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September 28, 2013

Tuning for Better Turns

IN: Tuning

There was a time when ski tuning consisted of rough sand paper, fine sand paper, and a tin of pine tar. That was in an era when we were lacing up our leather boots and doing the Arlberg turn. We have come a long way with ski and equipment design, and therefore ski and snowboard tuning. Tuning skis and snowboards comes down to not only addressing the desire to go faster, but also to control speed. Often times when you are having a really good day on the slopes, you will find that your skis are tuned properly for the current snow conditions. For instance, a proper tune can help you deal with the sticky feeling you notice in the spring when you have trouble gliding.

Greenwood’s Ski Haus has a machine that allows us to tune equipment unlike anything that has been possible before. It is called the “Tunejet” and it is made by Wintersteiger. The tunes that we can produce on this machine are absolutely the best possible.

There are several parts of a tune to consider. First is the structure. Structure is the design ground into the base of the ski or snowboard and refers to the fine, symmetrical lines you should see on your base. If you look at your bases and don’t see that, well, you need a tune. The structure is one of the primary elements that allow your skis to glide and turn easily down a slope. We can modify the structure to make the skis turn easier, or run straighter depending on how you want your equipment to perform and the snow conditions. We even have custom structures for different disciplines, like powder skis. This structure would allow the skis to pivot and glide better in powder.

The next part of a tune is the treatment of your edges. The machine we use has ceramic disks that sharpen your edges so that you can feel confident on hard snow or ice. This is important for everyone from the little ones on the Coach chair, to the first timer coming down the Ridge, and the person flying down War Eagle at 10 am on a spring morning. Proper edges will increase your edge hold and give you confidence in your abilities.

Last, but not least to consider, is the choice of the wax that will be applied on your bases. A proper wax will allow you to glide better in any condition you find on the hill. The wax you choose should depend on the type of snow on the hill. This includes the age of the snow, man-made or natural crystals, and temperature. Consider these things when choosing your wax and you will have a much easier time getting around on the hill and that much more fun!