How to Wax Cross-Country Skis

How to Wax Cross-Country Skis
Cross-country skiing is an easy way to get out and enjoy the snow, but you need to prepare your skis properly. Even waxless skis, which have a fish-scale-like "contragrip" base in the midsection kick zone, benefit from occasional waxing. Kick wax grips the snow as you push off; and glide wax, on the ski tips and tails, helps you go faster. Skate skis use glide wax over the whole base for fast action. These waxing tips will help you get the most out cross-country skiing.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Base cleaner Plastic scraper Cork Brush Cloth for cleaning Glide wax Kick wax--hard wax or klister, depending on snow conditions Or, universal wax for all conditions Wax iron (recommended for most durable application)
  • Base cleaner
  • Plastic scraper
  • Cork
  • Brush
  • Cloth for cleaning
  • Glide wax
  • Kick wax--hard wax or klister, depending on snow conditions
  • Or, universal wax for all conditions
  • Wax iron (recommended for most durable application)
 
Step 1
Clean old wax and dirt off the ski using a base cleaner. Scrape off wax with a sharp plastic scraper, brush debris from the grooves and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Step 2
Apply glide wax to the full length of the ski base. Simply rub on and buff rub-on wax with a cork. Glide wax your skis every time if you want to race, but otherwise you only need to apply glide wax occasionally.
Step 3
Apply iron-on wax instead of rub-on glide wax if you want more durability. Choose the correct wax for temperature and snow conditions, as listed on the package. Set the wax iron to at least 292 degrees F and let the wax drip along the entire base of the ski. Keep moving the iron as you melt the wax into the ski base.
Step 4
Scrape the iron-on wax off after it cools, from the tip to tail, including the grooves and sidewalls, using a plastic scraper and brush.
Step 5
Choose a kick wax to use on the middle third, or kick zone, of the base for classic, waxable skis. Hard waxes, which look like fat crayons, are for fresh snow and come in different colors for use in different temperatures. A sticky wax called klister comes in a tube and is used in wet or icy snow.
Step 6
Apply hard kick wax by rubbing it into the kick zone of the ski base. Buff with a cork. Repeat with a second application.
Step 7
Make klister (for granular or wet snow) easier to apply by warming it with an iron or your car's defroster. Squeeze klister on the kick zone in a herringbone pattern and spread with a plastic scraper.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
For quick and easy waxing in most conditions, try universal rub-on or spray-on waxes. Prepare for changing conditions by bringing a range of waxes. Applying wax to waxless skis reduces clumping of wet snow.
 
For quick and easy waxing in most conditions, try universal rub-on or spray-on waxes.
 
Prepare for changing conditions by bringing a range of waxes.
 
Applying wax to waxless skis reduces clumping of wet snow.
 
Apply iron-on wax in a well-ventilated room. Iron-on wax should not be smoking.
 
Apply iron-on wax in a well-ventilated room.
 
Iron-on wax should not be smoking.

Article Written By Susan Spencer

Since 2000, Susan Spencer has contributed to the "Worcester Telegram & Gazette," "Cape Cod Life," "Worcester Living," "Sister 2 Sister," CapeCodToday.com and other publications. She specializes in health, education, culture and lifestyle, the outdoors/environment, and regional travel. She has a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.S. from Harvard School of Public Health.

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