How often should you wax your downhill snow skis?

It’s a good idea to get your downhill skis waxed (and tuned) before every ski season. Skis perform best with well-waxed bases. After a warm summer in storage, ski bases get dried out.

Are you a three-trips-a-season skier? If so, this first waxing should be enough.

Are you a once-a-week skier? You might consider waxing every five or six outings, or even more often if you’re concerned about high performance. Racers usually wax their skis specifically for every race.

Ski waxes can be fine-tuned for specific ski conditions. In most conditions, an all-temperature wax works just fine. But if you are going to be skiing in very warm spring snow, or cold, dry snow, a wax made specifically for that temperature may help you glide faster.

Most ski resorts and ski shops can wax your skis for you. Or you can learn to wax your skis yourself- you’ll need a block of wax (available anywhere skis are sold), a ski-specific iron to melt the wax, and some basic instruction.

Many beginners don’t want to wax their bases, for fear of going too fast. But in fact, an unwaxed ski is harder to learn on- it will “grab” at the snow and throw off a beginner’s already-shaky balance. Worse, the ski may build up a layer of snow, preventing it from gliding at all. Even beginners should start the season with a well-waxed ski.