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Ceramic disc edging on new skis???

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have my first pair of brand-spanking new skis on their way to me as we speak (or, um type).  While waiting for them I've spent entirely too much time thinking and researching the proper initial set up.  What I thought I came to realize was that all I needed to do was hot scape then wax a few times prior to skiing.  After deciding that's what I was going to do, I checked a local tuner shop that recommends a:"Base structure for current conditions if needed, ceramic disk edging and hot wax."  Now, I am certainly only a rec skier and will not be racing anytime in the foreseeable future so the base structure will remain as Dynastar set it (I understand it's nearly spring but I am almost positive that based on my skills I will not notice any kind of difference on a base ground for warm/wet snow).  But what about this mysterious "ceramic disc edging"?  What function does this serve beside sharpening the edges (my assumption)?  Should I just stick with a good wax and ski approach? 


Thanks for the insight.

post #2 of 10

The shop at my home mountain told me that they would only do the ceramic disk whatever for my new skis. They only charged me for a regular tune since they didn't warn me in advance, but did say that future tunes for those skis would cost more. Apparently a standard tune was fine for my daughter's skis.

Next tune was at a shop off the mountain, and they didn't say a word about needing to do a special type of tune that cost more.

I'm curious about this ceramic tuning, also.

post #3 of 10

The skis should be 100% ready so just go ski and enjoy.  Don't even wax and scrape...just go!!!  I have found that tuning is fun therapeutic time for me, and sometimes for the kids too, so we prefer to do our own.  It's easy to learn and I'm sure you have a friend that would help you with technique.  Sounds like a hobby that would be good for you too.

post #4 of 10

I don't want to be the bad guy, but if you search the site you'll find these tuning issues discussed previously.


Anyhow, the summary is: new skis from the factory aren't tuned as well as you think and every single new ski should be tuned and waxed after purchase before it ever sees a flake of snow.

post #5 of 10

From worst to best:


Base structure for current conditions - This seems nutso to me. Your skis come with an all-purpose structure from the factory. If you're doing a grind (which you'd normally only do on new skis to reduce the base bevel), the skis get structure in the course thereof ... but I would have them do a general-purpose structure, not one specific to "current conditions." If you're racing downhill on your skis, maybe you'd get them structured for current conditions, but probably not even then.


Ceramic disk edging - So far as I know, there's nothing magic to the "ceramic disk" part ... that just refers to the big machine they use in shops to tune edges, which does the same thing as files and stones, though with much less labor. In other words, your assumption is right. If the skis came from the manufacturer with the bevels all out of whack, you need this. If not, you don't. Opinions and experiences may vary, but I wouldn't ordinarily have edge work done on new skis.


Hot wax - A good idea. Better idea (which I think is yours) is to do it yourself.


post #6 of 10

I have yet to find a single pair of new skis (and I've had over 20 in the past 5 years) that haven't had some issue with the edge bevels.  To each their own.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the input... I have to say that being the rec skier (currently an intermediate with lofty goals) I doubt I am going to notice having a precisely tuned ski.  Just like the always buying/driving used cars, you don't know what you're missing until you get a new car... and then even that "new" car can be finely tuned to perform even better.  I think I'll stick to the wax and ski until the time comes that I feel like I absolutely "need" a tune.  After that tune I'll either know that I should have had them done earlier or not.  I guess I was curious whether having the edges done on new skis was something that was a necessity or would (somehow/someway) prolong the life of the ski.

post #8 of 10

You may not be able to distinguish between a well-tuned ski and and really well-tuned ski, vterp. But you will definitely notice a poorly tuned ski (whether you can put your finger on exactly what the problem is or not). It's like a car--a novice driver won't detect the subtle suspension tuning nuances that an experienced race car driver would feel, but he'll certainly notice worn-out shocks, grossly worn brakes, or a flat tire!


Most good skis come out of the wrapper a lot better than they used to. But they still could have major problems--particularly edge high ("railed") or concave, or base high. These problems you will feel! In the former case (edge high), your skis will feel grabby and twitchy, and very hard to manage. In the latter case (base high), your skis will feel "swimmy," hard to get to grip--and very hard to manage. Many novice skiers just think they're skiing poorly, when the problem is a badly tuned (or untuned) ski.


So it's worth checking, at least. Beware, though, of giving your skis to "your-neighbor's-kid's-buddy-who-works-in-a-rental-shop" (if you catch my drift) to run over the belt sander. An inept or uncaring hack can quickly ruin a ski on a belt sander--or even create the concave or convex base you want to eliminate. Instead, take them to a good shop and ask them to check the bases with a true bar. If they're good, they'll do it at no charge, and show you what they're looking at. If they show you that your skis need work, get 'em tuned, preferably on a stone grinder, by a conscientious and experienced technician who takes pride in his or her work.


They'll also ski better when waxed properly. Wax isn't just to make your skis faster. It will make them more manageable as well--easier to balance on, and easier to turn, guide, and twist into a braking skid when needed.


My strong recommendation for everyone is, at the least, to get your skis well-tuned, and then invest in a few minimal tools, supplies, and skills to keep the tune maintained. At the minimum, a good diamond stone and some wipe-on, rub-on, or spray-on universal wax, plus a quick tutorial on how to use them, will keep your skis' performance light-years ahead of the typical skis most people ski on--with about 5 minutes of your time each day you ski.


Best regards,



Edited by Bob Barnes - 3/9/2009 at 08:56 pm
post #9 of 10

Hot scrape 'em wax them and go ski on them. Do  not do any edge work until you determine (by skiing) that you don't like the way they ski.


As Bob said a poor tune will be readily noticeable.


I have no experience with dynstar tunes, but if your skis ski fine out of the wrapper, why waste your money and shorten the life of your ski.


Wax, ski, assess!



post #10 of 10

Ceramic disc edge grinding machine




It does a very good, very consistent job.


I know what edge angles I like and have new skis tuned to my specs.  As said above, some new skis are in great condition right out of the wrapper, and some may have continued to cure (and deform) after leaving the factory and thus require tuning.

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