How to Wax Skis & Snowboards
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Skiing is a lot more enjoyable when you have waxed skis or snowboards. If you’re a frequent skier, you must be familiar with the benefits of surface wax on skis. In any case, learning how to wax skis or snowboards is a valuable skill that will save you time and money.
Waxing skis and snowboards is a rigorous process, and you must pay great attention to get it right. If you haven’t had your skis or snowboards tuned before waxing, put off the work and get them adjusted before you start.
This is because your ski base will most certainly be damaged, especially if the weather is dry. Base burn is a type of damage that prevents the base from absorbing wax. If you own skis or snowboards that develop a base burn, you’ll need a base grind from your local ski shop to get your gear back in shape.
Furthermore, waxing your skis or snowboard only to have them break down may appear to be a waste of time. Not to mention how the delay in your skiing experience will most likely ruin your mood.
Check if the surface of your ski base is white or ashen, as well as the area of the ashy look if it is going dry. It usually begins on the metal edges of snowboards before spreading to the entire base.
Waxing your skis or snowboard will also help you go faster and smoothly across the snow. It also enables you to improve your skiing or snowboarding skills by enhancing your speed. Plus, it is recommended to wax your brand new skis if you want a faster gliding experience.
What Are the Different Types of Wax?
You can choose different brands of ski wax depending on the riding conditions. For both new and vintage skis, universal wax and base material are used most often. You should also consider the air temperature and snow temperature before purchasing cold wax from your local ski shop.
Warm-weather wax is softer, whereas cold-weather wax hardens as it dries. If you’re a downhill skier or snowboarder, remember to apply glide wax to accelerate your speed.
1. Glide Wax
Skiers go from edge to edge while skiing and glide wax makes this transition as smooth as possible. For better results, check to see if there are any temperature specific waxes before applying hot wax. When skiing, the suitable wax successfully reduces friction and allows you to ride quicker.
The wax will slow down your riding and require a replacement if the temperature ranges are unfriendly to it. After being applied to the whole surface of a ski or snowboard, most glide waxes will last for eight to ten days.
2. Kick Wax
Kick wax, unlike glide wax, grabs the snow and improves ski and snowboard traction. The traction grip of classic cross country skis allows them to stride forward while using the traditional method, as well as skiing uphill.
Preparing for Hot Waxing on Skis and the Equipment Needed
If you plan on waxing your skis yourself, be aware that you will be dealing with both hot and dry wax particles. To start with, use newspapers to cover the flooring and the area where you will be waxing to prevent dripping wax.
Remove anything inappropriate for the procedure, and make sure you have all the necessary tools and products for hot waxing. When applying wax, your workstation must also be sufficiently ventilated.
Fine-tune your Base
If your skis and snowboard haven’t been tuned in a while, make sure to do so before you start waxing. You must determine whether the base is in good working condition and replace any damaged components at the base of the skis or snowboard.
Secure the skis and snowboard to a bench or other device using tuning vises to keep them in place while you apply wax to the skis.
You can use a universal wax designed for snow sports equipment. If you’re new to flat surface waxing, stick to a well-known brand, as this will help you figure out which wax is ideal. Also, before buying rub on wax, make sure it’s a cooler wax with a set temperature.
There are ski waxing irons made explicitly for hot wax pressing. This waxing iron will iron out a thick wax layer, excess wax, or snowboard wax till it melts. Plus, during the preparation procedure, try to keep the iron warm.
During the heated waxing procedure, you’ll need a plastic scraper to remove hot wax, visible wax, extra wax, and molten wax. However, you must get a wax scraper made of plastic or a metal scraper made for the purpose.
Buff Pads and Brushes
To polish snowboard wax residue from the entire base, you’ll need a semi-coarse pad. Wire brushes, nylon brushes, soft brushes, and other brushes with varying coarseness are available to add an excellent finish to your work. You may use a hard nylon brush or a softer nylon brush to buff the wax layer down to a thin layer.
Ways to Wax Skis and Snowboard
With the right waxing tools in place, you can go ahead and start waxing!
