• For more information on how to avoid pop-up ads and still support SkiTalk click HERE.

Beginner skis and info on diy ski tuning

PinnacleJim

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Posts
1,106
Location
Killington/Pico, VT
Happened to be checking Killington ski shops for prices on ski tunes. Noticed that binding checks were running $20 to $25. And about $10 with a tune.
 

Viking9

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Posts
783
Location
SO CAL
As someone who is close to doing his own work that Racewax kit looks great, glad I clicked on this one.
 

mdf

entering the Big Couloir
Skier
Team Gathermeister
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
7,112
Location
Boston Suburbs
The ski vise is definitely worth it. You can attach them to a kitchen table, or the frame of a living room futon, or all kinds of other household furniture. Just say'n.
All you really need for a bench is a 2x4. The "bench" part of a bench is kind of irrelevant.

power-edge-2-jpg.156456
 

Tony Storaro

Glorified Tobogganer
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Posts
7,302
Location
Europe
I'm new to skiing and have 4 kids who are also new. We have been skiing 2 years and are just starting to take green and blue runs.

Because the kids are close in age, I should be able to hand down the skis from kid to kid. But that means I need to maintain them for probably 5 years, and I have NO idea what ski maintenance even is. I'm trying to determine how much I should learn to maintain skis myself or if I should just drop them off at the shop every year. I don't relish learning another hobby "job", but I work on my own bikes, etc. so I should probably learn to work on skis.

Are there any good YouTube videos that explain ski maintenance? For biking, Park Tool videos are really good for bike maintenance. I'm looking for the equivalent type of video for skiing. With emphasis on not just how to do things, but understanding why I need to do it or how often I need to do it, etc.

Finally, these are the skis that my local shop sold me. Do these seem reasonable for a 6-foot, 190lb beginner, and should I be looking for anything different? We mostly ski Bogus Basin and Brundage in whatever the conditions are at the time...

That’s my beginner skis. :roflmao: Or their version from 2013 or thereabouts. Salomon enduro x-something, 168. I am same size as you and yes, these are fantastic beginner/intermediate skis. Look no further, go and have fun.
 

Tony Storaro

Glorified Tobogganer
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Posts
7,302
Location
Europe
Oh, and one other thing. I looked closer at the ski pic, and I see they're 168 length. That's pretty darn short for someone your size. They'll be OK to start as a real beginner, but I suspect you'll want something longer relatively quickly.

Nope. I spent my first two seasons on ‘modern’ ski after 20 years hiatus on these exact ski and they are perfect beginner/lower intermediate ski. The size is fine. He will feel the need for longer ski from upper intermediate onwards when he picks up the speed and limitations of these become obvious.
 
Last edited:

wiread

Out on the slopes
Skier
SkiTalk Supporter
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Posts
471
Location
54942
I think you mean this one. Terrific starting kit. All you need besides this is a work bench, and ski vises. And some tuning wisdom from the folks here.
I bought that kit with the vices, was about 300 bucks last year. I have to say I liked everything in that kit and would recommend it as a 1 stop shop type of kit. I felt everything in it was quality. Nothing felt or behaved cheaply, even in my hands :). Probably more than someone needs to get started, but my wife works hard so a few extra dollars spent doesn't hurt that much.
 

Henry

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Posts
1,215
Location
Traveling in the great Northwest
For ski tuning and waxing you need:
Decide on the edge angles you like. 1° base and 2° sides are OK. 1° base and 3° sides grip better for better skiers.
Buy simple guides for those angles.
Buy diamond stones/files...a coarse and a fine. Use these with medium pressure. Too much pressure knocks out the diamond bits. Clean them occasionally with a brass wire brush and some detergent.
Get a wax iron. Ski wax iron or a non-steam iron, or a steam iron with aluminum foil on the bottom covering the holes. NOT the Mrs.' iron.
Get universal wax.
Buy or build a ski tuning vise & bench set up. Put ski vises on a work bench, or find a YouTube video about building one.
Use the guides and diamonds for removing raised burrs on the edges and sharpening the side edges.
You'll hear when the burrs are removed...the sound of the moving diamonds changes.
Mark the side edges with a felt marker...Sharpie, etc.
Sharpen only enough to remove the ink and get the edges sharp enough to take a scrape off your thumbnail. Remove as little steel as possible. Use the coarse diamond sparingly, then the fine just to smooth it out. Leave divots, just take off the high spots from rock hits and sharpen the edges.
Heat the iron. If the wax doesn't melt, it's too cool. If the wax smokes, it's too hot.
With the ski base-up, hold wax against the iron base and move it along the ski's length dribbling drops of wax along the way. Use as little as possible to get coverage in the next step.
Iron the base to cover the base with wax and melt it into the pores of the base. Keep the iron moving; don't overheat the ski. When you're done, you're done.
Remelt the wax and immediately wipe the molten excess wax off with a folded paper towel. Don't overheat the ski.
If you want buy a scraper and brush, scrape and brush the wax, or just go skiing. The skis will be sticky on the snow for the first 10' on snow, then they'll glide!
Leave base gouge repair and edge divot repair to a good shop.
 

Dave Marshak

All Time World Champion
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
1,405
All you really need for a bench is a 2x4. The "bench" part of a bench is kind of irrelevant.
The bench actually gets in the way. Every workbench and table top in my house is covered with some combination of tennis racquets, toolboxes, hockey helmets, pipe wrenches, paint brushes, life jackets, propane torches, extension cords, paddles and/or obsolete audio equipment. YMMV

dm
 

Crank

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Dec 19, 2015
Posts
2,613
These are beginners skis?

