The maintenance of your skis and boards is the difference between an epic, long-awaited dream, or a long painful story from grandma. If riding slow and steady is your thing then this blog is not for you. For the speed racers, powder kings, and curving masters, harmonizing and tuning your skis/board is of the utmost importance. Maintaining your gear regularly will help sustain your skis/board which can grant more longevity, reliability, and safety to the equipment when in use. Everyone loves that feeling of luxury and reverence of buying the gear of the year and tuning those skis and boards is a great way to maintain their optimum condition. Now, whatever ski/board you like to ride is completely up to you, I don’t know what you like, but what remains constant are the fixed parts of the ski/board that can be adjusted; the binding, edges, and the base – all can be changed for a better more enjoyable riding experience.
Firstly, the binding – if your a snowboarder this section will probably mean nothing to you, but for skiers getting your binding adjusted will help to increase the chances of ejection preventing a potential injury. How to adjust your binding is completely dependent on your skiing level and ability and your overall mass. The higher DIN value is, the more amount of force is required to release your boot from the ski. The lower the value the less amount of force required to eject your boot. As the ski world expands and searches for better and more effective gear, the rules of safety update accordingly. So getting your older bindings checked at least seasonally, has the potential to save your life.
Secondly, the edges – the difference between the sharply tuned, smooth sword like cutting straight outta of a fantasy, or a crazy carpet is in the edges. Whether you’re a pro ski racer or a beginner level rider, the edges are a constant. Depending on the ski/board the edge of the ski can be altered by varying degrees How much of a degree is up to you. If you want a good bite in each turn you will want a bevelled edge in order to give more grip on the snow. Higher angles should be reserved for experienced racers; if the angle is higher than the skis base or “railed”, the railed edges encourages the equipment to run straight and impairs the turning ability of the equipment. A rusty edge promotes an inconsistent turning for each ski, and if left untreated potting occur and degrade the edge. Typical base angle for a ski/board is in and around 0.5-1.0 to degrees and a side angle between 85-90 degrees.
Lastly, the base – the literal core of the ski/board. It makes up the majority of the ski/board and it is also the place where most damage will occur. The most common base material is polyethylene or P-tex for short, and when your riding on that perfect day, filled with freshly groomed runs or fresh and fluffy pillows, only for a pointy rock to streak deep down the centre of the base. You might cry and whine about ruining your designer base, but don’t sweat it. There are people that can help. We can replace the P-Tex core with more P-Tex. Getting your ski/board repaired will help to restore the original performance of the equipment, and not getting a repair could lead to adverse effects and deteriorated performance. The worse case scenario, where the base is cut so deep into the core of the ski/board that a patch will be needed, the equipment may become inadequate and unsafe to ride.
If you want peak performance from your ski/board, you need the bee’s knees – wax. Waxing your equipment will allow for the base of these or board to repel the water molecules of the snow, allowing for faster riding. There are many different kinds of wax, the most used and familiar is block wax or wax that needs to be melted and applied with an iron, depending upon the temperature and the intended use of the wax ( ie race, casual, powder, or other). Follow the label of the product for better insight – It’s your preference.
In the end, you set up your skis (or board) how you want it, but taking great care and responsibility for your equipment should be the number one priority. Because it’s yours! Proper maintenance of your equipment will help to retain the original performance, intended safety, and will a promote a longer lifespan of the equipment.