How to wax skies
Waxing your skis is an essential part of ski maintenance that helps to improve their performance and longevity. It’s impossible to do too much of it and regular waxing helps you to carve the powder faster while ensuring you have maximum control for turns and handling. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to wax your skis:
Step 1: Gather the necessary materials
You will need a wax iron, wax scraper, ski wax, and a cleaning cloth. Make sure you select the right wax for your skis, as different types of wax are suitable for different temperature ranges and snow conditions. Know that people who race downhill a lot will use a different wax compared to someone who does cross-country skiing. There are even different forms of wax you can consider like pastes and liquid forms which are great for quick touch-ups while on the mountain. If you’re waxing at home, nothing replaces a good hot wax.
Step 2: Clean the skis
Remove any dirt and old wax from your skis using a cleaning cloth.
You want to avoid having any dirt or grime on the ski when you begin your waxing because then the new wax won’t stick to the ski as much and you won’t be able to get the best results. Make sure you retract the brakes from your skis by pulling them up and then using a rubber band to keep them in the “ski” position.
Step 3: Melt the wax
The recommended basic type of wax to use is the all-temperature ski wax. Consider it as a “universal” type of wax designed to operate at maximum efficiency regardless of the temperature or snow conditions.
Start by placing the wax in the iron and heat it until it becomes a liquid. Make sure the iron temperature is set correctly for the type of wax you are using as overheating the wax can damage the skis. You’ll also want to get an iron that’s dedicated to waxing if you’re planning on waxing your skis at home frequently. You can always use a regular clothes iron but forget about using it for your clothes ever again as there will always be wax on it from the moment you apply it.
Step 4: Apply the wax
Start by dripping the hot wax on the skis then slowly spreading the melted wax over the base of the ski, making sure to cover the entire surface. Use a circular motion to ensure an even distribution of wax and glide the iron down the length of your ski as you want the wax to spread out evenly across the surface. Once the application is done, give it about 30 minutes to let the wax cool and harden.
You want to be moving the iron at a rate of 2 inches per second to avoid overheating the ski. If the base feels hot to the touch, then you’re spending way too much time on the same spot, so try to avoid doing this when you’re applying the wax.
Step 5: Scrape the wax
Many beginners think How to wax ski and that there should be a thick layer of wax for it to have the desired effect on the skis. The opposite is true here as great wax jobs should only appear as an oily sheen on the surface. Professionals aim for keeping the wax inside the ski, or in the base, and not on it.
Using a wax scraper, remove any excess wax from the ski. It’s important that you always opt for the plastic scrapers rather than the metal ones because the latter can scrape off the ski’s base material as well, potentially causing irreparable damage to them. When you’re ready to begin scraping, start at the tip and work toward the tail, using long, firm strokes. Make sure you scrape off all the excess wax but be careful not to damage the ski’s base. Ideally, you want to avoid under-scraping, which is a common mistake for beginners. Aim for scraping the entire surface of the ski and its corners, until there is no more wax that comes off the base
Step 6: Brush the ski
This step is often overlooked but brushing your skis really does make a difference to your speed and performance on the mountain. There are many different brushes to choose from like ones made with nylon and have finer bristles while others are made with horsehair. Using medium strokes, start brushing from tip to tail, keeping at it until the skis have achieved a glossy look evenly throughout. A typical brushing session can last between 5 to 10 minutes, and you don’t have to worry about over-brushing it.
Step 7: Store the skis
Store the skis in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat. This will help to prolong the life of the wax. Try to store it in a bag as well to protect it from external elements like dust, hair, and fur.
How Often Should I Wax My Skis?
This is a very good question that beginners often ask. While there is no such thing as waxing too often, the frequency of waxing depends on several factors such as temperature variations. To the human touch, snow is always “cold” but that doesn’t mean they are all under the same temperature! You’ll want to use the right type of wax if you’re skiing in different temperatures to maintain its performance.
Waxing your skis regularly will help to protect them from the elements, improve their glide, and make them last longer. Make sure to follow these steps carefully and use the correct tools and wax to achieve the best results.