How to Tune Downhill Skis

How to Tune Downhill Skis
Before heading out on the slopes each season, skiiers get their skis tuned up. A ski tune-up involves inspection, minor repair and preparation of skis for use and is especially beneficial for skis that have been stored for an extended period of time. Typically, the edges and bottoms of the skis will require the most attention.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Skis
  • Sawhorse supports
  • Medium metal brush
  • Damp cloth
  • Heat gun
  • Ski wax dent repair
  • Ski wax and scrapers
  • Soft nylon brush
  • Nylon polishing cloth
Step 1
Inspect the skis for damage and any potential problems that may need to be referred to a trained technician for repair. Position the skis on the sawhorse supports so that the bottom of the skis are facing up. Wipe down the skis with a damp rag if necessary.
Step 2
Brush the bottom of the skis with a metal bristle brush. Remove as much debris and old ski wax as possible. Thoroughly wipe the bottom of the skis with the damp cloth.
Step 3
Examine the ski bottoms for dents from rocks and other objects. Clean the dents to remove any dirt or debris. Use a wax repair stick such as P-Tex to fill the dents. Heat the wax stick with a heat gun and work the wax into the dent. Smooth the wax evenly using a wide blade metal paint scraper.
Step 4
Position a block of ski wax in one hand and a heat gun in the other. While wearing gloves, hold the heat gun several inches from the wax block and allow it to melt and drip onto the bottom of the skis. Try to cover as much of the surface as possible and spread the warm wax evenly with a plastic scraper.
Step 5
Brush the bottom of the skis once the wax has completely cooled. Use a soft-bristle nylon brush to begin smoothing and polishing the wax. Finish the polish with a nylon polishing cloth. Inspect the skis one more time before use.

Tips & Warnings

Sharpening, tuning and deburring skis is possible to do yourself; however, the tune-up is an involved process and you might choose to have it done by professionals.
Use caution when working with heat guns and hot wax to avoid burns.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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