by Frank V. Persall
Skiing is a relatively technical sport and we aren’t just talking about when you are on the slopes. The need for properly functioning equipment is essential, and an expert skier will tell you that tuning your skis is an important part of their maintenance; but what is ski tuning?
Ski tuning is a very important part of skiing, and in the same way that you would regularly tune a car engine or computer, your skis also need to be tuned. This ensures that they are working to their best and always giving you an incredible performance.
Even knowing this, new skiers may feel a little overwhelmed when trying to understand the importance of ski tuning and how to do it. In this guide, we will be looking at exactly what ski tuning is, how often it needs to be done and what is involved.
If you are skiing more than a couple of times a week then you may be surprised to learn that you might need to tune your skis as often as every couple of weeks. They might not always need a full tuning but by taking them to your local ski shop, you will be able to have them inspected and any work completed.
There are some companies that offer a ski tune program that you can use over the course of any given skiing season. This is hugely beneficial to people who regularly ski and there is even the opportunity to buy a family ski tuning program.
That being said, if you begin to notice that the skis lose their grip or just don’t feel quite right, don’t worry about your schedule, go and get them looked at.
At the beginning of the ski tuning, the professional will take a look over your skis to check for any damage. While all of this will be repaired, it is important that any base damage is addressed. Typically damage to the base of the skis is pretty easy to fix and is normally done through a technique known as welding. This involves using super-heated plastic which is forced into any damaged parts to reinforce them. The technique is typically used for scratches and dents that have been caused by skiing on rough ground.
The edges of your skis serve as a way to give them excellent grip and once the sharpness wears down, so does the traction. One of the most important aspects of ski tuning is a process known as edge sharpening. Most professional ski shops will have a special machine to do this, but there are plenty of DIY techniques using files.
When you have your ski edges sharpened at a professional ski shop, they will normally sharpen them back to the manufacturer’s default. However, it is possible to request a bespoke sharpening which you will need to discuss with the technician.
Once the edges have been sharpened, you will notice that you are far more easily able to execute turns steadily and confidently.
New skiers may not be aware of the importance of waxing their skis but this is one of the most essential parts of ski tuning and should always be done. Applying wax to the base of skis will ensure that they remain hydrated. However, it is also important that there is a good balance because excess moisture can cause the ski edges to quickly become rusty; this is the last thing you want as it will drastically affect your performance.
Being a skier comes with a lot of costs and having regular ski tuning is something that you will need to factor in when taking up this sport as a hobby or a profession. However, ski tuning might not be quite as much as you had feared.
Of course, the cost of tuning your skis will vary depending on where you go and the level of experience of the technician. Someone who can give your skis an expert tune up might charge more than someone who has only recently set up shop.
On the main, you can expect to pay around $50 for a complete ski tuning. This will typically include base work but again, the cost of this may vary according to the level of damage and how much work needs to be done. But there is also the option to pay for individual jobs, for example, if you have base damage but no other issues.
In some cases, you may only need to have the ski edges sharpened and waxing, while the cost of this will again vary depending on where you go, this will generally cost in the region of $25.
Ski tuning is an important part of your skis maintenance, if it is not done regularly then you will find that your skis begin to perform badly. In the worst case, they may even become dangerous to use, slipping and sliding as you try to turn.
When you take your skis to be tuned you can expect various work to be carried out including base repairs, edge sharpening, and waxing. Finding a good pair of skis is important, but maintaining them is essential. Why not check out more of our top tips to ensure your skis are always performing to their best?
About Frank V. Persall
Frank is originally from the UK, but he has a passion for skiing that knows no bounds. He has made it his life's mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the World. Frank loves spending time with his wife and three children on ski slopes, as they all share his love for the activity.