How to Prepare Your Alpine Skis for Skiing




Introduction: How to Prepare Your Alpine Skis for Skiing

About: I live in the French Alps near a beautiful city called Annecy. I'm a profesionnal IT (developper and trainer) for years now. I always try to fix something when it's broken, and i try to make as much as i can.

Hi, this is my first instructable. I've been preparing my Alpine skis for years and I thought it would be nice to share this with you.
I live in the French Alps and I think that preparing the family skis myself allows me to spare money.

Preparing your skis consist of :

  1. Sharpening the edges of your skis
  2. Waxing the sole of your skis.

The tools you will need are :

  1. A file
  2. Sanding paper
  3. An Iron
  4. Wax
  5. A Wax Scrapping tool
  6. A workbench

Step 1: Set Up Your Workbench

I use to put two wood boards maintained by clamps on my workbench in order to maintain my ski. Thus when I work on it, it does not move forward nor backward.

I also attach the ski-shoe to the ski, so the automatic stopper is lift-up and it won't be on my way when working.

I don't rely on rubber or cord to maintain the stopper lift-up, because the spring is strong and if your rubber or cord breaks the stopper would be released very strongly and may hurt you severely.

Step 2: Sharpen Your Skis Edges

Sharpening the edges allows to remove the rust, and will improve the grip on the snow.

For doing this I use a file. Some prefer to use sanding paper. The file goes faster to do the job.

But remember, you have to go always forward and backward. And you have to sharpen both the side on the sole, and the side perpendicular to the sole. But always back and forth !

Step 3: Prepare the Sole for Waxing

During the last winter, your skis have experienced some scratches and dents. So the sole may be uneven.

It's time to sand the sole whith sanding paper. I use grit 80. Remember to sand always back and forth.

When you slide the palm of your hand over the sole, you should not feel any plastic bits.

When the sanding is done, wipe the dust with a clean rag.

Step 4: Wax the Sole of Your Skis

In order to wax you skis you will need :

  1. An Iron
  2. Wax

First set you Iron to Wool (Its a not too hot temperature). Try to melt a little wax and let it on the Iron, the wax should not burn.

When the temperature is set, let flow wax drops all along the sole. Then you can gently iron your sole in order to melt the wax and create a layer on top of the sole.

Step 5: Scrape the Exceeding Wax

Here we are going to remove all the exceeding wax we applied before.

To do this we need a scrapper tool. It's a thick piece of acrylic. You can buy it or make one if you want.

Scrape the exceeding wax moving the scraper tool backward and forward on the sole, and look at your ski sole under the light to check if there is more wax to scrap.

You can also slide the palm of your hand over the sole to check if it's even.

Finally, gently clean the scraps.

Step 6: Finished !

Well, you're done.

You have almost brand new skis.

And you are ready for great snow days.

Enjoy !!

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hello, I ski race and know an immense amount about ski prep and waxing because my edges are always razor sharp and my base (not sole) is the slickest in the course. Please please don't use sandpaper becuase I love skis and skiers. Instead, try a brass and a nylon brush before waxing. After this, try some swix or toko non fluoro or low fluoro wax. Just try chalking it on to save money, but if you really want a great wax up you can drip (which I only do for races). Try your local ski shop for a small wax iron. For the edges, go find a Sun Valley Ski Tools 93 degree pro edge beveler and file to keep your edge sharpening a consistent angle. Doing this at least once every three days you ski will keep your bases healthy and your edges sharp. Good luck to you and your skis!!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your comments! I only use sand paper because I was taught so when I was student and worked in a sports store during holidays to prepare the skis rentals for the winter. Since, have done so. And although I am not a world champion, I found that the skis are more incisive after this préparation. Nevertheless, i will retain the idea of the whetstone. I will give it a try next time.


    7 years ago

    +1 on a good brass brush. If anyone got near the base of my skis with ANY sandpaper, let alone 80 grit! we'd be having some unfriendly words. Also, I've found that a whet stone works very well for sharpening edges, and makes it much more difficult to change the angle of the edge. If your edges are very rusted, or badly burred, do yourself a favor, bite the bullet, and get them ground by a pro. Thanks for your instructable!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    First off you should NOT use sandpaper, the correct is to use a brass brush/wool

    Second, on modern skis there are a radius and the most rewarding is to use that to carve. The degree on the side's are VERY important and 0.5 degree can make it a whole new ski.

    You can change the character on your skis by changing the degree (aggressive/smooth)

    So if you have own skis and want do own work on them, there are cheap stuff to do it correct. Search ski forums for other guides.

    No offence to the maker off this guide, they get nice I bet and if you're bad at skiing you probably not notice but then again why bother in the first place?


    7 years ago

    I used to do this for all my friends in high school. Found a small travel iron someone was giving away that worked perfectly. Just the right size for the ski bottoms and never did get too hot. We always just used regular paraffin wax for the early skiing to get the bumps out and get used to skiing again, later came the better ski wax once we wore the paraffin off on the new snow.