when to tune your ski or snowboard


People are always asking me when should I wax or edge my equipment or how do I know when to have things done.

I have listed a few guidelines on how to determine when you need to have your gear tuned.

After each day on the snow, I recommend ...

1) Check both your base and side edges for nicks and burrs ... especially the inside front edges. deburr these using a deburring stone in conjunction with your bevel device or guide, followed by a polishing stone.

2) Check your base for gouges. If the scratch is shallow, you can either fill them now, or wait until your weekly tune­up. If they are deep, or you see fiberglass or core material exposed, fill them immediately. Remove excess repair material afterwards.

3) Check your base for dry or oxidized areas. This indicates that the base needs waxing. A hot wax is best, but rub-on liquid or paste wax will do in a pinch.

4) After hot waxing, let the base cool for 20-30 minutes. Then scrape off excess wax with a plastic scraper and brush. You want to remove as much wax as you can out of the base structure with a nylon, bronze or combo brush.

  • Fasten skis together using strap or base protector that keeps bases from rubbing against each other.
  • Wipe off ski or snowboard top with clean dry rag.

Once a week, or after 3-5 days on the snow, I recommend ...

  • All the above daily steps, plus ...
  • Lightly file side edges using a steel mill file in conjunction with a side bevel device or guide. This re sharpens the edge for better edge hold ... especially on hard pack snow.

3) Hot scrape bases to clean them. This is the same as a hot wax, but you use a soft (warm temperature range) wax, and scrape it immediately after ironing don't let the base cool first. This pulls dirt out of the base better than any other method. Follow this with a regular hot wax.

  • Check base for gouges fill any and all gouges if possible.
  • Pull liners out of your ski or snowboard boots to let everything dry out before putting them back together.

6) Spray a little boot binding lubricant on boots, bindings and ski or snowboard tops (but not bases) ... this will help prevent snow build-up.

Once a month, or after 15-18 days on the snow, I recommend ...

  • All the above daily and weekly steps, plus ...
  • Check your base with a true bar for flatness, and correct if necessary.
  • Check base structure for wear, and refresh or restructure if necessary.
  • Check binding mounting screws (but not release adjustments!) to make sure they're all snug.
  • Check poles for worn baskets, straps, etc., and repair as necessary. Do not forget to take care of your goggles as well.

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