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De-Tuning?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
We just had my wife's skis tuned at "Snowell", at the base of Keystone.

They have a new $250,000 do-it-all tuner, that auto-sets all bevels to factory specs, and waxes - perfectly. They claim most of the team racers at Keystone bring their skis to them.

After the tune, the edges looked perfect, but the skis were "grabby" or hooked on the hill.

Next day we took them to a good shop in Beaver Creek. The tech said that the tips and tails should have been "de-tuned". He did this for us, and the difference was huge.

Why don't shops with quarter $ million tuning machines, who handle race skis, de-tune after the job, if needed.

If I purchase my own diamond stone to de-tune tips and tails, how far from the tip and tail should I dull, and how much?
post #2 of 27
Detuning tips and tails tends to be personal preferrence. I personally detune them, but I also have seen some people keeping their edge sharp tip to tail.

Having a gummy stone comes in handy, detuning takes all but 30 seconds. Also good for knocking out burrs before they get hardened.
post #3 of 27
In general shaped skis don't need to be detuned like the old straight 'un's.

I don't automatically detune skis & rarely get ask to.

One of the major faults with shop tunes in the UK & Europe is that they still detune as a matter of course. If a skis a bit hooky I prefer to add a tad more base bevel at the contact points so that the edge engages more progressively but still has full length sharpness.

Once a ski is detuned it's gonna need quite a bit of metal removing if full sharpness is required.
post #4 of 27
Yeah, I only detune on 2-3 skis out of the 6-7 in our family. Depends on the skier and the ski. Some of my skis run fine with no detune, others need a slight detune to keep from getting grabby. I agree that the shop should not do this by default, but at the very least they should ask the customer. If the customer doesn't know the answer, then a detune is probably a safe decision.

When doing it yourself, just make 5-6 light passes with the stone right around the contact points of the ski edge.
post #5 of 27
Detuning makes skis easier to skid but reduces their performance if used by an appropriately skilled skier. A good shop should not be detuning skis without asking! If you really want to detune your skis (the horror!), use a gummi stone (you can carry one in your pocket if you want), and detune by making 6 inch-or-so passes from the contact points at the tip and tail of the ski toward the middle. How many passes and the length of the ski that you detune depends entirely on your personal preferences. Sharpening skis is kindasorta scientific; dulling them so they're easier to handle just... well... isn't.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glytch View Post
.......Sharpening skis is kindasorta scientific; dulling them so they're easier to handle just... well... isn't.
LOL
post #7 of 27
One unfortunately even has to argue with shops to get them not to detune. I had a recent experience at Snowmass with a shop known for their excellent tunes - I picked them up and immediately without even skiing them I could feel they'd detuned almost 4-5 inches at each end. Insisted on a re-work right then and used my other skis that day. Unfortunately added metal had to come off to get them back to what I wanted and had asked for originally.

Had a shop in Whistler do the same thing a few years back. Skied them one run, and was wondering where the front and back of my edges have gone.

And had quite the language lesson last August in Portillo trying to explain "no detune" in my extremely limited Spanish. There was a meeting of the minds, however, and I got a really good hand tune.

I hate the attitude that "oh this skier doesn't know what he wants".

Precision Ski in Frisco always does it right. I do mention "no detune" but they usually reply with "we never detune unless asked."

I also like nice tight rack-and-pinion steering without slop and play in the wheel on my car. Somebody used to having to slop the wheel back and forth would probably find VW (or BMW if I could afford one) steering to be "grabby" because very slight movements make the car change direction. It's the same idea with a properly tuned, not-detuned, modern shaped ski.

I do agree that the low-end skis in the rental racks should be detuned (assuming of course that they're tuned at all.)
post #8 of 27
I never detune any of my skis. I want them to do what I tell them to when I tell them to.
Here's a few old threads


http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...ghlight=detune

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...ghlight=detune

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...ghlight=detune

Oh, heck. Just do a search on "detune"
post #9 of 27
The "to de-tune or not to de-tune" debate will go on forever. Everyone has a different opinion and a different need. It really is a matter of personal preference. I personally like the shops that ask or assume not to de-tune unless asked. On my skis I detune all-mountain skis and twin tips...race skis don't get de tuned
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Next day we took them to a good shop in Beaver Creek. The tech said that the tips and tails should have been "de-tuned". He did this for us, and the difference was huge.
Detuning was not your original problem, although it is a quick and dirty fix for your original problem.

