How to Sharpen Downhill Skis

How to Sharpen Downhill Skis
No matter how safe and cautious you are on your downhill skis, over time they will accumulate dings, scrapes and scuffs from running over and into snow, branches and other objects. This can impair your navigation and your skis' ability to cut and glide cleanly through the snow. Skis need to be sharpened once every three or four outings to keep them in good shape. If you don't sharpen your skis periodically, the dings will continue to get larger and the skis will deteriorate at an accelerated rate.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Deburring stone
  • Edge file and file guide
  • Whetstone
Step 1
Run a deburring stone along the edges of the ski to wear away the nicks, dings and scratches in the ski. Rub the stone along the top and bottom of the skis on the flat surfaces to help smooth everything out.
Step 2
Set the bevel on your file. The bevel is the angle of difference between the edge of the ski and the bottom plane. The degree of difference varies by make and model. Find the bevel, which might be located on the ski itself or on manufacturing papers that came with the skis, and set the file to that bevel.
Step 3
Draw the bottom ski along the file in long strokes running from one end to the other, beveling the ski and sharpening the ends. Repeat this process on the edges of the ski, drawing the length of the ski along the file. If the side edges are beveled differently than the bottom edges, you will have to reset or adjust the edge file before sharpening the side edges.
Step 4
Use a whetstone or other fine sanding stone to smooth up and finish the sharpened edges. A whetstone will eliminate the smallest dings and nicks that survived past beveling.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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