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You Just Got New Skis... NOW What Do You Do????

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

This subject has come up quite a bit in recent threads... How well tuned are new skis that come straight out of the factory?

 

I've been lucky enough to have skied a lot of new skis from different manufacturers over the last few years.  I've experienced enough "interesting" performance from those new skis to have eventually come to the conclusion that - for me - a full tune from a good shop is just part of the ski purchase process.  I don't ski new skis anymore without having my favorite shop make sure they're flat, waxed, and beveled the way I like them.  (Yes, I could/should do it myself, but I'm too lazy.  My bad.)

 

Anyway, this has almost nothing to do with brand.  I've talked to enough shop guys to believe that skis from every manufacturer come from the factory with things that can or should be corrected.

 

I do understand that many new-ski buyers will look on this as an incredibly annoying idea.  Why in the world should I have to spend MORE money making sure brand new skis are set up for optimum performance?  

 

Nevertheless, it's what I do.  I know from asking around that most of the people I know who ski a lot do the same thing.

 

How about you? 

post #2 of 25

New ski prep should be included in the price of skis and bindings, including mounting - that is if you buy locally from a reputable shop instead of online.  My online purchases are tuned and waxed in my workshop.  

post #3 of 25

Excellent question--that I have no idea what the answer is.

post #4 of 25

The first skis that I heard a lot about with marginal factory tune was the Dynastar Sultan (think it was Philpug who made the observation). I was always a big Dynastar guy, but from day one didn't like the Sultan 85's.

 

Took them for a full tune within a couple of days, but still never found a sweet spot. Thankfully managed to sell them quickly without losing too much.

 

Need to take my MX108's over to Fanatyko tonight for a tune. They're so much different than the ones I have in SLC I have to believe a tune will do them a world of good.

post #5 of 25

If a shop spends sooooo much time speaking with the customer, analyzing their needs, discussing their skiing style, recommending options, and even perhaps a demo.........all for that to go to the crapper because of a bad factory tune?!  Toss in the tune and mounting at a 50% discount at least, protect everyone's investment of time and effort.

post #6 of 25

The eastern Massachusetts ski-tuning "god" (Mike DeSantis, http://www.skimd.com/) tells me every chance he gets exactly what Bob Peters said above.  i.e., skis out of the wrapper generally suck.

 

I don't understand why the ski manufacturers themselves don't have a little better quality control.  The tune quality between "most" shops and the "great" ones is night-and-day.  With "most" skis having poor tunes from the factory and "most" shops not doing a great job with tunes that would seem to equal most skiers never coming close to realizing the performance spectrum that their skis offer them.

post #7 of 25

It does seem odd for a company to spend good money on R&D and brand development (marketing) only to ignore a vital (and simple) part of the performance equation when it comes to sending skis out to the marketplace.  I wonder if they test skis straight off the production line, or if their test skis are properly prepped.  Getting the bases flat and the edges right would be a minimum requirement if I were in charge of quality control in a ski factory.

post #8 of 25

I just put bindings on and maybe a coat of wax and then start skiing (not including race stock). According to my tuner, skis will change the fist few times you ski them so it's sometimes better to wait before tuning them.

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

I just put bindings on and maybe a coat of wax and then start skiing (not including race stock). According to my tuner, skis will change the fist few times you ski them so it's sometimes better to wait before tuning them.

 

I'm guessing "your guy" are the guys at Edgewise?  Is he talking about the ski warping or something after you've skied it a few times?

 

Mike (my guy) has always told me the same thing -- i.e., the base bevel increases throughout use, which makes sense (especially if your skis have a magnetic attraction towards rocks the way mine do).  I'm not sure what the time frame is for the base bevel to appreciably change though.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post

 

I'm guessing "your guy" are the guys at Edgewise?  Is he talking about the ski warping or something after you've skied it a few times?

 

Mike (my guy) has always told me the same thing -- i.e., the base bevel increases throughout use, which makes sense (especially if your skis have a magnetic attraction towards rocks the way mine do).  I'm not sure what the time frame is for the base bevel to appreciably change though.

 

Yeah, it is, and I think that's why a factory tune isn't going to be "perfect" even if it starts out perfect, the ski continues to cure when shipping, and it breaks down more from flexing.

post #11 of 25

New skis?  What's that?

post #12 of 25

I will have all new skis in the future tuned and waxed, at the very least checked, before taking them to the slopes. The Lines I got before the season came with a pretty cheap wax but I neglected to take them to the shop before skiing them. They didn't glide to well to say the least, the edges were also dull as butter knives. I took my latest pair to the shop first and was very happy the first time out.

 

It seems to me that having a piste ski tuned before use is more important than a pow or all mountain ski. I emailed Rossignol and was told all their skis come with a 1:1 bevel and are ready to ski out of the wrappers.. Like I'm really going to ski a 100% piste ski on ice with a 1:1 tune...

post #13 of 25

It's like the price of an airline ticket, you have to add all those fees. Here it's a tuning fee. At least you don't have to deal with the TSA.

 

re: edgewise, what about the new skis you can buy from Racestock sports that are pretuned?

 

So, how does a base bevel increase? Is is actually wear or is something going on with the base?

post #14 of 25
all the shops around where I live will give you a new ski prep if you buy from them, also will mount free if you buy the bindings as well. you pay nothing more... new ski prep will cost you 20 bucks otherwise, so no big deal to avoid a big disappointment the first time you put your new sticks to work! I think it's worth it if you don't know or don't have the tools to do it yourself
post #15 of 25

Thanks for bringing this up, Bob. 

