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Ski wax vs candle wax

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Ski wax vs candle wax

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
When I started waxing my own skis, I first tried the commercial ski waxes available. I then moved on to cheap candle wax, and have not yet found a reason to return to the more expensive commercial ski waxes.

I understand that the commercial waxes contain some flurocarbons or surfactants which mean that less of the wax is eroded and there is also more water repulsion. I understand the theory.

In practice however, if you are not trying to shave 1 millisecond off a downhill run, why would you use the more expensive commercial ski waxes than say candle wax?

Is the answer similar to why people by branded clothing as opposed to something from Primark?

rolling eyes
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'm no expert but my guess would be, it's like the difference between Kendal mint cake and chocolate cake. They may both have the word cake in there but they literally have nothing else in common Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Are there any experts out there, or are you convinced by the well though out arguments of fastandicy ?

rolling eyes
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I've skied on candle wax in a fridge (Hemel I think) as an experiment.
I was surprised how well they ran for the first half of the session but it wore off to quickly and by the end I was not getting any benefit.
I could not see how anything longer than a couple of hours can be skied with candle wax, ski wax lasts far better.

fastandicy's argument is well thought out and explained in a clear and concise manner, I applaud it Smile
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Bigtipper, I also have a compelling argument about the difference between engine oil and extra virgin olive oil if it assists you in salad preparation NehNeh
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I see, so you are saying that it wears off faster than ski wax. Do you have any empirical data other than Dwarf Vader, who says it all wore off in 2 hours with candle wax. Whereas on the same surface and conditions, it lasted 10 x longer (because that is the difference in price)

I can't say I agree with candle wax lasting only two hours. Perhaps if you were skiing on rocks and mud maybe, but on pisted snow candle wax lasts quite long.

rolling eyes
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Bigtipper, Fridge snow does tend to be be more coarse than a fresh dump of the real stuff, I still would not ski on candle wax. My current wax will last 3/4 days I just cannot see candle wax lasting a day.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ear wax is a lot better and lasts longer than candle wax Very Happy
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Timbobaggins, that's because it tastes so bad no one will eat it.
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Bigtipper, I have used candle wax (actually nightlights) on dry slopes in the past. It isn't all that different to hydrocarbon ski waxes designed for warm conditions.

If it makes you happy to feel that you are saving a few pence then carry on.
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If you are happy rjs, paying £10 for something which costs £1, with no real difference in performance for the average user, then I will continue to save a few pence every time I wax my skis. Of course if you only ski once a year, then I suppose you will not save much.

Ear wax is too soft, that is a ludicrous suggestion Timbobaggins.

I have tried furniture polish on top of the candle wax. It makes it slightly more slippy due to the flurocarbons and surfactants in furniture polish. I suppose you will tell me now that furniture polish does not last more than a couple of hours! (on the back of the furniture polish it says "do not use on floors and baths as this can make them slippy": it does not say "do not use on skis because this will make them slippy" : conclusion use furniture polish on skis)

Laughing
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Bigtipper wrote:
I have tried furniture polish on top of the candle wax. It makes it slightly more slippy due to the flurocarbons and surfactants in furniture polish. I suppose you will tell me now that furniture polish does not last more than a couple of hours! (on the back of the furniture polish it says "do not use on floors and baths as this can make them slippy": it does not say "do not use on skis because this will make them slippy" : conclusion use furniture polish on skis)

Laughing

You might laugh, but some friends (whose daughters have skied in the GB children's squad) used to bring a bottle of green magic gunk to dry-slope races as last minute base prep. We know it included Mr Sheen and washing-up liquid but they never divulged the whole recipe. wink
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Why bother with wax?

http://epubl.luth.se/1402-1757/2006/03/LTU-LIC-0603-SE.pdf

http://kuzmin.se/pgs/scrapers_engl.html
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Bigtipper, may I suggest an experiment? Wax one ski with candle wax and the other with a snow sport wax. See how they ski, swapping left and right from time to time. When needed rewax the skis but ensure the candle wax ski only gets candle wax and similarly for the other ski. Please report your findings back here on Snowheads.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I read through the paper on cross country skis, and it does seem to confirm what has already been discussed. That candle wax is softer, and so may not last quite as long as ski wax which may include candle waxes along with other harder wearing waxes.

The paper also compares old style skis without wax and these produce slower speeds (due to more friction) initially, but eventually outperform the waxed skis. (presumably they were not waxed during the testing period)

So why bother with wax at all? You would be better off skiing on old style skis, accepting the initially lower speeds, and saving a fortune by not needing to wax or service skis so often due to the graphite base.

I still think candle wax is fine if you apply it more frequently though! I may try rubbing some vaseline on top to see if I can reduce the porosity of the wax!

rolling eyes
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Keeping Bees could save you a fortune, and think of all the free honey!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Bigtipper, Can I suggest that you consider running your car with standard cooking oil versus Castrol High Performance synthetic oil and whilst not running the car at maximum from say Manchester to London you just drive at the speed limit? You might make it, you might not. You may have to replace the oil every 25 miles, maybe not for 500.

