Waxing your skis regularly is an essential part of maintaining your equipment, enabling them to last longer and glide better across the snow, enhancing both performance and speed. Anyone that has ever skied has felt that sudden jolt of hitting an uneven bit of snow, puddle, or slush - variations of this happen on every ski session although ski waxing minimizes the effects of this, therefore enhancing your quality of skiing.
Just like our skin needs moisturizing to keep healthy and avoid drying out, our skis are exactly the same. Waxing helps to prevent ski bases from drying out and getting an uneven 'furry' texture. Although many people debate about the correct length of time to wait in between ski waxing... once a year? Every month? Every time you ski? The correct answer is dependent on the snow conditions, but ideally you should be waxing your skis between 1-10 full snow days.
If you are unsure about when your skis need waxing, simply flip the over and take a look at the base. If you've just waxed your skis, they will have a dark look to them and feel smooth to the touch. After some use and wear, the black becomes duller and looks chalky; if they are grey combined with a 'furry' texture, they are way overdue!
In this article, we are going to explain how to wax your skis correctly alongside sharing our top tips on how to maintaining the ski quality and lifespan. Read on to find out more...
What Will I Need?
Step 1 - Clean the Bases
Firstly, remove any dirt or debris from the skis. Once you have got the majority off, clean the bottom of them with a solvent called 'base cleaner', which you can get from a specialist ski shop. Add a little on to a paper towel and apply it to your ski. Be gentle when cleaning your skis and always adhere to the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 2 - Apply the Wax
The most important thing here is to choose the right temperature of wax. Usually they are sold by colour - blue is cold, purple or red is middle and yellow is warm. A great tip is to buy a little of each colour, as you may need to mix a little of two together to get the best match.
To apply the wax you can use an old iron, simply hold the wax to it and then place the iron over the ski travelling across the length of it, spreading wax droplets over the ski. Again, always adhere to the manufacturer's instructions as if the wax is too cold it could be ineffective, whereas if it is too hot it could damage your skis.
Step 3 - Iron it in
The next step is to hold the iron over the ski and melt in the droplets of wax from step 2. You can use any old iron (so long as it is clean) although specialist wax irons are widely available if preferred. Put the iron on a low heat and gradually increase until you find the correct temperature.
The aim of ironing in the wax is to get an even spread. For the best results, start at one end of the ski and keep moving the iron back and forth lengthways across the whole ski. The heat forces the molecules of the wax in to small pores within the base of the skis therefore giving a long lasting finish.
Just like ironing clothes, be careful not to keep the iron in one place for too long as you can burn and potentially ruin your ski bases. Remember if you get an uneven coat, you can always add a little more wax as you go.
Step 4 - Clean up the Dried Wax
Once you've finished waxing your skis, you will need to wait for the wax to completely dry. Use a specialist 'ski scraper' to remove the excess wax, and finish by buffing your skis gently using the buffer cloth.
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