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Not much has really changed since 1941

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.

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Cool! New boards! Now what????

You just got some new skis or a snowboard. Now what?

Unwrap & drool, then inspect them to ‘get to know’ them

  • Check bases for flatness with a true bar and backlighting
  • Look for consistent base structure and for any gouges
  • Eyeball torsional squareness and general structure evenness
  • Measure the side and base bevels and record info
  • Check general consistent sharpness of the edges and for burrs or nicks. Also, check for rust
  • Detune the tips and tails around the shovel until they are no longer sharp and catch objects
  • Make any necessary (hopefully none or minor) fixes and tweaks
  • Clean, wax, scrape and brush a few cycle
  • Ski or ride ’em, repeat above and make any edge bevel tweaks deemed appropriate and test again
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SkiMan SideWall Sharp Planer Information

SkiMan SideWall Sharp Planer Instructions

Purchase Ski & Snowboard Sidewall Planers here.

  • Ergonomic sidewall planer
  • Easy handling, steady grip, maximum  accuracy
  • Best results, minimum  effort
  • Adjustable  blade position and cutting  depth
  • Right and left hand  use
  • For ski and snowboard

For Recreational, Snowsports Pros and Racers

The   use    of   the    sidewall    planer is   essential  to   remove   excess   of material  which may compromise  the file cutting  and  make  it  difficult  to obtain  the right angle.

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Ski & Snowboard Side Edge Filling Using Various Tools4Boards File Technologies

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 10.49.08 AM

Rick Weissenborn of Tools4Boards demonstrates edge filing with various Tools4Boards Metal file technologies along with some good tips on basic edge tuning.

Note that metal files remove more material than stones or diamonds and are used to set initial edge geometry or re-establishing very dull or roughed edges. Follow with a progression of stones or diamond files and remove the hanging burr on the base edge formed after filing the side edges. Don’t forget to plane or cut side walls that may interfere with the stone or file’s ability to cut the side edge. Also note that work hardened edge sections formed when hitting rocks or other hard objects, require using a stone before the files. Otherwise, your files will be dulled by these hardened edge sections.

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Basic Ergo Razor Side Wall Planer Instructions

Side wall removal is necessary to allow the edge cutting tools to cut or polish the edges. If you are seeing plastic in your files or stones, it’s time for you to remove the side wall where the top of the side edge meets the side of your boards (see image upper left). The SkiMan Ergo Razor Side Wall Planer works basically the same as variations and it’s cousins branded under several ski and snowboard tuning tool companies.

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SkiVisions Edge Tuning Tool

(Updated 11/7/12: Revised instruction and NEW instruction videos at the bottom of the page)

The SkiVisions Ski Sharp Edge Tuning Tool is a complex, multi-adjustable device, disguised as a simple, user friendly tool.  Its purpose is to give superb edge tuning results without requiring sophisticated edge tuning knowledge or skills; the tool itself provides the sophistication.

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Hanging Burr


After performing side edge sharpening and polishing, a hanging burr can be formed which may feel like a razor sharp corner. This can create hooking of the edge and unexpected edge action. Removing the burr is necessary and and easy final edge tuning step.

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Race Tuning Videos with Willi Wiltz Added to Toko Videos

5 New Race Tuning Videos Featuring Willi Wiltz Added
5 new race tuning videos featuring renowned ski and snowboard technician Willi Wiltz have been added to the  Willi serviced Tommy Moe, Daron Rahlves, and Bode Miller to their medals and biggest successes.  Additionally, Willi has worked with snowboarders Nate Holland and Shaun Palmer with great results too.  Learn from the best at your own pace at

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Snowboard Edge Tuning

Vic Wild laying it down.

From the Toko Snowboard Tech Manual found here:

The base edge on a snowboard should have a bevel of a half to one degree. A little base bevel makes the board easy to ride and transitioning from toe edge to heel edge without being “grabby”. Base bevel of more than one degree makes the board feel “slippery” and turns have to be skidded because the edge is not close enough to the snow to hook up.

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Adjusting Side Edges 1 Degree

Out of curiosity and a recent discussion with a customer prompted me to perform an unscientific experiment to provide a ‘meter’ for tweaking edge geometry. I think many are over thinking how much is really involved with removing 1° of edge material. It is in fact, fast and easy because little material removal is involved. Hopefully, this will help people to get less concerned about obsessing over angles and experiment on your own.

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Edge Tuning-So Easy even an Adult Can Do It

The following ‘in process’ school video project may provide you and others with visual aids and another perspective on diamonds, files and edge tuning. The edge tools used in this video can be found here.

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Edge Tuning Geometry Beveling, Sharpening and Polishing


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?

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Base Bevel Measuring w/Feeler Gauges

A straight forward, low tech method for measuring base bevels is to use feeler gauges or other objects of known thicknesses (0.5mm, 0.7mm, 1.0mm, etc).

The direct ratio between typical bevel angles, is the metric height (mm) of the angle, at the accepted distance and easy to remember distance of 60 mm/6cm from the edge (actually 57.3mm).

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True Bars

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.

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Asymmetrical Edge Geometry

A common question is ‘What are the side and base bevel angles I should tune my boards for proper edge geometry?’ Like many similar subjective questions, one way to find out is to experiment to find out what works best for you.

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Planing and Cutting Back SideWalls


While sharpening and polishing side edges and in order to cut the metal side edge only, the sidewall material needs to be planed or back-filed. Otherwise the cutting tool will get clogged with the sidewall material and reduce the efficiency and possibly the accuracy of the desired bevel.

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Diamonds & Stones vs Files


Long held as the primary edge work tool, files are being replaced with stones and diamond cutting tools for edge sharpening and polishing and prolonging edge life. Diamonds and stones tend to remove less material than files, are more forgiving and polish the edge while cutting and sharpening.

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Measuring Edge Bevels

Accurately measuring and recording edge bevels is necessary to match or select proper dedicated edge guides or mult-angle guide tools & settings for efficient edge work. This will give you a point of reference in making adjustments relative to skiing or boarding feedback, or for maintaining consistency while maintaining sharp and smooth edges. It’s a good idea to measure and record the edge angles of new ski or snowboards so you know where they were when you got them. Later, you’ll be glad you did.

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Is De-Tuning Passé?


De-tuning is the dulling of the sharpened edge to reduce the bite of the edge and ease the transition of the edges at the tips and tails with a diamond, aluminum oxide, ceramic or natural stone.

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T4B Razor or Xact Multi-Angle Tool?


Multi-angled edge guides offer an economical and versatile solution for accurate edge work as well as other uses. Both the Tools4Boards Xact & the Razor are made from very durable polycarbonate (Lexan), include a small file, offer accurate side and base angle work, bevel angle measuring, sidewall cutting & wax scraper sharpening. If later, you find that you’d prefer a dedicated guide or two for side or base work, your multi-angled tool still can be used as an additional guide or for it’s secondary functions.

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Tuning Kit & the Basics


Skis and Snowboards perform at their best when the edges and base are maintained on a regular basis. Tuned skis & boards are much more fun and responsive!

The TOOLS4BOARDS TUNING STATION KIT comes with a high quality edge tool, file blades, file brush and stone to remove excess side-wall material and bevel, sharpen and polish both the side-edge and base-edge of skis and snowboards. Please refer to the edge tool instructions included in the kit (or download: Razor or Xact) for details on proper edge tuning. Go to your Tools4Boards dealer for more information on tuning or to find kit replacement items.

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What Edge Bevels Should I Use?


For the recreational skier, 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.

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