Video: A look inside the ski tuning process at a Park City ski shop
Behind the counter at Podium Ski Shop on Sidewinder Drive, several machines whirr and spin while employees scrape and polish, working on perfecting skis and making them ready for competition at the highest level.
Amid a busy day in the ski season, owner Jeff Butz takes The Park Record through what a comprehensive ski tuning and waxing process entails. Butz has been working on his craft for more than 20 years, including spending time with the U.S. Ski Team traveling throughout the world as a serviceman for the athletes.
The process takes skis through several machines that flatten and reset their bases and edges. For racing skis, which the shop specializes in, the edges need to be razor-sharp and consistently smooth to ensure the skis are able to cut through the snow in the fastest time possible.
“Ski racing is a big commitment and we try to help them with their equipment so they can benefit from the training and help them excel at the highest level, whether you’re an 8-year-old kid or you’re on the U.S. Ski Team,” Butz said.
The shop uses specialized machinery to ensure consistency, including in its wax process. Staffers use an infrared waxer that allows them to avoid using an iron, which could damage the bases if used at too high a temperature.
Butz recommends getting skis tuned every 20 to 25 days on snow to ensure consistent performance, and even skis purchased new can be tuned. “Even a brand new ski can go through this process that can be brought up to a higher standard than new,” Butz said.
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The Park City Police Department last week received reports of drivers struggling in a late-season snowstorm. The complaints were logged in various locations inside the city. The accidents did not appear to be serious.