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Non-Racer Diminishing Returns

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
First in a spirit of full disclosure, I wax and my skis polish the edges after every ski day. I mainly ski on man made snow. I use Hertel Super Hot Sauce, scrape and brush. It takes maybe 10-15 minutes. I have my skis stone ground once every two years. The tuning I do is a hobby for me, and I enjoy the process. In a way it is relaxing.

Here is my question, how much waxing and tuning is necessary for a recreational skier? It is obviously not important if I make it to the bottom of the slope in 1 and 5 seconds versus 1.04.98. Given this premise: How often should skis be waxed? How often should edge work be done? How important is base structure? How important is it to have the perfect wax, flouro, etc.? Is brushing overkill?

I have my thoughts, but would like to read the thoughts of others.

Maybe this should be in Politics and Hot Topics.
post #2 of 26
Think of wax as the first line of defense against base wear. For the second day of teaching where they sat in the locker Saturday, I would at least cheat and use the Swix paste on Sunday in the morning and afternoon. We didn't have a wax room for the instructors but I'd get my kid to do them over in the race area when I could .... edges and wax.

Can you "shave" a finger nail with your edges? That's been my rule of thumb ... if they need it .... it is what it is!
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Yuki,

I think we probably have similar tuning rituals. My question is, does it produce appreciable results? My edges are always sharp and my skis are waxed. If they were not, would my enjoyment of skiing decline? If so, what degree of sharpness and glide results in a level of enjoyment where increasing the glide/sharpness further does not increase the enjoyment level?
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
Yuki,

I think we probably have similar tuning rituals. My question is, does it produce appreciable results? My edges are always sharp and my skis are waxed. If they were not, would my enjoyment of skiing decline? If so, what degree of sharpness and glide results in a level of enjoyment where increasing the glide/sharpness further does not increase the enjoyment level?
The answer is as easy as trying it out.

After two days I notice a discernable difference in the way the all mountain skis perform, less glide, less precise.
post #5 of 26
Caution with the fingernail technique as an edge with a burr can product similar results, and is not "sharp".

If you are skiing abrasive man made snow, you may see base burn which would indicate a need to wax. No base burn = adequite waxing, but that is truly oversimplified.

My question to you, if tuning is enjoyable- why question the frequency?
post #6 of 26
Here's my theory:

You don't need sharp edges until you need them.

Sure, you can ski around all day and probably not notice slightly dull edges. But when you are midway through a turn and hit that one patch of ice on the entire mountain, you are probably going to appreciate a nice edge.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Just wondering if we make too much out of it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJB View Post
Caution with the fingernail technique as an edge with a burr can product similar results, and is not "sharp".

If you are skiing abrasive man made snow, you may see base burn which would indicate a need to wax. No base burn = adequite waxing, but that is truly oversimplified.

My question to you, if tuning is enjoyable- why question the frequency?
post #8 of 26
Quote: My edges are always sharp and my skis are waxed. If they were not, would my enjoyment of skiing decline? If so, what degree of sharpness and glide results in a level of enjoyment where increasing the glide/sharpness further does not increase the enjoyment level?

AbsoLUTELY it would be less enjoyable! Just the skating on the bottom on lame wax is a drag. No pun intended. I always want to be 100% confident my equipment is up to the conditions. I admit. I touch every 1 or 2x. I get annoyed when I "miss" the wax or do not feel edges are up to the surface. Why take a chance? You can get hurt pretty bad if some part of the package is not right. Once you get your edges set, unless you really crunch something the maint is EZ and quick.
post #9 of 26
Tuning is an excuse to drink beer.

If I did not tune, I would drink less beer. As a result, enjoyment would decline.
post #10 of 26

easier

Wax and sharpen often makes sense for the recreational skier.

It just makes the turns and skiing easier.

More Fun.

If you enjoy tuning (I do) Do it often!

the better you get, the better it gets!

CalG
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
First in a spirit of full disclosure, I wax and my skis polish the edges after every ski day. I mainly ski on man made snow. I use Hertel Super Hot Sauce, scrape and brush. It takes maybe 10-15 minutes. I have my skis stone ground once every two years. The tuning I do is a hobby for me, and I enjoy the process. In a way it is relaxing.

Here is my question, how much waxing and tuning is necessary for a recreational skier? It is obviously not important if I make it to the bottom of the slope in 1 and 5 seconds versus 1.04.98. Given this premise: How often should skis be waxed? How often should edge work be done? How important is base structure? How important is it to have the perfect wax, flouro, etc.? Is brushing overkill?

I have my thoughts, but would like to read the thoughts of others.

Maybe this should be in Politics and Hot Topics.
Skis are like tires....having them in good condition is important for everyone....not just F1 Race Car Drivers!

