Originally Posted by sibhusky
But why, if you are using six pairs of skis over the course of a season, would you need to grind all six? You'd be having fewer days on each pair, meaning you SHOULD have no need to do it so often for each pair. I went from one pair to three pair and now do it somewhat less than every other year on average. My hard snow/groomer/spring conditions skis need it more often, my powder skis almost never.
For me, the biggest problem is base damage. It's extremely noticable how a ski's speed degrades on cat tracks after getting scraped up. This is pretty important on a powder day when you're trying to beat the herd! By mid-season, navigating Vail becomes a serious test of patience (where half your day is spent traversing stupid cat tracks). I've found that while I can repair skis on my own, using a ptex base welder and the skivisions planar, they never quite come out as good as when I can take them to a local shop and getting a base grind. Filling lots of tiny scratches and then trying to use the skivisions planar to flatten the repairs just doesn't work that well. The planar tends to rip out tiny pieces of the now filled-in scratches, leaving mottled-looking repairs. Sometimes it looks good, but rarely is it as smooth and complete as when the repairs are knocked flat with a base grind. I've also noticed that a metal scraper tends to work a little bit better in getting the repaired sections flat, especially when heating the scraper itself.
The best technique I've found so far for doing home repairs:
1) load the scratches with ptex using a base welder
2) put the base welder directly on a thin metal scraper and heating it up to a high temperature (too hot to touch the exact spot)
3) while keeping the base welder in contact with the metal scraper, run the metal scraper across the filled-in scratches, using the scraper as a flat guide to smooth the ptex in the repairs out as flat as possible
4) finish up with a ski-visions planar
5) after most of the rocks are hidden under the snow, take it to the shop for a final repair job + base grind
Anyone else have any tips and techniques for dealing with base damage? Like I said, the hardest part for me seems to be getting the repairs flat and flush with the rest of the ski base, without damaging the ptex repairs themselves. The SkiVisions planar does a pretty terrible job of this in my experience.