How to Wax Your Skis In Four Simple Steps

Greg Obernesser | | BrainsBrains
wax skis
Waxing Skis! Credit: Nordic Skier

As the snow starts to fall out here in the western United States, it might be a good time to discuss how best to wax your skis or snowboard. Don’t know how to take care of your equipment? Do your friends ski past you all the time? Feel like you aren’t gliding weightless across a white ocean? We got you covered. This post will teach you how to effortlessly wax your skis.

wax skis
Swix ski wax kit. Credit: Sierra Trading Post

Equipment Needed

  • Ski/Snowboard Vise
  • Waxing Iron (not an actual iron)
  • Fat Rubber Bands
  • Wax
  • Plastic Scraper
  • Wax Brush
wax skis
Laying down wax. Credit: YouTube

Step 1 – Prep the ski. Lay the ski on the vise binding side up. Take the large rubber band in one hand and pull the ski break up with the other. Use the large rubber band to hold the brake up in place over the heel piece. Flip the ski over. Take the plastic scraper and get off all that old gunk on the bottom of your equipment. Take a lightly wet cloth if there is dirt and give the base a wipe. You want to apply the new wax directly to a clean base.

Step 2 – Picking the right wax. Fire up that iron! Now there are some nuances here regarding wax and iron heat that I will briefly go over. There are different waxes for different temperatures, warmer weather waxes melt faster on lower temperatures and colder weather wax need hotter iron temps. You can blend them when you get to know what you like. Universal wax is great for everyday use and its what I typically go to because it is cheap and works pretty well in all conditions.

wax skis
Laying wax down perfectly. Credit: 303 Magazine

Step 3 – Applying the Wax. Fire up that iron! Don’t make it too hot to the point where it is smoking nor have it too tepid to the point where it takes all day to melt the wax and your beverage becomes warmer than the iron! Take a large piece of the wax and press it against the warm iron and hold the iron no more than 3 inches above the ski. Cover the base of the ski with droplets of wax (pro tip: not a ton of wax can go a long way so don’t overdo it!) Iron on those droplets. Make sure not to hold the iron in one place and make sure it coats the base evenly from tip to tail. I like to iron in little circles. Allow the ski to cool for around 30 minutes, the perfect about of time for another beverage!

wax skis
Perfect wax scraping technique. Credit: Teton AT

Step 4 – Scraping & Finishing Touches. Use that plastic scraper and scrape off the wax from tip to tail (it’s important to go in the direction of how the ski slides). Hold at a 45-degree angle away from you. Also, try to apply even pressure while scraping so even amounts of wax come off. Usually, there is a notch on the edge of the scraper, run this against your edges so there is no wax build up on that important part. Once done scraping, get the wax brush and polish that ski off, give it a wipe down with a dry cloth, and you are good to go! Well, just one more ski to go…

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