As ski seasons come and go, technology progresses and our favorite winter gear gets better and better. Behind every great ski—and skier—is a great ski tune. A flat base, clean structure, and precise edges can make or break the performance of even the best skis. Jans has a long history of using Wintersteiger equipment in our tune center, Rennstall. Their hand tools and machines are second to none. And just like any piece of ski gear, we need to upgrade our ski tuning equipment to ensure your bases and edges are up to our high performance standards.
Jans recently acquired the new Jupiter tuning machine from Wintersteiger. Our Discovery model had a good run, cranking out tunes for the better part of a decade. But in an effort to boost efficiency and have maximum quality control, we opted for the new Jupiter model. This new tuning machine sits just a foot and a half longer than the Discovery, but it packs a bevy of new features.
Let’s start with one of the coolest new features out of the Jupiter: variable bevels. Wintersteiger’s V-Edge technology allows the Jupiter to tune a ski with varying edge degrees. This means it can tune a ski to have superior edge hold under foot and good snow connection, with less dramatic edge angles toward the tip and tail to make it easier to initiate turns. Ski tuners have been able to hand-tune a variable edge for some time, but the Jupiter machine can be pre-programmed with variable edge specifications to duplicate it perfectly every time.
So what does a variable edge mean to you as a skier? Let’s say you have a carving ski in your quiver that you want a nice sharp edge from, but you find a traditional racing tune too aggressive. What we can do with the Jupiter is program in a base edge of 0.7 degrees, a side edge of 3 degrees under foot, and then taper your edges to 1 and 2 degrees in the tip and tail. This gives you an extremely grippy edge underfoot while the less aggressive tune on the tip and tail make initiating turns easier. Basically, you get the best of both worlds. And this is only one example. The possibilities of edge tunes on skis are massive, and they can be customized for each ski in your quiver.
For added context, the Managing Director of jans.com, Mark Fischer, tested a ski with V-Edge technology. Below is his insight:
“To see how the concept of vario-bevel tuning worked, I tested an Atomic Redster with a base bevel that was .4 degrees under foot and changed to .8 degrees in front of the toe binding and behind the heel binding. The side bevel was 3 degrees under foot and transitioned to 2 degrees from the toe piece to the tip and from the heel piece to the tail.
In summary, it was way cool, and here’s why–if you tuned an entire ski with a .4 degree base bevel, it would be quick edge to edge because the ski doesn’t have to tip over as far before the edge engages, but to be fair, it would also be a lot ‘squirrelier’ than you are used to if you wanted to just ski straight (on a flat section, for example), as both sides of the ski would be trying to engage whenever they touched the snow. In this case, the .4 degree base bevel under foot meant I could deliberately go from edge to edge with ease, but having the rest of the ski with a base bevel of .8 degree meant I could also hold a straight line riding back to the lift without having to concentrate like I was a downhiller milking every ounce of speed out of the base structure.
Even more exciting was the variable edge angle because the 3 degree angle under foot meant the ski felt like driving a stock car on a high-speed banked turn with extra sticky tires, but the taper to 2 degrees at the tip and tail meant I could roll out of the high angle phase of the turn smoothly and take easy advantage of the quick transition of the .4 degree base bevel under foot to get into the next turn, which held like I was on high-speed banked rails again. I know all this sounds a little geeky, but that’s because it’s meant to so aficionados who appreciate the mechanics of ski tuning can really understand the benefits of vario-bevel ski tunes.”
Custom Base Structures
A Wintersteiger tuning machine has always been able to apply a custom base structure. Base structures direct moisture away from the base of the ski to reduce friction, and different patterns for different types of skis and snow conditions. The Jupiter comes pre-programmed with a multitude of effective patterns, including those used by the U.S. Ski Team. In fact, the U.S. Ski Team uses the same tuning machine at their headquarters in Park City.
The most fascinating feature for me is that anyone from a basic intermediate to an elite ski racer can save their individual preferences on the machine. A simple barcode on your skis tells the Jupiter exactly what edge tune and grind you prefer for that pair of skis and reproduces it exactly the same every time. A pair of skis can be in the machine at the same time getting the same tune, running up to 70 pairs of skis per hour, boosting overall efficiency.
Other features of the Jupiter carryover from the previous Discovery, but they have been enhanced. The stone that grinds ski bases has a larger diameter that allows it to create precisely flat skis. And Wintersteiger’s signature ceramic disc creates a superior edge finish. The ceramic disc finish is further enhanced by automatic sidewall trimming. This step was once done by hand, but it can now be done automatically, saving time so you can get out on the slopes faster.
The Human Element
All these features are a lot to take in as the new machine has seemingly limitless options. Seriously, we could write multiple blogs on V-Edge technology alone. That’s why we think it’s critically important to discuss these new features and options with one of our expert tuners. Rennstall’s manager, Andy Buckley, has a long storied history tuning skis for teams and athletes all over the world, including some of the greats like Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin. He’s going to look at each pair of skis in your quiver and recommend what he thinks is best for you, the skier. Some of the work may still be done by hand, but a large part of it can be done by the new Jupiter. And it will happen quickly—overnight at the longest—and saved for future reference so the tune can be done with exact precision every time.
So bring your skis, the whole quiver, by Rennstall. The shop is located beneath Deer Valley’s Snow Park Lodge at 2250 Deer Valley Drive South, Park City, UT. For more information, call 435-649-1833.
By: Paul Boyle, Ecommerce Manager, jans.com