Do you really need to use ski wax? Ski equipment can cost a lot of money. Regular maintenance will help you get the most value for your money. Not only will your skis last longer, they will give you better performance on the slopes.
You can take your skis to the pro shop and get them tuned and have ski wax applied or you can do the work yourself. It's not complicated, and for the cost of a professional tuning you can buy most of the tools needed.
The only thing that can't be done without the proper machinery is stone grinding the bases. This should be done once or twice a season and is best left to a ski shop with a stone grinder. Over time the base of the ski can become nicked and the edges can become burred. This affects your ski performance and exposes the skis to excess moisture which shortens their life span.
To keep your skis in top condition you should do some basic ski care every 5 - 10 ski days. The skis should be waxed and the edges should be sharpened. At the same time, the bindings can be examined to make sure they are adjusted properly.
As skis glide over snow, the friction actually melts the snow and causes a thin later of water to form. If the skis are unwaxed water can seep into the base and cause damage. Ski wax doesn't just protect your skis, though. It also improves performance by causing the water to form into droplets which make it easier to turn.
Waxes are made to suit specific temperature conditions. There are two ways to apply it rubbing or melting. Ski wax which is rubbed on the base cold will quickly wear off. Hot ski wax provides a much more durable finish.
To apply hot ski wax you can use a special waxing iron or use an old clothes iron. Begin by dripping the hot wax along the base of each ski. Smooth it out by using the iron and set the ski aside to cool. Once the ski wax has hardened it can be polished with a rubbing pad.
The steel edges along the sides of the skis aid in turning and stopping. They can become nicked and gouged if you hit stones or if the skis are banged together.
Try running your finger along the edge is it smooth? If there are any nicks or burrs the edges should be sharpened. Sharpening the edges requires a bit more skill than waxing. The important point is not to remove too much metal. Use an edging stone with a light motion to remove any burrs, and keep the stone at the same angle for the length of the ski.
Give your skis a coat of wax before storing them for the summer. This will protect them from moisture and prevent rust from forming on the edges. The bases of the ski will also absorb the wax while they are being stored, and this will give the bases a more durable finish.
It's also a good idea to loosen the release mechanisms on the bindings. This will prevent the springs from losing their tension. Just be sure to set them back again before hitting the slopes next winter, or better yet, have them set by a technician for maximum safety.
Go to top of Ski Wax