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Ski Tuning Frequency

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm sure the following has been answered a dozen times already, but here goes:

How often should I have my skis waxed and/or tuned? Is once per season (for me, approx. 20 ski days) OK? If the answer to that is "yes", is it better to w/t them at the end of the season or just before the new season begins? Thanks.
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post
I'm sure the following has been answered a dozen times already, but here goes:

How often should I have my skis waxed and/or tuned? Is once per season (for me, approx. 20 ski days) OK? If the answer to that is "yes", is it better to w/t them at the end of the season or just before the new season begins? Thanks.
Impossible to answer because it depends on how much you like to push and how often you need sharp edges.

I hot wax my skis no less than every 3 ski days - otherwise they get slow and I hate pushing. Edge sharpening depends on the firmness of snow and whether I'm smacking stuff.
post #3 of 12
For Mid-Atlantic?

Wax -a lot- early season (through Jan 10); you can get by with every other day mid season, and go all-fluoro once a week in March.

Edges, it depends on how hard you are on them.

I think you might have conflated 'tunes' and 'shop grinds' which, on this forum, are generally not considered to be interchangeable.

Shop grind turn around is so much quicker March-May that it is really the only answer.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wax = tune?

"every other day"?

Oh. This is like that dream where you suddenly realize that your last final exam was yesterday but you had forgotten to go!

I've had my skis for a year and have skied 16 days on them: all East Coast (packed powder, ice, crud). So far I've done nothing to them. Guess I should have them waxed (tuned?) before I use them again in two weeks, eh?

Then when the season is over I should have them "shop ground"?
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post
Wax = tune?
No. Tune would include taking care of the edges.

Quote:
"every other day"?
Sure, especially at the rate they're making snow during the cold spells.

Quote:
Oh. This is like that dream where you suddenly realize that your last final exam was yesterday but you had forgotten to go!
If you had fun without problems then you didn't really miss the final, just the extra credit section. Some peeps count on that extra credit section as being part and parcel of what is expected. Others don't care.

Quote:
I've had my skis for a year and have skied 16 days on them: all East Coast (packed powder, ice, crud). So far I've done nothing to them.
Could you have had more fun on them? I don't know. Did you have fun on them? I hope so.

I skied a pair of completely unwaxed skis on the weekend. They felt slow as molasses compared to my usual when I first got on them, but the edges were sharp enough that I didn't really care after the first 10 minutes. I was mostly riding the edges anyway. There were some gray spots 3 hours later, but I can fix those.

If they had been waxed properly, I wouldn't have had those first annoying 10 minutes or the bother of fixing later.

Quote:
Guess I should have them waxed (tuned?) before I use them again in two weeks, eh?
A bit of paste wax is a good way to dip ones toe in the pool. Do one ski, see if you like it.

Quote:
Then when the season is over I should have them "shop ground"?
Should is too strong a word. 'May want to' is much better, and is dependent on their condition, how they feel to you, and what you can do with them by yourself without the shop's assistance.

Are you going locally or away in 2 weeks?
post #6 of 12
In the mid-A, I need to re-wax every 3-5 days on the snow (manmade snow is tough on the wax). I touch up the edges (stone or file) as needed to keep them sharp.

Don't get a shop grind more than once a year (less if you can help it). Shop grinds take life off the ski, and aren't normally needed unless you have really trashed the bases or the existing tune needs to be reset.

If you've skied that many days without a tune or wax, I am guessing your edges are burred up and the bases are dry and abraded. At a minimum, get them waxed!
post #7 of 12
Dry and abraded bases do not hold wax very well. It is best to get a shop grind, and then take care of them

I wax each weekend. Sometimes twice on a long weekend.

That being said, I've been too busy to do my own skis. After three weekends, they still have wax in the bases. That's because each wax I do has a hot scrape stage to it - it's almost like waxing twice.

