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What to do with new skis? (Clarifying thread)

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I got my first pair on skis this fall - Dynastar Contact 9s, with PX12 Ti Fluid bindings. I've got the bindings all set, everything seems good to go. However, I have been trying for the life of me to determine exactly what needs to be done to the bases before I ski with them.

The shopowner that I work for (sells kayaks in summer, skis in winter) told me that I didn't need to do any waxing before skiing.

Various internet searches and Epic searches have yielded varying results. It seems that many people in the Tuning forum simply have an idea of what they would do. This is never backed up by any fact, but simply a personal opinion. That's fine, but it's tough for me to justify a trip to the shop and paying for the waxing if I don't need it.

So, what is necessary for the bases of my Contact 9s before I bring them to the hill? Is waxing mostly for performance? I know that it provides some base protection, but how important is it before two days of skiing on brand new skis? Am I doing it to protect against irreparable damage (i.e. it is absolutely necessary that I wax before I ski)? Do I need to tune, or is it just an option?

I know people who have waxing and tuning setups would have ideas of "what they would do" simply based on past experiences. However, I'm trying to get a better idea of what I need to do, and what I can put off. I'm used to rental skis, so these will certainly be a step up regardless.
post #2 of 26
Do you need to wax before you go? No. Instead of taking them to the shop, I would invest in some simple tuning equipment and start doing it yourself.

Here is a good primer. Swix School.


If you poke around on the site, you will find some good deals on tuning kits.
post #3 of 26
No need to wax them before skiing the first time. Do wax them regularly after first use though to prevent the bases from drying out & burning. You've seen those gray, furry bases on rentals right? That's from not waxing regularly.

Some guys try to soak as much wax into new skis to make them faster and hold wax better down the road. You could do this, but if not racing, it's not necessary.

Tief's suggestion for basic tuning knowledge and kits is a good one to keep them in good shape. Keep the edges polished with a diamond stone and wax at first sign of dry bases, which varies depending on snow conditions and hours used.
post #4 of 26
Wax them first. Get wax in the pores, not water.
the absolute minimum:

Get thrift store iron
Melt on a layer of grocery store parafin
Go ski.. (You could scrape first ...if it is cold powder they will be slow for a few runs. If it is icy one run will scrape for you)

The skis won't blow up if you skip this, but they will hate you.
post #5 of 26
Just my two cents, but waxing prior to using new skis is a good idea. If you are simply asking ONLY because you "can" get away without doing it, and it'll save you $20, that's not a good reason not to do so...

Wax em, and like Tief said, maybe learn how to do it yourself... (once you learn how to do it, you'll be doing it a lot... it's kinda addictive )

Also, congrats on the first pair of skis, enjoy yourself and the freedom that NOT RENTING gear can bring!
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddgabe View Post
Just my two cents, but waxing prior to using new skis is a good idea. If you are simply asking ONLY because you "can" get away without doing it, and it'll save you $20, that's not a good reason not to do so...

Wax em, and like Tief said, maybe learn how to do it yourself... (once you learn how to do it, you'll be doing it a lot... it's kinda addictive )

Also, congrats on the first pair of skis, enjoy yourself and the freedom that NOT RENTING gear can bring!
I'm really thinking of just skipping the waxing for my first two days. I've got no time to learn between now and Sunday, when I would probably ski. After that, I'd definitely take the time to get em waxed. Sound good?
post #7 of 26
There's sufficient wax on there from the factory. If you're skiing 2 consecutive days, dropping them off at a slopeside shop for a $5 hot wax between the 2 days wouldn't hurt. If you're skiing man made, I'd definitely do this.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylormatt View Post
There's sufficient wax on there from the factory. If you're skiing 2 consecutive days, dropping them off at a slopeside shop for a $5 hot wax between the 2 days wouldn't hurt. If you're skiing man made, I'd definitely do this.
is it really that cheap?
post #9 of 26
What about detuning the edges?
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut_hucker View Post
What about detuning the edges?
what is detuning the edges? is that necessary or simply a preference?
post #11 of 26
Ski waxing is inexpensive and can be a relaxing way to get ready for the slopes. The least expensive way is to buy a bar of hydrocarbon wax and use an inexpensive old iron that won't be used again for clothes. Wax penetrates the base and is released as you ski. Most skis come with a light coat of wax from the factory that is applied to protect the base. That is not a good penetrating wax job, but its fine for most people. No worries if you decide to postpone waxing. Most ski areas offer a wax for about $5. This is melted wax that is applied by a rotating roller. It doesn't really penetrate the base much, but again its a decent surface coat for protection.

