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!