Review: Wintersteiger Jupiter -- For an out of this world tune.

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
About author
Philpug
I started skiing in the mid-70s in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; from then on, I found myself entrenched in the industry. I have worked in various ski shops from suburban to ski town to resort, giving me a well-rounded perspective on what skiers want from their gear. That experience was parlayed into my time as a Gear Review Editor and also consulting with manufacturers as a product tester. Along with being a Masterfit-trained bootfitter I am a fully certified self proclaimed Gear Guru. Not only do I keep up with the cutting edge of ski gear technology, but I am an avid gear collector and have an extensive array of bindings as well as many vintage skis.

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Looks great, but sadly won't fit in my garage. What would be the retail price per pair of skis for a full tune (wax + edge sharpening)?
 
Looks great, but sadly won't fit in my garage. What would be the retail price per pair of skis for a full tune (wax + edge sharpening)?
That will vary from shop to shop and what is considered a "full tune" ie like a car is "loaded" with features.
 
I have circa $400 invested in fixed costs in ski tuning equipment (not including Beer Fridge). As I have undertaken around 50 wax/tunes, so far it's cost $8/wax/tune. Variable Costs are negligible, but let's say $1 per wax/tune (not including beer which equals $20). So it cost me $9 per/wax/tune (not including my labour)

Obviously Wintersteiger won't be able to compete with my costs.

As I am more of a freestyle skier, precise waxing/tuning is not so important to me. So what exactly is the market segement this is aimed at?
 
I have circa $400 invested in fixed costs in ski tuning equipment (not including Beer Fridge). As I have undertaken around 50 wax/tunes, so far it's cost $8/wax/tune. Variable Costs are negligible, but let's say $1 per wax/tune (not including beer which equals $20). So it cost me $9 per/wax/tune (not including my labour)

Obviously Wintersteiger won't be able to compete with my costs.

As I am more of a freestyle skier, precise waxing/tuning is not so important to me. So what exactly is the market segement this is aimed at?
I would say gear geeks, racers, and those that just want to know the ski will perform at its absolute best. Or, if a shop has it, they want to know the skis they send out are as correctly prepped as possible for the skier and their skis. My shop, Pierce Skate and Ski in Bloomington MN, has been putting out this kind of tune for some time now. This past fall Kaylin Richardson was in town promoting Warren Millers latest movie. Pierce tuned her skis when she was racing at Buck Hill, and she stopped in to have her skis tuned there before heading to Europe. Bart Pierce has told me that local customers who have kids in race programs in Colorado have had their skis shipped to him to tune!
 
I took my Dynastar Speedzone ti's to a local Portland Oregon shop for a performance tune with an edge change from 1/1 to 1/3.
The edge change was noted on the tune ticket. I foolishly did not check the tune before taking them up to Mt Hood. The skis were unskiable and exhausting. They were very hooky and grabby on the tails and would not release. They were also very nervous even at low speeds when going straight back to the lift maze .
The skis didn't exhibit this behaviour before the *tune* unless >30 mph or above.
Upon inspection it's obvious there was no edge change from the factory 1/1 as the side edges were not blended at all. There were burrs on both the shovel and tails on both skis. Looks like it's time to invest in some tuning equipment or at least find a reputable tuner in the Portland Oregon area.
 
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I took my Dynastar Speedzone ti's to a local Portland Oregon shop for a performance tune with an edge change from 1/1 to 1/3., I
The edge change was noted on the tune ticket. I foolishly did not check the tune before taking them up to Mt Hood. The skis were unskiable and exhausting. They were very hooky and grabby on the tails and would not release. They were also very nervous even at low speeds when going straight back to the lift maze .
The skis didn't exhibit this behaviour before the *tune* unless >30 mph or above.
Upon inspection it's obvious there was no edge change from the factory 1/1 as the side edges were not blended at all. There were burrs on both the shovel and tails on both skis. Looks like it's time to invest in some tuning equipment or at least find a reputable tuner in the Portland Oregon area.

Bummer. Been there back when I lived in Portland. The shop actually discolored my edges they got them so hot!

Anyway, if you can get "around the horn" to the little community of Mt. Hood on Hwy 35, I cannot recommend Bob Olson at Mt. Hood Alpine Race Center for quality grinding/tuning.

Call ahead. He's normally a bit backlogged with race ski tuning.
 
I just purchased a pair of skis from a forum member at SkiTalk. When the new ski shows up maybe I can drop the Speedzones off.
Thanks for the tip!
Slemers
 
Bummer. Been there back when I lived in Portland. The shop actually discolored my edges they got them so hot!

Anyway, if you can get "around the horn" to the little community of Mt. Hood on Hwy 35, I cannot recommend Bob Olson HIGHLY ENOUGH at Mt. Hood Alpine Race Center for quality grinding/tuning.

Call ahead. He's normally a bit backlogged with race ski tuning.

I'm thinking you didn't mean "cannot recommend"...

Dead right. Thanks for that. Fixed above, since it's apparently too late to edit. :(

Moderators, maybe you can fix that above for me.

And what's up with the time limit on the edit feature? Not on any other forum I know of.....thanks!
 
Is there an up to date link to a list of ski shops (including shops at ski resort locations), which have the Wintersteiger’s flagship Jupiter machine?

My local shop, Buckman's has a Montana. Not sure which machine the shop at Blue Mountain PA has as it's probably been close to 10 years since I last skied at Blue.
 
Is there an up to date link to a list of ski shops (including shops at ski resort locations), which have the Wintersteiger’s flagship Jupiter machine?

My local shop, Buckman's has a Montana. Not sure which machine the shop at Blue Mountain PA has as it's probably been close to 10 years since I last skied at Blue.
Let me check into it.
 
Please watch the updated video from Wintersteiger at the end of the article (also here).

 
Is there a way to find out which shops have this machine in Colorado? Would love to try and have one of my pairs of skis tuned there.
 
We sent a half dozen pairs to the Wintersteiger spa this past week to get freshened up for next season. Here are the Lusti PC77's with a new margin base finish.
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Bobos in Reno will get there Jupiter in and set up in about 30 days (Thanks @Philpug for the heads up). Planning on bringing in a few skis for tuning :D
 
With all of the Van Deer-Redbull discussion, I figured I would post this here...

 
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Looks like the Jupiter is up and running. Just called Bobos and had nearly an hour long conversation about ski tunes with a nice fella name ?Bob?. Going to be bringing up a bunch of my skis next weekend to get tuned (+mounted) on this new machine!
 

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