EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Where do the ski shop guys learn to tune?
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Where do the ski shop guys learn to tune?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Is there a school or training course somewhere or is it all on the job? I'd like to learn to do my own tuning and there are a lot of good resources out there but I feel like I should have an actual person around as I learn. I live in the middle of nowhere and only ski about 25 days a year. I don't live near any ski areas so it's not like I can practice tuning, then try out the skis immediately and make corrections if it's a crummy tune. And I won't have the repitition of tuning all season long. There is a sports store locally that does ski work but I don't really trust them since skis are such a small part of their business. I don't think they do anything by hand either. It's all machine work. What can I do to speed up the process of learning? I'm not opposed to taking a course somewhere, even if it's only to learn to work on my personal equipment. Any suggestions for me?
post #2 of 15
I used to work in a repair shop of a chain sporting goods. I learned on my own from reading books and magazine articles when I was in my teens. My race coaches taught me more. During my years with this company, I became the person who was in charge of teaching repair shop practices to the whole company. Many chain type stores have this type of program.

There are other training methods. There are also ski seminars open to the industry. Many shops send their employees to these seminars. Sometimes, shops have their tool suppliers teach tuning seminars.

I know that REI does seminars to the public. If you plan ahead, you might take one. I think the closest one to you would be in Colorado though.

There are many resources out there. YouTube has a bunch of vids if you just want a peek at what goes on someone's ski vises. I'm sure you can find DVDs.

If you want to practice, hit up some of your skier friends to see if they want their skis tuned up. That's what I did to practice.

Dennis
post #3 of 15
Check this out:

http://www.holmenkol.us/

Select the Tech section. Videos and "How to" articles. Truly an excellent resource.
post #4 of 15
Toko and Swix also have booklets which may also be available on line on their sites.

http://www.the-raceplace.com/about.htm is owned by Scott Holmer developer of the BEAST line of tuning products. The site has "how to" sections about tuning and waxing on its website as well as a toll-free number that you can call about tuning questions. They also have a video on tuning that you can purchase.

If you have an old pair of skis you can practice on those first if you don't want to start tuning with your current pair. However, tuning isn't rocket science. It's more a question of attention to some basic details and the desire to do a good job that produces excellent results. Since you have a real interest in tuning I think you will do just fine.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips. There's a lot of good information out there and I've learned a lot from reading posts here on the board. I seem to pick things up pretty easily. I've taught myself to work on my bikes and built most of them myself but something tells me there would be great value in having an experienced eye looking over my shoulder as I learn to tune. As many have said, it's not all that complicated but there does seem to be a kind of art or feel to doing it right.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by fyrefytr View Post
Is there a school or training course somewhere or is it all on the job? I'd like to learn to do my own tuning and there are a lot of good resources out there but I feel like I should have an actual person around as I learn. I live in the middle of nowhere and only ski about 25 days a year. I don't live near any ski areas so it's not like I can practice tuning, then try out the skis immediately and make corrections if it's a crummy tune. And I won't have the repitition of tuning all season long. There is a sports store locally that does ski work but I don't really trust them since skis are such a small part of their business. I don't think they do anything by hand either. It's all machine work. What can I do to speed up the process of learning? I'm not opposed to taking a course somewhere, even if it's only to learn to work on my personal equipment. Any suggestions for me?
It's mostly on-the-job training.

Vermont Ski Safety does has a countrywide travelling tour teaching ski shop personnel how to repair and tune skis. It's a 2 day seminar where they teach bindings on the first day, tunes on the second day, but I'm pretty sure they will let you do just day 2. It's a bit pricey and I'm not sure if it will be anywhere near you.
http://www.vermontskisafety.com/workshopdesc.php

Another alternative is check with your local ski shops and school race teams. I know our shop has classes for local race teams, so I'm sure others do also. They'll probably let you sit in.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-turn View Post
It's mostly on-the-job training.

