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Get the edge.  World Cup ski preparation.

by Gary Dranow
Modern Ski Racing Team 

  Today the World Cup Ski Serviceman has to deal with tough travel conditions, poor accommodations and their athlete getting up to 60 pair of ski per event.  The work load is daunting, the travel is exhausting and the pay is pretty modest.  The by product is that some of these young men become enterprising and bring all their experience and expertise back to the states and open their own ski service shops.   

This is a story of one such young man and his views on his industry, his clients and why he felt the time was right to open his own operation.  

The great news for us racers who are not factory sponsored is that we too can get the same care for our equipment that the world cup racers get and expect.  The difference is that our world cup serviceman is not stressed, and is not working under horrible conditions so we get the love, the best ski preparation available and at prices that are unbeatable as these are small operations; a boutique racing service.  The trick is to find them, these guys who left the big show to provide that service for us hack racers.  

Here is the interview with Jeffrey Butz, the owner of Podium Ski Service, the best tuning shop available in Park City and possibly anywhere in the continental US.  

Gary: Jeff, how did you get into the ski service trade?  

Jeff: I started tuning skis in a ski shop in New Jersey owned by my uncle at the age of 16, and from there I just worked in ski shops in college in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, moved to Park City in 1995, and worked in various shops, including Precision Ski, and Rennstall before going to work for the US Ski Team in 2002.  I worked with Graham Lonetto, who was pretty influential in [my] learning how to tune skis.  

G: Who really taught you how to tune skis?  

J: Probably earliest was a guy named Graham Lonetto at Rennstall, in Park City.  He has worked for the USST and came back to work in town, and he was my boss.  He taught me about the more technical aspects of ski tuning, grinding, race waxes, things like that.  

G: The first influence was Graham Lonetto.  He taught you how to get a ski ready?  

J: Yeah.  From a race aspect –  a more detailed oriented race preparation.  

G: Once you left Rennstall what did you do?  

J: I moved on to a job with the USST, the women’s World Cup downhill team.  There I worked with Jeff Wagner and Ales Soptnik who took me under their wing and taught me a lot.  When you are on a circuit, everything is more critical, so you need people to show you the ropes and learn as you go.  It’s a constantly evolving process, learning the skis, new waxes, new techniques, and trying to get the most of the equipment.  

G: Is tuning speed skis radically different than tuning speed skis?  

J: With speed skis, base preparation is more critical.  With tech skis, edge preparation is more critical.  You’re trying to get the most speed and glide out of a pair of DH or SG skis, so that’s your main focus.  

G: So you traveled on the World Cup, did you travel on Nor-Ams?  

J:  I traveled on Europe Cup and Nor Am circuit with other athletes.  It’s a constantly changing situation, depending on where the races are, who is skiing well, whether someone gets injured, and who is going to different races.  Generally, you work many different circuits.  

G: How does the USST determine who you get to work with?  

J: The USST will assign technicians to anywhere from 1 to 6 or 7 different athletes.  The higher the level of competition, the fewer athletes you’ll have.  You’ll be more focused on particular athletes.  Depending on whether people get injured or are skiing well, or are not skiing well, the athletes may move up or down, and the techs may follow them, or may stay put and either gain an athlete or lose an athlete.  

G: So, Bode Miller.  How many racers does his tech have?  

J: Well, Bode’s unique.  He has two technicians for one racer.  But he’s kind of at the top of his game.   

G: How high up the ladder did you get?  

J: I did WC service for the women’s downhill team.  I had anywhere between 2-3 athletes for that season.   

G: Who were your favorite racers?  

J:  *smiles.  Everybody has their good points and bad points.  Depending on the season - on how well it’s going for them - will determine how easy or challenging it may be to work with them.  I had fun with a lot of the athletes.  Katie Monihan is great.  Younger girls like Resi Stiegler, Caitlin Ciccone keep it interesting.  

I did some service for Resi for at the World Championships in 2003.  

G: How’d she do?

J: She was 10th in the combined.  

G: How much support do racers get from the manufacturers?  How much support do the lower levels get, and how much do the higher levels get?  

J: At the USST level, all the athletes are pretty well taken care of by the companies – it’s in their best interest to provide the best equipment for athletes skiing on the World Cup, Europa Cup, and Nor Am circuits.  The technician needs to keep a good relationship with the companies, to make sure that you are getting the most current skis and plates and bindings and trying to figure out what’s going to work for each particular athlete.  

