Sharpen your skis for an optimal slope experience

By Doug Williams
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Sharpen your skis for an optimal slope experience

Doug Williams
 
 
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We don’t get much winter here at the Outdoor Revival HQ but I know a lot of people that are avid skiers and they’re always cleaning up their skis and one of the most important things to remember is that your skis will need to be sharpened regularly for optimal performance.

Normal use can dull the blades and a good habit to adopt is to give them a swipe daily with a diamond stone. This will remove any burrs that may have formed during your last ski session.

 

Image source
Image source

Then a weekly side edge filing with an edge tuning tool is recommended. It is even possible to remove the burrs from your skis on site, at the slopes, using the diamond stone.

 

Run the stone down the side edges of the skis making sure you have the right angle on the bevel. For filing, you need to be secure the skis while doing this. A heavy rubber band wrap can be used to hold up the brakes off the plane of the edge.

You can buy specially designed ski vises in good ski shops, but any sturdy furniture works just as well. As ski edges are not at right angles, it is better to use a pre-set file just off 90 degrees. Be sure you know the manufacturers recommended bevel angle and then set the tool to it.

Insert the file correctly with the flat edge against the bottom of the ski. You can buy the sharpening tools or stones at any reputable ski shop.

Mark the edge of the ski with a marker pen before you start to file. As you file the mark away, you will know how far down the ski blade to begin the next stroke.

Always file in one direction only, from ski tip to ski bottom. If it feels like the file is not cutting, clean the file off using a wire brush, or adjust it to a new place in the bevel tool.

 

If this does not work, then a new file might be needed. The sharpness of the edge can be tested by rubbing your fingernail carefully across it, a dull edge will do nothing, while a sharp edge will make a slight mark in your nail.

 

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Image Source

When this task has been completed, run a piece of fine emery paper or a diamond stone over the edge of the blade. Do this on both skis. You will certainly notice the difference on the slopes.

 

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