tuning?

This is the World Famous TelemarkTalk / TelemarkTips Forum, by far the most dynamic telemark and backcountry skiing discussion board on the world wide web. We have fun here, come on in and be a part of it.
User avatar
t-$

Rank: XCD Pinhead
XCD Pinhead
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:29 am

tuning?

Postby t-$ » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:28 am

hey folks,

another newby question from me about tuning. i have been reading a lot over the last weeks about having skis tuned, or skiing on un-tuned skis. what is this all about? i'm assuming this applies mostly to alpine/at/telemark skis and not so much for plastic xc skis.

but what do you mean when you say tuned or detuned skis? and how do you tune them, and why?

thanks a bunch!

teleclub

Rank: XCD Pinhead
XCD Pinhead
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:49 pm
Location: Wasatch

Re: tuning?

Postby teleclub » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:32 pm

You're right it's mostly about alpine and mostly about edge sharpness. And mostly for typical resort hard snow conditions. In such conditions a lot of skier complaints (and falling down) might be the result of 1) skiing around on dull edges, or 2) problems from not "de-tuning" (i.e. dulling) the steel edges at the contact ends of the skis where they can be grabby and cause spills.

Traditionally it means all base prep, including flatness of the base. Modern sintered bases are so hard and durable that the issue no is mostly filling in deeper scratches or core shots. Back then, convex and concave bases was a common problem too.

My understanding is that "ski tuning" is everything you do to the ski base before wax goes on, but maybe the term now includes glide wax too(?).

SkiMechs probably think of it as including DIN binding check/adjustment too, since that's a big part of the ski shop ski rental liability world and business model.

Mostly nowadays alpine SkiMech involves running skis flat through the big machine and if you ask a SkiMech to do a real edge sharpening and bevel you get a blank look.

I've heard Nordic SkiMechs talk about "tuning" skis too, but more often I've heard Nordic ski tech base prep all lumped in under the term "waxing" even when it involves milling grooves, etc.

phoenix

Rank: XCD Pinhead
XCD Pinhead
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:44 pm

Re: tuning?

Postby phoenix » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:48 pm

"another newby question from me about tuning. i have been reading a lot over the last weeks about having skis tuned, or skiing on un-tuned skis. what is this all about? i'm assuming this applies mostly to alpine/at/telemark skis and not so much for plastic xc skis."

Correct. It also applies to wooden xc skis skis, and as is common, hybrid wood/plastic/composite xc and xcd skis.

"but what do you mean when you say tuned or detuned skis? and how do you tune them, and why?"

The heart of the question. A tuned ski, to me, means a flat base, fresh base structure, sharpened egdges (and knowing here what angle they are sharpened to), and a proper hot wax for the conditions (that proper hot wax to me means a cleaning round or two of a warm wax to clean and condition the bases, and a hot ironed layer, scraped, and brushed, of glide wax.. waxes hand ironed in). And yes, this is from a skier who has also been a long time ski tech.

I was a little pariticular about this for my lift served skis, but I simplifyfy it majorly for XCD; in which case I rarely check flatness, touch up the edges by hand, primarily for removing burrs, and when I'm patient enough, wax the bases.

"Why ?"

For inbounds skiing, if you're letting 'em run, and enjoying the feel of a solid arc, the clean edge and proper wax are noticeable. The wax, maybe, more than the precise edge. That edge DOES matter when it's boilerplate, or ice (providing one has the skills to really ride that edge.) The flat base means you're smoothly engaging the edges when transitioning a turn off the base.

And back to BC or XCD... I don't fuss much. I'll smooth the burrs off the edges, give a few perfuntory swipes to freshen them up, and if I'm ambitious I'll renew the base wax. Just don't matter as much for BC snow, although wax du jour is always of importance. I'll admit that I don't always keep wax tip and tail on my waxless skis, as again, it's advisable, but not a necessity every outing. For proper health of the bases, it's good to wax and brush 'em out every now and then at least, if nothing else so the P-tex doesn't get dried out (seen as a whitish patch).

Hope this helps some.

User avatar
t-$

Rank: XCD Pinhead
XCD Pinhead
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:29 am

Re: tuning?

Postby t-$ » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:04 pm

thanks guys, yes that does help. i figured it had something to do with the edges mainly, but finding good info on xc skis was tough so i figured it really didn't apply to all skis. i am mainly asking because i plan on hitting a local lift-served in the next couple weeks with some friends. gonna ski a brand new pair of skis (although i plan on doing a few laps in them before then) and never had a new pair of downhills which is kind of what i consider them for me. my skills aren't enough to know the difference, but i just want them to be the best they can be on that day.

how do you prep a brand new ski for the slopes? never thought about it before! i suppose i won't do anything to them?? do something before i give them the initial wax, like deburr the edges as you say? i dunno...it's fun though! bunny hills, here i come!!

phoenix

Rank: XCD Pinhead
XCD Pinhead
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:44 pm

Re: tuning?

