One thing it took me a while to start doing is that of hot-waxing my skis and the only time I might consider hiring it out is if I am in a hurry and am unable to do it due to time considerations. Typically I get to the cabin and the first thing I do after the fire is lit is to break out my wax kit and start waxing skis. I not only wax my own skis but those of my companions too. Waxing is not hard at all it just takes some time and a minimal investment in gear. I have edges tools too (and I found them this summer looking for bicycle parts) but the challenge to doing that is greater and the payback is not so noticeable.
Waxing the Skis — Required Gear
- An Iron
- Scrapers, Brushes, and Buffers
- A Toolbox
Go to your nearest thrift store and find an old iron without holes for steam, you don’t need steam and those will only capture wax and gunk up. There are irons specific for this job, but they are costly and I do not see the point in the expenditure. Unless you have exacting temperature demands or are doing high volume work, a plain old flat clothes iron is fine.
You need the wax and the wax I usually get is Swix as it is what most of the stores carry, furthermore I get the plain stuff I do not buy advanced formulation waxes I am not competing any serious way. I do pay attention to the temperature designation of the wax but not to snow type or humidity designations, again, I am not looking for hundredths or even tenths of seconds.
I have purchased a number of scrapers, some aluminum and some plastic, I use both as the wax hardness dictates. The brushes are both stiff plastic bristles, steel bristled, and brass bristled brushes. For the metal bristle brushes I went to a local hardware store for those, the plastic brushes I have a stiff bristle and a soft bristle brush. The metal brushes I use to pre-treat the skis and I use the plastic brushes and before I use Scotchbrite pads for buffing.
Again visiting Fleet Farm I purchased a toolbox to store all of that stuff in and that is my ski tool kit. That kits contains edge tools too, but that is another piece!
How to actually do it? The California Ski Company has a quick how to guide on just that. Check it out!
Why do it? Waxing the skis helps to prolong the life of your skis, your ski base needs that material to help resist the forces of nature. While waxing your skis does help you move faster I’ve also read that waxing the skis helps make edge changes easier. Also, do not think faster skis only means higher speeds going down the hill, it can also help you get across the flats easier an important consideration if the resort you are at has long runoffs to the chair lift — less and easier poling!
Do you wax your skis or snowboard? I urge you to start doing it the boost in performance, the boost in longevity to your gear, and becoming more familiar with your sport are all easily worth the cost, time, and effort of waxing your ride!