Don't mess with your edges or de-tuning unless you find the ski is really grabby and hard to control. Sometimes beginners find a ski with in increased base-edge bevel is more forgiving, but I wouldn't suggest you try to do this. New skis are usually delivered with a good factory tune.

Enjoy skiing, and if you are interested in learning to maintain and optimize your skis, join the conversation in Tuning and Maintenance forum. We're kind of ski geeks and the advise you'll find here is not what the average skier does.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Cirquerider - very helpful reply. Thank you. I may take the time this Saturday to explore waxing a bit. We'll have to see. My father has a bunch of xc waxing materials, including an iron, that I could probably use. We've got a ton of glidewax left over, so I think that'd work well. We'll see what happens. Again, thanks.
post #13 of 26
You'd do better to get some of your mother's canning parafin than your father's XC wax, I think. You can rub the parafin on a room-temperature ski (called crayoning) and buff it smooth with the back of a leather ski glove. Or you can crayon the parafin and use the iron to warm it up some. If you melt wax on with the iron and then spread it out, you'll need to scrape it smooth too. Crayoned wax can be just buffed, even if you use the iron. I use crayoning and an iron to warm the ski and make sure the wax melts (regular ski wax). After the ski cools, I buff with a brush. This is an every-day routine for me each morning before hitting the slopes.
post #14 of 26
Look this link:
http://www.racewax.com/servlet/the-t...ttnewskis/Page

I think it should be posted at every waxing/tuning question since it (in my opinion) covers everything
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooK View Post
Look this link:
http://www.racewax.com/servlet/the-t...ttnewskis/Page

I think it should be posted at every waxing/tuning question since it (in my opinion) covers everything
i just checked quickly and the wax selector is way too complicated for me. i've got a number of different swix fluorocarbon waxes at my disposal, because of my father's xc collection. would these be good, or should i truly find some sort of base wax, or even just use parrafin?
post #16 of 26
For God's sake, skip the Fluoros!

If you are not racing or grinding uphill on Xc skis they an an expensive wax.

Do this:

Rub a finger on the base: if something smears they have a factory wax---go ski.

If they reflection shows no film of wax , wax them with something, anything.

The factory pre wax attracted dirt, so not all manufacturers do it. Dirty skis don't sell.

Your Dad sounds like a cool dude, with a stash of fancy nordic waxes. You don't need those for lift serviced skiing. You sure don't need the grip waxes and gravity will take care of 98.6% of the glide. Still, your new skis will be happy with a bit of wax. Melt on the cheapest glide wax in his collection, scraped it off and you will have some nicely prepped skis.

Leave the edges alone. Some local bear will meet you in a bar and give you a long talk on tuning and de-tuning.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
For God's sake, skip the Fluoros!

If you are not racing or grinding uphill on Xc skis they an an expensive wax.

Do this:

Rub a finger on the base: if something smears they have a factory wax---go ski.

If they reflection shows no film of wax , wax them with something, anything.

The factory pre wax attracted dirt, so not all manufacturers do it. Dirty skis don't sell.

Your Dad sounds like a cool dude, with a stash of fancy nordic waxes. You don't need those for lift serviced skiing. You sure don't need the grip waxes and gravity will take care of 98.6% of the glide. Still, your new skis will be happy with a bit of wax. Melt on the cheapest glide wax in his collection, scraped it off and you will have some nicely prepped skis.

