Originally Posted by jb12string
What should I do to my new Head monster/lightnings when I get them, anything? I figure waxing the daylights out of them is a good start, anything else? They aren't racing skis or anything, just my everyday ski
Getting specifically to your question, I'd do the following if you want to keep it pretty simple:
1. Check the bases for flatness with a true bar at several points along the base. How flat they should be at the tips and tails is a matter of animated debate. A lot of threads have been posted on Epic on the subject. However, most seem to agree that they should at least be flat at the tips and tails about 1/3 the way from each edge measured toward the middle and very flat through the rest of the ski.
You can forgo this and move straight to waxing. However, if the bases cause you grief on the snow your base prep will be for nothing because a corrective stonegrind will remove all the wax you worked so diligently to impregnate into your bases and will leave oil, debris and such in your bases just like from the factory.
2. Use a specific base prep wax like Swix or any warm temp wax to hot scrape your skis. Do this a couple of times or more until the wax comes off looking clean. The idea is to scrape while the wax is hot thus removing junk that has floated up from the base and become suspended in the now liquid or semi-liquid wax.
Hot scraping is really quick and easy to do. Once clean, ideally apply another coat of base prep or warm wax and leave overnight. Then cold scrape the next day and apply the correct wax for the day. Otherwise, let the ski cool for half an hour or so after your last hot scrape and then apply the wax you plan to ski with the next day. Let cool again (or better yet, overnight) then scrape and brush. Brushing gets rid of extra wax and unclogs the channels in your base structure to improve glide. The idea is to get wax between the polyethylene molecules of the ski bases. Anything more that is left on the ski base is excess.
If you want to really condition your skis, this is where you repeat the process of waxing, cold scraping and brushing with a minimum of about 30 minute intervals between wax coats (to allow your skis to cool) for say, five to seven times or so. Then apply the wax of the day, preferably leave overnight then scrape and brush in the morning and ski away. The reason for leaving wax on overnight is that some wax will continue to be absorbed into the bases for hours after wax has been appplied.
Is this too much? Many ski without any new ski prep. Others do more, including ironing in a very hard, cold wax powder along the edges of the base like Swix CH3 to protect against base burn. Some condition their bases with harder, cold temp waxes working toward the wax of the day. Others repeat the wax/scrape/brush cycle more than seven times. Still others simply do things a little differently since ski prep is both magic and science. However, the above regimen is a good middle ground and allows you some time to bond with your new skis, as well.
Anything more than skiing with the factory wax, which is really just cosmetic, will be an improvement.