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Tuning debate

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 

So, I got into a debate with a coworker today about how frequently one should have their skis tuned and/or waxed.  I'm of the persuasion that tuning should be done no less than one time a season and waxing should be done 2-3 times (or more) per season depending on how frequently you ski.  He thinks that tuning and waxing is something that can be done every other year or so.  We both ski about the same number of days a year and generally the same terrain (mainly groomers). 

 

Where do people stand on this?  We've agreed to disagree on this, but I'm just curious on which side of the isle the majority of folks tend to find themselves in this discussion.  I realize there are many variables involved, the least of which being personal preference.

post #2 of 86

For best performance:

Wax, scrape and brush at least every three days skiing.

Sharpen side edges before waxing, but if done every three days only requires light touch up with stones.

 

If you don't care about performance, then twice a year is good enough; just don't complain.

post #3 of 86

well it does depend on ski frequency, and man-made snow is more abrasive than natural. that said, i think most people will be more in your camp than his.

 

is it *necessary*?  maybe maybe not.

 

will your skis turn and perform better:  without question

post #4 of 86

It's like sharpening your kitchen knife.  Don't abuse it a little touch up is all that's needed to keep it razor sharp with very little wear and tear on the edge.

 

Same applies to skis.

 

Waxing, all depends on snow conditions and performance you are looking for, if they stick you have to wax.

post #5 of 86
You're asking a ski forum how often to tune and wax? We're pretty fanatical here.

I do a full tune pre-season -- structure, edges, hot scraping, build up of layers of wax. Then I touch up the edges and wax roughly every 60,000 vertical feet, more or less. I'm giving you those stats because it's the only way to normalize for those whose ski day is mostly spent in the bar compared to the guy pursuing vertical feet, compared to the guy hiking for turns. The only meaningful stat for wax is mileage. Days/seasons/whatever are subject to people's own definitions.

What does that translate to for me? I'm waxing 18-20 times a season. Which definitely means I'm doing it all myself, I'd be in the poor house.
post #6 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

You're asking a ski forum how often to tune and wax? We're pretty fanatical here.

I do a full tune pre-season -- structure, edges, hot scraping, build up of layers of wax. Then I touch up the edges and wax roughly every 60,000 vertical feet, more or less. I'm giving you those stats because it's the only way to normalize for those whose ski day is mostly spent in the bar compared to the guy pursuing vertical feet, compared to the guy hiking for turns. The only meaningful stat for wax is mileage. Days/seasons/whatever are subject to people's own definitions.

What does that translate to for me? I'm waxing 18-20 times a season. Which definitely means I'm doing it all myself, I'd be in the poor house.


Yes, I realize the irony in asking this question here.  We're talking East Coast (mainly Mid-Atlantic) skiing, so vertical feet isn't something which is in abundance and it's almost ALL man made snow.

 

I feel you on the costs of having someone do it for you.  Had to take out a small loan to get the whole family's gear tuned and waxed at the local ski shop. 

 

Zardoz is starting to look better and better.

post #7 of 86
Which means you need to wax and tune more than I do. Maybe daily.
post #8 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Which means you need to wax and tune more than I do. Maybe daily.


Oh, you must have skimmed over the part about having to get the whole family's gear done this year.  You should read that as, "I don't get off the green runs more than once or twice a season." Thumbs Down And thanks to Blackout times on our season passes, we're usually only skiing on Sunday afternoons until one of the kids cries 'Uncle!" (2-3 hours max). 

post #9 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post
 

We both ski about the same number of days a year and generally the same terrain (mainly groomers). 

 

You guys should ski a day together and settle it on the slopes.

post #10 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Which means you need to wax and tune more than I do. Maybe daily.


Oh, you must have skimmed over the part about having to get the whole family's gear done this year.  You should read that as, "I don't get off the green runs more than once or twice a season." icon13.gif And thanks to Blackout times on our season passes, we're usually only skiing on Sunday afternoons until one of the kids cries 'Uncle!" (2-3 hours max). 