Actual issue: If the production process is successful in flattening your ski before applying the base bevel (it may, or much more likely in a auto machine may not be) then the bevel applied by the machine will be accurate from nearly the contact point to nearly the contact point. The trouble is that the machine will pull the discs away from the edges before completing the bevel at and just beyond the contact point. As a matter of creating a reliable process, it would be extremely difficult to build an automagical tuning machine that could apply a bevel to and beyond a contact point on various skis and snowboards with a wide range of curvatures, stiffnesses, etc. So they just don't bother.

The result is that you have a ski with a flat, structured base edge in the worst possible spots...right at the contact points. The appropriate way to fix this is by hand...but shops that have invested in automagical production tuning equipment just aren't going to dedicate 10 minutes or so of labor per pair to finish work.

Merely detuning the edge a bit at the tip and tail might make the grabby feel go away, but the ski still won't feel as good as it should.
Quote:
Why don't shops with quarter $ million tuning machines, who handle race skis, de-tune after the job, if needed.
Shops that actually do a lot of race work don't tend to use quarter million dollar automagical machines while doing said work. Automagical machines are suited to high volume work. Merely about 100 grand will buy you superlative manual feed machines for high quality work...the major manufacturers tend to have different lines of equipment for "production" tuning and "race service" tuning.

You have equated the cost of the equipment with the intended quality of the product. The expensive equipment your skis saw is meant to complete work in volume, not at superlative quality.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Detuning was not your original problem, although it is a quick and dirty fix for your original problem.

Actual issue: If the production process is successful in flattening your ski before applying the base bevel (it may, or much more likely in a auto machine may not be) then the bevel applied by the machine will be accurate from nearly the contact point to nearly the contact point. The trouble is that the machine will pull the discs away from the edges before completing the bevel at and just beyond the contact point. As a matter of creating a reliable process, it would be extremely difficult to build an automagical tuning machine that could apply a bevel to and beyond a contact point on various skis and snowboards with a wide range of curvatures, stiffnesses, etc. So they just don't bother.

The result is that you have a ski with a flat, structured base edge in the worst possible spots...right at the contact points. The appropriate way to fix this is by hand...but shops that have invested in automagical production tuning equipment just aren't going to dedicate 10 minutes or so of labor per pair to finish work.

Merely detuning the edge a bit at the tip and tail might make the grabby feel go away, but the ski still won't feel as good as it should.
Shops that actually do a lot of race work don't tend to use quarter million dollar automagical machines while doing said work. Automagical machines are suited to high volume work. Merely about 100 grand will buy you superlative manual feed machines for high quality work...the major manufacturers tend to have different lines of equipment for "production" tuning and "race service" tuning.

You have equated the cost of the equipment with the intended quality of the product. The expensive equipment your skis saw is meant to complete work in volume, not at superlative quality.
An illuminating reply, and much appreciated.

It seems the only option is to find a skilled hand-tuner, with the ability to apply the correct bevel at, and beyond, the contact point.

This could be a tall order.

Does anyone know the whereabouts of such a magician in the Colorado Front Range to Summit area?

I had my skis recently tuned and ground (necessary - hit a rock slide), by Loveland's shop, which claims to service all racers in the Loveland ski program. I didn't see a huge machine there, so perhaps they hand-tune correctly?
post #12 of 27
Not seeing a huge machine does not equal good hand tuning. Conversely having a big machine does not equal poor hand tuning. Those automated machines do massive volumes of skis but do not give the quality edges that can be achieved by hand when done by an expert tech.

That being said, Colorado Freeride (formerly Racer's Edge) in Breck does solid work.
post #13 of 27
I never detune the tips & tails. I sharpen mine all the way around the curve.

I totally agree with Garrett. The modern way to detune is to increase the bottom edge bevel to 1° at the tip & tail if it is less. I know skiers the prefer the base edge bevel at 0.5° or 0.75° with 1° at the tip and tail. The side edge bevel is 3° sharp all the way.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post

After the tune, the edges looked perfect, but the skis were "grabby" or hooked on the hill.

Next day we took them to a good shop in Beaver Creek. The tech said that the tips and tails should have been "de-tuned". He did this for us, and the difference was huge.
What is usually meant when people say skis are grabby or hooking after sharpening is that the outside ski is grabbing. If this applies to your situation, you have two choices:

1) detune tips & tails as much as necessary to get the ski sliding where you want it.
2) correct lateral balance.

