or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Waxing made easy-tell me...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Waxing made easy-tell me...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've used the search function to locate all I could on wax and waxing technique, but I need someone to list the basic steps in waxing. I am not a racer, but want my Sollies to perform to their potential. I am buying an iron tomorrow (no, I can't find a vintage non-steam model) as well as vise, scraper and wax. What brushes are the most important? Should the bases be cleaned everytime? Swix products are the most readily available in my area so a wax and tool recommendation in that line would be most useful. I would however go to extremes to get my hands on something that is so revolutionary I couldn't live without it...
post #2 of 16
Hi Voodoo,
I am not an expert on the art of waxing and others who are more experienced than I may say otherwise, but I have studied and practised it, so here's a start to the thread:

Base / Edge preparation
  1. <LI>If you need to do any work on your edges (filing, deburring, etc) do it FIRST so that any debris / filings will be cleaned up and removed when you clean your base.
    <LI>Clean your base, using either the warm wax technique (layer of soft wax scraped off while still warm) or a citrus formula base cleaner available from your ski shop. I usually spray it on, let it set for 15 seconds or so and then brush it out with a brass bristle brush first, wipe it off with a clean hand towel and then repeat. The brushing helps penetrate into the structure/wax, and also somewhat "revives" some structure in the base. Again, wipe VIGOROUSLY with a second clean hand towel. Your base should start to look a little greyish.
    <LI>LET IT DRY for 1/2 hour or 45 minutes. This will prevent cleaner residue from interfering with wax absorption into the base.

Wax application:
  1. <LI>With your iron warm enough to melt the wax WITHOUT SMOKING, warm your newly cleaned base by moving the iron lengthwise down the ski a couple times.
    <LI>Drip wax onto the base in a string of droplets. You will learn how much / how many droplets of wax is enough through trial and error.
    <LI>Starting at the shovel and working toward the tail, melt the wax droplets evenly across the base with circular motions of the iron using minimal down-pressure on the iron. Follow with 3-4 passes down the length of the ski 'til the hot wax is evenly distributed and evenly heated.
    <LI>Let the wax COOL to room temperature for 25-45 minutes.
    <LI>Scrape the side edges clean FIRST using the side edge of your scraper (which will prevent fouling of your files if you do quick-tunes on the hill when skiing icy conditions or cleaning rock-shot burs).
    <LI>Scrape the excess wax with your scraper by starting at the shovel and pulling to the tail. Three passes or until you see a little of the black base residue should be just about enough.
    <LI>Some opinions may vary here; Some folks use a scotch-brite pad to polish. I use my nylon bristle brush because it "micro-grooves" the waxed base which allows the water (friction-melted snow) a longitudinal "course" to travel with minimal resistance to the travel of the skis. I brush lengthwise down the ski from shovel to tail.
    <LI>Using a horse-hair hand brush (or soft-cloth towel or rag) clean off the mini-balls of excess wax left by the nylon brush by wiping/sweeping lengthwise, shovel to tail.
You're finished with the skis.

BTW, it should go without being said to cover your floor with newspaper or drop-cloth to prevent dripping wax on said floor, and the make cleanup easier. Wives tend to get REALLY pissed when the floor has wax drippings and droppings.

Other folks may do it differently, but that process works for me... my SO and kids have cursed me for doing such a good job of waxing their skis that they are TOO slippery or TOO fast...


<u>Eyes downhill!</u><FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Mikla (edited January 09, 2001).]</FONT>
post #3 of 16
This is way excessive for anyone but a racer with two pairs of skis for each discipline.

Cleaning your base (except in dirty late-spring conditions), letting the wax cool, and brushing (as opposed to light scraping) are all completely unnecessary, and will have no impact on your performance.
post #4 of 16
If you do not let the wax cool it will pull out when scraping. This is called a "hot scrape" and it is used to clean bases instead of using cleaners. SO let the wax cool to room temperature so that it can adhere to the base.......
post #5 of 16
My hunch is that the practices of elite-level ski racers are to blame for compounding the ski-tuning myths that wax should be allowed to cool before scraping, and that extensive scraping and brushing is necessary before skiing.

The very best racers (e.g., about a third of our league) have separate pairs of train and race skis for each event, with the race skis used only for their race runs. Therefore, the race skis have not been skied on before the race run, and extensive scraping and brushing (often with a drill-powered roto brush) is necessary to remove all the wax that is still on (as opposed to in) the base, as well as open up the structure of the base. Letting the wax cool is also beneficial, since as soon as the iron leaves the ski the wax starts to be pushed up *out* of the base (NOT absorbed *into* the base). Therefore, if you scrape while the wax is still warm, and the goal is to remove as much surface wax as possible, you will have to scrape once again as the base cools down and forces more wax out of the ski base.

The implications for anyone other than racers with two pairs of skis for each event are quite clear: immediately after you wax, aggressively scrape the extreme tips and tails (where the wax tends not to come off from skiing), then just smooth out the area underneath the foot a bit. Two caveats: more aggressively scraping will be necessary if:

- you ski on something other than eastern hardpack (luck you);
- you're really lightweight (e.g., my girlfriend, whose skis would still retain wax if I scraped them as minimally as my own); and/or,
- you're a female racer, i.e., running early by which time all the wax might not be gone. (Other racers might need to do a little bit of scraping and brushing before your race run, but almost all the wax will already be gone from the surface.)

