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Waxing and not scraping?

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 

Hey all, 


On my CASI course, I noticed the instructor had a bunch of "gunk" on his board. It turned out that once spring skiing starts, he waxes his board, melts it in, then just scrapes off any massive blobs and leaves the rest. So instead of waxing every other day like I do, he only waxes once a week and lets it rub off on the snow.


Anyone have experience with this? I may try it just for fun. Does it work better with boards than skis? Or the same for both?


post #2 of 70

Oh god, not again.

post #3 of 70

I never scrape my skis as the first 50 feet of the first run does it for me but this does not cause the wax to last longer. You need to wax just as frequently.

post #4 of 70

I suppose that is one way to have a structured base to defeat sticky spring snow suction also.  I skied several times on unscraped hot wax last season, but only because I forgot to scrape it when I pulled them out of the ski box. It's sketchy for the first run til the wax wears off the edges, but after that it is totally manageable (unless you're racing).

post #5 of 70

Not sure how that will give you a structured base, if your structure is still all gunked up with wax.  Initially at least, the snow is just going to scrape the wax off the surface.  How well it gets down into the ski structure will depend on snow conditions, the size of the snow crystals relative to the type of structure you have, etc.

post #6 of 70

I usually end up with a glob of wax running down the length of my ski with the areas next to the edges worn clear of wax if I cut the corners and don't scrape. Not really a very efficient base.


Spring skiing also means lots of dirt and crud in the snow, which would tend to slide off the base better than it would slide off the realtively soft wax residue left by not scraping. I think this would be detrimental to glide.


Of course, in the old days, we used to step the wax when we painted wax and on spring days we would leave the steps in to break up suction. So who knows!?

post #7 of 70

not....biting....on this.....




gotta find that diesel fuel thread....and the previous no scrape thread....why those are not in the classic forum is a mystery....


....still not biting


ok if SMJ chimes in I might....


post #8 of 70
Thread Starter 

ahh, searching does wonders. Thanks guys!


I don't think I'll bother from now on unless it's a club race day.







post #9 of 70

The first reference you have there (http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/38709/scraping-not-scraping-wax-before-skiing) is back when I didn't brush.  I've since changed my tune (ha ha) entirely for spring skiing.  I've found that the skis are far less grabby for that crucial type of natural snow in the spring when it's just starting to change over to slush (I'm not talking later spring conditions when there's been several freeze/thaw spells.) if you've got that structure well brushed out.  Actually, I now brush all the time, but especially for the early part of spring, I'm thorough.  In fact, this year, I got a fresh base grind when I took a look at the structure and parts of the ski were too smooth where the structure was wearing off. I don't like getting base grinds as then getting the base thoroughly saturated with wax again is such a PAIN when what I really want to do is SKI, but the difference that new structure made in my glide was noticeable.  The trouble at that point was then I was waxing after every ski day to get the wax built up in the ski again because at that time of year the morning snow was so coarse it was impossible for me to have the "right" wax that would survive the AM and be right for the PM.  Having the wax last through the day was hard enough, lasting two days?  Ha!


And, having broken my wrists with a bad skiing accident three seasons back, I am NOT looking for more excuses to SCRAPE, believe me!  I find scraping to be exhausting work.  But, in the spring, I wax and scrape and then, of course, brush, to keep the skis saturated, the bases clean, and the structure clear because more than anything I do NOT want to come to a sudden stop and go face first and have the bindings release while the skis decide they can't glide.  Better I should tune than I should get hurt because I was too lazy to take care of my equipment. 


Now, as spring gets later and later and there are lots of freeze/thaw cycles, the grabbiness problem seems to disappear until fresh snow comes along again.  Depending on the amount of that fresh snow and how it mixes with the existing corn, maybe the openness of your structure won't be an issue, but if you're finding your skis are feeling like they're trying to move across a rubber mat, the problem is you have water filling up your structure and creating a suction effect, slowing you down.  That's why some people actually have "spring skis" with a LARGER structure ground into their bases, so that doesn't happen.  So, obviously, leaving all that wax on your skis goes against the idea of a nice open structure entirely, doesn't it?

post #10 of 70

Maybe, but I ski with too much wax on the ski in the spring and they seem to do better.  Using snow as your scraper is not a very good way to wax.  If you do it that way, take a look at the base and often there are areas where the wax is left having not been evenly removed.


