Heli-skiing stands out because of the incredible freedom and convenience it gives – in remote areas- for moving from one summit to the next, and for providing a large choice of pristine slopes and powder runs, so these are the main recipes of your Canada ski packages. First thing is to go online and buy a diamond stone sharpener and a de-burring stone. These are actually very cheap only a few dollars. Also buy a rough file and a smooth file (also called bevels). Purchase some ski wax and a plastic wax scraper. If you have huge divots in your skis you will need to get a glue gun and some P-Tex sticks. If you can you should buy some large table mounted clamps to hold your skis while you do the work. Couple other items you will need are a clothes iron, a c-clamp, a sanding block with some medium and fine sandpaper. You might not need all these items every time you do a tune-up but you should have them around.
Now that you have everything you need the first thing you will do is repair any divots in the base of the ski. Turn the ski facing with the bottom up in the table clamp. Take a razor blade like an exacto knife and cut out the divot making the hole deeper so the P-Tex will hold. Sometimes you have to use a small chisel to get get the hole bigger. Run some rough sandpaper over the hole mainly inside the top edges to create a surface for the repair to bind to. The P-Tex stick looks like a glue stick so just put one in the pre heated glue gun and squirt some P-Tex in the hole. Next take a regular c-clamp and a small flat smooth piece of metal and put the metal over the repair and use the c-clamp to put pressure on the repair while it sets. Wait at least 12 hours before proceeding. When the repair is dry remove the c-clamp and metal and put the ski bottom up on the table clamp. Use your rough bevel to grind the top off the repair as it wil be sticking up a couple centimeters from the base of the ski. Don’t over grind the repair with the rough bevel it could easily take off too much and you will have to re-do the whole thing. Also don’t slip you could ruin the edge of your ski. If you hit the repair wrong with the bevel it can also rip the whole thing out and you have to start over. You have to use finesse really when you do this and it does take some practice.
The repair has been done and now you move to the actual ski tune. You will be using your smooth bevel to grind the bottom of the ski and get the big burrs out of the edges. This will smooth out your P-Tex repair more and smooth any scratches out of the base. For skis that have been sitting a long time the bevel will remove any rust on the metal ski edges. It is important that you hold the bevel correctly by grasping it with your hands facing down and your left hand forward of your right hand. It looks like you are holding it diagonally. Start at the bottom of the ski work your way forward with the bevel. You might have to practice with it a couple times just dont press down too hard on the ski until you feel comfortable. You will now you are doing it right because the edges of the ski will begin to sharpen and the base of the ski will be lightly shedding material in an even way.
When you are done the bottom of the ski should be smooth and the base of the ski should be flush with the edges. If you are having trouble getting that to happen you might have to wet-sand the bottom of the ski with a block of medium-fine sandpaper (make sure you use plenty of water while you sand). In ski shops they run the skis over a wet belt sander that quickly grinds the ski bottom down before they use the bevel. Sanding yourself takes more time but it works too. Next take the diamond sharpener (also called a de-burring tool) and run it over each metal edge including the sides and you will see it get amazingly sharp and smooth. After you use the diamond sharpener finish up the edges with the de-burring stone. This can take some time but it will give you unbeatable performance with your skis. When completed the edges will sparkle and should be very sharp.
Finally the wax. You will probably have a block of wax and will need to hold a lighter under it and let the wax drip along the bottom of the ski. It’s OK if you put too much you can scrape it off later. When the wax is dripped on the bottom of the ski you must take a hot clothes iron and carefully and fairly quickly melt the wax onto the ski base. If the iron is on the ski too long it will melt the base of the ski and ruin it forever. Be careful. After the wax dries use your plastic wax scraper and starting scraping at the top of the ski running down to the bottom as many times as it takes to smooth it out flush with the edges and the base. The idea is to scrape as much wax off the ski as possible. You can put a little silicon on a cloth and buff it as the finishing touch.
What you just learned is similar to what they do at the ski-shops and ski techs normally charge $100 and up per repair and extra for the sharpening and wax. Do it yourself and you become more in-tune (pun intended) with your skis.
For more ski related information that you really need to read before you hit the slopes go to www.skiscience.com
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