Sharp and smoothly polished edges, with correct edge geometry (aka properly ‘tuned’) are critical to maximize the carving capability and overall performance of your expensive board(s). What tools and techniques do you employ?
There are simply too many variables to grasp without time, experience, defining personal goals, cost and other considerations. As with skis, snowboards and other gear, you can always buy more and there are various grades or calibers of tools. For the recreational skier and tuner, getting every one of the finest tools may be overkill and an unnecessary expense. But if you appreciate fine tools, and start out purchasing them, it’s hard to go back to lessor caliber as you become spoiled.
For the recreational enthusiast, a 1 degree base and 3 degree side is probably the most common edge angle for most skis and boards and works particularly well on ice and hard man-made snow (conditions the majority are faced with, particularly out East). That’s of course assuming the edges are sharp and polished.
A 2 degree side bevel could be considered for softer snow – typical conditions most of the time in the Rockies. Many feel that there is not a downside to using a 1/3 (base/side) bevel angle for recreational skiers and that it is not acute enough of an angle to reduce sharpness quickly on abrasive snows and ice.
Many performance minded skiers on hard snows may prefer a .5 or .7 degree base bevel. It is easier to increase the base bevel versus reducing if you are experimenting since you will need to remove base material to reduce the base bevel angle.