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Steve Casimiro

If it involves fresh air and the threat of bodily harm, Steve Casimiro does it: mountain biking (120 days a year), skiing (50 days a year), surfing, skateboarding, climbing, backpacking. Makes you wonder how he has time to be a contributing editor for ADVENTURE (see his "Vegas Rocks" online and in the January/February 2001 issue) and to write and photograph for Outside, Men's Journal, Skiing, and Powder (where he was editor for nine years), among others.

Let me know when Steve posts answers!

What to do? Where to go? What to buy?

Powder Buff Steve Casimiro Answers Your Snow-Sports and Winter Gear Questions.


Is it easy to tune your own skis? What do I need to do?

—Gretchen, Camden, Maine

Sure, it's easy to tune your own skis. It's just hard to tune them correctly. Indeed, one of the biggest problems in skiing is the crisis in ski tuning: Most people are meandering around the slopes on dull, unwaxed, hacked-up, railed, and otherwise poorly tuned skis. Even new skis aren't immune: I've skied on boards fresh from the factory that never should have left the building. Of course, the tune has such an impact on the performance of your skis, this is a case where you can honestly blame deficiencies on your equipment for deficiencies in your technique.

You have two options. One, have your skis tuned correctly by experts. I don't mean take them to any old shop—a stone-grinder in the hands of an 18-year-old dropout ski tech can cause more damage than backing over them with your car. I mean, find a shop that caters to skiers who know the difference between an OK tune and a great tune. In your case, I've heard really good things about the Sugarloaf Ski Shop at Sugarloaf/USA ski resort.

Give the repair shop a call at Tel: +1 207 237 6990. Your second option is to do it yourself. I haven't read Alpine Ski Maintenance and Repair (U.S. $10,, but author Seth Masia is an old compadre of mine and I can testify that he's a tech geek of the highest order. If anyone can teach you to bevel an edge, Seth can. Check out the book, then do your tool shopping at, which has the most extensive selection of tuning gear I know.

The third option, which just came to me, is to do a combination of my first two suggestions: Get your skis tuned properly by an expert tuner. Then do the basic maintenance yourself. Use Zardoz Notwax ( every time you ski—it's cheap, rubs on, and takes less than five minutes to apply. And always carry a diamond or gummi stone to smooth out any nicks your edges might suffer from hitting rocks.

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