FAQ - Ski and Snowboard Tuning Questions
Why does a refinish at SkiMD cost 2-3 times more than other shops?
The answer is simple, SkiMD does 10 times more work to re-alter the status of your base and edge finish so it's variable-free, and adheres to true math. Depending on the chosen finish, each ski receives a minimum of 3 or a maximum of 5 separate dressing cycles. SkiMD does not seek conservation of grinding stones. In fact we average 3 stones per season, which averages roughly 500 refinishes per stone. This type of usage is simply unheard of in other specialty stores, which have a ceiling on their tool budget. SkiMD operates with no ceiling on tools and utilizes them to create the optimal finish every time with unparalleled consistency.
A refinish utilizing the SkiMD System may only be imitated in price but can never be duplicated in quality!
Why is SkiMD located in Framingham, MA and not at the mountains?
The answer to this is simple. It's easier to be located where people that ski live, as opposed to where they go. More importantly, it allows the proper time frame to properly refinish skis and snowboards to exacting standards. The math is simple as mountain shops may get 100 or more tunes to do overnite, and this does not scale properly with doing the work correctly. This is why most mountain shops can afford to charge a lower price, as it's about quantity, not quality.
After my refinish, how do I maintain it?
1. Use a heavy rubber band to fasten up the brake.
2. Place ski side edge up, with the base facing away in the vises.
3. Utilize a 3 or 4 degree side edge file guide, combine with either a med. diamond stone, or med. chrome file.
4. With the base away from you utilize long med to hard pressure strokes, moving the diamond stone back and forth along the edge, or drawing the file towards you. Make sure to sharpen tip and tail regions as well.
5. Check for sharpness by drawing the backs of your fingers over the edge point. When sharp, your fingers should drag heavily across the edge. This indicates you have also produced a burr, hanging towards the base edge.
6. If using a file, then finish the edge with a fine diamond stone first on the side, then along the base edge by using a free hand and keeping the stone flat on the base as your guide. Tip stone towards base edge until it just makes contact, and no further! Bring stone back up to the side edge for a couple of very light passes so as not to create another hanging burr. Aside from any deep edge damage remnants, your edge should feel smooth and sharp.
7. If using a diamond stone instead of a file, then proceed the same as above utilizing a fine diamond stone.
8. Do the other edge by simply turning the ski around, making sure the base is still facing away from you. One edge will always be sharpened tip to tail, while the other will be sharpened tail to tip.
9. Place ski base up and secure in vises. Use a cloth or bronze/horsehair brush to lightly clean any loose debris form the base. ALWAYS WORK FROM TIP TO TAIL WHEN SCRAPING OR BRUSHING!
10. Choose an all temperature wax and rub on the base as evenly as possible, no need to go too thick. Then use the WaxWhizard from www.alpineskituning.com and rub back and forth vigorously until the base becomes shiny. The more you rub, the deeper it goes into the base.
11. Only utilize stiff nylon brushes to clean wax from Hperglide structures! Use of bronze or steel brushes will destroy the structure and tear the graphite base, and guarantee slower skis. Then finish with a soft horsehair brush and buff with a towel. Brushing out rub on wax is only recommended before racing! Base and structure protection are optimized when rub on wax is skied without brushing until necessary!
*When this maintenance program no longer revitalizes your refinish, then it's time to bring the skis in for a diagnosis.
How do I hot wax a SkiMD Refinish?
All refinshes come with a proprietary "grind accelerator" which makes the act of waxing, scraping and brushing obsolete prior to use.
The grinds are at their smoothest and most absorbent state. Repeated hot wax cycling utilizing Dominator Base Renew with or without graphite is your best protection against base abrasion. The grinds are at their smoothest when leaving SkiMD. All one needs to do is wax layer over layer of hot wax, with no scraping or brushing between applications, incurring short durations of heat to the ski and its construction and delicate base material. This will ensure the least deformation of the base profile (extreme concavity) during the heating and cooling process. It also ensures maximum wax impregnation in a manner where the overall chassis of the ski is not subjected to long term heat duration thereby changing the profile cure of the base. DO NOT scrape and brush the skis until it's time to take the first run! Trust me! Too much heat to a ski is THE ENEMY! One may wax cycle their skis more often with less trauma to the base than by the old conventional methods of waxing, scraping and brushing. It's the 21st century, and time to look at NEWER and BETTER ways to prepare today's product!
How often should I base file after a refinish?
Never! Once the base edge angle has been set, any removal of material will result in excess base edge bevel. It does not matter what base file guide you are using. Variations in techniques, guides, files and basic understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish will always deliver varied results. Only use a diamond stone to match and smooth out the existing .75 degree base bevel. The idea is to smooth out the damage, not eliminate it! Many races have been won on skis/snowboards that are less than perfect! The idea is for the user not to be aware of the minor imperfections.
How often should I wax my refinish?