My kid started running her own equipment before I did. She was 12? Sounds like bonding time. If they are younger, hand them a scraper.
post #11 of 86
I take a diiferent approach to my kids, keep your room clean and do your duties, I wax and tune your skis, don't and I use honey instead of wax devil.gif
post #12 of 86
Quote:
He thinks that tuning and waxing is something that can be done every other year or so. We both ski about the same number of days a year and generally the same terrain (mainly groomers).
Every other year?? Goodness.
Ibought a pair of skis recently for 25$. Ex Ski patrol skis. I was going out to teach some people and figured I try them.
I didn't make it to the lift.
Skis practically stuck, no glide, horrible edges. I mean I expected it, but figured I try before tuning them. Just awful. I turned around and got my rock skis.

It's the lack of glide that was truly awful. A ski with no glide is no fun. Doesn't turn as well either. I know you're not arcing every turn, because thise who do are pretty meticulous about both edges and base. But sliding is greatly affected by wax so your turns suffer.

If one is trying to control speed with lack of wax, they need to learn how to control speed by line. Lack of wax is not your friend.

Waxing and basic maintenence can be done on the cheap. Like hunting I suppose.

For your friend who tunes every other year in the mid Atlantic? Not much to say, maybe start tuning and let him try your skis.
post #13 of 86

It depends on where you ski.   If you ski in the East you need to sharpen and wax a lot more as the snow is so abrasive.

 

I wax every few times I ski and debur my edges pretty much every day, unless the snow is soft that day.

 

I ski in New England.

post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Which means you need to wax and tune more than I do. Maybe daily.


Oh, you must have skimmed over the part about having to get the whole family's gear done this year.  You should read that as, "I don't get off the green runs more than once or twice a season." Thumbs Down And thanks to Blackout times on our season passes, we're usually only skiing on Sunday afternoons until one of the kids cries 'Uncle!" (2-3 hours max). 

 

Blackout times on a season pass?    I can't think of a local hill that does that.

post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

Blackout times on a season pass?    I can't think of a local hill that does that.

post #16 of 86

Hm. Well, you'll find a consensus here about tuning, especially among east coast skiers. But we're fanatics. I'm a teacher, so I only manage 30 days or so a season, but I'm with SMJ — wax every three ski days or so, touch up the side edges with a diamond stone as needed. Good base bevels are vital, but like many rec tuners, I don't touch those. 

 

You don't say how many days you ski each season. If it's 4 or 5, a once-a-year tune makes sense. Every other year is pushing it. 

 

Edit: For a couple hundred bucks, you can get a good tuning kit that includes a vice and a waxing iron, wax, scrapers, brushes, a bevel guide, file, diamond stones, p-tex candles, etc. That'll get you going. You can do all your family's skis (if you have the stamina ;)) twice and, figuring four pair waxed and sharpened @ $25/pair (cheap), you'll have made up the cost of a shop tune. After that, it's the price of wax (which you can get in bulk for little money, if you shop around).

post #17 of 86

I did some looking - Wintergreen seems to have pass restrictions that could fit:  

http://www.wintergreenresort.com/passes-and-deals/

 

so would a Camelback value pass:

http://www.skicamelback.com/tickets-passes/season-passes/

 

I don't think he's got a SnowPass product:


https://www.skipa.com/deals/4th5th-grade-program/participating-resorts

post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post
 

So, I got into a debate with a coworker today about how frequently one should have their skis tuned and/or waxed.  I'm of the persuasion that tuning should be done no less than one time a season and waxing should be done 2-3 times (or more) per season depending on how frequently you ski.  He thinks that tuning and waxing is something that can be done every other year or so.  We both ski about the same number of days a year and generally the same terrain (mainly groomers). 

 

Where do people stand on this?  We've agreed to disagree on this, but I'm just curious on which side of the isle the majority of folks tend to find themselves in this discussion.  I realize there are many variables involved, the least of which being personal preference.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post
 

So, I got into a debate with a coworker today about how frequently one should have their skis tuned and/or waxed.  I'm of the persuasion that tuning should be done no less than one time a season and waxing should be done 2-3 times (or more) per season depending on how frequently you ski.  He thinks that tuning and waxing is something that can be done every other year or so.  We both ski about the same number of days a year and generally the same terrain (mainly groomers). 

