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How to care for new skis at beginner/intermediate level [a Beginner Zone question]

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I just bought my first ski (Head Rev 78) and did its first run. I really liked it, it is a great ski for my level. Especially the turning is so easy with it, it carves the snow really well.

 

Now the question is how to maintain the skis awesomeness. I know that there are many topics on this around, but one thing I realized when searching is that how you should treat your skis kind of depends on factors such as your ski level, how often you ski, where do you ski etc. For instance having his own tuning kit and tuning/waxing after each day might make sense for a hard core skier who goes skiing several times a week, whereas this can be an overkill for an occasional skier with limited ability that will hit the mountains maybe only a few times per season.  

 

So, for me I, I am skiing for about 2 years now and probably did 12-14 days of skiing so far. I consider myself somewhere in the upper beginner/lower intermediate level. I will be skiing in the Northeast and will probably do 8-10 days in total this season (every other week or so).

 

I am looking for advice on what I should be doing to preserve the condition of the ski, while minimizing time commitment and cost. How often do you think it requires a tuning by the ski shop? Should I be looking into those waxing stuff sold on the internet? Is there anything that is important to do after each use?

 

Thanks a lot for the help.

post #2 of 8

You can certainly get some wax, an iron (ski wax iron not a steam iron LOL), and a plastic scraper to wax them yourself. Just be careful not to have the iron so hot that the wax is smoking or you will ruin the base material.  Hold off on sharpening or filing the edges until you've met some folks that can show you how to do that right.  There are very specific angles that the files must be locked at to preserve the proper tune for your new skis.  There are also videos that show you how to do it but just start out waxing and let the shop tune the edges the first year so you don't risk ruining your new skis.

post #3 of 8

Learn waxing as it has the greatest cost saving benefit ratio.  Tuning skills come later.

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by oahsen View Post
 

Hi,

 

I just bought my first ski (Head Rev 78) and did its first run. I really liked it, it is a great ski for my level. Especially the turning is so easy with it, it carves the snow really well.

 

Now the question is how to maintain the skis awesomeness. I know that there are many topics on this around, but one thing I realized when searching is that how you should treat your skis kind of depends on factors such as your ski level, how often you ski, where do you ski etc. For instance having his own tuning kit and tuning/waxing after each day might make sense for a hard core skier who goes skiing several times a week, whereas this can be an overkill for an occasional skier with limited ability that will hit the mountains maybe only a few times per season.  

 

So, for me I, I am skiing for about 2 years now and probably did 12-14 days of skiing so far. I consider myself somewhere in the upper beginner/lower intermediate level. I will be skiing in the Northeast and will probably do 8-10 days in total this season (every other week or so).

 

I am looking for advice on what I should be doing to preserve the condition of the ski, while minimizing time commitment and cost. How often do you think it requires a tuning by the ski shop? Should I be looking into those waxing stuff sold on the internet? Is there anything that is important to do after each use?

 

Thanks a lot for the help.

 

 

First, welcome to Epic nice to have you.

 

Take a look at the Beginner threads on maintenance and waxing/tuning there is a lot of info there-search.

 

If the snow consistency is man made or rough you should probably wax every 2 or 3 trips.  If you can ask some people were you ski what type of wax to use, or go to the shop at the resort (when they aren't too busy) and ask them what type of wax you should use. Or ask here on Epic, go to your profile page and scroll down and on the right side you will see the local groups that may include your ski area. Check with them.

 

Having raced for 23 yrs I know how to tune etc. but believe KISS applies when I wax and tune.  So basically, get a plastic scraper a good wax job is more on how much you take off than almost anything.  Although a Ski iron works best and old regular iron works too.  I used an old iron I had in the Army for traveling (small) until it wore out.  So wax on, wax off.  Drip the wax on with an iron and then don't loverheat by having the iron turned up too high and KEEP IT MOVING - never stop the iron or you could bubble the Ptex a real NO NO. Before waxing make sure the base is clean.  A clean rag/washcloth and a citrus de waxer works well or KISS use a damp washcloth and some windex.

