EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Tip/tail edge de-tune - still practiced?
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Tip/tail edge de-tune - still practiced?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I took two pair of SL skis in for a stone grind just to get them flat, get a nice structure in the base, and clean them up a bit. I told them to leave the edges alone - just get the bases and base edges flat - because I'd re-establish the base edge and the side edges are already at the desired 3 degree angle.

Well, the shop guy starts telling me how great their edge machine is. I said no thanks - nothing better than a hand tune. But, with a little more effort he convinced me to let the machine do the base and side edge to save me some time - so I let them do it.

The bases came back looking great and the edges looked fine, until I really took a good look at them last night. What I found was that they detuned the tip and tail edges - about 3 inches below the end of the shovel at the tip and about 3 to 4 inches up from the tail. I was taught to sharpen from tip to tail on todays shaped race skis and if you have issues with grabbing, then you most likely have a boot alignment (canting) issue or you may need a bit more base edge bevel. Also, the edges were no longer smooth. They now had a structure in them, which didn't bother me too much because I was gonna hit them with the diamond stones anyway. Maybe structure in the edge is okay?

I should also clarify that by de-tuned, I mean rounded!

I got 'em sharp again, but it really sucked because I had to remove way more edge material than I would have removed had I just trusted my gut and insisted that they leave the edges alone. When I use the file, I mark the based and side edges with marker and remove only enough to remove the marker. Not this time.

But, there is a very good chance that I'm wrong and de-tuning is the right thing to do. What the current take on this de-tuning issue?

Also, where do folks living in the Boulder, CO area go when they want a really nice stone gind?

Thanks.
post #2 of 15
De-tuning is a persanl preference and I would have skied on them first although it sounds like they went a bit overboard!

the structure in the side edge means they used a ceramic disc grinder to set the side edge which is great. this is how most skis are factory finished and I think they provide better edge grip then a polished hand fisnish.

Afterall isn't it all about how they ski not how they look. ski on them and then you will know what they need if anything.
post #3 of 15
Detuning is helpful on some skis and snow types. By de-tuned, I mean not sharp. I've posted a few times about "pathological edge rounding" of the tips. I picked up some used skis this fall that show it still happens. Sounds like you ran into one of those creatures.
post #4 of 15
m_piet:

Here are links to a few previous discussions on this topic.... complete with a poll of personal preferences. Which, predictably, are all over the place!

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=57624

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=31239

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=35477

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=28282

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=24
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
De-tuning is a persanl preference and I would have skied on them first although it sounds like they went a bit overboard!
Overboard indeed! I would not have minded a slightly less precise edge, but rounded? Now, they are slightly less precise. Still not as sharp as I'd normally have them. Maybe I'll like this setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
the structure in the side edge means they used a ceramic disc grinder to set the side edge which is great. this is how most skis are factory finished and I think they provide better edge grip then a polished hand fisnish.

Afterall isn't it all about how they ski not how they look. ski on them and then you will know what they need if anything.
Yes - how they ski is what counts. I figured that a polished sharp edge would be better. I didn't want to ski them because I always sharpen tip to tail. Next time I'll give them a try before I re-do.

Thanks.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKN View Post
m_piet:

Here are links to a few previous discussions on this topic.... complete with a poll of personal preferences. Which, predictably, are all over the place!

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=57624

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=31239

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=35477

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=28282

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=24
From one of the links above:

Quote:
For carving type skis there is no reason to detune at all unless the tips are feeling hooky in which case it's usually better to adjust the bevel at the tips and tails rather than detuning (dulling). Hooky feeling skis often signal a skier alignment issue that can be addressed though having ski boot soles properly canted. On shorter skis the edges should be sharp along their entire length because there is less edge to work with than on the longer, traditional skis- among other reasons.

Too many ski shops are clueless about tuning any other way than how they always have and how they think the customer wants them. Too many shops are also clueless about recommended bevel differences among different ski brands. So, for example, if you are going to have your new Atomic or Fischer carvers tuned, be sure to specify 1 degree base and 3 degrees side bevels. Otherwise, they are likely to come back with something else, often a 1 and 2 bevel. This might be OK but its not how those manufacturers think their skis work best. At the end of the day bevels are a matter of personal preference. However, the manufacturer's recommendation is usually a good place to begin.