G: During the season, are racers pretty much picking a version of ski that they like, or are they constantly trying new skis?   

J: It partially depends on the level of racer.  Generally, new skis are always coming out and it’s up to you and the athlete to decided ‘we need something better’ or ‘this is working great, let’s go with it’.  Trying something new isn’t necessarily a benefit, because you could be trying something that doesn’t work.  So, you need to talk to other technicians, and the company, and figure out what’s different with the new skis, and see if it is something that is going to work for you.  Not always is the newest thing the best especially if it takes you time to figure it out; last weekend in Solden [at the beginning of the season], some of the women who finished well on old equipment on Rossi, and a lot of the girls that had the newer stuff might have had more trouble because they hadn’t figured it out yet. So the newest stuff isn’t always the best, depending on the athlete, and sometimes if they are building skis for a particular athlete – which is generally their top-ranked athlete – that may not suit all their athletes.  So you have to figure out what works and why, and set it up for each individual person.  

G: How much does ski preparation have to do with winning?  Let’s talk about speed events first.  

J: In general, from the ski service point of view, is you are trying to do is create confidence in the equipment for the athlete, so they know that they can go out and do 100% and do well, and not have to worry about skis being too sharp, not sharp enough, everything is right, and they can go do what they are there to do.  Also, the same thing applies to training.  Constant maintenance, and keeping the skis consistent lets them train and develop skiing, versus having random equipment condition over a period of time, where that’s affecting their ability to work on technique.  That’s the basics, but as far as speed goes, you can’t underestimate what good, fast skis will do, and that’s kind of the goal.  To first of all find good skis out of the 10 or 20 or more pair of skis that you may start the season with, and take those skis, and work them to the point where they are consistently fast, figure out what conditions they run well in, and at a particular event select the proper ski for the conditions.    

G: Do servicemen get a lot of feedback from the athlete?  

J: The best information for a service guy is split timing, and ski testing.  Those things are really based in reality.  That’s what you are looking at the most, whether you are testing waxes or testing skis.  That kind of glide testing is the best where the skis are just running in a straight line and timed for acceleration, top speed, and overall time.  You take all the information and look at it over a period of time, and figure out which skis work well in certain conditions.  That’s critical to choosing the correct ski for an event.  

G: So at the WC level, how many pairs of skis does a racer get to start to the season?  

J: That’s dependent on their ranking with a particular company.  At the top end, you have an unlimited amount of skis that you could start with.  You would maybe start with 20 pair of DH skis, and begin selecting and testing the skis, and pulling out ones that seem to have better performance.  During the season, you have the ability to travel with 6 pair of DH skis, between flying and traveling, so you need to narrow down the quiver to the point where you can select a ski from 6 or 8 really good skis.  You can’t be choosing from 20 or 30 skis; you’d go crazy.

G: How about with GS?  

J: With GS, because the gliding is not as critical, the big thing with GS skis is that they stay sharp, and don’t get bent or delaminate.  The tech skis go through a pretty tough life, bashing gates, and a lot of training.  So, that’s something too, with the tech skis, you could start over mid-season; you don’t want to lose a good pair of skis, but getting a new pair of slalom skis in the middle of the season isn’t critical, because you don’t have all the work in them that you do in a pair of speed skis.  Speed skis you guard with your life.   

G: That’s why master’s racers don’t lend each other speed skis.  

J: *laughs.  

G: What are the typical bevels that you set for speed skis?  Let’s talk about for a master’s racer.  

J: For speed skis, I would run 1 degree base bevel and 3 degree side edge bevel.  GS, or slalom skis, I’d run half degree base bevel and 3 degree on the side.  

G: How long does a bevel hold throughout the season?  Once you set a bevel for a racer, when do you expect to see them back in again?  

J: As far as once a ski is set up properly, the sharpening of the ski takes place from the side bevel, so hopefully you are always maintaining that.  The base bevel will only change as the base edge wears from skiing on hard snow, or from using diamond stones. If the base bevel is increased over time, the only way to really flatten it out again is to regrind it again on the stone grinder.  

G: Since you’ve brought up the stone grinder, let’s take a look at that.  Tell us about your setup.  

J: The stone grinder I have is a Winterstieger Sigma RS 200, this is their race room grinder.  It can do any number of structures.  It is just a good machine.    

