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How to detune ski edges

What is detuning? It’s the opposite of tuning – rather than sharpening their edges, park riders like to dull them. This makes it more difficult to carve turns, but the alternative is catching an edge on a feature and dying.

Most shops will detune your edges for you if you purchase your skis there. That’s great for general riding, sharp edges are tricky to handle. However, liability might prevent them from grinding the edges way down for rails, or maybe you bought a used board from a swap. In any case, here’s everything we know about how to detune your skis or snowboard.How to detune ski edges

Your board or skis probably came with a sharp 90° edge, straight from the factory.

On rails, edges need to be dull so you can slide. Outdoor rails are always coated with rust, wax, and nicks, all of which catch edges. Most box-style features have some sort of plastic surface, like PVC rails; your metal edges will cut in and catch if they’re not detuned.

“Where do I detune?”

Basically, detune your edges wherever the rail touches. If you’re just starting out snowboarding, you’ll probably spend a lot of time 50-50ing but detuning will be very important when you start boardsliding. Skiers will have to detune right off the bat. To generalize:

Skiers: under your feet.

Snowboarders: under and between your feet.

“How much edge should I grind off?” How to detune ski edges

How much to detune is a preference. Just “breaking the edge” isn’t enough, but don’t completely round them either; anywhere between works just fine.

This is a pair of skis after a week of lightly hitting rails, without any detuning – you can rub your finger across the edge without feeling an obvious edge. Rails will grind down your edges whether you detune or not, which is why your local rental shop threatens your life if you go in the park.

For summer PVC rails: PVC is soft, and metal edges dig if you don’t do some heavy detuning. The above skis might be okay, but more detuning is better for PVC.

“Will it wreck my stuff?”

You can’t ‘undo’ a detuning. With that said, is it bad?

Dulling edges doesn’t weaken your core, but it makes it slightly easier for the edges to crack (less material). There’s some debate on what exactly cracks the edges, but regardless of the primary reason, they crack eventually. Your best option is to detune to reduce your chance of getting hurt.

“How do you actually detune, then?”

People use all sorts of things to detune. Metal files, grinders, sanders, cement steps… Here’s Tom Wallisch using an angle grinder with a sanding head.

If you use power tools, heads up – they can bite in super fast, and cut right through your edge, sidewall, and base in a second. Hold your tool snug, in a way where you can rest a hand on the base rather than floating the tool in the air. In our opinion, sanding tools are much better than grinding wheels for detuning, but a file is the best.

If you’re in doubt, call your local shop and ask them if they will detune your board or skis for you.

File is more than enough, if you want you can also use gummy stone after filing but no need. My advice is that you shoul try to make the edge round so change the angle of the file quite a lot while grinding the edge.

All in all, you’re trying to take the sharpest edge off and your edges will get fucked when hitting rails so don’t sweat it, you can’t really fuck up too bad

gorbdawggybrent I just got my color change wets fellas and I need to get them ready
how do I go about detuning them underfoot without messing them up or taking too much off the edges
I have a metal file and that’s it do I need to get more stuff or am I chilling

Anything rough can technically do it, I’ve even just used a fairly low grit sandpaper. Send pics of the skis!

Tucko Anything rough can technically do it, I’ve even just used a fairly low grit sandpaper. Send pics of the skis!

ButteryStix69 post picks of them pls

How to detune ski edges

The green pivots suit them nicely eh?

How to detune ski edges

I rubbed an ice cube on them

Personally, the idea of taking a heavy file to my brand new (very rare, and very sexy) V‘s all on my own makes my stomach turn, but I could just be over protective/under educated about detuning your own edges…

I’d drop them at a ski shop and tell them exactly what you’re looking for. I do it almost every year for my skis and it hasn’t done me wrong yet.

gorbdawggybrent How to detune ski edges

I rubbed an ice cube on them

KilaTsunami Personally, the idea of taking a heavy file to my brand new (very rare, and very sexy) V‘s all on my own makes my stomach turn, but I could just be over protective/under educated about detuning your own edges…

I’d drop them at a ski shop and tell them exactly what you’re looking for. I do it almost every year for my skis and it hasn’t done me wrong yet.

