Tuning Up Your Skis

"Ninety percent of people do nothing to take care of their skis from the day they buy them to the day they throw them in the trash," says Peter Boyer, of Boulder, Colorado's Alpine Base & Edge. Don't follow suit. We asked Boyer for a few tips to keep your skis and boards running fast and true.

    Photo: Illustration by Jameson Simpson

BUY SOME P-TEX Those little scrapes slow you down. Light a P-Tex candle (1), drip the melting material into the scratches (2), let it cool, and carefully plane off the excess with a sharp scraper (3).

DEBURR Run your fingers down the edges to find rough spots (4). Work burrs off with the course side of a shop stone (5). A burred edge will make you lose control on hardpack and will feel hooky in powder.

SHARPEN Invest in a tool sharpener, like the Wintersteiger Easy Sharp Extra File Guide ($39; tuneyourskisandboards.com). It comes with a file and stone, and you can adjust the edge-bevel angle to your preference. Most skiers like a one-to-two-degree bevel on the side edge, and one degree on the base.

WAX Rub-on paste waxes last only a few runs and don't protect your base. Every three to five ski days, melt a bead of universal wax onto your base with a warm iron (6) and use the iron to work the wax in (7).Let it cool, remove the excess with a plastic scraper (8), and finish it with a nylon brush (9).

GRIND Find the right ski shop by asking local racers where they go. Tell the shop tech where and how you ski. Even if you ski a lot, two machine grinds a year should be enough.

Supplies: P-Tex drip candles, steel scraper, deburring stone, gummi stone, pocket sharpening tool, waxing iron, universal hot wax, plastic scraper, nylon wax brush Find Them: svst.com,swixsport.com,holmenko.com

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