The Importance of Well-Tuned Edges

When people think of maintaining their skis, they usually think of waxing the bases for a smooth glide. We all know a smooth glide is necessary, but there’s something that’s just as important. Sharp edges are as critical as a smooth glide.

Pull your skis down off the wall and feel (carefully) the steel edges. Do they have rough edges? When skiing, does it feel like your skis slip out of your turns prematurely? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you might consider taking your skis into your local shop to have your edges tuned. Sharp edges allow you to carve your turns without slippage.

There are too many specifics on edge filing to tell you about here, so be sure to have someone else walk you through how to do it right (watching experts on YouTube showing you how it’s done can also help). Be sure to follow instructions on how to use all of the tools exactly like they were designed to be used (many companies also have instructional videos online). Look for ski and snowboard tuning tools for waxing and sharpening edges at Mountain Gear, REI or your local ski shop. Properly sharpened edges will make your ski day a lot more enjoyable. //

Tools of the Trade

If you want to give DIY edge tuning a try, here are the tools you will need.

  • One-degree base file holder. This devise holds your file at a one-degree slope that allows the base to be beveled for easier turns.
  • Bastard file (about 10″ long) that will fit into the base file holder.
  • Variable side-edge tuner. This variable file holder is used to sharpen the vertical edge.
  • One short bristle brush for cleaning out the file grooves between filings.
  • 4-inch diamond file to smooth the filed edges to perfection.

Written by Chic Burge.

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