Having a well-tuned pair of skis or snowboard is one of those things that seem to get overlooked at least once a year — who wants to wait a half hour on your first day of the season while your skis/board are being tuned and the snow is taunting you. And even if you get your gear regularly tuned by a ski shop, it’s a good idea to have your own equipment. It’ll save money on regular maintenance on the board(s) and it’s nice to be proactive with maintenance. The result will be increased speed, stability, grippier turns, and increased ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s from all your adoring fans.
Once you make the initial investment, there really isn’t much to pay for other than wax. The added performance of having a consistently tuned board also aids in improvement. Here’s how to get it done quickly and easily:
You don’t need much space for a ski/board tuning setup, but it’s a good idea to be somewhere well ventilated since waxy fumes can be overpowering at times. While it’s not necessary to have a permanent space, it’s easier to have an area that is solely dedicated to tuning. Over time the wax drippings become a time stamp of sorts, growing bigger and bigger over the seasons like a giant gooey badge of honor.
The Work Bench
The best way to make a work bench is to make a saw horse, as it has numerous other household benefits. Next, using either vices or clamps, find a way to secure the horse to your skis/board. You’ll also want somewhere to store the tools, which we will discuss below.
Paper Towels — For cleaning the bases beforehand.
Screwdrivers — To make any necessary adjustments to bindings, or to take off completely if you prefer.
Knife — For cleaning out any dirt/rocks lodged into the base.
2 Scrapers — one metal, one plastic — For removing excess PTEX and wax.
Blowtorch — For melting the PTEX
Small Paintbrush — For applying PTEX
Scouring Pad — For removing chunks of both PTEX and Wax
Edge Sharpener — You can buy edge tools specifically made for skiing or snowboarding, but if you can’t seem to find one or are in a pinch, a simple sharpening stone will do.
File — Before sharpening you will want to slightly file the edges to remove any excess debris that might damage your sharpening stone.
Acetone — For cleaning the base post-edging
PTEX — For filling in any scratches or holes to the base
Wax — For making you go fast!
Iron — For melting the wax
And there you have it
Your own DIY home tuning shop. While it might not be as good as the pros (and it’s still recommended to get a full professional tune 1–2 times a year), it will help you maintain high performance. Stay tuned for how to put everything in the shop to use, and learn how to tune your skis or snowboard from start to finish!