But I do leave a lot more wax on my skis than most serious skiers.  I wax, scrape, brush with nylon and brush with horse hair.  My scrape leaves quite a bit of wax.  There probably isn't't much structure in my base.


On the really cold, hard surfaces of the East, the snow acts as an aggressive scraper.  The extra wax seems to help, but the hard snow  "scrape" is noticeably uneven.

post #11 of 70

It's probably a function of the time of year and type of snow.  There's less of an issue with manmade snow, for instance, and less of an issue the later in the spring it is. 

post #12 of 70
Thread Starter 


no wonder the "not again" comment! Interesting to see a perspective change though. Sorry to hear about your wrist break... I broke one last year in Whistler, and it really wasn't fun. I can't imagine breaking both at once--how torturous! Not being able to even type? yikes!


To be honest, this spring (and winter) I've just been waxing and scraping. My skis seemed to slide nicely--especially compared to not waxing for a few days. I did get a spring structure done to it... but if the wax is filling up all the structure due to not brushing, I'm not sure how it could have helped... Anyway, I'll just try not waxing one day and see what happens.

post #13 of 70

Having the wrong wax is far more detrimental than having the right wax and not scraping it down properly.

post #14 of 70

Actually, a much bigger problem is not being able to WIPE.....

Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post Not being able to even type? yikes!



post #15 of 70

well - there goes all those bevel angles.  wax left on creates larger variations than than excellent vs. terrible tuning.  if you don't notice, you don't need to notice!  it's the skiing equivalent of " if you have to ask - you can't afford it"

post #16 of 70
Thread Starter 

Sib: wow! that's something you don't want to have to deal with... 


Sandy: I find wax skis off edges really quickly, as evidenced by no wax on the edges by the end of the first run. (Unless you're not using your edges. I suppose then it would stay on. it stays on at the tips of my skis.)


I learned that wax does not ski off the base though! 


I was boarding quite fine until one specific untravelled blue run. It was a bit dirty--not pure white snow, but a bit grey, there were some rocks sticking out, and some dirt had been strewn over small parts of the trail. Definitely skiable normally. However, my board kept on stopping and just wouldn't move despite the run's decent pitch. When I got to the chair and checked the bottom of the board, what did I find? The entire base of the board, tip to tail, was covered in dirty gunk! (It's really obvious when your base is not black.) It took longer to scrape that crap off with an old credit card than it would have taken to properly scrape the board at home. Never before have I seen so much crap on my base. 


So that experiment was valuable. From now on, the board gets a proper scrape.

post #17 of 70

I think Sandy may be suggesting that you have to tip more simply to get the edges to touch the snow because the layer of wax has raised the edges off the snow when on a flat ski. An interesting and valid point.


I skied yesterday at A-Basin yesterday and was glad for having speedy skis as it helped to avoid a collision to be able to get ahead of a couple of people simply by being faster. I had waxed and scraped, though not brushed.


A really sharp scraper is easy to maintain and a sharp scraper will take off any wax down to the structure in a matter of a few minutes. I haven't seen any convincing arguments for leaving wax on, although Sandy's observation as noted above, is a pretty convincing one for scraping down to the structure.

post #18 of 70

How quickly wax is "skied off" your skis is determined by the type of snow.  Some people are lazy and just do a quick scrap and then let the snow do the rest.  I prefer going crazy: scrap, brush, brush, power brush, brush.  Ski bases will stay in better shape with more frequent waxing

post #19 of 70
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

I think Sandy may be suggesting that you have to tip more simply to get the edges to touch the snow because the layer of wax has raised the edges off the snow when on a flat ski. An interesting and valid point.

Fair enough. That said, you can take off wax with a tiny bit of pressure from your finger--it doesn't melt into the edges. Would it stand to reason that wax would come off that much faster under the pressure of your entire body weight multiplied by the centrifugal forces acting against the ski when pressed against sharp ice crystals? That'll be my next experiment: how long it takes to ski wax off the edges. 

post #20 of 70

Let me clarify: the wax on the edges themselves will come off quickly, perhaps in a few meters. The wax in the center of the ski won't, which is what I think Sandy meant, so the base of the ski will be highly convex so that more tipping of the ski is required to get good edge contact.

post #21 of 70


Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post


So that experiment was valuable. From now on, the board gets a proper scrape.

