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DIY Ski and Snowboard Tuning Shop: The Essentials

In Portfolio, Snow, Writing by Steve0 Comments

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:

THE ROOM
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.

The toolsTHE TOOLS
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!