Conventional wisdom is skis are ready to go right out of the box. It’s a long way from the factory to the sale rack. Sure, your new skis were flattened and sharpened at the factory, but during the trip the bases can settle, shrink or warp and dry out. At a minimum, new skis should be inspected for base structure, flatness, edge angles, have tip and tails detuned and receive a fresh coat of hot wax.
SkiTech advises all skis should receive a fresh stone ground finish at least once at the beginning of the season. During the season, the enemy is dry, uneaven bases and rusty edges. Edges can become burred, nicked, dull or oxidized after only a few days of skiing. Skis should be waxed whenever the bases begin to look white and oxidized. Beyond enhancing the performance of your skis, wax helps protect ski bases against abrasion and extends the life of the ski.
If you invest some time, learn a few basics and invest in a few simple hand tools, you can do day-to-day maintenance at home. Waxing is easy, hard to mess up and the consequences are low if you do. That said, you’ll still need to visit the shop for wet belt sanding and stone grinding to flatten and texture bases. More complex repairs like core shots and delaminations are best left to your ski tech. Any good tuning shop should be willing to teach basic tuning techniques and YouTube is a great resource for tuning tips.
We once had a client who, when waxing his own skis, would leave a thick coat of wax on his skis thinking “more is better.” Basically, ski bases are porous and our goal is to have hot wax penetrate the pores of the polyethylene base material. We then scrape and brush off the surface wax, leaving a textured base surface. It is the textured surface, imparted by a stone grinder, that breaks up the suction of the snow against the base and makes for the fastest skis. Wax frequently for a fully impregnated base and just like Montana SkiTech, you’ll be “Simply Faster”.