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Ski edge bevels - Page 3

post #61 of 66
Originally Posted by Chenzo View Post
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post


I am consistently shocked at the number of for-profit "tuners" who have no clue what they're doing! It seems like more often than not, pro tuners lack the skill, knowledge or interest in doing a good job.

Who are they?


A certain Whistler shop made my one of my Contact Cross skis unskiable. (Eventually I will take the time to fix whatever they did to the ski. It's not a hanging burr. At this point I have enough good skis that I can live without them.)


Another year, the same shop wasn't able to put a 3* side edge because the tuner claimed to not have a sidewall planer. :rolleyes So instead he tuned it to 2* without my consent. It was still dull (presumably because he didn't remove the sidewall). To be fair, he refunded me the cost of the tune. That's the last time I ever go to that shop for a tune. Apparently late in the season most of the Whistler shops farm the job out to that one shop though. 


Two seasons ago I had a pair of GS skis "tuned" at a different Whistler shop - they were dull as a butter knife. 


Consider that every day on snow costs money. The opportunity cost of a bad tune is huge. You get more good ski days by doing the tuning yourself. And for those of us who aren't wealthy, you're more likely to tune your own skis much more frequently, which further improves your ski days. 

Edited by Metaphor_ - 2/2/15 at 9:29pm
post #62 of 66
Originally Posted by Jim Wells View Post

This is the teaching ski for the flat soft snow mainly for ease of initiation. Thanks for the link search idea.  I'm still learning to navigate the site.  The comments about 2 base is too much needs some clarification.  Why is this believed by so many?   Have you tried it verse a 1 base or a 1.5 base on the same slope with the same skis? 



Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Better yet...let's take a look at what bevels do. It's not as mysterious as many would like us to believe!

Base Edge Bevel--primarily controls "predictability" and how far a ski must be tipped before the edge engages
  • Optimal bevel: Flat (unedged) ski is predictable, not "grabby"; skis are easily steered through the transition; edges engage smoothly but positively when appropriately tipped, and can still be "feathered" into a skid when needed.
  • More bevel: Ski must be tipped further before the edge engages, allowing you to incline further into the turn before it hooks up and starts carving. Some strong skiers prefer this, especially those who prefer to stand fully on their skis with minimal "unweighting" through the transition, as they roll the skis from edge to edge. (This is rare, but I know a very strong racer who, for a while, tuned his slalom skis with a 3 degree base edge bevel, requiring him to move way inside the turn before the skis, which were then on a huge edge angle, started carving a very tight radius turn. The downside is later edge engagement; upside is incredibly tight carving radius when the edges finally do engage.)
  • Too much bevel: flat skis are "swimmy" and do not feel like they'll hold very well, because you have to tip them a long way to get them to grip.
  • Less bevel: Ski edge engages quickly when minimally tipped: ski is less forgiving, and requires very accurate, precise, and consistent movements.
  • Too little bevel: Ski is "grabby" and unforgiving, difficult to steer smoothly, and very uncomfortable when flat on the snow, and "catching an edge" is more likely when skidding or sideslipping.
  • Too little bevel: ski wants to hook up too quickly, trying to carve before you are sufficiently inside the turn for balance; the sensation is that the ski keeps coming back underneath you as you try to roll it onto edge to carve. Strong skiers with sophisticated pressure management skills may prefer this, as they can unweight the skis sufficiently to keep them from starting to carve until they are ready, then subtly re-establish pressure when the time is right. (In a full pendulum swing, the same racer described above now tunes his slalom skis with zero base edge bevel. He can now carve earlier in the turn, but must be extremely accurate in his movements as his skis hook up so suddenly and vigorously.)

Side Edge Bevel--primarily controls edge grip; more bevel grips better
  • Optimal bevel: skis hold well on hard snow, but not so aggressively that they cannot be steered or feathered into a skid when needed.
  • More bevel: skis hold better on harder snow, may bite too aggressively on softer snow.
  • More bevel: edge forms a more acute angle (less than 90 degrees); this makes it feel sharper, but it also makes it more fragile and dull more quickly. It's sharper, but you'll need to maintain and resharpen it more frequently to keep that edge.
  • Less bevel: skis are easier to steer and skid, but do not hold well on hard snow.
  • On very hard snow and ice, some side edge bevel is important for an additional reason; without it, the side of the edge can literally pry the edge of the ski out of its groove as the ski tips further. A graphic would make this concept easier to explain, but imagine driving a shovel into firm snow, and then prying down on the handle. The blade of the shovel pivots against the surface of the snow, prying the tip of the shovel out. Now imagine that the shovel blade is curved lengthwise, so that it leaves a hollow area underneath it when driven straight into the snow. Now you'll have to tip the handle down further before the shovel blade touches the snow surface and begins to pry the edge out. In effect, side edge bevel accomplishes the same thing, allowing the sharp edge to continue to cut into the ice as the ski tips further on edge.