Leave the edges alone. Some local bear will meet you in a bar and give you a long talk on tuning and de-tuning.
Okay cool. Of course I don't need the grip waxes. So really whatever wax I can find - parrafin, some left over glide wax, or if I really feel like it, is there a bar of cheap "ski wax" that I can get? Or will it be exactly the same as any parrafin or canning wax I could buy at the store?
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
I was just cruising around on the Swix site, since I'd realyl like to get a wax that's actually going to do a decent job protecting but also help performance. I figure if I'm waxing, I might as well do it with the right stuff - these are my babies. I want to treat them nicely.

Swix has a variety of "universal waxes" they're offering. There's the "Base Prep Alpine", "Universal Glidewax" (for all conditions), and then there's the "Moly Fluor" that protects further against base abrasion. I figure I can pick up either of these at a local shop. Like I said, I'd rather do it right. What should I start with?
post #19 of 26
Didn't your original post indicate that you worked in a shop that sells kayaks and skis?

Take then downstairs and wax them ....
post #20 of 26
:
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Didn't your original post indicate that you worked in a shop that sells kayaks and skis?

Take then downstairs and wax them ....

yes, in the summer, not now.
post #22 of 26
A yard sale iron for $5 or bum an old one from mom.

A few heavy duty rubber bands to keep the brakes retracted.

A cheepo plastic ice scraper or K-Mart plastic wall board "knife".

A cheepo "Scotch-Brite" kitchen pad with sponge on one side.

As before in a prior post .. stick a quarter sized pebble in your pocket. If the skis are grabby as hell out of the box .... slightly detune the tips and tails if you are so inclined. Do this on the hill after you've tried the skis for a run or two but give the out of the box tune a chance first.
post #23 of 26
I would wax them to protect the base. I pay good money for my equipment and want to make sure it stays in good condition.

I would recommend a actual ski iron as the thermostat is more consistent so you don't need to worry about the iron getting to hot and damaging the base.

I got a Wintersteiger Ski Snowboard Wax Iron. you can get one for $34.99 here
http://www.racewax.com/servlet/the-1...-wax%2C/Detail

Get your self some inexpensive ski wax I use the red toko (mid temp) its usually half the price of swix and still good quality.

Basic waxing is supper easy.
Warm up the iron start on the lower temp side listed for the wax. Touch the wax to the iron to melt wax and drip onto base. Test temp here wax should melt at moderate pace not running off and absolutely no smoke.

Once you got dots of wax everywhere iron the base slowly working from one end to the other. make sure the wax is distributed evenly paying special care to get the edges. The top of ski should get warm to the touch but not hot. Go over several times with the iron. Wax should cool to a smooth dull finish.

Let sit for at least a couple hour and scrape off the excess.
post #24 of 26
Generally speaking cause who knows with an old iron ... but it seems to have worked well for me over a few ...

A setting just a tick below ... "Wool" ... will work fine.

There is no magic in waxing at the basic level. Hold the iron a few inches above the ski and start with a corner of the bar of wax ... the iron should be held at an angle so (one) of the square corners of the flat end of the iron is used to just melt and dribble it on ..... just do little dots in an "S" pattern down the length of the ski ... don't go too nuts and put too much on. Quickly but lightly (cause this is your first time), run the iron over the dots and watch the spread .. a light even coat is all you need. As you get more confident in the temp setting (no smoke right?) ... let it cool and then make a few more light passes. Let it sit for a bit and then scrape.
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
I ended up doing a hot wax and scrape of the bases with simple parrafin. From there, I crayoned on CH6, ironed. Did the same for the other ski. Then scraped both, buffed, crayoned again, ironed, scraped, buffed, and called it good. They were slick on the hill. Very niiice.

It was enjoyable, too, as you all said.
post #26 of 26
Now you have a new problem. Time! :

What are you going to do with all of that time. After you do that loooong glide across the flats on the way back to the lift you'll have time on your hands.

Waiting for your friends who are pushing poles and skating like mad trying to catch up to you.

Bring a book?
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