Trying to clamp down the latest generation of wide skis for a tune-up is like wrestling an eel in a vat of Crisco. Forget it. Because they are so wide, yet have a thin cross section and rounded topsheets, traditional tuning clamps will hold skis only long enough to look secure, yet the first time you lay into your bases with a file, the ski pops loose and you drive the back of your knuckles directly into the steel edges, slicing your hand open and gushing blood. It’s enough to make you not want to tune your phatties.
To help hold skis in place, a few companies (like Swix) make rubber devices that wrap around your bindings and pull the ski to your bench. Click here for details on my bench setup. I was tempted to buy one of these, but thought I’d try a piece of accessory cord and a hardware store cleat first. Much to my wallet’s relief, it works really well and the total cost was $1.19.
Start with a piece of accessory cord about 24″ long. Tie a small knot in one end and use that to make a loop, which is then wrapped around the binding (this works with almost any style of binding).
From here, push the ski down, then wrap the cord around the cleat, as shown in the photo below.
The flex of the ski gives you a little extra holding power, and although the ski isn’t absolutely locked in place, it is close enough to allow you to reef on it for some heavy-metal base filing. As I already had them, I still use the vises, but more for alignment than clamping power.
Category: 02 Gear