This for you racers and parents who want ALL the performance possible.
For this prep, I will assume you have a "racer-trainer" ski situation (separate training and racing skis for each discipline). Since you have made the investment in "extra" gear, you are probably prepared to do "extra" preparation. Plan 60-90 minutes per pair of prep-time for ultimate performance.
First, you should evaluate/guess/research the range of possible weather for the next day. Hopefully, your racer's training skis are also in good shape- in case you need to press them into race-duty at the last moment.
0.) Remove storage/transport wax. 5-10 minutes. You DO wax your skis after races, right? It is now time to scrape, brush, and polish off ALL of that wax.
1.) Edges: Total time per pair (with practice) = 15-30 minutes.
a.) Deburr: Race skis should be stored with their edges clean, dry and deburred. If they are not, use a fine diamond stone (wet) in a base guide on both skis, then on the side edges of both skis. Be sure to wipe the edges wet (with polishing solution) then dry with a clean paper towel. ALL moisture must be removed.
b.) Sharpen: Working with a fine file, make 2-3 passes on the side edges, cleaning the file between each edge. Using a fine diamond (or ceramic) stone, make 1 pass on all 4 base edges. Then, using a medium diamond (or ceramic) stone, return to the side edges and make 2-3 passes. Repeat these steps until you have acheived the level of edge polish you desire. Then make 1 pass down each side and base edge with a gummi stone. In case you are wondering, it is better to over-sharpen then to under-sharpen. If the edges are too sharp at the start, a few passes with a gummi stone will serve to considerably reduce sharpness. .
c.) Polish: The edges are already at a high state of finish, but will polish further if you use a polishing cloth on them. Polish hard on each ski for 1-2 minutes.
2.) Bases: Total time per pair= 10-20 minutes.
a.)Scrape: With a sharp plastic scraper, carefully scrape away dirt and debris working from tip to tail. Repeat 2-3 times.
b.) Roto Brush: Using a brass/bronze brush, brush the skis from tail to tip, 3-4 times. LIGHTLY scrape with the plastic scraper to remove debris. Reverse the brush and repeat from tip to tail.
c.) Polish Using an automotive polishing cloth (or ski polishing cloth- which ever is handy), polish the base of the ski back and forth until there is very little resistance. Very lightly scrape with plastic scraper.
3.) Wax: Total time per pair= 20-30 minute... or more.
a.) Warm Scrape: Using a waxing iron and soft base-prep wax, drip plenty of wax (around 20 grams or so) onto the ski, then work back and forth until the wax is well distributed and warm. Make 1 last fast pass along the ski and grap your scraper. While the wax is still liquid/molten, scrape it off completely. Repeat until clean. If preparing for a low-temperature race, use progressively harder waxes for each cycle.
b.) Wax. Grab the wax of the day and repeat "a" above- except let the wax cool before removing it. For a warm (25 degrees and above) wax, let it cool as long as possible before scraping. At least 30 minutes. For colder waxes, remove most of the excess within 5-10 minutes. Cold waxes will chip if worked when cold.
c.) For Championship level prep, (after cooling) scrape brush and polish this base wax and repeat "b" above with a low or high fluro wax.
d.) Overlays: Skis MUST be fully scraped, brushed and polished before applying any overlays. It is ok to wait until the start to apply overlays, if it helps you chose the best possible wax combination.
4.) Strap and protect: After all THIS work, you want the skis to arrive at the start in PERFECT shape, right? So use 3-4 ski-straps or a complete base protector. Then transport them in such a way as to preserve your work. Exposed ski rack, ARE YOU KIDDING? But an overloaded roof carrier may harm the skis too.
If you are like me, it is now time for an adult beverage- or maybe straight to bed- that was a lot of work! But at least you know your racer's skis are as fast as you can make them right?