This is simple. You need to wax every time you ski. Wax is to a ski base as wax is to a cars paint finish. It is there to enhance and protect. Rub-on wax such as Dominator Zoom or various Dominator race waxes with "pressure application" utilizing the WaxWizard by RaysWay, as frequently as possible is the most effective way to protect your base with no heat damage from improper iron hot waxing. This product has been extensively tested for nearly a decade, and is hands down the best and most effective way to apply the wax of your choice.
Isn’t iron hot waxing the best way to protect my base?
Times change and so do techniques. Iron hot waxing occasionally with soft nutritive base waxes such as Dominator Base Renew is critical to race skis. It is not critical to the average enthusiast. Soft wax impregnation creates the best base protection in all temperatures. It allows the pores in the base to constantly deliver a micro-layer of protection as the ski flexes. Hard wax impregnation does just the opposite. It seals the pores in the base and is not extruded through ski flexion. Due to its hardness, it does not temperature flex well over a wide temperature range and prevents future wax absorption. Proper soft hot waxing combined with rub-on applications of daily or race wax is the best routine for race skis.
Are my bases “dry” when they become gray and hairy?
NO! Bases become gray and hairy when they have become “abraided” from snow crystals. Bases are plastic and snow is sandpaper. When the amount of skiing you do exceeds the amount you’re waxing, you get gray hairy bases. Petroleum distillate bases do not oxidize! A brand new pair of skis on the rack from 20 years ago will have as dark and rich a base as it does today. Oxygen does not eat plastic, friction does!
Can I damage my skis with too much iron hot waxing?
Too much of anything has always proven not to be a good thing, except for "rub on" wax. One must remember, skis are built with heat, and heat is what will break them. Some skis internally delaminate easier than others. Some makes have a propensity to base delaminate along the edge. A hot metal plate on a sheet of plastic is a disaster waiting to happen! Proper ironing techniques, with judicious amounts of soft wax with a low to medium heat setting, combined with only a few passes will ensure optimal protection when opting for iron hot waxing.
Is brushing critical to my performance?
If you are racing, it is imperative to brush and clean out the base structure for optimal speed and edge performance. If you are not racing, the film of wax left from a WaxWhizard application will not impede your performance in any way.
How often should I refinish my product?
It always depends on your level of damage. If conventional DIY maintenance techniques will not restore original performance, then you need a refinish. Most product that is not extensively damaged time and again has many refinishes until it has no material left to work with. Typically, if you ski or ride a lot and do not perform your own maintenance, SkiMD recommends a minimum of one to two refinishes and one to two sharpen and wax procedures per season, or a simple consultation. Remember, SkiMD has no control over where you ski or ride!
Is “hot boxing” critical to my race skis performance?
Perhaps only if you're hot boxing speed skis, or maybe if you're one of the best in the world... If you're hot boxing technical skis, then you’re wasting your time. The amount of variables provided by the gates you are going around will undo any perceived performance gains from hot boxing. More often than not, as stated with iron hot waxing, too much heat is detrimental to your products performance and longevity! Skis and snowboards always undergo base surface changes when exposed to excessive heating and cooling cycles. Typically resulting in potentially "intolerant" concavity upon cooling. If you think you need a hot box to win a race, your barking up the wrong tree!
My skis are concave, is this bad?
In fact it’s just the opposite. "Tolerant" concavity up to 2mm is essential to shaped ski performance. Concavity predisposes the perimeter of the ski to more pressure. This results in optimal edge response and tracking. Truly “flat” bases are only likely to exist in laminate race skis with no 3 dimensionality to the top sheet. Concavity is the natural result of heating and cooling and is inescapable. Tolerant concavity is every skiers friend, and rarely the enemy.
My skis are convex, is this bad?
This is the worst and most typical finish you will find from most retail tuning operations. The base edge profile resides well above the base surface resulting in skis that want to run straight when turning, and wander when the skis are running straight. Once skis have been run over a belt previous to stone grinding, it’s imperative they be brought back to a zero degree base edge bevel. Doing so properly can take a considerable amount of time, and considerably more time if the use of binding ramps are employed. This creates an unreasonable amount of time spent to stone grind a pair of skis or snowboard for what a shop may actually be charging. One must be particularly aware of this when utilizing the services of inexperienced shop tuning. Shops concerned only with taking your money, have a limited time frame and allow for only a given set of steps whether your product needs it or not. SkiMD calls it “semantic tuning.” If your skis went over the stone grinder once, then they have been "stone ground.”
Remember, quick turnover times combined with low prices equal a wasted day on the slopes, guaranteed!
How do I keep my skis/snowboard from rusting?
Rust is only a factor when skis are put away wet, or left on top of a vehicle after traveling and stay that way. It does not matter what season it is. If you wipe your skis down thoroughly after skiing or previous to storage, rust should not be an issue. If you plan on having your skis/snowboard refinished at the beginning of the season, storage wax is a waste of time.
Any more tuning questions? We are sure there are. Please feel free to contact
Mike, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your e-mail will be answered in as little as 1 hour, and no more than 12 hours, promise!
CALL SKIMD @508 981 4608