come with 3 angles at the tip. As a general rule, donít mess with the red line. Unfortunately for me, trying to maintain the yellow line is as unpossible as the word I just used. I sharpen at the green line, I get very sharp tips that dig in well and rarely slip.



Some older pole tips of mine.

 

Last but not least: SAFETY



Make sure you always protect your eyes!


In case you may have noticed, a team member thought it would be a great idea for me to wear lots of medals for these pictures. A great idea indeed.

 

Thanks for reading!


 
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