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Waxing and scraping new skis.Hot boxing.

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

When repeatedly waxing and scraping new skis, why do we scrape? Surely repeat ironing would get the wax into the base without scraping it off each time.

If you live in sunny location after waxing, lean the skis against a wall with the bases at 90 degrees to the sun.Where I live (Auckland N.Z). the wax stays molten and gives me a free hot box for a couple of hours..

post #2 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by uboom View Post

When repeatedly waxing and scraping new skis, why do we scrape? Surely repeat ironing would get the wax into the base without scraping it off each time.

If you live in sunny location after waxing, lean the skis against a wall with the bases at 90 degrees to the sun.Where I live (Auckland N.Z). the wax stays molten and gives me a free hot box for a couple of hours..

 

To the highlighted part.

 

You don't have to scrape after each ironing HOWEVER, you should for at least the first one if not two.  This is to make sure the bases are clean and debris free so you don't iron in dirt.  You should add a little more wax each time your iron also.  There is also the belief that brushing between each waxing helps with the structure.   I'm for re-waxing and ironing and scrape and brush at the end.

 

I have thought about putting my waxed skis in my black cargo box out on the deck on hot days.  It must get to 150F in there.

post #3 of 29

If you're talking about the specific case of conditioning new skis with new wax, then I would say scrape the first time after waxing to ensure you removed traces of storage wax and anything else on there.  After that I see your point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by uboom View Post

When repeatedly waxing and scraping new skis, why do we scrape? Surely repeat ironing would get the wax into the base without scraping it off each time.

If you live in sunny location after waxing, lean the skis against a wall with the bases at 90 degrees to the sun.Where I live (Auckland N.Z). the wax stays molten and gives me a free hot box for a couple of hours..

post #4 of 29

by isolating the discussion to only focus on waxing, you are missing the most important aspects of getting skis ready for high performance. getting the wax into the base is only part of what needs to be done to prepare the skis to glide better. also hydrocarbon waxes are cheap. scrape off the wax each time and take the dirt from the pores of the base out of play. when waxing, the dirt, oil, and micro hairs rise to the top of the molten wax. there is no benefit by adding more wax to the dirt, oil, and micro hairs already resting in the wax on ski.

 

what is important is that the whole process should be counted as cycles. The skis need to be waxed, scraped, and brushed many times to get the best performance out of the base.

 

the process is two fold, and the cycle is what gets the base to run better. there is waxing, and there is the scraping brushing cycle that makes performance improve.

 

repeated ironing, scraping, and brushing, helps to soften the structure of the base and remove/wear down the micro hairs.

 

The base can only absorb the amount of wax that the base can absorb. so that means that overindulging in the ironing of wax or hotboxing can be excessive. but the benefits of brushing, and the benefits to the base of scraping after the base has cooled continue to make the ski run faster. the other factor that makes skis start to run well is the concept of wearing in the base by "running in" the skis to further "soften" the structure and using the snow friction to polish out the "micro hairs" that can slow a ski down.

 

it has always been a common technique to get some of the new ski "hairs" off the base by waxing with a slightly harder wax, letting the ski cool completely, then scraping aggressively to remove those hairs from the base. The hairs are trapped in the wax and get sheared off when you scrape.

 

so the real issue is how many cycles, versus how much wax is getting into the base.

 

jim

post #5 of 29

IIRC one of the base prep waxes on market was a mix of soft and hard waxes that would /intentionally/ separate when ironed, so that the microhairs float up in the pool of softwax but get locked into the rigid hard wax on top (and hopefully snapped off by the scraper).

post #6 of 29

For removing unwanted hairs, I'd suggest you use wax like this or this

 

Seriously, this is nuts. Unless someone is a top tier racer, none of this matters to this degree (and even then I sometimes wonder). I've settled into a pattern of not doing any prep out of the box and then quickly corking some Hot Sauce on after each ski day or two of use. My bases are none the worse for wear and ski as well as when I paid lots of money or wasted lots of time. I suspect this, or similar,  is all the average recreational skier needs to get fine performance out of their skis. Then throw in a good tune every season or two to tidy things up.

