How To Sharpen Skis

If you want to extend the life of your skis, you’ll need to know how to sharpen them.

It’s not the most difficult thing in the world and this guide will show you everything you need to know. I’m sure you’ll be ready to sharpen your skis by the time you’re done reading.


Why is It Important?

Skiing is a great adventure for any family. Though the fun in the snow is adventurous, often your skis will become dull and love on wax. The dullness of your skis can hinder your trip, and even cut back on your turns and stops. Just like with a car, your skis need a regular tune-up to keep them in tip-top shape. To prevent any mishaps or to wear out of your skis too quickly, you should sharpen and re-wax them regularly. Luckily, you can do this at home without having to take your skis to a professional each time.

When Should You Do It?

How often you sharpen your skis all depends on where you ski, how often you ski, and what the snow is like on the mountain. The more you ski, the more the edges of your skis will need sharpening. It’s important to keep the edges of your skis sharpened on a regular basis. If you ski quite a bit, you might want to sharpen and wax your skis every 8 to 10 days or so. If you ski less often, your skis might not require a tune up quite as often. Knowing your conditions and skiing habits is a great way to ensure that you are sharpening and waxing your skis at the right times. Remember, keeping your skis sharpened and waxed will prolong the life of your skis, making sure you can enjoy the slopes more often.

Only Sharpen the Edges

Before you begin sharpening your skis, you should know that the bases should be left alone. Though you can apply wax to the bases, you should avoid sharpening the bases since they edges are all you need. The bases are intended to run in the snow, giving you a slick surface. If you rub away all the smooth coating and wax from the bases, you have destroyed your slick surface for proper skiing. Keeping the edges sharp will ensure better turns and stops without damaging the smooth base. If you find that the base of your skis isn’t as slick as you want it, try applying a ski wax to the bottom of the skis. This will create a smoother surface for skiing.

Get the Right Tools

DIY sharpening requires a few tools. You want to ensure that you have the proper tools as well because the wrong tools will only mess up the job, causing more issues than before. You will need things—such as a scraper, a stiff brass brush, horsehair brush, nylon brush, wax, file, and more—to complete the sharpening job. Luckily, there are different places you can go to purchase ski sharpening kits that come with all the proper tools needed to complete the job, aside from the workplace, of course. You also might have to make quite an investment to get the right tools, but the investment will pay off in the long-run because you will be saving money by skipping the ski shop.

Follow the Steps

Here’s a good video that explains the process:

It is crucial to follow the steps of sharpening skis to a T. If you miss a step or skip a few, you might end up with more issues than when you began. Luckily, the steps are not difficult to follow, and you can easily understand them. If you need to, there are several videos that explain the process of sharpening your skis as well. These videos might be helpful to some.

The first step in the process is attaching the vise to a long and flat surface before restraining the ski brake. Most people use a large rubber band to do this. Next, you will place the base of the ski up to the vice. You should next use a base file guide, lock it onto your ski, and draw the edge in smooth strokes. You should do this for both sides of both skis.

The fourth step requires you to swap from a metal file to a diamond stone to complete the drawing of the edge. This stone works to remove any marks left by the file to smooth out the ski’s edge. Next, you will repeat step four but with a ceramic stone instead. This stone works to polish the ski.

The sixth step is drawing out the blade from the tip to the tail with the metal file once again. You should address the burr of the ski before working on the entire edge. Step seven is a repeat of steps four and five until the entire ski has been sharpened. The more you sharpen your skis, the more you will recognize when the edge is perfect. It is best to be patient when completing a job such as this one. It’s not hard to sharpen your skis, but it is time-consuming. Remember to gather the right tools, follow the steps, and enjoy your time on the slopes.

There you have it!

Sharpening your skis should be done by a professional but there’s some simple steps you can take on your own. There’s a few tools you’ll need but the process is pretty simple.

If you have any questions you can comment below and I’ll make sure to respond as fast as possible. You can search around the ski section up top for more tips and gear reviews for this ski season.

Are you ready to hit the slopes with your freshly tuned skis?

Categories Ski