 

Where do people stand on this?  We've agreed to disagree on this, but I'm just curious on which side of the isle the majority of folks tend to find themselves in this discussion.  I realize there are many variables involved, the least of which being personal preference.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

For best performance:

Wax, scrape and brush at least every three days skiing.

Sharpen side edges before waxing, but if done every three days only requires light touch up with stones.

 

If you don't care about performance, then twice a year is good enough; just don't complain.


There it is above.  Waxing that infrequently will create a speed controlled ski and a ski that won't slide glide or turn well at all.

Tune once a year?  Depends on the snow or ice you ski and if you hit things to impart burrs on the edges etc.  Depends on how many days one skis.

post #19 of 86

You do not need to wax your skis.

 

Wax if you like for better performance.  Wax as often as you like or as seldom as you like.  Or don't.

 

I like to wax mine with a universal wax (I like Hertel Super Hot Sauce) every trip, usually 3 to 6 days.

post #20 of 86

Hehe for once or twice a year, I wouldn't even bother waxing at all, as base is so destroyed already, it doesn't accept any wax, so it's pretty useless to bother even that once or twice.

Personally I wax and do edges every time skis are used, and to be even more anal about this, if skis are not used for more then few days, also transportation/storage wax (nowadays it's normally Swix BP77 or BP88) goes on. :)

post #21 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abox View Post
 

 

You guys should ski a day together and settle it on the slopes.


I wouldn't want to hurt his feelings. :D

post #22 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

I did some looking - Wintergreen seems to have pass restrictions that could fit:  

http://www.wintergreenresort.com/passes-and-deals/

 

so would a Camelback value pass:

http://www.skicamelback.com/tickets-passes/season-passes/

 

I don't think he's got a SnowPass product:


https://www.skipa.com/deals/4th5th-grade-program/participating-resorts


We're skiing at Wintergreen mostly.  I agree, I don't feel like Season passes should have blackout times, but I don't make the rules and while the kids are still learning, it's not worth it to make the trek somewhere that doesn't have them. 

post #23 of 86

There are many variables that dictate how often to tune/wax as mentioned in this thread. I prefer razor sharp edges on my carving skis therefore have to constantly work on them. The off piste skis not so much. Sharp edges give you better control on hard surfaces. I played college hockey and had my skates sharpened every day after practice or a game. Heck I would have had them sharpened between periods if possible.

post #24 of 86

Waybeau--for the kind of skiing you're doing I wouldn't worry too much about tuning. Wax is probably the biggest,  because it makes the ski easier to turn. However, if you're skiing hard, cold condition the skis will turn fine without wax. Where you'll notice a difference is when the snow is warmer and softer. As far as edges go it's the opposite--sharp edges matter more on hard snow, obviously. On my carving skis I usually sharpen them every few days.Less often on my all mountain skis, my powder skis have never been sharpened. One reason to keep sharpening is  to prevent the need for a shop tune because the edges have gotten too bad. Sharpening means side edges only. Base edges are only set and sharpened after the base is ground flat and then not touched, except for gently removing burrs, until the base is ground again. As far as having bases ground--a heavily used carving ski maybe yearly, other skis less often. If a ski starts to be hard to turn it can be a sign that the edges are higher than the base, due to wear of the base. If a ski stops holding an edge even though you sharpen it may mean the edges are worn. Both require grinding and resetting the edges. 

One thing that matters about edges is ability--if people are mainly sking beginner runs they're not on their edges, so the edges don't get dull  and if they are dull you wouldn't notice. As ability increases the need for tuning increases.

 

It's cost effective to do your own waxing and side edge sharpening. Most people would have a shop do base grinding, structuring, and base edge setting. Filling core shots and base gouges next to edges are in between. Other base gouges can be ignored, or the bigger ones can be fixed when and if the ski goes into the shop for a base grind..

 

Summary--for now you can get by with minimal ski maintenance.  Skiing is an expensive sport, especially for a family, and the money is better spent on things like gear--especially making sure boots fit properly and replacing skis as the kids grow, making sure they are warm and dry, and lessons. As ability improves and performance becomes more important, more attention to tuning will start to pay off.

post #25 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post

 

 

Zardoz is starting to look better and better.

