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How Often to Wax Skis

  • Filip 

Wax your skis at least once every year, at the end of the season. Depending on how much you use your skis, you can wax them more often. Waxing your skis is important to keep them from drying out and give you better glide when skiing down the slopes. Better glide makes it easier and more fun to ski, both for professionals and beginners.

A basic wax at the ski shop cost somewhere from $15. High quality professional waxing starts from about $60.

Skiing equipment

Skiing is a thrilling and fun activity which sees thousands of people participating in this adventure snow sport. Skiing requires special protection and gear, not to mention a pair of perfectly fine and tuned skis. This is important to ensure safety of the skier and prevent any mishaps from happening. Keeping your ski in a top-notch condition is vital and applies to both causal enthusiasts and the serious skier. This is where waxing your skis come in.

Waxing ensures your experience while skiing is undeterred without any obstructions coming in your way. Waxing your skis is also important to ensure you are skiing at the optimal speed and the friction between your skis and the snow is minimal. In this article we are going to talk about the major aspects of waxing your skis and the frequency of waxing.

Most modern skis are made essentially with the same types of bases. They consist of a running surface made form plastic such as polyethylene. When you are skiing over the snow’s surface, the temperature and pressure of your skis help in melting the snow. This creates a very fine and slippery water film. The humidity, age and temperature of the snow all help to determine whether you will be able to ski faster or slower.

Different types of snow

Snow can be classified into 4 different types.

New snow

It is the unadulterated form of the flakes of snow and is crystalline in nature. They have delicate crystals which are hard at low temperatures and soft at high temperatures. Since the crystals are so delicate, they can easily get compacted when gliding which causes a suction/friction effect. This can be prevented with a mixture of appropriate wax and base.

Old (Fine corn) snow

This snow has already transformed due to temperature changes. The outer crystals of the snow have broken or melted off which has led to a corn structure. The effect of suction is less defined in comparison to new snow and the friction is more here.

Coarse corn snow

This snow has lost its original shape due to a repeated process of freezing and melting. This has resulted in the snow being metamorphosed. They are have two common forms which are fine and crusted snow.

Machine snow

This is one of the most aggressive types of snow. It presents to skiers considerable problems while skiing. This type of snow is extremely dull due to high density and its inhomogeneous form. It requires a high resistance of abrasion for the wax. The surface of this snow can change to more favorable forms which can improve the glide of the skis. Skiers commonly experience this type of snow the most.

Types of waxes for different conditions

There are different types of wax to apply on your skis. The most common is hot wax, which is quite easy to apply and last long.

Rub on wax

This is a quick and easy way to increase the performance of your skis. An all condition wax can be used on the base which will increase your skiing experience in a jiffy. However, it will be not as long lasting or effective as a hot wax. It is a instant fix for your skis and is cheap also.

Hot wax

These waxes are sold for different changes in temperature. Temperature changes are the key in determining how the wax and snow will interact with each other. The temperature of a hot wax can be found on the packaging itself. You can also use a hot wax which is universal.

High performance wax

These waxes are for advanced skiers. They contain high amounts of fluorocarbons which can help dealing with wet snow.

It is best to determine the type of wax you will use analyzing the temperature and your budget

Importance of waxing your skies

Maintain your skis to make them last longer and to make the skiing more fun and easier.

Skies can dry out

Skies can tend to dry very often. If you are still relying in the wax you applied from last season, there is a very good chance that the bases have dried out. Discolored or chalky looking bases are a telltale sign of dry bases. Dry skis run very poorly and cause a drag in the speed of the skier.

Rusting of edges

Wax helps to moisten the skis, but they also protect the edges from wearing out due to excess moisture. Excessive moisture can cause the edges of the skis to rust. This can lead to a plethora of problems in performance on slopes. Rusty skis are also prone to chips and dings. This can cause accidents or skids down the slope.

An enhanced skiing experience

Waxed skis are easier to run and smoother to operate. waxing makes the skis hydrophobic which can ensure they run optimally down the slopes without any friction.

Frequency of waxing your skis

Professional skiers can apply waxes before every run. Others might use occasionally depending on certain factors.

  • Rewax if you are skiing in a new place where the snow is different than your previous run.
  • If you ski more in powdered snow, then rewaxing is necessary every now and then.
  • Rewax if your ski base is extruded as opposed to a sintered base. You can find this information on the specs of your skis. Sintered bases retain wax for a longer period of time.
  • If you see a residue on your base which is chalky grey in color, it’s time to rewax.
  • If you feel the snow is sticking to the base of your ski, then it is time to apply wax.
  • After every ski season ends, it is advised to rewax your skis to let them store without any damage.

Cost of shops for waxing skis

Professionals in ski shops can take away the effort you need to put in determining the best type of wax and applying it. Ski experts in shops can wax your skis based on the best wax suitable for your season and the type of snow you will encounter. The prices vary according to the techniques used, the surface waxed and the type of wax used. A basic wax can start from about $15. If both the edges and rollers need to be waxed, prices can go upto $40. High quality professional waxing starts from about $60.