Wax....for most skiers a wax job after 5 or so days skiing is probably good enough....daily is best....but probably not practical for most. Brushing is not a must, but it helps..flouro etc, is not required, a good all purpose wax will suffice, but for what it is worth a 3 temp system is just as easy and will work better. Base structure is not that important for rec skiing, and if you are only doing it once a year, it means nothing, as the ideal structure for -20 is not the same as what you would use in spring.

Sharpen: Debur with a stone daily. This greatly improves the skis handling characteristics...you dont need to be an expert to notice.

Full hand sharpen...once every 2 to 3 days, or sooner if you hit a few rocks. This also greatly improves the skis handling, agian you dont need to be an expert to notice....you wouldnt put a learner driver on the road with bald tires would you?

Machine Grind...if you follow the above, you need to do a base grind after about 30 ski days to put everything back into check...even with guides etc, your bevels get messed up. If you dont follow the above, then you will still need to do it as the edges will be so dull, that you will file your arms off doing it by hand.

The above I would put as a minimum for a recreational skier....based on what you wrote I bet your skis are very very dull, and as mentioned you are just feeling burrs on your edges.
post #12 of 26
As has been said, and with all things tuning, try doing different combinations to find what works best for you.

With higher quality, high melt paraffins (read more durable) you can stretch performance duration to 5 or six days on softer snows. Less on more abrasive snows. If I can't get stuff optimally done before an outing, my skis are still in decent shape, and it's never awful, just not as ideal, but my day is not ruined. If it is, my priorities are in the wrong place. But I do prefer it when everything is dialed and running smooth.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
My question is, does it produce appreciable results? My edges are always sharp and my skis are waxed. If they were not, would my enjoyment of skiing decline?
I suppose it depends on your outlook. I hot wax each time I ski, and I also hotbox all of my skis. If my skis weren't waxed, it would probably bother me. When I'm skiing I am often thinking about the conditions, the wax I chose, etc. That's me.
My girlfriend on the other hand, could care less about her skis being waxed - maybe because I take care of it for her.
We do downhill, backcountry, and cross-country.
The most common comments from her while skiing are, "Look at the view. Isn't it beautiful?"
The most common comments from me while skiing are, "I wonder if I should have taken a narrower/wider ski. Maybe I should have used a colder/warmer wax."
As I said, it all depends on your outlook.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Skis are like tires....having them in good condition is important for everyone....not just F1 Race Car Drivers!

Wax....for most skiers a wax job after 5 or so days skiing is probably good enough....daily is best....but probably not practical for most. Brushing is not a must, but it helps..flouro etc, is not required, a good all purpose wax will suffice, but for what it is worth a 3 temp system is just as easy and will work better. Base structure is not that important for rec skiing, and if you are only doing it once a year, it means nothing, as the ideal structure for -20 is not the same as what you would use in spring.

Sharpen: Debur with a stone daily. This greatly improves the skis handling characteristics...you dont need to be an expert to notice.

Full hand sharpen...once every 2 to 3 days, or sooner if you hit a few rocks. This also greatly improves the skis handling, agian you dont need to be an expert to notice....you wouldnt put a learner driver on the road with bald tires would you?

Machine Grind...if you follow the above, you need to do a base grind after about 30 ski days to put everything back into check...even with guides etc, your bevels get messed up. If you dont follow the above, then you will still need to do it as the edges will be so dull, that you will file your arms off doing it by hand.

The above I would put as a minimum for a recreational skier....based on what you wrote I bet your skis are very very dull, and as mentioned you are just feeling burrs on your edges.
Excellent write-up. This should be required reading for anyone inquiring about whether to tune, how often, etc.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by quickk9 View Post
The most common comments from her while skiing are, "Look at the view. Isn't it beautiful?"
The most common comments from me while skiing are, "I wonder if I should have taken a narrower/wider ski. Maybe I should have used a colder/warmer wax."
Great description; Mars vs Venus. It is always hard for dedicated-Bear-type persons to consider where the other 90-95% of skiers and riders are coming from!
post #16 of 26
Where you notice the difference between a ski with fresh wax and and ski that has gone for a few days without wax; some areas of our hill had a long flat run out between the end of the run and the flat over to the lift.

When I go gliding by all of the other instructors who are skating and pushing poles .... and I have a on my face, wax is where it's at. And an bigger grin when I'm standing at the lift waiting for them.

All of that reduction in friction also translates to easier turning on the hill too. Why fight friction?
post #17 of 26
Wax? None needed. Some wanted.
I wax every 4th or 5th day on the snow. I use a universal wax, or a race wax that is somewhat appropriate for the temperatures, or two race wax blocks held together to get closer to the temperature, or scraps from the bottom of my wax bag. I have the base stone ground & structured and the edges disc sharpened yearly, then hand file/stone/hone the side edges as needed.

