Doctor Don’s Skiboard Tech Shop Tips
(Doctor Don is a 47 year old engineer who lives in western Pennsylvania. His interests are bicycling, quad skating, skiboarding, nutrition and investigating new products. He has offered his expertise in maintaining skiboards in optimal condition and related topics.)
Waxing and Edge Tuning – How Important Are They?
If you ask a professional skier, he will talk to you for hours about the benefits. Ask a salesperson at a ski shop, you might get two minutes and a can of wax handed to you. In that two minutes, he will tell you that he always wipes some on before he skis and that their master mechanic tunes his skis twice a season. This is what they want you to do as well. I looked through some of my back issues of Ski and Skiing magazine and couldn’t find an answer there either. Could it be most people don’t care or have the time or patience to take care of their skis? Maybe there is little profit on a six dollar can of wax or a twenty-five dollar mini tune kit. I decided that on my next couple of trips to four of the local area ski slopes, a investigative poll was in order. My backpack was loaded with files, abrasive sticks, diamond hones and an assortment of waxes that I tested this winter, including eight cans of Zardoz Notwax (my favorite topping wax). The plan was to question about 500 skiers, snowboarders and skiboarders with an age range from 12 to 50 on how they take care of their equipment. The questions asked were as follows:
Do you hot wax your skis?
20% said don’t know, 40% said no, 35% said shop did sometimes, 5% said yes.
Do you repair your ski base or edges?
93% said no. 7% said yes. Snowboarders said they repair their bindings alot.
Do you use rub or wipe on wax?
20% said don’t know, 40% said yes but not every time they skied. 36% said no, 4% said the shop did.
Do you carry wax with you when your out skiing?
95% said no, 3% said sometimes, 2% said yes. Four people said they also wax after they are done skiing.
I also asked many of them if I could look at the bottoms of their skis, or apply some of my waxes and tune their edges. My best subjects were skiboarders, snowboarders, and skiers with new twin tips or radical carvers and most were inquisitive teens and young adults. The older they were the more suspicious they were, except for a few ladies who seemed a little too friendly. Almost everyone thought their skis went faster after the wax, some said too fast, but when I micro polished an edge they could feel the difference when they carved and that seemed to impress them. Some edges looked like saw blades, these belonged to a couple of 12-year-olds with lots of energy. My most popular items were Zardoz Notwax (I used all eight cans) everyone liked it and also my 1/4 inch wide abrasive belt sticks, light weight, and they fit in your pocket.
Most everyone wants easy waxing and simple edge tuning tools and guides and leave the hard stuff for the shops.