Snow Ski & Board Mounting & Tuneup Shop

  • Complete ski and snowboard tuning
    • Basic sharpen and hot wax
    • Stone grinding
    • Performance tune for shape skis
    • Race tunes
  • Hot waxing
  • Montana Wax Future Infrared Waxer
  • Hot Box
  • Base Repair
  • Binding mounting and adjusting
  • Ski boot repair and buckle replacement

Ski and snowboard tuning

There are three components to excellence in skiing: Custom Insoles, canting and tuning (see custom fitting page for more information). The first are concerned about the fit between the skier and the equipment. The last component, tuning, is about the interface between the ski and the snow. Skiing on poorly tuned skis could be compared to riding a bike with half-flat tires, which is not much fun. It’s not possible to get the ski to behave the way it was intended if it is not properly tuned. In the “old” days tuning used to mean sharpening and waxing and base repair if needed. Today, with shape skis, tuning means all that plus edge beveling, edge polishing and base structuring.

New skis need to be tuned. When a ski or board is tuned the side edge and base edge angles need to be set to the preferences of the skier. That means that they can’t be set correctly at the factory.

Edge Beveling

To look at a ski edge one might assume the edge is square. Actually that’s not the case. Most skis have bottom, or base, edges that have been beveled from 1/2º to 1º. And side edges that have been beveled from 1º to 2º. This leaves an acute angle to the edge that makes the ski forgiving as it enters the turn, and helps it hold well on hard snow or ice. For extreme conditions (racing) base edge bevels might be from 0º to 1/2º and side edges might 3º or more. This makes the ski more demanding to ski on but the super acute angle helps the ski hold on even the iciest slopes.


When a ski glides across the snow, friction melts the top layer of snow and creates a thin film of water. The shiny tracks your skis make in the snow is this frozen layer of water. If you looked at the base of your ski under a high power magnifying glass it would look porous like the surface of a sponge. When the ski glides on the layer of water there’s a suction created between the layer of water and the pours on the bottom of the ski. This slows the ski and makes the ski difficult to turn.

When the ski is waxed, hot wax is melted into the ski almost like water will fill up the pours of a sponge. When a waxed ski glides across the layer of water, friction draws out minute particles of wax which break the suction between the ski and the water layer. This helps the ski to glide and turn much easier.

Now for the bad news, for the average skier, a downhill ski should be waxed about every 16 miles, which is about every other day on the snow. Waxing is definitely something that the average skier can do themselves. There are also simple wipe-on waxes that are work pretty well. Most recreational skiers should probably be waxing their equipment a whole lot more often than they do.

We have tuning clinics every week that will take you through the tuning process and show you how to service your equipment yourself. Call the shop for more information – 651-429-3333.