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How To Wax

Waxing is easy and you need only a few basic supplies.

1. Clean Ski Base

Clean your ski base by scraping with a acrylic wax scraper to remove old wax and dirt from the surface. (Use base cleaners sparingly as they tend to dry out and deteriorate the base material.) Use a brass or bronze base brush aggressively from tip to tail to further clean the base and remove oxidized base material. Follow with a fiber pad to remove any base burn “fuzz" caused by abrasive snow.

2. Apply Wax

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 the bar of wax on the base of the iron allowing melted wax to drip onto your ski base. Set the iron temperature so wax flows easily, but doesn't "smoke" the wax. Iron the wax into the base for 30 - 45 seconds to spread the wax and allow it to penetrate into the base. NOTE: Keep the iron moving to prevent damage to the ski.

3. Cool And Scape

Let wax cool to room temperature. Scrape off excess wax with an acrylic scraper leaving a very thin layer on the base. You want the wax IN the base and not ON the base.

4. Brush And Polish For Maximum Glide

The final step is to brush surface wax out of base structure/texture with a nylon, bronze or horsehair brush. This clears channels for moisture which help break snow surface suction and enhances glide. A final wipe down with fine fiber pad cleans the wax particles caused by brushing and polishes your base further enhancing glide.

The more times a ski base is waxed the faster it will glide and the longer each successive coat will last.  Given this, layering coats of wax on a brand new ski can actually condition the base to perform better over the life of the ski.  Now this becomes far more important for advanced skiers that will notice the difference in glide, and crucial for racers, where two tenths of a second can mean first or fifth.  Regions where the weather tends to be cold and dry produce much more sharp snow crystal structures, and skis in these areas will benefit greatly from cold weather prep waxes, such as CH4 or LF4 from Swix.  These cold waxes will actually harden the base material making it more durable, providing a much smoother glide in cold and dry conditions.  On the flip side, where weather tends to stay more in the twenties and higher moisture content, warmer preparatory waxes are more important.  These warmer waxes will make the base more resistant to water suction, providing a ski that will stick to the snow less in warmer, more moist snow

Do I need a wax bench? 

Whether you are equipping yourself with a home tuning setup or an “on the go” race setup a solid surface will make everything easier and more efficient.  A thick level surface that can easily accept tuning vises will make all the difference. 

We are often asked if saw horses or woodworking benches can serve the same purpose, and the answer is always no (except possibly for children’s skis which are very short).  A stable platform that allows your vises to sit level and be stable during the scraping, brushing, and filing that occurs during regular ski maintenance not only makes the processes easier, but will also keep hands and knuckles scrape and cut free!  Saw horses will shift far too much and have nothing to support the center of the ski.  This allows the ski to flex and wander especially during scraping and brushing. 

There are many table sizes available, and the best choice will depend on what types of equipment you will be tuning and the space you have to do it in.  When tuning longer length skis, especially cross country and giant slalom skis a longer profile table is a must. This gives you more room to space your vises and makes for a more stable ski and easier use.  For snowboards or when space is limited shorter tables are also available.

DataWax stock the Swix T75W waxing bench as we consider this is the best value bench that is stable without being too heavy. (11kg)