It never bother me to take a bastard file and a gummy stone to the rocker section of my brand new ON3P’s.

Session It never bother me to take a bastard file and a gummy stone to the rocker section of my brand new ON3P’s.

If anything fucked them up I’d never forgive myself

How to detune ski edges

Do you know what you’re asking for when you take your skis or snowboard into a shop for a tune-up? If you had to think about it, then this post is for you.

You may think that if you’ve made it this far into skiing or snowboarding, then knowing what detuning is doesn’t matter. The problem is that you won’t realize that your board or skis need to be detuned until you’re on the snow, and by then it’s too late. The Mammoth Bound team wants you to enjoy every second you have on the snow, so we’ve put together a basic guide on how to detune your skis and snowboard below. Check it out ahead of your next visit!

Detuning Defined

Detuning is dulling parts of the edge on a ski or snowboard, typically with a file. The areas that are detuned most often are the contact points, or the flat part at the nose and tail of a ski or snowboard.

The Reason People Detune

You may wonder why someone would want a dull edge on their snowboard or ski since that’s what you use to slow down and stop, but there’s more to it than just that.

Your edge is what cuts into the snow and allows you to slow down while carving. The sharper your edge, the easier it is to hold it when you’re cutting into snow and ice. That’s why sharp edges work well on groomed runs, but sharp edges do have their drawbacks.

For example, boxes and rails in the terrain park are often rough from wear and tear. If you hit a box or rail with a sharp edge, then there’s a chance that your edge catches the surface and you end up on the ground. For that reason, park skiers and snowboarders will often detune the edges of their gear, like the area around their feet, that make the most contact with a rail.

You don’t have to ride the park to benefit from detuned edges though, as new skis and snowboards often need to be detuned. The reason why is that edges wear down through use, so when a set of skis come from the factory they often have edges that are too sharp. If you don’t detune your new board or skis, then you could get off on the wrong foot as the edges on your new gear catch more often than you’re used to.

When to Detune

If you detune and how much you detune comes down to personal preference, but the most common time to consider it is when you’re riding a board or set of skis directly out of the factory. Otherwise, it all comes down to your preference and where you like to ride!

How to detune ski edges

How to Detune

If you’re unfamiliar with detuning skis or snowboards, then your best option is to take them to your favorite ski shop and ask them about whether detuning is right for you.

If you explore detuning enough to know that you like it on your gear, then you can have it done at a shop or even do it yourself at home. All you need is a solid bench, a course file, gummy stone, and a diamond stone to get started. Use the file to wear down the edge, the diamond stone to polish the edge once you’re done, and the gummy stone to smooth out any large burrs or bumps along the edge.

Remember to start slow. Once your edge is gone you can’t get it back, so file slowly as you get used to detuning your gear.

If you are not up for detuning your own gear, you can always rent your gear here.

FreddieG

In the parking lot (formerly “At the base lodge”)
  • Nov 24, 2018
  • #1
  • Out on the slopes
    • Nov 24, 2018
  • #2
  • Some skiers benefit from a tip and tail detune (dulling of the edge) by the enhanced Predictability of edge grip in those regions.

    Sharp tip to tail is presently popular, but can lend it’s self to an eagerness to hook up at the tip, or a reluctance to let loose at the tail.
    Some people who ski find these qualities annoying to ‘dangerous’.

    I like my ski edges sharp at all regions that come in contact with the snow. but dull the first and last inch or two to protect flesh and gloves when handling the ski.

    Ken_R

    Living the Dream
    • Nov 24, 2018
  • #3
  • Current Quiver: Black Crows Nocta 185cm (122mm wide), Black Crows Navis Freebird 185cm (102mm wide, Dynafit Bindings), Head Monster 88 184cm

    Steve

    SkiMangoJazz
    • Nov 24, 2018
  • #4
  • It really depends on how he defines tip and tail and how he defines detune.
    If he really dulled the edges beyond the contact point with the snow – that’s really detuning the tip and tail, and if you have any decent skills you don’t want that.

