Even the best ski equipment requires consistent maintenance to ensure proper performance. Whether you’re a recreational skier or a skilled snowboarding expert, it’s important to make sure your skis or snowboard are in optimal condition. Read on to learn when and how to tune-up your equipment to ensure a safe and satisfying experience on the slopes.
When to Service Your Gear
How often you need to tune your skis or snowboards depends on the snow conditions and how you ski or ride. If you are an expert who regularly tackles tough terrain or the park and pipe, you will need to care for your ski gear more frequently compared to others who are sticking to resort slopes. Likewise, if you ski or ride icy or hard-pack conditions, you will need more frequent tune-ups compared to those who regularly glide on pristine, powdery snow. In general, it’s good to tune your skis after about every 20 days of riding. Again, however, this varies for every user. If you are the type of skier or snowboarder who tends to beat your skis up a lot more than the average rider, you might need a tune-up more often.
Most experts recommend semi-frequent tune-ups, frequent waxing and regular gear checks. That said, if you only have your equipment professionally serviced once every year, schedule your tune-up right before you place your equipment in storage. End-of-season tune-ups will help prevent your equipment from rusting during the summer, and the wax will have lots of time to seep into the base. Another benefit of an end-of-season tune-up is that your gear will be ready to go at the beginning of next season.
How do I know When My Gear Needs Wax or Tuning?
To determine if your skis or snowboard might be in need of some service, consider the following:
Assess your base. Carefully look over the underside of your skis or snowboard. Do you see any gashes of scratches? Is the base bright and shiny or drying out? Do you notice more and more snow sticking to the bottom? These are all good signs that you could use a wax. There are different kinds of wax available; however, most recreational skiers should use either a warm temperature or universal wax. It’s important to remember that you can wax as often as you’d like; some racers and expert skiers wax their skis and snowboards every day.
Look at your edges. Carefully assess your edges to make sure they are fairly sharp. Lightly slide your fingers down the edge to see if the metal is getting dull and worn down. Bear in mind that edges should be regularly checked to keep turns efficient and easy.
Should I Do a Tune-up Myself?
Although you can wax and tune-up your gear yourself, many people choose to let a professional do the job. If you go the professional route, you will generally be given a couple of options. A basic tune-up will include a sand-grind to flatten and clean the base. They will also sharpen the edges, de-tune the tale and tip, and apply a hot wax treatment. You may also have the option of paying extra for a stone-grind to help add structure to the base.
With that said, many skiers and snowboarders prefer to avoid the cost of maintaining their equipment by renting their gear from American Ski Exchange, which offers the best-priced, highest-performing ski and snowboard equipment in all of Vail Village.
Other Important Maintenance
Over time, you may notice the profile of your board or skis start to change, causing different sections of the equipment to make contact with the snow on turns. You may also notice that you could use a good stone grind or that your bindings need some adjusting.
With that said, regular edge sharpening and a good wax should suffice for the typical recreational skier or snowboarder, as long as you also add a big end-of-season tune-up to the mix. You should also be sure to store your equipment in a dry, dark place that has a consistent temperature to minimize the risk of rust.
For more than 30 years, American Ski Exchange has been Vail’s most popular resource for individuals and families in need of top-quality ski rentals. In addition to the latest ski and snowboarding gear, our family-owned-and-operated ski shop offers discounts and delivery services to help you get the most from your ski trip in Vail. Visit American Ski Exchange for all your ski equipment needs.