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which wax for new skis?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Just got a new pair of skis, which have also been waxed by the shop.
So, a few questions related to that...

1/ After reading many articles it seems like new skis need a special base prep wax. Is this still necessary to perform on my skis?
2/ How many coats do the skis need before using on the slopes? Only needed for recreational, not racing performance or anything.
3/ There are many spray waxes available on the market now. I will not have the option to rewax my skis while on holiday (3-6 days at a time) so will these sprays be any use or will the wax coating last long enough for that?

post #2 of 14
1) The more you wax the better your boards will run. Think of it like seasoning a good cooking pan, that gets better with age and use. High end race techs, may wax dozens of times to prepare the skis for optimal performance on race day. Ideally, a base prep is preferred, but many simply use their normal wax, with multiple coats.
2) You ought to wax and hot scrape (if with solids) at least a couple or few times initially to get decent performance and protect the bases. With liquids and sprays about the same, less if you add heat. More is always better.
3) Depends on the type of snow, temperature and the quality of the sprays or liquids and hardness of the wax. While on a trip, you can easily hit the wax with easy applications taking 15 minutes or so. You cannot fly with sprays or liquids, though.

More info on application and check out the Maplus P1 Wax Test thread for more info on liquids and sprays.

post #3 of 14
Swix base prep, let it set for an hour, base prep again, let it sit again, scrape it, clean it, whatever wax you usualy use after that.
post #4 of 14
Since you can't take liquids on the plane, try a fluoro paste that I sell cheap on eBay

Take this and the polishing cloth I sell for a lightweight solution.

post #5 of 14
Good reminder on the paste. Ours is here. Dr. D's looks like a handier size for travel.

Then there are always rub-ons used with a compact cork/brush.

post #6 of 14
My take on the wax is if the shop has done it at least 1 time, then if you have the time and equipment to do it yourself- do at least 1 or 2 more times before the season. That should give you a starting base. If you do not race then you can use either a low flouro, or just an inexpensive hydrocarbon wax. Some are sold in bulk (shipping can be the expense on some of these waxes) if you can't find any reasonably priced stuff at the local ski shop. Hertels, Dominator Zoom or Renew Zoom, Sun Valley Ski Tools Universal- white, etc. are all good choices without spending the price of a major resort lift ticket for a wax job.

As for the liquids- there are both liquids and pastes out there. They tend to be limited window in staying on the ski and may require a reapply at the break or lunch time. Swix (F4), Toko (Express), Dominator and others that have posted above have various options. I'd also recommend looking into the Dominator Race Rocket- it is a rub on (solid) with a cork included- one bar for new snow and one for old snow. The name may make is sound like it is for racers but it would work for any skier as a touch up between the days of hot waxing. They also have a Zoom Paste (which I have not used personally though so can't comment on it).

Or you could stick a partial bar or 2 of your favorite iron in wax (as long as it is not real hard) in the pocket or gear pack and a standard wax cork and just crayon some wax on the skis in between a stretch of hot waxing or a day that the snow conditions are substantially different than the hot wax (really warm and wet snow day, really cold days are the 2 most likely that would slow down a typical universal wax).

post #7 of 14
Maybe some can help me with a variant of GordonFreeman's question. We bought new skis at the end of last season (have not skiied on them yet), and I had them waxed by a local shop. Now that I'm going to start trying my own tuning & waxing, I realize (after reading here) that they would likely benefit from at least a few more applications before hitting the slopes. My question is, if they've already been waxed once, is there a benefit to buying base prep wax, and using that first? Or is base prep wax only helpful if they haven't yet been waxed at all, or if they've been freshly stone ground? I'm thinking about buying Dominator Renew Zoom, for putting a few coats of a base prep wax on them, before going to "final" wax. Still trying to decide on a final wax, between Dominator Zoom (non-graphite, due to our other skis having white bases), and Hertel Super HotSauce. As they've been waxed once already, should I start with a base prep wax? Or just go to the universal? And I guess I'd extend the same question to our old skis as well, is it worth putting on the base prep kind before I start waxing them myself? They've obviously been waxed a number of times, during the past seasons. Thank you for the help! Understanding the intricacies and subtleties of waxing (when, how, and with what) can be a bit tricky when starting out.
post #8 of 14
Regardless of what waxes you end up using, I would start with good hot-wax-scrape cleaning (See http://www.racewax.com/servlet/the-t.../ttwaxapp/Page) with a light or warm weather wax to remove the old wax and dirt while keeping the base bathed in wax. Many will say to use chemical cleaners, I, as well as tech reps from major ski manufacturers that I talked to, don't recommend it. Save the chemical cleaners for your tools.

