Waxing Tips

Don't be afraid to learn how to wax your own skis. We can teach you. See our ski training classes and clinics.

Waxing TipsKick Waxing

  • Find the kick zone.
  • Grip wax is applied to the middle section of the ski. This "kick zone" extends from just below your binding's heel plate to about midway up the tip of the ski. The exact length of the kick zone varies due to snow conditions. If you're not sure how long your kick zone should be, bring your skis in and we'll help you.

Hard wax or klister (the gooey stuff)

Hard wax comes in the little tins and it used on snow that has never melted. Klister is for snow that has melted and frozen again.

Applying Hard wax:
At home, after you have glide waxed the tip and tails of your skis, crayon some green hard wax onto your kick zone. Actually color the area in with wax. Then iron the wax onto your base for 30 seconds or so, until the wax is spread evenly over the zone. Let the wax cool and then buff it with a cork until it has a glossy finish. Now you have a base to begin with.

At the trailhead:
Crayon on the wax of the day, and rub your cork in one direction so you don't create excess friction. If you are slipping or not getting enough kick, try another layer and extend your kick zone farther toward the tip of the ski. If you are still slipping, go to the next warmer wax. If you are sticking too much: you need to scrape the wax off and start fresh with a colder wax.

Remember: You can always add a warmer temperature soft wax OVER a colder temperature hard wax. Here is an easy way to remember this: have you ever tried to add peanut butter over the jelly?

Applying Klister Wax:
The key with klister wax is not to put on too much. Apply it in small dollops. Then smooth the klister down the ski base with a klister spreader until you have a smooth, thin layer covering the kick zone. Put your skis outside to cool for a few minutes and you're ready to ski.

Glide Waxing

Skating skis should be glide or hot waxed their entire length. Classic skis should be glide waxed on the tip and tails only. Wax your skis often. The bases should always appear black and shiny. If they are white at all, they are void of wax. Think of your ski bases as a sponge. The more wax you iron in the more it absorbs and protects the bases.

Here is how it's done:

  • Brush skis from tip to tail with fibertex (Scotchbrite).
  • Drip the desired wax using an iron that is hot enough to melt the wax, but not so hot it smokes. Hold the iron just above the ski and touch the wax to the iron and let it drip from tip to tail. Classic skis only have the tip and tail waxed. Remember: warmer waxes melt fast and don't need as much heat. Cold waxes need high heat and harden fast, so do half of the ski base at a time. Keep the iron moving and iron just until the wax is melted into the ski bases.
  • Scrape the skis. Using a groove scraper, scrape the grooves and edges of the base. Then let it cool. The wax will harden and turn white. Use a flat acrylic scraper and scrape off the rest of the wax. It will come off like peeling paint. Try and get most of the heavy stuff. Don't over scrape. Let the brush do the rest.
  • Brush your skis. Use a nylon brush for most waxes and shine the base to look like an old record. A horsehair brush works with cold waxes and any fluorated wax.
  • Wipe down the ski with a rag.
  • Your skis are waxed and ready to hit the trail.