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How often do you need to have your skis tuned?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I usually ski about 20-30 days a year and I realize I have been doing a very poor job of maintaining my exspensive skis. After how many days of skiing should you have them worked on? When you take them in to be tuned up what special instruction can be given to insure the right angle and edges and things are applied?

Thanks for the help!

: This is me on powder days!
post #2 of 16
Get them tuned/spruced up every 3-5 ski days. Don't go into the shop with special tuning instructions unless you know what you want and can tell the difference. The shop guys/gals are used to intermediate gapers that constantly dork-out on their gear. It always seems that the worst skiers are the ones most concerned with bevels, canting, etc...
post #3 of 16
Good advice by DCNB or just buy another pair of new skis.
post #4 of 16
Wax 'em up as soon as peeps start to pass you on the flats. About every two or three days.
post #5 of 16
You must define always the same as my wife.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
It always seems that the worst skiers are the ones most concerned with bevels, canting, etc...
post #6 of 16
I figure about 1 week between hot waxes as long as I am doing a glide wax touch up on the mountain. I tune mine in the basement right before I go on ski trips. I also bring a mini tuning kit with me even when I fly with ptex, pocket stone, flat file, etc. to knock off burrs and repair gouges. If I am really ambitous I will bring the iron and wax too. On a longer trip, if I am driving, I have a light weight Black and Decker workmate that fits easily in the trunk.

For my race stock skis I have them shop tuned at least once a season for precision bevels, maybe more if I am using them heavy.
post #7 of 16
Don't let them do a full base grind every three or five days. Just wax and have the edges touched up.
post #8 of 16
After living with a racer for a few years, who did my skis for me, I was used to skiing on fairly regularly tuned skis. When she left for college, taking all her tuning equipment with her, I was left with this "take it to the shop" option which was ultimately going to be expensive. I have slowly been acquiring my own tuning equipment as a result. I started out just doing the waxing (literally only waxed, did not scrape), then added scraping and brushing, now doing deburring (diamond and Arkansas stones using a bevel guide). I have two pairs of skis (groomer skis -- not getting much use this year due to constant snow -- and powder skis) and I try to do them every two ski days. Sometimes I stretch it to three, but rarely. I have started to really FEEL the difference when my skis are freshly tuned.

I don't stone grind more than once a year, usually in the spring when structure becomes important.

I feel, start out small so you're not overwhelmed with what you have to learn, then add something new as you go.
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
After living with a racer for a few years, who did my skis for me, I was used to skiing on fairly regularly tuned skis. When she left for college, taking all her tuning equipment with her, I was left with this "take it to the shop" option which was ultimately going to be expensive. I have slowly been acquiring my own tuning equipment as a result. I started out just doing the waxing (literally only waxed, did not scrape), then added scraping and brushing, now doing deburring (diamond and Arkansas stones using a bevel guide). I have two pairs of skis (groomer skis -- not getting much use this year due to constant snow -- and powder skis) and I try to do them every two ski days. Sometimes I stretch it to three, but rarely. I have started to really FEEL the difference when my skis are freshly tuned.

I don't stone grind more than once a year, usually in the spring when structure becomes important.

I feel, start out small so you're not overwhelmed with what you have to learn, then add something new as you go.

since you only grind once a year, what do you do in the winter when you have a course spring structure (ideal for wet snow) on your skis but the snow is cold and wants a tighter structure?
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
Get them tuned/spruced up every 3-5 ski days. Don't go into the shop with special tuning instructions unless you know what you want and can tell the difference. The shop guys/gals are used to intermediate gapers that constantly dork-out on their gear. It always seems that the worst skiers are the ones most concerned with bevels, canting, etc...
I disagree with this sentiment, especially as advice to those new to this. Knowing what you want for base and side bevels is good! You can also quiz the shop before you decide to let them do it. Some shops absolutely suck and will ruin your skis.

I had a pair of Volkl's almost ruined at the shop at the base of Tremblant. Virtually unskiable, base and edge bevels all over the place. Required a factory re-grind to fix.

Best to maintain the edges and wax, wax, wax. Have them waxed. Tell the shop to just touch up the edges and wax. Better if you can tell them the angles they are at.

Avoid a base grind unless absolutely necessary, to repair/reset edges, or restore a ruined base structure. After a regrind, it can take 10-15 days skiing and 10-15 hot wax scrape cycles for the skis to run fast again.

Best general answer to base and side bevels is 1 and 3 degrees, respectively, in my opinion, which is what many skis come from the factory with.




Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
... It always seems that the worst skiers are the ones most concerned with bevels, canting, etc...
Maybe it seems so to you, but I can tell you that almost all of the racers are very concerned about this. But then, its a silly statement anyway.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierhj View Post
since you only grind once a year, what do you do in the winter when you have a course spring structure (ideal for wet snow) on your skis but the snow is cold and wants a tighter structure?
Well, the spring structure goes on the "groomer" skis, and a fine structure goes on the powder skis, but I take them both in at the same time to save a trip.
post #12 of 16
you never ski your powder skis on warmer days or your groomer skis on cold hard packed days?
post #13 of 16

Perspective reset

Just to attempt to reel this in a bit, the original poster stated he skis 20 to 30 days (which is above average, I think), and doesn't currently do anything much, if at all to his skis. Quibbling over what kind of structure the bases should have and when or if to change it seems extreme!

I've read that approximately 97% of the skiing community never waxes. They ski on what they got when they bought the skis.

Original question: " How often do you need to have your skis tuned?"

Short answer - every time! By this I mean, keep them in tune by waxing every time; learn what to look at; check hte bases and edges. In my view, bringing skis to a shop for "tune" is a major overhaul, not routine tuning and maintenance.

I don't trust just any shop to "tune" my skis, as an unkonw shop is just as likely to de-tune or ruin them. Even if the do it correctly, you really don't want a base grind mid-season unless the skis are seriously messed up. For example, f there are vast white-colored patches on the bases ("burnt" bases), you need a grind.

My recommendation for someone which isn't obsessed with ski tuning is care and maintenance, which includes waxing every time.

Care: wipe your skis off after you're done, and store them dry. Even better, rub some wax on the edges to prevent rust, after wiping them off. If they went from cold to hot, like putting them in the basement, check them or wipe them again after they come up to storage temperature, as condensation will wet them. Rust can pit the edges, and also, pitting at the edge/p-tex interface can ruin them.

If you know or suspect that the spring snow was salted or otherwise chemically treated, wash the skis and bindings and boots thoroughly, just as you would your car, and dry them well for storage. Check that the bindings are dry. Mild car washing soap won't wash out the binding lube.

Maintenance: If you do nothing else, touch the base, touch the edges and wax. By "touch," I mean very lightly remove any feature that exceeds the original as-tuned profile. Examples are parts of the p-tex base that stick up as a result of gouges or other wear or damage; filing or otherwise dressing down burrs in the edges with a stone. Unless just dressing down edge burrs very locally, that is, if you're going to touch the whole edge, get a guide so you don't unintentionally dull or round the edges, or mess up the base and side bevel angles. A good guide is the adjustable one from FK-tools http://www.fktools-us.com/. To do this, you must know what the angles are. A good shop can tell you. The manufacturer can also tell you. To wax, the least cost, safest way is to rub the bases with the wax, like a crayon, and rub it in with a cork. The rubbing creates friction which melts the wax into the base. Rub in a lot if its the first time, doing so repeatedly. A really effective and fast "cork" is a device made by http://www.alpineskituning.com/ Ray's Way, waxWhizard. Its a cylinder with woven nylon wrapped around it.

If you only want or need one wax, get the red stuff, or Swix F4 or some other general purpose wax.

The Next Level: If you start to care about enhancing performance through tuning and waxing, get a brush or two. First, get the nylon. The second should be bronze. The brush is mostly for brushing wax out of the structure of the base, both before new wax, and also after waxing, to expose the structure for better gliding, and no suction from surface tension.

If you store your skis dry, kill the burrs, and wax often, you are far ahead of average and your skis will work better and last longer, and will ski easier and faster.


Beyond this I'd recommend finding someone nearby who will help you out by hot waxing and scraping, and hot-boxing your skis for you, to get rid of the dirt and "hairs" on the base, and load the bases up with wax.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierhj View Post
you never ski your powder skis on warmer days or your groomer skis on cold hard packed days?
Of course there's no such thing as never, but generally there's no POWDER if it's that warm, there's slush and I try to avoid "slow twisting fall" stuff like that. And on cold hard pack there's not that much of a structure issue.
post #15 of 16
sharpen every 7 -10 days in firmer conditions and wax each time there is a major change in conditons and temp.

Hot wax in our shop $11.00. Spendy? Not really.

Smoking your buds on the cat track? Valuable.

Having the perfect wax on that epic day? Priceless!
post #16 of 16
Don't over-tune your skis. Every time material is removed from the edges and base the life of the skis is shortened.

Do get the bases stone ground when needed, maybe once a year. Do get deep damage in the base repaired...minor scratches are debatable.
Do keep the base-side of the edges burr free.
Do keep the side of the edges sharp.
Do wax when you feel the skis running slow.
If you want to be the fastest skier in your group, learn how racers wax, brush, wax, brush, wax, brush, wax, brush, wax, brush....
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