Regular use of wax allows you to glide and turn easily and protects your base. Wax in a ski base is as important as oil in your auto engine. Bases soak up wax like a sponge. Gliding over snow slowly releases wax to give a lubricating layer between your base and snow. Lubricant is needed for performance as well as protection from "base burn" which is a fuzzy base texture caused by abrasive snow.
Wax also protects from oxidation. Bases exposed to oxygen oxidize and become rough similar to roughness created when steel oxidizes in the form of rust. Wax seals your base to prevent harmful oxidation that slows glide.
How To Wax
Waxing is easy and you need only a few basic supplies. Clean base by scraping with a plexi scraper to remove old wax or dirt from the surface. (Use base cleaners sparingly as they "dry out" and deteriorate the base material.) Use brass or bronze brush aggressively from tip to tail to further clean the base and remove oxidized base material. Follow with fiber pad to remove any "base burn fuzz" caused by abrasive snow.
- CLEAN BASE
Liquid or paste waxes may increase glide for a short time, however they quickly wear off and don't protect your base. Hot waxing is best. Simply hold wax bar on iron allowing melted wax to drip on base. Set heat so wax flows easily, but don't "smoke" the wax. Iron base for a minute or two to spread and penetrate wax into base.
- IRON WAX INTO SKI BASE
Cool wax to room temp. Scrape off excess with plexi scraper leaving thin layer on base. Excess wax inhibits base from gliding easy and fills the "structure" channels in the base.
- SCRAPE EXCESS COOL WAX OFF
- BRUSH AND POLISH FOR MAXIMUM GLIDE
This is a texture in the base with a pattern of channels to dissipate moisture between the base and snow to prevent "suction". A structure is best done in a competent ski shop with stone grinding. Final step is to brush surface wax out of structure with nylon, horsehair or bronze brush to clear moisture channels and break suction and enhance glide. Final cleaning of base with fine fiber pad removes any excess wax and polishes base for max glide.
Hydrocarbon is the basic bar wax for skis and boards. Melt into base as an excellent lubricant for most snow conditions. It's inexpensive and used at all levels of skiing from beginner to top levels of racing.
When humidity is above 50% or there is excess moisture in the snow you should use a fluorocarbon wax. It's a hydrophobic substance that's blended into hydrocarbon wax. Fluorocarbon is also available in "pure" form and applied as an overlay for top acceleration in wet snow.
Dye is added to designate hardness of wax. Soft waxes are a better lubricant for wet and warm snow. Hard waxes lubricate and protect your base better in cold or abrasive snow.