Run a file over the edges. Wax will make them faster so maybe don't even wax. Of course that will make them go slower on flats where your beginners may have to do some walking...good for 'em, teach 'em to skate.

Skis will take a lot of neglect. This I know from personal experience. I think a lot of folks here just like to spend more time with their skis. Which, by the way, is fine, just not necessarily necessary.
 
Thread Starter
TS
D

Dixie Flatline

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Oct 11, 2021
Posts
24
Location
Idaho
So I bought a tuning kit with vises and it came with all kinds of wax. I'll probably use one if the universal waxes, but out of curiosity, how can I decide what is "warm weather" and what's "cold weather"? Like if the snow is literally melting and making snowballs, I understand that's "warm". But at what point do people consider it "cold" for wax purposes... does that mean 25F? or below zero?....

These are the waxen that it came with:

1.06 Lbs Demon Hyper Wax Big Block- Universal Blend for Any Temp wax.
133g Demon Orange Crush (says it's for warm)
133g Demon Blue Blur (says it's for cold)
133g Demon Modified Hydrocarbon i think universal, has graphite)
133g Demon White Lightning wax
 

cantunamunch

Meh
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
21,553
Location
Behavioral sink
So I bought a tuning kit with vises and it came with all kinds of wax. I'll probably use one if the universal waxes, but out of curiosity, how can I decide what is "warm weather" and what's "cold weather"? Like if the snow is literally melting and making snowballs, I understand that's "warm".

Every wax has a specified temp range that tells you what it's for.

The break points are similar, but slightly different among the major brands (Toko, Swix, Holmenkol, Star, Vola, and so forth). Here is an old Swix wax chart that gives a good idea:

1670004210843.png


Notice that new snow (that very much also includes manmade snow) often calls for a harder wax than old snow at the same temps. For this reason, and for durability of the applied wax, a lot of us recreational skiers tend to err on the side of using the harder wax when we have a choice.

I don't actually know anything about your Demon brand waxes and I know very very little about Idaho snow types, sorry. What kinds of sliding problems do you run into?

Do you have very slow snow when it's cold? Does it squeak? Does it feel like sandpaper under your bases?
Do you have grabby sticky snow when the sun comes out? Do you get white spots on black bases from abrasion?
Do you have patches of grabby snow in between normal sliding? Do the skis stick when you're not moving but a little shuffling frees them up?


But at what point do people consider it "cold" for wax purposes... does that mean 25F? or below zero?....

These are the waxen that it came with:

1.06 Lbs Demon Hyper Wax Big Block- Universal Blend for Any Temp wax.
133g Demon Orange Crush (says it's for warm)
133g Demon Blue Blur (says it's for cold)
133g Demon Modified Hydrocarbon i think universal, has graphite)
133g Demon White Lightning wax

If you play around with what you have, by the end of the season you'll be the guru for Demon in Idaho. :D
 

Ken_R

Living the Dream
Skier
Joined
Feb 10, 2016
Posts
5,775
Location
Denver, CO
I'm new to skiing and have 4 kids who are also new. We have been skiing 2 years and are just starting to take green and blue runs.

Because the kids are close in age, I should be able to hand down the skis from kid to kid. But that means I need to maintain them for probably 5 years, and I have NO idea what ski maintenance even is. I'm trying to determine how much I should learn to maintain skis myself or if I should just drop them off at the shop every year. I don't relish learning another hobby "job", but I work on my own bikes, etc. so I should probably learn to work on skis.

Are there any good YouTube videos that explain ski maintenance? For biking, Park Tool videos are really good for bike maintenance. I'm looking for the equivalent type of video for skiing. With emphasis on not just how to do things, but understanding why I need to do it or how often I need to do it, etc.

Finally, these are the skis that my local shop sold me. Do these seem reasonable for a 6-foot, 190lb beginner, and should I be looking for anything different? We mostly ski Bogus Basin and Brundage in whatever the conditions are at the time...

I would get a basic ski vise, nylon brush, basic edge tuner and gummy stone and use spray or glide on wax. Get the skis tuned and waxed at the start of the season and just maintain them yourself throughout the season unless they need some repair then take them to a shop. Iron on wax is messy and a pain.

Most weeks you will just wipe the skis clean with a rag, deburr with the gummy stone, spray some wax, brush the bases a bit and wipe them with a clean rag again. Done.

Here in Colorado I use cold weather wax most of the season. During spring I might use warm weather wax but generally snow here at high elevations is cold and dry.
 

Mendieta

Master of Snowplow
SkiTalk Tester
Contributor
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Posts
4,841
Location
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
These are the waxen that it came with:

1.06 Lbs Demon Hyper Wax Big Block- Universal Blend for Any Temp wax.
133g Demon Orange Crush (says it's for warm)
133g Demon Blue Blur (says it's for cold)
133g Demon Modified Hydrocarbon i think universal, has graphite)
133g Demon White Lightning wax

I would start with the Universal wax. You have a lot more of that, and it will work well in most conditions. Once you get a hang of it, u can start experimenting. But this will give you a baseline.
 

cantunamunch

Meh
Skier
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Posts
21,553
Location
Behavioral sink
I would start with the Universal wax. You have a lot more of that, and it will work well in most conditions. Once you get a hang of it, u can start experimenting. But this will give you a baseline.

That's a fair start. I will also point out that multiple wax cycles of the Universal should make the uni perform better at the limits of its temp range.
 

Sponsor

Staff online

Top