New ski Prep/ Ski Tuning Specs

30 Aug 2014 1:03 AM | Deleted user

This ties into the post about Ski Tuning Education.

WARNING: New Ski Prep is one of the most advanced tuning jobs to do, and the performance of the New Skis (that you just paid so dearly for) hinges on Getting The Tune RIGHT!!

So considering that (and the fact that most people have neither the time nor the proper tools for this particular job), I suggest you do the following:

Take the New skis (or quiver of skis) to Your Favorite Tuner (if you need suggestions, please write).

BUT- lots of skis come into the shops this time of year. You want your racers' skis tuned Better Than Average (if not great) right? How do you ensure the best possible tune for the $$? By being Picky with how you specify the skis to be tuned, and Checking Their Work, that's how!! 

Here are the specs for you- by age and ski type. I will suggest settings for all these:

  • Base Specs: (Flatness and Structure)
  • Edge Bevels: (Base and Side)
  • Wax: (Scrape or no-Scrape)


Flatness: All Ages,All Ski Types- Tell the shops you want the bases Dead Flat- not almost flat or flat here and there. Be willing to pay extra money if they seem resistant or hesitant. If they are unwilling or unable, Walk Away. Change Shops. Flat bases are CRITICAL to the performance of the ski, and very few skis (especially on Junior skis)  are shipped with flat bases.  I have to give a shout out to Fischer here however- they simply have the finest New Ski finish on the planet, day in, day out.

Structure: Most skis come with a pretty good structure these days, but often the skis must be re-ground anyway because they are not flat.  If the shop is using hand tools to flatten the bases, they may not need to grind the ski. BE VERY PICKY with the structure on Speed Skis. Ask the advice of your shop or of one us coaches. If you do get speed skis ground, ask the shop to break in the bases and wax them for you too.

Edge Bevels:

U-8, U10, some U-12; all ski types: 1 degree base bevel, 1 degree side bevel.  This will create a 90 degree edge that holds well, but is very forgiving and very durable. 

Advanced U-12, U-14: 1 degree base bevel, 2-3 degrees side bevel. The ski will hook up and carve harder with a 3 degree bevel. I suggest you move at u-12/u-14 straight from a 1 degree side bevel to a 3 degree and not bother with a 2 degree.

Advanced U-14 and U-16: 

  • 3 degrees side bevel for all race skis. It just makes things easier to use the same setup, and there is no good reason to use less than 3 degrees bevel for any discipline.
  • .7 base edge bevel for Slalom, 1 degree base bevel  GS. Speed skis should have a 1 degree base bevel with a progressive bevel at the tip and tail (progressing up to 2 degrees). Write if you want to know how to do this.


  • Slalom .5 base, 3-4 degrees side. 4 degrees only for the iciest conditions and strongest racers.
  • GS      .7 base, 3 degree side.
  • Speed  1 base (progressing to 2) and 3 degrees on the side.


Always have the shops finish the tuning job by waxing and scraping. This way, you can check the skis with a true bar while still at the shop. If there is a problem, leave them or get a refund. If they are great, make sure you tell them. A little Positive Feedback goes a long ways.

Hotboxing:Baking skis in a waxing oven is a great way to help make skis faster. It is a nice option for tech skis, but it is almost a requirement for Speed Skis these days. If you want to know more about hotboxing, please write.

If you want to know more, I have much more posted here in the blog, and I will continue to research and give you my best guidance.

Side note: In case you are wondering, I have experimented with base bevels from .25 degree all the way up to 2.5 degrees and with side bevels from 0 degrees up to 10. The bevel settings I am suggesting here are the result of those experiments and due to multiple conversations with great racers, techs, and coaches about bevel angles. These settings WORK!

See you on the hill!


  • 20 Oct 2014 7:20 AM | Deleted user
    Just to give you an idea of the time involved to hand-prep a ski properly, I generally spend at least 3 hours per pair. And I do mean AT LEAST. I have prepped hundreds of pairs- your results may vary.
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