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Did I get a good or a bad tune?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am relatively new to the sport and don’t know the first thing about tuning skis so here is my story and my question.

Yesterday, my wife and I skied a run that was a bit thin on snow. We managed to miss 95% of rocks.

The result was minor damage to the bases and edges. So we took our skis the resort’s shop to repair the minor damage. Basically they did a “light tune” to our skies which consisted of tuning the edges and an iron on waxing. The tuning consisted of one complete pass (with a electric grinding stone/jig) on each of the sides of the edges and two passes on the base of the edges. Then a file was used on the front and rear of the edges to dull those parts of the edges.

My skis felt different than before. On some blues with medium (Sierra Cement) snow the skis felt fast and precise. Then on a moderate black with firm to hard snow I found myself catching an edge or two and the skis seemed to require a bit more effort to turn. I found myself being more careful than I was prior to the tuning. (I had skied that same run prior to the tuning and the snow was a little softer then). Then on our next run we came on a steep section with very hard snow. I had excellent control on that section.

So, my question is did I get a good or a bad tune? Are my edges too sharp?

My skis are ‘06 Atomic Metron 9s. I had 14 days on them

My wife’s skis are ‘07 Solomon Siam 8s. She said her skis skied no different than they did prior to the tuning. She only had 2 days on her skis.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNPete View Post
I am relatively new to the sport and don’t know the first thing about tuning skis so here is my story and my question.

Yesterday, my wife and I skied a run that was a bit thin on snow. We managed to miss 95% of rocks.

The result was minor damage to the bases and edges. So we took our skis the resort’s shop to repair the minor damage. Basically they did a “light tune” to our skies which consisted of tuning the edges and an iron on waxing. The tuning consisted of one complete pass (with a electric grinding stone/jig) on each of the sides of the edges and two passes on the base of the edges. Then a file was used on the front and rear of the edges to dull those parts of the edges.

My skis felt different than before. On some blues with medium (Sierra Cement) snow the skis felt fast and precise. Then on a moderate black with firm to hard snow I found myself catching an edge or two and the skis seemed to require a bit more effort to turn. I found myself being more careful than I was prior to the tuning. (I had skied that same run prior to the tuning and the snow was a little softer then). Then on our next run we came on a steep section with very hard snow. I had excellent control on that section.

My $.02: what you've got is a sharp burr in the midsection of the ski and dull edges at the tip and tail that do not hold well enough to pull you into the turn. The transition between dull edge to burr is unpredictable.
Your wife's skis are soft (forgiving?) enough that the effect of that same transition is far less than on yours.

I would find a tuning place that knows to run an arkansas stone along the entire edge instead.
post #3 of 15
Its really impossible to say what you got from just the description. Your Atomics were factory tuned with side/base bevels of 3/1. I would guess you got a 0/1 tune. It appears the finishing was done with a file, which apparently was also used to de-tune the tips and tail. That's kind of like using a framing hammer on finish carpentry. Files should be used to set the bevels, then diamond stones can be used to polish the edges and achieve real sharpness. To make a ski more "forgiving" rather than dull the tips and tails, I would prefer to increase the base bevel at those locations. The use of a gummy stone to de-burr the edges is important on well tuned skis. Overall, I think you got an average commercial tune similar to what you'd experience on rental skis. That's why so many of us have purchased the tools to DIY.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Its really impossible to say what you got from just the description. Your Atomics were factory tuned with side/base bevels of 3/1. I would guess you got a 0/1 tune. It appears the finishing was done with a file, which apparently was also used to de-tune the tips and tail. That's kind of like using a framing hammer on finish carpentry. Files should be used to set the bevels, then diamond stones can be used to polish the edges and achieve real sharpness. To make a ski more "forgiving" rather than dull the tips and tails, I would prefer to increase the base bevel at those locations. The use of a gummy stone to de-burr the edges is important on well tuned skis. Overall, I think you got an average commercial tune similar to what you'd experience on rental skis. That's why so many of us have purchased the tools to DIY.
Short of seaching for a place that does good tuning-no small task as I live over an hour from a city with a real ski shop, what can I do at home to make my skis more predictable/forgiving.

Any good shops in Modesto or Stockton that you know of? Sacto is a little over 2 hours from my place.
post #5 of 15
Now we're talking Pete, I'll move this over to Maintenance and Tuning and we'll get you set up with a starter package from Alpinord or Dr. D.
And don't forget you get the supporter discounts.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Now we're talking Pete, I'll move this over to Maintenance and Tuning and we'll get you set up with a starter package from Alpinord or Dr. D.
And don't forget you get the supporter discounts.
Links or addresses?
post #7 of 15
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
My $.02: what you've got is a sharp burr in the midsection of the ski and dull edges at the tip and tail that do not hold well enough to pull you into the turn. The transition between dull edge to burr is unpredictable.
Your wife's skis are soft (forgiving?) enough that the effect of that same transition is far less than on yours.

