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Wax on, Wax off Grasshopper

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Please teach this grasshopper how often I should wax my skis.

They are brand new Atomic c9's that I have skied on three times so far this season. I was told that they come pre-waxed and that I should probably wax them after the third time. Also when should I have them tuned? All I have had done to them has been having the device bindings installed.

post #2 of 15
Wax them when they need wax! Check the bases. You can tell if they are still holding wax. On the east coast, I'll suggest that you should wax them every time you ski on them.
post #3 of 15
Wax them when they get that dry look. Instead of a shiny black finish (assuming the bottoms are black in color), you'll see a dull finish, with white specs on them. That means the bases are drying out and they need to be waxed.
post #4 of 15
Originally Posted by lnester
Wax them when they get that dry look. Instead of a shiny black finish (assuming the bottoms are black in color), you'll see a dull finish, with white specs on them. That means the bases are drying out and they need to be waxed.
Does white specs mean they just need a surface wax or a complete clean off and hot wax with iron ?
post #5 of 15
The factory wax is not a skiing wax, it is a protective coating. Wax them with either the right temperature wax of the day, or a good universal wax. As to how often, if you have the time and inclination every time you ski is great, particularly, as ssh said living on the East Coast, where hard abrasive snow will take the wax off very quickly. Every two days is probably OK.

The wax serves two purposes, to protect the skis, and to this end every day is really not necessary; and to make them ski better. Not only will they go faster, but they will move smoother from edge to edge, thus giving you more control. Faster can be of great help if you're on a catwalk or connecting trail of course, and in cold weather wax is very important to help the skis move. Waxing every day will give you better performance, as much of the wax is scraped off by the snow after even a few runs in some conditions.
post #6 of 15
wax them every time you go skiing if you can. If not, as often as possible.
post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by Blizzboy283
Also when should I have them tuned? Thanks!
Ah grasshopper, we all overlooked this question and talked only of wax.

My regimen is to 'tune" my skis every time I ski. If I was on soft snow very little may be necessary, but if on hardpack or ice the edges getted all burred up after a single day.

Filing often is not a good thing, but using a stone, preferably a diamond stone, on the edges to deburr them will keep your skis edgehold and smooth slicing much better. We're all assuming you will be doing this yourself, and well you should, but you will need some tools.

If indeed we misunderstood you and you're going to bring them to a shop all our advice will be quite costly for you won't it? Paying someone to wax your skis daily - ahhhhhh! Also trusting a shop to tune your skis a lot will potentially get you worse conditions skis, they may for example overbevel the base edge.

So grasshopper we ( really just I, but I assume) suggest you do it yourself - it's fun, relaxing and will keep you more in touch with your skis. You will see for example what parts of your edge get burred worse (typically your inside edge, and in the areas you put more pressure.)

There is a ton of info on posts in this forum about what tools to get, and how to do it. At the least you'll need a vice and some stones, an iron, a plastic scraper and a brush or two. At the most, like me, you'll end up buying tools just because it's addicting - and fun!

Meditate on this
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
If I was on soft snow very little may be necessary, but if on hardpack or ice the edges getted all burred up after a single day.
This depends alot on your skiing ability and style. If you skid alot and throw them sideways then your edges will get alot of burrs or feel rough.

If you race or ski pretty fast with alot of carving then your edges may not get burred as much or as often.

Last Saturday I skied from 8 till 2 on hardpack and ice in negative and single digit temps. I had maybe one or two one inch areas that had burrs so all I needed was a quick touch up and that was from a hockey stop where I hit a small rock.

Wax also wears differently based on skiing ability or style. If you ski fast and carve alot then the edges of your skis lose alot more wax from abrasion then the middle of the ski.

If you skid alot, more of your ski base will have abrasions around the waist of the ski and the tail area.

Of course these can all differ and change based on factors such as temp, snow, conditions, and more.

I always take a look at my bases and edges when I take my skis off either at lunch or at the end of the day.

In my jacket I carry a synthetic cork, some small wax pieces, and a stone for nasty rock damage or extreme burrs. This will take care of any minor issues on the hill.
post #9 of 15
when using the diamond stone to deburr the edge, should I run it lengthways parallel along the edge or perpendicular across ? Also, is a Swix 400 red the right grind for this job ? I'm paranoid about causing more harm than good.

As for additional wax added (cold) during the day, Is the liquid wax any good or is it better to use the solid stuff with a cork ?
post #10 of 15
lengthwise and parallel

The red stone can work but an Arkansas stone is better because it will last longer without wear.

I prefer corking rather then using liquid. Cold wax is pretty hard to crayon on and cork though. I just use a universal wax like Swix or Dominator Zoom.
post #11 of 15
I'm not much for the wax and cork method. A hot wax and scrape is the way to go. It cleans the bases out and gives your ski that shine of health.

If you can't do it yourself, you can drop them off at a ski shop that will usually do a quick wax for you for $5. Do this every 3 days of skiing or so and you'll be fine.
post #12 of 15
I only cork when neccessary on the hill.

Other then that I don't do it.
post #13 of 15
Ok. So I move lengthways and parallel. But.......

Do I start with the stone over the burr or with the burr exposed and then slide over it ? Also, do I check the bevel edge as well as the side edge ?

Sorry for sounding like a complete idiot but all the instructions I've found on the web (and with the stone) are pretty vague about how to use it.

I'm assuming that for $5 you're referring to a quick swipe over the roller ? The places near me (hunter, windham, belleayre) charge $15 for a scrape and manual wax. After having a swipe with the roller (over the base wax that was already there and had been skiid once) My skiis where peppered with white spots after a 1/2 day on the hill last weekend. The base was what came from the factory (Atomic) so I plan on having them scraped and iron waxed tomorrow. However........

My plan was to add to this each day with a cold wax OR a once over the roller ($9 at most places near here) every 3-4 days OR both. And then only have them scraped and hand ironed every 10-15 days. My main goal is protection of skis with performance secondary. I'm a beginner/intermediate skiier, skiing mostly skidded parallel turns with the occasional carve on blue and green slopes. Are you saying the cold wax is only worth adding if I run out whilst on the hill during the day ?
post #14 of 15
Hi again britinnyc,

As a beginner/intermediate the main performance advantage of wax IMHO is on catwalks and runoffs - thus you should really be just concerned with protecting your bases. I too thought a $5 wax was awfully cheap. If you get a quick edge/wax every 3-5 days you'll be fine.

As to the stone technique, you ideally would have a bevel guide to make sure the angle of the stone on the edge is correct. Use a light touch and long even strokes down maybe 1/3 of the edge, overlapping to the next 1/3 for a few strokes and so on, then one long even stroke down the edge. If you're mostly skidding, not carving you will burr it up a lot, as Scalce said, but then again the need for a clean smooth edge is less important than it is for slicing through the snow.

It really sounds to me like you might want to just find a decent shop and have them do edge/wax jobs until a base and/or edge gets damaged by a rock and then have them do more.
post #15 of 15
I have an SVST base beveler and rarely use it for basic maintenance and burr removal on the base edge.

You can use your thumb against the back of the diamond stone and use your index finger as a guide on the sidewall while making passes like SMJ said.

I always run the stone along the entire edge regardless of burrs. When you feel or hear the stone snag and scrape, concentrate more passes on the area until the stone glides smoothly. Getting a feel for it takes a few tries. If you hear a scraping the entire way, make sure that the stone is flat against the base edge. When the edge is nice and burr free, the stone will glide smoothly.

Don't use alot of pressure and don't tilt it into the side edge.
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