If you are an experienced skier, you probably already know why it is important to have your skis tuned regularly. Nevertheless, if you are new to the sport, you might not have realized that ski tunes are something that you need. According to the good folk at Canyon Sports, ski tuning is an especially important part of skiing and should not be neglected. Regular ski tuning will ensure that your skis are performing as they should and is akin to having your bike or car serviced. Not getting your skis tuned will likely mean that they are not performing to their optimal level. This will then inevitably affect your enjoyment.
What Does Ski Tuning Involve?
You might be wondering what happens during a ski tuning service and therefore if it is something that you can do at home. While you could in theory tune the skis yourself, you will need to develop the skill to do so. Moreover, you will also require specific tools to do the job. It is not easy to sharpen and wax the skis yourself; it can be time consuming and messy and not something that most people want to do. It is hence best to get your skis professionally tuned. A professional ski shop that provides tuning services will likely have machines to get the job done quicker. These machines will be run by experienced individuals with the requisite knowledge to return your skis to their best.
The first thing that will be done is that your skis will be examined to see if there is any damage. The tuner will be looking for large scrapes or gouges to the base of the skis that have been caused by uneven surfaces. Damage to the base of the ski is typically repaired using a PTEX gun. This involves pressing hot PTEX plastic into the base of the ski. It is called welding.
The edges of the skis are then sharpened to improve performance on the slopes. Skis need to be sharpened so that they can grip the snow better and provide increased stability on turns. During a ski tuning service, skis are usually sharpened to the same level as they were when they were new.
At this point, the ski base will go through the grinding process, which is designed to flatten the surface (which will make the skis faster). Base grinding creates a pattern in the base of the ski to allow water and crystals of snow to flow through the ski base. The type of pattern will depend on the expected snow conditions, the type of ski, and its dimensions. The purpose of the base grind is to make it glide better on the snow.
The final part of the ski tuning service is the wax. Waxing is also designed to improve gliding. When your skis are waxed, water will be repelled and snow will not stick to the base. The professional tuner will know which wax to use depending on current snow conditions, humidity levels, and temperature.
How Often Should Your Skis be Tuned?
If you are a regular skier, then you will need to have your skis tuned frequently. The more you ski without a tuning service, the less grip your skis will have on the snow. Regular skiing (several times per week during the winter) will mean that your skis will likely need to be tuned at least once a month.
If you only ski a few times each season, you will probably find that a full tuning service before the start of each season will suffice.