Early Season Vail Ski Tuning Tips

It’s not too early to get ski tuning tips from VBSR, especially since Vail is already open for the 2018-2019 ski season. That’s right: Vail opened earlier than planned on Wednesday, November 14, 2018—with more than 500 acres of skiable terrain. Thanks to generous early-season snow, skiing and snowboarding conditions are good for this time of the year. And with more snow in the forecast, now’s the time to get out your gear and get ready for winter fun.

Read on for early season ski tuning tips and advice, including how to inspect your base, edges, and bindings. Our top 3 early season ski tuning tips relate to these areas, which apply to skis and snowboards alike.

Master tuner, Matt, and a VBSR customer assess the ski base after a day of skiing.

Master tuner, Matt, and a VBSR customer assess the ski base after a day of skiing.

Top 3 Early Season Ski Tuning Tips

Once you get your gear out of its storage area, inspect it carefully under good lighting with safety and optimization in mind. Here’s what to consider:

BASE: Visually inspect the base of your skis or snowboard. First, check to see if the base is dry or chalky, tell-tale signs that a wax is needed. A well-waxed ski or snowboard is smooth, shiny, and see-through to the base. Next, look beyond the surface for any base gouges or scratches.

VBSR ski tuning tips: Depending on what you discover, consider getting a base grind in addition to a wax.

EDGES: Lightly run your fingers along the metal edges of your skis or snowboard, feeling for any rough spots. A well-tuned edge will be smooth and sharp to the touch. Continue looking for any cracks or rust that may have developed in the off-season.

VBSR ski tuning tips: Early season snow often includes man-made snow, which can be icier than natural snow. Sharp edges therefore perform better in early season conditions. Address any edge issues by getting your skis or snowboard tuned to boost early-season performance.

Frank waxes a pair of skis in the VBSR Tune Shop

Frank waxes a pair of Salomon skis in the VBSR Tune Shop

BINDINGS: Check bindings by visually inspecting for wear, tear, and cracks that you may not have noticed at the end of last season. For skis, double check that the DIN settings remain at your normal DIN level. Engage and release a boot in each ski binding to ensure a smooth release. For snowboards, check buckles and release straps to ensure proper working condition.

VBSR ski tuning tips: If you’re unsure of binding condition, check with a pro. It’s always worth getting bindings inspected by a certified binding tech, such as those at VBSR.

Decide the level of service your gear needs. From a fresh coat of wax to full repair: We do it here at VBSR.

Beyond Ski Tuning Tips: Get Your Gear in Order

Now’s the time to slide into the Vail winter, so use this list to help organize your gear.

VBSR has all the accessory goods you could need for the accidental left behinds.

VBSR has all the accessory goods you could need for the accidental left-behinds.

A-Z Ski and Snowboard Gear Prep Checklist:

  • Accessories: Organize socks, gloves, goggles, neck gaiters, sunscreen, ski pass, and other essentials in a convenient spot for quick access.
  • Boots: Check buckles and soles of boots for excessive wear that would affect their ability to release safely from bindings.
  • Boot warmers: Check working condition, and charge up your batteries.
  • Clothing: Inspect, repair, replace—and get your go-to gear cleaned up.
  • Glove warmers: Check expiration date, and stock up for the season.
  • Goggles: Inspect goggle lenses, and replace if necessary.
  • Helmet: Look for cracks and signs of aging. Remember that helmets are only made to take a single impact.
  • Socks: A fresh pair of ski or snowboard socks to start each season keeps a smile on the face.
  • Ski storage: Arrange ski storage at VBSR so that you can walk away hands-free at the end of the day.
  • Tune: After inspecting your gear, bring it in for service at VBSR if needed.
  • Wax: If you’ve got a dry of chalky base, drop off your skis or snowboards at VBSR for a fresh coat of wax.
  • Zinc oxide: We needed a “Z” to close off this A-Z list, so here’s a reminder to carry a pocket-sized sunscreen for easy re-application.

Vail is open, and Vista Bahn Ski Rentals is open, too! After inspecting your gear with these ski tuning tips in mind, come by VBSR to arrange needed tuning and repair services. VBSR is also your destination for ski and snowboard rentals and storage. We’re steps away from Gondola One in Vail Village, which is now open for early-season skiing and snowboarding at Vail. See you on the slopes—and in the shop.