How to Wax Skis

How to Wax Skis
You don't have to be a world class ski racer to appreciate the importance of keeping your skis tuned and waxed. Skiing on properly waxed skis will help you to ski faster, turn better and make the most out of the expensive ski equipment you bought.

Waxing your skis is basic maintenance you can easily do yourself in between expensive shop tunes. Learning how to wax your skis is easy, can be done in less than 20 minutes and will help you to maintain your expensive investment.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Applying Ski Wax

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ski tuning workbench (optional) Two folding chairs Ski wax appropriate to the weather and snow conditions Large rubber band Old clothes iron Plastic pot scrubber Steel flat edge
  • Ski tuning workbench (optional)
  • Two folding chairs
  • Ski wax appropriate to the weather and snow conditions
  • Large rubber band
  • Old clothes iron
  • Plastic pot scrubber
  • Steel flat edge
Step 1
Begin by opening the jaws of your ski-tuning workbench and secure the sidewalls of your skis. If you don't have a ski-tuning workbench, position two folding chairs several feet apart and lay the skis flat on the seats with the ski bases facing up.
Step 2
Retract the ski brakes and secure them in the up position using large rubber bands, available from any office supply store. Retracting the brakes will make it easier to work around, especially when using a hot iron.
Step 3
Run a steel flat edge down the bases from tip to tail using a moderate amount of pressure. Try to remove all burrs or extra P-tex from the bases that will interfere with the waxing process. The bases should be clean and smooth.
Step 4
Clean the bases of the ski using rubbing alcohol or some other none-oil type of cleaner. The bases should be completely free of dirt and loose P-tex material.
Step 5
Decide on an appropriate wax, based on the current temperature and snow conditions. If you're not sure which wax is appropriate, call your local ski shop and ask them what they recommend or click on the ski wax wizard below. Most waxes are graded according to color for specific conditions.
Step 6
Plug in an old clothes iron and set it to the lowest heat setting. After the iron has warmed, hold the iron over the tip of the first ski. Press the edge of a bar of ski wax onto the surface of the iron until the wax begins to drip on the base of the ski. Continue dripping wax onto the base of the ski as you slowly move down the ski from the tip to the tail. Be sure that there is an ample amount of wax on the base. You'll be removing the extra wax later.
Step 7
Glide the warm surface of the iron up and down the base of the ski, spreading the wax evenly from the tip to the tail. Be sure to melt the wax entirely from one set of edges to the other.
Step 8
Allow the wax to dry on the first ski. Repeat the process on the second ski. Wait at least 15 minutes for the wax to dry on each ski before proceeding to the next step.

Removing Excess Wax and Finishing the Base

Step 1
Run the steel edge down the base of the ski, working from tip to tail. Use long, sweeping strokes instead of short, chopping movements. Press hard enough on the steel edge to remove all of the extra wax from the base but leave enough to completely penetrate the ski bases.
Step 2
Run a plastic kitchen pot scouring pad over the length of the ski to finish the wax surface. Press hard enough to buff the wax to a luster but not so hard that you remove any wax.
Step 3
Remove the rubber band retaining the ski brake. Repeat the finishing process on the second ski. When you've finished waxing the second ski, slip a small piece of wax paper between the contact points of the skis while carrying or storing the skis to help protect the newly-waxed surfaces.

Tips & Warnings

 
Start with a newly-tuned pair of skis. For best results, your skis should be free of deep dings and cuts in either the bases or the edges.
 
Start with a newly-tuned pair of skis.
 
For best results, your skis should be free of deep dings and cuts in either the bases or the edges.
 
Do not overheat the iron. Avoid being stingy with the wax. Use liberal amounts Do not try to use the iron on clothes after it has been used to wax skis.
 
Do not overheat the iron.
 
Avoid being stingy with the wax. Use liberal amounts
 
Do not try to use the iron on clothes after it has been used to wax skis.

Article Written By Allen Smith

Allen Smith is an award-winning freelance writer living in Vail, Colo. He writes about health, fitness and outdoor sports. Smith has a master's degree in exercise physiology and an exercise specialist certification with the American College of Sports Medicine at San Diego State University.

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