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Spring Skiing Wax Tips Wanted

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm getting ready to by my yearly supply of ski wax. I've really been effective in tuning and waxing my skiis for all conditions except two; really cold conditions and really sloppy spring conditions. The super cold (below 10 F.) conditions cause my skiis to become really sticky with minimal glide. The wet spring conditions cause my skiis to create that suction effect as the sun slushes up the snow. I would ski all day in the spring if I could figure out the waxing for the afternoon on those spring days. I would really appreciate if you would share your waxing sequence and brand and wax temps. that you use. Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 5
Simply match the appropriate wax to temp you will be skiing in. The wax companies make picking the right wax easy, and they all perform like they were designed if they are given the chance.

When you experience the suction effect, that it is more a base structure issue than a wax issue. If you took 2 pieces of 4"x4" glass and put some water between them they will stick together like glue. That is what happens when you have a perfectly smooth/glass-like base and wet snow (any kind of snow for that matter). For your skis to glide smoothly over wet snow there are a few things you need to do:

-Build a wide/course structure. You can either have the skis stone ground or do it yourself with a rill bar. That structure will releive the suction between the base and the snow. I'm sure that there are some websites which have step-by-step guides to show you what to do. Doing it WELL by hand (setting the structure, cleaning the base, bronze brushing the base, etc) can be a tedious procedure.

-Once the structure is set and the base is clean, make sure to wax and scrape them a few times (the more the better) to get some new wax into the base.

-After that, apply the wax that you have chosen to ski on for the day and scrape it off.

-The whole point of setting up a wide structure is to allow the "channels" to do their work. When you scrape off the wax you simply have a glassy finish on the base which is exactly what we don't want. You need to brush the skis with either a nylon brush or a fine brass brush (preferably both) The brushing will remove the wax and open up structure which will remedy your spring skiing problems, I promise [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] Brush the bases until no more wax is coming up. It will take a while but you will notice the difference as soon as the snow gets slushy.

In short, Build an open structure, get plenty of wax into the base and brush until your arm falls off. Good luck.

post #3 of 5
You hit the nail on the head. Really good advice!

As for really cold conditions, with out spending a ton of money on very expensive, short lived overlays, try blending in some Swix CH4. This wax is so hard, it's been known to dent rocks! And it will certainly protect your skis!

In contrast to Mike's advice for warm conditions, the structure you want for really cold snow is a very light, tight structure. Determine the age and history of the snow, ie.- man-made, it has thawed and refrozen, fresh and soft packed, etc. For snow with more moisture in it, use a slightly warmer wax, with a slight amount of CH4 as a hardner. For the drier snow, use a colder wax, with a bit more of the CH4. Scrape it thin, and brush very lightly.

Just like with warm conditions, this must be done every day or two.

Good Luck! :
post #4 of 5
For really wet spring snow, I sometimes just let the base structure do its work and don't wear any wax at all. Here (and on teh Keystone bunny hill!) in spring the bases get covered in gunk...here it's oil from the plants, at Keystone I suspect it was machine gunk. And every day you had to get it off with citrus stuff. So having a nice coarse base structure meant you could clean away happily without having to re-wax.

I once tried something for spring, I waxed with a hard wax, and then brushed before it totally hardened up. I *think* it kind of worked, but was never quite sure...
post #5 of 5
Mike and Vail either know their stuff or they have visited my web page. Or both! I bow to both of you for your expertise.

It bother the heck out of me to see the other techs at my store mount skis and not wax them or was them and you can still see wax all over the ski.

Get a riller bar from Tognar, very cheap! Tilt it away from you, press down hard and pull it down the length of the ski. There are two sides. One side is fine, one side is course. Use the course side for wet snow.
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