    If however he only softened the edges a little and only at the very tip and tail (just a few inches or less) then it’s probably fine.

    The only time I detune skis is for a very low level skiers on really sharp skis.
    Those Laser AX’s are great skis and I wouldn’t ever want to lose even a few inches of their greatness.
    I tune my Stöckli Laser SC’s as sharp as I can the entire edge.

    François Pugh

    Skiing the powder
    • Nov 24, 2018
  • #5
  • Sharp ski edges do what they are designed to do, hook up and turn when they are tipped to interact with the snow. Some folk can’t handle their skies doing what they are told to do that precisely and immediately. It’s like they have a car that begins a turn as soon as they turn the steering wheel a tiny bit. They can’t control their steering wheel that precisely, and would prefer that the car not turn until they have that wheel cranked a quarter turn.

    I am of the opinion that skis should be razor sharp tip to tail. Unless you have a physical disability or boots that don’t fit, you should be able to learn to control sharp skis.

    Some folk are on the wrong skis for them, and prefer making the skis less responsive over changing to a more easy-going ski.

    Viking9

    Getting off the lift
    • Nov 24, 2018
  • #6
  • Scrundy

    I like beer
    • Nov 24, 2018
  • #7
  • Primoz

    Making fresh tracks
    • Nov 25, 2018
  • #8
  • oldschoolskier

    Making fresh tracks
    • Nov 25, 2018
  • #9
  • Do a search on this site and you will see several threads on this, unfortunately.

    Detuning was introduced many years ago on straight skis to soften turn initiation (make skis less hooky. When it started, side bevels had just started 30’ish years ago and I unfortunately tried it, quickly discovering that any benefit of the side bevel was negated by the detune on ice. Additionally on straight skis not detuning was ok. The advent of shaped ski caused detuning to surface again but with the same negative aspects. Smart skiers the a better solution was the start of the Base Bevel.

    This allowed razor edges, great ice hold and skis that allow some skier error without trying to kill you. Side/base angles are as follows:

    3/1 most common good all around set up (what set for almost everyone else)
    4/0.5 for very aggressive setups (what I ski every day),
    2/2 (generally park riders) as the edge gets rounded anyway riding rails so who cares.

    Now how bad is detuning on your skis, if it been done aggressively, I’d be insisting on new skis as the life has been shorten excessively and you didn’t ask for it, if it’s minor getting them retuned at a proper ski shop and never darken the first shop again (after a refund has been given), if its very minor ski them till a tune is required and visit a different shop that has a tuner that knows not to detune.

    This said, deburring is something different, this depending on how you sharpen is required to remove random razor blade edges caused during sharpening, which will/can cause the ski to be unskiable. BTW some extreme skiers play with intentional burrs to achieve even better ice hold, this sort of falls into true extreme as it can be a bit hit and miss depending on how and by whom it’s done. I wouldn’t as I find the extreme side base combinations more than enough, without any of the potential negative drawbacks of doing this.

    So, repeat after me several times:

    Now if the industry could just beat any tuners (professional or not) that use detuning (including the word detuning) in their course of tuning skis or talking to their customers. .

    ***side note: some tuners mistakenly use detune to mean deburr, but several good beatings should cure this.

    1. Check for burrs on your edges by running a finger along the full length of edges. Remove any burrs with a medium diamond stone in a Base BEAST and Side of BEAST (or Pocket BEAST) with the proper bevels for your edges.
    2. Check for ski sharpness by dragging a fingernail across your edges. If the ski edge scrapes away some fingernail it’s probably sharp enough. If your edge is dull, sharpen following the side edge tuning procedure below.
    3. Finish your daily tune with hot waxing and head for the slopes.

    Enjoy your slope experience with tuned equipment. It’s easy and more fun!

