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Ski Tuning Tips from Daron Rahlves

Sure, we’re not winning the Hahnenkamm. But we can still take care of our skis like a pro.

Winter is short and there’s a lot to do. Like, ski powder, stretch every once in a while, ski more powder. Tuning your skis has a tendency to take a back burner. But, if you’re smart, you realize that keeping your skis in good shape will make those powder turns (and the crud turns, and the groomer turns, and the corn turns) even more enjoyable.

If you don’t have time or desire to tune your own skis, that’s perfectly fine. Go support your favorite local ski shop and ask for an overnight tune. But if you can carve out even just a few minutes and invest in a touch of ski-tuning gear (again, ask for what you need at your local shop), you can take care of some basic needs on your own without too much hassle.

For a full-service look at tuning and waxing maintenance, look no further than the king of speed, Daron Rahlves, a Flylow athlete and only the second American who’s won the famed World Cup downhill at the Hahnenkamm in Kitzbühel, Austria. Spend eight minutes watching his ski tuning tips and you’ll be set. You’ll learn tricks like always tune your left edge first so you remember where you started and how to clean your base (“Because dirt is slow,” as Daron says).

A pure race tune like Daron goes through in these videos is likely overkill for most of us pleasure seekers, but the process and tecnhique are the same. Instead of this level of TLC after every use, which is the reality for racers, once a month on your day to day boards is probably good. The most important thing is hitting them with wax on a regular basis. And if you are going to buff out your edges, which you should, keep in mind that most rec skis are a 2 degree side bevel and 1 degree base bevel.

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