Do you feel that you are skiing a little slower than normal?
Do you find it more difficult to initiate a turn?
If so, it is probably time for you to tune your skis. This is a maintenance step that far too many skiers forget to do. Skiing experts recommend that you tune your skis after every 5 to 8 days of skiing.
Read on for the ultimate guide to tuning your skis. Learn how to tune skis, so they function properly and allow for maximum performance.
When Do Your Skis Need to be Tuned
After several days on the mountain, even the best skis have taken a beating. In certain conditions, like hard snow and ice, the wear and tear is even greater.
First, perform a visual inspection of your skis. If you see circular wax spots on the blade, this means that the bases are no longer flat.
This is a sign that sharpening is required. Scrapes and holes are another sign that tuning is necessary.
The next step is a physical inspection by carefully running your fingers along the blade. If you feel burrs along the edge, it is time to sharpen it.
Another test is to try and sharpen your fingernail with the edge. The edge is dull if you cannot shave your nail with the blade.
After the physical and visual inspection, the next step is to sharpen the edges. This process is called edge sharpening.
The first step in this process is to use a wet diamond stone to remove any burrs or rust. Next, set the edge in position by using a file guide or vice.
You should reference the manual that accompanied your skis to learn the base-edge angle. This is important for when you secure the ski in the file guide.
Now you are ready to start sharpening the edge. Use smooth and even strokes with the file until the edge is sharp and ready to go.
Detuning Contact Points and P-Tex Repairs
Contact points are about 2 inches above and below the location where the ski edge rounds up. At the contact point, you want to round off the sharp edges.
The tool of choice for this step is also a file. You will also use a diamond stone to smooth the edges.
P-Tex is a method to fill in scratches on the edge. This is a process where you light a P-Tex candle and drip the material into the void. After the scratch or void is filled, make sure to use a razor to remove any excess material.
How to Tune Skis - Wrapping It Up
Once you are finished tuning your skis, it is time to complete the process by waxing the edges. These maintenance steps can help to improve the performance of your skis.
Edge sharpening and detuning contact points ensure that you ski fast and make the sharpest turns. If you want to tune skis, be sure to read our best ski tuning sets guide, and explore the rest of the website for more about skis and other great outdoor equipment.