Use a plastic scraper to take off the wax, scrape down until you think you may be taking too muc h off.  Plastic scraper can be kept sharp or 90 degrees by moving   back and forth on med grit sandpaper KISS.  Then you have the wax off.  Buy a horsehair brush and brush the hell out of the base

 

I bought my brush from Slidewright here on Epic and it works great.

 

Also store your skis upright in a cool dry place (usually not your garage) Don't press the ski's together where the brakes are taking all the camber out of the skis.   I wipe my edges dry when I get home and this helps prevent rusty edges. Occasionally I lube the bindings with Tri Flow and wipe the top sheet clean with some WD40.

 

I realize that this is a very preliminary posting and I KISSed this on purpose.   If you have any questions PM me and I will be glad to answer.  Good skiing, welcome to Epic.

post #5 of 8

Your skis don't need much.  Don't use a ski rack on the back of the car.  The bindings will be full of grit.  If you use a rack on the top, at minimum get a cover for the bindings.  Better is a full length bag or cargo box.  Or carry the skis inside if they'll fit.

 

Get a simple angle jig for the edges that has a stone.  The problems with the edges are when you hit a rock, and it pulls out a high point of steel.  You need to cut the high point off, and it is so hard that it'll dull a file.  Don't worry about the tiny divot that remains.

 

Wax--I use a universal wax.  Hertel super hot sauce is my favorite.  A garage sale steam iron with aluminum foil over the bottom works OK.  An old dry iron without steam holes is better.  A real waxing iron is best.  The right temperature for the iron is enough heat to melt the wax and not enough to smoke.  Never have the iron stationary on the skis.  You want the skis to get just warm enough for the wax to melt into the pores in the base, and keep the iron moving all the time.  I do it really simple--I re-melt the wax and immediately wipe the excess off with a paper towel.  Right and left hands move in unison, iron in my right, folded paper towel in the left.  Wax on; wax off.  I use the rubber bands from broccoli or asparagus to hold the brakes back.

 

Get your new skis stone ground next fall.  New skis sometimes cup as the epoxy in them continues to cure.  Get the edges sharpened at the same time.  Do not de-tune the edges--you want them sharp to the curve of the tip.  You can probably go two or three years after that without another stone grind.

post #6 of 8
Congratulations on the new skis! IMHO, the most important thing a skier can do is to prevent rust and corrosion by drying the bases and edges when you get home. Carry the skis inside the car or a rooftop box if you can. If you can't and drive home with them in a rooftop rack or behind the car, clean them with a wet towel to remove road salt and dirt before drying them off.

Waxing every 3-5 days of skiing is pretty rewarding for me, and doesn't take a lot of expertise. I use Hertel Hot Sauce, which is excellent and makes my skis slick as snot in most conditions. I add Hertel's cold weather additive below 10 degrees or so. Most wax brands have similar options. Wax, an iron, a plexiglass scraper, and a brush or two will get you started.

(oops, I hit submit before I was done)

ETA: I don't use cleaner on my skis; if they're grungy, which doesn't happen often, I do a few rounds of applying cheap warm-weather wax and then scraping the wax while it's still warm before applying my Hertel wax, but using cleanser isn't a crime; just be sure and saturate the base after removing all the wax from it. And BTW, there are a lot of us who have very strong preferences, but I'll go with most of the posts above and say that simplicity is best. Dedicated waxing irons tend to maintain a more even temperature than clothing irons, mostly because the bases are usually thicker, but what's important is not overheating the bases and closing the little areas that hold the wax that's left after scraping (and brushing, assuming you brush).

As for sharpening your edges, I agree with the above posts that it might be best to stick with waxing for a while and to bring your skis in for a tune when they need it. That'll be more often if you ski in 'abrasive' conditions, less often if you're on fresh natural snow.

