How to wax skis?
Ski waxing is a well-known process and a mandatory step before your ski vacations. This operation must be renewed frequently if you are a regular rider. Waxing is done before a competition in order to prepare your skis or at the end of the season before storing them for the summer. But before we get there, it is crucial to understand what a ski base is.
Understanding the ski base structure
On each ski base, you will a find a structure designed to improve the gliding: little diagonal grooves evacuate the film of water that builds up under the tip when you ski. By waxing your skis, you will enhance your base properties and protect it from oxidation. This process drastically improves the gliding performance of your ski.
To preserve the structure of your ski base, all brushing and scraping operations must be done from tip to tail.
The ski waxing can be decomposed in 2 main steps: the cleaning of the base and the waxing in itself.
What gear do I need for the waxing?
To wax your skis, you will need:
- 1 block of cleaning paraffin,
- 1 block of universal ski wax,
- 1 waxing iron,
- 1 plastic scraper,
- 1 bronze brush,
- 1 soft brush.
How to clean your skis?
You may be the most meticulous person in the world but your skis will still attract dirt and filth like a magnet. Ski lift grease, soil and plant residues, groomer oil and other debris annoyingly tend to find their way under your ski bases.
That’s why it is necessary to clean your skis well before you start waxing. This will unload the base of all the impurities you collected on the slopes and prepare the base to absorb the new wax.
First of all, set the iron on 100°C and melt the wax along the ski. Getting the right amount is a little tricky. Try to coat the entire base with a thin and consistent layer of wax.
Be careful with the temperature of the iron. Too hot, it will burn the paraffin and take away its gliding properties. The same applies for the wax. Besides, some waxes contain fluorine whose vapors can be dangerous for your your health so always work in a well-ventilated room and if possible wear a protective mask if you use a fluorine wax.
In order to heat up the wax and paraffin properly, we recommend using a waxing iron. Very light, it can be set up on the ideal temperature and is specially designed to apply wax. You can also use your grandma’s old iron if you have a taste for danger...
Then, spread the wax with the hot iron, slowly and homogeneously on the whole surface of the base. If you hear a crackling sound, it means that your iron is too hot and is damaging the base. If that’s the case, lower its temperature.
On a side note, the base might be resistant but it may not endure the heat if you leave your warm iron in the same spot for too long, in the same way that your normal iron can burn your clothes.
For a good waxing, the ski base should be at room temperature. Therefore, you should avoid waxing your skis right after a session, the contact between the hot substance and the cold base will create a thermal shock causing your wax or wax to crackle immediately.
Once the wax well spread, remove it directly with a plastic scraper. Scrape a few times, always from tip to tail, in order to remove the wax. The result should be a black/greyish residue, meaning the dirt was absorbed into the wax. After that, take your bronze brush and pass it on the base from tip to tail. Never go back and forth and do not press too hard in order to preserve the base microstructure. Finally, get rid of the last residues with a soft brush for the finish touch.
Waxing your skis:
Different types of waxes are available on the market but we recommend the universal ski wax if you're not used to waxing your gear. Performing on a temperature range from -10°C to +10°C, the universal wax is the best way to ride in all conditions and on all types of snow.
To spread the wax, proceed exactly like you did earlier with the cleanser to clean your base. For universal waxes, keep your iron temperature at 100°C and lay a coat of wax on your base before spreading it with the iron.
Unlike the cleaning phase, this time, let the wax rest and soak in. Leave the wax to dry for 2 hours. The wax remover, being lighter than the wax, will rise up to the surface during the drying phase while the wax will go the opposite way and be absorbed by the base.
After 2 hours, your base will have soaked up the wax and all that’s left for you to do is to scrape the excess off. Use the plastic scraper as usual and pass it from tip to tail once again, without pressing too hard.
Finally, brush your base to clean up the very last residues and you’re all done.