 

 

Quote:
 

We're skiing at Wintergreen mostly.  I agree, I don't feel like Season passes should have blackout times, but I don't make the rules and while the kids are still learning, it's not worth it to make the trek somewhere that doesn't have them. 

 

If you want to do it yourself, you can wax 4-5 pairs for less than $40 a season.      You need one wax that's hard enough for fresh manmade in February at Wintergreen and water-repellent enough for the inevitable slushy bits, especially on green slopes.     

You don't need an iron, to start with, if you don't want the expense and mess.    

 

Zardoz is very useful in spring slush, but is not a total solution.     My on-the-cheap pick for Wintergreen would be one tin of  Swix F4 paste, an artificial cork, and one Zardoz puck for late February/early March melt days.

You'll also want some broccoli-grade rubber bands to hold the brakes up.  

 

Sure, there's going to be lots of elbow sweat involved, but there's no wax residue to be scraped/brushed, there's no iron involved, and the price is nice and low.      You could substitute a solid wax for the F4 paste, but that will involve more elbow sweat.

 

If the kids don't like it, make them watch the Karate Kid.

post #26 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

 

 

If you want to do it yourself, you can wax 4-5 pairs for less than $40 a season.      You need one wax that's hard enough for fresh manmade in February at Wintergreen and water-repellent enough for the inevitable slushy bits, especially on green slopes.     

You don't need an iron, to start with, if you don't want the expense and mess.    

 

Zardoz is very useful in spring slush, but is not a total solution.     My on-the-cheap pick for Wintergreen would be one tin of  Swix F4 paste, an artificial cork, and one Zardoz puck for late February/early March melt days.

You'll also want some broccoli-grade rubber bands to hold the brakes up.  

 

Sure, there's going to be lots of elbow sweat involved, but there's no wax residue to be scraped/brushed, there's no iron involved, and the price is nice and low.      You could substitute a solid wax for the F4 paste, but that will involve more elbow sweat.

 

If the kids don't like it, make them watch the Karate Kid.


So, it looks like the F4 paste is kind of like shoe polish.  Do you just rub it in and wipe off the excess, or is there more to it?

post #27 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post
 


So, it looks like the F4 paste is kind of like shoe polish.  Do you just rub it in and wipe off the excess, or is there more to it?

 

You rub it in - wait for it to set - then you cork it.      Corking is the hard part, that's where you make up with elbow sweat for not having an iron.      It's actually not that hard - if you can rub your hands together quickly enough and hard enough to heat them up, that's about the right pressure and speed.

 

Here's the secret -> you actually need *very* little wax; the first few times you'll be scraping excess off the cork just to get it to be frictiony again.

 

And- that's pretty much it.  

post #28 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

You rub it in - wait for it to set - then you cork it.      Corking is the hard part, that's where you make up with elbow sweat for not having an iron.      It's actually not that hard - if you can rub your hands together quickly enough and hard enough to heat them up, that's about the right pressure and speed.

 

Here's the secret -> you actually need *very* little wax; the first few times you'll be scraping excess off the cork just to get it to be frictiony again.

 

And- that's pretty much it.  

 

And you can get the cork at the same place you get the paste?

post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayBeau View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

You rub it in - wait for it to set - then you cork it.      Corking is the hard part, that's where you make up with elbow sweat for not having an iron.      It's actually not that hard - if you can rub your hands together quickly enough and hard enough to heat them up, that's about the right pressure and speed.

 

Here's the secret -> you actually need *very* little wax; the first few times you'll be scraping excess off the cork just to get it to be frictiony again.

 

And- that's pretty much it.  

 

And you can get the cork at the same place you get the paste?

 

You can get it wherever- just make sure you get artificial cork your first time.   It's much more effective than natural.

post #30 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

You can get it wherever- just make sure you get artificial cork your first time.   It's much more effective than natural.


Sweet! I'm going to give this a try. 

 

Thanks for the tips.

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