Dave’s Rental Revival

Dave has gratifyingly taken my advice and snapped up a pair of ex-rental skis for a song. They’re not pretty but he understands that there’s a gorgeous base hiding under all those scars and rust:

This is why you should repair gouged bases not just wax them and hope for the best – it takes ages to dig the wax out when you do actually want to repair them…

The skis were Head & Salomon, both of which had almost completely black bases (another Brownie point for Dave) so they were easy enough to plaster with new P-tex:

Patched up and awaiting scraping

Once the excess P-tex is scraped off the bases were structured using the SkiVisions ruby stone then finished off with the base plane.

Pancake flat but not very shiny yet

The Heads leave the factory with base 1 degree edge 1 degree and as that is the most common “do ’em all the same” setting for rental planks they were fairly easy to tidy up. The Salmons on the other hand should be 1,2 so the frankly revolting edges had to be beaten back to specs.

Nasty in & out edge plus extra hard to shave placcy top sheet. Soon be sorted with hardly any swear words.

Having stopped advertising the Cave due to other commitments, I’ve had lots of returning kit which means the edges are a breeze – done right once then just maintain them. So it’s a while since I’ve had to wrestle a pair of skis into submission, and you forget just how physical it is. If you ever need to do it yourself, the sequence is 1) shave sidewall 2) run your coarsest diamond file up and down the edge to try to get rid of any case-hardened burr 3) work the edge back to 2 degrees with the file guide & your coarse steel bastard file 4) stop to wipe the sweat from your brow and curse whichever dumpling buggered them up in the first place 5) get the edge to a decent state with the steel file, checking for burrs as resetting an edge will always give a mean burr 6) remove burr with coarse diamond file 7) use your diamond files & guide on the edge, fining up from 100 to 1600 grit (or whatever you’ve got) 8) check for burrs again 9) if OK polish side & base edges with gummi stone. Congrats – you’ve done one edge, only three more to go.

Next up is of course soak in a gallon of pink base renew wax, scrape & brass brush, then top off with green universal wax, scrape, brass brush then polish to a high shine with nylon/horsehair soft brush. Remember to remove the brake retainers…

Like new and a lot cheaper than buying new

Dave took advantage of the at-cost velcro separators that I got from the Piste Office last season and keep forgetting to mention to people (only three Scottish pounds per pair to you effendi), and he asked for some maintenance tips which I think I’ll make into a new blog post.

Winter update

So as is often the case January is the month when it all kicks off. I’ve mentioned before that it’s easier for everyone if you remember to drop your planks off in August so I can service them in the garden in glorious sunshine but for some reason the message simply doesn’t stick.

As I took four weeks in Spain from mid-December, to help build up vitamin D stocks before another Scottish winter, there was an understandable build up of demand in January so I didn’t really get many photos as I toiled away in the Cave.

Here are a couple of photos so everyone can understand that I wasn’t sitting with my feet up watching Oprah all month:

I think this was the biggest ding in Iain’s board…
A nice selection getting shampooed to get the old wax off
Colin’s other DPS ski getting the probiotic Araldite treatment
About half of the January skis & boards in the vestibule waiting to be picked up

So thanks to Scott, Claire, Steve, Colin Evan, Alyssa, Martin & Emma for these shots and to Mark, Dave & Lewis who got their gear in before Xmas: