This is my first season with my own skis(new), I've always just rented, so I dont know what kind of mainteance they will require or how often between usage. Wax, sharpening, etc. Anything major, I'll take them to a shop, but the easy stuff I'd like to learn to do myself. I'll ski maybe 8-10 times this year, in Pa.. Any advice ?
Try the FK tuning tips at the below link-- http://shop.store.yahoo.com/snowshack/fk-tuning-tips.html.
They've got some excellent basic tips. Most of my tuning tools are FK aside from a few of my polishing and deburring stones and my waxes. This site will get you well on your way to upkeep of your own gear. I deburr and polish edges at the close of every full day of skiing, touch up the wax, base repair and edge file every third day unless running on icy crap (then inspect each day for excessive wear and correct as needed). At the end of season, I have em' professionally tuned at the Ski Center before storing. That usually entails base repair, base regrind, edging tuning, wax stripping and new hot wax application as well as lube and tightening of the bindings. I'm not a pro by any means but the simple tuning I do makes a world of difference on the slopes in performance. Good luck -- hope it helps.
Tognar Reliable Racing
If you are only skiing 8-10 days per season at the generally well-covered Mid-Atlantic slopes, IMHO, you don't need much ski tuning beyond the initial pre-season tune. As needed, debur your edges with a pocket deburring/sharpening tool and you may need 1-2 hot waxes during the season, especially for different weather extremes. (Very cold and dry mid-winter versus 50 degree temps on slush in the spring.) The areas you ski at may have very reasonably priced overnight or while-you-wait hot waxes, so you may not even need to DIY. Keep the edges deburred, though.
If you transport your skis to/from the area in the back of your car, dry your skis (especially the edges) off with an old towel before leaving for home. If you transport your skis via a ski rack, hose down your skis at home (or throw them in the shower), and then dry them off.
I agree with you on the waxing schedule but 8-10 days of skiing without any base repair or edge filing? You could probably get away with it if you were on nothing but deep powder but a solid couple days of crud skiing with some hard pack ice and my edges are usually shot beyond a deburring stone's capabiltites. And early/late season turns usually end up throwing a rock gouge or three into the base for me requiring a little interim P-Tex action. Can't say I'm with you on your timeline John but each person to his own accord.
Rather than putting hard and fast timelines on tunes, the best approach is always inspect your skis after each use and tune as needed. The easiest way to determine if a tune-up is needed is to examine the base and edges of your skis.
Look for small gouges in the bases, burrs or nicks on the edges from hitting rocks or dirt and edges that feel dull to the touch (good edges should be able to shave a pencil with very little effort).
Jersey--don't listen to two guys on a message board for your tuning. Different people have different standards of care and performance. You'll work it out--research on the net for the general concensus on frequency and types of tuning required. I think you'll find a general timeline there and once you get rolling, you will notice the difference in the way your equipment performs when you run too long between edge/base filing and base repair. Good luck and above all else -- have fun with the new equipment!!
After every day you should, inspect your skis for major edge or base damage any major damage should be repaired immediately. Also don't forget to dry your skis, and deburr edges after every day skiing. For waxing I do one or the other: wax every day with rub on and hot wax on the 5th day Or Hot wax every other Day. For other tuning maintainence I lightly tune side edges every 5 days, lightly sharpen base edges every ~15 days and check base level with a straight edge. I will usually re-structure / re-grind every ~30 days or when needed.
Since this is your first pair of skis, one thing to be aware of is the difference between minor base damage which may slightly affect your skiing but won't hurt your skis and major base damage where you risk damaging your skis if you continue to ski on them. In a nutshell, if you have a deep gouge which goes down to the core material of your ski, you should not ski on that ski at all until it is repaired. (The core material is generally a different color than your base.) If you ski on the ski, you risk getting moisture in the core, which is real bad mojo. Also, any deeper gouges (but not necessarily core shots) at or very close to your ski edges should be repaired immediately. It is very important for the health of your skis that the structural integrity of your edges is solid. Remember the edges are the surface which you utilize for turning. Hint: if you do detect base damage near/at your edges during a ski day, switch skis so that the damaged edge is on the little toe side of your ski. It will be subjected to less stress since the big toe side of your ski is the primary turning surface.
Definitely check the bottoms of your skis at the end of each day to assess any damage. You'll probably do this anyway since you are most likely a bit paranoid about new skis and will wonder how much damage you did when you hit that rock. You'll generally find that the damage is a lot than you'd expect.
The more frequent waxing/edge sharpening schedules that others are listing are perfectly fine, but realistically, you probably won't follow them. I don't. Never seem to have enough time. We are supposed to floss daily, but how many of us actually do?
I usually find that me base is getting white after 1-2 days at the local resort areas. Local area have primarily manmade snow and this is usually much harder and it rubs soft alseason wax off quickly. Usually after 1 day of skiing I will notice white strips of base burn along the edges right under my boots. Whitetail is especcialy bad because I think they have more Ice than other places. When it gets white I always try to rub something on it. I usually put the harder wax directly under my boot no matter what snow temps for this reason.
LOL here is my system; I count the number of base gouges from rocks and if than number exceeds 12 in total or 8 on one ski then I either base-plane 'em or take 'em to a shop and run them through the good old Wintersteiger. What can I say it does not make sense to do anything until I collect a bunch of dings because I'll just put another one in the next day anyway!
I would wax often though in the mid-atlantic like basically every time or every other time ... agressive man-made snow crystals are really quite abrasive.
Toko's manuals, available for download for Reliable Racing:
Of all those, the nordic one is the most valuable for wax selection.
tromano, have you considered giving up on all-temp altogether until March at least?
EDIT: For MSA I'd use half green/half blue with LOTS of carbon or Toko Moly.
Thanks for all the replies. This gives me a good idea of what to look for when inspecting them. I'll check out some of the links. I assume the reason for rinsing them off is to remove the road salt ?
I assume the reason for rinsing them off is to remove the road salt ?
Yep. And whatever chemicals they may spray on the road. Plus any dirt and grime.