They have not been stone ground since new, 5 years ago -- that's a lot of wax I'd be grinding off......
post #8 of 12
Our routine for great performance and maximum usable life:
  • Towel dry the skis and check/touch up the edges with a gummi stone EVERY DAY.
  • Wax every 1-3 days depending on conditions (the race skis get waxed EVERY use).
  • Hand sharpen edges as needed based on visible edge damage or lessened edge grip.
  • Shop grind only if the base structure is gone, there's base damage, the bases warp, or the base bevel needs to be reset (this averages to about once every 3-4 years per pair).
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all. I realized this morning that there's a separate forum on tuning and maintenance that I should have posted this on.

It sounds like waxing skis is something that if you haven't done it yet you don't know what you're missing in terms of performance (like putting silicon drops on your bike chain). Also, Comprex, as you alluded, the stuff I've been skiing on (which has been fun -- who needs that easy powder stuff?) has itself probably been more of a factor than the absence of wax.

But, in any case, is it the consensus that it's better/cheaper/less headache to wax your own skis rather than take them to a ski shop? Is this like the difference between clipping your own toe-nails in the bathroom (me) or getting a pedicure (wife) -- i.e., not as pretty but a heck of a lot cheaper?

Comprex, are you a DC local? I remember seeing your e-name on DC Ski. We're heading to Wintergreen for Prez Day weekend. I love dodging pre-teen snowboarders.

Volklgirl, I see you're from Cadillac. Have you skied at Caberfae? My parents live in Big Rapids, and I've thought about taking the kids out there, visiting with them and skiing all in one trip.

Thanks again to all.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post
But, in any case, is it the consensus that it's better/cheaper/less headache to wax your own skis rather than take them to a ski shop? Is this like the difference between clipping your own toe-nails in the bathroom (me) or getting a pedicure (wife) -- i.e., not as pretty but a heck of a lot cheaper?
Jimski,
There are numerous reason we work on our own skis. There is a point where one starts saving money. In regards to quality of the work, you set your own quality control standards. In regards to convenience, all that is needed is some free time at home.

There is a break even point when you start saving money. When you get started, you need some supplies: iron, ski vise, scrapers, brushes, wax. Depending on what you get, you could be looking to spend around $150 or more. Your break even point will be waxing at least 10 pairs of skis.

You set your own quality control standards. If you want to do a pedicure type wax job, that's up to you. If you want to do a clipping your nails on the bathroom floor, that's up to you. In my opinion, the difference between a pedicure and a toenail clipping jobs is the amount of time you put into the work. Also since you set the standards, you make the choice of which wax to use. Most shops use a broad spectrum wax only. You can choose if you want to use that type of wax or a temperature specific wax for a given condition.

You need to figure out what is more convenient to you. If dropping off your skis at the local shop is easier for you, great. If you can make the time to do the work at home, great also.

To me maintanance on my own gear is a ritual. It's part of the sport like fly fishermen catching fish on flies that they tied themselves. It is very rewarding to know that your skis are performing the way you want them to because you worked on them.

Dennis
post #11 of 12

Depends where you ski and what type of skiing you do.

 

If you ski in the east on hardpack and have a carving ski then you are doing yourself no favours by not tuning.  The skis should ski like new every time you go out or you will have a less enjoyable experience than you could be having.

 

I ski on a ski with a 12.4 m turning radius and on hardpack/ice.  I need edges.  I tune my skis no less tahn every 4 ski days.

 

I should also mention that I often use my skis as demo skis.  If they don't ski like new who will ever want the ski?

 

It only takes 20 minutes to tune a pair of skis.  Less time than it takes to drive to teh shop and drop the off....

 

Mike

post #12 of 12

I check edges every day and usually run a 600grit diamond stone down to clean things up.  I do a more serious edge check with the whole series of diamond stones once every 2-4 days depending on snow conditions. 

 

As waxing does not contribute as much to safety as edge sharpeness, I tend to let the waxing go 3-4 days before rewaxing.  I usually get around to waxing about 2x per week, but I have been known to slip up and let the bases go a whole week if i am really busy.

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