How to Wax Alpine Skis

How to Wax Alpine Skis
Because skiing involves friction against the cold snow, optimal ski performance requires periodic waxing. In many cases, people will take their skis to be tuned when a good wax job would have done the trick.
If you point your skis straight down the hill and they only move at a snail's pace, you probably are in need of a wax job.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ski wax Wax iron Base brush Base cleaner Base coat Ski vise
  • Ski wax
  • Wax iron
  • Base brush
  • Base cleaner
  • Base coat
  • Ski vise
Step 1
Choose the correct wax. This should be obvious, but many people don't realize that ski waxes are temperature specific. Warm-weather ski waxes are best when snow temperatures reach 28 degrees F and above. These softer waxes are known for their ability to neutralize the effects of wet friction. If you ski in colder climates, you need a cold-weather ski wax. Cold-weather ski wax is made with a hardening agent, which helps it resist damage from the cold snow crystals found at colder resorts.
Step 2
Place your skis in a ski vise to stabilize them. Allow your skis to warm to room temperature before waxing. This process should take about 30 minutes. Applying wax before the skis have warmed to room temperature can result in warping, which might destroy the bases of your skis.
Step 3
Use your base brush to remove any debris that may have accumulated on your skis. This essential step assures an even wax job.
Step 4
Use your base cleaner to clean the bases of your skis. This is another way to assure even distribution of the ski wax. Pour some base cleaner on a paper towel, and be sure to cover the entire base of the ski.
Step 5
Heat your waxing iron to a low temperature. Avoid making it too hot; this can damage your skis.
Step 6
Apply a coat of wax to the bases of the skis. Make sure that it evenly distributes and that it covers the entire base.
Step 7
Hold your iron against the ski. When the wax begins to drip, move it up and down the base of your skis.
Step 8
Check the wax temperature with the back of your hand. If it has cooled down, use a plastic scraper to remove the wax.
Step 9
Use a nylon brush to smooth the surface of the base.

Tips & Warnings

Clean your work space before waxing your skis. This will assure that debris such as dust and pet hairs don't blow into the wax.
Make sure to work in a well-ventilated room.


Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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