(A few years ago, VailSnoPro and Cgeib put together a short PowerPoint presentation with some great animated graphics to explain these effects of bevel. Perhaps one of them might post some of those images here, if we're really nice!)

Many things affect "optimal" bevel, including ski construction, snow conditions, technical skill, and skier preference. Torsionally softer skis twist more when tipped on edge, effectively increasing base-edge bevel at the tip and tail, and may benefit from slightly less base edge bevel as a result. Softer snow conditions do not require such tenacious edge grip, and may suggest less side edge bevel. Very precise and skilled skiers can handle--and will probably prefer (in most conditions)--an aggressive tune with minimal base edge bevel (0-0.5 degree) and more side edge bevel (3+ degrees); less-skilled skiers would find this tune difficult to manage, and may do better with a less aggressive tune (0.7-1 degree base, 1-2 degree side). 

0.7-1 degree base and 2 degree side edge bevel is a pretty standard tune for many skis. Most skiers will find that tune predictable and easy to manage, yet sufficiently grippy for most turns on reasonably firm conditions. (Of course, regardless of the bevels, skis must also be sharp if they are to hold well.) Many skis come this way, and many shops have their edging equipment set up this way by default. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

Many people seem to think that the manufacturer's tune is somehow a "recommended" tune for that particular ski, but I would not look at it that way. It's usually just a tune that they think most "typical" skiers will find easy to ski. Rather than worrying about "manufacturer's specs" or someone else's recommendations, I encourage you to go by feel, with the understanding of what different bevels do. Skis grabby and unpredictable? Add base bevel. Skis not holding well enough? Are they sharp? If so, add side edge bevel. Skis too grippy? Reduce side edge bevel.

Finally, remember that changing a bevel requires grinding away more metal from the edge. Unless you're a racer with free skis, I recommend finding a tune that you like and sticking with it. For what it's worth, I tune pretty much every ski I have at 0.5/3 (by convention, the base edge bevel is always stated first). I ski them that way in every condition. Sometimes I'm tempted to increase the side edge bevel when it's extremely firm, but I don't often do it.

Once you settle on a tune you like, I recommend getting a set of good bevel guides and a file and diamond stone or two. It doesn't take much to learn to use these basic tools to keep your edges in great condition. Unless you cause some real damage, five minutes a day with a diamond stone will usually be all it takes to maintain your tune, and your skiing will be much happier for it!

Best regards,



Originally Posted by Jim Wells View Post

Thanks for the well broken  out  description of what the base and edge bevels do.  My all mountain skis are set up with a 1x1, my teaching pair for beginners is the 2x2 pair. After 6 hour of beginners on soft heavy snow on the flats, I get tired and want a very easy initiation.  I'm now researching a change in the bevels for next season and may try a 1x2 for the all mountain and  maybe  a 1.5 x 2  for the teaching pair. Thanks again.  Jim W.



Originally Posted by Tog View Post

If you ski trees a lot some people like a lot of base bevel so they don't hook up quickly and it's safer to pivot. You ahouldn't go back to a 1 side. No point. Use 2 or more.



Originally Posted by kirkiez View Post


Thank you. Yes, I ski trees and soft snow mostly. Perhaps I'll give the 1.5/1.5 some more test days before doing anything.

I'm presently thinking going from a 1° to a 1.5 or 2° base bevel on skis I used in trees for mainly 2 reasons:

1. I think it will make the ski easier to turn/slide and the only downside I can see ( for now) is that it will be a notch slower on piste...and maybe a little less stable at speed???

2. I'm guessing my edges should sustain a little less damage in trees and glades since my edges would be more surfy and less catchy...


I don't see why something good in the park could not be ok in trees and bumps... I'd like yo have your opinion before making my move...

post #63 of 66
Don't get the reduced damage part from a higher base bevel. If you hit something you hit it, and a few thousandths clearance will make little difference.

Why don't you try it on a ski you don't care so much about? Also using park tunes for a justification for piste skiing is questionable unless you're contemlpating going back to a wooden ski with no edges at all.
post #64 of 66
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Don't get the reduced damage part from a higher base bevel. If you hit something you hit it, and a few thousandths clearance will make little difference.
I'm thinking: higher base bevel= less agressive edging= less damage over rocks...

Why don't you try it on a ski you don't care so much about? Also using park tunes for a justification for piste skiing is questionable unless you're contemlpating going back to a wooden ski with no edges at all.
I didn't compared park ski with piste skiing but with trees and bumps...
post #65 of 66

Wow, is this the new trend in skis - side to side rocker. :D

post #66 of 66
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post

Wow, is this the new trend in skis - side to side rocker. :D

Funny! Next thing we know, the name of the skis will change from "Slicer" to "slider"...:-)

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