G: Tell me about the stones that set the structure.  

J:The stones come in varying degrees of hardness.   The softer stones will take the structure better, but it’s more sensitive to how you run the skis, so you have to be a little more careful.  For the type of work that we do here, we run a pretty soft stone, and that gives us the best structures.  The stone is dressed periodically, which will create different structures, and that is done with a diamond tool in the machine that puts the structure in the stone; it grinds it into the surface, and that grinding surface is transferred into the ski.  

G: When did you open Podium Ski Service?  

J: I just opened this past September here in Park City, to serve the local race and performance ski enthusiasts in the PC and SLC area.   

G: Will you take people from out of town?  Are you set up to have skis shipped to you?  

J: Sure, I’ve already been doing some stuff through the mail.  Anyway the skis get here, I’ll get them done right, and get them back to you?  

G: How long does it take to get a pair of skis back out the door?  

J: That varies from day to day, but generally it is 2-3 days out, work wise.  It just depends on how backed up I am.  

G: Why did you decide to open you own shop?  

J: I just wanted to work in an environment where I knew I was in control of all the work being done.  I’ve got one part-time employee, so I’m pretty hands-on with everything that comes in the shop, so I can provide a consistently top-level service.  

G: Who are your clients?  Do you have any USST people that come through here?  

J: Because the USST is based in Park City, I’m still acquainted with a lot of the current technicians, and if they need a grind or something, I can help them out.  Basically, the bulk of my clientele comes from junior program kids, like the Park City Ski Team, and I have some kids from Jackson Hole, and from other areas, that will send skis down here.  

G: Walk us through what you do with a new pair of skis.  Let’s say that you’ve got a new pair of skis that has not been touched.  What is the first thing you do?  

J: The first thing I do is given them an overall inspection; I check the factory bevels, if there are any, and look at the grind and see how well it was ground from the factory.  Basically, I size up the work and see what needs the most attention.  

G: Factory bevels.  What manufactures come with bevels?  

J: It really depends, because certain companies that offer race stock product may not have bevels on their skis.  Rossi’s come with some bevel, even on their race skis.  Skis like Elan and Volkl come with no bevels, and you really have to have them tuned.  Even the skis that come with bevels, it really all can be improved on, because those are machine finishes, so there can be some pretty significant inconsistencies.  Particularly in the base bevel.  

The first thing I do is prepare the sidewall, shape the skis, and set the side bevel before I go to the stone grinder.  This allows me to be a little less critical of filings and stuff that I don’t want to work into the base.  

G: Let’s talk about sidewalls for a second.  You’ve got a pair of Atomic skis on the bench.  This is not a flat sidewall ski.  I would assume you take a different approach than for a ski that has a flat sidewall.  

J: Really, every ski poses unique challenges, as far as the sidewall goes, a ski with the Atomic construction, which is basically a laminate ski with a cap finisher, there is a little less work, but you have to bevel back the sidewall just above the edge – the shoulder.  You don’t want anything interfering with your ability to get a good clean 3 degree side edge.

 

G: This ski (the Atomic race ski) has a cap finish.  Do Volkl and Rossi have straight sidewalls?  

J: Atomics are unique in that they are a sandwich construction, but instead of the sidewall construction, the put a cap on it.  

G: You’ve got a pair of my wife’s speed skis, so that fact that I’ve dinged them on the ceiling is okay.   You’ve got a flat sidewall here.  Tell us what you’ve done to the top of the ski.  

J: Yeah, on a typical sandwich construction ski, the top sheet is fairly squared off at 90 degrees, especially at the tips and tails, where they don’t bevel back at all when they are building the skis.   In order to get the 3 degrees side edge bevel all the way through the tip and tail, you need to remove some material from the top sheet.  In addition to that, you need to round the top sheet.  

G: What we are talking about first is that you are taking the sidewall and beveling back at an angle from the edge, correct?  

J: Just above the edge – the area that is typically called the bumper of the sidewall – is beveled back at a pretty significant angle – maybe 30 degrees (when it is new, it might be at 2 degrees). This gives you the ability to file the edge a little easier.  What you don’t want to do on a sidewall job is to remove the sidewall where the edge is just sticking out on it’s own.  It needs to be supported by the sidewall, but by tapering it back, you get the support of the sidewall but it doesn’t interfere with the filing.  

