Recently I was with my family and friends in Borgafjäll. In my eyes one of the best and most versatile ski resorts in all of Sweden. Here are well-tuned ski routes that offer perhaps Sweden’s best forest skiing. And here are rolling slopes that scream for our steel edges but are only half groomed to leave the powder untouched until it is caressed by our carving turns. Add to that the fact that snow falls abundantly in this part of Lapland’s interior and that you can usually count the number of skiers in the ski area on your fingers and toes.
In addition, there are several mountains here for backcountry skiing, in reach from our hut with the skins already put on. Some folks actually even drive from Åre to ski in Borgafjäll and its surroundings. For my part, I took the train with my family in Hässleholm in the evening and woke up in our own sleeping compartment along the Inlandsbanan trail in the morning. Soon after the Dorotea municipality welcomed us with hot chocolate and cinnamon buns on the platform. It can hardly be easier to travel to the mountains in a more environmentally friendly way, as the diesel train now runs on rapeseed oil. Feels like Christmas!
Lost ferrule – which is the most suitable glue?
It got even better when the bamboo poles were suddenly in the majority in the ski resort. Bamboo ruled in Borga. Twelve pairs of bamboo ski sticks, in all colors and features, all made at home in Brösarp. This means that we were fewer than twenty skiers on the mountain. But say the happiness that lasts forever. Already on the first day, the ferrule, with tip and basket, disappeared from one of my friend’s poles. Luckily he found it again and the next day I was able to borrow a glue gun from Borgagården’s carpentry workshop and glue it back on again.
Exactly why the ferrule came loose, I do not know for sure, but I have two theories. Either more space is needed for the hot melt adhesive between the ferrule itself and the bamboo. Or the glue sticks I used, Rapid’s PRO+ for wood and metal, are too hard and stiff at low temperatures. Maybe a combination of both. After talking to Rapid and their glue experts, we will test Rapid’s PVC & cable, which has less resin and therefore is a softer glue that remains flexible down to lower temperatures than the PRO+.
The ferrule was very tight on the bamboo stick, so before I glued the ferrule back, I carved off a little more bamboo to make the diameter a little smaller. In this way, a little more space was created for the glue, which now was a whitish, semi-translucent glue stick with much less resin, unlike my yellowish PRO+.
Tests with different types of glue
Switching to epoxy or any glue other than glue sticks is not an option for me. Hot melt glue is not only more environmentally friendly but also much more practical if you need to replace the bamboo stick, extend or shorten your ski pole.
According to the material description, the glue that should be best suited for wood and metal is, as I said, Rapids PRO+, but that applies at normal temperatures. Now Rapid has been kind enough to send me a package of their glue sticks for PVC, cables, glass, and various types of plastic. It’s a softer glue. It remains to test and compare the tensile strength and flexibility of the two adhesives at cold temperatures. Exciting! And a report will come eventually.
Anyway, it was easy to fix my friend’s ski pole and the rest of the week it worked perfectly fine.
P.S. After summer, I plan to develop my ferrules with one or two turns of internal thread in the bottom of the ferrules. Same principle as screw-bolt and nut. Until then, I secure the ferrules with a pop rivet to prevent baskets and tips from getting lost in the snow. See picture below!