After this, move to whatever waxes you choose.
post #9 of 14
Doctor D, thank you. Can I use a universal wax (Zoom or Super HotSauce) for the initial hot scrape? Or should I get a different, warm-weather wax just for that purpose?
post #10 of 14
RedOctobyr, I don't think that hot scraping with the Universal is wrong, if it's easier for you. The conventional wisdom is that the softer hot wax is preferred or considered better.

To reduce scraping, mess & time before hot scraping, you might try placing a lint free towel between iron and base while running it down the ski or board to draw out excess wax, old wax, dirt, grime and grunge. A stiff horsehair or soft brass roto, or stiffer manual brush seems to also do a good job removing old wax and dirt, in lieu of hot waxing & scraping or better as an additional step. If you get into structuring, the process also removes waxes and dirt along with small portions of the base.

If I'm short on time and want bases cleaned, I'll either use a lighter cleaner (citrus) or a minimal amount of base cleaner to get the old wax and dirt off the bottoms, coupled with a bit of elbow grease and a towel & fiber pad. Sometimes spraying with water only or water after the cleaner. I don't think there are any absolutes, but are many acceptable options, in base cleaning approaches (or any rec tuning techniques) that are truly noticeable by the typical skier or harmful. Experiment and find your preferences. I do become a little hesitant to do a heavy cleaning with cleaner when things are running very well. I will perform a moderate cleaning when I feel like the wax is been on for too long or I want to change temperatures during the season.
post #11 of 14
For brand new skis, I took the suggestion of someone here and bought some regular parrafin wax from the grocery store. ( I was also using it to practice hot waxing for the first time, to get process down with cheap wax!!!) Any way, hot scraping these new skis with this wax really showed the small crap that was in them to begin with. I think I hot scraped them 4 times, and after the fourth time, the wax coming off was clean. Then I started using the Hertel Hot Sauce. The first couple hot scrapes were really full of lots of specs of material, and this was with skis just taken out of the wrappings. Parrafin also comes off really white, and with black bases, it was very easy to tell what was going on.

Now that I know a lot more about how much, how to, from practice and this forum, it is some what fun to do. Now to try for the tune stuff, much more of a learning curve IMO.

My .02
post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by buz View Post
For brand new skis, I took the suggestion of someone here and bought some regular parrafin wax from the grocery store.

Paraffin is the way to go for storage, cleaning, and prep. I've got about 30 pairs covered with it right now. It is cheap, easy to melt and is not horrible wax.

As they come out of hibernation, they'll get scraped and if it isn't real cold, the first day of skiing will be on the parafin, and I'll still glide by just about every skier on the cat track. If it is below 25, I'll rewax with sonething more appropriate.

The only ski I don't use parrafin on for storage and travel is a pair of XC skating skis with a base and flex specifically designed for cold snow. I'll use nothing but hard, cold weather waxes on those.
post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by RedOctobyr View Post
Doctor D, thank you. Can I use a universal wax (Zoom or Super HotSauce) for the initial hot scrape? Or should I get a different, warm-weather wax just for that purpose?
As mentioned above, any cheap wax will do, save the halfway decent stuff for the snow. I wouldn't use paraffin if I was a racer, because I would always want a decent wax (I recommend the warm rated red hydro wax I sell for this) in any step I did, but for general users I can see the financial benefit to using paraffin.

The base serves as a reservoir for your wax, and the more waxing cycles you do the more you open up the pores to create the reservoir, thus hot-wax scraping to clean the base serves a dual purpose.
post #14 of 14
I've used paraffin for a long time with good results. I also use Swix paste on an as needed basis. Can you say convenient?
In the spring I even take a spray can of pledge to the hill.
Putting that on a time or two during the day removes the diesel soot which is collecting on the top of the melting snow. That stuff really slows ya down!
The boards speed up nicely after using the Pledge.
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