The tuning stick is the guidepost here. You have snow conditions that demand certain edge finishes. The Tuning Stick is the only way to precisely analyze your edges to match them to the snow. If the snow is soft and fresh and your edges are very sharp, your skis will be sticky and grabby. If the snow is hard you need to make sure your edges are prepared for it. The Tuning Stick makes the condition of your edges VERY CLEAR.
We do a quick edge dress after each day of skiing, and sometimes at lunch if the snow is hard. This is all we do:
1. Tuning Stick, check sharpness, especially under-foot.
2. Use the green stones to get the right sharpness, then ruby ceramic for final polish. Make sure the edge is sharper under-foot than out towards tip and tail.
A GREAT MIDDLE RANGE STRATEGY IS A GREEN STONE IN THE SIDE POCKET AND A CERAMIC IN THE BASE POCKET. THIS GIVE SHARPENING FROM THE SIDE BUT MAINTAINS EXCELLENT POLISH ON THE BASE EDGE FOR GREAT SLIP.
It takes about 2 minutes to dress the edges and bring them up to performance. We don't even use a vise; just lay them up against a wall and go. It is amazing how this quick daily step can really make a difference in your day on the hill.
After Every Weekend
1. File Base Flattener. This is to remove any high spots (it is amazing how they can keep showing up) and to remove any high spot damage caused by hitting rocks. It will be apparent when the high spots are removed, the file will stop cutting.
2. If there is rock damage, first repair the plastic. Your choice how to do the repair (we make the 1 foot long very hard P-Tex ribbon, which is the toughest repair material available) but just be aware of the fact that dripping candles on sintered bases does not make durable repairs. Remove the excess plastic with either the steel blade in the Base Flattener or with the File Base Flattener, if the repair holds while excess is removed with these tools it is likely to be a good repair.
3. Work on the rock scar if there is one on the edge. Use the green stones (preferred on rock scars) in the Ski Sharp, then the ruby ceramic for final polish. DO NOT POLISH IT OUT BY HAND, LET THE SKI SHARP REMOVE IT OVER TIME. You can keep the damaged section sharp while it disappears over time as the ski wears and you continue to tune it. Polishing out the scar by hand gives you and inconsistent edge plane, not a good idea.
4. Now, sharpen edges and final polish. Check your edges with the Tuning Stick; then use the green stones to get the sharpness you want. Then do final polish with the ruby ceramic stones. Remember, sharper under-foot than out towards tip and tail make skis work great (essentially makes any ski act like a "current fashion" multi-rocker ski). We have been tuning skis this way for many years, is there really a reason to build in all those extra rockers?
5. Next, base flattening and structuring (assuming the base flatness is being maintained weekly). Pick the stone coarseness for the snow conditions and structure the base with the Base Flattener, which also keeps it flat at the same time when done as regular maintenance. Check the base for flatness with your true bar, if you are skiing hard snow the base will want to go convex, make sure you are keeping it flat. This usually takes very few passes if done regularly.
6. Finally, for a very picky but effective point. Use the steel blade in the Base Flattener VERY lightly flattening the tops of the structure from the stone blade. Make sure the steel blade is sharp and you can feel it drag on the stone structured base when you are using it with VERY light pressure. When the drag disappears you are done. Doing this really does make skis more slippery.
7. Last, wax if you want. We don't. We like our finish as described and not waxing saves lots, in our wallets and our lungs.
So how long does this take after every weekend? Maybe 10 minutes unless there is rock damage needing repair. It takes SO little time to keep skis in top condition with SkiVisions tools.