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