Originally Posted by SierraJim
Most skis are sharp enough from the factory. Practically no ski is perfectly set up on the base edge. While I would not suggest that factory tunes are bad....they are not as good as they could be. I mounted three pairs for myself last year. In every case, I pulled a file on the base edge with a .75 or 1.0 degree file guide. In every case, the file pulled some base material, and some base edge.
Most skis are very skiable from the wrapper. Perfection is a different subject and it ain't free.
I agree. At least get a true bar and check that the bases are flat along their length and at the tips and tails at least 1/3 the way in from the edges, if not totally flat . If the bases are flat you can wax them an go (the wax on new skis is basically only cosmetic and also contains contaminants from the manufacturing process). However, as Sierra Jim points out the edges can frequently be out of spec. This can be for several reasons unrelated to the design or inherent quality of the skis.
What is your ski shops reputation for ski tuning? Do they tune skis to the manufacturers design specs or just do a standard 1 degree base 2 degree side on all the skis that they tune (which, of course, is fine if those are your skis specs but it may not be the best if you ski Atomic, Fischer or some other ski brands which have different edge specs).
If your going to be skiing in soft snow conditions a correct tune may not be so important. However, If you will be skiing on a lot of hardpack a properly tuned skis with correctly set edges will make a recognizable difference.
I do my own maintenance tuning but I often take new skis to a shop to check and do any required initial set up. I go to shops that tune a lot of race skis. They have their reputations to protect and their shop staffs can be counted on to know what they are doing.
You may not be able to beat the factory tune if your skis were produced soon after machinery calibration adjustments were made and machine parts replaced. Unfortunately, you don't know where in the production run your skis were produced and some factories do a better job than others.
Your skis will be skiable out of the wrapper but they may not be the best they can be and certainly not adequately waxed. Unless your skis take a lot of abuse, you will likely replace your skis for the "latest and the greatest" long before you have to worry about worn down skis edges or bases.