Running your skis on candle wax will perhaps do the job, but for how long, especially in warmer weather when wax grades can make the difference between sticking, tearing a knee component or simply making your skiing safer and more enjoyable? I use Zardoz not wax when itís slushy at the end of the season, applied before skiing down to the lower levels to avoid the sticky-stop-start fiasco.

Itís possible weíve all been conned but if it was possible to run you expensive skis safely and with just as much fun on candle wax donít you perhaps think we would all be doing it?

BTW did you just rub the candle along the skis a couple of times or did you prep the skis normally, apply the wax with an iron and then scrape brush etc?


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 16-10-11 18:19; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

Wax one ski with candle wax and the other with a snow sport wax. See how they ski, swapping left and right from time to time.

I did this kind of experiment, with proper wax, one ski scraped, the other ski not. I chucked the skis at random on the snow, put them on and couldn't tell the difference. (Yes, I do know that that wouldn't work on freshly fallen powder, but how often do we encounter that?).

So I don't scrape. It makes such a mess. The local ski shop, when they prepped my skis for summer storage, the first season we were out here, told me there wouldn't be any need to scrape them, at the beginning of the next season, so I figured it probably wasn't critical for the kind of skiing I do.

Most of us "coarse skiers" are not able to make the fine distinctions which more experienced people can make, or to profit from beautifully prepared equipment. We do our own now, we did Jon's terrific course, we do use proper wax but we don't faff too much over it.
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altis, Thanks for posting that paper
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Bigtipper, Nothing, if saving money using candles is your thing then all credit to you sir. Candle wax has been used for years. Be aware that paraffin candle wax is fine for cold conditions but not so for warm conditions as it comes of fast. In warmer conditions it also tends to be sticky so can collect impurities and that can lead to damage to the polyethylene (not that this affects most unless the Sahara sand hits us or you ski though lift grease etc)
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Bigtipper, Just on the point of cost - both myself and my 11yr old are involved in Dry slope racing - he to a far higher level than me- and train 5 sessions a week between us so 10-12 hrs with no faffing/chatting, this means waxing 3 sets of skis at least twice weekly mostly more often. In the past season I have used 4 x 200g of 4matt wax and 4 x 200g universal(pink) wax both from skiracing.co.uk and total has cost me £40 - just personally I feel that we are getting great value and am also confident that our quite expensive (by my standards) race skis are being protected at not much cost, but each to their own - throw in a couple of pucks of Zardoz and some homemade gunk and call it £60 for the season or £6 per month - I also have some expensive race wax for snow races but they don't happen as often.

pam w, We scrape the base coats but just iron in the 4matt as smooth as possible, remove the excess from the edges, and let the dendix do the scraping - personally I enjoy servicing skis but try not to get too anal about it.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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Bigtipper wrote:
When I started waxing my own skis, I first tried the commercial ski waxes available. I then moved on to cheap candle wax, and have not yet found a reason to return to the more expensive commercial ski waxes.

I understand that the commercial waxes contain some flurocarbons or surfactants which mean that less of the wax is eroded and there is also more water repulsion. I understand the theory.

In practice however, if you are not trying to shave 1 millisecond off a downhill run, why would you use the more expensive commercial ski waxes than say candle wax?

Is the answer similar to why people by branded clothing as opposed to something from Primark?

rolling eyes


You are worrying about the food before looking after the engine. What kind of P-Tex do you have?
I personally would not cry to much about wax as it works best when exfoliating water(melted snow) stick to b2b and pledge.
Have you ever tried bikini?
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briand6868 wrote:
Just on the point of cost - both myself and my 11yr old are involved in Dry slope racing - he to a far higher level than me- and train 5 sessions a week between us so 10-12 hrs with no faffing/chatting, this means waxing 3 sets of skis at least twice weekly mostly more often.


Are you convinced all this waxing is making any difference?

My 10yr trains 2-3 times an week on plastic and during the (summer) season races most weekends - sometimes sat and sun. I make sure his skis are kept sharp, but I reckon I wax his racing pair only once every two to three weeks at most - and his training pair hardly ever! But from his results this clearly does not slow him down - he won his age group in 9 out of 10 of the English outdoor Club Nationals this year.

Maybe the excessive amount of Aquagel he uses makes up for the lack of waxing.
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Wow.

I'm as much of an obsessive ski tech geek as the next guy (lets be honest, much more so), but researching the chemical components of different waxes is ridiculous for anyone who isn't a WC racer.

I consider myself a reasonable skier, yet only get my skis serviced once or twice a season. It really doesn't make that much difference, apart form the worst of sheet ice.

Bigtipper, I suggest you ski more powder. Firstly, it'll help chill out your 'unique' (****ed up/crazy/OCD seemed rude) brain out some, secondly this sort of crap is irrelevant in it, thirdly - you might just have some fun.
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Anyway, who needs base prep if you're always on your edges? wink
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Jivebaby wrote:
Bigtipper, Can I suggest that you consider running your car with standard cooking oil versus Castrol High Performance synthetic oil and whilst not running the car at maximum from say Manchester to London you just drive at the speed limit? You might make it, you might not. You may have to replace the oil every 25 miles, maybe not for 500.

