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Who's the best downhill ski tuning facility in southern Vt?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Looking especially for solid edge hold on boilerplate. Any ideas out there folks? Who do ya think is the best? Would be interested to know, and especially why. There must be some good outfits out there, and some dogs too. Would like to avoid the dogs, and I'm thinking ya'll can identify the good ones. Looking for names and exact locale. Thanks.

post #2 of 31

Well, he's not in southern VT, but Mike DeSantis allows you to ship your skis to him, etc:  http://skimd.com/.  He's based in Framingham, MA (which is basically where I am), so he's the guy I use.  SkiMD is open for the season, right now, so if you want to give him a call and see what's possible, go ahead.

 

I've heard good things about The StartingGate (http://www.startingate.net/), but I don't have any personal experience with them.  They're basically at the base of Stratton Mountain.

post #3 of 31
Another believer in SkiMD. I know of many racers who swear by Edgewise in Vt. I have no experience with them though.

You also need to consider what you want done and what you need done. Do your skis need to be perfect with a special grind or do the bottoms need to be flat With structure and edges sharp? The latter is about $30 to $40 but the former is about $100.
post #4 of 31

Snow Wizards at Magic.  Dick can do magical things with abused skis.

post #5 of 31

As the  others mentioned SKI MD hands down;

 

WHY?

Mike De Santis is a former WC ski tech, so he knows a thing or two.

He has state of the art machines and you get ceramic disc edge finish/like on brand new skis

His price is better

 

Good luck.

post #6 of 31

Framingham is a fair hike from southerrn Vermont.  I appreciate your passion for a good guy but the question was Southern Vermont.  I say again, Dick Stilson at Snow Wizards.

post #7 of 31

No post office in Southern VT?  He also asked who is the best and why and it wasn't bound by anything more than "out there".  I'm not sure "can do magical things" is an actual skill set.  Worked as a WC tech, program manager for Volkl, having a website that explains the entire process does.  I don't think Mike works on abused skis.  I know he's told people he wouldn't work on their skis (including me) because he couldn't make them perfect.  My skis were delaminated and it would have been a waste of money.  He did repair another pair of skis and then tune them (tail split and needed to be re-epoxied).  Read what he does on his site.  No magic.  Just skill.

 

The real thing anyone needs to decide is whether or not their skiing is worth his effort/cost.  Any ski he does will be the best the ski can be.  I'm sure others can do what he does too.  Maybe even the guy at Magic.  A few folks here have said why Mike is the best. 

 

Why is the guy at Magic the best?

post #8 of 31

Mike De Santis is the best.

post #9 of 31
I have been there in person watching Mike doing 3pairs of skis for me.
You have to see it to believe it. Also I doubt that he will have the chance and time to explain to each and every person everything, that he did for me.
I just was fortunate enough.
post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 

I am looking for a place in S. Vermont.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy4g63 View Post

As the  others mentioned SKI MD hands down;

 

WHY?

Mike De Santis is a former WC ski tech, so he knows a thing or two.

He has state of the art machines and you get ceramic disc edge finish/like on brand new skis

His price is better

 

Good luck.

I've yet to find factory fresh skis with a decent tune on them  nonono2.gif

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

I've yet to find factory fresh skis with a decent tune on them  nonono2.gif

Fischer race stock always come with a great tune oob in my experience
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Downhilll View Post

I am looking for a place in S. Vermont.

L&AirC...I'm trying to answer the OP's question.  As he just repeated, he's looking for someone in Southern Vermont.  Not Framingham, MA.

 

Why is Dick good?  Because he takes the time to talk to you and ask you what you want.

Dick:  That's a pretty nasty core shot.  Do you want it good or do you want it fast?

Me:  Fast.  I need the ski tomorrow.

Dick: OK.  No promises on how long it will hold, but it will be ready for you tomorrow.  Leave it with us after you're done tomorrow and I'll fix it right so it's ready next weekend.

After I left it with him for a week, the repair was almost invisible.

 

Dick: What seems to be the problem?

Me:  I think the factory tune left a pretty bad burr.(They were Dynastars)

Dick:  Let me see.  Holy crap, did you actually ski on these today?

Me:  I wouldn't call what I was doing skiing.

Dick:  No sweat, I'll do them by hand.  I think running them through the machine will give us bad results.

Took a pair of skis that were virtuall unskiable and made them my go-to pair.

 

His prices are fair and he's a great guy who will listen and explain what he thinks you need but will let you overrule him if you're stubborn (not recommended!)

post #14 of 31

To add my two cents into the mix, I'll say two things about the prior posts:

 

1.) Stay away from Framingham, MA. Nothing good has ever come from Framingham. It is a festering boil on the butt of New England. (kidding... born and raised Framinghammer here)

 

2.) Edgewise is in Stowe. Anybody who considers Stowe to be in Southern Vermont, should probably get a map. And check with me, as I have a bridge for sale...