G: What tools do you use to bring this back 30 degrees?  

J: Overall, I’ll use maybe 3 different sidewall planers.   I’ll use one just above the edge to create the bevel – I use a SVST – the WC sidewall plane.  For more the midsection of the sidewall, if I get a groove, I’ll transition that into the rest of the sidewall with a Toko sidewall planer.  That will give me a good transition between the bevel back and the main part of the sidewall.  

G: So the lower part (near the edge) is the most critical part?  

J: Yeah.  That does the most work for filing the skis.  

G: How do you round the cap?  

J: In addition to the sidewall plane, for the tips and tails which are more squared up, I like to transition and blend those in, to the angle that I put on the sidewall.  For that I’ll either use a body file (a Panzer) or a steel bar that is used for pull back top sheets pretty effectively.  

G: This looks like an aggressive tool.   

J: For any of these tools where you are cutting a significant amount of material, the tools are sharp, and there’s always the potential to cut yourself.  

G: This is Gary’s commentary – if you are going to get into sidewall shaping, it’s best left to the professionals!  

J: The theory behind shaping the sidewall, in addition to making the skis easier to maintain, is that the tips and tails have a better ability to engage, if the sidewall is beveled back, somewhat.  Rounding the top sheet also makes the skis a little less susceptible to getting dinged up.  That rounded edge withstands banging gates better.   

G: So with a slalom ski, it’s a really good idea to round the top sheet?  

J: Exactly.  There are a lot of advantages to doing it.  Slalom skis are a great example because as that gate crashes down on top of the skis, if it hits a sharp unfinished edge, it’s more likely to delaminate, than if it is rounded over.  It distributes the force a little bit better, and gives you a little bit more margin of error.  

G: Do you do the sidewall and the side edge bevel at the same time?  

J: Yes.  Then I know that I’m at the point that I can file the skis easily.    I do this before I hit the stone grinder; there are a lot of filings that comes from the sidewall and the side edge.  You want to be very careful when side filing, to keep the base free of any filings, as that will damage the base.  

G: Step two?  

J: Once the bevels are set on the side and the sidewall, I’ll go to the stone grinder.  The stone grinding is flattening the ski so that I can put on the base bevel.  For tech skis, I put on a half degree base bevel, which isn’t much, so I have to make the ski totally flat, first so I can file a half degree.  If the ski comes with 1 degree of base bevel, the only way to get a half degree is to grind it flat.  

**grinding occurs**  

When I get to the final structuring of the ski, I’ll make sure that the ski has a tiny bit of base bevel, so I can get a good consistent structure edge to edge.  

G: So you are making sure that the edges are not touching the stone?  

J: Yeah, the idea is to keep the structure on the stone in good condition but just running base material on it, and not touching the edges to the stone.  

Stone grinding provides a flat surface for beveling the base, and also gives you the chance to structure the base with a finish that will allow the ski to glide better that it would with a smooth finish.  Stone structures run from fine to coarse – all different types.  

G: What do the different structures do? My speed ski came in with a structure I’ve never seen before.  

J: The typical Rossi speed ski comes in with a grind called ‘ML2’ it is a basic cross-hatch grind.  The grinds are really more critical for gliding and for speed skis.  For slalom and GS, it’s critical to get the skis flat.  The speed skis, generally will have, different grinds, for different conditions.  The tech skis will generally have the same grind.  You just want to make sure it is a good grind for all around conditions.  

G: An ‘all-temperature’ grind?  

J: Yeah.  You’ll gear it to general conditions.  If you live in the West, you’ll have different conditions, and grinds than if you were in the East.  But in general  in tech skis the gliding properties aren’t as important.  Of course, it depends on the course.  For some Master’s GS courses there might be flatter sections where gliding is important.  

Once the skis are stone ground, you do the base bevel – ½ degree for tech skis, 1 degree for speed skis – once the bevels are set, you want to work on the edge finish with diamond stones and ceramic stones.   

G: Let’s look at the tools that you’ve got.    

*shows a side edge guide*  

J: I use a screw clamp, rather than a spring clamp, because it creates a better clamping force.  

*that’s a carbide file*  

G: Of course, you’ll use different tools to finish the edge.  

J: Sure. A progression of diamond stones and ceramic stones will really hone that edge.  You want the ski to be sharp, but without a burr.  