    Base edge beveling is lifting the edges off the snow a slight amount (.5° to 1°) so they won’t engage until the ski is tilted on edge. Too little base edge bevel causes a ski to hook up before the skier is ready and excessive base edge bevel creates instability as the edges are raised too far off the snow.

    Side edge bevels are commonly 1° – 3° with the high number indicating a more acute angle to penetrate farther into hard snow. Too little side edge bevel can cause a ski to skid and too acute a bevel can cause the edge to knife into the snow and “rail”.

    RULE #1: If some is good, more is not always better!

    Edges must be sharp from contact point to contact point for carving. Skis need to grip the snow to allow them to bend into a turning arc. If the ski edges are dull, this will not take place causing skidded turns. If your skis are hooky, increasing your base edge bevel in the tip may help or you might want to have your boot canting alignment checked.

    RULE #2: DO NOT DULL or “DETUNE”!

    Base Edge Tuning

    For best results, begin with a ski that is stone ground flat. Hold the ski in a vise with the base up and use a Base BEAST and an 8″ mill file to establish your base edge bevel. Begin on the far edge with extended arms and pull file toward you with 8-12″ strokes. Rotate the ski 180° in vise to work on the other edge. Tip: Beginning tuners should darken the edge with felt tip pen and file until the entire edge is shiny.This technique gives you a visual on how much edge material you are removing.

    How to detune ski edges

    Do NOT file into the base material as this will create a base high (convex) shape causing instability. Finish by polishing with a medium diamond stone in a Base BEAST. Polishing with a progression of finer stones will enhance the performance.

    Maintain your base edge with very light polishing with a Base BEAST and a diamond stone after any side edge sharpening. Abrasive hard-snow conditions wear on the outer edges of the base and cause convexity. Have your skis stone ground to re-establish a flat base if your ski becomes unstable because of excessive wear. Note: Base edge bevels need to be re-established after any base grinding.

    Sidewall Planing

    Most skis are designed with plastic or aluminum sidewall reinforcement just above the edge. This sidewall causes difficulty when working on the side edge, as it tends to hold the file away from the metal you are filing. The solution is to remove some of the sidewall material with a Plane BEAST before tuning, so it doesn’t interfere with your work.

    How to detune ski edges

    Edge Profiles

    How to detune ski edges

    Side Edge Tuning/Sharpening

    Side edges need daily maintenance for maximum ski performance. Hold your ski in a vise with the side edge up and base away from you, so you can easily work on side edge. This position allows you to pull the Side of BEAST (or Pocket BEAST) toward you giving better control than if you were pushing the tool.

    How to detune ski edges

    Sharpen with an 8″ mill file in a Side of BEAST (or Pocket BEAST) until your edge is very sharp. Follow with a medium diamond stone to polish the edge. Use a progression of finer stones for “speed” events.

    Remove Burrs

    Lightly run a gummi stone along the edge at a 45° angle to remove fine burrs after polishing. DO NOT DULL or “DETUNE”!

    Machine Tuning

    Visit a good service shop if your bases are not flat or have sustained large gouges. Machine tuning or stone grinding will renew skis to a “block” shape, but generally do not set precise edge angles. Establish and maintain proper edge angles after any machine tuning/stone grinding with quality BEASTedge tuning tools.

    GENERAL SKI EDGE BEVEL RECOMMENDATIONS

    Recreational Skier Bevel Recommendations

    Average Recreational Skier Hard Snow Soft Snow
    Base Edge Bevel
    Side Edge Bevel 1° – 3°
    Advanced Recreational Skier
    Base Edge Bevel .5° – 1°
    Side Edge Bevel 2° – 3° 1° – 2°

    Ski Racer Bevel Recommendations

    Junior Racer Slalom GS SG & DH
    Base Edge Bevel .5° – 1°
    Side Edge Bevel
    World Class/Elite Racer
    Base Edge Bevel 0° – .5° 0° – .5° .5° – 1°
    Side Edge Bevel 3° – 4° 3° – 4°

    The angle ranges listed are variable depending on snow hardness, speed and your strength and skill level. A high level, technical skier tends to encounter hard and icy snow conditions. An increased bevel angle enables the base edge to be in immediate contact with the snow surface and side edges to penetrate deeper for better grip. A less experienced athlete may find that these extreme bevels tend to cause the ski to hook too quickly and edges to bite into the snow too much. This can cause erratic ski performance and possible knee injury.

