Why, How and When To Wax Your Skis/Snowboard
from Sundance Ski Resort Mountain Operations
The base of a ski or snowboard is made of a polyethylene material. This "plastic" material is what allows you to cruise down the mountain with little effort. When this base material isn't properly cared for, it requires a greater effort to get dow the hill. With some regular cleaning and waxing, this situation can be entirely avoided and every day can be your best day.
Of course, you can always head to your favorite shop to have your skis or snowboard cleaned and waxed... But with a little elbow grease and a few essential tools, you can finish this task on your own.
|an old iron
brick of wax --get one at|
your local ski shop
- Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area such as an open garage. Wax fumes can be harmful if you have long-term exposure to them.
- For skis, use a rubber band to depress the brakes on your bindings so that you have clear access to your base. (Not necessary with snowboards).
- Take a clean rag and some bio cleaner and wipe down the base of your skis/snowboard. This prevents any contaminants from being mixed with the fresh wax. Depending on how long it has been since you last waxed, you may have to repeat this cleaning a few times.
- Once your base is clean and dry you are ready to wax. Set your iron to medium heat and do not let it get too hot as you can de-laminate your base and ruin your equipment.
- Lightly press the bar of wax against the iron and drizzle a thin line of wax down the length of your ski (for snowboards you will need a bit more to cover the entire base). Don't go overboard with the wax for your base can only hold so much and the excess will be scraped off and wasted.
- In slow circular motions, melt the drips of was until they cover the entire ski/board. Be sure to continuously move the iron to avoid any overheating of the base material. Let the wax dry to room temperature and is cool to the touch.
- Use a sharp scraper to remove the excess wax It is important to make sure you get all the wax off to ensure a quality final product. For snowboards, make sure to scrap the extra wax that accumulates on the base under where the bindings are mounted and low spots are created.
- Once the base is completely scraped, it's time to buff it out. Using a Scotch Bright pad, buff the base in a continuous, smooth motion. This will put a polished finish on the base and leaves you a fast and smooth final product.
It's important to know when your equipment needs to be waxed. Waxing too often is a waste of time and money, but not waxing enough greatly impacts the performance of your equipment and thus your experience out on the hill. Make sure to regularly check your bases for white or dry-looking areas. This often starts to occur along the edges and then spread to the middle. The first sign of white along the edges is your indicatro it is time to wax.
If any or all of this sounds daunting, and like too much work, bring your equipment in to our Sundance Mountain Outfitters shop and let our trained professionals help with all of your tuning and equipment needs.