Frequently asked Snowglide Questions
- Which Machine is recommended for my use?
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.
For the more detailed tuning fanatic the Af-L side edge only machine offers infinitely adjustable angles to less than 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 is the Snowglide different from other machines on the market
Snowglide is a quality product that provides high level of precision and ease of use. We use high grade materials to build a precision machine that will last for years. Our Snowglide thought process “you get what you pay for”. Not all tuning machines currently on the market are created equal. We do not believe in building low end product that will give you sub-par results or not last for years and years of tuning. We use the same tuning concepts, motors, stones and high grade aluminum in all of our machines. Snowglide is a superior product to provide the best results and stress free use.
The main difference is the Snowglide weight is supported by the ski. You simply move the machine along the edge, it can be engaged or disengaged with a quick finger pull of the top tray. This is stress free as you really have no possibility of error or something going wrong. Some machines on the market require you mount the ski on its side and in these cases you have to have a very steady hand to make sure you are not “rolling off” the edge. This steady hand issue makes consistency a difficult task. If you roll off the edge by mistake you will do severe damage to the edge angle and will require a lot of material removal to reset the angle. Snowglide there is really no chance to roll off and if it happens the angle increases so there will be no damage at all.
- 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 have the best results if 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 new ski prep or skis that have not previously been tuned with your Snowglide. 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 2 to 3 passes to refresh the edge sharpness. Tuning once per week with the machine it takes typically 2 or 3 passes to get regain sharpness.
Skis new to your Snowglide depends on the starting angles. We recommend using the Coarse stone to reduce your time and wear on the Medium stone. The Medium stone does not remove a lot of material therefore we recommend a Coarse stone to “set the angle” this typically will take 5 to 10 passes…maybe more on new ski starting from 90 degrees. Since the Medium stone does not remove a lot of material and the fact that the Snowglide machine’s angles are extremely precise it can seem that the machine is not sharpening the edge…it can take several passes for the precise angle to “cut all the way” to the end of the edge. You can visually see the edge grind in the width of the metal edge. It needs to come all the way out to the end to be sharpening the edge. Until it does it you will still be in the process of setting the angle and not actually sharpening the tip of the edge.
- Machine does not seem to get edge sharp anymore
Some tuners notice that after a few months the machine seems to not sharpen as it use to. The machine is operating properly, what has happen is you are starting to hit the sidewall material just above the edge. When this happens are not grinding the metal edge but being blocked by the sidewall material. You will need to perform sidewall work again to pull back that side wall bumper just above the edge. Just like if you are hand tuning with file and file guides this sidewall work needs to perform periodically to insure you are cutting the metal surface and not deflecting off of the sidewall material.