 

Most of the new skis are not perfect from the factory and I am talking race SL and GS  skis, in which the tune is everything. So it might be worse on all mountain and other skis. What  I do:

i send the skis to SKI MD for a perfect tune and base prep. Only person that  didn't do that, they don't know what they are missing.

The extra cost is totally worth it.

 

Become a believer, try it.biggrin.gif

post #16 of 25
Sleep with them like little Ralphie
would do
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

It's like the price of an airline ticket, you have to add all those fees. Here it's a tuning fee. At least you don't have to deal with the TSA.

 

re: edgewise, what about the new skis you can buy from Racestock sports that are pretuned?

 

So, how does a base bevel increase? Is is actually wear or is something going on with the base?

 

The race skis have to be pre-tuned.

post #18 of 25

Interesting thread and remember the other on one a particular ski......That said, I bought a pair of Enforcers, had them tuned out of the wrapper and they were awesome (thanks StartHaus). Great edges.  I have 2 other pairs that I have bought new - Blizzards (didnt pay for a tune) and they were fine (in fact so sharp you could shave w/ them), hit them with a gummi and skied them.  And then the "original issue" ski - Legend 94's that can straight from the warehouse in Ogden to my door.  To be honest - those skis were fine no issues, never seen a pro tune.  I even bought a true bar from tognar and checked them all - guess what - they are all flat.

 

I guess I cant really say whether the Enforcers are just awesome for me or it was the tune - I like them better than the rest - but not sure its the tune although it didnt hurt.  That said, hearing the other stories - it is now part of SOP for me (see Enforcer) - to me the "no tax" vs. tune is a push.

post #19 of 25

So what do you do if you got new skis, skied on them and thought they were great as is?  Only have one day on a pair of Mag 8.5ti with a few coats of wax.  After reading this thread I'm hesitant to put my true bar on them to find out I might enjoy a railed ski.eek.gif

post #20 of 25

Back in the old days they used to ship most new skis out of the factory intentionally base high.  They packed them in stacks and that little extra p-tex beyond the edges was to prevent the edges from scratching up the skis under them in transit, and on the wall racks at the ski shop.  Beginner skis would be typically sold as is because a little base high is more forgiving.  Performance skis usually needed a pre tune.  Most good shops would lightly file down new skis flat when mounting them.

 

As for today, not sure if any still come base high.. probably no need to waste money on extra thick p-tex since they come in plastic individually wrapped now.  I gotta wonder how much they now scratch eachother up along the display walls since they are tuned and out of the plastic usually.

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherPlayThanWork View Post

So what do you do if you got new skis, skied on them and thought they were great as is?  Only have one day on a pair of Mag 8.5ti with a few coats of wax.  After reading this thread I'm hesitant to put my true bar on them to find out I might enjoy a railed ski.eek.gif

 

I actually took my brand-new 8.5ti's to Edgewise at Stowe and had their guy take a look at them.  He looked, said "they're pretty good, go ski 'em", so I did.

 

(I did buy them from Dawgcatching, maybe he tuned them up before sending them my way?  Either way, they skied great from the first time I clicked into 'em).

post #22 of 25

I think it really depends on the ski. A true bar will tell you what you need to know.  The tip area is the most common problem I see (as I related in that other thread), tail 2nd.  If you throw a true-bar over the tip of the ski, and see light coming in underneath the base, you are going to have a laterally aggressive ski; hooky, maybe some trouble releasing, but overall more demanding than it should be. A ski that is edge high needs a grind, period.  It will make all the difference in the world.  I have found that about 50% of the skis we sell NEED a grind, about another 25-30% could use one but will ski fairly well out of the wrapper, and the remaining skis do ski very well out of the wrapper, although a good skier could even find marginal performance gains on those.  For example, I skied a Kastle MX83 out of the wrapper, and it was solid, but after throwing a grind on it, it was even better: it needed 3 light passes to bring it flat.  An MX88 was dialed out of the box.  The Mag 8.0ti I mentioned in the other thread was 8 passes to get flat; it definitely needed a tune, and skied much better afterward than prior to the grind.  An 8.5ti was flatter, only took 4 passes, and the difference, although noticeable, wasn't huge.

 

I have had the best luck with race stock and race-stock lite skis (such as the MX88) being really dialed out of the box, in terms of being flat (obviously, race stock skis need a bevel, but that is a different issue than being base or edge high).  Hit or miss for cheaper stuff.  The quality of materials is also evident on the race stock stuff: the base doesn't  heat up and change size when being ground on a high-level ski, but on the more mass-market brands, the bases fluctuate a lot more.

 

I don't know a ton about ski construction, but I would guess that edge-high setups come from the base material cooling and shrinking, leaving the edge exposed.  Perhaps some brands take the time to re-grind them at this point and get them flat, and others don't? Or it has to do with the temperature that the base is laid down, and whether by hand or machine?

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post

 

I actually took my brand-new 8.5ti's to Edgewise at Stowe and had their guy take a look at them.  He looked, said "they're pretty good, go ski 'em", so I did.

 

(I did buy them from Dawgcatching, maybe he tuned them up before sending them my way?  Either way, they skied great from the first time I clicked into 'em).


See my post below! 

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

I just put bindings on and maybe a coat of wax and then start skiing (not including race stock). According to my tuner, skis will change the fist few times you ski them so it's sometimes better to wait before tuning them.


Yeah, it is amazing how much skis change after 5 days.  It also gives you an idea of the overall quality. One of my buddies at Race Place always says that a high level ski, like a Head WC model, or a kastle MX, looks almost same after 5 days that it does out of the wrapper.  A mass-market ski you paid $699 for will warp more, due to cheaper materials and methods used.

post #25 of 25

WC tech that had a high end shop in Aspen, "The factory fabricates skis, I make them perform".

 

 

I still usually ski them first.

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