Congratulations to all racers that will be attending the NASTAR Nationals, in Squaw Valley, California. 

Before you arrive in Squaw Valley here are a few recommendations to ensure you have the fastest skis possible for your races.  This message will be the first of two Race Ski Maintenance articles.  In this first article, we will focus on The Four Steps to Fast Skis, the second article will focus on Race Wax Selection and Application.

Four Steps to Fast Skis:

  1. Check your base bevel-  Base bevel is the most important aspect of alpine ski tuning, if the base bevel is off, your skis will not turn efficiently.  Even if the base bevel is set correctly, overtime, your skis base bevel will change.  You may start with a .5 degree but your skis are subject to many forces from flexing and abrasion from the snow.  You may not feel the base bevel of the ski changing, but a slow erosion of performance is happening under foot.


Base bevel selection is different from athlete to athlete, but most racers will choose a base bevel from .5 degree to .75 degree on the base (maximum base bevel of 1 degree).  Take your skis to a reputable shop and have the service center check your base bevel with a true-bar or base bevel meter.  If you have too much base bevel, have the skis ground flat on a stone grinder.  When the shop flattens your skis, they will put a new structure in the base and reset your base bevel.


  1. Select the correct structure or grind for the conditions-  Just as with car racing tires, the base structures can be dialed in for specific race venues.  On a dry race track, a race team may select a slick, with no tread pattern for maximum grip, but in wet conditions the team may select a tire that has deep groves to help move the water away from the tire compound.

When setting your skis up for NASTAR Nationals in Squaw Valley, choose a grind that is capable of moving water found in spring snow conditions.  It is recommended that the skis structure has deeper cross-cuts to help move water underfoot allowing the ski to glide efficiently.  If the skis do not have a deeper structure, the ski can stick to the snow, caused by having too much water trapped underfoot.

  1. Remove the sidewall material to ensure a proper/sharp side-edge angle-  Before sharpening the skis, make sure you use the proper sidewall tool to remove the excess material above the skis side edge.  This sidewall material can impede side edge sharpening, not allowing the sharpening device to set the correct side edge angle, or allowing for a sharp edge.


  1. Use the new SWIX EVO Pro Edger to sharpen your skis-  The old-school method of sharpening skis with a file literally ripped the edge apart to sharpen.  After sharpening with a file, the technician was left to use a series of diamond stones to smooth out the roughness left from the file, an expensive and time-consuming process.


The new SWIX EVO Pro Edger uses a small, durable diamond disk (Fine/Medium/Course) spinning at 10,500 RPM to polish the edge to an ultra-sharp, smooth finish.  The disk spins up the edge, leaving no bur and no diamond stone touch up work to do after sharpening.


The EVO is fast, light and extremely precise, the edger is adjustable from 90-95 degree.  Not only is it easy to operate, the high-quality interchangeable finish disks are easy to replace or change.  Finally, the floating disk requires no adjustment or setup, allowing for an error-proof edge angle.

Please consider shipping your skis to our SWIX partner, the Start Haus in Truckee, California.  The Start Haus specializes in race tuning and can dial your equipment in for the races.  Please visit their website, or call 530-582-5781 for details.

Good luck getting your skis race ready and tune in for the next article, Race Wax Selection and Application.


For more information click here

For wax recommendations, click here.