Option 1 is okay as a bandaid for beginners or intermediates, but it's not correcting the underlying problem.

Option 2 is the answer if you're an advanced skier, or especially a racer. You want all the performance you can get from the ski, so you'll want to leave the full running surface of the ski sharp, and refine your lateral balance so you can work that sharp ski edge.

The outside ski is hooking when you have too much weight on the inside ski, and that sharpened shovel area gets caught on the snow. A dull shovel area can be dragged along more easily even when you're falling inside. Correct your lateral balance so that you're working the outside ski, and the problem will go away. This is an easy solution that is not necessarily easy to achieve, which is why some people will still have to fall back on detuning. The progression to work towards is to detune less and less of the ski as lateral balance is refined, with the final goal being to ski on a full sharp ski.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogulmuncher View Post
Option 2 is the answer if you're an advanced skier, or especially a racer. You want all the performance you can get from the ski, so you'll want to leave the full running surface of the ski sharp, and refine your lateral balance so you can work that sharp ski edge.
You could also try reading the thread first then posting. I hear it does wonders.
post #16 of 27
Just read this post. When I read what the OP posted I thought the same as what Garrett said. I was happy to see you of the experts (Garrett) post that answer.

Thanks for setting things straight Garrett.
post #17 of 27
I'm no expert, but glad you liked my answer. And to be clear, I don't mean to say mogulmunchers answer isn't good for people who insist on detuning skis excessively, but that wasn't the OPs problem. Sometimes it really is the arrow, not the archer.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
We just had my wife's skis tuned at "Snowell", at the base of Keystone.

They have a new $250,000 do-it-all tuner, that auto-sets all bevels to factory specs, and waxes - perfectly. They claim most of the team racers at Keystone bring their skis to them.

After the tune, the edges looked perfect, but the skis were "grabby" or hooked on the hill.

Next day we took them to a good shop in Beaver Creek. The tech said that the tips and tails should have been "de-tuned". He did this for us, and the difference was huge.

Why don't shops with quarter $ million tuning machines, who handle race skis, de-tune after the job, if needed.

If I purchase my own diamond stone to de-tune tips and tails, how far from the tip and tail should I dull, and how much?
The shop did the right thing. I've had just the opposite happen to me. Without asking, the shop ROUNDED the edges about 4" down from the tip and up from the tail on (get this) race stock SL skis. I like all my race skis sharp from tip to tail. As others in this thread have stated - detuning tip and tail edges means several light passes with a gummy stone - not rounding on a grinder.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by m_piet View Post
The shop did the right thing. I've had just the opposite happen to me. Without asking, the shop ROUNDED the edges about 4" down from the tip and up from the tail on (get this) race stock SL skis. I like all my race skis sharp from tip to tail. As others in this thread have stated - detuning tip and tail edges means several light passes with a gummy stone - not rounding on a grinder.
Oh yea, and I told them that I hand tune my edges "just get them flat."
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
You could also try reading the thread first then posting. I hear it does wonders.
Sorry if I missed something - I did read the thread, including your detailed reply which explained an interesting characteristic of tuning machine operation. I've never encountered this myself, but knowing how machine & operator differences can produce a wide range of results, it sounds like a reasonable thing to watch for.

I offered lateral balance as another suggestion for an underlying cause because I hadn't seen it mentioned in the other posts. Working with lateral balance to resolve grabbing/hooking skis is something I've had a lot of experience and success with, even back to the days of straight skis. As noted, detuning can help get rid of the grabbing without correcting lateral balance, but just to be clear, detuning is not my preference. However, I will use that tactic if necessary while developing the underlying technical skills.

Of course, I don't know for certain if this applies to the OP's situation, but I've found it to be such a common thing that I thought it was worth bringing up. I tried to offer a bit of context to see if the OP thought it fit his example: my apologies if the explanation was not clear.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
I'm no expert, but glad you liked my answer. And to be clear, I don't mean to say mogulmunchers answer isn't good for people who insist on detuning skis excessively, but that wasn't the OPs problem. Sometimes it really is the arrow, not the archer.
What in the OP says it is not a lateral balance problem?
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post

Does anyone know the whereabouts of such a magician in the Colorado Front Range to Summit area?

