Time for that first winter tune up | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Time for that first winter tune up

It’s time to dust the cobwebs off those skis and pull those snowboards out of the closet.

Winter is quickly approaching and snow-sport enthusiasts throughout South Shore are getting their equipment tuned for the upcoming season.

“You want to tune because No. 1, (the equipment) was probably put away in bad shape,” said Gary Bell, owner of Sierra Ski and Cycle Works. “They’ve been skied hard, ridden hard and put away wet. When you get back on the snow you want them riding well.”



Kevin Meyer, a seven-year employee at House of Ski, said tuning edges of boards and skis increases the hold on harder snow and makes for a cleaner carve on ice.

“You should tune your board and your skis to ensure proper performance,” Meyer said. “That’s first and foremost. You don’t want to get out there and have the only thing holding you back be your equipment. I think it’s a good idea to check new equipment too, to see if it needs to be detuned.”




Wax is a key part of getting boards and skis back in prime shape.

“I apply wax to boards with a wax iron,” Meyer said. “It has better temperature adjustments. You want to make sure the iron is not ever smoking. Usually it’s broken down into different temperatures. The hardness or softness of the wax depends on the temperature. Depending on the snow conditions, there are waxes in a large variety of temperatures.”

Snow conditions and individual preference play key roles in deciding what sort of tune-up work is done.

“Choosing between hard wax and soft wax depends on the snow temperature conditions,” said Andy Poscic, Rainbow Mountain repair manager. “Hard wax is made for a colder, grainier snow. The soft wax is better for a warmer, more humid, more moist snow.”

Bell said he has come to know how his regular customers want their equipment tuned.

“The difference really can be a personal preference thing, depending on how much you ski or ride,” he said. “Snow conditions make a difference too. And how often you get a tune-up depends on the conditions and how frequently you go. I’d say an average is probably four to five times a season if you’re skiing or boarding a fair amount. But we have people who come in once a week all season long. We know certain customers and know they like their skis and boards tuned a certain way.”

Poscic explained the benefits of getting equipment tuned after the summer season.

“Basically, it makes the base a little more subtle, makes the board turn easier, makes the skis turn easier,” he said. “It keeps the edges in decent shape and when all that is working, everything seems to work better for you.”


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