Lastly, maintaining my own equipment is very satisfying. I'm just a sucky middling skier, but even I notice a big difference between a shop wax and my multiple rounds of waxing and brushing. So enjoy your new hobby!
Edited by litterbug - 12/25/14 at 5:59pm
post #7 of 8

In case others find this old Beginner Zone thread, there is good info in a 2016 thread in Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs.  The OP got his first pair of skis this past season and was trying to figure out what makes the most sense for someone living in the big city.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/146796/feeling-a-bit-overwhelmed-with-ski-maintenance-help

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

In case others find this old Beginner Zone thread, there is good info in a 2016 thread in Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs.  The OP got his first pair of skis this past season and was trying to figure out what makes the most sense for someone living in the big city.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/146796/feeling-a-bit-overwhelmed-with-ski-maintenance-help


Post #31 from the above thread:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

Initially just clean up your side edges every day or couple days, and learn waxing your skis.
You might never need to go beyond those steps and just budget a pro tuneup a season or so which entails edge sharpening and potentially base grinding and plex as needed. The shop should look at your skis like a car mechanic and say your skis are fine or your skis sre in bad shape and need base grind, it is not on a specific schedule.

I can suggest following tips maximizing frugality for your day to day care.

- if you only have 1 set of skis so after getting edges set once professionally, just get 1 edge sharpening tool or a multi angle tool. You are just deburring so it's more casual and don't need a full set of stones.
For the pro tuneup, choose a shop that is near a resort rather than in your hometown non ski area. Shops at ski area have more business and competition to do a better job versus say rei that hires a new guy every season and sends him to watch a 1day online workshop from a ski wax company. You still need to ask around. They all will do overnight tunes so this should not cause you to lose a day.

For home tuning for the frugal ,
-use a old beach towel (long) or tarp if you want to wax on a table or floor. Itll cushion the ski a bit and catch wax and dust. Knees and back hurt more but it's cheaaap. You should always just keep an old towel around to wipe down skis and protect the skis and car anyway.

-if you're ultimately cheap, or in a bind where the grocery store uses paperstraps on their brocolli or there are no bike innertubes or ski shops or livestrong bracelets, just use a length of rope for brake retainer. You can find rope everywhere but can't always find those other rando gizmos. Rope should be athe least butchers twine or thicker in diameter. Use whatever you have around, don't spend specifically just to buy rope that you won't use for other things. Specifically use a tautline hitch to make adjustable loop that you can tighten down to retract the brakes but also csn loosen the loop and reuse. It'll hold as long as your rope is not like nylon and slippery.
You could also just say f it and not sharpen at the brakes or skip applying wax at the brakes that you can't get to.

-if you only have indoors avail, highly suggest the fiberlene method or skip brushing/scraping. Do not underestimate the mess you'll make with brushing and scraping, especially if theres any breeze or air movement that'll blow the dust around. Do not overeapply too much wax as that'll just be more wax you have to take off and is tougher if you're choosing not to scrape.
I'd suggest instead of crayon method which takes too long, use the hot touch and apply method to get a thin amount of wax without wearing out your arms crayoning.

-if you want to brush and don't want to make a mess, potentially you can brush in the parking lot or outside somewhere or on the snow. You might not get the brake area but you'll cut some structure into the wax so your skis won't be complete suction cups for the first runs. You can just set the skis up against a wall or corner or tailgate or on a trash can and do a quick job. Towel comes in handy again here to help protect depending on the setup. A sturdy large trashcan is pretty good for an outside job if you have one and an oudoor space. Bindings fit in the trashcan hole so is relatively stable, and if you're scraping, you can get the scrapings to go (mostly) right into the can.

-you should at a minimum clear your edges of wax. You can use old creditcards/hotel keys to accomplish this task.
-If you don't want to spend on fancy skiwax brushes you can go with a cheap bathroom brush (look for shorter stiff nylon bristles) or use scotch Brite pads. But realize you're compromising and not doing it exactly right, but you're saving money and still getting bulk excess wax off for less mess, less money, and less setup

 

Usage tip: The green arrow in the Quote above is a "forward" link.  Hover over it until you get the pointing hand pointer, then click to go to the original post/thread.

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