G: For the bottom, you are using a file guide like *this*  

J: This is a SVST base bevel guide.  It is really accurate – it has been machined, so it is more accurate than some of the plastic base bevels.  On a flat ski, this basically holds the file up just enough of an angle (in this a case a ½ degree) and I file to the point where the file just gets down to the level of the base.  It might only take 2 –3 passes to get a half-degree, depending on the hardness of the edge.  ½ degree is a small amount of bevel. I’ll check this using a true-bar, and see how much daylight I can see under the bar.  With a base bevel, a little bit is a lot.  The difference between a half-degree and a full degree on a pair of slalom skis is a lot.  Making sure you have a consistent base bevel tip to tail is important.   Once you get the base bevel, and you like the way it skis, you want to resist filing it further because it can change the dynamics of the ski.  Once the base is set, you’ll use diamond stones and ceramic stones for maintenance.   

Once the base bevel is set, I’ll use the progression of diamond stones and ceramic stones to polish the edge.  With the bevels you’ve got, you can leave the skis super sharp, or moderate the sharpness with a gummi stone.  For certain conditions, or certain athletes, you don’t need the skis as sharp.  For hard ice, you need a good honed edge.  When the snow is softer, particularly in speed events, you need to detune the skis and take a little of the bite off so they are easier to control.  

G: The next step is waxing?  

J: Yes.  Once I’ve finished the base prep, I’ll brush and scrape the ski to take out any impurities – filings or whatever – a good sharp scraper and a good bronze or steel brush and then they are ready to get waxed.  

G: When you get a new pair of skis, what’s the wax you use?  

J: On a ski prep, I’ll hot scrape the ski with a hot wax – yellow – it’s a good wax for penetrating the ski at a low temperature, and just take out any of the grinding emulsion in the base.  Once I’ve done that, I’ll typically go to a more mid-range temperature wax, and start getting the wax in the base.  

G: Do you use hot bags?  

J: Definitely for speed skis, I’ll use a thermo-bag to help the wax bond to the base. I use the same idea, starting with the softer waxes, and then go up through the harder waxes.  

G: Do you put multiple coats of wax on before you have the athlete get on them?  

J: The more wax you can get in the base, before you get out on the snow, the better.  It’s a good idea to wax a ski 5-6 times before the skis hit the snow.  It is just a better way to protect the base, and it means the skis are going to slide well from day one.  

G: So, my 9 pairs of skis – I’ve got to wax them 4-5 more times before I ski them?  

J: *laughs.  It’s not a bad idea.  I’ve got to sell you some wax!  

G: While we are talking about that, is there any difference between Toko, Swix, and Holmenkol?  

J: The products are all very good, but you’ve got to understand the different systems.  Each company has a different methodology of mixing the waxes, and choosing the waxes.  The most important thing is understanding the system that you are using, so that you can make the most educated decision for race day.  

G: Would you recommend sticking with one system, once you’ve picked it?  

J: If you understand everything, and have  a good background, occasionally there is a chance for using a different wax, but for learning, it’s best to stick with one system and learn the wax chart, and what works well in what conditions.  That way, you’ve got confidence in choosing the wax for race day.  

G: Can your customers call you for advice on waxing?  

J: I always get questions for race waxing.  Everybody wants to know that magic combination.

 

G: So it’s not uncommon for you to get a phone call “what am I using today”?  

J: It’s hard to do over the phone, because there are so many variables.  It’s best to think of the most important section of the course, where the gliding is most critical, and what the snow is going to be like there – temperatures, and humidity.  

G: Since you don’t travel with me *laughs – how do I know how to wax for a particular day?  

J: The big thing, for training, is protecting your skis.  Day to day waxing, you aren’t so much concerned with nailing the wax – you are basically waxing with training waxes or hydrocarbon waxes, which are non-fluorinated waxes.  It’s good to take some snow temperatures occasionally, so you know where you are at, so you’ve got a feel for what certain conditions are like.  If you’ve never done that before it’s hard to judge for race day.  It’s a good practice.   

Anytime you are waxing, you want to identify the part of the course where you could gain or lose the most time.  

G: For example, on CBs, it would be the bottom flats?  

J: Right.  On CB’s you aren’t worrying about much of anything on the top section – you are just trying to make all the turns.  But once you hit the bottom flats, you are in more of a glide and tuck-turn situation, and that’s where you are going to look at the snow, and the temperatures that you are getting, how sunny it’s going to be – all those little things that affect the choice of wax.  