I would find a tuning place that knows to run an arkansas stone along the entire edge instead.
Well your two cents was right on the money. Talk about a poor tuning! :

Last night I examined the edges on the skis and wow. The right edge on both skis were kinda sharp, but not very. The tips and tails were safety dulled. But the center of the left edges of both skis were scary sharp with a burr that ran for 18-24 inches.

I found a guy in my town who does tunings thanks to a recommendation of a skiing buddy. Hopefully he will restore my skis to their former condition.

My plan is to learn to do my own tunings in the future.

Also it turns out a different guy did my wife's skis. Her edges appear to be tuned OK.
post #9 of 15
Thanks for the feedback.

I would be interested to know how well a hand tune can recover something like that.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Thanks for the feedback.

I would be interested to know how well a hand tune can recover something like that.
I took my skis to the recommended fellow. He was amazed at the poor tuning . He said I must've been catching edges left and right, by the looks of things. I said mostly right. As I recall I caught edge about 8 or 9 times on two runs, mostly on right turns.

After the repair/retune he said my skis should be fine and the damage was not terminal. By appearences and the feel of the edges it looks like he did a good job. Actually the base and edges look like new. I'll know for sure this Saturday when I ski. Report to follow.
post #11 of 15
Pete, I went through the same thing some years ago on a pair of Dynadstar 4X4s I took to a shop to tune. Skiing the next day on a chalky surface the skis were absolutely unskiable. They would hook into every turn, were unpredictable and dangerous. I had them retuned by the ski area who basically used a file to ruin the tip and tail by dulling them. I finally bought the guides, files and stones I needed to do my own tuning. I wonder how many people quit skiing because they get poorly tuned rental skis with a mind of their own, and never experience properly tuned equipment.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
I wonder how many people quit skiing because they get poorly tuned rental skis with a mind of their own,
In boots too big.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
In boots too big.
I think a lot.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Pete, I went through the same thing some years ago on a pair of Dynadstar 4X4s I took to a shop to tune. Skiing the next day on a chalky surface the skis were absolutely unskiable. They would hook into every turn, were unpredictable and dangerous. I had them retuned by the ski area who basically used a file to ruin the tip and tail by dulling them. I finally bought the guides, files and stones I needed to do my own tuning. I wonder how many people quit skiing because they get poorly tuned rental skis with a mind of their own, and never experience properly tuned equipment.
Unfortunately, I think dulling the tips and tails continues to be a very common shop practice. Despite the advent of skis designed to easily carve turns, many, if not most, skiers on the hill are still skidding their turns on their late model skis just as they did with their "straight" skis of yore. Next time you ride the lift up from the base of your favorite ski area, take a moment to observe the skiers coming down the hill. I think you will agree.

Another, very common shop practice I've noticed, is to bevel all skis the same, despite factory specs to the contrary and often even despite the owner's specific instructions. The shop techs just don't want to reset the machine for each pair of skis. Commonly its 1 degree base 2 degree side. That may not necessarily be bad, but it also may not be how the ski performs its best. For example the spec bevels for Atomic and most Fischer skis is 1 base and 3 side. Owner's may have their own tastes irrespective of brand specs.

I started doing my own tuning some years ago. If I need skis stoneground or major base repairs I take my skis to either the Race Place in Bend, Oregon or World Cup Skier Services in Bellevue, Washington. They are both shops that specialize in tuning, tuning supplies and race gear. There are other such shops scattered around the country. Many offer a service for those who reside a distance away that allows you to ship your skis Fed Ex or the like and they ship them back with a fairly quick turnaround time.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Thanks for the feedback.

I would be interested to know how well a hand tune can recover something like that.
Thanks for asking and since you asked:

The snow today at Dodge Ridge was OK, not great, but OK. First run was on surprisingly hard snow. We had 12 inches fall yesterday, but due to high winds, which blew off the fresh snow on the peaks, the top of half the runs were semi icy. We did find some good runs of soft snow tho. Tell ya what; the Metron and Siam skis really shine on, 12 inches of power, crud and skier packed powder. Not the best on icy/very hard snow. But that's how they were out of the box.

Bottom line is that my skis seem to be good now. I have to admit that psychologically I have some doubts that my Metrons are 100%, but they performed well. So all I can say is that it appears they have been restored. Maybe not perfect, but I had no problems. I'm happy. Best $40 I ever spent!

Side note: the wife insists that I learn how to tune our skis and buy what is needed. Works for me. I do all of our Mtn Bike repairs. IMO tuning skis is less complex than the stuff I do on our bikes, so it should not be a problem once I learn what needs to be learned.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Did I get a good or a bad tune?