Vermont Ski Safety does has a countrywide travelling tour teaching ski shop personnel how to repair and tune skis. It's a 2 day seminar where they teach bindings on the first day, tunes on the second day, but I'm pretty sure they will let you do just day 2. It's a bit pricey and I'm not sure if it will be anywhere near you.
http://www.vermontskisafety.com/workshopdesc.php

Another alternative is check with your local ski shops and school race teams. I know our shop has classes for local race teams, so I'm sure others do also. They'll probably let you sit in.

I worked for TSA and that is where they sent me. I had an okay knowledge of tuning beforehand as per some of the video tutorials listed above, they really are a great resource.

According to their website, the class mentioned above is only open to shops:"Please Note: Attendance at binding or rental courses is strictly limited to bona fide shop and ski area personnel and their guests." However I think you can take the day 2 course which deals with actually tuning skis. Granted I took this course over three years ago but I only remember stuff from the binding course. The tuning day wasn't really that substantial so you might be better off just saving your money and watching the videos online. Another option is to get a part time job at a store and learn there or work until you can take this class.
post #8 of 15
I know that Wintersteiger offers some classes for their equipment. There probably would be plenty of sources for hand tuning, it is the equipment- stone grinding, belts, etc. that would require the expert knowledge to handle the different set-ups of skis boards, etc. Also more risk of major damage if the feeding is not done properly.


http://www.wintersteiger.com/E/sp_schulung.html
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-turn View Post
It's mostly on-the-job training.
Yep.

I started out pretty much teaching myself with the help of the World Class Ski Tuning book. I've always been good with tools, and found it all pretty easy. I filled in the blank spots by learning from a couple really good techs on the job. I haven't worked in a shop in 9 years though. I still catch a seminar/clinic when there's one that works with my schedule though. It's always good to get a refresher.
post #10 of 15
We practiced on rental skis!

Mostly on the job training, learning from the senior techs.
post #11 of 15
where can I learn these in Bay area ? at least how to wax and edge, 25 dollar a pop is getting too expensive.


thx
post #12 of 15
Just hop into a shop and ask if you can watch them tune. Offer them some beer. It's not hard.

There's some good websites and videos on the Tognar site. There's also some great threads on here that give pretty good advice.
post #13 of 15
Hiya,
Lot's of good advice already given... and as a DIY tuner myself, I'll also add that I tune to what I've skied, not what I was given.

My point is: as has been posted here(and elsewhere), the folks at a given shop have become familiar(experience) to certain skis and certain terrain to, sorry to say, "Just Know" how to get that gear working. Yes, there are too many shop folk who ignore wisdom for practice--perhaps too eager to get on ski than do the needful--just as auto mechanics, no?

Although gear clinics exist, like those for autos, I'd say it's really a "fool me twice, shame on me" situ... I fella I respect for boot fit, for example, felt that the "cant adjustment" was useless... however, in the field/piste it did provide me(adjusted by me) a beneficial tweak... he also quipped that a 3 degree edge seemed "too much"... I still value his experience, but disagree with a few of his opinions

Basically, shop folks are a lot like us, but have a different day job... they ski a bit more And, like us, they get better at their job when the customer brings something other than "just make me better" to the relationship. So much more gained working with people than havng a veiled hope people work for you.

hth+rgds,
Dave
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-turn View Post
It's mostly on-the-job training.
Ding! we have a winner...

Most techs start out as rental monkeys. If you show "ability". That is the ability to tune the rental skis and maybe demos so the overworked shop guys don't have to do it- you're in. That's the fastest way to the shop.

Testing rental bindings, repairing bent brakes, setting din, waxing for customers that are polite & full detunes for the a**h***s are great training for the back shop.














just kidding about the full detunes
post #15 of 15
As I drive along during the day, I often see skis put out for trash during town "basement cleanout days", or just sticking out of the can.

Pick up a few pair of these and take em' home ..... swap bindings .... do base and edge work and practice till you get it down.

Then ...... toss em' back in the can when You "get it down pat".

Speaking of Pat .... it's Rumored that President Richard Nixon had to watch the film of "Deep Throat" at least a half dozen times since he had a hard time ..... just trying to get it down Pat.

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