Extreme skiers may detune their tips and tails so as not to risk catching an edge or risk their tails hanging up on lines where "if you fall you will die". They are interested in getting to the bottom in one piece and not carving perfect arcs down a rock strewn narrow chute. In soft snow conditions whether edges are sharp anywhere along their length may make little difference. Mogul skiing purists skiing zipper lines near full time may also find it beneficial to detune. However, on firm snow or ice on piste, detuning defeats the performance built into modern carving skis and doesn't make things better.
That is how I feel. I had a bad feeling about this whole thing when the guy said that the standard side/base edge bevel was 1/1. I said can you do 3 side and .75 base? He had to check. Said he could do only .5 degree increments. So I said, okay, do 3 side, .5 base and I'll polish the base edge to .75 with my hand tools. I could reach the tip and tail edge with my .75, but it didn't even touch the edge under foot. So, who knows what I got there? Never again will I trust a shop with their fancy edge machines.

One more thing, I found a thread regarding favorite shops by region, but I did noit find anything for Boulder County. Do you have any thread suggestions there?

Thanks again!
post #7 of 15
I recommend leaving the full running surface sharp. For SL, it's a good idea to round the shovel (on the section in front of the running surface) so that you don't have a sharp edge slicing into a gate if you hook a tip (a little better for you and the gate). Tails I just dull with a gummi stone (again, just the part out from the running surface).

If you find yourself getting the ski caught on edge, there are two general paths for remedies:

1) Detune to make the skis more forgiving. This reduces the performance level of the skis, so I wouldn't say that's the preferred option for advanced skiers & racers. (If your edge angle stays the same, increasing the base bevel can be looked at as a kind of detuning as well.)

2) Correct lateral balance. This relates to the alignment comments made elsewhere. There's a lot that can be done on snow before getting into equipment modifications like canting.

One thing I would add is that for skiers who have never skied with an acute edge angle, I have found that a 2 edge/ 1 base setup works well to get comfortable with the increased edge hold. A 3 edge/ 0 base setup is common for high performance SL, but it's something to work up to, with some good coaching to guide you.
post #8 of 15
Saying a 0/3 is widely used in slalom racing is a bit : of an exaggeration. maybe on the World cup but that would be about it!

No base bevel on shaped skis race or otherwise is very very difficult and unforgiving

Many find a true .5 aggressive.

Just so we all stay on the same page. you always quote base bevel 1st and then side bevel.

A true .5 and 3 should be good. I have found a .7/3 is a really good compromise between harshness and performance.

I will go out on a limb here and say that most home tuners over base bevel their skis anyway.

And yes you can over bevel with an SVST Final Cut!
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post
For SL, it's a good idea to round the shovel (on the section in front of the running surface) so that you don't have a sharp edge slicing into a gate if you hook a tip (a little better for you and the gate).
On modern SL skis the widest part of the ski is in front of the contact point. It is usually wise to make sure that section of ski is smooth and soft as this helps the ski hook up cleaner without chatter. So there is more than one good reason to make sure that section is soft. Up near the actual tip there is no problem going full boat round, down towards the contact point it should be merely softened IMO.
Quote:
A 3 edge/ 0 base setup is common for high performance SL, but it's something to work up to, with some good coaching to guide you.
I don't think "common" would be a good way to describe that setup at all. Especially in the context of epicski. If someone wants to be there, they will get there with the help of their tech and their coaches. I used to run a .5 and 4 a lot. Good times.

For the OP: That kind of ski damage is unacceptable. newfydog's "pathological edge rounding" is a good way to describe it. I would have had asked for recompense from the shop if they did something that plain stupid to a good pair of skis.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
Saying a 0/3 is widely used in slalom racing is a bit : of an exaggeration. maybe on the World cup but that would be about it!

No base bevel on shaped skis race or otherwise is very very difficult and unforgiving

Many find a true .5 aggressive.

Just so we all stay on the sam page. you always quote base bevel 1st and then side bevel.