Postby phoenix » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:22 am

For a new lift served ski: Assuming the bases are flat, and the edges clean and sharp (this is usually the case, but some skis, even new, may have a cupped base... this could be checked handling them in the store), I'll check whether the edges are de-tuned (softened a little fro about 4-5 inches from the forwardmost contact point back, and 2 or 3 inches from the rear contact point forward). Maybe run a gummi stone down the edge if they're excessively sharp (the gummi is a soft "stone", kind of smooths things, but not a sharpener).
Wax: Iron in a warm/soft wax, let it cool, scrape and brush. Repeat. Iron in a coat ox your glide wax du jour, let cool, iron and brush. Repeat.

Harris

Rank: XCD Pinhead
XCD Pinhead
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:08 pm

Re: tuning?

Postby Harris » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:55 am

teleclub wrote:You're right it's mostly about alpine and mostly about edge sharpness. And mostly for typical resort hard snow conditions. In such conditions a lot of skier complaints (and falling down) might be the result of 1) skiing around on dull edges, or 2) problems from not "de-tuning" (i.e. dulling) the steel edges at the contact ends of the skis where they can be grabby and cause spills. .


Incorrect. Tuning is basically anything you do to upkeep your skis' performance, and it is actually warmer/wetter snow that especially requires proper tuning; i.e. good, proper waxing in order to keep the skis from getting water suction effect, which is akin to having the brakes slammed down. Only "Tuning edges" is in reference to edges explicitly; i.e. deburring, sharpening filing in angles etc.

Detuning however IS in reference to the edges at the tips and tails on skis used on firm snow, and it means slightly dulling them so the don't catch. For example: on skis with a lot of rocker (rocker tips are for pow turns) the effective edging edge is between the rocker and some of us detune the edges beyond the effective edges to keep the skis from chattering (catch and release in rapid fire at the finish of turns).

As for base structure and the importance of wax on any ski that isn't a "No Wax," ski, wax keeps your base's structure from drying out, which once they do (you see white oxidation) they will no longer accept/soak in ski wax, and have to be stone ground to remove that outer layer of over-cured base in order to get down to base that can still soak in wax. In fact everyone should iron on a sloppy coat of wax for skis going into summer storage. ALWAYS no mater whether you ski resort or BC.

Stone grinding is where base structuring is accomplished and a ski shop usually has different structures to chose from. A fine structure is good for cold snow and pronounced structure is good for wet snow where water suction is an issue (rough structuring breaks the seal so to speak). Most new skis come with a rougher structure, which works fine in all conditions, m whereas a smoother structure is ONLY good for cold snow.

And then there is the matter of CH, LF and HF waxes. And Powders, spray and rub in.

Most tuners will tell you not to worry about gouges unless the go into the core at which point a shop will base weld new in. Drip-in P-Tex is horrible for wax absorption and gouges aren't noticed skiing.

Etc, etc, etc...

User avatar
t-$

Rank: XCD Pinhead
XCD Pinhead
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:29 am

Re: tuning?

Postby t-$ » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:31 am

thanks harris. sounds like tuning is referring to several things in general. makes sense. what do you recommend for dulling the edges at tips and tails? a home tool that might work? i ain't so interested in going to the ski shop to buy a deburring stone or whatever the hell they use. i've seen the utub vids of what looks like a whetstone. wetting it and lightly running down the edges.

recommended? something else? thanks again!

Harris

Rank: XCD Pinhead
XCD Pinhead
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:08 pm

Re: tuning?

Postby Harris » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:34 pm

t-$ wrote:thanks harris. sounds like tuning is referring to several things in general. makes sense. what do you recommend for dulling the edges at tips and tails? a home tool that might work? i ain't so interested in going to the ski shop to buy a deburring stone or whatever the hell they use. i've seen the utub vids of what looks like a whetstone. wetting it and lightly running down the edges.

recommended? something else? thanks again!


You can use a flat file, sandpaper, a rock or even a concrete sidewalk for that matter, but know this: you don't want to go crazy on it. You just want to take the sharpness out rather than "round" them. And once you de-tune you almost have to do a stone grind in order to ever get the edge sharp again. Meaning, don't overdo it. A couple passes with any stone or flat file should do the job.

Bet the guy in the vid is a bachelor or his wife would probably flip knowing he waxed his new boards in the kitchen.


User avatar
t-$

Rank: XCD Pinhead
XCD Pinhead
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:29 am

Re: tuning?

Postby t-$ » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:14 pm

sweet, 'preciate the link to the vid. that's a different one than i had seen but much simpler. i will have to do that before i ski them at the lift-serve next weekend...


Return to “Telemark Talk Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests