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Stone grinding restores a ski base surface when damaged from normal use, scratches, and/or overheating from an iron. Many skiers grind their skis once every few seasons but many racers grind each season to have the best performance and serious racers will stone grind shortly before big races 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 4-6 times but there are cases of skis being able to take up to 20 stone grinds over the life of a ski. Skis that are neglected and not ground for multiple seasons take significantly more work to flatten, therefore shortening the lifespan of the ski drastically.
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. When skis are produced they are pushed through an assembly line and ground at the end of their production. This machine sees hundreds of skis a day and is rarely cleaned which in turn produces structures that are not clean. When we are grinding skis at Pioneer Midwest we are adamant about cutting clean structures and put hours into post grind work so your skis are fast right off the bat. Stone grinding with us will make your skis faster!
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, but we at Pioneer Midwest have created a straightforward grind menu below with structures that ski well in varying conditions. Instead of offering complex structures that only work in niche conditions, we have created grinds that will not become a liability in changing conditions. Our grinds are developed for conditions around the country and use of hand structure in mind, keeping things simple for you and your skis. Below we touch on grind selection and how to choose the grind that is best for you. As a rule of thumb, colder structures are less liable vs warmer structures and tighter structures are less liable vs open structures.
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.
SC0 – 10°F<
Cold specific grind for squeaky snow, Green waxes only
SC1 – 5°F - 25°F
Our favorite at Pioneer Midwest Cold/Universal grind for a wide range of snow conditions, Green-Blue range
SC1N – 5°F - 25°F
Cold grind for newer/fine grain snow to reduce friction with sharp snow particles
SC2 – 15°F- 40°F
Warm/Universal grind for many snow types, Blue-Violet range
SC2N – 15°F - 35°F
Warm grind for newer/fine grain snow, Blue-Violet Range
SC3 – 28°F+
Wet snow grind, best in high humidity conditions old snow 28F+ and natural snow 35F+
CL1 – 15°F<
Cold classic grind for all snow types, lower humidity
CL2 – 10° - 40°F
Universal classic structure for a variety of snow conditions
CL3 – 28°F+
Wet snow specific, klister grind
Stone Grind - $80
New Ski Grind - $40
Race Harden - $25
Thermo Box - $20
Stone Grind Service Form - Attach with mail order grinds***
Generally, we have a 4-day turnaround 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 stone grinds 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.