 

Anyhow, If you're looking for a good tune shop that's actually in Southern Vermont, you could try Totem Pole in Ludlow. When I was working full time at Okemo, Torin was the only guy I'd trust with my skis. He always did a great job, and was really fair on pricing. 

post #15 of 31

Another Bruins fan from Framingham.  Let's hear it for the Musterfield. (Only a true townie would know where that is.)

post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post

L&AirC...I'm trying to answer the OP's question.  As he just repeated, he's looking for someone in Southern Vermont.  Not Framingham, MA.

 

Why is Dick good?  Because he takes the time to talk to you and ask you what you want.

Dick:  That's a pretty nasty core shot.  Do you want it good or do you want it fast?

Me:  Fast.  I need the ski tomorrow.

Dick: OK.  No promises on how long it will hold, but it will be ready for you tomorrow.  Leave it with us after you're done tomorrow and I'll fix it right so it's ready next weekend.

After I left it with him for a week, the repair was almost invisible.

 

Dick: What seems to be the problem?

Me:  I think the factory tune left a pretty bad burr.(They were Dynastars)

Dick:  Let me see.  Holy crap, did you actually ski on these today?

Me:  I wouldn't call what I was doing skiing.

Dick:  No sweat, I'll do them by hand.  I think running them through the machine will give us bad results.

Took a pair of skis that were virtuall unskiable and made them my go-to pair.

 

His prices are fair and he's a great guy who will listen and explain what he thinks you need but will let you overrule him if you're stubborn (not recommended!)

 

OK.  Peace.  I was trying, as others, to direct him to the great places and not the closest.  I know he asked for southern VT and I gave him one in MA and northern VT (yes I have a map).  I, like other posters, were trying to persuade him to think outside the southern VT box. We are very fortunate in NE to have access to someone such as Mike.

 

Your description of Dick above is much better than "works magic".  This was part of why I commented on it.  The OP asked why are they good.  I'm sure he does a great job and I'm not debating that.  However, what you described for the most part is great customer service.  If that is the most important thing to you, great.  I like customer service too, but I quit getting my skis tuned at a shop that does good work, great customer service, is right next to where I work and they always give me a discount.  Why would I do such a thing?  Because 50% of the time I get a 1/2 instead of a 1/3 like I ALWAYS ask for.  This is because I want all my skis the same so I don't have to keep track of which skis have what.  They all get 1/3.  I still shop there but SkiMD tunes my good skis.  I am going to try another place that is closer and less expensive for the skis that I don't consider performance skis - i.e. rock skis.  Get them flat, give them a 1/3 and we're good.  I'm actually hoping this shop works out well.

 

The part in Blue.  It has been my understanding and experience that the best shops won't do that.  They only do good.  If there is a choice between fast and good and you choose fast, that means it isn't reliable or at a minimum sub-standard.

 

The part in red.  I'm leery of people not trusting machines.  If you can't trust it, it either isn't a good machine or you aren't a good operator.  My opinion and I'm sticking to it.  I know that some people state that the best tunes are done by hand and not a machine.  I think a truer statement is the best tunes they've ever gotten were done by someone that knows what they are doing that didn't use a machine, and the bad tunes were done by someone that didn't know what they were doing that was using a machine.  We can debate this if you like, but it is like defending a religion and nothing good ever comes of that.

 

I'm glad you are happy with the results you are getting and hope Dick has continued success.

 

beercheer.gif

Ken

post #17 of 31

there is a place around stratton, forget the name, has skis in the window.....hope that helps :)  it is southern VT thocool.gif

 

I use Steiners in Kinderhook NY or do it myself.  I'm , frankly, aweful but really cheap.

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post

there is a place around stratton, forget the name, has skis in the window.....hope that helps :)  it is southern VT thocool.gif

 

The Starting Gate

http://www.startingate.net/

post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post

To add my two cents into the mix, I'll say two things about the prior posts:

 

1.) Stay away from Framingham, MA. Nothing good has ever come from Framingham. It is a festering boil on the butt of New England. (kidding... born and raised Framinghammer here)

 

2.) Edgewise is in Stowe. Anybody who considers Stowe to be in Southern Vermont, should probably get a map. And check with me, as I have a bridge for sale...

 

Anyhow, If you're looking for a good tune shop that's actually in Southern Vermont, you could try Totem Pole in Ludlow. When I was working full time at Okemo, Torin was the only guy I'd trust with my skis. He always did a great job, and was really fair on pricing. 

Oh dear, just what this site needs, another Okemo employee or used to be. lol

 

Torin knows what he's doing. Good choice there.

Also Scotty is back with Shon and Randy at The Boot Pro. Scotty likes cheese pizza's, hint hint. I have been tuning my own skis and the skis of some demanding friends over the years. My skis basically haven't been touched by a shop other a stone grind once or twice, since about 2000.

