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Do you take care of your gear?

Poll Results: Do you take care of your skis or snowboards?

Poll expired: Apr 28, 2008  
  • 37% (26)
    YES: entirely by myself
  • 49% (34)
    YES: some by me & some by a shop
  • 11% (8)
    YES: entirely by a shop
  • 1% (1)
69 Total Votes  
post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I expect that the members of EpicSki are probably not indicative of all skiers and snowboarders, but as a rough meter please respond to the poll. Also, please indicate why you do or don't, frequency, etc.


Edit: I suppose 'entirely' may be too absolute. Once in a blue moon taking your boards to a shop is more 'Entirely by myself' than 'Some by a shop'. I was thinking bottoms and edges, not top side and bindings.
post #2 of 23
I just like doing the work myself; I know it's done right. I used to work at a ski shop and saw how they did tuning. It wasn't bad by any means, it was just a hurried process to get the skis through the machine and done.
post #3 of 23

Yes, everything.....

The entire RETRO fleet (now 20ish), because I enjoy working on the equipment, which is a damn good thing because none of the shops will touch the old gear. This way I know that it is working properly and that I won't have any surprises on the mountain. If I want to ski it...then I have to work on it!

Same holds true for bicycles (don't get me started on this topic), motorcycles, cars, home repairs, etc.......
post #4 of 23
I'll have a shop wax the skis every other day. I'll also have one or two edgefiles a season. For $15 I'll have a pro do it for me at the resort.

post #5 of 23
The shop does a grind once or twice a year and sometimes mounts bindings. But I mount bindings on a pre-drilled plate or if they let me use the jig and hand-tune my skis throughout the year.
post #6 of 23
Shop grind once a year. The rest is little old me and my files and stones.
post #7 of 23
Do my own waxing , let the shop do the edges
post #8 of 23
Most shops do a sufficient job...for gapers. A few shops out there do good or great work.

The nearest good shop for me is a 30 minute drive...we have ~12 pair of active skis in the quiver in our house, I can have them all waxed in less time then it takes to get them there and pick them up.

Cheaper, faster, better at home.
post #9 of 23
Sharpen all my skis at the beginning of the season then as needed through the season. Due to a season of almost continuous soft snow I only remember touching up my edges a couple times this year.

Wax as needed depending on changing temperatures and wax wear. I average waxing around every 2 to 3 skis days.

I do most of my own base repairs, also. About the only thing I have the shop do is mount my bindings.

Alpinord - Are you running this survey at TGR, also? It would be fun to see the difference between the sites.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Rio View Post
Alpinord - Are you running this survey at TGR, also? It would be fun to see the difference between the sites.
No, but go ahead if you want (I don't have a thick enough flak jacket ). It would be interesting to watch the comments. :
post #11 of 23
I try to polish my edges every two or three days. I generally wax about once a week (or more often as needed). I'll file about once a month. I do my own base repairs, so the only thing I rely on the shop for is base grinding (hopefully just once a year). I enjoy tuning (other than the time commitment), but mostly I do it as a matter of cost. There are some shops I would trust to work on my skis, but it is simply too expensive to have them do the work given the frequency required to maintain them in top condition.
post #12 of 23


Do all my own tuning. Had ski's stone ground at Granite Chief at Squaw about 20 yrs ago and it took me 2 or 3 days to dial them back into proper tuning, discoveredd they reversed the side and base bevel - ugly. So I tune all my ski's 100% of time. Schedule:

Wax, hot wax unless on a trip and then use Spray on Slidewrights waxes.
Try to wax after 2 days but may stretch to 3 if snows good and they're sliding good.

Fall, check base and side bevel, true base flatness and do any P tex work that may be necessary.

During the season check edges with finger for burrs etc., and file if necessary, diamond stone etc. Don't detune the new ski's like I used to my old flat guys.

WHY? Quality of work is better (see lst para), price, pride and tuning myself enables me to tune for special needs. Pride and I just plain like the smell of wax and "getting ready", expecially in the Fall.: Used to Race and do my own so mayble Habit.
post #13 of 23
Yes, its cost effective, I know what I am getting, and I know it will be done right and with the best materials, it keeps me in the ski mode even when I am not skiing.
post #14 of 23
I put down "entirely by myself" after reading your post, but that's not entirely true. I sharpen and wax myself, and once in a blue moon bring skis in for a complete race tune including Base Grind.

I usually end up with a better job when I do it myself.
post #15 of 23
I get a fresh stone-grind around once a season, more if necessary, although it rarely is.

I shape and polish my edges myself. I also base-prep and wax myself. It's not that I don't trust the shop to do these things, it's just really expensive to get it done as good as I can do it myself.

Besides, tuning skis with a beer or a whiskey is just as much a part of the ski season as shoveling is.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Great responses. Thanks.

It all gets easier, faster and more enjoyable, the more you do. Couple that with rolling it into other household tasks and multi-tasking flows and other activities. If you have time to vegetate on the couch and watch the tube (or the internet), you have plenty of time to tune edges, repair bases and wax, and catch the game, show,...or listen to music, etc. The convenience, satisfaction, huge cost savings, saves gas, quality control and time savings & timing control, among other reasons make it a no brainer for me.