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    Detuning rockered skis

    I couldn’t find much from the past 3 years on the subject: what is the current collective view on detuning of rockered skis? Specifically for me, Automatics (rocker/camber/rocker) which will be mostly for soft snow but do need to grip well on hard snow when needed. The tip splay begins around 18″ from the tip, but the widest point is 12″ from the tip. I guess when layed over on hard snow the edge engages to the widest point, even though that’s in the rockered section. The factory edges are just slightly detuned from about 15″ from the tip.

    For sure I’ll be skiing them as they are and detuning gradually over the first few weeks, but opinions would be good to hear.

    No experience with detuning the Automatics. But, my general method for rockered skis is press the bases of the skis together, make a mark on the sidewall with a Sharpie at the tip and tail contact points. Detune fore and aft of these points. The first day out I keep a gummi stone in my pocket and may or may not detune a little more if needed. More often than not, they’re good to go as is.

    Ski them in low snow conditions and let nature detune those bad boyz.

    I run a 1 deg base and side bevel, and detune well beyond the rocker maybe 2-3 inches. I definitely keep a stone in my pocket for additional detunes as needed on inital shake down runs.

    fighting gravity on a daily basis

    WhiteRoom Skis
    Handcrafted in Northern Vermont
    www.whiteroomcustomskis.com

    ^^^ or you can take them to the park and practice your butters.

    ideally try and find a triple kink rail that starts with a low grit kink and finishes with a nice high grit kink.

    I leave them sharp, and let nature take its course. then i sharpen them

    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It’s wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You’ve seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.

    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

    8, 17, 13, 18, 16, 18, 20, 19, 16, 24, 32, 35

    I just detuned the tapered tips of my S7’s because they were hooky in deep moguls. I don’t see a reason to detune the rockered section of the ski, you need those edges on hardpack and you wont notice sharp edges in powder anyways. If you’re catching edges just because of the rocker section alone, maybe you should re-evaluate your skiing and not your skis.

    I didnt detune the JJ’s or DPS 112’s and I didnt find them catchey, but I usually don’t detune traditional skis

    With a twin there isnt much ski on a packed piste so what little there is I want sharp

    I know there are people here both for and against detuning.

    Just to clarify: why I hear/read detuning, I think rubbing with a gummy stone on the tip and tail (or length of rocker).

    WTF are you guys talking about?

    No longer stuck.

    Personal taste: I detune the living shit out of anything which is not sidecut on my skis. Anyone on Down skis can send me a pm for the exact numbers.

    If it ain’t sidecut, no reason to keep it sharp.

    We are now detuning every ON3P on a scotchbrite wheel and, as a general rule, if it is not within the ski’s sidecut/effective edge, the edge is knocked completely down (particularly important on any tapered skis). We then detune 2-3″ into the actual sidecut. Sometimes a touch more of it is a heavily rockered ski that has a lot of sidecut in the rocker portions (C&D or pre-12/13 Caylor). Then follow it up with a gummi over the whole length a couple of times.

    Edit to add – this was done with a file before the scotchbrite wheel. Dealing with a bit of catchiness is fine with a gummi, but I’d be less than thrilled if I had to use just a gummi to detune a freshly ground & edged ski by itself, as it would take awhile. At least it is hard to overdo it though.

    Personal taste: I detune the living shit out of anything which is not sidecut on my skis. Anyone on Down skis can send me a pm for the exact numbers.

    If it ain’t sidecut, no reason to keep it sharp.

