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How did I lose my wax?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was at Sunday River this weekend, and I looked at my base after a day of skiing. It was bone dry and free of wax. There was whiteness on it. I believe that I had 2 coats of wax on them and I don't understand how they became dry after one day of skiing. I must assume some kind of user-error here on my part.
Snow:
In the morning it was frozen corduroy. Very icey. Then later in the afternoon, it became wet and slushy.
Wax:
I first hotscraped twice using a maplus universal hot (white color). Then I ironed a coat of universal (green color) as a base coat. I let it sit for 30 minutes give or take. Then I scraped and then brushed, using a soft nylon brush, making 2 passes.
Then, I used the universal liquid low flouro. It spread very easily once I got the hang of getting a decent amount onto the sponge applicator (by squeezing the bottle). I waited another half hour then scraped and brushed just as before.

To me that sounds like 2 coats. I used the universal green as a harder base layer to hopefully protect the base better.
I'm guessing that either my technique was no good. For instance, when ironing, am I supposed to put pressure down on the iron instead of just spreading it around?
Another possibility is that the base isn't capable of absorbing wax. The base is kinda white. Alpinord suggested I sandpaper the base to expose new ptex that would better take the wax.

Thanks for your time and input
-Bonta
post #2 of 20
Could have been the snow. Manmade snow is especially tough on bases/wax, especially in spring. I have gotten dry spots after a single day when skiing a hard manmade base. On the other hand, wax can last 3-4 days for me on soft natural snow when temps stay cold.

No pressure needed when ironing; you just want to melt and sheet the wax over the ski base.

What kind of skis do you have, and how old are they?
post #3 of 20

Oxidation is the prime suspect

Bontakun,
Sounds like you need to put some time in on base prep before waxing. Here's your homework assignment for now (quiz to follow) :

Here's some threads on Base Oxidation & Oxidation Removal, remedies and tangential discussions to check out.

Did you brush the softer wax after hot scraping, before applying the harder green wax? Soft wax on oxidized base covered by harder wax, then soft wax will not adhere very well. Add abrasive snow to the mix and t'll have a short live expectancy.
post #4 of 20
I was at the River on Saturday as well, and my wax was all yanked out of my bases by the ice and later slush, my edges, just sharpened, were trashed by it as well.

Those conditions are as effective as a steel scraper imho in pulling out wax. I had hot waxed with CH10 the night before and our bases were also dry and had some white to them as well.
post #5 of 20
Sounds like my experience at Wisp 2 weeks ago. Fresh tune, crappy conditions. Ice chunks, Water puddles, Occasional slush.... I didn't notice until the next morning at Canaan.... all geared up and ready to go, glanced at bases, ungeared and waxed my girlfriend's and my skis... Thankfully our SSD has a vice set up in the employee lounge.
post #6 of 20
Refrozen and ground up by the groomers, The Spring surface is very abrasive.

Just try sliding across it with bare skin! OHH! That will leave a scar!

Wax hasn't got a chance, no defence against the high speeds on morning crust.
post #7 of 20
....especially softer, warm waxes. Coral reef, ball bearings 5 grit sandpaper, also come to mind with wire brush & steel scraper analogies.

You might consider putting on a harder wax initially and after things soften up, take 15 minutes and apply the liquid, paste, rub-on or spray universal LF. Do it again in the afternoon if necessary to protect your bases.

If you have the choice, wait a little while and follow the morning sun if you can. At Telluride, they have a run called Milk Run for a reason.

If you find you're spent by 2 or 3 in the afternoons, if you start an hour or so later, you can ski strong on softer conditions (though still abrasive) to the final bell.
post #8 of 20
Good advice Alpinord. I'm always on the hill early, and in the Spring need to chill while it warms!

Also I like your advice to have a hard wax base and then add paste as the day goes on, rather then start with CH10 which might get scraped off in the morning before it's even needed.
post #9 of 20
You gotta play the angles and keep your options open...
post #10 of 20
These are our typical conditions; I usually go half hard wax (CH6 or CH7 equivalent)/half warm fluoro (or Hertel or silicone wax like the Skigo I mentioned somewhere). SL skis and skiboards are toast by mid-afternoon with just soft wax.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
The skis are '07 RX8's that I bought a couple of weeks ago. It sounds like the conditions contributed a lot to wax loss. Is it a good idea to try for a really hard base wax for protection? And when I say base wax, I guess that means multiple coats of base wax, then a coat of the day's wax?

I'll try to post some pics of my bases tomorrow to give you guys how they look. Thanks for the responses!

-bonta
post #12 of 20
For preventative purposes, assuming bases are not yet abraded, I'd:

1) Hotscrape and brush until clean (if bases are really dirty or for new skis).

2) Apply Swix CH 6 or Swix Glacier wax or equivalent Maplus or other product. Scrape then brush.

3) Apply intended wax of the day scrape then brush.

4) Hope for the best.

If bases are already abraded have them stoneground or,

1) Brush a lot with a bronze or brass brush.

2) Fiber-tex repeatedly with a medium and then fine fibertex pad (coarse fiber-tex can create more P-tex hairs which contributes to the "whitish" look you see). You can use a quality steel scraper like Sanvik instead of Fiber-tex but I'd recommend this ONLY if you are experienced using such a tool. Steel scrapers can easily skip along the P-Tex base leaving horizontal gauges in your ski's bases.: Keep brushing and fiber-texing until the "whitish" look disappears.

3) Since the Fischer RX-8 has a graphite base, some graphite particles drop out when the base becomes abraded (further contributing to the "whitish" look). Renew with a base wax containing graphite or similar like Dominator Zoom, Toko Moly or equivalent product. Leave on preferably overnight. Scrape then brush. Apply Swix glacier wax or Swix CH6 or other product equivalent. Scrape, brush. Apply wax of the day scrape, brush.

