Whippet Sharpening

| February 8, 2011

Whenever I’m in JHole with Rando Steve chugging  down GU Chomps and Cucumber Mint Nuun chasers, he asks me how I sharpen my Whippets.  Here’s how…

Starting with a fresh set (yessssss!), I give them what is called a “technical pick grind” which is what pre-lobotomy  ice climbers use. The idea is to put a serious bevel on all of the bottom teeth EXCEPT THE FIRST ONE.  This helps it hook. I also round off the first two teeth (from viewers left) to keep them from tearing up gloves.

A view from the bottom.  Now Whippet.  Whippet good.

If you like your $150 leather gloves, it is a good idea to round off the upper and lower edges of the canard wing as much as possible.

How sharp a front point?  As sharp as you can stand.  My personal philosophy is that if I’m going to get disemboweled, (which hasn’t happened yet), I’d rather have it done with a scalpel than a blunt machete.  Your disembowelment may vary. On a more practical note, a super sharp point is easier to ram into ice.

Discard the tip protectors that come with the new Whippets, ski fast and take chances.
Help support StraightChuter.com and pack your bowels with Watermelon GU Chomps Energy Chews 16-Pack from Backcountry.com. Click on the photo below…


Category: 02 Gear

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (13)

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  1. Christopher3000 says:

    I’m always asking people about how they sharpen their whippets, thanks to this and other ski blogs I’m better informed about how my backcountry brethern equip themselves for ripping it up out there.

  2. Lil'C says:

    An excellent how-to. Thanks for posting. It’s possible Steve Romeo of TetonAT.com will have a few more questions. They include:

    1) How long does it take to sharpen a Whippet?
    2) What’s the record?
    3) During an attempt to set a new record, can the clock be stopped while resting?
    4) Can it be done “Teton style?”
    5) Should light boots or heavy boots be worn while sharpening a Whippet?
    6) Has a telemarker or a snowboarder ever sharpened a Whippet, and if not, would it qualify as a significant “first” in Whippet sharpening?

  3. Christopher3000 says:

    By the way, as of now there is no word on how many times Greg Hill has sharpened his whippets in 2011…

  4. Andrew says:

    Greg has no need for sharp tools in his shed. ;)

  5. brian harder says:

    Greg Hill? Whippet? Hell, nothin’ but deep blower in the Great White North, eh.

  6. Darrell says:

    I never sharpen my Whippets.
    As a devoted telemark skier I have built my life around making skiing harder than it has to be, so why give myself an extra advantage of a sharp tool?
    I must admit that the prospect of sharp Whippets is tempting… I’m afraid it might be a slippery slope, though. Next thing you know I’ll get a heel piece for my binding and trade in my wool knickers for some Gore-Tex.

  7. Ty says:

    Do you realy need to start with new Whippets?

  8. Ray Imel says:

    Were there problems with the “slip-in” Whippets? If not where can I find them?

  9. Andrew says:

    Hi Ray – There weren’t really problems with the removable Whippets, but it turned out that people seldom if ever removed them and the added security of fixing them to the grip seemed like an improvement. You might be able to find an old pair on eBay or something, but they have been out of production for 3-5 years, so I doubt if you can find them in stores.

  10. Martin says:

    just want say that even us colorado folk appreciate the whippet, just got recently and tested it briefly, great tool.

  11. Colin says:

    Hey Andrew, is it pronouced “whip-it” or “whip-pet”? Was having this debate with buddies today.

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