Cross country skiing - ski waxing tips
Is the snow:
- Transformed snow?
Snow crystals change from large, sharp and pointed to small and round as they age. You need a harder wax for sharp, new snow than for older snow. Transformed snow is old snow that has repeatedly melted and refrozen.
Check the weather forecast, conditions may be about to change.
Stick waxes are shown on the left and klisters on the right. You use klister when the snow is transformed. Apply in the thinnest possible layer.
You can read more about waxing and see videos on the Swix site.
Classic skis need glide wax on the tips and tails and grip wax on the middle kick zone. If you have non-wax/fishscale skis you just need to glide wax the tips and tails.
Skating skis simply need glide wax the whole length of the ski.
[If your skis are as lumpy as these, get a new pair!]
Melt the glide wax against an iron and drip onto the ski sparingly, then smooth out lightly and quickly along the ski.
If you're doing classic skis, mark both ends of your kick zone with masking tape and just apply glide wax to the tips and tails.
Glide wax is usually sold in a smaller block than in the picture but you can find large blocks for more economic group use.
After ironing the wax in and allowing it to cool, you scrape it off with a plastic scraper working from tip to tail. Take as much off as possible, ensuring the central groove is free of wax, then brush off the remainder. Use long strokes and stop when there is no more wax dust coming from the ski.
The picture is a guide to the paper test - stand on your skis [wearing your ski boots on a smooth, uncarpeted surface. Balance evenly on both skis and a helper to should be able to slide a piece of paper under the central area of you ski - from a point just behind your heels to about 30 cm in front of your toes. This is your kick zone - mark both ends.
If your helper can't move the paper, your skis are too soft for you [or you've got heavier since your bought them] and you need a stiffer pair for more efficient ski-ing.
You can also check if the skis are too stiff for you. Shift all your weight on to one ski - your helper should not be able to move the paper, if they can then the skis are too stiff and you won't be able to press it down easily for a good kick. Check both skis.
Remove any old wax with proper wax remover, not white spirit which will dry the base out. Next sand the kick zone lightly with fine grade sandpaper, zigzagging down the ski.
Apply a base, either a specific base wax or a hard wax [green or blue], lightly ironing it in. When cool lightly and evenly crayon on the wax of the day then smooth out quickly using a cork.
It should be virtually invisible when you've finished. Repeat the process if you're going on a longer ski. Several light layers are better than one thick, lumpy one.