Today, as I was arching turns down my favorite trail at Whiteface Mountain, Skyward, it dawned on me that maybe it was time for a tune-up. I’ve been skiing on my new skis since the mountain opened in November, and they’re just not feeling quite as sharp as they used to. There are plenty of places in Lake Placid to get my skis tuned but I really didn’t want to have to drive all the way there from Wilmington. Furthermore, having my skis tuned in Lake Placid would require me to wait until a ski shop opened in the morning and would also require me to wait to pick them up at 8:00 and miss my reservation with the first tracks program. Rather than go through all that hassle, I decided to bring my precious boards to the experienced guys in the service department right at the mountain.
Rich Garfield, affectionately known to everyone as “Gar” and Mike, have been tuning skis collectively for decades. They’re vast experience sharpening and waxing skis means that you’ll get exactly what you need for a great experience on the mountain, and nothing you don’t. Their trained eyes can determine exactly what services you need to make your skis carve turns and glide smoothly through the snow. They are specifically trained to operate the state of the art Wintersteiger tuning machines found in the shop, and their experienced hands know exactly how to file your edges for maximum grip on the hill.
Sometimes your skis need a little help, and sometimes they need A LOT. Prices at the tuning shop at Whiteface Mountain vary depending on which services your skis need.
If your skis just need a gentle “sprucing up” or if you get them serviced a lot, your skis may only need the “green” level of service. This selection includes an angling and sharpening of the edges to the factory specifications, resurfacing the base material, and a “quick wax.” Often times this selection can be completed within 30 minutes of handing them to Mike or Rich. There are exceptions to this policy if things are really busy, but quite often you can hand in your skis, go grab some lunch, and pick them up to ride all afternoon on a freshly tuned board or pair of skis. This service is offered for $25.00.
If you have some dings or scratches in the bases of your favorite snow-sliding toy you may want to choose the “blue” level tune-up. With this selection Whiteface Mountain’s certified technicians will repair the dings and scratches, bevel and sharpen the edges as well as polish the edges with a diamond stone, and hot wax the bases for the current snow temperature. For this service you’ll have to leave your skis or board overnight, and the cost is $45.00
If you really want your skis or board sliding like new select the “Black” level tune-up. With this level of service you’ll get all of the services of the “Blue” Tune-up with the addition of a “stone-grind” for your base. A stone grind etches a pattern into the base of your board or skis, which helps the base material channel moisture more smoothly, and accept wax better. What you get is a pair of skis or board that glides just as smooth as the first day you used them. Along with the stone grind, the “black” level tune includes hand-filed edges. This service is available for $65.00 and is typically done with the skis or board being left over night.
Other services offered at the tune shop include, binding mounts, adjustments, and torque tests.
The next time you think your skis need a tune-up and you think you’ll need to drive far away from Whiteface to get it done, think again. Right at the base of the Gondola you can find specially trained, experienced staff, and state of the art of equipment ready to make sure you have your best day at Whiteface Mountain yet.