We also have touring, skate & BC skiing out the back door and there is no practical solution to keep those skis ready for action by transporting them to town. On trips to lift served options or other touring & BC options, dropping them off and picking them up is far from convenient. Additionally, we can get substantial temperature changes (up to 30° air, 10° snow) in a day and more in a week. Making adjustments happens frequently. With a home office, it's a great fit. I suspect work circumstances affects other's choices and options.

It's ironic how skiers and boarders (and other sport enthusiasts) will go to great pains to save money on multiple gear purchases and not take care of their investment and maximize performance. I've heard 'guestimates' that DIY tuners number less than 5% of the snowsports public, possible around 2-3%. Adding those taking their boards to a shop, 20%, maybe, leaves 80% or so that do not. (So far, this poll clearly does not match these 'unofficial stats'.)
post #17 of 23
Originally Posted by geoffda View Post
I try to polish my edges every two or three days. I generally wax about once a week (or more often as needed). I'll file about once a month. I do my own base repairs, so the only thing I rely on the shop for is base grinding (hopefully just once a year).
Kinda like him, do most myself but shop grinds...
post #18 of 23
The only thing I really treat well are jackets and boots. I'm willing to pay for good quality here, as I expect both to last. Everything else, much less so. I do my edges a lot, but it would be a real stretch to say I "take care" of my skis, which seem to have a very short average lifespan.
post #19 of 23
I haven't bought anything brand new or very expensive in quite some time. Most of what own requires a lot of TLC and heavy filing when I get it.

I also occasionally need to move the bindings since I have smaller than average boots/feet. I'm pretty good with my hands and tools. I don't own any fancy equipment, no jigs, etc. I simply clamp the binding plate where I've determined I want it, place some tape on the drill bit to mark depth and tap the sucker and mount them with a screw gun-filling the old holes of course. I'll shoot some epoxy in with the screws if it is a foam core. I haven't drilled through a ski since I was about 13, or have a plate shift on me-but I know my luck will run out again eventually. So far, so good, they are all much straighter and square than the examples of "bad" shop work folks post here.

I file everthing flat checking with a metal scraper and do the sides as close 90* of the bottom by hand, again with no special tools-:I can hear the groans most of you about not using a file guide here LOL. I run a stone flush to remove burrs, very slightly detune front and back 5%-10% if the ski is not shaped or I plan to use them in bumps. Next mark any gouges that look deep enough for P-Tex to fill and light it up. Scrape the P-tex flat with a metal scraper and use it agian to check to be sure the base is flat and not base high anywhere , otherwise file that sopt(s) more. Then, I hot wax them. I don't scrape the wax until the day I ski, usually in the parking lot-unless I've totally guessed wrong on the temp. If so, I'll scrape it thin and drop something to compensate with an iron and smoothe it out again.
I've resorted to a few seconds with a belt sander and fine paper a handful of times to save time. But, if a file won't remedy the problem the ski is probably even too burnt for me.
Now, if I spent over $300.00 for a pair of skis I would certainly pay the shop mount them. Everything else I would still handle myself.

All my skis hold an edge really well IMO-which is all that matters to me. I can ski ice just fine. But, I totally understand why most of you take "the precision" to a much higher level than I do when maintaining your skis. Beleive me, when I lived closer to the skiing terrain and skied everyday I felt the same way. Not that I'm over 40 and ski recreationally mostly I'm just not as motivated to spend a lot of time to get them "perfect". If I were competing at any level beyond NASTAR I would invest more time and money in my tuning operations and equipment.:
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
My stuff is far from perfect, but performs very well with little time and effort for our needs. With a couple diamonds and guides, I can maintain edges on two pair of skis in 15 minutes or so, clean and wax in another fifteen. Scraping and brushing (roto) in 10-15. With liquid/spray wax. The waxing work is easily halved. With durable waxes and softer snows, you can get up to 5 to six days between waxings and little edge work. With very abrasive snows, up to 2 or 3 outings (less with soft spring wax) with more edge work.
post #21 of 23
Originally Posted by Squawker View Post
Shop grind once a year. The rest is little old me and my files and stones.
Ditto. I am not sure I'm saving money, due to the tuning bench, file guides, wax, iron, yada yada investment, but it's way easier to do it myself than stop by the only shop I trust every two days for a wax. I have them do the binding mounting and base grinding, but that's more a start of season thing.
post #22 of 23
Most at shop. Have had over 10 grinds this year on 5 pairs of skis, and get 2 pairs waxed/sharpened a week. I do some small stuff (training wax), but I simply dont have the time on my hands to keep all of my skis in tip top shape.
post #23 of 23
We have a family of 5 with eight skis in the quiver. I started tuning to save a few bucks and just generally figure out how it's done. That was four years ago. In that time I've learned about my ski's, what works for me and what does not. I prefer my skis 3/1, razor sharp and just very slightly detuned. My three kids are all mogul competitors, their ski's get 2/1, razor sharp under foot and detune the heck out of the tips and tails. Typically a ski will get some type of attention if it's skied on once or twice. I guess the biggest positive about tunning your own is consistency. You know what you are going to get and it's possible set a pair of skis up just right. Oh, I almost forgot.... there are few things better than the smell of melting wax mixed with taste of a cold Long Trail Ale. :
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