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.
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 capacity 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.
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.
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 paraffin along the ski. You shouldn’t use too much however, a small trickle applied uniformly on the length and width of the ski is enough.
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 paraffin 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 paraffin to crackle immediately.
Once the paraffin well spread, remove it directly with a plastic scraper. Scrape it a few times, always from tip to tail, in order to withdraw the paraffin completely. The result should be a blackened paraffin layer, meaning that all the residues present on the base have been absorbed. After that, take your bronze brush and sweep 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 finishing touch.
Different types of waxes may be available but we advise you to go for an universal ski wax. Performing on a temperature range going 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 paraffin to clean your base. For universal waxes, keep your iron temperature at 100°C and lay a trickle of wax uniformly on your base before spreading it with the iron.
Unlike the cleaning phase, this time, we will let the substance stand for a while. Leave the wax to dry for 2 hours. The paraffin, 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 been impregnated by the wax and all that’s left for you to do is to scrape the paraffin layer. Use the plastic scraper as usual and always go 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.