4) For harder waxes like Swix CH6 or equivalent use a brass or bronze brush. For soft waxes a nylon brush.

5) Another method that can be used separately or in conjunction with fibertex would be to iron in a very hard wax like Swix CH4 or equivilent, sharpen a plastic scraper and scrape. A lot of the mirco "hairs" trapped in the hard wax will then be cut at the base level when you scrape with your plastic scaper.

Of course, you can continue to ski on them ignoring the existing abrasion but waxing and brushing correctly for the remainder of the season. Then have them stoneground and tuned by a shop that does a lot of race ski tuning or has a demonstrated reputation for excellent tuning to best ensure a quality result. Even a stonegrind is only as good as the person operating the machine.

NOTE:I mention Swix a lot not because it is necessarily the best simply because that is the system I have used for a long time. For graphite replacement I've used both Dominator Graphite Zoom and Toko non-flouro Molybdenum. They both work.

Good luck.

P.S. For new skis, waxing scraping and brushing 5x-7x (or more) before use is a common way to help impregnate the wax.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bontakun View Post
The skis are '07 RX8's that I bought a couple of weeks ago. It sounds like the conditions contributed a lot to wax loss. Is it a good idea to try for a really hard base wax for protection? And when I say base wax, I guess that means multiple coats of base wax, then a coat of the day's wax?
The Maplus Race bases are harder than the universals. The hard is like epoxy :-). I used the Race Base Soft and P2 Hot on similar conditions to what you described. San Juan cement can be brutal. My bases did not show as significant wear as you describe. YMMV, though. The Race Base Med is my favorite all around paraffin and might be an excellent option for the abrasive AM frozen spring snows you are experiencing and as a general base wax for all your needs. It glides very well in a broad range of conditions on it's own.

Nice work Lostboy, thanks!
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
The Race Base Med is my favorite all around paraffin and might be an excellent option for the abrasive AM frozen spring snows you are experiencing and as a general base wax for all your needs.

That's the purple one? .

Wish I'd had a chance to play with the green.
post #15 of 20
Yes: Maplus Race Base Medium.

Lostboys and other comments has me wondering about the Graphite Race Bases. I need an extended season to try it all.....so many waxes so little time.
post #16 of 20
I confess I'm about as sold on graphite 'replenishment' as some people are on fluoros, i.e. not, and I think (without solid evidence) that it is possible to clog the bases with graphite as much as anything else. However, recent threads like SMJ's 'skis won't go' maybe change that.

Is the air still dry enough at yours to do some guerilla testing, a before and after waxing series of attempts to charge up a ski base?

Shouldn't be too difficult to find woolens or nylons to rub on, and a fancy electrometer isn't needed to start , merely some TP. I'm thinking a woolen pad on something the size of a Fein multitool should do nicely, avoid contact with the edges.
post #17 of 20
I find that newer skis take a while to really absorb wax. When skis are new, I wax them several times before I use them. 4 times or so. Then wax them every time you use them for a while. After a month or so, they seem to retain the wax better than when they were new. I took a pair of skis to Vail last week that were about six weeks old with plenty of wax in them. Skied aggressive frozen stuff in the mornings, and slop in the afternoon. Didn't re-wax all week. The bases didn't show much in the way of oxidation. Also, you're never quite sure what the base material is really like. Some stuff just waxes and wears better. I know what they say is on the ski, but they can change suppliers and there are variances lot to lot, so it's a bit of a crap shoot and luck of the draw.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by choucas View Post
Also, you're never quite sure what the base material is really like. .
agreed.

The above test would then necessarily involve multiple pairs of skis (until one was found exceptionally staticky?)
post #19 of 20
Good point choucas. The skis I used Sunday were new. As a test, I tried this process to see how'd they compare to the typical multiple coats procedure:

1) cleaned bases a couple times with Biocitron until there was no more dirt and grime apparent on the shop towel
2) hot waxed 1 coat with race base soft and let sit over night
3) scraped, brass brushed, soft brass brushes manually, followed by roto brushing with hard horse hair
4) hot waxed with P2 Hot (LF)
5) scraped, brass brushed, soft brass brushes manually, followed by roto brushing with hard horse hair and polished with roto nylon

At the end of the day of fairly abrasive snow, lots of vertical and speed, the bases showed a slight whitish section under one foot, the rest of the base looked fine, except they clearly looked like they need another waxing as the typical Maplus sheen was gone. I'm thinking had I hot scraped or added a second cycle of the race base, or used the liquid, I'd have been golden. The skis did glide very well all day. I've since added a coat of liquid race base soft (after adding aggressive structure) and will repeat the remaining steps for this weekend to compare.

Comparing these bases to another pair of skis, with a few more cycles of the same waxes (plus a couple hot scrapes), procedure and snow conditions, after skiing basically the same runs and duration, there was no apparent need for rewaxing as the silky sheen was uniform an both bases. I did add another coat of the P2 Hot believing it would be needed at some point during the next outing. It was having on as it was nice blasting by others on the game trails getting to the powder last Friday.

The differences between the two ski bases could be a factor, I suppose. Black versus multi-colored??? This has me curious.
post #20 of 20
Comprex, even though we are very close to the 'high arid desert', it tends to be somewhat humid & warmer and snows less dry than northern CO and other areas....especially now. Even though the RB med is very durable, I was wondering if the RB med graphite, followed by a paraffin base coat, might bump the durability a notch??? Another future experiment.

Since skate skiing is over, I might try the static test with them.
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