Edges? The harder the snow, the sharper the edges need to be. In soft snow you don't need sharp edges. In powder you don't need edges at all. On hardpack you need sharp edges on sharp angles.

Brushing? I just melt the wax in, then remelt and wipe it off with a paper towel. Or just melt in on thin and ski it off.
post #18 of 26

No...

BRUSHING??????!!!! :

As we say in the nothesast...

"Brushin is wicked impoahtent."
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
Wax....for most skiers a wax job after 5 or so days skiing is probably good enough....daily is best....but probably not practical for most.
Even on nice soft friendly snow I think five days is pushing it hard. In vast swaths of the country, more than 2 is pushing it too far. If you need a grind every 30 days, you aren't waxing enough. I skied on some ice crystals this morning that ripped my nice hard wax right out of my bases. So I waxed them again when I got back to work. I spent about three or four minutes doing that. Then I scraped them in about two minutes, and rotobrushed them in one pass. All ready for tomorrow morning and hopefully some more kind snow. The flakes are nice and big right now...w00t.

OTOH, I rarely need a "full" hand sharpen every couple/three days, unless I'm bashing slalom gates on really gnarly snow. I made some comments in a recent thread about how important process is with respect to this. As far as bevels go, you shouldn't be "resetting" a bevel unless you are changing it, and you shouldn't be doing anything more than touch up/damage control on the base bevel until it accumulates enough damage that you need to grind it back flat and reapply the base bevel. That might be 1 day or 100 depending on what you ski/how mother nature treats you.

The investment in gear to do all that efficiently and easily is something like a middle of the road new ski. The investment in knowledge and time spent learning to use the tools properly is probably a much bigger roadblock for many skiers.

And like someone else said...tuning skis is an excellent reason to pop open an easy drinking beer and veg out for a bit. You either are or are not the kind of person who enjoys the work. Either way, when you need well tuned skis you need well tuned skis.
post #20 of 26
If you want to go faster, just point 'em! Most skiers have the "brakes on" all day...
... with great wax jobs!
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
Most skiers have the "brakes on" all day...
... with great wax jobs!
I'd like to think people here don't gape it up that hard.
post #22 of 26

sometimes it just fits ..

Miyagi ........ First sharpen all edges. Then wax. Wax on.

Fish ........... Hey, why do I have to?

Miyagi ........ Ah ah! Remember deal! No questions!

Fish ............ Yeah, but ..

Miyagi ......... Hai!

Miyagi ......... Wax on right hand. Wax off left hand. Breathe in through nose, out through mouth, important!

Miyagi ......... Then we work on balance ... :
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Even on nice soft friendly snow
Update: Earlier this week I tuned up a pair of the ultramite gaper ski, the Metron B5. I know how to wax a ski. I took them out for a day of sliding around with a never ever. Spent about 6 hours on the hill, mostly doing nothing. Snow was brand new.

Later in the week I left my skis at home accidentally and took them out again for about 1.5 hours of skiing after work. Brand new snow falling from the sky while I skied.

They now have nice big crescent shaped base burn spots on the bases. So I'm going back to my routine of waxing skis every time I go out, "wisdom" from Epic notwithstanding. I'll take a picture of the base before I wax it tomorrow at work if I remember/if no one else has gotten to waxing it yet.

So I've decided people who think waxing once every several to five days is OK think so for one or more of the following reasons:
-they are wrong
-live somewhere with very round snow
-don't know what base burn is/don't care if they have it
-don't care if their skis glide (in the Northeast you better care...darn mountains are flat here. Flatface and Bore for me so far this week.)
-weigh a lot less than me
-ski differently than me (I just roll my skis onto their edges and
post #24 of 26
Maybe you should try a slightly harder wax? I admit I'm no expert, but early in the season I start out with harder wax the first few times and then change over to red if it warrants it after about three weeks. I usually get two to three days out of my wax (well, usually I wax after every two, but I've been known to go three if I look at the skis at the end of day two and they still look great). However, we've got mostly soft snow here mid-winter.
post #25 of 26
I'm not seeing any base burn or irregular wax areas after 3 days of skiing on soft to coarse snows with Maplus RB Med & P2 Med. I did spray/cork/brush a thin coat of P1 cold for day two. I KNOW I can at least get another day on soft snows with them, but I am going to wax again because I can quickly, and I prefer to, and as insurance against coarser and variable snows. If these skis were for just for powder, I might not and spend my time and energy elsewhere.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
Maybe you should try a slightly harder wax?
For just-screwing-around I always mix the day's wax with one colder.
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