How To Wax For Skate Skiing
There are as many ways to wax as there are different waxes to wax with. I will present the method I've been using for many years. My goals with waxing are to conserve wax and maintain a fast ski base with minimal effort. This system works good for everyday skiing.
- Clean Base
- Select Wax
- Pre Wax Base
- Iron Temperature
- Wax The Ski
- Scrape Off Excess Wax
- Rub Tip To Tail
- Brush Tip To Tail
The ski can accumulate dirt/grit from the snow or if stored over the summer. It is a good practice to clean with a cloth and brush tip to tail insuring all grit and dirt are removed. You could also use a brass or steal brush to clean and restore some structure to old worn skis. Remember to always brush tip to tail.I'll need to try this soon on an older set of skis.
You should select the wax based on the snow temperature, not necessarily the air temperature. The snow tends to stay cooler longer than the air. If the previous night was very cold, it is best to wax for a colder snow condition. A cold night followed by a sunny day is the most difficult to wax for since the snow will be warm with lots of moisture in the sunny areas and squeaky cold in shaded areas. I find it is best to wax for a colder temperature. Each wax has a temperature range it performs best in. Select your wax based on the expected snow conditions.
With LF6 and up I first rub warm wax onto the base of the ski. Some suggest melting the wax with an iron and dripping it onto the ski. Ok, if you have lots of wax and money. Since I don't ski much below 10°F Lf 4 isn't a concern. Below 10°F it just feels too cold to have fun and the snow gets squeaky and slow.
Preheat your iron to a temperature just high enough to melt the wax you are using. If you used the iron for a different wax, wipe the iron before proceeding. Apply a small amount of the wax you're using to the base of the iron by rubbing it across the iron.The warmer temperature waxes melt at a lower temperature than the colder waxes. The warmer waxes don't last as long on the ski base so it is a good idea to have a harder/colder temperature wax on the ski first. I'm not going to get into this here but feel free to experiment with multiple layers of wax.
Wax one side of the ski at a time. Add additional wax to the iron as needed, to produce an even layer of wax on the base of the ski. Keep your iron moving.The wax should stay liquid on the base for a few seconds only. Avoid overheating the ski base. Don't forget to do the groove as best possible. For optimal results allow the wax to cool and repeat the process.
Allow the wax to cool before scraping. Carefully Scrape the excess wax from the ski base. Since my skies aren't perfectly flat I prefer to use a scraper that is slightly flexible. It doesn't have to be perfect just remove most of the wax. I use a piece of Lexan for my scraper. Be sure to clean the grove too. I use a rounded corner on my scraper.
I like to rub the ski from tip to tail with one of those green plastic scrubbers used for washing dishes to remove surface wax before brushing. I use a different scrubber for each wax temperature.
There are many brushes available. The point to remember is softer waxes use a softer brush and harder waxes use a stiffer brush. I use nylon brushes one softer brush and one stiffer brush. Brushing helps remove wax from the structure to the base. Remember, on cold days when the snow is dry/squeaky any excess wax on the base of the ski will slow you down.