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Toko Edge Control Pocket File

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Toko / Pocket file for keeping ski edges sharp.

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      23.12.2010 13:15
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      A pocketable solution for maintaining a keen edge to your skis.

      And so we finally reach the end. Actually, we could have reached the end a different way: there's no real requirement to do the final two steps in this order; you can attend to the edges of your skis either before or after applying the wax. But, attend to the ski's edges you should.

      Ski edge maintenance is a process that requires accuracy. As manufactured the edges of the skis are ground not, as you might have thought, at right-angles to the base but in fact at an angle of 88° or 89°. For this reason, sharpening the edges of your skis is not something that should be attempted as guesswork!

      I use the Toko Edge Control Pocket File for this purpose. It's a very handy piece of kit that you can, indeed, stick in your pocket and use when the need arises, although I don't. I just use it as part of my annual maintenance routine and and when I need to during a skiing holiday. I paid just over £20 for mine from Snow & Rock quite some few years ago now.

      The device consists of a plastic body with an arm that swings out at right-angles. The so exposed body contains small files set at the required angle from each other such that when run along the edges of the ski it grinds away any nicks and restores the sharpness to the shoulders. It is the swing-out arm that runs along the base of the ski so as to ensure that the files are held against the two edges (bottom and side) of the ski at the correct angle.

      Clearly this device is only for removing minor damage and restoring sharpness to the edges so long as the edges aren't badly damaged. If they are then you will need something more substantial and my recommendation is that it is then the time to seek the assistance of professional ski technicians. Indeed, if damage or wear is severe then your skis may be beyond recovery and you may have to consider replacement, but this is rare. Since most damage is from glancing blows, severe damage does not happen very often.

      Racing skiers do need razor sharp edges but we recreational skiers don't need anything like this. Certainly, running your finger along the edges of the skis shouldn't draw blood! However, the edges do need to be well defined and certainly not rounded off. Carving depends upon the edges biting the snow accurately so that you can make those curves that show everyone you've done this before. This is particularly so on steep icy slopes where your skis really do need to bite into the surface. Side slipping down icy slopes needs to be controlled and it's your edges which provide this control. It's also what causes most of the wear that reduces sharpness.

      So, that's it, you're now ready for another season of skiing. Unless you have severe damage to the base of your skis during your holiday, daily maintenance should solely consist of refreshing the wax and checking the edges.

      Have a good holiday. Hope I'll see you on the piste.

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