Remember to brush.

I always brush my skis to be sure the structure is completely open. I think even more important in heavy wet snow or slush.

post #22 of 70

It can also be critical at the other end of the spectrum with super cold snow (-10 F or below). As I understand the physics, in the very cold it is static electricity being generated by the ski/snow friction that causes stickiness. Obviously if you have uneven globs of wax, (and to do any good it will be a real hard wax) it will generate more friction hence more stickiness as you add micro suction in the gap areas (even in the coldest weather there is some little melting that fills in the "valleys") to the static electricity.  But to get back to the original point, the very cold snows that cause this problem tend to be aggressive crystal shapes and they do eventually scrape (unevenly) even a good wax job off the bases. This of course makes the sticking worse. That is why is super cold weather, racers use cold powders especially on the base near the edges which is the area where there is the most contact to keep the wax on the ski.

post #23 of 70

There are a lot of variables here, and I don't think there's a single answer.  Wax, structure, waxing process, type of snow, temperature, humidity, just to name the obvious.  I used to believe that one run will get the job done, so why bother scraping and brushing unless you're racing.  And I still think that it works in most cases, but here's an experience I had last year.


First day of the season, my skis were coated with what I left on them for the summer (actually Maplus Medium Race Base).  I just started a new real life job, and was so busy learning the new environment, that I went skiing without scraping and brushing.  When I hit the first path of wind blown man made, I thought I was going to kiss my tips.  It felt as if I had hit a patch of sand.  I had no tools with me, so I skied the whole day, and it hardly got any better.  Maplus has a very good wear resistance - and that's the main reason I use it, but I was really surprised that it didn't "scrape itself off" by the end of the day.  Except for the patches of man-made, I had a pretty decent glide.


Since then, I've never skipped scraping and brushing, even though, most of the time, it may be an overkill.

post #24 of 70
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Oh god, not again.

Bwahahahah! Sibhusky for the win!


post #25 of 70

Crayon wax stem to stern (to minimize wasted wax and wasted time scraping), iron in thusly, brush briskly with a good quality brass/nylon combo brush.  Shut up and go ski.

post #26 of 70

Tip from an experienced skier on dealing with forgotten storage wax.  Lean one ski on a rack, base toward you.  Hold other ski in both hands and gently use edge as a scraper.  Reverse positions and scrape other ski.  That was me last year. 

post #27 of 70

cabinfever, that technique also works well to remove ice and kicker wax. Ice from fording (or failing to) a stream, kicker wax for those long flat tours when skins are overkill. I have also used used an edge to remove p-tex after hitting a rock. It isn't pretty, but it works.

post #28 of 70

The ice scraper in your car will also work pretty well.  I keep p-tex, a lighter, metal scraper, plastic scraper, a spare basket, and duct tape in my boot bag.  Here's another tip.  The shops at the base lodge sell scrapers.  But, it isn't the end of the world to ski on an unscraped ski, just not ideal.  It is a little sketchy for about two runs until it flakes of the edges.  After that you'll forget about it and be fine.

post #29 of 70

MastersRacer - Nice call on ice from a stream encounter.  Been there....  not good.  Would not have thought of that.

post #30 of 70
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Hey all, 


On my CASI course, I noticed the instructor had a bunch of "gunk" on his board. It turned out that once spring skiing starts, he waxes his board, melts it in, then just scrapes off any massive blobs and leaves the rest. So instead of waxing every other day like I do, he only waxes once a week and lets it rub off on the snow.


Anyone have experience with this? I may try it just for fun. Does it work better with boards than skis? Or the same for both?


That's not the best way.  It depends what you want.  If you want max glide, you need to "fill" the base with wax.  If you have a extruded, or sintruded base, they won't hold wax anyway. 

This is how it should be done after waxing.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni7z-pYPp_g    This video is about scraping, and brushing only. 

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