How to Sharpen Skis

How to Sharpen Skis
Skis take a lot of abuse. Ice, rocks, twigs and even ski lifts can really take a toll on both base and edges of the skis. If you do a lot of skiing in hardpack or icy conditions, it's very important to maintain sharp, tuned edges that will properly bite into the snow and keep you on your feet. Here are the basics of sharpening skis.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Deburring stone Edge tool or file with file guide Workbench, vices or other appropriate work surface
  • Deburring stone
  • Edge tool or file with file guide
  • Workbench, vices or other appropriate work surface
Step 1
Deburr the edges. Use a diamond stone or other deburring stone to take out the little nicks, scratches and imperfections. Rub the stone up and down the bottom and side edges of each ski to smooth them out.
Step 2
Set your bevel. The bottom edges of skis are not completely flush with the base and are raised very slightly. This is known as bevel. The bevel varies by manufacturer, type of skiing and skier preference. You can set the bevel accordingly on your edge tool or file guide. See Edge Bevel information in the Resources section for further information.
Step 3
Sharpen your skis. Use long, one-directional strokes from tip to tail. Sharpen each bottom edge.
Step 4
Set the side bevel. The side edges are also variably beveled. Set the bevel on your edge tool.
Step 5
Sharpen the side edges like you did the bottom edges, using long tip-to-tail strokes.
Step 6
Touch up the edges. Use a whetstone or fine diamond stone to touch up the edges and take out any small nicks or burrs left from sharpening.

Tips & Warnings

 
Color each edge with a magic marker so that you know that you've completely sharpened the edge (when marker is shaved cleanly off). Perform base maintenance and waxing at the same time as edge sharpening to have fully tuned skis. To keep your edges performing at their best, check them after each ski day to make sure they're sharp and smooth.
 
Color each edge with a magic marker so that you know that you've completely sharpened the edge (when marker is shaved cleanly off).
 
Perform base maintenance and waxing at the same time as edge sharpening to have fully tuned skis.
 
To keep your edges performing at their best, check them after each ski day to make sure they're sharp and smooth.
 
If your edges are separated or have suffered major damage, it is best to have them professionally repaired.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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