Best Local Price for Wax/Tune?
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scootertig
January 29, 2008
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
Out of the local shops (Alpine Ski Shop, Pro-Fit, Willi's, and Ski Center), who's got the best price for a wax for skis?

aaron
songfta
January 29, 2008
Member since 05/10/2004 🔗
44 posts
Can't talk of best price, but the best tunes are from Ski Center. Ask for them to do a proper hand tune - worth its weight in gold.

Otherwise, you need to head north or west to find anything better.

If all you want to do is wax your skis and do a basic edge tune, why not get your own kit and DIY? It's quite rewarding if you take the time to do it right.
crunchy
January 30, 2008
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: songfta


If all you want to do is wax your skis and do a basic edge tune, why not get your own kit and DIY? It's quite rewarding if you take the time to do it right.


yeah unless you have some base damage that needs a stone grind, the rest is not hard to do yourself. If you are already in leesburg tho, I would just go to pro-fit tho. plus if you go during the week, you can probably ask if you can watch while they do it and learn all about it step by step. (they let me do that last year)
kwillg6
January 30, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
Tuning and base prep is a matter of choice or need. If you are just a recreational skier, waxing bases and touching up the edges every 5 or six ski days is adequate. If you are into racing, it's an entirely different matter. Since the life expectancy of my skis are usually somewhere between 75 and 100 ski days before they lose camber, I do a base grind only once before they become rock skis. Once they hit the rock ski stage, I use p-tex and universal and don't worry about the structure.
If all you want is a wax job, buy a block of universal, take the wife's old iron and wax em in the garage before the trip(be careful not to get the iron too hot). A real ski wax iron is nice, but at nearly $100 for a decent one, save the expense. Vices are nice to have as are brushes and base cleaner, but not essential. I rarely scrape excess wax off since one or two runs down the hill will do the job for you, unless you are doing multiple layers, yada, yada, yada.... Waxing in a shop cost $15/20 and up. For about $100 to 150 you can buy everything you need to do your own. It will pay for itself after a couple of years plus, tuning is a good time to drink winter beer....ummm beer!
Noopie
January 30, 2008
Member since 01/11/2008 🔗
17 posts
How many times (roughly speaking, pun intended) can you tune a snowboard edge before you run out of edge? Assuming you try to keep the same camber throughout...
Finsout
January 30, 2008
Member since 01/23/2001 🔗
104 posts
 Originally Posted By: crunchy
 Originally Posted By: songfta


If all you want to do is wax your skis and do a basic edge tune, why not get your own kit and DIY? It's quite rewarding if you take the time to do it right.


yeah unless you have some base damage that needs a stone grind, the rest is not hard to do yourself.


Quoted for truth!!!
Jeremy
January 30, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
68 posts
Dick's sporting goods in fairfax will do it for $10 I think and $15 or $20 for an edge and wax.
skier219
January 30, 2008
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I tend to accumulate $20-50 of new tuning equipment each year, as needed, and after 3-4 years of serious tuning I have everything I need for the forseable future. My routine is generally this:

Start with old 100 grit stone in edge guide to knock off any burrs on side edge. I have an SVST guide and shims to do 0,1,2,3 degree side edge angles. That is followed by a light pass with a panzar file and then a mill-bastard file in same guide. Then 200 and 400 grit stones in guide. This takes care of side edge angle.

Next, I put a 200 grit stone in a 1 degree base edge guide (SVST makes a good one) and do 1-2 light passes to take off any burrs and sharpen up the edge.

Then clean bases to remove old wax and dirt, and use a base planer to knock down any high spots in ptex. Repair damage as needed with ptex candles and/or rod and iron. Note: if there are any high spots in ptex that would affect the edge tune steps above, I would knock them down first.

Crayon wax on skis, then drip lightly down ski and iron in. The initial crayoning step will reduce the overall amount of wax needed and prevent you from burning bases with the iron. I previously used an old 1950-era garage-sale iron, calibrated to 135-140C when I was an engineering student in the late 80s, but recently bought a ski-specific iron on sale for about $30. The ski irons supposedly keep a tighter control on temperature. However, that old iron had a lot more thermal mass and did a better job in my opinion, if you were careful with it.

Generally, I ski the wax off instead of scraping, but sometimes I will scrape and brush the skis after the wax hardens (20 minutes or so). Depends on where I will be skiing and the anticipated conditions. If the snow is going to be soft, I definitely scrape and brush.

If you join EpicSki as a supporter ($20 I believe) you can get a discount code for slidewright.com, which is a good source of tuning supplies and equipment. The owner, Terry, is a heck of a nice guy who is glad to talk with customers about tuning needs and equipment. He can recommend equipment for most any level of interest and budget.

