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How To Sharpen Your Ski Edges

The edges of your ski are what grip the snow and helps you carve. Keeping them sharp and rust free is important for the performance of both your ski and your skiing.

If you are skiing at Chill Factore you don’t necessarily need your own skiing equipment. We have a large amount of high quality skis and boots for you to borrow included in the price of your trip to Chill Factore. We also have an indoor street full of shops where you can buy your own if you are heading off to the mountains.

Whilst you can pay for a professional to sharpen them for you it’s also fairly easy to do them yourself. And learning how to sharpen your edges gives you a deeper knowledge of how your ski works.

There are two sides of the edge on your ski: the base edge and the side edge. These angles are set by the manufacturer for the best performance for that ski so finding out what your edge angle is, is a good start to maintaining your ski edges.

It is usually the side edges that need the most maintenance.

Equipment Needed To Sharpen Your Ski Edges

  • Heavy rubber band/ rubber brake restraint
  • 2 ski vices
  • Gummy stone
  • Diamond stone
  • Base file guide
  • Side edge angle guide
  • Masking tape
  • Marker pen

Note: filing your base edge can lead to serious errors and is best left to experts. However using a diamond stone is fine

Sharpening Your Base Edge

  1. First you need to get those ski brakes out of the way. Press down on the binding to raise the brake arms and then hook the heavy rubber band over one arm, up over the binding and attach to the brake arm on the other side.
  2. Make sure the skis are clean and the edges are free from any wax, especially if you have just waxed them.
  3. Fix the ski into the 2 vices with the base facing upwards
  4. Working on the edge furthest from you, run a gummy stone over the base edge paying attention to any signs of rust.
  5. Pop your diamond stone into the base edge guide and run it over the edge from tip to tail in short over lapping strokes and then do a couple full length strokes as well, removing any signs of nicks and burrs.
  6. Turn your ski and repeat on the other edge.

Sharpening Your Side Edge

  1. Fix the ski into the 2 vices with the base facing away from you and the edge you are working on facing upwards.
  2. Stick masking tape down the sidewall and over the edge of the binding of the ski to stop dust and filings from getting in the bindings
  3. Run a gummy stone over the side edge to take care of any rust spots.
  4. Draw along the side edge with a marker pen – this will make sure you don’t miss any of the edge.
  5. Pop your diamond file into the side edge guide and set it to the correct angle. Then run the file guide along the edge in long, steady strokes removing any sign of the marker pen.
  6. You will notice that you have now built up a sharp overhang over the base edge. To remove this gently run your gummy stone of the side edge at a 45 degree angle leaving a beautiful edge
  7. Finally you need to de-edge the first and last 5 inches of the edge at the tip and tail to stop your edges engaging too early. Simply run the gummy stone at a 45 degree angle backwards and forwards over the edge. You need to use a bit of pressure as you are looking to blunt this part of the edge.
  8. Turn your ski around and repeat on the other edge.

Now that your skis are in tip top condition why not bring them down to the Chill Factore for a ride? We are open seven days a week and have a team of expert ski instructors ready to help you master the next skill you want to learn.