Tips for Waxing your Skis

June 25, 2007 by  
Filed under features

Waxing your skis is a very important part of the maintenance and use of your gear. To some, the prospect of waxing their skis for the first time can be a daunting task. This is especially true when they don’t know what wax to buy or what role snow plays in the choice of wax. So, to make this task a little easier, here are a few tips for waxing skis that might make this job easier.

Skiers use wax on the base of their skis to reduce the energy that is lost as the base of the ski moves over the snow. Snow falls into various categories, such as New Snow, Coarse Grained Snow, Chemically Treated Snow, Fine Grained Snow, Corn Snow and Saturated Snow. The main differences between these types of snow, is the form of the crystals, temperature and plate variations. Using a wax that is too soft, compared to the snow will slow your glide, as friction will increase, and vice versa. To be able to judge the correct snow type is gained through experience, as snow never stays the same for very long.

The wax system falls into four main compositions, namely, Cera Nova CH, Cera Nova LF, Cera Nova HF and Cera Nova F. It is important to remember that wax is influenced by the following factors: by the humidity in the air, the structure of the snow, temperature of the snow and the speed of skiing. Many waxes are being adjusted to lengthen their durability on the snow. An important ski waxing tip, is the wax chart. The chart will be able to assist skiers to assess which type of wax to use according to the snow conditions. It is a great help, but snow skiers and snowboarders must view this chart as a guideline and not as a fixed set of directions. Most waxes on the market today have a general-purpose wax in their ranges, making wax choice far easier then in the past.

Application of wax includes melting the chosen wax onto your skis. Most skiers use an electric waxer, but wax that has been melted in a pot can also be brushed onto the clean and prepared base of your skis. After the wax has been applied to the skis, it should be ironed to increase bonding between the ski and the wax. Never place the iron directly on the base of skis and always allow approximately twenty minutes for the wax to cool. The hardened, excess wax should then be scraped off the base with even, light strokes until an extremely thin layer of wax remains. The scraper should preferably be made of Plexiglas or plastic.

Ski waxing tips that are given by advanced skiers can be valuable. Asking a friend or someone who has been in the sport of snow skiing for a while to assist you while you wax your skis for the first time will help you gain confidence. Snow skiing is sport of speed and enjoyment, waxing should not keep you away from the slopes.