I had my skis recently tuned and ground (necessary - hit a rock slide), by Loveland's shop, which claims to service all racers in the Loveland ski program. I didn't see a huge machine there, so perhaps they hand-tune correctly?
Precision Ski is where most of our racers take their skis I believe (those that don't do it themselves) and I believe some use Racer's Edge. I'll have to ask the Keystone group (I am based at Copper) whether they do really use Snowell since our team is the main team at Keystone.

As for me, I've got issues going on with my most recent tune so I'm thinking I may need to drop at Precision this weekend to have them done by hand.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
If I purchase my own diamond stone to de-tune tips and tails, how far from the tip and tail should I dull, and how much?

FWIW, from our 'Is De-tuning Passé?' DIY Blog Entry:

Quote:
If you wish to de-tune, start a few inches/80mm, or so, initially, and increase the length only after skiing or boarding to test. It is far easier and fast to de-tune than sharpen and a little will go a long way. This can be done very easily and quickly, a little at a time between or even in the middle of a run as you feel the skis or snowboard and can make minute adjustments relative to current feedback, until you are satisfied. This extent can then be applied in the shop the next time you sharpen, after you ‘know’ what you need.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord
If you wish to de-tune, start a few inches/80mm, or so, initially,
That seems like a lot to start with in my opinion. I'd start with detuning just to the contact point, and go from there in smaller increments. 160mm (both ends) on a typical ski is more than 10% of the running length. IMHO the only skis that should even be considered for detuning that much are long and straight powder skis that are just wider than similar skis we detuned that much 15 years ago. Other than that minor quibble I think that is a wonderful blog entry.
post #25 of 27
If your skis are tuned properly and you have properly removed any hanging burr, there is absolutley no reason to detune.

I have a known alignment problem and I use no detuning.

But I also know that my bevels are correct and there is absolutley no burr of any kind present.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
That seems like a lot to start with in my opinion. I'd start with detuning just to the contact point, and go from there in smaller increments. 160mm (both ends) on a typical ski is more than 10% of the running length. IMHO the only skis that should even be considered for detuning that much are long and straight powder skis that are just wider than similar skis we detuned that much 15 years ago. Other than that minor quibble I think that is a wonderful blog entry.
Thanks for the catch and add'l info. I'll edit the entry. FWIW, while dumping a lot of 'stuff' into the developing Tuning Blog, review and fine tuning while be an on going process. Feedback is welcome and needed. A graphic or image of the contact point might be worth adding....anyway here is the stuff prior to the above statement which was referring to 'if you wished/desired/found the need to' de-tune (I don't):

Quote:
De-tuning is the dulling of the sharpened edge to reduce the bite of the edge and ease the transition of the edges at the tips and tails with a diamond, aluminum oxide, ceramic or natural stone. Traditionally this was the typical method to finish a ski edge after sharpening and polishing. With modern skis, this is now considered unnecessary by many, as it is desirable to use the whole edge for carving turns. Adjustments of base and edge bevel geometry at the tips and tails can be used instead to control the transitions from base to edge and back, especially for carving skis to maximize the performance built into the skis.

De-tuning still may be necessary or desired if the tips and tails catch or to make initiating and ending turns easier, especially for novices, extreme or off-piste skiing, park tricks or snowboarding.
post #27 of 27
This issue is a constant pain in the butt to me, I have a ski/rental shop in France and the amount of skiers that I get with top end and race skis who complain of their skis being difficult following serviceing is a constant annoyance, I now ask everyone as a matter of course. I had one pair of Elan world cup slaloms in last year, didnt get to speak to the skier as I was out at the time, so tuned them as a world cup slalom should, the lady who owned them came into my shop shouting the odds that the skis were potentailly dangerous, after I asked her how long she had skied and over how many seasons she got very abusive telling me that she had skied for 8 years and her ski technique wasnt an issue, I went on to explain that I qualified as an Instructor in 1986 and then asked how many weeks a year she had skied in her 8 long years, the answer came back "I will have you know that I have never missed a season in 8 years and Ski one or two weeks every year", Oh well that answered that then!!!!!. how many people are there who have too much money and just want to look good in the lift queue. As a general rule my skis are sharp tip to tail, on my rental stock I detune entry level and Intermediate skis now, when it comes to advanced/Expert skis I either ask the question or make a judgement on the discussion that I have with the skier.
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