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A Basic Ski Wax Guide


At Start Haus we’ve had quite a number of people come looking for a way to speed up the bases of their skis in this warm spring snow. Several people have decided to invest in a ski waxing setup to wax their own skis, and we think this is a wise move!

Waxing your own skis means you’re not relying on a shop to turn you skis around. Taking the cost of waxing over time you’ll eventually save money. This of course, is dependent on how often you ski, because a proper wax setup initially is fairly spendy. However, if you ski a lot, or have multiple pairs of skis, the investment will pay off! Waxing your skis regularly protects the base and will result in a longer life of the ski, further protecting your investment. Having a good wax on your base can also reduce the risk of injury due to sticky spring snow.

If you’re the hands-on type, waxing your own skis is a rewarding venture. It’s fairly simple to deliver a basic Iron wax to a pair of skis, and you get the obvious benefit of being faster on the slopes!

To achieve a basic wax you’ll need a ski wax iron, a ski vise, a bench of some sort, some good hydrocarbon wax, a sharp wax scraper, and a wax brush or two

Applying the wax to a clean base is paramount to success. At Start Haus we recommend against base cleaners. Base cleaners are solvents, which actually harm the base by drying it out. The best way to clean a base is to melt a wax onto the base and scrape it off while the wax is still hot. This will pull the detritus out of the base, which is probably clogging up the base structure.

Once the base is clean, drip a good amount of hydrocarbon wax to the entire base of the ski tip to tail. Next iron the wax into the base so that all the wax is melting, but not so slowly you’re seeing smoke come up! The wax packaging should have a recommended temperature setting for the iron, be sure your iron is set to the correct temp. For best results I recommend mixing in a mid temp wax along with the warm snow wax. The warm wax, which is usually yellow in color, will wear off the base quickly in a matter of an hour or so the mid temp will keep your bases waxed throughout the day. You can be scientific and build up layers of wax by applying; cooling, and scraping separate layers, or just melt in two waxes at the same time.

At this point once you are happy with the ironing job the ski should be left to cool completely. The next step is to scrape the ski with a sharp plastic wax scraper. The goal here is to remove all the wax. A solid brushing will remove the excess wax and open the structure of the base back up allowing it break the suction of the snow.

Ski waxing should not be a daunting task, if you’re nervous about any of the aforementioned steps feel free to practice on an old pair of skis until you get the hang of it! If you have further questions feel free to stop into Start Haus or call! We always love to help steer people into the right direction toward a faster more fun time on the slopes!


2015 Ski Consignment Sale: Updated

Time to gear up for the sale of the year!  Starting August 1st, we’ll begin accepting skis, speed suits, and training shorts. Same as last year, any item checked in for the sale is good for 80% store credit, or 60% cash (in the form of a check).


We will accept gear throughout the sale until Sunday evening at closing.  No gear will be accepted on Monday the 7th.  Ski check in will be outside the building near the tents.

The sale itself is the same as always, Labor Day weekend 2015– that’s Friday September 4th through Monday September 7th.

Store Hours are normal:  9AM to 6PM every day

Show up early!  The line can wrap around the building.  And please be courteous where you choose to park and not block our neighboring businesses (or park in the handicap spaces).

Stay tuned for more news and info! Any updates will be posted here on this blog page.


The Season of Sales- UPDATED

Its that time of year in Tahoe- the season of sales!  When we go, we go big.  Here is your guide at a glance to figure out what is on sale, and for what level of discount.

UPDATE:  All winter clothing is now 60% OFF!

50% OFF

All Recreational Skis / All Rec Bindings with purchase of Ski / All Ski Helmets (with the exception of the POC Orbic Comp) / All Goggles / All Gloves / All Poles / All Ski and Boot Bags / All Race Protection and Speed Suits

UPDATESki boots are now 50% OFF with promo code BOOTS50


20% OFF

All Ski Boots / All Race Skis (marked at the sale price, 20% OFF Race) / All Race Bindings with purchase of a Race Ski (please contact us for best match with race bindings).


Any item currently marked on sale is listed at the sale price.  For 2015 skis and bindings, we can’t list our half off sale online, so feel free to use the promo code SKI50 .
Coupon is good for one pair of bindings per ski.

Stockli recreational skis are not on sale- these models carry over to next season.


Grab your gear now and ski happy people!

Tecnica Nordica Side by Side

The Straight Dope on Ski Boot Liners

The heart of the boot story for the 2015 season has most certainly been advancements in ski boot liners.  Several manufacturers have spent significant research and development on creating liners that do three main things; ski well, fit comfortably out of the box, and resisting packing out (feeling too loose) too quickly.