 

Bottom line: I suspect the OPs method is at least 99.9% as effective as all the extra mumbo jumbo.

post #7 of 29

Getting the absolute top performance of out the ski is only critical for racers. Most skiers wouldn't notice a 10% loss of ski performance from the ideal that racers try to attain (or many post as being the best/only/essential way to prep your skis). They would notice a 50% loss and certainly no prep would be just a crap shoot as to whether the ski left the factory or ski shop in useable condition or not. DoctorD and starthaus are right on the money with their remarks.

 

The thing is that that last 10% of performance is the difference between a few cycles of wax/scrape/brush and dozens of cycles also interleaved with actually skiing on the skis. Unless you need to loose a 0.10 second in a course, a few cycles is adequate particularly if you regularly maintain your skis after the initial prep.

post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

 

 

 Unless someone is a top tier racer, none of this matters to this degree (and even then I sometimes wonder).

 

I think it does matter to  a weak skater on a runout, or someone stuck on a cat track or someone skiing hard-freeze crust ontop of rain-sogged wet snow, or someone skiing base-building manmade snow in cold air temps or someone getting the wax just ever so slightly too warm/too soft for the conditions.   

 

In every one of those instances both the do-nothing base burner and the racer will have the advantage over someone who's only doing basic waxing.  

 

 "It doesn't matter" posts are so very often made by posters in areas with plentiful natural snow.  They coincide in being discouraging to those interested in waxing because "none of this matters" and they're /still/ getting smoked on cat tracks by their do-nothing base burner friends.  

post #9 of 29

Absent some very specific conditions, the notion that the average enthusiast level skier would see a 50% difference in performance between an out of the box base and a "prepped" base is nonsense IMO. At least for most decent quality skis. If my local shop wants to throw on a nice tidy wax job on a new pair of skis I'm not going to say no. But do I think it'll make a big difference to my skiing - not really.  If you have evidence to the contrary, I'd love to see it.

 

And in the specific cases where it matters, such as sticky spring snow, just adding the right wax to the mix will close up the gap. In fact, just as an experiment, I have used Spring Solution in temps ranging from about 12 below F to very wet spring slush. I have noticed, at most, modest differences vs specialty waxes skied pretty much back to back on the same skis (eg, same conditions but sequential day with specialty hot wax on day 2).

 

I have no particular bias toward the Hertel stuff than than I fell into using it and it does the job for me ( I now have a pile of temp specific waxes that have been untouched for at least a season and a half). I suspect any number of all-around waxes are fine for lots of people. What I do have is a bias against wasting time and money on mythology (and not even cool mythology like Norse Gods). Wax is, to a point, important. But after that point - it is, for most, just a form of recreation in its own right.  Not that this is bad. But let's just be realistic rather than driving people way past the point of diminishing returns.

post #10 of 29
Quote:
 that the average enthusiast level skier would see a 50% difference in performance between an out of the box base and a "prepped" base is nonsense IMO

 

Agreed, but that is not what I said:

 

Quote:

 They would notice a 50% loss

 

I didn't say that there is a 50% difference between an out of the box base and a prepped base but rather they would notice a 50% loss (of performance).

 

A 50% loss of performance would come from, for instance, never maintaining their skis for year on end. If they went from these unmaintained skis to a brand new pair with a factory tune, just about anyone would notice that the new skis glide much better, hence they would notice a difference of 50%.

 

Another way to loose 50% of your performance would be to gouge a ski on a rock leaving a piece of p-tex hanging from the ski. I suspect that most skiers would notice that one ski was running nicely and the other was dragging and pulling to one side.

post #11 of 29

Here's the key to a good hot box.  First, get a quality strain from somewhere like Humboldt County.  Next, you need to find a gondola where the vents can be manually closed.  Third-- oh, we're talking about ski preparation?  Nevermind.

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post

by isolating the discussion to only focus on waxing, you are missing the most important aspects of getting skis ready for high performance. getting the wax into the base is only part of what needs to be done to prepare the skis to glide better. also hydrocarbon waxes are cheap. scrape off the wax each time and take the dirt from the pores of the base out of play. when waxing, the dirt, oil, and micro hairs rise to the top of the molten wax. there is no benefit by adding more wax to the dirt, oil, and micro hairs already resting in the wax on ski.