    ^^^^^What he said. I have several pairs of rockered skis (most of which are ON3Ps) and do exactly what SiSt does. I purchased a pair of first gen ON3P Viciks and on my very first run on them I thought I made the absolute biggest mistake as I like driving skis and when I did this with the Vicik the ski was catching like crazy. I checked the ski after a couple of runs and realized when I had the skis mounted and tuned the tech sharpened the shit out of the entire ski. Took them into the shop where I was skiing and had the tech detuned and have been in love with the ski ever since. I also have Billy Goats and Wren’s and never ever had any problem like this, but the ski was detuned before the maiden voyage. I truly do not know how you all are skiing rockered skis that are not detuned and are not having any issues with them “catching”. But to each his own.

    Enjoy your slope experience with tuned equipment. It’s easy and more fun!

    Base edge beveling is lifting the edges off the snow a slight amount (.5° to 1°) so they won’t engage until the ski is tilted on edge. Too little base edge bevel causes a ski to hook up before the skier is ready and excessive base edge bevel creates instability as the edges are raised too far off the snow.

    Side edge bevels are commonly 1° – 3° with the high number indicating a more acute angle to penetrate farther into hard snow. Too little side edge bevel can cause a ski to skid and too acute a bevel can cause the edge to knife into the snow and “rail”.

    RULE #1: If some is good, more is not always better!

    Edges must be sharp from contact point to contact point for carving. Skis need to grip the snow to allow them to bend into a turning arc. If the ski edges are dull, this will not take place causing skidded turns. If your skis are hooky, increasing your base edge bevel in the tip may help or you might want to have your boot canting alignment checked.

    RULE #2: DO NOT DULL or “DETUNE”!

    Base Edge Tuning

    For best results, begin with a ski that is stone ground flat. Hold the ski in a vise with the base up and use a Base BEAST and an 8″ mill file to establish your base edge bevel. Begin on the far edge with extended arms and pull file toward you with 8-12″ strokes. Rotate the ski 180° in vise to work on the other edge. Tip: Beginning tuners should darken the edge with felt tip pen and file until the entire edge is shiny.This technique gives you a visual on how much edge material you are removing.

    How to detune ski edges

    Do NOT file into the base material as this will create a base high (convex) shape causing instability. Finish by polishing with a medium diamond stone in a Base BEAST. Polishing with a progression of finer stones will enhance the performance.

    Maintain your base edge with very light polishing with a Base BEAST and a diamond stone after any side edge sharpening. Abrasive hard-snow conditions wear on the outer edges of the base and cause convexity. Have your skis stone ground to re-establish a flat base if your ski becomes unstable because of excessive wear. Note: Base edge bevels need to be re-established after any base grinding.

    Sidewall Planing

    Most skis are designed with plastic or aluminum sidewall reinforcement just above the edge. This sidewall causes difficulty when working on the side edge, as it tends to hold the file away from the metal you are filing. The solution is to remove some of the sidewall material with a Plane BEAST before tuning, so it doesn’t interfere with your work.

    How to detune ski edges

    Edge Profiles

    How to detune ski edges

    Side Edge Tuning/Sharpening

    Side edges need daily maintenance for maximum ski performance. Hold your ski in a vise with the side edge up and base away from you, so you can easily work on side edge. This position allows you to pull the Side of BEAST (or Pocket BEAST) toward you giving better control than if you were pushing the tool.

    How to detune ski edges

    Sharpen with an 8″ mill file in a Side of BEAST (or Pocket BEAST) until your edge is very sharp. Follow with a medium diamond stone to polish the edge. Use a progression of finer stones for “speed” events.

    Remove Burrs

    Lightly run a gummi stone along the edge at a 45° angle to remove fine burrs after polishing. DO NOT DULL or “DETUNE”!

    Machine Tuning

    Visit a good service shop if your bases are not flat or have sustained large gouges. Machine tuning or stone grinding will renew skis to a “block” shape, but generally do not set precise edge angles. Establish and maintain proper edge angles after any machine tuning/stone grinding with quality BEASTedge tuning tools.

