Ski Equipment & Tuning
As a member of ASRC, each athlete, once probation has been passed, should work towards having the following basic equipment.
All equipment, especially when starting out, can seem very expensive. There are links below to shops where you can buy equipment but we also recommend getting great second-hand bargains from other members of ASRC as when each athlete grows they outgrow them. We have a private Facebook group for the buying and selling of equipment. Send an email to us at asking to be invited to the Facebook group. Please provide details of the athlete and training session they attend as verification.
The only normal exception to second hand equipment, particularly when they get older, are boots. A good fitting boot can make a huge difference and for juniors they are well priced.
Pair of slalom skis. The size of the ski should be between the chin and nose of the athlete but always check with a coach first.
Ski boots, check with a coach on the boot type and particularly the flex you should buy. Coaches will also advise on suitable boot fitting establishments.
Ski poles (for artificial slopes you will need ski bungs on the poles)
Hand guards on the ski poles (for u14s and upwards)
Ski Helmet (with chin guard for u14s upwards)
Keeping your skis sharp and well waxed (well tuned) is a priority for a ski racer. Sharp skis ensure athletes have the best chance of improving their skills and developing their technique. We’ll give you guidance in this section of the tools you need and how to do it to help ensure you have the best kit possible.
When you first start tuning (sharpening and waxing) skis it can seem VERY daunting. Once you have done it a few times, it becomes much easier and quicker.
It is advisable to tune (sharpen at least) your skis after every practice session you do on a dry slope, less often when you go on snow. On an artificial dry slope, the edges of the ski can blunt very quickly. Wax is also taken off the bottom much faster than on snow, but wax will not affect the ability of the athlete’s development, unlike edges. Wax is there mainly to protect the ski base from the friction heat of a dry slope. In the winter when it is cooler, you might not need to wax quite so much as you do when racing in the summer months.
There is a huge amount of information below. We suggest that you take it a section at a time and you'll get through it in no time. If you are ever unsure of how to wax or sharpen your skis, just bring along your equipment to a practice session and parents that have done it for a long time will be more than happy to help. There are different ways of sharpening skis and everyone has their own way, but as long as skis end up sharp and well waxed, it doesn’t matter how they get done. We also organise regular ski tuning clinics every year so look out for them in our ski calendar.
There are links below on how to edge your skis and also how to wax skis. Please note the following when looking at these videos.
The basic tools you will need to tune your skis:
Ski workbench (travel one is good for taking to races but you can use an old table for example and just buy the vices below)
Ski vices (to hold your skis on the workbench)
Edge file guide (these come in different angles from 90 degrees to 86 degrees).
If you use an edge file you will need files and a file brush. If you use a tool such as a Discman or Edge Tune Pro I,I then you won't need files but every so often it is good to reset the edge angle with a file so best to have both.
Diamond edge file
Rubber bands (to tie your ski bindings up when tuning your skis)
Ski wax iron
Wax scraper - plastic
Set of brushes to brush out wax on your skis
Edging your skis:
Always wear gloves! The ski edges should be and will become razor sharp and a slight slip can result in a very nasty accident. Gloves are an absolute must and long sleeves are highly recommended.
There are two videos below on how to edge your skis. This is with a guide edge file, a Discman and also with an Edge Tune Pro II. Depending on which one you use or want to use will come down to personal preference. Eye protection is also recommended as these grinders can produce dust and debris which can fly up.
If using an edge file guide, it is important to use different grade files (rough, medium and fine) to keep your edges on your skis without taking them all off too quickly.
Please also remember, from time to time, to check your side walls and you can edge these when necessary. A video of this is also below.
Waxing your skis:
There are different waxes for dry slope skiing, indoor skiing and skiing on snow. Please check with where you buy your wax that you are getting the right one for your requirements.
In the video below, wax is scraped off theskis at the end of the process. This is a good thing to do for indoor and snow skiing. For artificial dry slope skiing, it is advisable once you have put the wax on the ski to smooth it so it is flat but not to scrape all the wax off. It protects the ski more and also saves you an extra job!
How to edge your skis:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNF0vQndo6Y (ignore the gummy stone part just after 9 minutes. Not advised for ASRC athletes in the way it is used here)
How to take away a side wall from your skis:
https://www.thepisteoffice.com/index.php/tuning-guide/7-sidewall-planing.html (link to explain why you do this and how you do it)
How to wax skis:
Other useful links for tips on ski servicing:
Recommended UK shops (online but you can phone to get advice) you can use and talk to to get a good basic starting set of ski tuning equipment:
UK Ski Racing Supplies: https://skiracing.co.uk/
Ski Bartlett: https://www.skibartlett.com/
Ski Bitz: https://www.ski-bitz.co.uk/
Edge Tune Pro II: https://edgetune.com/ (about the device)
http://www.skiservicing.co.uk/edgetune.html (where to buy in the UK)
Discman: Available from Ski Racing Supplies and Ski Bartlett