Of course, by not scraping aggressively before skiing you will indeed be slower for the first couple runs, but if anything you'll be faster later in the day since your ski will still have a bit more wax. Anything else is just a myth. (At a coaching clinic, when I pointed out to a representative from Reliable Racing Supply how extensive wax removal was superfluous for late-running guys lacking two pairs of skis, he provided a highly unconvincing response about how horrible skating to a distant lift might be early in the morning with a thick coat of wax.)
post #6 of 16
Jonathan's post makes the most sense for scraping
I usually warm not hot scrape with a plastic scraper and only lightly. In the morning after the groomers do their work and the snow has the night to harden, the snow will do the job fine. Unless I know it will be medium to soft packed powder, I don't do an agressive scrape or if I know it's going to be packed powder and real cold. By mid day, I'm passing all my friends on the long flats because all their wax is gone
Since I don't race, I don't worry about the rest.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited January 09, 2001).]</FONT>
post #7 of 16
Try this:
1. Clean off the old wax.
2. Wipe Zardoz Notwax on.
3. Go ski.
Time elapsed: 5 minutes
post #8 of 16
I have to agree with mikla's techique for most recreational skiing, but Milesb's regiment will give your skis the royal treatment if you have the time,talent and inclination. I would only add that F4 by Swix can be used in place of notwax if the snow is'nt too cold in mikla's techique.

Sorry....I do have the names above reversed. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by LC (edited January 09, 2001).]</FONT>
post #9 of 16
Did you get that backwards? Mikla is the full treatment.
post #10 of 16
I'm the laziest of all. I wax after every ski weekend and I carefully select the wax, but I gave up scraping completely last year. I got sick of the work and mess of scraping, and I found out that it takes exactly two runs (during which I'm just warming up anyway) for the excess wax to be scraped off by the snow.
post #11 of 16
Allow me to add another question...

Since I am contemplating using those very expensive waxes, is there any reason that you shouldn't save and reuse the shavings?

I have a big baggie of shavings that I have saved for that "just in case I run short" moment. They are free of burrs and debris.

No big deal with the every day kilo stuff but with that super F/unobtanium laced stuff it may be worth it.
post #12 of 16
Just about all skis made these days have sintered bases.
post #13 of 16
I also save the scrapings. When I get about a coffee can full, I put the can on the stove and remelt the wax on low heat. When it becomes a liquid, I pour it into a muffin tin. When it rehardens, you can knock out a new piece to use. I usually do this every couple years, and I get about 3 good size chunks.

My experience with Notwax is it's great on warm slushy days, but doesn't work worth a darn on cold dry snow.
post #14 of 16
Couple of comments on the use of the iron. I have never heard of warming up the base with a dry iron. Personally, I think this should be discouraged as this can easily scar the base if you have the slightest blemish on the iron base or if you trap something such as a piece of edge filing between the iron and the base. I have also been told by ski technicians, that they really discourage a circular motion with the iron. This is also for the reason of the potential for scarring the base if something gets on the iron. The result being scratches across the base (or circular)rather than parallel with the base structure hwere it would have minimal effect on the ski behavior. Relative to waxing purely for recreation and for conditioning of the ski base, I hardly ever scrape. This may be more critical for those guys who ski in cloder weather where the initial glide may be poor. For the wet Northwest snow, it does not make much difference.
post #15 of 16
Norefjell, good points! I was focusing so much on the excessive cooling/scraping/brushing routine, that I completely ignored the part about "warm your newly cleaned base by moving the iron lengthwise down the ski a couple times" *before* any wax is on the ski. This is indeed very dangerous: never put a hot iron on a waxless ski!

And here's another little tip to make sure your iron never touches a waxless ski, and to save wax: before dripping a bead of wax along the ski, "crayon" the wax along the length of the ski. If the wax is fairly hard (i.e., for colder temps), then touch the bar of wax against the iron first to warm it up a little bit so that it will will leave a thicker layer on the ski. You might still need to add some more wax in the traditional manner, but the crayon technique saves quite a bit of wax, and ensures that the hot iron will not contact a bare ski.
post #16 of 16
Lazy minds must think alike. I gave up scaping (I don't race) years ago. I do however wax weekly with wax that is temp specific. I usually buy it in kilo blocks and it seems that two or three kilos last about 5-6 years of waxing for 2-3 skiers. I also file every couple of weeks, and usually get a stone grind twice a year.

One problem with not scraping is that stonegrind shops do not like to take skis that still have visable wax on them. If you don't scrape you will have some noticable wax at the tips and the tails.

I never (almost) side file, and Idon't get too worked up about structure. Although I do have a Skivisions base planer that I use once or twice a year.

I'd also recommend a ski specific waxing iron, and good files from Tognar.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Waxing made easy-tell me...