    GENERAL SKI EDGE BEVEL RECOMMENDATIONS

    Recreational Skier Bevel Recommendations

    Average Recreational Skier Hard Snow Soft Snow
    Base Edge Bevel
    Side Edge Bevel 1° – 3°
    Advanced Recreational Skier
    Base Edge Bevel .5° – 1°
    Side Edge Bevel 2° – 3° 1° – 2°

    Ski Racer Bevel Recommendations

    Junior Racer Slalom GS SG & DH
    Base Edge Bevel .5° – 1°
    Side Edge Bevel
    World Class/Elite Racer
    Base Edge Bevel 0° – .5° 0° – .5° .5° – 1°
    Side Edge Bevel 3° – 4° 3° – 4°

    The angle ranges listed are variable depending on snow hardness, speed and your strength and skill level. A high level, technical skier tends to encounter hard and icy snow conditions. An increased bevel angle enables the base edge to be in immediate contact with the snow surface and side edges to penetrate deeper for better grip. A less experienced athlete may find that these extreme bevels tend to cause the ski to hook too quickly and edges to bite into the snow too much. This can cause erratic ski performance and possible knee injury.

    By Jedidiah Tan | Follow Him on Twitter

    I got an email from a reader asking about snowboard edge bevels and tuning your edges, so I thought I’d do a little series of blog posts covering each area of tuning your snowboard edges.

    Today’s part will cover how and why to detune your snowboard’s edges. Detuning your snowboard edges is something many newer riders fail to do, but it’s really something you should be doing with every snowboard you own.

    What’s the edge of my snowboard?

    It’s the metal edge surrounding the border of your snowboard that helps your board cut into the snow and ice.

    Detuning Your Edges

    What is detuning and why do I need to do this?

    Detuning is basically filing down some or all of the edges of your snowboard so that they aren’t sharp. Think of this as sandpaper on a piece of wood, except you’re using a file on your snowboard’s edge.

    This is done because having sharp edges where you don’t need them can result in catching your edge and crashing.

    What parts do I file down?

    That depends on whether you’ll just be riding rails and boxes or if you plan to use your snowboard for other riding:

    1) I ride more than just boxes and rails

    How to detune ski edges

    Only detune the nose and tail section of your snowboard and keep the edges between the nose and tail for carving and turning. There’s no point in having edges on your nose and tail when you never use them for anything, so get rid of them.

    You might be asking, “Why do snowboard companies put edges there then?” Well, it’s cheaper and easier to put one metal ring around your whole snowboard instead of putting two separate metal edges on your toe and heel edge.

    Some companies do dull the edges of the nose and tail a little bit, but it never hurts to do it again yourself to make sure it’s done right.

    2) I only ride boxes, rails and street features

    Since you’re not really doing any turning or carving, you’ll want to de-tune all of your edges. Go around the whole metal edge of your snowboard and smooth down everything. Edges can lead to edge catching on rails and boxes and you don’t want that when all you do is ride rails and boxes.

    Do note that this method is ONLY if you’ll only be riding rails and boxes exclusively. You don’t want to remove all your edges if you’ll be using the snowboard for other riding.

    How To Detune Your Snowboard

    The process is actually pretty simple and easy. All you need is a file to remove the edges and a gummi or diamond stone to polish down any rough spots. You can buy a gummi/diamond stone at any good ski/snowboard shop for $10-20.

    Here’s a video on the detuning process:

    Next blog: Sharpening your edges and which bevel angles work best for what type of riding.

    How to detune ski edges

    Sharp edges on your skis enables a good grip in the snow – which makes skiing on hard snow a lot more fun!

    In this article, I present a step-by-step guide on how to sharpen your edges, so you will get a great result without having to pay a shop to do it. Remember, though, that tuning your skis is a skill that will be improved through practice. These seven steps will take your ski edges from dull to razor sharp.

