All Nordic skis are made a bit different. Some are made with a "waxless" base, for example, but most perform better with a little wax. There are loads of different waxes to choose from depending on what the weather, season and snow conditions are like.
Always Have on Hand
There are two main types of waxes: kick wax and glide wax. Glide wax is what will allow you to gain momentum easier and is usually applied hot with an iron. Kick wax is what you apply in the snow, and aids in the kick and glide motion of Nordic skiing. You should always keep a few kinds of kick wax in the backpack you take skiing with you. Always have with you a cold (hard) wax, a medium/cold wax and a warm (soft) wax as well as a plastic scraper and rubbing cork.
Using the Right Wax
Waxes are generally color-coded in similar manners. Colors such as green and blue are used for the colder waxes, and red for warmer waxes. The wax will say on its container what temperatures it should optimally be used in. If you have applied a cold wax and conditions warm up, your skis might be sticking and you will need a softer wax. Tend toward a colder (harder) wax if you are unsure of what to use. It is much easier to apply a warm wax over a cold one than the other way around.
Everyone gets their own particular technique of waxing their skis after a while, but there are a few general rules to follow. Apply wax with the grain of your ski base in an area called the "wax pocket." This is the area that creates a slight arc in the bottom of the ski when no weight is put on it. You do not need to apply from the very tip to tail. Use a cork if you like to rub and heat the wax, enabling a better fix on the ski base.
If your skis have iced up and clumps of snow are stuck to the bottoms of your skis when you would like to descend a hill, then you need to get your glide back. You can scrape one ski over the edge of the other. And if this doesn't work, then you will need to use your scraper and take off some of that wax.
Article Written By Naomi Judd
Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.