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Should I get my new skis waxed before skiing?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Bought my first pair of skis back in April after the last season, and I have always rented skis before. Do I need to get them waxed before using them? If so, is it usually better in resort?

Thanks!
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Yes, and yes.
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telford_mike wrote:
Yes, and yes.


Perfect, thank you!
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No

You should wax them yourself. Unless for some reason you are unable to work an iron.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@julia6, there is no correct answer here. I've never waxed newly bought ski's. Some people argue the finish wax or shipping wax isn't up to scratch but it seems illogical that a manufacturer would turn out a ski that isn't ready for use doesn't it?

Getting skis waxed in resort is usually simpler and more convenient - unless you have somewhere good locally.

I DIY but then I have 4 sets of skis and two snowboards in the family!
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Quote:

it seems illogical that a manufacturer would turn out a ski that isn't ready for use doesn't it?

Well, a lot of them ship without bindings.....
Controlling costs of production is also a factor...
Also I guess some ski shops probably quite like offering an initial service as a value add on new skis (either as an extra charge to make money or 'free' as an incentive to purchase)
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I skied a week on mine without prepping them and they were fine.
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Probably not.
When you have been skiing previously if you could tell the difference between the glide at the start of the week and the end of the week then you will probably want to start with your new skis freshly waxed. If you couldn't tell the difference then I wouldn't bother, just take some Zardoz or equivalent with you so you can top up the wax if you do start to notice.

My local independent ski tech does a new ski wax for £10 and throws in a free boot to binding fitting/check as well which if you have bought your skis online would be worth having checked professionally.
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@julia6, ski them for a week, get them waxed on the last afternoon before coming home. You won't have dulled the edges to need them dressed. If you feel them dragging during the week, have them waxed in resort or buy a 'Zardos' puck. Manufacturers sell their gear ready to ride so just chill Very Happy
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New skis come ready to user 'out of the wrapper' no need to wax them, just enjoy. You should easily get 6-7 days before they require a wax.
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It does depend on the ski though, some come better prepared than others and some have very little if anything done to set them up, particularly race skis. So you probably need to check the edges and bases to see how they have been prepared.

Personally, I always service a new ski, wax and edges, to make sure it is how I want it set up, but I have the equipment to do it myself.
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I had a similar question, having also just bought my first pair of skis: is there a huge difference in quality of waxing between ski shops? There's an Ellis Brigham with a workshop locally enough to be more convenient than finding somewhere in resort so was intending to just take it there, but have read elsewhere (from DIYers) that basic shop waxes often don't last that long and @spyderjon's recommendation that new skis need "loading up" with wax. Sadly The Piste Office is too far away to get Jon's 'new ski base prep', and as I have one pair, ski 1-2 weeks a year and have limited space I'd far rather pay a professional to do them than buy the equipment and learn to do them myself, at least for the moment.

I'm not an expert skier at all but I do like to ski fast and have definitely noticed a difference by the end of the week when hiring skis, so while I don't need some over-the-top race prep I'd like to get them thoroughly waxed to give them a good base to start with. Would taking it to my local ski shop or a random one in resort likely be OK for doing this? Are places in resort likely to be significantly different/better than a UK chain with a workshop?

Sorry if these are silly questions, other than spending a couple of hours on Google I'm a complete noob when it comes to servicing skis.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Sun 18-11-18 21:57; edited 4 times in total
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I too have just bought a new pair of skis and had the same question. I came to the conclusion that there are lots of different opinions but decided to invest in some kit and do it myself. I made a DIY vice and bought some basic service stuff for about £50. It has proved to be both interesting and enjoyable and I would thoroughly recommend it (especially with beer in hand🍺).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Some pretty scary answers here........... Whew.

Yep, never wax 'em, never detune, for that matter tune 'em. Skis are just fine as is. "Perfect", right outta the factory. Forever, as a matter of "fact".

* A beyond renowned ski shop in the US, who have been around for over sixty years have always and even to this day (where product is supposedly perfect as many like to believe) without exception always (after full inspection of any ski they take in) tune and wax their skis for any and all buyers.

Their reason.............., "Manufacturers do a great job building skis. They however are subject to cutting corners when it comes to base and edge preparation. Upon arrival all of our skis are stone ground "flat" receiving the patented Montana Crystal Glide Finish, specific base and side edge bevels are set and polished. Lastly, the bases are hot waxed and brushed."


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Mon 3-12-18 2:32; edited 1 time in total
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Waxing skis is a waste of time and money.

Snow friction scrubs off the wax in minutes.

As soon as you slide, the wax is scrubbed away.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Whitegold, life here would be so much duller without your 'bishop bashing' Toofy Grin

Should we take it for 'granted' that you know all about the abrasive and friction coefficient of every snowfall world wide?
I'm sure you know the hydrophobic values of every wax and all base materials!
And, of course the granular structure with its concomitant capillary effect at both macro and micro . . . possibly even quantum levels of those base materials . . . I'm shocked at your perspicacity Shocked
Equally your macro level observation of molecular cavitation with the 'structure' of the ski base surface that facilitates the glide effect . . . All 'old hat' to you.


