How To Tune Skis


Tuning your skis or snowboards keeps them in good shape, improves their performance, and gives them a longer life. An edged and waxed ski will ride better and could mean the difference between a remarkable and unpleasant day.

You can hire a technician for your tuning or do it yourself at home. In this post, we are going to show you how to perform a simple ski tuneup right in your backyard and save yourself the hassle of bringing your ski gear to a ski shop. Hey, it could save you some bucks too!

Tune Prepping

Ski tuning involves repairing the base, sharpening the edges, and waxing. To get started, your skis need to be at room temperature.

If you are just from skiing, bring the skis inside so you can raise their temperature. Waxing your equipment while it’s still cold will likely bubble the base and you will end up doing more work than necessary.

Base Repair

Whether you are just learning how to ski or have been in the game for years, your equipment will need repair at some point. If you glide in the rough and ungroomed trail or over rocks that are not covered adequately by snow especially, your base may end up with scrapes or even big gashes that expose the core.

Small gouges and scrapes can easily be repaired at home but bigger holes need to be checked by a professional. Here is how to repair your expert or beginner snowboards and skis at home.

You will need:

  • P-tex sticks
  • Razorblade
  • Wire brush
  • Lighter
  1. Locate the dents on your equipment. Using the razor blade, remove any loose base material around the scrape. If there is any dust or dirt around the scratches, use the wire brush to get rid of it. The area needs to be clean before adding the p-tex.
  2. Now, go ahead and fill those gashes! Grab your lighter (you can use your survival lighter here) and heat the p-tex stick until it starts burning on its own. Hold the stick above the dents so that it drips into the seams.
  3. Once you have enough p-tex inside your scratches, put the stick out on a secure surface. Then allow the area to cool and remove any excess p-tex on the surface using a razor blade to make it smooth and uniform.

Important Tip: Be careful when using a razor blade on the base of your skis, as improper handling could result in more dents.



Burrs and rust on the edges of your skis can slow you down on slopes with rigid snow. Clearing these out can help you glide smoothly and improve your performance on the trail.

You will need:

  • A clean piece of cloth
  • Gummy stone
  • Diamond stone
  • Black felt tip marker
  • Vice/side edger
  • Thick rubber bands
  • Ski file
  • Alcohol
  1. Start by securing the skis to a vice on their sides. The top of the skis should be facing you.
  2. Grab the rubber bands and pull the brakes of your skis up and away from the edges.
  3. Consider the edge between the ski base and the side. Even though you can sharpen this like the rest of the edges, base edges are risky to sharpen at home because you may end up scratching the base. If your base edge needs reshaping, get this done by a professional.
  4. Remove abrasions from the side edge by running your finger along with it. If you see any rust or feel rough patches along the edge, grab the gummy stone or diamond stone and file these areas.

Do not run your finger along the edges of your ski if they are already sharpened. If you are going to do this, make sure to put on your hiking gloves to avoid cutting yourself. Otherwise, just use the stone without testing.

  1. Now you can begin sharpening and shaping the side edge. If you are an average skier or just getting started with snowboarding, you don’t have to do this as often as someone who spends every hour of his days in the snow. You can sharpen the edges roughly once every ten ski or snowboarding days or whenever turning starts to get difficult.

To get started with your ski tuneup, draw a line along the side edge using the tip marker. Filing away this line will give you a sharp edge effortlessly. Make sure to push the file only in one direction. Repeat until you have filled the entire length of your skis at least twenty times.

You can file tail to tip or tip to tail as long as you are moving in one direction. To find out if your edges are sharp enough, use them to scrape something. A sharp edge will require little effort to cut.

  1. If you are happy with your edges, adjust the skis in preparation for waxing. The base should be in a horizontal position and facing upwards. Wet a piece of cloth with alcohol and wipe dust and debris off the edges and base.


Waxing your skis after base repair and edge sharpening will enable them to glide smoothly on the snow. Doing this every four or five outings will keep them performing optimally throughout the ski season.

But you will need a ski wax that matches the temperature of the trail you will be on. There are different waxes for different snow temperatures, so it would be important to check the forecast for your ski area before starting your ski tuning.

If you will be visiting an area where temperatures are below -7˚C (20˚F), go for a cold-weather wax. An area where the temperature ranges between -7 and 0 ˚C (20 and 32˚F) will require a medium wax and one with temperatures above 0˚C (32˚F), a warm-weather wax.

You will need:

  • A clean piece of cloth
  • Alcohol
  • Ski wax
  • Brush
  • Scraper
  • Waxing iron
  1. Using a scrapper, get rid of any crumbling old wax from the base. Then wet a piece of cloth with alcohol and clean the entire base.
  2. Warm-up your skis using a waxing iron that has no holes at its base. Don’t use the traditional clothes iron as most of these come with holes in the base and may damage your skis. Connect the iron to a power supply outlet and once it has warmed up, run it along the base of your skis once or twice. This should be able to warm the skis up.
  3. Drip your wax onto the skis in a zigzag pattern and iron it onto the ski from tip to tail. Keep the iron moving so you don’t burn the base.
  4. Wait for the wax to dry and then scrape it off the skis. Use your brush to wipe off any dust and scrapings.

Globo Surf Overview

Skis wear off fast especially if they are used frequently. However, with proper tuning, you can keep them working as they are designed to and give them a longer life. If you are doing your base repair, edge sharpening, and waxing at home, this guide should be able to help. But it would be nice to visit a ski shop at least once a year for a professional tune.

More Snow Reviews:


  1. How To Tune Your Skis,
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!