The result of all the hard work is some interesting technology that is sure to trickle down through lines across the board and dictate design trajectories in the future.  First a short history lesson is in order; in the dark ages of boot design vague shell shapes and inferior liners were the obvious issues with performance and long term fit.  Foam injected liners became the primary solution; if you were a serious skier you had to have a serious liner, and spend some serious coin while you were at it.  Foam injected liners still exist and people still use them, however they are far less popular than in years past.

Stock liners have improved by leaps and bounds in the past decade; an injection molding process has replaced over padding and cutting away a material that is disturbingly similar to the material that is placed under a carpet before instillation.  The injection molded foam has far more anatomical shape than previous materials so it fits out of the box far better and will stand the test of time better than ever.

Two manufacturers, Tecnica and Nordica, are at the forefront of new manufacturing processes and materials for this 2014-15 season.  Tecnica produced a trick liner of a new material they are calling C.A.S. or Custom Adaptive Shape in their new model line the Mach1.  The C.A.S. foam is a dense material that fits well and offers great heel hold and shape, it can also be ground with a dremel or punched by a competent boot fitter if you need customization.   The C.A.S. foam has been such a success it is going to be featured several different models next season, and has really been a homerun in sales, and refits- we’ve seen almost none!

Not to be outdone, Nordica has produced a semi-custom liner using a material that is not at all new to the industry but has a proven track record with hundreds of World Cup victories and Olympic medals to its name.  Cork has been used in World Cup liners for quite some time and is the current standard for the elite level.  The cork is usually mixed with petroleum, which allows it to flow or move to the correct crevices.  On their popular NRGy series Nordica placed cork panels in the ankle and navicular area to give great control over the shell and again, a great fit out of the box.  The cork can be heated up for just a few minutes to dial in the fit of the boot, and has had great result from fitters and owners of the boot.

Liners have come a long way in the last decade; they ski far better and fit better than ever before.  More and more skiers are finding they don’t need to invest three to five hundred dollars in custom liners to get their desired fit and feel, and the breaking in process is less painful than ever.  The next few years I expect more research and development in ski boot liners and would expect more exciting innovation.


Happy Holidays & Happy Snow, from the Start Haus Staff

Wishing you plenty of powder, tons of turns, no lift lines and a happy new year!



Alexis, bootfitting and sales.


Allison, warranty & special orders.


Brady, bootfitter


Collin, ski tuning


Doug, bootfitter


Jim Fowler, sales & ski tester


Greyson, web editor


James, bootfitter


Jared, sales


Jason, bootfitter


Krystal, bootfitter & sales


Phil, sales


Jim Schaffner, owner

And the rest of the crew.


Start Haus Style – Part 2

In this week’s Start Haus Style, we take a look at two high performance outfits from Flylow Gear and Mammut. Flylow is a Tahoe company that blends style and performance – resort functionality with backcountry versatility. Mammut’s long history in alpinism and mountaineering makes for some of the most technically advanced ski clothing at the store.

First up, the Flylow Phoebe Jacket and Flylow Chione Pant.

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Next up, the Mammut Niva 3L Jacket and Mammut Vail Pant.

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Start Haus Style – Part 1

We’re really excited about the new winter clothing in stock at Start Haus for the winter, so we decided to show it off a little bit. In this first instillation of Start Haus Style, we put together two outfits, one from Alp-N-Rock and one from Descente.

First up, we have the Alp-N-Rock Winter Edelweiss Reversible Shirt, Alp-N-Rock Geneva Down Vest and Alp-N-Rock Kitzbuhler Down Skirt:




fashion04w Next, we have the Descente Becca Jacket and Descente Selene Pant:




fashion05w Stay tuned for more Start Haus Style.


2015 Ski Clothing – Videos

We’re really excited about our new selection of ski clothing this year – we think its the best yet. We’re carrying Start Haus classics like Spyder, Descente and Helly Hansen, versatile alpine-inspired brands like Mammut and Sherpa, and new-to-us brands like Obermeyer, Armada, Oakley and Flylow.

We put together three combos we really liked so you can check them out:

Swing by the store anytime or shop online.


Bikes Coming to the Start Haus 2015

You know the Start Haus for skis. Our goal each winter is to make skiing better by giving you the expert knowledge, the perfect tune, the custom boot fit that means each day on the hill is your best day.

Starting in 2015, the Start Haus is excited to enter into a new venture, bringing that same passion and expertise to the cycling world. We pledge to provide the same world-class service, the same World Cup caliber tuning and the same passion that’s made us your ski shop in the winter to bikes.

The Start Haus staff on their bikes.


It’s really a no-brainer – our staff is already passionate about the sport, their free time spent on the trails of Truckee, Tahoe and beyond, their names on the Strava leader boards, and their fingers covered in bike grease any chance they get.

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