Ski MaintenenceYou’ve just spent your hard-earned money on a pair of brand new skis and you’re excited to take them to the mountain this winter.  You perform at your best when you utilize everything your new skis have to offer.

If you want that same amazing feel of the skis and be able to maintain the ability to carve into the hardpack and float in the powder year-after-year, you’re going to want to do some ski maintenance.

What’s involved in maintaining your skis?

  • Tuning
    • Tuning your skis is like maintaining your car.  If you want the best performance, you should do it regularly.
    • Tuning your skis will provide you with skis that will consistently glide and grip well.
    • What’s done when tuning?  They grind the base, polish the edges and will strategically place and pattern little nicks in the base structure so the skis remove water more efficiently and break surface tension better.
    • Tuning should be done by a professional – ski shops often employ experts who can tune your skis.  Most ski resorts and slopes have them on site as well.
    • Make sure to talk with the ski tuner about your skill level, abilities and where you plan on skiing – this way they know how to tune your skis so they are perfect for you.
    • You should tune your skis roughly every 20 ski days
  • Waxing
    • There are plenty ways to wax your skis on your own at home.  Ski shops, ski resorts and local ski slopes can usually do it for you too much quicker than you can at home.
    • When choosing your wax, be cognizant of where the wax performs best.  Some might be ideal for Midwest skiing versus mountain skiing or backcountry versus groomers. Wax is generally chosen by snow temperature.
    • Waxing generally lasts only 7-10 ski days on the hill.
    • Waxing will help prolong the time between tune-ups so you can increase your time for tuning from 20 ski days to 30 ski days.
  • Edge Maintenance
    • Edge maintenance is required for several reasons:
      • Racers need different edge angles
      • Contact with a rock or tree root has damaged the edge (minor damage)
      • Dull the tips and tails of the ski for personal skiing preference such as park skiing, pipe skiing or racing.
    • File guides and Gummy Stones are ideal for edge maintenance.
    • Swix Diamond Guides are an excellent tool for basic maintenance or shaping to get big damage out.

 

Benefits of Maintaining your Skis

The benefit to ski maintenance will ensure that your ski is performing at its best and if your ski is performing at its best, you will too. Tuning and maintaining your skis will provide you with a better feel and a better edge so you have a smoother ride with the ability to really carve up the hardpack snow.

But what happens if you don’t maintain your skis?

Sure you can still ski but you’re losing important aspects like predictability and control which increases the likelihood of falling and injuring yourself.

The time it takes to engage your ski and your ski’s reaction time is lessened.  How noticeable?  We’re not talking 10 seconds here or anything but if you need to quickly avoid something or someone, a half-second can make a difference.

The bottom line is that ski maintenance is essential to get the maximum performance, safety and longevity from your skis. Whether you are a season expert or new to skiing, everyone can benefit from ski waxing, tuning and maintenance.

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