Guide to Waxing Skis

Guide to Waxing Skis
Many skiers fail to take the simple, important step of waxing their skis regularly. In order to enjoy the best performance, waxing your skis is an imperative procedure. You could take your skis in to the shop for waxing, but learning to do it at home yourself will save you money and allow you to have your skis waxed every time that you need it done.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ski vices Alcohol Towel Wax iron All-temperature ski wax Plastic scraper Nylon or metal brush
  • Ski vices
  • Alcohol
  • Towel
  • Wax iron
  • All-temperature ski wax
  • Plastic scraper
  • Nylon or metal brush
Step 1
Let your skis warm and dry. You don't want to wax your skis straight from the slopes. Dry them off and allow them to get up to room temperature prior to waxing.
Step 2
Assess the bottoms of the skis. If you have any deep scratches or dings that require work, proceed with the repair prior to waxing. Your skis will only perform their best if they are both newly waxed and properly repaired.
Step 3
Strap down the ski brake with a rubber band. You want to get this out of the way so you're able to wax the ski bottoms without it hindering the process.
Step 4
Heat up your iron. It's always wisest to use a ski wax iron instead of a household iron, as this will regulate the temperature of the wax and will prevent fluctuations and burning. Of course, a household iron is a cheap shortcut, but if you choose to use one, you'll need to carefully experiment to find the appropriate temperature--one that melts the wax without causing it to smoke up. Let the iron heat to temperature for a few minutes.
Step 5
Place the first ski in the vice. If there are any rocks, filings or other large debris in the skis, remove them by scraping down with a metal brush. Clean the base of the ski with alcohol or base cleaner and a towel. Allow the ski to dry and clean the second ski while you wait.
Step 6
Hold the iron about two or three inches over your first ski. Point the nose or a corner toward the ski base and then hold the wax against the iron until it begins to liquify and drip onto the ski. Move around with the wax and cover the entire ski base.
Step 7
Apply the iron directly to the base once it is covered and move it in one direction up the base, ironing the wax into a thin coat that covers the entire base. You may need to repeat this several times to get the wax properly applied. Be careful not to hold the iron in one spot, as this will burn your ski.
Step 8
Remove the ski from the vice, keep it inside and let the wax cool for 15 to 20 minutes. While you wait, you can repeat the waxing process for the second ski.
Step 9
Place the ski back into the vice once the wax is sufficiently cool and use your plastic scraper to remove the unneeded wax. Beginning at the ski tip, hold the scraper at a 45-degree angle against the base and push or pull it in long, continuous strokes to shave the excess wax off. Repeat until all of the excess wax has been removed. You should not see any wax, but rest assured--the ski absorbed all the wax that it needs. The scraper should have a small end designed to remove wax from the edges of the ski.
Step 10
Take the ski wax brush, begin at the tip and brush down from tip to tail. This will help provide even better performance on the snow. Repeat the brushing a few times and your ski is ready to hit the mountain.
Step 11
Scrape and brush your second ski the same way you did the first.

Tips & Warnings

When pressed for time, use a rub-on wax in place of hot wax. However, a hot wax will give you the best performance.
Make sure that you have full ventilation where you wax.

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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