Tuning Your Skis: Everything You Need to Know

After a season of hard skiing, it is necessary to treat your skis to some TLC to ensure they are in top condition for next year. If you take good care of your skis, they will last for many trips to come and stay at the level of performance you are used to. There are a few simple ways to tell if your skis need tuning: if they aren’t acting like normal, if they catch when skiing or feel unstable, then you know your skis may need looking at.

Ski Tuning

Ski tuning is a difficult task; if you don’t have the appropriate materials, it is best to leave it to the professional and take your equipment to a ski shop. However, if you and your family are regular skiers, it might be worth investing in some tools so that you can tune your skis yourself at home.

To tune skis you will need a vice to hold them in place, a tuning iron to melt the wax and cloths, a brush, and wax to finish the job. This can be expensive but, if you ski often, it could be a cost effective way of keeping up performance.


Waxing improves the performance of your skis and makes them waterproof, causing the wax at the base of the ski to break down water into small beads, resulting in faster and easier turns. To wax your skis, first melt the wax on the waxing iron, though be sure not to heat the wax too much, as this can cause damage. Then drip the melted wax along the base of each ski and then, in backwards and forwards motions, iron the wax onto the base and let the skis cool. Use a scraper to scrape off the excess wax and then brush the remaining wax from the base.

Hints and Tips

It is always best to have your skis tuned professionally if you are unsure what you are doing or don’t have the correct equipment to carry out the task. Also, be sure to be careful with freshly tuned skis, as the edges will be far sharper than normal so never try to catch them with a bare hand.

If your skis have metal tips, take these off before you start the waxing process, as this prevents wax build-up. Finally, be sure to take your time with the task because undue care and attention can result in damage to your skis or injury to yourself.