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. ski racing tips : How To Wax - 17 April 2010 - 12:17


Regular use of wax will allow your skis/snowboard to glide and turn easier than skis/snowboard with an untreated base.
Visualize a base as being absorbent like a sponge.  The idea is to fill the base with wax.  Wax will slowly release as you glide down the mountain leaving a lubricating layer between your base and the snow.  Lubrication is important for both performance and protection of the base from the abrasive effects of the snow.

Wax will also protect your base from oxidation.  Bases exposed to oxygen will oxidize and become rough, similar to the roughness created when steel oxidizes in the form of rust.  Wax seals your base to prevent harmful oxidation which slows ski glide.

How to Wax

Waxing is easy and you will need only a few basic supplies.

1) Clean Base
It's best to prepare the base by cleaning.  This is first done by scraping with an acrylic scraper to remove any old wax or dirt from the surface. (Use base cleaners sparingly and only in emergency as they tend to 'dry out' and deteriorate the base material.)
A brass brush will further clean the base and will remove any oxidized base material.  Use a fiber pad to remove any 'fuzz' created by the brass brushing.

2) Iron wax into base
Liquid or paste waxes may increase glide for a short time.  However, they quickly wear off and don't protect your base from oxidation or abrasion.  Hot waxing is best.  Hold a wax bar on an iron and drip melted wax on base.  Control heat so wax will flow easily, but not so hot as to 'smoke' wax.  Iron base for a short time to spread wax and penetrate it into your base.

3) Scrape excess cool wax off
Let wax cool to room temperature.  Scrape off excess with an acrylic scraper, leaving very little wax on the surface of the base.  Excess wax inhibits gliding easy as it fills the 'structure' channels in the base.

Base Structure
This is actually a texture in the base with a pattern of channels to dissipate moisture which could create 'suction'.  A structure is usually best done in a competent shop with stone grinding equipment.

4) Brush and polish for maximum glide
Brush the surface wax out of the structure with nylon or horsehair brush.  This clears the moisture channels to break the suction and enhance glide.  Final cleaning of the base with a fine fiber pad removes excess wax and polishes base for max glide.

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