Snowglide Frequently asked questions:
- Which Machine is recommended for my use?
The Side edge mode is the “real” work horse. For daily tuning and maintaining a race quiver the side edge machine is the machine that will save you time and make sure you have a consistent sharp edge. Side Edge machine is extremely easy to use and will cut your tuning time in half. The Af-1 base and side edge model is really designed for World Cup technicians who are tuning for Downhill and SuperG skis. The base mode on the AF-1 is not designed to “set angle” but rather just put a fine polish on the base edge for an ultra good glide. The base mode is not used every time they tune and usually only performed when the ski is new or freshly stone ground. It is overkill for even the highest levels and requires a touch of expertise to perform very well. Af-1 is not recommend for even the highest level of home tuning.
The Af-C has quickly become the most popular model due to its maintenance free ease of use. The Af-C is built with the same motors and stones as our other models, however the angle adjustments are fixed and not micro adjustable. The Af-C offers 4 fixed angle choices (1, 2, 3 and 4 degrees). Because of the fixed angle design the Af-C does not require regular attention to calibration and is a bit less delicate than the Af-L.
For the more detailed tuning fanatic the Af-L side edge only machine offers infinitely adjustable angles to a 10th of a degree. Due to the more complex construction and micro adjustable dial The Af-L is a bit more delicate machine than the Af-C and we suggest checking calibration from time to time.
For most FIS and junior racing applications we recommend the Af-C , for those you prefer to really dial in their angles as they see fit the Af-L is the World Cup Tech’s choice.
- How long do the Stones last?
This of course depends on the amount of usage. Typically home use for 3 or 4 racers the stones will last for 3+ years. Club use with 10+ athletes stones should last 1 to 1 ½ years.
Stone life can be drastically increased by using the different stones to accomplish the work. We recommend that you use the Coarse stone(B-252) for all the heavy work such as pulling in angles on new skis or skis which have not been tuned by your Snowglide machine. Once the angle is established change to the medium stone (B-46 standard stone that comes on all the machines) to polish the edge. If you desire an ultra smooth polish then continue with B-25 or B-15.
- How easy is it to change the stones?
It takes about 30 seconds to change the stone. No tools required. Simple remove the plastic guard. Hold the stone in one hand and loosen the knurled retaining nut. Installation is reverse of removal.
- How easy is it to learn how to use?
The machines are extremely easy to use. It will take a few pair of ski to get the hang of it…but you’ll be close to an expert in 20 minutes. The machine does not remove that much material so there is little to “screw up” or be nervous about.
- What should I do to the Snowglided finished edge?
The Snowglide’s final pass is skiable as it is. Yet you may find the edge a touch aggressive. We recommend a quick pass with a very fine ceramic stone (1500 grit or finer) on the side edge and the base edge. This is 1 pass on each side from tip to tail and with light pressure. Then dull tips and tails with a rubber gummy stone to desired points.
- How fast should I pass the machine on a ski and in what direction?
Grinding pass should be in the time frame of 8 to 12 seconds to go from one end to the other end of the edge. It is preferable to pass/grind the machine from left to right. 1st edge will be passed tip to tail, turn ski around in vises and grind 2nd edge tail to tip. If you are grinding a lot of material with a Coarse stone it is ok to grind left to right and then continue back again right to left. Final polishing passes should always be done from left to right.
- Which extra stones do I need?
The machine comes with a medium stone (B-46) installed. This Medium finish is fine for most applications. The medium stone is a skiable finish. Great finish for SL and GS.
We recommend having a Coarse stone (B-252) for heavy edge work like setting edge angles initially on skis that have not previously been tuned with your Snowglide or setting up brand new skis. The Snowglide angle is very precise and the Medium stone does not remove a lot of material, using the Coarse stone allows you to get the true angles faster with less passes of the machine. Coarse stone is also very useful when needing to fix rock damaged skis. The Coarse stone lets you get a lot of work done faster as well as saves your Medium stone wear. Coarse stone should be followed by use of the Medium stone for a skiable finish.
Fine Stone (B25) is for ultra smooth finish on the edge. This stone can be run after sharpness is set by Medium stone. Fine stone is great finish for SL and GS when you have very dry aggressive snow, typically found in Colorado.
- How many passes does it take to get skis sharp?
Depends on the edge you are working on. Once the angles on your skis are “set” it takes 3 to 4 passes to reestablish sharpness. Tuning once per week with the machine it takes typically 2 or 3 passes to get regain sharpness.