HOW DO I LOOK AFTER MY SKIS?
Looking after your skis is essential to increase their life-span and maintain performance. Your local shop will be able to help you maintain your skis for you, however learning how to do it yourself is less pricey and is a cool way to learn more about your gear. There are two important factors in maintaining your skis: keeping the edges sharp and the bases waxed/smooth.
At Faction we’re committed to reducing waste – we will help advise on the best course of action to maintain and fix your skis and give you all the advice you need, no matter how old your skis are.
The edges (the metal that runs along the base of your ski) help you to hold an edge on snow and ice so you can grip to make turns. Your edges can easily go rusty and small dents can impact your ability to hold an edge and carve a turn on hard snow and ice.
Our recommended edge angles are:
Side edge angle: 2 degrees
Base bevel (bottom side edge): 1 degree
Once you have sharpened your edges, you need to de-tune the tip and tail so they do not catch (you do this with a gummy stone). A sharp tip and tail can make the ski seem much harder to ski than if they are detuned. Edges are meant to be sharp and therefore can cause damage to your skis (and other items (clothes/gloves/bags/cars etc.) if you are not careful!
Rails and Edges
If you are regularly in the park and are hitting rails often you must make sure to detune and round off your edges first, particularly underfoot, to ensure your skis last longer, and slide more smoothly on the rails and boxes. If you do not round your edges, you will catch them on the boxes/rails which will cause edge cracks and reduce the lifespan of your skis, and also increase your chances of falling.
The base needs to be kept smooth and waxed to allow you to slide well. Waxing is important to maintain the performance of your bases, if you do not wax your skis regularly they will dry out and will not glide as well, and the base can eventually start cracking and deteriorate.
As well as regularly waxing them, your skis should also be regularly checked for scratches, gouges and core-shots. These should be evened out and repaired – we recommend doing this at your local store. You can purchase ptex sticks on your own that you melt in, however, they contain paraffin and other compounds, and do not get as hot to bond with the base, so they have a tendency to crack and fall out. These are great for short term fixes, but does not provide the same long-term repair that a shop can.
After between 21 and 45 days of skiing you should get your bases ground, this ensures the bases are fully flat and clean, as well as restructure the base pattern, so it glides better. We recommend going to your local store to get your bases ground as it requires special machinery. If a store is grinding your bases they will also give them a wax.
All our skis are already waxed by the factory so there is no need to get your skis waxed immediately after purchase.
Wax generally lasts 7-10 days on the mountain so we recommend that you invest in some wax and an iron and learn how to wax your skis. Alternatively you can ask your local store to wax your skis. If your bases start to look dry, often indicated by a slight white tint on the base, it is time to get them waxed. If you ignore this and it gets worse, you will need to get the bases ground by your local shop to remove the dry base, so that they can be properly waxed.
Note that the wax you put on your skis eventually comes out of the base and ends up on the mountain and in local watercourses (eventually ending up at sea). To reduce the impact on the environment, always choose a non-fluorinated biodegradable wax.
It’s supremely important that your skis are tuned correctly. Most importantly this includes the angle of your edges. (It also includes grinding the base and polishing the edges). Talk to the ski tuner about your skill level, abilities and what terrain you’re planning to ski in, this will help them tune your skis perfectly for you.
It is important to detune your edges, especially directly under the bindings, if you plan on hitting park features, to reduce the risk of edge cracks and catching, resulting in a fall.
If you are interested in tuning your own skis there are lots of excellent websites with more information.
STORING YOUR SKIS
Don’t neglect your skis when it stops snowing! Store your skis somewhere away from heat and damp to avoid rusting. If you can coat your skis in a layer of wax before storing this is even better as it will prevent rust and ensure your base does not dry out. If your edges do rust, you should take them to your local shop to have them professionally tuned to remove the rust and make sure they are ready to be on snow again.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR SKIS LOOKING GOOD FOR YEARS
Be careful when cleaning the snow off your skis with the other ski. If you hit the metal edge against the plastic top sheet it will eventually damage it (for example many people do this while sitting on chairlifts).
Be careful when putting your skis down or carrying them - if you bang them into a hard object (concrete/metal stairs/ceiling etc.) you can cause damage to them.
Use a velcro/rubber strap to keep your skis together and even better store them in a padded bag at all times.
If you transport your skis in racks on your car, they should be wiped down afterwards, to remove any salt/dirt from the road that may have gotten on them.
Make sure to bring them inside after skiing, to allow them to properly dry, so that the edges do not rust.