The Basics of Detuning Your Ski and Snowboard Gear

skis leaning against plank

Do you know what you’re asking for when you take your skis or snowboard into a shop for a tune-up? If you had to think about it, then this post is for you.

You may think that if you’ve made it this far into skiing or snowboarding, then knowing what detuning is doesn’t matter. The problem is that you won’t realize that your board or skis need to be detuned until you’re on the snow, and by then it’s too late. The Mammoth Bound team wants you to enjoy every second you have on the snow, so we’ve put together a basic guide on how to detune your skis and snowboard below. Check it out ahead of your next visit!

Detuning Defined

Detuning is dulling parts of the edge on a ski or snowboard, typically with a file. The areas that are detuned most often are the contact points, or the flat part at the nose and tail of a ski or snowboard.

The Reason People Detune

You may wonder why someone would want a dull edge on their snowboard or ski since that’s what you use to slow down and stop, but there’s more to it than just that.

Your edge is what cuts into the snow and allows you to slow down while carving. The sharper your edge, the easier it is to hold it when you’re cutting into snow and ice. That’s why sharp edges work well on groomed runs, but sharp edges do have their drawbacks.

For example, boxes and rails in the terrain park are often rough from wear and tear. If you hit a box or rail with a sharp edge, then there’s a chance that your edge catches the surface and you end up on the ground. For that reason, park skiers and snowboarders will often detune the edges of their gear, like the area around their feet, that make the most contact with a rail.

You don’t have to ride the park to benefit from detuned edges though, as new skis and snowboards often need to be detuned. The reason why is that edges wear down through use, so when a set of skis come from the factory they often have edges that are too sharp. If you don’t detune your new board or skis, then you could get off on the wrong foot as the edges on your new gear catch more often than you’re used to.

When to Detune

If you detune and how much you detune comes down to personal preference, but the most common time to consider it is when you’re riding a board or set of skis directly out of the factory. Otherwise, it all comes down to your preference and where you like to ride!

Detune your ski gear

How to Detune

If you’re unfamiliar with detuning skis or snowboards, then your best option is to take them to your favorite ski shop and ask them about whether detuning is right for you.

If you explore detuning enough to know that you like it on your gear, then you can have it done at a shop or even do it yourself at home. All you need is a solid bench, a course file, gummy stone, and a diamond stone to get started. Use the file to wear down the edge, the diamond stone to polish the edge once you’re done, and the gummy stone to smooth out any large burrs or bumps along the edge.

Remember to start slow. Once your edge is gone you can’t get it back, so file slowly as you get used to detuning your gear.

WikiHow has a great step by step manual on detuning.

If you are not up for detuning your own gear, you can always rent your gear here.

The Basics of Detuning Your Ski and Snowboard Gear

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