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Edge sharpening - How often

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I purchased my skis new, Salomon LX800's 5 years ago, they've been used 2 or 3 times a season since & I service them once a year myself after their 2 or 3 weeks of use

Up to this year, no problem, the bases are still reasonable, a few light marks but nothing worth putting PTFE in, the edges I have always been happy with - till now!

Whilst away in Val D a few weeks back after 2 previous weeks away earlier in the season & not having serviced the skis since, I found on icy slopes, particularly black, but also some steeper reds, I simply couldn't get the edges to grip & on the blacks, finished up slipping across the full width of slope with virtually no proper control & simply unable to slow down as I would normally expect. In fairness I wasn't the only one struggling on one particular piste, Rhone Alpes, but I was also having problems generally with lack of edge grip that I wouldn't normally expect

The edges still feel reasonable, tho' in need of a service, should they need servicing more than once a season of 2 - 3 weeks skiing? & is it worth taking them in for a proper "shop sevice" rather than doing them myself - I have been following instructions re edge tuning given with the kit I bought to do my own skis some 7 or 8 years ago, however I have no idea how accurate I've been with the edges in terms of 0, 1, 2 degrees or whatever, I have simply tried to follow what is already there & make it sharper

It could be that I've just forgotten how to ski, but I'd much rather blame the skis if I can!!! Very Happy

Any input much appreciated
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
They should be sharp enough to shave a finger nail...and 1 deg Base and preferably 2 deg side (even 3 deg).

As for how often...it may depend on what snow you're on. If you spend the week on very icy slopes, the edges would likely need done. If there is lovely snow, you might get 2 weeks out of them.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Wed 29-03-17 20:37; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I sharpen my edges every time I wax the skis, so approximately every week of use. Even if they are still fairly sharp, I normally find a few burrs from rocks that need smoothing out so as not to catch.

If you have an edge angle guide and a marker pen, you can work out if the edges are the same as the guide. I run mine at 1, 3.
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Shaving a fingernail is usually a sign of a burr
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@moseyp, that's how I was taught to check sharpness, too. Burrs you can feel with the flat of your hand. How do you check they're sharp?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@Scarlet, what are you using on the edges?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@moseyp, alu-oxide stone, metal file, diamond files x2 grades
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
they shouldn't be that sharp after you've polished them with diamond stones, you should have a very smooth edge (sharp, but not edge file/burr sharp)
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
IMHO, @Scarlet's got it spot on.
Check for sharpness by shaving a finger nail, check for burr with your fingertips/flat of your hand.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I'm a newbie so I haven't got great technique but in meribel with icy pistes my edges really needed a go after 4 days and definitely needed it when I got back after the week. I'd created a burr from side slipping a lot (according to jon).

Sharpened them at jon's. Then came back from a week in les arcs and felt they needed it again.

So for my style of skiing once every seven days skiing. But then I find it therapeutic.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
So ........... the instructions that came with the kit I bought tell you to use the flat file diagonally across the base of the ski, then stand the ski on edge & file horizontally along the side of the edge, this is what I've been doing, but would suggest I'd finish up with a flat base edge & (possibly) a side edge that has it's original angle (if I've followed it correctly), or 0 (or any other angle) if I haven't.

How does one get a 1 degree on the base & anything as accurate as 2 or 3 degrees on the side, is there some additional kit I need to do this?

I think a trip to the ski shop is required to get a fresh start, but now at least convinced my inability to ski had nothing to do with my crappy technique, was purely due to my inability to prepare skis correctly! Should I just be asking for a service or something more specific? Does the 2 or 3 degree side angle assist with icy slopes?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Russbost, there are various videos on you tube.

There are some guides on Spyderjons website www.pisteoffice.co.uk

There is a book on Amazon which is in both kindle and physical format "The ultimate Ski Maintenance Book".

Spyderjon runs courses teaching you how to do the servicing which is very good.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I did YouTube and book things @NickyJ suggested and learnt initially how to do it. But spyderjon's course is the thing that gave me the oooooo that's what you do. So that's a big +1 from me

In answer to some of your questions though; the way you get the correct angle is to use a guide that is built to the angle you require. So you have a base edge guide and and side edge guide so two guides.

http://thepisteoffice.com/index.php/tuning-guide/4-side-edge-tuning.html for an example for edge.

If you're doing it by eye you haven't got a chance of getting angles correct and you would definitely be making your skis an interesting ride on ice.

Loads of info on here about side edge angle and the difference it makes (or not) for me I follow the same angles set by the manufacturer of my skis. Unless you have a specific reason to change it I would think that's fine.

Be careful taking your skis to a shop (or at least picky about what shop) as lots will just run them through a machine and reduce the life of your skis.

My recommendation would be send your skis to Jon (the piste office) let him sort them out to set them back to a good place. And then travel for his course and supplement your tools with the thing you use on that. You can learn loads from the suggestions from NickyJ but the course would be great and it's very interesting generally.

Good luck snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
How often you edge is going to be a compromise - based on the facilities you have available, the time you have available and your motivation aswell as the skiing you do or have been doing, the conditions, etc. Little and often is generally a good principle. However, because most of us ski one week at a time, that becomes the natural frequency. Taking a file to touch up big dinks whilst away from your servicing base can be a good idea, although I never do. Clearly if you leave it for three weeks the edges may start to have less bite and you may not to do a little more work when it comes to servicing.

The base edge you don't want to touch. You can run a file down it a couple of times, using a thin strip of tape to create a minimal angle. The side edge you need a guide. These days I do everything to a 3 degree angle because I see no reason to have a little bit more edge.
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