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 difference...it 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.