The first main stop of SkiTalk senior management’s January 2022 tour was the Winter Sport Market trade show in Salt Lake City. At this three-day show, we met up with one of our newest partners, Hotronic. For those unaware, Hotronic is partnered with Wintersteiger, the industry’s back-end giant of a supplier, whose main product is automated ski tuning machines.


At the trade show, Ryan Eittreim, Hotronic's Sales Manager, asked if we would want any of our skis tuned on Wintersteiger’s flagship Jupiter automated tuning machine. He mentioned that Lee Collins, Wintersteiger’s Tahoe Senior Tech Advisor, was at their headquarters (which is over by the SLC airport). The Jupiter has the ability to do variable tuning, which they call V-Edge. The Wintersteiger’s automated Jupiter can cost as much as the average-priced house in middle America, up to about one-half million dollars. So when a shop is charging $100-200 for a tune on a Jupiter, it is for a reason, and well worth the investment in your skiing experience.


When it comes to ski boots, custom boot fitting is important. It is uncommon to get a boot fit out the box that is perfect, and even if you do, you still need a custom footbed and possibly canting and alignment. The same can be said for your skis: Rarely do you unwrap a ski, put it on snow and experience the full capabilities of the ski. That is where Wintersteiger's Jupiter comes in.

We brought two different skis, our signature SkiTalk Siderals and Augment 98TI’s, to get tuned by Wintersteiger‘s flagship machine. These two premium skis perform exceptionally well out of the box and quite frankly weren’t ready for a tune, but what the hey. This brings us to the second really cool thing that the Jupiter is capable of doing: V-Edge. What is V-Edge? It is the ability to program a variable edge bevel for the length of the ski.

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Lee starting punching the Jupiter’s touch screen like the average person building a sandwich at a deli. Comfort, Sport, Race, ski width, pulling the sidewalls, and then the bevels. It was happening so fast that I am sure I got the sequence out of order and very well forgot a step or four; all I know is he asked me some questions about factory specs and our expectations. We started first with the Sideral, SkiTalk’s 77 mm darling. He asked me what I wanted out of the ski so he can set up the variable bevels. Working from the tip back, the bevel was 87.4°/1.1° to 87.8°/0.7° and finishing with a 87.4°/1.1°, which matched the forebody. For the Augment 98Ti we went slightly more conservative with a 87.7°/1.3° tip to 88.2°/0.8° to 87.7°/1.3°. Is that precision, or what? I would be very interested in getting this tune on a newer Volkl with their 3D sidecut.

We saw some amazing base structures that the Jupiter is capable of doing, but for our skis we stayed a little more traditional with a chevron and margin (with a very light chevron). From there we waxed the skis and gave it eight passes (4 passes twice) under Wintersteiger’s Wax Future infrared heat system.

The possibilities of the Jupiter are almost limitless for a shop, especially when you combine it with Wintersteiger’s retail software. The software provides the ability to program each customer’s skis and store the data in memory. Any shop that invests in Jupiter is a shop that you should want to do business with because they are committed to producing the best tunes possible, or even imaginable.

So, was there a difference?

As good and as smooth as the Siderals are, after 20-plus days on snow and a V-Edge tune, they now are better. The V-Edge tuning broadens the appeal of the ski by adding an extra level of power to your easy-going ski, or an extra dimension of ease to your aggressive ski. I had skied my Siderals with a 1°/2° and I had also skied @Blossom Skis Am77’s with a 1°/3°. Normally, you’d have to choose one or the other. With V-Edge, you do not have to choose what feel you want; you can get both.

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On my first run on the Blossom SkiTalk Siderals with their new variable tune, I initially thought the skis were easier to ski and I questioned if I’d get the power I was seeking. Then I started pushing the ski more and more, and like a dog getting that itch scratched in just the right spot (“There it is!”) there is that 0.7° base. Start relaxing, and the skis dialed back to their original easy feel. Tricia experienced the same sensation on her similarly prepared Siderals.

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We also had a chance to ski the Augment AM98Ti's with the new tune at Arapahoe Basin in some cold mid winter chalk and the experience with the Sideral was mirrored with the Augment. The sensation on the snow was a minutia better, especially in the chalky off piste bumps, because the ski was wider.

Is the V-Edge for everyone? Maybe not. And no worries: Wintersteiger is not abandoning traditional tuning. But, if you desire an extra level of versatility in one pair of skis, an extra dimension to the sensation of your skis on the snow, the V-Edge might be for you.

3/3/22 Update:

Here is a new video from Wintersteiger