Do Brand New Snow Skis Need To Be Waxed Or Sharpened?

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I bought new skis, but other than having the bindings mounted, are they good to go? Do they come out of the factory ready to ride?

Answer: They should be all set to go when you get them but give them a look. You might want to get them professionally waxed after a few days out.

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  1. They are should *be ready to go though you will want to have them waxed soon.

    *Some like to have skis stone-ground straight-away, never understood that myself until I was given a replacement pair of skis for a warranty issue, and the base on the new pair was completely uneven (i.e. not flat) an therefore the stone grind was required to make them remotely skiable – it is not something you will discover with the naked eye / touch – ski companies would be making a duff product if that was the case – it is very rarely a problem.

    *Others like to dull the tips and the tails in a process called detuning – again this is a hotly debated topic – I think you should – plenty others will disagree – as long as nobody tries to bring ‘ski bum science’ to the table (as I just did in another answer :-s ) then everybody usually goes home happy.

    As for waxing – good skis should be waxed often to live up to their true potential – it is the most important general maintenance factor in ski care – they don’t come out of the factory with a whole lot of wax therefore I would get them waxed after 6 hours ski time, then again every 30 hours after that – give or take 15 hours for how well you want them to perform.

    <addition> – Liquid wax is not a proper wax, as it sits on the base of the skis, heated wax gets absorbed far deeper into the base of the ski, providing better and longer lubrication and protecting the base – it does cost money but protects an investment and will allow you to get the most out of your expensive ski pass.

  2. If you look at the bases of your skis and they are uneven to run your hand across then I would get them worked on. Also, if you run your hand across your edges and they aren’t sharp enough to cut you then you will want to get them sharpened. As for the waxing, I would definitely get a professional to wax them for you for the first time out, but after that I would just get a liquid wax, nothing fancy and nothing that you have to scrape off. If you have any other questions then I would ask your local ski shop, they usually know what they are doing.

  3. Tom M pretty much nailed this.

    I’ll only add that a lot of skiers, especially racers and other pros will have a the skis fully tuned and often wax them several times prior to use. Everyone has their little quirks about what they like and someone who skis at that level usually has a good relationship with their ski techs so the skis get a custom job as per the skier.

    For the average skier, once you pick them up from the shop they should be ready to go. If you notice obvious scratches in the bases or burrs along the edges this is more likely due to poor handling of the skis by the shop people. Granted, customers might have dropped a ski while looking at it and caused some damage, but the shop should catch that when the do the mountings. If you pick up new skis that are damaged, consider another ski shop for future sales and service.

    I’m expecting a new set of skis to arrive any day soon. After I mount them I’ll take them for a few runs and most likely wax them 2-3 times before I use them again. I’ll only do the edges on new skis if I notice something amiss from the shipping or if I don’t like the way they ski with the factory beveled edge.

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