1. Clean the Bases
Before you start waxing, make sure the skis and snowboard are not visibly dirty, do not have old wax, and do not have metal fillings stuck in the bases. Use a wire brush, base cleaner, or solvents sparingly to wipe off the dirt with a lint-free rag. Then, allow them to dry off for about 20 minutes before waxing.
2. Latch the Skis and Snowboard to a Bench
Having your skis and snowboard shake while you’re waxing can disrupt your workflow. To avoid this, secure the ski and snowboard to a bench with the ski base facing you.
To keep the tips and tails of the ski base and snowboard in place, use a vise to bolt the ski base face up, with the snowboard resting on top of the vice to secure it. If you don’t have a vise, you can use books to support your ski or snowboard.
Additionally, manually retract your ski brake arms by compressing the brake pedal. To link one arm to the other, take a strong rubber band and loop it over the top of the heel piece.
Check the edges of the equipment with a dedicated truing bar or ruler to ensure they are not elevated too high and that the base is flat. You’ll need a stone grinder to mend a ski base that isn’t flat.
3. Begin to Melt the Wax
You’ll need a waxing iron that can maintain a consistent temperature for this step. Harder wax requires a higher temperature, while softer wax needs a lower one. Check the wax box for instructions on how to heat the wax.
Keep the iron straight over the skis and snowboard while applying wax, about 2-3 inches from the board, and start melting the wax. Ensure the iron’s cord is long enough to avoid knocking objects over while the wax melts.
Also, ensure that the wax drips and covers the skis and snowboard from tip to tail. Remember to protect your workstation floor with newspaper to catch any dripping hot wax and remove any objects you want to protect from the wax.
4. Spread the Wax
To melt the wax layer on the ski, press the iron on the base and move it down the ski in quick succession from tip to tail. You can add more wax to a dry area by melting it in a particular spot.
Plus, you must press the wax into place and uniformly spread it out so that it may penetrate the entire base. The iron must be in constant motion, moving at a rate of 1-2 inches per second to avoid overheating and base damage.
5. Let the Wax Cool Completely
After ironing the wax into the surface of the skis and snowboard, let it cool down till the equipment is cool to the touch. You can wait around 30 minutes before moving to the scrapping stage.
6. Scraping and Brushing
You can scrape off the visible wax on the skis and snowboard once they’ve cooled down. The wax must be adequately absorbed in the base of the skis, not on top of them.
Scrape off the excess wax from the edge and base with a plastic scraper. If you plan to use a metal scraper, keep in mind that it will likely remove the foundation material and destroy your base.
Also, smooth off any additional layers using a nylon brush. The goal is to have just enough wax on the base surface to allow the structure of the base to shine through. Finally, brush the ski and snowboard base from tip to tail until it is uniformly greasy and glossy.
Can You Use a Regular Clothing Iron To Apply A Ski Wax Layer?
Ski waxing irons provide advantages over regular clothing irons, such as a temperature sensor for regulating temperature and a low risk of burning the wax. On the other hand, Standard irons have a temperature tuner but are less effective than ski waxing irons.
Although you can melt the wax with an ordinary iron, it is not recommended. This is because the iron has dry wax particles after melting, which you may unintentionally transmit to your clothes. Waxing irons are designed to melt ski wax into place, with temperatures adjusted at safe levels that won’t burn the ski.
You can buy an ordinary iron and dedicate it to wax melting if you can’t afford a waxing iron. Before melting the wax, remember to set the iron to a moderate temperature. Plus, do some research on temperature specific waxes, so you know what you’re looking for.
Waxing your skis or snowboard will allow you to ride faster and navigate more effectively. You don’t need to wax your skis as often if you don’t ski much. However, before waxing the ski base, make sure you tune your equipment and wax if you haven’t done so in a long time.
In addition, use a hot iron to melt the wax and move the iron across the flat surface for a thin coating. Instead of using your clothes iron, which may leave unremovable particles on your clothes, get a regular iron and dedicate it to melting wax.
Finally, polish the entire base of your skis and snowboards with a base cleaner and a plastic scraper, and brush off any leftover wax.