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SKI TECH: Structure Profile of the Warm Universal Stonegrind

A close up image of the Cyclova XC Racing Service Warm Universal Stonegrind Structure - photos don't do it justice...

Most Nordic skiers would agree that the best skiing of the winter is late in the winter, when there is ample snow, comfortable temperatures., and the snow if fast.  It is these days that the "Warm Universal" structure is right at home on the snow! 

The Warm Universal grind is often classified as a moderately coarse, cross-hatch structure cut to a relatively shallow depth. It is an ideal structure for the late season races in the Midwest, (such as the Vasaloppet, Birkie, Sleeping Giant Loppet, etc) particularly those races that start out cold, but then warm up dramatically.  The Warm Universal grind is also the most typically used structure in warmer climates such as New England and the Pacific Northwest.

In short, this structure has a huge performance range!  It is fine enough to perform surprisingly well in very cold dry conditions yet coarse enough to get some moisture movement (breaking moisture surface tension) going when the temperatures get warm and snow gets wet.  It is not a slushy snow structure, nor is it a spring corn snow grind - but Cyclova XC does have grinds for those specific conditions.

Following are some details around what makes the Warm Universal grind such a great late season performer with a huge performance range:
  • Pattern:  The Warm Universal grind uses a moderately biased cross-hatch pattern cut into the stone by a Nordic specific custom tuned Wintersteiger dressing diamond.  This type of non-linear structure achieves notable moisture movement (breaking of surface tension) under the ski base while gliding.
  • Depth:  The Warm Universal grind is a medium depth structure cut by the above mentioned diamond.  Being a deeper structure than the colder grinds like the Cold Super Fine or Cold Universal, there is more surface area to this grind due to the hills and valleys on the ski base.  Simply put, this means that this grind will be slower in very cold and dry conditions.  However, as moisture becomes present in warming snow conditions, this grind really comes into its own.  
  • Gauge:  Medium.  The Warm Universal is much coarser than the Cold Universal, in fact, the gauge of the grind is nearly double that of the Cold Universal.  In plain language, the hills and valleys of this structure are nearly double the distance apart as compared to the Cold Universal Grind.  While cutting the pattern into the stone, 2 passes with the above mentioned dressing diamond are made with the diamond at different stone & diamond speeds on each pass.
  • Quiver Optimization:  If you have a quiver of skis dedicated to different conditions you'll definitely want a pair with a Warm Universal grind on a pair of skis.  In colder climates like the Midwest, most racers like to have a Warm Universal Grind on a pair of skis suited for hard packed conditions.  The reason for this is that when temperatures fluctuate as they do late in the season, the snow is likely transformed and firm (or even a bit icy).  The Warm Universal grind is also very effective in warm, freshly fallen snow, particularly snow that is falling at or just below 32'F.
For more info on Cyclova XC Racing Service's world class stonegrinding service, check out our SKI SERVICE page.

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