Tuning Your Skis Before the Season
If you’re like most of us, you probably waited until the last minute to get your equipment tuned and ready for the season. While skiing best practice advises tuning skis at the end of the season, that can be difficult to pull off in Connecticut; we rarely know when the season is going to end, so pushing it off until June or July is not unheard of. Once summer is in full-swing, caring for ski equipment becomes nonessential. Now, winter is just around the corner, and your skis haven’t been into the shop. It’s now or never folks, and luckily, there are a few great places to get your skis tuned in New Haven.
But what actually happens when you get your skis tuned? You might not have the time (or patience) to learn to do it yourself, but most of us are curious as to what goes on behind closed doors. As it happens, the practice of tuning skis isn’t all that difficult—it’s just time-consuming and labor-intensive. We’re going to walk through the process to help you better understand exactly what happens when you drop off your equipment.
How to Tune Your Skis
Ski tuning generally starts with an edge sharpening. The professional will often use a wetted diamond stone to remove rust and burs, then run a file guide from tip to tale at an angle, thus sharpening the edge. This ensure sharp, responsive turns. Edges are dulled while skiing; for peak performance, get your edges sharpened halfway through your season. Next, the person will detune your contact points. This dulls the edge at contact points (generally a few inches short of the tip and tail) to ensure ease of turning. Without this step, the edges are likely to hang on for too long, which could cause loss of balance.
Next, the professional will wax your skis. They’ll start by brushing the bases to clean the material, then use a brass or stainless steel brush to remove old and excess wax and dirt. They’ll then spread hot wax across the ski bottoms, working from tip to tail, then remove the excess with a plastic scraper. The best ski tunings will repeat the process several times.
That’s pretty much it. Tuning, in essence, is professional sharpening and waxing. Without these practices, however, your skis will become dull, unresponsive, and difficult to maneuver.