Tips on Different Wax Types for Different Slope Conditions.
Waxing is a maintenance activity that involves applying a lubricant to your ski’s to reduce friction mainly. Waxing works by providing a hydrophobic surface on your board, which resists water.
What’s the Importance of Ski Waxing?
With time, your board gets damaged by hitting rocks, rusting, friction or chemical damage from chemically treated snow.
The most obvious reason for waxing is to reduce friction, hence being able to move faster. Waxing also reduces the rate at which your ski’s wears out.
How Often Should I Wax My Skis?
There’s no given duration after which you should wax your ski’s. However, logic dictates that the more you use your board, the more you should wax it. Just looking at your board can tell you whether or not you need to wax it. If the bottom looks dull and gray, it’s time to wax. There is no such thing as too much waxing. In fact, the more you do it, the better.
Ski tuning is a general term for ski maintenance that aims to keep your ski’s sharp, clean and smooth.
Waxing in itself will not make much of a difference if you haven’t repaired your base and edges. In fact, waxing is the last tuning step, preceded by base repair and edge work.
Base repair involves cleaning out your board or ski using a cleaning cloth, which removes dirt, grease, and accumulated wax. Most tuning kits come with a specialized cleaning liquid, which brings out hidden dirt and dissolves wax. After cleaning the ski, apply this liquid, and then wipe it out with a clean towel after 10 minutes.
Next step is the p-tex filling, whereby you light your p-tex candle and wait until it is flames. Let the drops drip onto your ski’s/board, filling out all cuts and scrapes. Give the p-tex 10-15 minutes to cool then scrape it off with a metal scraper, to remove excess p-tex.
Edge tuning involves keeping the edges of your board or ski sharp. Blunt edges have a weak grip on snow, which slows you down. The first step is running a diamond stone, over the edges, giving you smooth edges
Next step is using a special file to sharpen your edges. Do this from tip to tail, taking care not to distort the shape of the edges.
What Wax Should I Use?
- All temperature waxes- these waxes are designed to work in all temperature conditions. Sometimes you may find yourself skiing in different geographical areas, or unable to predict what the temperature will be. All temperature wax, in this case, will be your best bet.
- Temperature specific waxes- temperature specific waxes are usually identified as either red or yellow. They both work in a smaller range of temperatures than all temperature waxes.
Red waxes are designed for colder temperatures of between -4 and -10 degrees (25 and 18 degrees Fahrenheit). Red wax is the best when it comes to hot wax scrape cleaning. It is also the best for most skiing activities.
Yellow waxes are appropriate for warmer areas of between 0 and minus-4 degrees Celsius. (32 and 25 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Fluorocarbons- fluorocarbon waxes can either be low or high fluorocarbon. These waxes repel water more, adding speed to your ski boards. As a result, they cost significantly more than ordinary waxes and are most preferred by professional skiers. Low fluorocarbon waxes are particularly suitable for those training and intermediate skiers, while advanced skiers prefer high fluorocarbons. It’s however important to note that the higher the fluorocarbon content, the higher the cost.
Wax, is usually applied using a special wax iron. You can use an old clothes iron box, but the wax won’t come out fast. Also, the temperature fluctuations in cloth irons are much higher than the wax iron.
Apply the wax on your skating board then use the iron to melt it and spread it evenly across the entire board, ensuring that the wax gets on the board. Zigzag motions are the best for covering the entire base. Take care not to overheat the wax. Overheated wax reacts by producing smoke.
Scraping and Brushing.
After ironing, you should give the board some time to cool. Say a minimum of thirty minutes. You could use a plastic scraper to scrape off the excess wax until only a thin layer of wax is visible.
After scraping, use waxing brushes to clean off excess wax. Start off with coarse brushes, finishing with the softer brushes.