One of life’s simple pleasures is getting out for skate skiing, touring or making turns on a warming bluebird day, with an inch or so of wet sweet corn on firm crust or solid base. Spring & summer predawn hikes on crust to harvest morning corn is right up there.
My early season riding isn’t much different than most skiers and snowboarders. I’m on a glacier with varying conditions and trying to mimic racing as much as possible.
The more things change, the more things remain the same…..but get more complicated and expensive.
For training USA mountain troops in 1941. In this segment, we learn how to choose the proper ski length, how to choose and take care of boots, how to adjust bindings, how to care for ski edges and ski bottoms. Alan Ladd is one of the recruits.
While skiing or riding challenging terrain or sparse snow coverage, it’s inevitable that your bases will get dinged. Core shots need to be sealed and protected, Gouges need to be filled to keep your bases running smooth.
Update: To avoid a ‘cold weld’ that has the potential to tear out while finishing the repair or while sliding on snow, it is very important to make sure the Ski (and Snowboard) Mender RP105 has enough time to achieve proper temperature and to carefully heat the area around a repair before injecting the welding material. LDPE has a very low adhesive property, so we need the heating of both base and repair materials to form a proper weld.
(Updated 11/7/12: Revised instruction and NEW instruction videos at the bottom of the page)
The File Base Flattener is a powerful planing tool that uses a file to flatten concave (railed, edge high) snowboards and skis. It is a different application from the steel blade in the Base Flattener, the steel blade is for fine flattening work, the File Base Flattener’s purpose is to cut through concave metal and plastic quickly.
(Updated 11/2/12: Revised instruction and NEW instruction videos at the bottom of the page)
A ski base must be flat for optimum ski performance. The SkiVisions Base Flattener is a powerful planing tool designed to quickly flatten and structure a ski base with a minimum of expertise, effort and potential for error. (Patent # 4,884,343)
To protect the eyes we recommend the use of protective glasses whenever working with rotating brushes. Make sure no one is standing close to the drill without eye protection.
The flatter, properly structured and defect free base will accept wax and glide better than one that is not. A better slide will also help the turn and basically overall enjoyment while out ripping it up on the snow. Keeping the bases in shape also prolong their lives and value.
How flat (or not) are my bases? What are my base bevel angles? How straight are my scrapers, edge guides & tools?….are among the typical bits of information needed to perform and gauge quality of work and determine what work is required.
Like any tool we carry, there is a range of quality levels available to meet budget, personal goals and acceptable tolerances. From basic straight metal bars to precise, finely milled, high quality case hardened steel, the DIY tuner can achieve the desired and necessary level of precision using the fundamental tool known as a true bar.
The objective of structuring is to impart grooves into the base material. This removes suction that a perfectly smooth base would produce, especially in wetter snows. The structure also channels water that is produced by the friction between the ski or snowboard base and the snow. A finer structure is desired in colder snows as it holds the smaller amount of water longer and helps the glide. Changing the structure frequently is not practical and should be done relative to major trends in the snow temperatures and time of year.
4/8/09: New! Soldering Iron Base Repair video can be viewed here.
Long the low tech and easy to implement method for the home tuner to make temporary base repairs has been burning and dripping Ptex candles. Common problems are the inclusion of carbon and discoloration of clear Ptex repairs, burning hands and fingers and the simple fact the repairs do not last (largely due to the wax included in the material, reducing the bonding). Typically, repairs need to be frequently repeated.
Fiberlene (or lint free) towels are excellent for removing dirt and old wax after using wax remover to clean the base or absorbing wax and dirt in base when placed between iron and base. It is also can be used as a final polisher and cleaner after waxing and scraping because of it’s slight abrasiveness.
What is the best way to keep a p-tex candle from dripping carbon onto ski bases?.
Light the candle, then holding a steel scraper to the lit portion wait for all the carbon to drip onto the scraper prior to placing the candle along the base to fill in the gap.
Using a soft wax (for warmer snow temp) works very well to clean the base. It pulls debris and dirt from the base when scraped off warm. Also a good idea to apply a mid temp wax as a ‘travel or storage wax’ to protect the base.
Maplus recommendations: Before applying the ski or snowboard wax, the base must be prepared in line with the latest criteria. Top results cannot be guaranteed if the skis & snowboards have not been prepared and cleaned properly: these ski or snowboard waxes are based on the very latest developments in chemical research into sliding products.