 

what is important is that the whole process should be counted as cycles. The skis need to be waxed, scraped, and brushed many times to get the best performance out of the base.

 

the process is two fold, and the cycle is what gets the base to run better. there is waxing, and there is the scraping brushing cycle that makes performance improve.

 

repeated ironing, scraping, and brushing, helps to soften the structure of the base and remove/wear down the micro hairs.

 

The base can only absorb the amount of wax that the base can absorb. so that means that overindulging in the ironing of wax or hotboxing can be excessive. but the benefits of brushing, and the benefits to the base of scraping after the base has cooled continue to make the ski run faster. the other factor that makes skis start to run well is the concept of wearing in the base by "running in" the skis to further "soften" the structure and using the snow friction to polish out the "micro hairs" that can slow a ski down.

 

it has always been a common technique to get some of the new ski "hairs" off the base by waxing with a slightly harder wax, letting the ski cool completely, then scraping aggressively to remove those hairs from the base. The hairs are trapped in the wax and get sheared off when you scrape.

 

so the real issue is how many cycles, versus how much wax is getting into the base.

 

jim

Thanks Jim. Your answer that gives a logical explanation to my question.

 

 

Regarding other comments on general ski preparation.I have frequently swapped skis with friends of same boot size and am amazed how badly rarely tuned skis perform. I could not  put a% on it but can say that I would not bother skiing if my skis were that badly behaved.The minimum for me on recreational skis is, full prep on new skis, burrrs off every day,edge tune and wax every second or third day.I do polish the edges down to fine diamond file, but sometimes I let teh snow do the scraping.    

post #13 of 29

Hi Jim,

 

Sorry would have responded this sooner (but I was in Austria for two weeks....no skiing thoughfrown.gif)...Part of the concept of hydrodynamics is the use of scales, hair and texturing to increase laminar flow at the boundary layers.  Depending on how much hair is there (and the length) it might be of benefit.

 

I see the primary effect of the cycling to ensure the best condition and what we as skiers are looking for is the least friction possible and not stick-tion....To little or to much of anything is bad, by cycling we are fluctuating ideally near the perfect condition.

 

Had to stir the pot on this one cool.gif.

 

BTW Jim...well described (its easy to add to what you wrote so well).

 

G

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 

To the highlighted part.

 

You don't have to scrape after each ironing HOWEVER, you should for at least the first one if not two.  This is to make sure the bases are clean and debris free so you don't iron in dirt.  

Doing this too. The benefits? the material of the ski is protected plus less time waste.

post #15 of 29

My own schedule of ski wax and prep pretty much deals with the weather.

 

During storm cycles I rarely touch the ski's as most of the terrain is either new snow or snow in transition to base material for a week or so after the storm. Other than spring gunk, waxing and even edges really does not seem to make much of a difference to performance off-piste in the new stuff. A good storm cycle here can last over two weeks, seperate cells but one after the other. 

 

But when the dry spell runs long enough and groomers and hard pack (it's not ice till you can see 6" into it) become the option then a good tune-up and wax every few days does make a difference. Any day depending on the snow conditions may have a bit of temperature specific wax rubbed on a the bottom of the lift a few times during the day as needed, especially true in the spring. Of course actual damage is usually fixed fairly quickly and that will entail at least a minimum wax job as a final touch-up, usually one coat ironed on and scraped if not too late.

 

Probably true that I am not getting all the performance out of my ski's, but I most certainly get enough to keep me happy. Losing a few tenth's here and there I can live with.

 

 I probably abuse my skiis, some would say, but they like it that way. eek.gif

post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by uboom View Post

When repeatedly waxing and scraping new skis, why do we scrape? Surely repeat ironing would get the wax into the base without scraping it off each time.

If you live in sunny location after waxing, lean the skis against a wall with the bases at 90 degrees to the sun.Where I live (Auckland N.Z). the wax stays molten and gives me a free hot box for a couple of hours..