For skiing on the manmade snow in the mid-A, I have found that I need to wax my skis every 2-3 days on the snow. Our snow is *extremely* abrasive (which is also why we can get away with skiing the wax off instead of scraping and brushing). Interestingly, I skied 3 days in Utah last week and the bases of my skis still look perfect, with no dry spots or base burn. I normally see dry spots on my ski bases within a day of skiing out here in the mid-A. Our snow is just real punishing on ski wax.

I never get shop tunes anymore. In my experience, I can do as good or better a job at home, and can do it whenever I want. No way could I afford the hassle or cost of getting shop tunes as frequently as needed. Not to mention, as kwillg6 hints at, frequent shop grinds can seriously reduce the life of a ski. And, I have to concur that tuning at home is fun and a good excuse to drink beer. I am actually planning a tuning / beer / pizza party this weekend for some family. In addition, there are many horror stories on Epic ski about shop tunes gone wrong (probably when THEY are drinking beer). I have always felt I could do a better job, with better quality control, at home. If anybody is going to drink beer and work on my skis, it better be me!
kwillg6
January 31, 2008
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,031 posts
AMEN! I can share numerous horror stories of ski shop tunes gone bad. Fortunately, I started doing my own after watching a ski shop grind a base using a belt sander.... \:o Too many folks think they are getting a professional job when they are really having their equipment destroyed. Same with mounting bindings. I got a new pair of skis out of a ski shop after they drilled several holes in the skis to mount bindings that they didn't have a jig for. If they would have just told me, I could have saved them the several hundred they had to pay me for the damaged equipment. Even re-mounting a ski only once can compromise performance and the ski's life. I've often thought of opening a full service ski shop in the valley to do decent tunes, mounting, etc... There isn't one there now and I think a person could make a decent supplementary income doing that type of work. Maybe in another year or so I will.
langleyskier
February 6, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Completely agree with skier219. It can all be done by yourself for half the price and a much higher quality tune, you just need to know what you are doing. There are a lot of outlets online that are good for helping you decide what side edge angle to tune to, how to tune, what types of wax to use, what types of brushes to use, ect.. I highly suggest anyone do their research before waxing/tuning themselves because the last thing you want to do is dull your edges and melt your ptex. It is something that will take a few times to get used but in the end will produce a better result at a cheaper price than at a shop. And i have to agree that waxing/tuning while drinking a cold brew with friends is much more fun then driving to a ski shop and handing your equipment over to some guy you are not sure you can trust for a nominal fee of $35-$100.
songfta
February 6, 2008
Member since 05/10/2004 🔗
44 posts
Regarding "shop tunes": this is why I tend to ask if they do a proper hand tune, rather than simply slap the ski into a grinding/tuning/waxing machine, which is the norm. These machines are decent at grinding (if piloted by a tech who knows his stuff), but most can't do a great base/edge bevel (only the most expensive ones can do a halfway decent job).

So the hand tune is key.

In ski country, there are shops that do nothing but tunes, often run by former ski techs for national team racers. For example, Edgewise Ski Tunes in Stowe, VT, is run by Graham Lonetto, who was Rossignol's World Cup tech with the US Ski Team for a number of years. World Cup Ski Tuning in Park City, UT, was founded by Brian Burnett, who was Atomic's USST tech for many years. Thes guys obsess over the details.

Granted, you won't find quite that level of precision down here, but a few of the folks at Pro-Fit and Ski Center know how to do a high quality tune by hand - you simply need to ask. It will likely cost a bit more.

And it's true: excessive base grinds will shorten the life of a ski by reducing the thickness of the base and edge material. However, base grinding is necessary on some skis (e.g. most Atomic Beta and Metron skis) to make them flat, as they ship with concave bases and are "grabby" as a result.

With regard to the comment about "If you are just a recreational skier, waxing bases and touching up the edges every 5 or six ski days is adequate," I wholeheartedly disagree. Having properly tuned skis is not only safer, but allows for improvement of skills. There are many factors that can hamper the improvement of a skier's skills, and while ski tune isn't the most important variable, it can make a world of difference.

A bit of background: I was a FIS racer a while back, and trained myself how to do a good hand tune. Such skill comes with practice, but it's not difficult to become good at it, provided you have a good set of vises, a few files, a few whetstones (including a gummi and a diamond), sandpaper, ScotchBrite, good wax, and a good waxing iron. The initial capital outlay can be steep, but it pays for itself once you've tuned your skis a few times.

Plus it allows you a lot of control over edge bevels. I ski with a 0.5 base bevel and a 3 side bevel on all of my skis, and most of the big tuning machines can't pull off such angles with any modicum of consistency. But that kind of edge allows for rocket turn initiation and tenacious edge hold on boilerplate ice - and skis well in the soft stuff, too.

Just my $0.02 - your mileage may vary.
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