Dear gawd rolling eyes not even the Hoover wants to shag you . . . But don't let that put you off posting, we all need a laugh and I've some free time now to find you Madeye-Smiley [LiamNeesonMode/]
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For those who say that new skis come ready waxed and ready to go - a question-

When the manufacturer puts a sticker on the base of the ski, do they wax the ski first or put the sticker on then wax over it ?
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Drogue wrote:
I'm not an expert skier at all but I do like to ski fast

As an aside, and not wishing to jump to conclusions but a statement like that worries me.... but anyway....

Drogue wrote:
so while I don't need some over-the-top race prep I'd like to get them thoroughly waxed to give them a good base to start with. Would taking it to my local ski shop or a random one in resort likely be OK for doing this? Are places in resort likely to be significantly different/better than a UK chain with a workshop?

You really need to get recommendations otherwise you just have to hope for the best. You do get the occasional horror story. And you always have to bear in my mind it's a commodity service. The vast majority will not give it the same TLC you or I would do when DIYing.
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@Roguevfr, sticker goes on last
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@Layne, it is a crap-shoot on the quality of ski prep. For the most part in Europe, it will be done by people with some knowledge of both the condition requirements and the physics of how the ski/board interaction with the snow. An 'in-house' tech is more likely to know what they're doing than a shop that sends everything to a remote industrial park along with a thousand other skis.

I really recommend that anyone with even a remote interest in their equipment go on one of spyderjon's tech days. You don'the need to buy the kit but you will learn how and why what needs to be done to keep your gear in good sliding condition.

Our here in Land o' the Dim . . . Unless you know what you're doing, you will get f'k'd Evil or Very Mad
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Masque wrote:

Our here in Land o' the Dim . . . Unless you know what you're doing, you will get f'k'd Evil or Very Mad


My kids and some of their mates used to "work" at the local shop "servicing" skis and snowboards on an overnight shift after school to earn some extra cash. Which really meant they hung out with their mates getting stoned and trying to blow up the base grinding machine.

I bought my own gear to do it myself Very Happy
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Layne wrote:
Drogue wrote:
I'm not an expert skier at all but I do like to ski fast

As an aside, and not wishing to jump to conclusions but a statement like that worries me.... but anyway....

I think I expressed myself poorly as I'm far from a boy racer! I was just meaning I'm not a ski racer so have no need of the intensive waxing they do but ski fast enough to notice something of a difference between how well skis glide when freshly waxed skis glide and after a week on them, in response to Timc's comment about waxing new skis not being worth it if you don't notice the difference.

Layne wrote:
Drogue wrote:
so while I don't need some over-the-top race prep I'd like to get them thoroughly waxed to give them a good base to start with. Would taking it to my local ski shop or a random one in resort likely be OK for doing this? Are places in resort likely to be significantly different/better than a UK chain with a workshop?

You really need to get recommendations otherwise you just have to hope for the best. You do get the occasional horror story. And you always have to bear in my mind it's a commodity service. The vast majority will not give it the same TLC you or I would do when DIYing.

I feared as such. It's a shame as it's so cheap compared to the time investment in DIY that I'd be happy to pay more for a non-commodity service, and I imagine I'm far from the only person that's willing to pay for it to be done with care but not to the extent of learning to DIY. It's not that I'm particularly wealthy, I was just surprised how cheap places seem to charge for them.
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I'd say new skis would be fine being skied the first day and then stick them in for a wax in the resort.

I have to admit I shortcut slightly in that I'll give a ski a quick skim of wax, scrape it, then rewax and carry out about 5 sessions with the iron allowing a few minutes between each warming. That should let plenty of wax penetrate before allowing the ski to fully cool and doing a proper scrape. Like a poor mans's hotbox treatment.

Pretty simple. And if the bases are dry I'll give them a quick wipe with Zardoz before applying the wax, it's an old trick, can't do any harm and does seem to help with the glide a week or two later. I know that compared with a lot of mates skis mine definitely outrun them on the flats.
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Drogue wrote:
I think I expressed myself poorly as I'm far from a boy racer! I was just meaning I'm not a ski racer so have no need of the intensive waxing they do but ski fast enough to notice something of a difference between how well skis glide when freshly waxed skis glide and after a week on them, in response to Timc's comment about waxing new skis not being worth it if you don't notice the difference.

My family certainly notice the first time out after I've DIYed the skis but equally they aren't complaing on day 4/5 they need their skis edging/waxing. Maybe if I had the facilities at hand, maybe if I had the finances to take into a shop, I'd do it. Because of course it's always nice to ski on freshly prepped skis. But then new skis are in many ways freshly prepped. I've certainly never had new skis that looked like 5 day since last serviced skis Happy

Drogue wrote:
Layne wrote:
Drogue wrote:
so while I don't need some over-the-top race prep I'd like to get them thoroughly waxed to give them a good base to start with. Would taking it to my local ski shop or a random one in resort likely be OK for doing this? Are places in resort likely to be significantly different/better than a UK chain with a workshop?