 


Totally true with black bases and soft wax.  You are on to something! :-)
Here is my take on hotboxing.   158 F is the highest temp safe.  145 F should be the goal.

post #17 of 29

Glad to find this post.  I have a new pair that needs some love prior to hitting the WROD.  Good info to all that posted.
 

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post

 


Totally true with black bases and soft wax.  You are on to something! :-)

 

 

This does *not* work for wax with significant quantities of suspended particulate additives in it.  

 

The lighter portion of the wax softens and oozes - the particulate additives stay where they were originally dripped/crayoned.

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

 

This does *not* work for wax with significant quantities of suspended particulate additives in it.  

 

The lighter portion of the wax softens and oozes - the particulate additives stay where they were originally dripped/crayoned.

Oh yea!  That's like stuff "floats" up to the top of a hot waxed ski.  Then you scrape it off.  To be honest, I still don't get the hot scraping deal.  I have done some testing.  I found that most all the ash and dirt etc. do not float to the top of molten liquid wax.  I have seen the results of graphite particles going into a base with just a hot box.  Only ironed the wax on to smooth it out one pass.  Do I rub on my anti-statics prior to the iron?  Yes.

When you say suspended particles I assume that's what you are talking about.
Anyway, a good sun soaking can do good with yellow, or pink base prep waxes.  A hot attic.  In a hot car.  In a mini ski greenhouse.  It can't hurt. 

I don't even remember what this thread is about! :-)  Bla bla!  
OK, I'm just totally bored.  I must entertain myself a bit here.

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques View Post
.

When you say suspended particles I assume that's what you are talking about.

 

You have understood my meaning exactly. 

post #21 of 29

post #22 of 29

   Jaques...why not just post all of your videos in one thread which you start? I think the Epic ski mainframe is starting to overheat :D

 

    zenny

post #23 of 29

   Sorry Jaques...just ribbin' ya a bit :). I like your videos, you've put a lot of effort into them and they are full of good info Thumbs Up

 

    zenny 

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post
 

   Jaques...why not just post all of your videos in one thread which you start? I think the Epic ski mainframe is starting to overheat :D

 

    zenny

You too funny!  I do a search, then post where it seems to fit!  Anyway, if one is computer savy, they can find all my stuff.  Notice, if one watches the total length of my videos, I never say my way is the only way etc.  It took me years to get to where I am today with tuning and waxing etc. skis.  Now I freely seek to share what I have learned by sharing these videos that have NO ADDS on them.

You be good ZenTune, and see me at Mt. "Flat" Bachelor anytime!  I have only skied with two Bears that I know of.  Slider and Comprex.  I welcome any takers.  BTW Slider is the only person who ever taught me a thing about skiing.  Beyond that I am totally self taught.  Oh wait a minuet.  Some guy named Arron who works with Atomic also gave me a pointer when I asked him for it when skiing my first fat skis.  Before that he told me I was the bomb on groom  anyway.   Not to many can pass me on a glide unless they are heavy.  I weigh only 125 lbs.!   Bla ba bla!  I guess I'm just a bit bored as my wife is sick in bed.  BTW it is JACQUES.  Hey at least you got the S at the end!  Be good!  :beercheer: 

post #25 of 29

   Sounds good (I was a race tech for many years, not for any big names--lots o' work I know) and sorry about the spelling Jacques ;). I don't often make it that far west these days, what with gas prices and all...

 

   zenny

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post
 

   Sounds good (I was a race tech for many years, not for any big names--lots o' work I know) and sorry about the spelling Jacques ;). I don't often make it that far west these days, what with gas prices and all...

 

   zenny

Oh yea, you know how that is!  Travel is expensive these days!  No worries on the name spelling.  I just like to raise a bit of cane here.  You know that proper, or good work, on skis makes all the difference.   I was tuning all my stuff (mostly used) before I ever used them.  Last season I got a pair of Salmon Street Racers for 60 bucks.  I looked only at them and thought these may only need some wax to try out.  I did that and thought these skis suck hard!  I was instantly a crappy skier!  Then I thought better.  I did the four plus hours work to tune them.  After that I confirmed what I already knew.  A good true tune makes all the difference.  Now I love those old skis!  One is a bit bent but still skis killer now!  Be good Zenster.  Almost bedtime west coast for an old man!

