How To Tune Your Skis or Snowboards
Before tuning your ski & snowboard edges you must decide what base and side edge bevels you desire. There is a lot of personal preference on this subject, but as a general rule a base edge bevel of .5°-1° and side edge bevel of 1°-3° is suitable. Be careful not to over bevel as excess base edge bevel will cause a ski to be unstable and excess side edge bevel may cause a ski to knife into the snow and 'rail'.
RULE #1 - If some is good, more is not better!
A ski must be sharp from contact point to contact point to carve a turn. A dull ski will not bend into a turning arc and will only create skidded turns. If your skis are hooky you may either increase the base edge bevel in the extremities or check your boot cuff and canting alignment. Refer to our tuning video for more information.
Side Edge Tuning
Side edges require attention for max performance. Initial set-up is done with a file, but daily filing is only necessary if the edge is very dull. Daily diamond honing may maintain sharpness without removing excess material. Use Side of BEAST to guide your file/stone at any angle from 1°-6°.
Your ski should be held in a vise with the side edge up and the base away from you so you can easily work on the side edge. This ski position allow's you to pull the Side of BEAST toward you, giving better feel and control than if you were pushing the tool.
Base Edge Tuning
Base and edges must be in a flat plane before you set the base edge bevel. A Base BEAST and file will create the desired base edge bevel. Use an 8" file in the Base BEAST and pull toward you as shown in picture. Beginning tuners may darken edge with a felt tip pen before filing. When entire edge is shiny you have finished base edge filing. DO NOT file into base material. Finish by polishing with a medium diamond stone in the Base BEAST. Maintain with light polishing with Base BEAST and stone after completion of any side edge tuning.
Abrasive hard-snow conditions may cause excessive wear of the base and edges and the ski will take on a convex shape. This may cause ski's to be unstable as the edges are not in close enough contact with the snow. The ski's should be ground flat and the base edge bevel re-established.
After filing/polishing edges you should deburr with a gummi stone. Lightly run along edge at 45° angle to remove burrs. DO NOT DULL!!
When your bases receive gouges or are convex from excessive hard snow wear, visit a good service shop. Machine tunes are the only practical way to renew your skis to a basic 'block' shape, but they generally don't do a very precise job of edge geometry. You should always establish and maintain the proper edge geometry by hand filing with BEAST precision tools.