The most important and essential part of skiing is of course your skis.

Laura Romaniello / Art Director

Laura Romaniello / Art Director

There is no getting down the mountain without them, so it is vital to have them in hand and in good condition.

There are many things that go into the maintenance of skis, and doing all of them will ensure a safe and fun trip down the slopes.

1. Tuning your skis is vital. If you want the best performance from your skis you should consider doing it regularly. Tuning your skis will provide you with skis that will consistently glide and grip well. When professionals tune your skis, they grind the base, polish the edges and will strategically place and pattern little nicks in the base structure so the skis remove water more efficiently and break surface tension better. Keep in mind, the tuning of your skis should always be done professionally or at a ski shop. Also, always communicate your skill level abilities and where you plan on skiing so they know how to tune your skis so that they are perfect for you. You should tune your skis roughly every 20 ski days

2. Waxing your skis will help prolong the time between tune ups. You can wax your skis at home, but usually if you take them ski shop they can do it much quicker. When choosing your wax, be aware of where the wax performs best. Some might be ideal for Midwest skiing versus mountain skiing or backcountry versus groomers. Wax is generally chosen by snow temperature so it really depends on what ski resorts you are going to or plan to go to. Waxing generally lasts only 7-10 ski days on the hill, so be sure to get it done regularly for the best performance.

3. Edge maintenance to your skis is required for several reasons. Racers need different edge angles than regular skiers, contacted with a tree root or rock can damage the edge minorly, and some people even like to dull the tips and tails for a personal skiing preference (park skiing, pipe skiing, racing). This can also be done at a local ski shop. Usually file guides and gummy stones are ideal for edge maintenance, as well as swix diamond guides, which are an excellent tool for basic maintenance or shaping to get bigger damages out.

You can get a good 80-100 ski days out of skis before they really start to lose their luster. Unfortunately skis don’t last forever, and just like every piece of equipment, the materials in skis do have a shelf life. When skis are losing their stuff the wood inside will begin to lose its snap, fiberglass will break down, and the edge hold will suffer.

The benefit to ski maintenance is it will ensure that your skis are performing at their best and if your skis are performing at their best, you will too. Tuning and maintaining your skis will provide you with a better feel and a better edge so you have a smoother ride with the ability to really carve up the hard pack snow. Also, by taking care of your skis, you save more money in the end because they will stay in good condition for a longer period of time.

Caroline Perry can be contacted at

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