Running your skis on candle wax will perhaps do the job, but for how long, especially in warmer weather when wax grades can make the difference between sticking, tearing a knee component or simply making your skiing safer and more enjoyable? I use Zardoz not wax when itís slushy at the end of the season, applied before skiing down to the lower levels to avoid the sticky-stop-start fiasco.

Itís possible weíve all been conned but if it was possible to run you expensive skis safely and with just as much fun on candle wax donít you perhaps think we would all be doing it?

BTW did you just rub the candle along the skis a couple of times or did you prep the skis normally, apply the wax with an iron and then scrape brush etc?


I normally do not scrape all the old wax off first. I just give the base a clean, fill any deep gouges with some black stick stuff which you light and it drips some kind of solid very hard plastic type wax in the gouges. Then I would smooth that down before applying a top coat of wax with an iron. (it is one the old style electric flat irons with no steam outlets)

Then the wax is scraped with a plastic paddle, brushed first with a dishwashing brush, and then with a finer nailbrush, and finally I use an old sock to buff it smoother.

The edges are sharpened with a ski sharpening file, and if I had any of that liquid ski wax which you apply just before skiing I would add some too. I'm sure I have some somewhere....Oh yes it is called liquid fluro wax (had it for at least 10 years now) I suspect that helps harden the candle wax?

I can see your argument about cars might make sense, but we are talking about skis and you have not provided any evidence that candle wax is not suitable. All you have done is suggest that it might not be suitable. Until there is any reason to change from candle wax to something more expensive, I cannot see that your nonsence unverified arguments will sway me much!



rolling eyes
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Quote:

nyway, who needs base prep if you're always on your edges?

.... or always on my head Confused Laughing
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If you can't tell the difference then that's all that matters. Unlike Lidl and Primark clothes shoppers the use of whatever wax you use is not visibly obvious unless of course you are continually overtaken on very long flattish schusses by every tom dick and harry, most of the ski school and the tosser in the pink hat with the twin tips with white dots on. Certainly the use of candles enables bipolar utilization whilst waxing, bringing a new twist on, burning the candle at both ends.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
you can take some candles with you to wax while out..... and have a heat source if you get stranded Laughing
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RobW, To me it definitely makes a big difference in base protection, I've always done it so can't compare his times waxed/non waxed, surely there must be some "base burn" near the edges of the skis which can't be doing them much good.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
AlanB1976 wrote:
you can take some candles with you to wax while out..... and have a heat source if you get stranded Laughing


...or if things get romantic... Toofy Grin
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

I'm no expert but my guess would be, it's like the difference between Kendal mint cake and chocolate cake. They may both have the word cake in there but they literally have nothing else in common

How do you applly the kendal mint cake to the base of the skis? Is it rubbed cold or applied with an iron? Looking at the low cost of chocolate cake compared to candles or ski wax I suppose it is worth a go, but don't those brown streaks look unattractive on the snow?

John
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well duh, you make a white chocolate cake.... Personally I'd go for cheesecake instead tho. NehNeh
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Well I collect all the ends of the Christmas candles at parties, Little Angel but without using a stop watch to verify, the red seem just a tad faster than the green wax. I never scrape. wink
BTW which one is the tongue in cheek smiley!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
The candle wax lasted 3 days skiing before I decided to re-wax my skis this year. I got some proper ski wax this time, and scraped off and used a wax remover to clean the base before applying it.

I did top up the candle wax with some liquid wax, as well as some "not wax" from Zardoz. So perhaps that is why it lasts longer than other posters have suggested.

I have noticed when applying the ski wax that it is harder to melt than candle wax, and feels like it is stronger than candle wax.

This is the first time I have ever used a wax remover, and it certainly helped remove a lot of dirty wax. This may make some difference!

rolling eyes
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Crucially, though, was the candle scented?
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Bigtipper, RobW,

Just thought I would chip in what we are doing for our racing 9yr old

My OH does his edges a lot. But we do much less of the waxing. We have just signed up for a guy who will wax up to 8 pairs of one families skis for $199 CAD for the entire season for unlimited waxing. Seems like good deal to us. Even so, the idea is we will only get his race skis waxed at most once or twice a month; probably get them waxed before his races. This is all for on snow.
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I have been known to ski as if I was on four-candles...
Coat please. rolling eyes
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frenchst wrote:
Crucially, though, was the candle scented?


Just the basic cheap white candle was used previously. The reason I decided to use the candle wax, was that when you ski on areas which are rocky, heather and badly pisted (or unpisted), your skis tend to get large scrapes and gouges out of the wax anyway regardless of what you wax them with.

It gets a bit expensive waxing your skis regularly on Scottish pistes if you use ski wax!

snowHead
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Bigtipper, Why do you use wax on your skis? Puzzled
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