It will be enough to sharpen the ski edges once every season for regular skiers who ski a few weeks per year. In addition to sharpening, it is advisable to remove rust and burrs using a ski file several times per year.
In average you can normally sharpen the edges on a pair of skis 5 to 10 times before the steel edges are worn out. After that you need to replace your skis.
Most people who have never skied or have always rented the ski gear in the rental centers may be surprised by the fact that their skis must be sharpened regularly. It allows for achieving maximum performance.
Be aware that the sharp edge disappears after a certain number of sharpening. So you will have to buy new skis. Now let’s learn more about ski sharpening and how often to do it.
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Why do your skis need to be sharpened
Every ski day is a challenge for your skis. Although all of them can withstand the high friction that occurs when skiing down the hill, they are still wearing out over time.
Hard snow and ice will get your skis worn down faster, so they will not be perfectly flat anymore. Also, if you are skidding and carving on harder snow, the steel edges of your skis are getting dull.
How often to sharpen steel edges on skis
Most people ski several weeks per season, so one professional sharpening per year will be enough. However, it is still necessary to remove nicks and rust in the edges at the end of every ski day. You should also remember that the side edges of your skis need more care than the base ones.
If you are an enthusiastic skier and you ski quite often, you should sharpen the ski edges twice a year. And if you are a professional skier and you ski each day of the ski season, you should sharpen them every month. Also, it is best to use a ski file regularly.
Besides, you will need to sharpen steel edges more often if you like skiing on hard ice or snow. You may also ask the ski tuner at a ski shop for recommendations and more specific advice.
When do the ski edges need to be sharpened?
When you feel that your skis are not sliding on the snow as fast, initiating the turn as easily, gripping as well, as they supposed to do, it is time to sharpen them. Furthermore, you can determine whether your skis need sharpening by examining their surface.
When you see a chalky grey residue on the base of your skis, or you feel the snow is sticking to it, you should wax them. We have another article where you can learn more about waxing your skis.
In case you see that some sections of your skis still have some wax on them, the bases are not flat anymore. It means that it is time for a stone grinding. To examine the steel edges, you may run your finger along the ski sides. If you feel burrs, you should sharpen them.
How many times can you sharpen the edges
You are removing material from your skis’ edges every time you sharpen them. You are taking something off your skis, whether it is sharpening or base grinding. Although it is just a small amount, the steel edges of your skis will disappear after a certain number of sharpening.
For this reason, unless you are a professional skier and you can change your skis when you want, you should not sharpen them more than every ten ski days. It will be enough to sharpen them at the start of the season and wax according to the type of snow and outside temperature.
As was mentioned above, your skis have a limit of sharpening you can do before you have to replace them. This number depends on your style of skiing and the type of snow, and it ranges from 5 to 10 times.
How much does it cost to sharpen edges at a ski shop
Most ski shops offer skiers many ski tuning services, such as ski sharpening, waxing, stone grinding, and so on. The prices vary depending on the chosen service and your location. Most often, it will cost about $15 to sharpen the edges of your skis at a ski shop.
If you want your steel edges to be sharpened, polished, and hot waxed, be ready to pay about $25. And the deluxe tuning, which also includes base grinding and other required procedures, will cost about $50.
How to take care of your skis and ski edges to make your skis last longer
Taking care of your skis and ski edges will take some time. However, a few simple care tips will make your skis last much longer. They are as follows:
- Use a fine diamond stone to polish the edges of your skis. It is best to do it regularly, at least every weekend. To keep the stone aligned with the proper side and base bevel, you need to use an accurate file guide.
- You can carry a pocket stone to deal with small burrs during skiing. Otherwise, they will cause rust.
- Never zip wet skis into a bag, as it also causes edge rust. Before storing or shipping your skis, you should thoroughly dry them.
- Also, it will be a bad idea to carry unprotected skis on the car roof-rack. It initiates binding corrosion and edge rust, as you will expose them to road salt. If you still decided to carry your skis like that, use a wet rag to wipe them down and then dry them.
- Another thing you should avoid is bright sunlight. Ultraviolet light can damage the plastic surface of your ski bases or top sheets. UV rays break down the long polyethylene molecules, making your skis more brittle and weaker.
- Be careful with the steel edges of your skis, as they can damage wood veneers and plastics. The part between the plastic sidewalls and the top sheet is quite sensitive to getting cuts from them.
To enjoy the maximum skiing performance of your skis, you should always keep them sharp and well maintained. Skis have sharp steel edges to dig into snow and a flat edge that enhances your control speed and improves your turn and stop on a dime.
Make sure to get them sharpened before the start of the season and use a ski file to remove burrs and rust. And enjoy skiing!