A regular coating of fresh glide wax makes your skis last longer, go faster, and turn more easily. Check out our tips to step up your wax game and get ready to hit the pow pow more often this season!
Tip: Glide wax is applied to the entire base of alpine skis, backcountry skis, snowboards, and skating skis. Only apply wax to the tip and tail zones of cross-country skis.
Tools + Supplies
- Waxing iron
- Glide wax
- Plastic Scraper
Step One: Choose Your Wax
There are a few different types of wax, including temperature-specific waxes, universal waxes, rub-on waxes, and fluorocarbons.
Temperature specific wax– Applied with a waxing iron. These waxes are designed to work within a specific outdoor temperature range. You can blend two temperature specific waxes for temperatures that are on the cusp (e.g. wax for temps above freezing, the other for below freezing.) The right wax will allow you to go faster.
Universal wax– Good for recreational skiers that prefer less hassle. Applied in the same way as the temperature specific wax, universal wax works in all temperatures.
Rub-on wax– Don’t have time for the waxing iron? You can use a sponge to rub on wax so you can get out on the slopes. Don’t be lazy though, this is not a substitute for hot wax.
Fluorocarbons– These pricey waxes contain a high concentration of fluorocarbons which tend to glide faster.
Step Two: Prepare Your Skis
If the base of your skis are dirty, the wax won’t adhere. Wipe down the bases of your skis to get rid of any dust before applying wax. Before starting, make sure that your skis are on a level surface such as a work table or sawhorses.
Tip: Before starting ensure that the brakes are depressed on downhill skis. Hook a strong rubber band on one arm, take it over the top of the heelpiece and hook it to the other arm. This will hold the brakes out of the way while you wax!
Step Three: Apply the Wax
We recommend using a ski-wax specific iron (like this one: Wintersteiger Ski Wax Iron,) but if you don’t have one, a common household iron will work. Just make sure that it is on a low-mid temperature. Stop if your wax starts to smoke.
Ski wax usually comes in bar form, so hold the wax bar against the iron, and let it drip onto your ski. Once there is a bit of wax on the length of your skis, use the iron to spread the wax from tip to tail over the skis. If you haven’t used enough wax, the iron won’t glide over the skis.
Step Four: Scraping + Brushing
After you have spread the wax evenly over the base of your skis, allow them to sit at room temperature for about an hour. Then, using a sharp scraper, (like this one: Holmenkol-plastic-scraper-3mm) move from tip to tail to remove excess wax. When you can’t see the wax anymore, you know that you are done.
Next, double check that there isn’t any wax on the edges of your skis. If there is, your skis won’t be able to turn properly.
Finally, brush your skis from tip to tail with a nylon brush (Sun Valley Ski Tools ) which also will help remove any excess wax and creates a silkier ride.
Top tip: Wax your skis frequently throughout the season for a better ride. Generally if you are shredding every day, you should wax after every full day on the slopes. If you are someone who only skis a few times a season, you should be able to get away with waxing only a couple of times. You’ll be able to feel when your skis are in need of new wax, but really, you shouldn’t let it get to that point!
image courtesy of gearjunkie.com