Learn how to wax skis like a pro in 9 steps

by | Dec 10, 2022 | Skiing | 0 comments

Waxing your skis

Skiing is one of the most popular winter activities alongside snowboarding, and because it only takes place during a specific season, there can be a lot more preparation needed since you have to deal with snow. Knowing what to wear when skiing is definitely an important aspect of it, but there’s something else you need to know about being prepared and that is how to wax your own skis.   

How to wax skis 

Waxing skis is essential for anyone who wants to have a good time skiing because it allows you to have an easier time on the slopes. So, if you want your skis to be as ready as you are before you hit the slopes, then you need to get them prepped. Here’s what you need to learn how to wax skis:

1) Have some sort of workbench or flat surface ready for learning how to wax skis that will allow you to apply wax smoothly. If the surface isn’t flat, then it can come out uneven.  

2) Once you have a flat surface, you’re going to need to bind your skis to the surface to ensure they don’t move during the application of the wax. I recommend a strong rubber band on each end to keep the skis in place.   

3) Once the skis are in place, clean the surface of the skis so that there is no dirt or anything on the surface before you start to wax your skis.  

4) Next up, you’re going to need an iron. I recommend that you get a ski waxing iron specifically for this step. All you have to do for this step is heat up the iron to a hot enough temperature that will melt the wax.  

Now, I’m not saying that you can’t use a regular iron when learning how to wax skis, it just isn’t recommended for two big reasons. The first reason is that it can be harder to spread the wax evenly because it can be harder to control the temperature of a clothes iron. The second reason is that you can’t really use it against your clothes after this, unless you enjoy getting wax on your clothes.   

A wax iron at work.

5) Once the iron is heated up, start dripping the wax onto the skis. Do this by holding the ski wax against the surface of the iron and holding this over the ski. Make sure to drip enough to work with when smoothing the layers out. You will get rid of the excess water.   

6) Using your waxing iron, spread the layer of wax out evenly on the surface so that it covers the entire surface. Make sure to go from tip to tail as you learn how to wax skis. 

7) Wait for the wax to cool down so you can remove the excess. While you wait, you can prepare a scraper and a brush for the next step.  

8) Use the scraper to remove the excess wax cleanly so that there is no uneven amount of wax on any part of the surface. When using the scraper, try and use a plastic scraper instead of a metal so that you don’t damage your ski.  

When scraping, hold the scraper with both hands and steadily scrape towards yourself. This is the most effective method when removing excess wax from skis. Once again, go from tip to tail. 

A good scraping position.

9) Get brushes to polish and ensure that the wax is coated properly. There is no need to rush it–this extra polish is the last step. When learning how to wax skis, optimize the performance of your skis by shaving off some wax to have a thinner membrane of wax than what a scraper can provide.  

Using a brush to polish skis.

Typically, you’re going to want more than one brush for the job because different brushes have different bristles. When learning how to wax skis, you may not have a brush set yet, but I recommend getting one for this sole purpose so that you can move fluidly through each step and have properly waxed skis.

If you have a wax brush set, then start with the thicker and more rigid brushes before moving to the more fine and detailed brushes. This helps you get the thinnest layer of wax possible on your skis.  

How Often to Use Wax  

You shouldn’t wax your skis too often. You should do this only when the board surface is starting to wear down. Check if it looks like the board is missing some of its sheen and if it looks like it is getting beat up by the elements. The point of waxing is to protect your skis from the elements, so a beat-up board is a giveaway that you should apply some fresh wax.  

What Wax to Use  

Examples of ski wax.

There are two types of waxes that you are likely to use when waxing your skis.

Learning how to wax skis means understanding the different types of waxes that are available. The two main types are all-temperature ski wax and temperature-specific ski wax. The two names are self-explanatory, but there are certain details that you should be aware of before choosing.   

Something to Keep in Mind about Waxes  

A variety of waxes.

When getting wax for learning how to wax skis, make sure that the wax you get doesn’t have any fluorocarbons in it as those have been known to cause environmental problems and health problems. While these are no longer produced, it is something you should be aware of before waxing.  Look to see if it is one of the approved environmentally friendly waxes before using it or one that uses hydrocarbons instead. This is meant to improve your experience without causing harm.   

How to Remove Wax  

Ski waxing is something any skier with a love for the slopes will do regularly to ensure the best possible performance when skiing. However, over time there can be situations where the excess buildup of wax can cause the surface of the ski to become uneven and interfere with performance. There are two ways to rectify this.

Using a Solvent  

A solvent is a chemical agent used to dissolve the wax by pouring it onto the base of the skis, removing any excess dirt or oil that has been caked on as well. Pay attention not to use it overzealously as it could potentially do more harm to the base than good if it removes too much wax.

How to Wax Skis Using Hot Wax Scraping  

Some people use this as an alternative to or in conjunction with solvents when removing wax. This process uses similar steps as applying wax onto the ski base. The difference is that after you have heated up the wax using the iron after you have dripped it onto the base, instead of waiting for it to cool down you start the scraping process while the wax is still hot. The new hot wax heats up the old wax to allow for easier removal. Using the brushes at the end also helps remove any remaining residual wax from the ski base.   

Note that this process may need to be done multiple times to ensure that all of the wax has been removed and any imperfections with the ski base have been rectified.  

Final Thoughts  

One happy skier.

Learning how to wax skis is an important process for any skier who wants to have the best time skiing on the slopes. The best way to do that is to make sure you maintain your equipment, especially your skis. Knowing how to wax your skis helps give you more flexibility as well as better performance. It can also help protect your skis from the wear and tear of the elements and help you stay in control. Even if you’re just beginning to ski, knowing how to wax skis is a great way to enjoy the slopes to the fullest.

Thanks for reading. You may also like “The best places for early season skiing”


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