Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Ski Servicing Myths - The Fingernail Test

In Europe, if you are going to ski at this time of the year it will be on a glacier. The pistes will tend to be firm, so your edges need to be sharp. If you are not going to ski, then it is a good time to prepare your skis ready for next winter, rather than wait until the last minute. Either way it seems a good excuse to mention one myth of ski servicing which I keep hearing.

The fingernail test, or thumbnail test, is supposedly a way to tell if your edges are sharp enough. Simply scrape the flat of your nail over the ski edge and see if you scrape away a sliver of fingernail. It is certainly true that a sharp edge will easily take away a little bit of nail. The trouble is that fingernail is soft enough that even a blunt edge can scratch it easily enough. A couple of weeks ago I neglected to tune my edges between days on bulletproof icy pistes. I was sliding around all over the place, really struggling to find any grip and make the skis carve in the ice. I learnt a lesson about putting the time in to service the skis every evening when the conditions require it. However, at the end of that day my skis still passed the fingernail test, despite being completely blunt.

The best way to know if your edges are sharp enough is to run your fingers across them (but not along them as you will tend to slice them open). With practice you will learn what a really sharp ski feels like, and what a blunt one feels like.

1 comment:

  1. Good job for busting those ski servicing myths. Two thumbs up for the hints too. Keep skiing and sharing. :)