How to Wax Downhill Skis

In this article we will discuss a simple, easy, and effective way to wax your downhill skis for optimal performance. Waxing your skis is probably the single most important thing you can do for your new purchase to ensure a longer life span that performs. Regular waxing is also essential for speed. Even if you don’t like to go too fast, wax should regularly be applied, otherwise the skis will dry out and literally stick to the snow. This could cause a nasty injury to the skier!

It takes about 10 to 15 grams of hot wax for one pair of alpine skis, which means if you purchase a 100 gram wax pack, you will have 6-8 applications. We usually recommend hot wax application because it will last longer and give you a good base layer foundation. Rub on wax is only a quick fix and should only be used when you’re in a pinch.

  1. First you need to fix your skis onto a flat surface. Keeping your skis flat and secured is important so that you can easily apply the wax. Take a ski specific wax iron and heat it to a temperature hot enough to melt the wax, but not too hot that it burns the wax. If you see smoke you need to turn down the temperature. Wax is a petroleum product and is harmful if inhaled.
  2. Next, take your hard wax and melt a nice line of wax right down the middle of the ski. Try to keep a steady flow of wax so that it can cover the entire ski.
  3. Once you have a nice line of wax down your ski you will want to melt the wax. Rub your iron across the entire surface of the ski, from tip to tail. Take your time and melt the wax into the base.
  4. After the wax cools for at least 30 minutes take a sharp plastic scrapper, we prefer plastic to glass because it won’t cause as much damage to your skis. Scrape the wax off from tip to tail. There shouldn’t be much excess wax, but it won’t be completely devoid of wax. Repeat this three or four times until the surface is nice and even.
  5. The final step is to brush the wax with a heavy duty scouring pad from the structure of the base. This will allow water to slide through it more easily.
  6. Your skis are finished and can be used immediately!

Tips for Waxing your Downhill Skis

  • Be sure your skis are at room temperature before starting the waxing process. If they are cold, the hot wax and iron could permanently damage the base.
  • Higher performance skis need to be waxed more often than entry level skis. Entry level skis have bases that are designed to hold onto wax for a longer period of time, but they don’t go as fast as intermediate or advanced skis.
  • Always wax in a well ventilated area.
  • Consider waxing your skis in a heated garage or basement. It makes a mess as you scrape the wax off, so if it’s done in your parent’s living room, be sure to lay down a drop cloth!
  • The plastic scraper should have a sharp, 90-degree edge when you scrape. Use a metal file to flatten the edge of the plastic scraper for efficient wax removal.

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