G: If you can’t take snow temps, but can guess, based on the ambient temperature, can you adjust last-minute using overlays?  

J: Overlays are a good way to adjust if you think you made a big mistake with the base wax.  The overlays are interesting – there are a lot of products out there that are all very good, but generally only in very specific conditions.  It’s just something that a lot of technicians will use them, but there are times that they won’t because they are worried about making the wrong choice, and slowing the skis down.  That is something that takes a lot of experience, and trial and error with before you can really understand the overlays.  But if you have a good base wax, and you brush well, and the skis have always been well-cared for, that makes a lot more difference than what you can do at the start with a powder and a cork.  The day-to-day maintenance, and how well you take care of your skis will contribute more to the overall speed of the skis than what you do the day, or the day before a race.  

G: Okay, so let’s talk about brushing.     

J: Brushing cleans the remaining wax out of the structure, which lets the moisture that builds up under the ski as it’s sliding move, and allows the ski to glide faster.  If you don’t brush the skis well, they won’t slide as well.  What brushing will also do is that it will continuously polishes the top surface of the base and the grind, making that surface smoother and smoother, maker them slicker and slicker over time.  Brushing is important – you can brush before you wax, after you wax – it’s really a key to building speed in the skis.  

G: How many brushes do you use?  

J: I keep it simple.  I like using a steel brush, and a copper or bronze brush, and a horse-hair brush.  Those are my three major brushes.  My copper/bronze brush is my ‘go-to’ brush all the time.  It’s good for cleaning the base before you wax, and it does a good job of cleaning the wax out after you wax.  That’s my main brush.  The steel brushes are great for opening the base before you wax, and just have to be used a little more cautiously because they are more abrasive than the bronze brushes.  

G: What about iron temperatures?  

J: The biggest thing with the iron temperature is keeping the iron moving.  Unfortunately, the thermostats on the irons are not always as accurate as you’d hope. So if you have a new iron, start low and see how the wax melts.  

G:  How about judging the temperature by whether the iron is smoking or not?  

J: Generally, if the iron is smoking it is too hot.  A hotter iron, if you move it quick enough, it is okay.  The iron should never stop on the base.  I figure my iron temperature is based on a mid-range wax, the guidelines given by the manufactures are a good starting point, but again, the thermostat on the iron might not be accurate, so you’ll want to keep an eye on that.  That’s a little tricky.  It’s better to start low and gradually increase the temperature of the iron until you find what works.  

G:  What’s your impression of Rossignol race stock skis?  

J:  Rossignol has been doing a great job of really providing race stock skis to junior level kids, especially the speed skis – it is the real deal.  They are getting kids competing on the Nor-Ams who know that they aren’t being held back by their equipment.  That’s a huge benefit to the athletes.  

G:  Let’s get more specific.  Rossignol introduced the Rossignol Race Center, and put out skis through the race centers.   Rossignol mass-produces a real race stock ski.  Do all manufactures do this?  

J: The simple answer is no.  Not everybody wants to deal with providing race stock skis to the general public.  Rossignol is doing a great job of getting that equipment out, and making it available.  The race center program gives you the opportunity to get good skis, without having to know the right person.  

G: How do you view your service compared to what racers can get at their local ski shops?  

J:  My goal here is to provide the top level of service, and treat everyone as if they were skiing on the world cup.  

G: How many shops out there have WC service technicians working for them?  

J: Nationwide, as far as people actually doing the work, there are only 3-4 shops where the technicians have that experience and don’t rely on extra employees to manage the workload.   My goal is to be hands on with all the work, and make sure that the quality stays at the highest level.  

Jeffrey has started a new service where you can purchase your skis from Rossignol or other manufacturers and have your skis drop shipped right to him for original setup including bevels, structure and thermal bagging.  Jeff will then ship the skis directly to you ready to go, you only need to maintain your side bevels and waxing from there.  

Modern Ski Racing highly recommends Jeff and his work as we all use his service and can vouch for the quality of his work.  If shipping your skis to a WC tech is a bit much for you then take the information from this interview and see if you can find your own WC tech in your local area.  But under any circumstance find someone with the experience, equipment and most importantly the time to give you the service of a World Cup Racer, its an edge that your competition probably won’t have and may be a winning difference fo you, I know it is for me.