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When to wax? [a Beginner Zone question]

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi. I'm new. I've only ever skied twice, and I plan on going more this winter. I bought my own skis in 2012, and went skiing with them once last winter. I'm going to go at the end of this month, and I was wondering what should I do about wax? I've never waxed them, though I did have them get an adjustment and I think a tune up when I got them (they were used). I'm going to be where I can buy ski wax tomorrow. Should I buy some and do it myself? Thanks! 

post #2 of 8

Or, just have the shop wax them for you.

post #3 of 8
Doing your own tuning is great, but is more involved than you realize. Concentrate on skiing for now. Have a shop wax them every four outings or so.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Does it cost alot, and how long does it take? I don't have alot of money or time to spend on tune-ups. 

post #5 of 8
To do it yourself involves buying wax, an iron, scraper, brushes, at minimum. Then you get into tuning benches and vises. Then eventually diamond stones, bevel guides, yadayada.

Cost at a shop? Can range five to twenty per wax, depending on where you are, what you ask for, and how good friends you are with the guy.

Articles here: http://www.epicski.com/atype/2/Gear/tag/care-and-upkeep
post #6 of 8

If you happen to have black bases, a good gauge on when to wax is simply when they start to look gray.  If you are only skiing a handful of days per season, you're probably better off just having a shop do it once or twice a year rather than buying all the tools to do it yourself.

post #7 of 8

Welcome to Epic.


Since you are just starting get them waxed at a shop, depending on what you are skiing, every 2 to 8 days.  You'll usually feel the difference when there is little wax left on the base before you see it.


The little extra you spend on having it done, will let you focus on skiing skis on the hill.  A few years down the road once you see what you need pick up a tool here and there.  Based on the current cost of tools, buy tools intended for the job.  Yes you can go cheaper, we all did in the old days because the tool weren't available as they are today, so the little in savings isn't worth it now.


Note on waxes, I prefer the Hertel FC739 (which is a all purpose all temperature race wax) inexpensive, works well in all conditions.  If you are looking for that added speed there better a lot more expensive solutions, but for that wax it and forget it with good performance this one wax does the job.

post #8 of 8

You need:

Universal ski wax

Garage sale iron with aluminum foil over the steam holes

Paper towels

Thick rubber bands from bunches of asparagus or broccoli

Old newspaper


Wipe the skis dry.  Pull the brake back and hold them in place with the rubber bands.  Set the skis on a table or kitchen counter, bases up, with newspaper underneath.  Heat the iron so the wax melts but doesn't smoke.  Hold the iron vertical, point down, over the ski bases.  Touch the wax bar to the iron sole and dribble wax the length of the ski.  Iron the wax on the ski base.  Never stop moving the iron.  Just heat enough to melt the wax, no more.  If you have a dry spot, dribble a bit more wax there and iron it into the base.  We want the wax in the pores of the base material, not on the surface.  With the iron in one hand and a folded paper towel in the other, reheat the wax and immediately wipe it off.  Again.  Get as much off as you can.  Let the skis cool.  Ski.  The first foot or two on the snow will be sticky, then they'll slide great for several days.


Also get an edge sharpener with a stone.  You want to remove the upraised bit of any nicks in the edge.  Don't worry about doing more, just take off the high part of a nick.  Once every couple of years (yearly if you ski more) have a good shop do a tune.  They'll stone grind the base flat and sharpen the edges to the correct angles.  They'll fill any gouges in the base.  They'll probably hot wax by running the ski over a roller with molten wax, but your iron-in job is a better, longer lasting job.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Beginner Zone › When to wax? [a Beginner Zone question]