A true .5 and 3 should be good. I have found a .7/3 is a really good compromise between harshness and performance.

I will go out on alimb here and say that most home tuners over base bevel their skis anyway.

And yes you can over bevel with an SVST Final Cut!
Sorry to mix the numbers up -- don't know if it's an Eastern thing or Canadian thing, but it's pretty standard in my area to list edge then base. I do see both, so I wrote the words just to be clear. I'll continue here with base then edge (but no guarantees I won't forget in the next post...)

I've seen 0/3 to be common for SL for FIS level racers (15+), but I don't mean to say that this is universal or even a majority. .5/3 is also as widely used. I agree with you that these are agressive configurations that require decent physical conditioning and good skill proficiency to manage. I suspect the most usual configurations will vary depending on the group of skiers/racers you happen to be around the most.

To Garrett's point, maybe "common" isn't the best descriptor for a wider audience. But let me try to weasel out by saying that I'm sure that lots of the forum members here would just rip a SL course on skis tuned that way!
:

Just to stretch the boundaries, on the World Cup, 4 and 5 degrees on the edge are regularly used. I'm told some go to 6 on injected snow, and going back some years, Tomba was said to have a 6 degree edge on his SL skis. These would be considered extreme and not recommended for most people because the edges wear very quickly at these angles.
post #11 of 15
Yes they do use 4/5 even 6 degree side edges. But very acute side edge angles although more aggressive do not have as profound effect as -0- degree base bevel on how the ski performs.

As many know here I had 2 boys that both raced and both raced at FIS level. I never new of a single racers all the way up thru J1's that used 0 base bevel.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
For the OP: That kind of ski damage is unacceptable. newfydog's "pathological edge rounding" is a good way to describe it. I would have had asked for recompense from the shop if they did something that plain stupid to a good pair of skis.
This was the 1st and last time I'll ever have a shop do my edges with a machine. The way I see it, it was my own damn fault for being lazy and thinking I could save some time. However, I never would have guessed that they would de-tune the tips and tails without asking me if I wanted that. As we can see from this thread and others, this is a personal preference - one that a shop should be aware of. Good thing I asked the questions that I did, else I would have had a base/side edge bevel of 1/1 with rounded tips and tails.
post #13 of 15
Yes, even in this day you have to tell the shop not to detune. They should write it on the piece of tape with your name on it on the ski.

Atomicman, I agree, most of us over bevel our base edge. It's much easier to do then we think.

I'm very careful about that.

Marty, good luck with your skis, most of us have had bad tunes. I guess you have learned what a lot of us have. Welcome to the club.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_piet View Post
This was the 1st and last time I'll ever have a shop do my edges with a machine.
This is the wrong take-away from this situation, but I can understand why you would feel that way.

The thing about tools is that a hamfisted user can screw up a job just as well with the finest or the worst in tools. OTOH, a good tool in the hand of a good operator is going to create quality results.

I don't hesitate to use a machine to tune my edges, but I use a high quality machine that I have a lot of familiarity with, I make sure it is in good condition before it touches anything important, and most importantly I do some hand finish work (particularly at the tip and tail) after the passes on the machine. I'm not familiar with any machine that can finish a tip and tail with the care I desire.

As a customer, you don't really have that kind of control over the situation, and as someone who has been employed by a handful of shops I can say with some certainty that most ski shops are not experts in quality control...to make the understatement of the day. This applies regardless of machine or hand tool use.

The key is to find a shop, and a good tech in particular, and then make sure that person knows you expect superlative results. Most people enjoy doing a good job and being thanked for it. The thing that annoys me here is that you made a point of telling this shop you wanted a good job done and that you were wary of them screwing up, and then they went ahead and did something no one should have done twenty years ago. Stupid. To be clear, "personal preference" doesn't enter into this. If they rounded the ski back to the contact point I might be able to let it slide, but not just softening but rounding an edge several inches back...on a modern SL ski...is either ignorance or stupidity at work.
post #15 of 15
I don't know where you usually ski in CO, but Ski Depot Sports in downtown Winter Park has some really good Ski Techs, they're about the only guys I've found that I trust to tune/mount/repair my equipment.
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