Ski and Snowboard Edge Tuning
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. Dull edges will not grip the snow and allow ski to bend into a turning arc causing skidded turns. If skis are hooky you may increase base edge bevel in tip or check your boot canting alignment.
DO NOT DULL or "DETUNE"!
Base Edge Tuning
Begin with a ski that is stone ground flat. Hold ski in vise with base up and use Base BEAST and 8" mill file to establish base edge bevel. Begin on far edge with extended arms and pull file toward you with 8-12" strokes. Rotate ski 180° in vise to work on other edge. Beginning tuners should darken the edge with felt tip pen and file until entire edge is shiny.
Do NOT file into base material as you will create a base high (convex) shape causing instability. Finish by polishing with medium diamond stone in Base BEAST. Polishing with a progression
of finer stones will enhance the performance.
Maintain base edge with light polishing with Base BEAST and stone after any side edge sharpening.
Abrasive hard-snow conditions wear on the outer edges of the base and cause convexity. Stone grind to re-establish flat base if ski becomes unstable because of excessive wear. Bevel base edges after any base grinding.
Most skis are designed with plastic
or aluminum sidewall reinforcement just above the edge. This sidewall causes difficulty when working on side edge, as it tends to hold the file away from the metal you are filing. The solution is to reduce some of the sidewall with the Plane BEAST before tuning so it doesn't interfere with your work.
Side Edge Tuning
Side edges need daily maintenance for max performance. Hold ski in vise with side edge up and base away so you can easily work on side edge. This position allows you to pull Side of BEAST toward you giving better control than if you were pushing the tool.
Sharpen with 8" mill file in Side of BEAST until edge is very sharp. Use Plane BEAST to reduce sidewall above edge so it will not interfere with edge filing.
Follow with a medium diamond stone to polish edge or use finer stones for "speed" events.
Lightly run gummi stone along edge at 45° to remove burrs after polishing. DO NOT DULL or "DETUNE"!
Visit a good service shop when bases are gouged or not flat. Machines will renew skis to a "block" shape, but generally don't do a precise job of edge angles. Always establish and maintain proper edge angles with BEAST tools.
General Bevel Recommendations
The differences listed are variable depending on the snow hardness, strength and skill of athlete and speed. A high level SL or GS skier is usually on ice and wants the base edge to be in immediate contact and the side edge to penetrate for better grip. A less experienced athlete will find these extreme bevels may hook up too quick and the edge penetrate too far and the combination can cause erratic performance and possible knee injury.