Stone Grinding

Stone grinding can restore a ski base surface when damaged from normal use, scratches, and/or overheating from an iron. Also, many skiers choose to grind a brand new ski for a performance advantage as we do much higher quality grinding vs standard production line work. Stone grinding with us will make your skis faster! Many skiers grind their skis once every few seasons but many racers grind each season to have the best performance and some serious racers will stone grind shortly before their “A” race to maximize ski performance. Skis can generally be ground multiple times. On the low end (heavy damage to the base hence much base removal) skis can only be ground 6-8 times but there are cases of skis being able to take up to 40 stone grinds over the life of a ski. 

When stone grinding we are removing old sealed base material, creating a new flat surface on the base of the ski, and applying a new structure based on the conditions where you want your ski to perform at its best. There is endless variation in available structures and what we are able to put on your ski which makes grind selection critical. Below we touch on grind selection and how to choose the grind that is best for you. As you will see, we have completed our grind menu with structures that will not prove to be a liability or limit your skis to an extremely niche condition.

Stone Grind Service Form - More Details on Pricing and Structure Below

*Above you can see the difference between factory structure vs high quality Nordic structure machines like our Tazzari. There is a big difference on grind/speed quality. We recommend grinding all new race skis and getting old skis ground at least once per year.


Tazzari Albatross RP23 w/Vario Tech:

The machine that we use for stone grinding is a Tazzari RP23. This is a world cup quality machine that prepares cross country skis with extreme precision and quality. The same model machine is used by numerous national teams around the world and has prepared skis for countless World Cup and Olympic medals.

Our specific model is a brand new 2020 production with the latest software updates and technology. Attached to the machine is an industrial chiller that keeps everything running at a specific operating temperature so that your skis are ground with the upmost precision every single time.

"Vario Tech" is the ability of the Tazzari to change the drive speed of the feed wheel as well as the downward pressure on the ski throughout the camber. With this ability, structures can be adjusted “on the fly” and at certain parts of the ski to maximize the performance of what the ski is doing in that given spot. At Pioneer Midwest, we have the ability to see where and how pressure changes over the length of a ski with our flex tester and ski analysis. The combination of our ability to see how and where your ski reacts to weight, and the ability to change the structure at that point is unique to our shop. With this combination, we are able to tailor each ski to a given customer and product a finished grind structure for you that isn't available anywhere else.

Testing these Vario structures, we have seen skis that are drastically freer underfoot and have improved top-end speed over non-vario structures. Vario not only allows you to flush out moisture and humidity under your foot where it's most necessary, but it also allows you to break up snow crystals and create humidity where you need it to help that ski release and break away from the snow in the initial contact zones. 

Overall, it allows you to run grinds that you know are consistent and universal in warm traditionally tricky conditions and still get excellent results. Working with Lars truly solidified our mindset behind keeping a grind menu simple and using structures that you KNOW always run well. You are able to make universal structures run warmer by changing the moisture buildup under the ski without affecting the width of the structure which determines whether a grind trends towards newer or older snow.

Our technicians have extensive training on the use of this Tazzari machine and have prepared hundreds, likely thousands of skis. Please reach out via email if you have any questions about our procedures or stone grinding in general. ([email protected])


Grind Menu:

Our grind menu is simple to reflect how things are often done on the World Cup. KISS applies (keep it simple …) There is no sense in having complex structures on your skis that only work in niche conditions. In very general terms… cold snow = shallower depth; warm snow = deeper depth; new snow = tighter striation; old snow = more open structure. As a rule of thumb, colder structures are less liable vs warmer structures and tighter structures are less liable vs open structures. As seen below, snow crystals can vary depending on both temperature and humidity. Classic structures are generally linear in nature and skate grinds tend to be crossing. The reason is classic skis are always in motion when they interact with snow whereas skate skis are battling static release so the structure needs to be shallower and crossing to help the skis feel “free” Our structures are clean, efficient and take hand structure very well.

Nakaya Snow Crystal Morphology Diagram

Your skis are constantly interacting with the snow underneath your foot. Snow conditions and consistency are constantly changing even over the course of the race or workout, so you want a grind that will not become a liability. The snow crystals themselves are only half the battle, moisture content can play an even bigger role in how your skis feel. Without a recent stone grind, your skis ability to manage moisture is drastically minimized. On those warm days, a ski without structure can feel like attempting to drag a suction cup down the trail.


Skating Structures:
  • SC0 ~ 10F, and colder, Cold squeaky snow, Green waxes only
  • SC1 ~ 5F-25F, Cold grind for a wide range of snow conditions, leaning slightly more towards older/coarse grain snow, Green-Blue range
  • SC1N ~ 5F-25F, Cold grind for a wide range of snow conditions, leaning slightly more towards newer/fine grain snow to reduce friction with sharp snow particles
  • SC2 ~ 15F-40F, Warm grind for many snow types, leaning slightly more towards older/coarse grain snow, Blue-Violet range
  • SC2N ~ 15F-35F, Warm grind for a wide range of snow types, leaning slightly more towards newer/fine grain snow, Blue-Violet Range
  • SC3 ~ 28+ Our wet snow grind, best in high humidity conditions. old snow 28F+ and natural snow 35F+


Classic Structures:
  • CL1 ~ 15F< All snow types
  • CL2 ~ 10-40F Universal classic structure
  • CL3 ~ 28F> Wet snow, klister grind



Pricing varies depending on additional services and ski prep. Please see the attached work order form for more specifics on pricing for complete ski prep.

Pioneer Midwest Service Form - PDF


Ski Grinding Schedule:

Generally, we have a 4 day turn around on ski grinding in-season. This allows us to complete not only the grind but also get the ski prepped properly afterward in order to make sure you get the most out of your grind and make sure it lasts.

*Off-Season turn-around time varies but is traditionally a couple of weeks. We see fewer skis coming through the door, so this keeps batches of skis larger in order to produce more skis together for a higher quality end product for you.


Our stonegrinds have been race proven at the highest levels of competition. From NCAA nationals to SuperTours, and Junior Nationals to Midwest marathons our grinds have been on the podium and propelled athletes to career best performances.