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newbie needin some advice

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased my first pair of skis. I am not new to sking though I have been skiing for the past 5 years but have never skied enough to justify my own skis. This year is different though and I plan to be skiing more and more from now on. Not ever owning my own skis I have never waxed skis either. I have been reading the posts and have heard many varying positions on waxing. My plan is to get them hotwaxed from the local sports store to start off with. I won't be able to hot wax them myself though lacking the tools. My plan is to wax them with hertels super hot sauce but am wondering which would be the better way to go with the spray or with rubbing the 1 oz stick on and corking it in.

If any one has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 16
Hydrocarbon waxes applied with an iron are the way to go. These waxes are inexpensive and will give your bases the protection they need. Overlays are only a one or two run wax. You need to keep the bases full of wax so they do not oxidize. It also keeps contaminates out of the grind.

Buy: an iron, a big bar of red (10 oz about $10) and maybe a smaller bar of yellow and blue, a couple of plastic scrapers and a good brass with nylon brush, maybe a horsehair brush and you will have all you need to get started. I just bought a new swix brush, big and oval shaped, a directional arrow on it, nice adjustable strap and it has an outer ring of nylon bristles around the brass bristles. The brush is the most valuable waxing tool in our box. Vises are nice but you can do it without them. Red will be your most used wax. Yellow is for spring type conditioins. Blue for colder conditions.

Swix has a great DVD on waxing and tuning. I'm not sure of how Swix waxes are temperature rated/color association because I have never really used them. I am just used to the yelow, red, blue, violet colors.
post #3 of 16
Hot sauce, and the like, really is no substitute for a proper hot waxing. But, it can certainly help you out between regular hot waxing, or if conditions have shifted out of range of whatever wax was ironed in.

I would suggest corking it in over the spray. I know from XC skiing that a quick cork waxing is more durable than a spray-on cheater wax.

If you're open to working the cork, why not just cork in real wax? Just "crayon" it on and cork it in well. Buff it with a scotchbrite pad, and you're good to go, and you didn't have to buy anything you probably don't have already. A lot of XC guys do this since you never really can tell about snow temp/conditions until you are at the trail. It works for them.

That said, your skis would do well with the occasional hot wax treatment.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
how long will the rub in wax last? do I need to scrape it off with a plastic scraper or not? How often should I get my skis hot waxed and when should I start putting the rub on wax on the skis after they have been hotwaxed?
post #5 of 16
Here's a previous thread discussing rub-ons versus other options.

The time sliding, how abrasive the snow is and wax hardness will affect how often you have to re-wax. Typically, lower grade waxes come off faster. If you have a good base prep wax on, using rub-on, sprays & liquids waxes as an overlay allows you flexibility to dial (if you want) in the temperature of the wax as conditions change. Using a Universal all temperature wax is a good way to start out as it is easy and you don't have to get caught up in hitting the wax for the snow temperature.

If you don't rub-on tons of wax, a combination of corking and brushing should be all you need without scraping. Wax is to be placed IN the ski base not ON the ski base so thicker is not better. Thinner coats are, plus you need to keep the structure of the base free to reduce suction.

(And 'welcome', from a MinnesotaBornMan )
post #6 of 16
Hot Sauce in blocks such as this:

has NEVER worked at all well for me as a rub-on. I would choose almost any other soft wax instead.

The stuff is good on snow, and really easy to iron in and I have several pounds of it lying about for general iron use, but

something about the combination of additives makes it crayon on poorly (low adhesion to the ski), clump together in highly cohesive, dirty-looking rolls on top the ski surface, and clog the cork almost instantly.

as a rub-on. I've tried it on sintered and extruded, as well as cleaned with any one of (acetone, isopropanol, oranj peel base cleaner, Zardoz solvent) and previously waxed with a different wax.

Your Mileage May Vary (but I'm not holding my breath).
post #7 of 16
Why rub on when you can iron on? Is it just the price of the iron? You need to iron on to get a proper wax job. Rub on is good for a few runs only. Iron on is good for one day only. If someone tells you iron on will last more that one or two days, then they don't know sh#t from shinola and you should never listen to them again.

Sure you can still see some wax on the ski after one day. But try to ski another without fresh wax and I guarantee you will see the oxidation starting to apear. The bases just plain dry out. Oxidation is the white looking sections of base. That is the enemy of a well wax seasoned base.

This of course is based on you skiing more than 3 runs a day. I mean a full day of skiing here when I refer to one day. If you really want to commit to waxing and keeping a good fast base you need to iron on at least every other full day of skking. Racers wax daily on their training skis.