 

I vote for learning how to tune your own. I never get a bad tune.

post #20 of 31

For core shots, nobody in the wrld is better than Dick at Snow Wizards.  Seriously, it isn't even close.  The man is a freakin' legend and I've never had a coreshot of his come back out- and that's saying something!!   

 

If I had nice race skis though, I'd bring them to the Totem Pole, near the base of Okemo.  Greg is their head tuner and is fantastic at what he does.  Excellent equipment, as they reinvest in new equipment almost every year, top notch skills and will actually talk to you/call you while working on them to ask you about how you feel about things, i.e.- I had a pair of skis that weren't flat, and he called to ask if I wanted them ground flat (and removing much more edge and base material) or if I just wanted them "better and with edges" as he knew these were my everyday beaters but he wanted to make sure.  That and they handle an astronomical amount of race skis on a daily basis. 

 

So overall, equipment, skill, experience and service wise, Totem Pole is the best imo.

 

Also if they're too busy, try The Boot Pro a few buildings down towards the access road, they are freakin' awesome too.   

post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

For core shots, nobody in the wrld is better than Dick at Snow Wizards.  Seriously, it isn't even close.  The man is a freakin' legend and I've never had a coreshot of his come back out- and that's saying something!!   

 

 

 

You'd know, being a Magic skier and all   wink.gif

post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

 

 

You'd know, being a Magic skier and all   wink.gif

 

 

No, seriously! :D  "Ski sauvage" is my preference for sure, but it certainly can be rough on the skis when you're sending a cliff to who knows what, or testing the trees early or late season. 

 

 

I mean, if I was content to stay on trail it probably wouldn't be an issue but I like to get sendy-wendy whenever possible and I get incredibly bored if I'm not skiing something sketchy.  My skis often pay the price, but I live by the "tools not jewels" mantra and I beat them in the most loving way possible.  Money well spent IMO and Dick @ Snow Wizards is the only person I trust with a coreshot repair, that much I can be sure of!     

post #23 of 31

I have had some really, really excellent tunes from Northern Ski Works in Ludlow.  The special hand-finished "race tune" is worth it if you are sensitive to edge tune on bulletproof surfaces. They keep their machines in top-shape, and will take their time with finish work.

post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 

The part in Blue.  It has been my understanding and experience that the best shops won't do that.  They only do good.  If there is a choice between fast and good and you choose fast, that means it isn't reliable or at a minimum sub-standard.

 

.

 

beercheer.gif

Ken

No such thing as a temporary repair?  Really?  So rather than taking care of the customer's needs they just won't do it?  I wanted to ski the next day...on those skis.  Temporary repair was the only option.  Turns out the next day was the only fresh snow I got to ski on since I broke my leg the following weekend.

post #25 of 31

I've never had one of my own core shot repairs come out either.  They look like crap but they don't affect the way I ski (like crap). I figure the perfect repair can wait for a full tune. And the way the snow has been lately getting a full tune results in another core shot as soon as I get the skis back, so I wait a long time between tunes. You may now resume the original topic.

post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post

No such thing as a temporary repair?  Really?  So rather than taking care of the customer's needs they just won't do it?  I wanted to ski the next day...on those skis.  Temporary repair was the only option.  Turns out the next day was the only fresh snow I got to ski on since I broke my leg the following weekend.

That's great and I'm happy for you. I'm happy there is such a great tuning facility for you to use. I went back and re-read your post and realized I missed the part where they fixed it twice. My bad.

However, I stand by what I originally said. What would have happened if the repair failed during your first run? Still happy after paying $70 for a lift ticket?

That wasn't your only option. That's the only option you considered. You could rent, rent hi performance, demo, or even as one of of the tuning shops I go to has offered me "just use these and bring them back". Now that's customer service and they don't do temporary fixes.

Sounds like we both have access to tuning facilities that fits are needs and desires. We're both very lucky.


Ken
post #27 of 31

So the repair fails--skiing on a core shot is not the end of the world--except maybe in epic land.  Assuming the ski is not delaminating, in which case I wouldn't try a temporary repair. In any case, the temporary repair in question was probably a quick base weld with metal grip and then ptex, which takes a couple of minutes but won't come out. Just won't look good and will cost precious hundreths of a second in a race.

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post
 

However, I stand by what I originally said. What would have happened if the repair failed during your first run? Still happy after paying $70 for a lift ticket?

 

 

 

 

Lol @ the $70 lift ticket...  For $70 at Magic you get a lift ticket, two beers and a plate of those amazing spicy smoked maple wings!

 

 

  

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post

So the repair fails--skiing on a core shot is not the end of the world--except maybe in epic land.  

 

 

  beercheer.gif

post #30 of 31

Obviously I've never been to Magic.  $70 seems to be the standard price in these parts and on the low side for the place's I've been in VT (only two).

 

If you can ski without the repair staying in place and it isn't a big deal, why was it imperative to get it done right away in the first place?  Why not just wait until it can be done right?

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