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Wax and grey bases

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've been doing plenty research of late on waxing techniques bla bla and am getting pretty good at laying down a good film of wax on a set of skis. However,

Conditions:I was out today (blue mt. PA) and the conditions were terrible...real, I mean REAL boilerplate almost everywhere and that real sandpapery stuff kicked up on the sides. I'd say the temps were in the lower to mid 20's once the sun went down

Base prep: I'd cleaned, fibertexed (both coarse and fine), and laid down 2 layers of CH6, brushed and polished..the usual. In addition, I'd been noticing that of late, the areas under my boots (particularly near the edges) were getting wayy grey and so I crayoned in an extra coat of ch6 in those spots, melted, lightly scraped and lightly brushed. Also, a thin film of F4 glidewax paste went on and was buffed before going out there

Results: after 2 hours of moderate speed skiing in the above conditions, I pulled off the skis and dried the bases off with a paper towel.
The wax was toast underfoot, especially the areas where I mentioned got an extra layer, the bases were dull and very gray. The base at the top 1/3 and bottom 1/4 of the skis are still holding onto some good wax.

Question: Is there something wrong in this waxing process or did the conditions prevail over the wax job?

post #2 of 5
I use that F4 paste as a base CLEANER occasionally. From my experience with its use, I'd expect the F4 paste reduced the amount of the earlier wax you applied. The gray color means the base is thirsting for wax, which should be melted on with an iron.
post #3 of 5
It's called base burn. It's what happens to us east coasters on terrible conditions, usually manmade snow, very cold snow, or just snow in crappy conditions (like after it rains). Since you said you were crusing along very fast its not uncommon for the base around your foot to turn whiteish/grey. It usually happens closer to the edge, as you put a TON of pressure on your skis right under your foot, and right along the edge. It has nothing to do with your waxing technique, but there are a few things you could do to make it better, and to prevent it. To get rid of it go at it with some fibertex, it's ok to go back and forth with it. This should really get rid of most of the whiteness. I don't really know anything about the snow conditions in PA, but if the conditions are usually manmade snow or boiler plate (like they are in Ma), it isnt a bad idea to lay down a layer of CH4. It's swix's hardest wax (harder than the LF and HF super expensive waxes) and will protect your bases better than the CH6 will. Let me just warn you though that CH4 is very very hard to scrape, but it will keep your bases in better shape. If you dont want to do your whole ski in CH4, you could just do it under your binding, or where the ski is white, as those are the areas it will show up in again. All in all though, sounds like your waxing technique is fine. If your not racing, you can just skip over the F4, as it's basic purpose was to bring fluoro wax to the masses, and allow people to wax their skis if they didn't want to be bothered with hot waxing. It is a good speed additive though, and does make for a good accelerator

Anyway, pick up some CH4, and good luck!
post #4 of 5
Ahhh... base burn.
Try this, as it's worked for me:
Use a really warm wax (like CH10 or BP88) to provide a base layer that really saturates the ski bases. The colder waxes really don't penetrate that far. You can also mix in some moly wax at this time. Let the skis cool to room temperature and then scrape and lightly brush. Then apply the wax of the day over top of the base layer. Wax sticks better to other wax than it does ski bases. You can also blend in some colder wax at the edges if you'd like. Just make sure you heat it properly so it doesn't just chip off.

Let the skis cool overnight before scraping to let the wax soak in and set up. After scraping, brush until you've removed all of the excess wax from the structure (there's still plenty of wax on there, believe me).

I'm not a big fan of rub-on waxes in cold and abrasive conditions, but if it works for you go with it. I only use F4 on my sidewalls for speed events.
post #5 of 5
For very icy/cold conditions I will sprinkle CH3 along my edges, from about a 1/4 length from the tip to a 1/4 length from the tail, and iron it in. I let the CH3 cool the reheat it slightly and scrape. Then I apply the wax for the day.
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