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

I think it does matter to  a weak skater on a runout, or someone stuck on a cat track or someone skiing hard-freeze crust ontop of rain-sogged wet snow, or someone skiing base-building manmade snow in cold air temps or someone getting the wax just ever so slightly too warm/too soft for the conditions.   

 

In every one of those instances both the do-nothing base burner and the racer will have the advantage over someone who's only doing basic waxing.  

 

 "It doesn't matter" posts are so very often made by posters in areas with plentiful natural snow.  They coincide in being discouraging to those interested in waxing because "none of this matters" and they're /still/ getting smoked on cat tracks by their do-nothing base burner friends.  

 

Seeing as this old thread was revitalized, I read through it and this particular post peaked my interest. I'm hoping someone can clarify this, with apologies if it's been hashed out before.

 
I do a basic wax, scrape and brush on my skis every couple of weeks during the season. This post would suggest that I may be better of not waxing at all?
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 
 

   

 

 

Seeing as this old thread was revitalized, I read through it and this particular post peaked my interest. I'm hoping someone can clarify this, with apologies if it's been hashed out before.

 
I do a basic wax, scrape and brush on my skis every couple of weeks during the season. This post would suggest that I may be better of not waxing at all?

Question is how much and how fast do you ski?  What type of wax do you use?  What kind of bases do your skis have?  What are the snow temps. and age of the snow etc.  There are many factors.  How much do you weigh?  Many heavy folks I know don't wax much at all.  They are going fast enough for themselves, but may not have glide on a flat spot.  When skis run slow it's a type of control.  Then one does not have to control their speed with turns so much.  Once I had a person who asked me if I could wax the Bi-Skis for OAS slower!  I laughed and told him I always wax slowly.  A well waxed, scraped, brushed out ski will always be easier to ski too.  Of course if you like slow "speed controlled" skis just don't wax them at all.

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

I think it does matter to  a weak skater on a runout, or someone stuck on a cat track or someone skiing hard-freeze crust ontop of rain-sogged wet snow, or someone skiing base-building manmade snow in cold air temps or someone getting the wax just ever so slightly too warm/too soft for the conditions.   

 

In every one of those instances both the do-nothing base burner and the racer will have the advantage over someone who's only doing basic waxing.  

 

 "It doesn't matter" posts are so very often made by posters in areas with plentiful natural snow.  They coincide in being discouraging to those interested in waxing because "none of this matters" and they're /still/ getting smoked on cat tracks by their do-nothing base burner friends.  

 

Seeing as this old thread was revitalized, I read through it and this particular post peaked my interest. I'm hoping someone can clarify this, with apologies if it's been hashed out before.

 
I do a basic wax, scrape and brush on my skis every couple of weeks during the season. This post would suggest that I may be better of not waxing at all?

 

 

Well, glad someone's reading my stuff.     I can rephrase if it would help clarity?

 

The takeaway from my previous post was never meant to be "I may be better off not waxing at all."    

 

 It was meant to be 'I should be aware of conditions I ski in and if they drastically change from "normal" I should be prepared to change my waxing routine'.

 

My further point is that people who settle on one, super-simple procedure, will almost always be spending lots of days skiing on snow that is relatively consistent from day to day (from week to week in your case?), snow that is relatively easy to wax for.      They never have to adapt or really think about it much - why should they?

 

Then someone else reads about that,  uses that same super-simple procedure.   Fine.  Then they show up at their local hill during a rain/snow mix, during a refreeze, during an arctic cold snap with fresh snow, during early season snow-gun base building, or during a warm spell.    And they wonder why they're more miserable with their waxed skis than they were before they started.      The do-nothinger has the advantage over the do-but-oversimplifier, see?

 

  This is why, when I read a post with the approximate words  "I'm not a racer, I don't worry about the last umpteenth of a second" I can't help but think 'Hey, must be nice to live in a place with snow that consistent, wish we all could'.

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