Originally Posted by Trekchick
I will say, we had a couple park skis in the test group that were clearly de-tuned, or at the very least had a park tune on them.......those were NOT fun on firm snow.
How to do a "Park Tune"
Boots in binding Drag method. Also known as the "One Stop Shopping" method.
First off, you want fairly new asphalt. Fine grained yet aged so it's not too soft. The stuff that feels smoooth on a skate board or roller blades. Oh yes, we're talking seldom used roads or parking lots (preferable) here.
Alternatively, you can use quality concrete. No rain grooves, pits, or high polish Home Depot floors here. Smooth, fine grained surface is what you're looking for. It's out there. Finding it is part of the Park Tuner's skill set.
Now....the next part requires, usually, a few youngish males. Let's say 18 - 25 or older ones maquerading as that age. Younger could work but legally it's problematic since there's driving involved and many states have restrictions on how new drivers interact with others of questionable judgement.
So. Driver + Car + Park Tuner + bystanders to warn driver and or Tuner. Plus another car to drive to hospital if needed. (Too many questions with 911)
Ok. Tow rope is needed. Maybe a cheap water ski tow. Best to have a bar to hold onto.
We'll skip the details of attachment. Part of the Tuners skill set.
(note: It is best not to use a high truck. No 36 - 54 inch tires here.Angle is all wrong. Some find out the hard way. Darwin...)
Now the tuning.
There are two styles here. The "Cross Drag" and the "Tip and Rip". Both require a fair amount of skill to execute. Which is better is an endless debate. I have no dog in either so you'll have to decide. Honestly, I think Park Tuners use whatever method they're better at performing.
The Park Tuner is booted up, clicked into the bindings, with skis parallel to the rear bumper. Or for those sticklers driving egg shaped cars, skis at a right angle to the direction of travel. How to accomplish the next part would take pages of text, diagrams and explanations. This is why it takes a skilled Park Tuner, not just any Joey fresh off the rails.
The car slowly moves, the Tuner does short hops on corresponding edges. The slack gets taken up, the Park Tuner gets slowly dragged on the edges by the vehicle. This grinds the edges down. They must repeat with the Tuner facing the opposite way and on the other set of corresponding edges.
Yes, a massive burr is made on the side of the edge. The quality of the burr is synonymous with the quality of the tune. Again, that's a big subject that Park Tuners debate endlessly.
Tip and Rip:
One needs the same set up with car and tow line. Ok, instead of the Park Tuner being in the skis at a right angle to the direction of travel, he's facing the direction of travel and the skis are aligned with it. Just like towing a skier for a jump. Now, this time the vehicle pulls the Tuner tipping the skis on corresponding edges like he was making a turn.
Yes, the geometry and movement needed is complex. This is why Park Tuners get good at one style and stick with it.
Obviously this is repeated on the other set of corresponding edges.
Cross Draggers claim this method is uneven tip to tail. That the tips get more than the tails and even middle. The Tippers claim they can tailor it using their skills, and turn it into the equivalent of a radial tune. Thus it's better and allows more fine tuning that some Park Skiers want.
"Doesn't the Cross Drag method bevel the ptex base?"
- And? That's part of the signature of the tuner. Can't be too much though or there's no flat spot. Takes skills.
"What about the burrs?"
- They're big and dangerous to the hands. Sometimes they're removed. Learning to ski Park with a honking burr is part of the skill set. Deal.
"These methods sound pretty crude and dangerous to do"
- Well we're not talking tuning for the Spandex clad looking to shave 1/100 of a second. This is gnar in gnar out.
"Which method do the top competitors use?"
- Most use skis Park Tuned with both methods. They switch types for different types of hit sequences or the conditions.