Well, LordSteezus, waxing is just one part of keeping your skis in good race tune. If you're getting into racing, it would be well worth your while to learn to give your skis a full tune yourself. As you advance, you'll get pickier about just exactly how they are tuned, and unless you find a shop and a particular tuner who you really trust, you'll always be your own best tuner. And few things will give you confidence like knowing your skis are tuned just the way you like.
It is not difficult--you can learn the basics from a book or a video, although having someone actually show you and guide you through it the first time or two would surely be nice. Developing a good touch comes with practice.
You'll need a few basic tools, and it can get extensive--and expensive, if you really get into it. But an investment in good tools will last a very long time if you use them properly and care for them. Files, diamond stones, brushes, file guides, scapers, a good iron, and a selection of waxes, along with a vise and a bench and a box to keep it all together--it can add up.
But you can start small and work up as you develop skill and interest. If you get your skis well-tuned by a good shop, you can maintain the edges reasonably well with just a diamond stone, if you do it regularly. Most serious racers would never consider anything but a good hot wax on race day, but for the casual racer or recreational skier, you can get by pretty well with a daily application of rub-on wax. If you don't damage your skis, stoning your edges and rubbing on a little wax won't take you more than five minutes each day, and it will be way better than nothing--and better than having a full-on race tune only once-in-a-while.
But really--as a racer, you're going to want more, sometime. I'll bet Slidewright has some ideas for you, and he'll be glad to sell you everything you need. (And he'll give you a discount if you become a supporter of EpicSki). His website
also has some good basic tuning information and videos to learn from. There's lots of skillful people here at EpicSki who can help you learn to tune well--but remember, it's the Internet, so you're bound to get some questionable advice as well. Don't hesitate to ask specific questions as they come up.
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