If you hate poling out of a slow flat road in slow snow conditions then you need to keep on waxing.

Sure you can rub on if conditions change but with todays hydrocarbon waxes you really have to screw up to miss the wax. I have not had to change wax mid day ever in the last 5 to 8 years or so.
post #8 of 16
When waxed in, HotSauce will be perfect for about 95% of the conditions you'll find.
post #9 of 16
Tognar has a $35 waxing iron...or just pick up any cheap garage sale iron, put aluminum foil over it to cover the steam holes, and wax away. I've tried non-steam travel irons, but the one's I've tried had poor temperature control. ml

Keep it simple. Use a universal wax, or any iron-in wax you choose. Set the iron on the temperature that just melts the wax when it it touched to the iron. Drip the wax onto the ski bottoms with each drip about 1-1/2" to 2" apart, closer on the wide tip & tail. Melt the wax into the base NEVER allowing the iron to stop moving. When completely melted in, go back with a paper towel in one hand and the iron in the other melting and wiping up the excess. Ski and have fun. Of course, there are better ways to wax for max speed, but this is my method for recreational ski waxing. At the end of the season, melt in a heavy layer of any wax, even paraffin, and leave it there for protection during the summer. Scrape and re-wax next Fall.

post #10 of 16
Hot waxing, so easy, a kid can do it.

Regarding everyones love affair with the Hot Sauce, I keep hearing that it does not perform well in moist conditions. If true, then here in the San Juans and other moist areas, the usefulness of the wax will be far less than 95% of the time and a Universal hot paraffin or low flouro (local favorite) excels. For a total temperature solution The Maplus Universal & Universal Hot combo is an excellent value and you're totally covered plus it can be blended. The Race Base medium is also a harder & excellent all around option.
post #11 of 16
I said 95% based on Minnesotaman. It also doesn't do so well during the midwest OMG COLD snaps.
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Hot waxing, so easy, a kid can do it.

Alpinord, never realised you were so young
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by bleaklow View Post
Alpinord, never realised you were so young
Just goes to show you that age is just a state of mind.

Volklgirl, sorry, I took it as a general statement. But there does seem to be an aura or love affair associated with that stuff, even around here, that's not necessarily based on performance. :

Regarding the cold. I think it was when I was 12, dragging my load of the Minneapolis Tribunes around on my route in my sled and face lathered in Vaseline at minus bazzilion below zero, windchill, that a little voice started saying "Go west young man..."
post #14 of 16
Sorry to hijack but I've got a question:
Hydrocarbon, flourocarbon, paraffin?
What wax is recommended and why?
post #15 of 16
Hydrocarbon/paraffin is also the majority of the material in flouros. I can't remember exactly, and may be off a few percentage points, but low flouro may be around 5% or less flouro & high flouro not quite 10%. Depending on manufacturer, the actually percentage may be different. Flouros work best in the presence of moisture and humidity and don't perform well in the presence of cold, dry snow and static electricity.

For leisure/rec skiers a hydrocarbon is usually just fine, especially in colder climes. For better performance, stepping up to a universal or universal hot low flouro hot is a good option for spring skiing and generally wetter snows. Prime corn & low flouro hot, along with aggressive and free base structuring is a great combo.

I'd stay away from high flouros and perflourinated due to expense, unless you are really into high performance or are racing. Also, you should have separate brushes for high flouros & perflourinated waxes and will need to use a flouro cleaner if you go back to low flouro & HC/paraffins after using.

post #16 of 16
Paraffin is the major component of hydrocarbon waxes. I have a free heelin' friend who uses blocks of paraffin from the hardware store to wax his skis. He says it works fine. I know that even inexpensive hydrocarbon skiing-specific wax would be better but the plain paraffin at least keeps his bases from oxidizing. (I'm not even sure if he is saving that much money. Hydrocarbon ski wax is pretty cheap. He's just a stubborn old "Ridge hippie.")

Getting into flouro waxes is a whole other deal. Like Alpnord said, different brushes (roto brushes, even), significantly more expensive, a better workplace with proper ventilation.... Unless your preferred runs are marked with dye, regular, simple hydrocarbon wax will work just fine.

[Another appeal for the XC forum here at Epic: XC people *really* know their wax. You could get a whole new perspective on waxing/tuning. BTW, an XC skier who is a novice at waxing would probably be encouraged to start experimenting with LF wax sooner. When you don't have the benefit of gravity, you need all the help you can get.]
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