How to Wax Snow Skis

How to Wax Snow Skis
Waxing your skis regularly will give you the best performance on the slopes. While waxing may seem like a daunting task that only a professional can do, it's really a short, simple job that you can save time and money doing in your garage. Wax your skis often and get the fastest, most agile performance from them.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ski vise and/or workbench Base cleaner or alcohol Rag or paper towel Waxing iron Ski wax Plastic scraper Ski wax brush
  • Ski vise and/or workbench
  • Base cleaner or alcohol
  • Rag or paper towel
  • Waxing iron
  • Ski wax
  • Plastic scraper
  • Ski wax brush
Step 1
Get the right ski wax. There are different ski waxes for different snow temperatures. To get the right temperature, you can measure the temperature of the top 1/4 inch of snow using a thermometer. Or, for an easier, less-technical route, use an all-temperature wax.
Step 2
Make sure your skis are at room temperature. Wipe off any snow or moisture when you get off the slopes and bring them inside to warm up.
Step 3
Move the brake arms out of the way by pressing the pedal down and using a rubber band to hold the brakes in place. Place the ski into the vise and tighten the vise onto the ski.
Step 4
Clean the base of the ski with a paper towel or rag and alcohol or base cleaner. Thoroughly wipe down the ski and make sure it's dry.
Step 5
Heat up your iron for 5 to 10 minutes. It's best to use an iron designed specifically for waxing, as this will provide the best control and most uniform temperature. If you don't have money for a waxing iron, you can use a standard clothing iron, but be sure that it doesn't have holes or you'll risk getting wax in it and ruining it. Do not overheat your iron, or you could damage your ski bases. According to the ski tool company Tognar, temperatures over 284 degrees F can damage your skis.
Step 6
Hold the iron so that the corner or pointed top end is pointing straight at your ski base. Hold it 3 or 4 inches over the base and apply the wax to the iron to melt it.
Step 7
Drip the wax generously on the base of your ski, covering the base.
Step 8
Apply the iron to the base and iron the wax in by moving it up the ski. Don't let the iron stand on the base; keep it moving. Iron until the wax is a thin, smooth coat.
Step 9
Allow the wax to cool for about 20 to 30 minutes. Hold your plastic scraper at a 45-degree angle and scrape off the excess wax, starting at the tip. Use long, straight strokes down the base and repeat as needed to get the visible wax off. While this seems counterintuitive, the wax penetrates into the pores of the ski, so you don't need the excess on the bottom. Make sure to get any wax off the edges.
Step 10
Take your brush and rub it down the ski from tip to tail. Use several strokes down the base and your skis are ready to go.

Tips & Warnings

Perform waxing and other maintenance in a well-ventilated area.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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