How to Detune Skis and Snowboards – Everything You Need to Know

Published by Harry Sowers on

Everything you need to know about Detuning your Skis

Detuning is always a good idea for ski and snowboard owners. It keeps your equipment in tip-top shape to continue to carve it up smoothly on the slopes. In this guide, you can find all you need to know to detune your skis or snowboards successfully.

What Is Detuning?

Detuning skis and snowboards is the rounding of the edges on the tip and tail so that the board is not grabby or sticky while on the slopes. To detune your equipment and base bevel, you must use a file or a stone to avoid sharp edges. Overall, it keeps you safer and more comfortable while sliding down the hills. Skis and snowboards that are not detuned can feel like they get caught in the snow. Detuning prevents this.

Before enacting your ski detune, be sure first to ride your equipment to test if they need adjustments. Skis already detuned are challenging to make duller, so it is almost pointless to try. For this, you should always test the waters first.

Why Should You Detune Your Ski Edges

man on detuned skis

Avid skiers like to keep their equipment in the best shape possible for when they shred it up. Whether or not you ski very often, you should still bust out a file and round off your skis’ edges. This makes your next skiing adventure much more comfortable and prevents injury from sharp edges if your equipment gets detached. Additionally, a simple detune can make the difference between a great day and a bad day at the mountain. Most people recommend that all beginner skiers with a base level of knowledge should have a rounded edge on their equipment.

Why Should You Detune Your Snowboard Edges

A snowboard detune, similar to a ski’s, can make a significant difference in your overall experience at the slopes. A detuning can lead to epic carves and jumps that make you never want to leave. Over time, the edge by the tail and the edge by the tip of your snowboard get sharper, leading to less control and less satisfying turns. A detune can prevent all this, including potential injury from falling off the board. A detune can also benefit beginner snowboarders so that they can have more control. In the long run, it comes down to whether or not you want to have a great experience the next time you go out snowboarding.

When Should You Detune Your Skis and Snowboards?

Detuning snowboard and ski edges should be done regularly, but it depends on how often you head to the mountain. For those who carve it up almost every day, a good detuning is needed about once per week. Most skiers and snowboarders who enjoy the sport in the winter typically only have to do it once per year.

Overall, if you are unsure about when to detune, complete a detuning when you feel necessary- when the board starts to feel too grabby.

Difference Between Detuning and Tuning?

Tuning skis and snowboards is the sharpening of the edges for a fine and clean edge. Having your equipment tuned can also mean that they run smoothly while on the slopes. Ski tuning is crucial because it can help make better turns. Overall, there should be a balance between the sharper edges and the more rounded edges.

Like detuning, an excellent snowboard or ski tune is required at least once a year. You should do more if you are a more experienced or avid skier or snowboarder. To tune skis, people recommend sending them into a professional ski shop, rather than doing it yourself. However, it is possible to tune your skis at home. It is just more difficult and a bit complicated.

How Do I Detune My Skis?

woman on detuned skis

Fortunately, it is not too tricky to detune a ski edge at home. To detune ski edges, the first thing to do is search for a long, flat surface that gives you plenty of space to layout your ski. After placing it down, identify the contact points. These are located on the edge where the ski starts to round. An optional step is to place the ski in ski vises. Although not necessary, these make detuning the edge much more manageable. Otherwise, you should hold the ski on its side.

Next, file down the first contact point at a 45-degree angle. Once the ski edge appears to have a 45-degree angled edge, you are done filing. As you file, it is vital to continually check the edge so that you do not remove it too much. Once you achieve that 45-degree angle, use a wet diamond stone to smooth the edge. Then, use a gummy stone to polish the contact point. After this, repeat on the other edge on the opposite side.

However far you choose to detune is your personal preference. Most people do it between the tip and the contact point, and the tail and the contact point.

How Do I Detune My Snowboard?

Detuning a ski seems to be the more popular area explained on the internet. While you search for information on your snowboard, you typically end up learning about the skiing aspect. This leaves many snowboarders asking: how to detune my snowboard?

Fortunately, a detune for snowboards does not differ much from a ski. In fact, it is pretty much identical. You must have a file, as well as a gummy and diamond stone.

Quick Questions on Detuning

Here are some answered questions that many skiers and snowboarders search for.

How Often Should I Detune Snowboard Edges and Ski Edges?

It would help if you rounded your equipment based on how often you hit the slopes. Once a year may be all that is necessary, or you may have to go once a week. Overall, do it when the edge feels too sharp.

Do You Need to Detune New Skis?

Usually, your equipment should arrive with a dull edge around the tip and a dull edge around the tail. However, if it does not feel comfortable, you should file the edge until you do.

Is It Bad to Hang Skis by the Tips?

It is bad to hang your equipment by the tip or by the edge. It can change the shape of the material or the edge. The best way to store is in a neutral position where there is no pressure on either edge.


Harry Sowers

Harry grew up outside of Denver Colorado and has been skiing and snowboarding since he was 3. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college at UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.