    1. Find a good location

    2. Secure your skis in the ski vises

    3. Deburr the edges

    4. File the side edges

    5. File the base edges

    6. Polish the edges

    7. Detune the tip and tail

    DISCLOSURE: For each step, I link to buying options on Amazon for the equipment, I recommend. Please note, that I am an Amazon Associate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you choose to buy any of the products I recommend – or any other product – on Amazon within 24 hours after clicking on one of our links, we will earn a small commission. Your support is much appreciated and will help us produce more inspirational material that can help you and others improve their skiing. Thanks!

    I only recommend equipment of high quality, whether you go for a simple beginner kit or want a more advanced setup. It will make the process more enjoyable, easier and often with better results – and the equipment will last longer. Swix is the brand I have always used and known for excellent quality. I therefore primarily recommend them through the links, although brands like Demon, XCMAN, Toko, Dakine, Racewax or Wintersteiger also make great equipment.

    1. Find a good location

    Tuning will produce metal shavings and if you wax the skis after sharpening the edges excess wax will most likely end up on the table and the floor. You should therefore choose a location easy to clean and where this is ok. Wooden floors and carpets are usually not a good option. Instead I recommend concrete floors, tiles, stone or another smooth surface that can take small metal ringlets and excess wax. You can of course also cover the floor with an old carpet or something similar.

    2. Secure your skis in the ski vises

    The two identical vises should be placed so they can hold the ski with a bit of distance to the binding on each side. Place the single vise in the middle. Secure your skis with the base of the ski facing away from you. Use a strong rubber band – a ski brake retainer – to hold the ski brake in.

    How to detune ski edges

    The vises can be mounted on almost any table that can handle a few scratches, marks and wax spots from the work.

    I recommend the Swix World Cup Ski Vise for a high quality solution.

    How to detune ski edges

    If you want to have a perfect travel table for ski tuning and waxing, the Swix Economy Waxing Table provides a sturdy solution.

    How to detune ski edges

    3. Deburr the edges

    Please note, that there are two sides to the edge: the base side parallel to the base and the side edge parallel to the side of the ski.

    Before you start the file work, you want to remove the any irregularities or burrs on the edge to make the process efficient and prolong the life time of your files. This is done by rubbing the diamond stone on the edge a few times until the edge feels nice and regular. I prefer to use the file guide (please see step 4) to maintain the diamond stone flat on the edge, so it does not round it by accident. Do this on both the side edge and the base edge, if necessary.

    Depending on the size of the burs, you can either use a 200 (coarse), 400 or 600 (fine) grit stone.

    PRO TIP: Some people prefer to use water, human spit or ideally a 50-50 blend of alcohol and water as lubricant to collect excess material and allegedly make the diamond or file last longer. This might be true, but great results are definitely possible without any kind of liquid, so I find lubricant optional.

    How to detune ski edges

    4. File the side edges

    Hold the guide so it slides tight on the base and the file slides tight on the side edge without pressing too hard. You are aiming to grind off fine metal ringlets of the edge. Use long, regular and overlapping strokes from tip to tail of the ski. Some people argue that you should always drag the files from tip to tail, but the other way around will make the edge just as sharp. Do as you like.

    Control the sharpness with your fingers regularly and continue filing until the edge feels sharp. Be careful. When properly done, the edge cuts like a knife.

    FAQ 1: What angle degree should I choose?

    The angle degree is either adjustable or given by the chosen file guide. For most recreational skiers a side edge angle of 90-88 degree and a base edge angle of 0,5 degree will be just fine. Just stick to the same edge angle each time, you tune your skis. Race skiers prefer a more acute angle like 87 degree, but that requires more maintenance and will feel a bit too aggressive for most recreational skiers.

    FAQ 2: What files should I use?

    Depending on the state of the edge and how often you tune your skis, you can choose between different file options. Normally, if I have not tuned the skis for a while, I start with a coarse file, switch to a medium and do a few rounds with a fine file before I polish with the diamond stone (step 6). If you only want one file, you should go with the medium.

    The files shown here are not the cheapest, but they cut smoothly into the edge and will last a long time.