SkiPost - Where Knowledge and Stories Are Shared

Ask us your skiing questions at
Read SkiPost on your phone or computer that is Image-HTML enabled or click here to read it on the web.
Read Old SkiPost issues at SkiPost Archives 

 April 15, 2010: Volume 10, Number 30
Stone Grinding, what is it?
It is Spring, why should I think about it now?

Hello Ski Post:


Another ski season has come and gone and now we have to do that STUPID running thing to stay in shape.  Someone asked me about "stone grinding" his skis.  He knew I did a lot of waxing on my own skis but I was not able to help him on this one.  What is stone grinding?  Why do you do it? Where can it be done?  DM





Stone grinding is a process by which the outermost layer of skis base material is ground away from your ski base to reveal new fresher base material that will absorb wax better and then glide across snow better. It is accomplished by sliding the skis over a large grinding machine with a spinning "stone or stones", thus the term stone grinding. 


Race skis come from the Factory with stone grinds on them refreshing the base after the high temperature manufacturing process that damages the outermost layer of base. 


Speciality race shops offer Nordic stone grinding services to make ski bases as good as new, and in some cases better than new.


Stone grinding refreshes the base and "opens its pores" wile also flattening the surface taking out scratches and adding structure.  Ski bases are made of Polyethylene (PE) and other additives and can become dry and sealed from the waxing iron overheating the ski base, or from using too many cold waxes without using any softer paraffin's in between waxing. For a performance racer it is almost impossible to use a race ski for an entire season without some amount of the ski base seal or degradation.


In grinding not only is fresh base material exposed, which in itself for many skis is perhaps the most important benefit, but furthermore the stone grinding process also places a "structure" pattern into the ski base. This structure can be tailored to have the ski perform better in its most likely snow conditions. (i.e. Cold, Warm, Dry, Wet, Universal). It will also remove surface scratches and flatten a ski base that may be concave, convex or wavy


Bottom line, it makes your skis faster and easier to wax.  Most race skis that have been used for a season or more will benefit from stone grinding. If your skis are consistently not as fast as your friends even if you wax the same, is your skis dry out after 15 km, if the bases look gray, fuzzy, or have inconsistent blotchy coloring we suggest you consider stone grinding.


Spring time is in fact the best time to get your skis stone ground while also preparing them for the long summer storage. The stone grinding process will expose the fresh base material and allows the summer storage wax to fully penetrate and saturate the base all summer long. Next fall your skis will be at their best and "good as new" come the first snow.


Below we feature some of the most respected names in Nordic Stone Grinding and Ski Service in both US and Canada. Many local Nordic retailers also offer stone grinding services. Wherever you go make sure the shop specializes in Nordic (cross-country) ski stone grinding and not Alpine (downhill) ski stone grinding! These two services, while named the same, require very different expertise and settings.  



Andy at SkiPost

Boulder Nordic Sport stone grinds bring World Cup Service to everyone. The biggest upgrade you can make to skis is the appropriate stone grind, and BNS grinds dominate the competition. BNS's proprietary structures, knowledge of racing conditions across North America, experience working with athletes, and cross-country specific Tazzari stone grinding machines produce skis that are fast right off of the grinder. Zach Caldwell and BNS have developed structure patterns specifically for North American snow which differs dramatically from European and Scandinavian snow where most grind patterns are developed. There is a reason that almost every elite skier in the US chooses BNS grinds; see for yourself what an amazing difference they can make. Details on the stone grinding process, simplified BNS grind menus, work order forms and instructions on preparing skis for grinding are available at: Boulder Nordic Sport 
BNS Boulder, CO 720-227-9400
BNS East Portland, ME 207-541-7438
Wisdom, Value, Selection
Wisdom: We know our product, we know our skiers. We can suggest the best ski and the right grind for your ski and your needs...
WorldCup skiers and Weekend Warriors, National Champions and High School Captains, Birkie Champions and Barnebirkie Moms. 
Value: We have offered ski base services over the lifetime of our store, over 20 years. Before grinding, Brian Knutson hand peeled ski bases until his fingers were blistered. Our Montana Stone Grinds make skis fast, for us the owners and for our employees and for YOU, all at a fair price.
Selection: We offer the best selection of ski equipment and services. Just visit us!  You not only get what you need but as importantly,  you need what you get. 
Need More info?  Visit our Mlps, MN Store
or our web site GearWest Ski Services 
Ask the Expert

FinnSisu offers presision stonegrinding on our Wintersteiger Micro 1
Stonegrinder. We do stonegrinding year-round. Some of our customers
include members of the U.S. Olympic Nordic and Biathlon teams, members from all of the major trade teams, many of the top collegiate XC ski programs around the country, as well as many high school teams in
Minnesota and Wisconsin. Bring or ship in your skis today and see what a difference FinnSisu stonegrinding can make. FinnSisu is located in St. Paul, MN but we service skis from throughout the country.
For more information: call 651-645-2443 email 
or visit our web page  Finn Sisu
FinnSisu grinding
snow in shoe
Trail Sports
Trail Sports is situated at the Canmore Nordic Centre and has a specialized in grinding cross country skis since 1996. We have ground skis for the Canadian Cross Country and Biathlon teams and our long experience with our Wintersteiger machine has allowed us to developed the expertise to offer the best possible grinds. By never grinding metal edge skis we have ensured there are no metal filings to tear the base of your racing skis.
Please let us help you and your skis
call at 403.678.6764 
or visit our web site at Trail Sports
TrailSport Grinding
Gatineau Nordic Sport
Gatineau Nordique Sport is located in Old Chelsea, Quebec, Canada,
which is nearby  the Gatineau Park, the site of the Gatineau Loppet
(formerly the Keskinada). I use my proximity to the trails to constantly test and learn about the complicated and fascinating snow ski interaction. 
I specialize in stone grinding,
heatbox treatment and skis testing.
I use the Tazzari RP-23 machine to do all the stone grinding. 
I am open for business, on demand, throughout the off season.
Let me help you, Wayne Johannsen.
Call me 819 483 1623
email me 
and check out our web page
More Training without Snow

Brendon Hyde rollerskiing in Australia 

Hi I live in Sydney Australia.
Just thought I would say I enjoy reading your very informative XC ski race articles. Attached is image of my rollerski encounters.


