In my limited amateur experience, a similar disconnect happens with ski edge sharpening as happens with kitchen knife sharpening. The disconnect comes about as a result of the radically different starting point professionals come to the problem from, when compared with the "Joe Schmoe" perspective.
When it comes to knife sharpening, the pro or hard-core amateur picks up what he calls a "dull" knife. This is a top-quality knife whose edge has been maintained religiously on a weekly, daily, or even hourly basis through its whole life. But it is not RAZOR sharp right now because it's been used a couple of times since its last honing. The instructions the pro offers on sharpening knives emerge from this point of view.
Meanwhile when Joe Schmoe pickes up a "dull" knife it's one that's been rattling around in the junk drawer, has been run through the dishwasher scores of times, may have been a POS to begin with, and last had a proper sharpening ... never. COMPLETELY different starting point.
The pro's advice about honing does nothing for Joe. He naturally assumes that the "sharpening" steel that came with the knives he and Josephine got for their wedding in 1995 is the tool he needs. Wrong. Joe needs to take off a a LOT of metal to get that knife to a place where a steel would have any meaningful effect at all. He is not concerned with moving a knife from "bascially sharp" to "it will cut a tomato by waving it six inches above the skin." Instead he is concerned with moving it from "dull as a hoe" to "sharp enough to be functional again".
Similarly, I find that when my skis are really dull, I need to take a lot of metal off with a bastard file before starting in with the diamond stones. More than SJ's "a pass or four". (When a pro finds himself confronting a ski this dull, he's probably going to start with a machine to do most of the grunt work, before possibly finishing by hand. Right, guys?) Eventually, unless I'm being REALLY careful, every time out, about avoiding rocks, they'll be so full of deep nicks (even after de-hardening with a stone before filing) that they need a professional grind to really get things back to scratch. This is one reason to have a pair of dedicated hard-snow groomer skis for when having a perfect edge really matters, and to keep them on piste.