Based on notes taken by Sarah during a demonstration by Jerome, and some post‐demo edits by Sean.
Choosing which wax to use.
Always choose based on snow temp if below freezing and air temp if above freezing. Take into account the humidity: if above 80% then humidity is considered high, and you may wish to use a slightly warmer (softer) wax than suggested by temperature. Snow crystals are also important: new snow crystals can penetrate wax better than old snow, so colder (harder) wax could be used.
Don’t panic about which wax to use. Take your best shot based on the above general criteria then go and test out the wax you have applied – ski some distance (500m) to see how your choice works. For classic skis, if no kick then you may need a softer (warmer) grip wax if no glide you may need at least a coating of harder (colder) wax in the kick zone.
How to apply Glide wax
Applicable to both skate skis and the glide part of your classic skis.
Basic principle for glide waxing: for any of applying the wax, brushing or scraping, always working away from grip zone (helps to keep glide wax from getting mixed in with the kick wax).
It is also helpful to denote the edge of the kick zone with painters masking tape while applying the glide wax – helps to keep glide wax out of the kick zone. For skate skis, there is no kick zone so glide wax is applied along the whole length of the ski.
- Start by brushing with a brass brush
- Then brush with Fibretex (a Swix product that looks a lot like a type of plastic dish scrubber)
- Take down base “hairs” using a sharp‐edged and clean plastic scraper.
- Wipe “dust” off the glide zone – use lint free paper or cloth.
- Apply the glide wax you have chosen ‐ crayon on if soft (warm) wax, or drip on if hard (cold)
wax. Use the iron to soften the wax for crayoning, or melting if dripping on hard wax.
- Smooth out the wax with the wax iron over the whole glide area. Be aware of the iron temperature – don’t have it too hot. The base is thin at the tips and can be damaged with too
much heat. Smooth out the wax approx. three times and allow to cool.
Once the glide wax has cooled:
- Clean out groove using a groove tool. Best to pull the tool down groove versus pushing it. This way you have more control, and reduce the risk of gouging the base. If using a hard (cold) glide wax e.g. CH4, it is easier to clean the groove while the wax is still cooling/soft.
- Clean the each edge of the base, also using the groove tool or a clean edge e.g. a scraper.
- Take a sharp‐edged plastic scraper ‐ the one you use only for glide wax! – and scrape off the
glide wax. On classic skis, always working away from grip zone . This will take about three passes to remove the wax.
- Then brush with nylon brush. Use a brass brush if using cold wax (‐15 or colder). The glide zone should look as if it has been polished.
- Then apply structure, if required. Needs a structure tool which most people are not likely to
have to hand. The Racing Team has one for use at races if necessary.
How to apply Grip wax – only necessary for classic skis.
Basic principle ‐ Always cork/scrape/iron toward center to minimize contamination of the glide zone.
Applying multiple thin layers of grip wax is better than attempting to apply thick layers. They are easier to cork and also provide better control over the thickness of wax being applied to the skis.
- Start by removing old grip wax with a paint stripping tool, or a sharp edge. A heat gun is helpful to melt the wax so it is easier to remove. Be careful with the heat gun – you don’t want to damage the base with too much heat.
- If just applying a different temperature wax, skip to step 7. If completely cleaning down to the base in order to apply a new base wax, go to step 3.
- Before applying a base wax, it is necessary to completely clean wax off the kick zone base with paper and wax remover fluid.
- Once the base is completely clean, use fine sandpaper (120 grit or finer) to rough‐up the kick zone base.
- Clean off the kick zone with lint‐free paper or cloth.
- Apply the base wax. Chalk it onto the kick zone, and then melt with a heat gun. Cork it out so the layer is smooth across the whole kick zone. Apply two layers.
- Apply your grip wax, chosen for the prevailing conditions – snow or air temperature/humidity/snow type. Apply approx four layers, corking in each time. The number of layers is dependent on the distance to be skied and the type of snow. Three or four layers is a rule of thumb.
- For icing on the cake ‐ To aid your glide, it may be desirable to apply a thin layer of slightly harder (colder) wax on top of the four layers of softer wax applied in step 7.
Best of luck with your waxing. Be as methodical as you can – it really helps to make waxing easier.