If you have paid for a good pair of skis, it makes sense that you would want to look after them to ensure they last as long as possible. This means that you should get your skis serviced, or tuned, regularly. According to the good folk at Canyon Sports, regular ski tunes can prolong the life of your skis and make your experience on the slopes more enjoyable because of it.
Tuning the Skis Yourself
While you can always have your skis professionally tuned, you can do it yourself too. You will need to have a suitable space to do this as well as the right tools and equipment. If you do not already have a table that you can use, you can buy a foldable table on which to put the skis. If you are tuning the skis indoors, you will need to cover the table and the floor to prevent damage from metal shavings and wax droppings.
The skis will need to be held in place with vices that can be attached to the table. This makes it easier to work on them, especially when it comes to sharpening the edges. Sharpening the edges of the skis is particularly important as this is what helps you control your turns.
The first thing to do then is remove any dents or burrs from the edge of the skis with a gummi or diamond stone. You will need to rub the bottom edge as well as the side. The best way to do this is to smooth from tip to tail in long strokes. Do not rub the stone in a back and forth motion.
A pro tip when deburring your skis is to put masking tape along the sidewall before you start filing as this will prevent filings and dust from getting inside the bindings. You should also make sure to file at a 45 degree angle to get the sharpest edges.
Once the ski edges have been sharpened, you can then wax them. You will need to remove old wax first with a wax brush. You should brush the wax off in long strokes similar to those used to sharpen the edges. Again, do not use back and forth motions.
When the skis are ready to be waxed, you can use a P-Tex candle to apply a new coat. The candle is lit with a lighter to melt the wax. You will then need to let the hot wax drip over the skis. Then use a wax iron to push the melted wax over the base of the skis. It will fill in any and all gouges and/or scratches in the base of the ski. Once it has hardened, the excess can be scraped off until it is smooth and ready for use on the slopes again.
How Often Should Your Skis be Tuned?
Tuning your own skis can be enjoyable and satisfying, but some people just do not have the space or the time (or even the inclination) to do it. At the very minimum, your skis will need to be tuned at the end or the beginning of a season. However, if you ski often, you will need to have them tuned more regularly. If you do not have the time to do this, you can get it done professionally.
Regular ski tunes will not only help to improve your skiing experience, but it will also prolong the life of your skis. Ski tuning involves cleaning, sharpening of the ski edges, and rewaxing; it can be done at home or by a professional.