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When to get a tune?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
East coast only skier - typical hardpack and ice.

Bottoms have very minor scratches -no gouges at all. At worse these scatches are 2/10 mm deep. Edges appear goos, but I do not know what I am looking for.

Question - noting the above conditions, how often should I have the skiis attended to? What do I look for (feel for) to determine if they need sharpening/tuning, etc...

post #2 of 11
How many ski days on them?

Best advice as to when a ski needs a tune: This is probably something you have to learn by comparison. Telling you "when they are not sharp", "when they have burrs", etc. doesn't help much, I'm sure, nor does trying to describe how to shave material of your fingernail to test sharpness.

Find a really good tuner and have them show you the difference, how to tell, etc., by comparison. Doesn't need to be a shop - many of these Bears could show you if you could visit one.
post #3 of 11
If you have to ask, there are do to be tuned. The problem is most people think they need perfect bases. You don't but the shop will charge you for a complete tune and the machine will remove Ptex and metal from the edges. But for most people that only ski a few days a season that's fine.

I have over 120 day's on my skis and they have only been in the shop one time. I tune my own skis.

The bases are a mess by most peoples standards, but they ski great.

Spend some time in the tuning forum and learn how to do it yourself.
post #4 of 11
I'm in that situation that I am skiing less and less every year. I have had my Nordica SUV carvers since '03, and they have less 40 days on them. Since then, they have been seen a grinder once. I have, however, done plenty of edgework and waxes. My '05 Scott Aztec Pros have the original stonegrind. The bases are still flat. I've touched up the edges and rewaxed many times.

I'm with max on tuning your own skis. If you can make the time to do this, your skis won't have to see the shop that often.

post #5 of 11
I learned to know when my skis need a tune by taking note the difference in performance immediately before and after the tune.
post #6 of 11
There are several "signs" that the base or edges need attention. If you run your finger nail down the edge and it feels like the are notches in the edge then they need attention. You can buy a tool to test sharpness of edges. Look here:SKIVISIONS TUNING STICK
Checking the sharpness of steel edges has long been a bit of a guessing game for most tuners. Shaving the face of your fingernail, or dragging the side of a pinkie finger across an edge doesn't provide consistently reliable or accurate feedback...unless maybe you're an ultra-experienced World Cup level technician.
This tuning stick helps resolve that. It's made of a special hard plastic that subtly communicates how sharp or dull your edges are. You hold it at a 45-degree angle to the edge and, bearing down with moderate pressure, simply slide and try to shave some stick material away. If the edge is sharp, you'll feel and hear a noticeable resistance and sound. If the edge is dull, the stick will not shave...but slide without much resistance or sound.
When you first get a tuning stick, try it on some edges you've ridden for a day or two. You'll be surprised how much duller they usually feel underfoot (due to greater wear from skier/rider weight and pressure) than at the tips and tails. Try it again after tuning and see the will be noticeable if you've tuned effectively. If you impart a sharper bevel angle underfoot than at the tips and tails, the stick will also detect this. Likewise, you'll also be able to hear and feel the difference between burred edges and deburred/polished edges.
The SkiVisions tuning stick is such a simple yet revealing tool that can give you invaluable tuning feedback.
Item #SVN-TS SkiVisions Tuning Stick: $4.95
You can probably smooth the edges out with diamond stones and and edge quide. If the bases were black when new and are now having white areas they are probably in need of a wax job. Try spraying some water on the bases with a fine mist, the water should bead, just like your car after a wax or polish. When you are skiing on flat terrain does your ski slide or stick? if it sticks that's another clue it needs wax. Are the bases flat? Use a true bar and check.Look here: ALU TRUE BARS
These are basic true bars that are dandy for folks on a beer budget or to toss into a travel kit. They're made of 1/4" aluminum stock and feature straight edges to check base flatness. They ain't nuthin' fancy to look at, but work just fine when used in conjunction with a good light source. The ski model is 6" long, and the snowboard model is 12".
Item #SVN-TB6 Ski True Bar: $7.95 Hold the bar flat on the base and look for light coming thru. If it is then the bases may need a grind, however, some Atomic skis have a less than flat base. Tuning your own is a skill that you can learn. There are many good guides in the tuning section here.
post #7 of 11
Here is how to tell if you need a tune:

It hasn't snowed in over a week.
It has rained recently.
You are not a bumper.
You put your skis on edge and your ass slides down the hill.
Your skis feel sticky.
You can see wood and or fiberglass through the hole in your ptex.
post #8 of 11
post #9 of 11
if you do a little tuning on your own rather than ask the shop, you'll learn when it needs tuning pretty quickly.

but to start -- "tune" means many things.

base grind? rarely. obviously a job for the shop.

wax? as often as you can. easy and reasonable cost DIY (iron, vise, wax, scrapers, combo wax and nylon brush), and you'll notice the difference.

side edge? file it rarely but touch it up with a diamond stone (or ceramic) - frequently to take off burrs and keep a good sharp edge for hard eastern slopes. easy and reasonable cost DIY (diamond stone (moonflex is worth the extra $$), edge guide, gummi stone, pocket stone). you'll notice the difference.

bottom edge? rarely touch. let the shop do it and leave it alone unless there's some nasty burrs or bangs that you can flattenout with the pocket stone.

only way to learn is by doing it but it's pretty easy once you try. not rocket science ...
post #10 of 11
For me, unless I am having edge issues or have a core shot I just try to have them waxed as much as possible - especially this year. I know you are an east coast skier so this won't apply but out here in CB we're having a fantastic powder year. Having your boards waxed up on a powder day is pretty important in my book.
post #11 of 11
I tune approx every 4 ski days and I ski in the east.

Run your finger lightly down the edge - as described above if has burrs,etc it needs work. Light tune if edges look & feel good - just a diamond stone. Use a file if they are dull or messed up from skiing over rocks, etc ... You can tell by looking if they need wax - but usually they need wax every two ski days. If the base is white and looks a bit "furry" then they are long overdue for wax.

Get an edger, a diamond stone, some universal wax, a cheap iron and a scraper and then do it yourself. Check tuning forum on thsi site for more details.

My question is --- how can anyone enjoy skiing the east on untuned skis unless they are a frestyle skier on twin tips?

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