Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wax-on, Wax-off

Mr Miyagi says, "Wax on. Wax off."

Spent this morning waxing skis. This is my third year waxing my own skis. There is a real science and art to it. I do a basic waxing job - no super, racey, expensive waxes for me. Still . . . . it takes a bit of practice to do a good job.

Ski gets locked into the waxing bench and I brush out the ski - removing any dirt from the base and opening the structure up to receive wax.

Next, I melt wax with the waxing iron. Here I'm using Swix CH7 (purple). It's a soft wax and I'm using it to saturate the ski as much as possible. The more wax your ski has absorbed, the faster it will become.

Iron out the wax.

While the wax is still a little warm I remove the wax from the centre groove . . . .

. . . . and the edges. Then I let them cool for at least 20 minutes for the wax to set and absorb.

Ski goes back on the bench and I scrape from tip to tail. Soft wax comes off easy, harder wax (for colder temperatures) is tougher to scrape off.

After scraping, I brush out the base of the ski with a coarse brush to remove wax from the structure. If there is wax in the structure of the ski, it'll slow the ski. Here I am using a bronze brush (this was a colder wax that I used in this picture, hence a more coarse brush). On a warm wax, I'd use a plastic bristle brush to brush out the base.

This is what the ski looks like after brushing it out. I just wipe away the powdery residue. After, I polish the ski with a polishing cloth to get it shinny and fast!

Swix CH4 (green) is a very hard wax, good for snow in the temperature range of -10 to -32 degrees. You really lose your glide on cold, cold snow no matter how well you wax.

Here is a bronze (left) and nylon brush.

Waxing is all about layering the wax and doing multiple applications. Today I did five applications of wax just on my skate skis. Here's the order: CH 7 (purple -2to-6 C), CH6 (blue -6 to -12 C), CH4(green), CH6 again, and finished off with CH4.

The snow is cold today, so that's why I finished with a harder wax.

1 comment:

gwadzilla said...


it is good to work on your own equipment

I do not know shit about waxing skis
my low end beginner planks are waxless

years ago I did mess around repairing rock damage to my snowboards
but things were pretty ugly
no art to it
just kept it running

my iron was an iron