Brendon Hyde (World Loppet Gold Master)
Paralympic Torch Relay

By Rob Walsh - Five-time Paralympian, two-time Paralympic
medalist, Chair of the IPC Nordic Skiing Technical

About the time that the Olympic flame was nearing its destination in Vancouver, I received an invitation to be a part of the Paralympic Torch Relay.  It said I had been chosen by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to represent the sport of Cross Country Skiing.  The Paralympic Games is an elite sporting event for athletes with physical disabilities that takes place following the Olympic Games in the same host city.  There are five sports included in the Winter Paralympics: biathlon, cross country skiing, alpine skiing, ice sledge hockey, and wheelchair curling.   About 1300 athletes, staff, and officials from over 40 countries took part in the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics.
I was a member of the Jury for the biathlon and cross country events in Whistler so I was already planning to be at the Games, but being one of the approximately 600 people to carry the Paralympic flame was an honor I hadn't counted on. The notice said I was scheduled to carry the torch on March 11, one day before the opening ceremonies. I was instructed to meet in downtown Vancouver for a briefing and to get my uniform at 6:30 that evening.
It is about a 2 hour drive from Whistler to Vancouver. I had arranged for someone to give me a ride, but we were a little late getting underway so an on-time arrival seemed in question. With a light drizzle falling and rush hour traffic downtown, I found myself still in the car at 6:45. We passed Robson Square, a celebration site for the torch relay, so we knew we were getting close. We found a parking spot a couple of blocks further down and I jumped out of the car to immediately start asking people for directions. No one seemed to know where 865 Hornby Street was until a man came up to me and asked "Are you Walsh?" "Yes", I replied, quite surprised that anyone might know me. "Come with me. I'll show you where you need to go." I followed this mysteriously convenient escort down the street and up an elevator to the gathering room for my torch relay group. "They will take care of you from here", and he disappeared as quickly as he came.
There were about16 people in the group, dressed in steel blue nylon jackets bearing the Torch Relay logo. Everyone also had a pair of the iconic Canadian red mittens and, of course, a torch to be used for their leg of the relay. The torchbearers came from a variety of backgrounds. Among them was former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan, who famously waved the Olympic flag with his wheelchair during the closing ceremonies of the Torino Olympics. There was a woman who taught special education in a school outside Vancouver, a couple of employees from one of the corporate sponsors, an 11-year-old girl, and the cousin of the man who directed the Paralympic Opening Ceremonies. We each had our own story and our own reason for wanting to be part of the Paralympics. 
When I arrived a short woman with blonde hair was explaining what was about to happen, demonstrating how to carry the torch, and giving us instruction on the significance of the torch and torch relay.  "The Paralympic Torch Relay", she said, "is an invitation to the community to watch the Paralympic Games, to join the Paralympic Movement, to feel the Paralympic Spirit."
The rain had ended, and a few minutes later we were boarding a small bus. The torch relay is a two-bus operation. The first bus drives ahead of the flame and drops off the torchbearers at designated transfer points. The second bus drives behind the flame and picks up those who are finished. I was near the end of this grouping so I patiently waiting as we slowly drove through the streets of Vancouver. Then it was my turn, and once I stepped off the bus the pace of the action sped up considerably. The flame came into sight, a relay volunteer used a special key to activate my torch and I walked out to the middle of the street to accept the flame. My leg of the relay was short, only about a quarter  mile, so it didn't take that long. As I held the flame in front of me, I thought back to the description of the torch relay as an invitation, and my viewpoint on the experienced changed. This was not just a spectacle, it was a discussion. No words were exchanged, but as I held out the flame for everyone to see, the people lining the street accepted the invitation with their applause and cheering. This is how the games begin, how the movement spreads, how the spirit grows.
Before I knew it, it was my turn to reach to the next torchbearer, watch the flame jump to his torch, and see him continue the process. I hopped on the collection bus where I could share the experience with the others in my group. From the gathering point near Robson Square I caught a ride to the Vancouver Athletes' village and about 3 hours after arriving in Vancouver I was back on a bus headed to Whistler, hoping that some of the people who saw the torch relay that night would come up and join the excitement of the competitions in the coming days.


Protect your head and eyes,
while receiving a SkiPost discount from Rudy!  
It is unsafe to wear a cracked, old, or poorly fitting helmet.
It is even more unsafe to bike, or rollerski without a helmet. 
Do yourself a favor and get a great helmet and eyewear at a great price!
Discounts applied in shopping cart!
 Rudy Helmets and Eyewear at SkiPost Discount
About SkiPost

Cross-Country skiing's community lodge. Where knowledge and stories are shared. The goal of SkiPost is to make the sport of Cross-Country skiing easier and more enjoyable for all who choose to participate. If you have questions on Cross-Country Skiing see or email us at

Enjoy Winter,
Andrew Gerlach
Director - SkiPost

Justin Easter
Editor - SkiPost
Featured Article
find the time
Featured Article
RudyRX at SkiPost Discount
Featured Article
Featured Article Newell
Featured Article
SkiErg by Concept 2
Featured Article
    Salomon Nordic on Facebook
Featured Article
Rudy Lenses and Helmet Offers
     Salomon Nordic on Facebook