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How Often Should Skis Be Tuned

Posted August 23, 2013 @ 2:23pm | by George Michaelsen

Ski Tuning 101

After the ski technician brings you your freshly mounted skis from the backshop that you just purchased, quite often the first question, especially for first time ski owners is: 'What's maintenence like on my new skis?' 'How often do I need to wax my new skis?' 'How often do I need to tune these things'...

The answer you got was probably pretty brief especially if you were asking on a busy Wintery weekend day, you might not have gotten all the info you were looking for, but hey that's why you Googled 'How often should I tune my skis or snowboard' Right?  Ok so here's the deal.


There is no such thing as waxing your skis too much.  Wax makes your skis hydrophobic, afraid of water basically... The more hydrophobic your skis are the faster they will be, it also makes them a lot easier to turn. If skis lack wax they can have a harder time getting up on edge, mostly in warmer snow conditions (picture two pieces of glass with water in between them, they get suctioned together, wax helps prevent that).

Waxing properly is important.  If you're just getting into waxing your skis or boards, you may have noticed temperature ranges on the wax. Colder waxes have a higher melting temperature and is more resistant to coarser snow, when snow is colder it's more coarse.  The important thing to note if you're not using a universal wax is, when in doubt wax warmer.  If you wax for a cold day and it ends up being warm your skis will feel slow.  Again, when in doubt wax warm, or just use a universal ski wax which is???? You guessed it a very warm temperature wax!

Note: Sintered Bases can absorb more wax than extruded bases. Extruded bases require less wax maintenence/care to perform well.  If you're looking for a ski that is going to be 'faster' you want a Sintered base.  


For the sake of this post lets pretend all skis come perfect from the factory and all tuned up ready to go. Sound good? Ok cool!

When you're out there even though you're having an awesome time your skis are taking a beating and getting worn down.  Harder snow, icey conditions will wear down the bases of your skis faster, basically they aren't going to be perfectly flat anymore.  Harder snow is also tough on your edges they're going to get dull if your carving and skidding on harder snow.  

The point I was trying to get across above is different snow conditions de-tune skis at different rates.  If you notice your skis aren't gripping as well, initiating a turn as easily, sliding on the snow as fast, you've waited too long for a tune.  When you go out skiing or riding you want your gear to feel good, that way you get the most out of your gear and lift ticket!   

Examine the bases of your skis when you get home. If your black ski bases are looking white in spots they are thristy for wax. If you notice parts of the ski that still have wax on them, usually circular spots, the bases aren't flat anymore. If the bases feel fuzzy, its time for a stone grind. If you run you finger (BE CAREFUL) along the edges and you feel burrs all over the place time to get them sharpened. If you take your finger nail to the edge and try to shave the top of your nail off and nothing happens they're dull, time for sharpening. 

Everyone here waxes their skis before each and every ski day and we tune our skis after 3-4 days of skiing on a pair of all-mountain/everyday skis. Powder skis because the snow is soft can go a little longer without tuning (Depends on how many rocks/trees/stumps we hit too).  When I used to race USSA my skis were freshly tuned for every time trial and every race, but I demanded top notch performance out of my skis at the time.  

Bottom Line:

How often you tune your skis is up to you, no matter who you are out on the hill you shouldn't go longer than 6-8 days without a tune.  And remember there is no such thing as too much waxing.  Remember when in doubt wax warm!


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