You really need to get recommendations otherwise you just have to hope for the best. You do get the occasional horror story. And you always have to bear in my mind it's a commodity service. The vast majority will not give it the same TLC you or I would do when DIYing.

I feared as such. It's a shame as it's so cheap compared to the time investment in DIY that I'd be happy to pay more for a non-commodity service, and I imagine I'm far from the only person that's willing to pay for it to be done with care but not to the extent of learning to DIY. It's not that I'm particularly wealthy, I was just surprised how cheap places seem to charge for them.

Well, it's like anything else isn't it. Generally you pay for what you get... on the other hand you don't always. It's a bit like car mechanics. My last two mechanics have been one man bands working from home. The sort of guys that know you will come back if it's not right and rely on loyalty/word of mouth for their business. There will be maintenance shops that do the job properly, you just have to know them and perhaps be prepared to put yourself out a bit to use them (i.e., they may not be the nearest, may keep odd hours, etc.)
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Yes you should definitely wax them. Ideally 3-4 times before you use them.
Wax,iron, wax, iron, scrape. Then repeat at least once.
Best to use a non fluoro wax eg DataWax Butane HC for these prep coats

Doing this helps them run better and helps any new wax last longer.
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Having had a few pair of new skis i have never had to have them waxed as they are already done, i have bought from reputable and skilled outlets and they also say nooooo.. however depends on the time of year you are using them on their first outing, if its very cold then it maybe worth having them done in resort on arrival, as the manufacturers wax will normally be all weather stuff... you will need wax on them as your skis dont run very well without out, do not believe it when anyone says the wax comes off within a few runs... its a very fine coating and it takes a while for it to wear away UNLESS you ski in slushy conditions, as that does tend to remove the wax quickly.
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On base tuning page of ThePisteOffice.co.uk DIY tuning guide there's a whoe sub-section on steps for new skis. Just saying.


Will you damage your new skis if you use them without waxing? No.
Will you get the best out of them if you so? Yes.
Is it worth the time/effort for you? That's up to you.
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gordonc wrote:
Yes you should definitely wax them. Ideally 3-4 times before you use them.

I'm calling BS on this.
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You know it makes sense.
for the time it takes to do it in advance I see no downsides. The above referenced article by spyderjon tells you why.
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I'd do my own side angles. A lot of new skis seem to be coming out of the factories in a less than ideal state of tune.
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AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
I'd do my own side angles. A lot of new skis seem to be coming out of the factories in a less than ideal state of tune.

I'm calling BS on this also.
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Layne wrote:
AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
I'd do my own side angles. A lot of new skis seem to be coming out of the factories in a less than ideal state of tune.

I'm calling BS on this also.

No it's not BS at all. I handle numerous pairs of brand new skis every week and it's common to have hanging burrs left from the factory tune.
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Bases : Sintered or Extruded?

It's a key factor!!!
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Layne wrote:
I'm calling BS on this also.


I'm not talking night and day 'shocking' but enough hanging burr to damage peoples confidence in their skis, and possibly, to damage themselves.
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AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
Layne wrote:
I'm calling BS on this also.


I'm not talking night and day 'shocking' but enough hanging burr to damage peoples confidence in their skis, and possibly, to damage themselves.

So you are saying skiing manufacturers routinely ship there skis in a poor state of tune, that means the purchaser thinks a) they are carp and b) could mean they end up on a blood wagon?

Seems really dumb to me. As a manufacturer I would assume that the skis are going to hit the slope untouched aside from having bindings fitted.

It's like making a car that needs to go in the garage for a service as soon as I buy it.

Actually I am trying to think of something that I'd buy that would immediately require me to service it so that it was useable.
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Layne wrote:
AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
Layne wrote:
I'm calling BS on this also.


I'm not talking night and day 'shocking' but enough hanging burr to damage peoples confidence in their skis, and possibly, to damage themselves.

So you are saying skiing manufacturers routinely ship there skis in a poor state of tune, that means the purchaser thinks a) they are carp and b) could mean they end up on a blood wagon?.....

Actually yes, that is the case. I wouldn't call it routinely but it happens way more often than it should. It only needs a relatively small hanging burr in the right place to make a ski unskiable on hardpack.
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Layne wrote:
It's like making a car that needs to go in the garage for a service as soon as I buy it.


Actually it's exactly the same for cars. When it gets dropped at the dealer a new car should go through a pre-delivery inspection where things that slipped past the factory checks/happened between factory and dealer can be picked up.
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spyderjon wrote:
Layne wrote:
AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
Layne wrote:
I'm calling BS on this also.


I'm not talking night and day 'shocking' but enough hanging burr to damage peoples confidence in their skis, and possibly, to damage themselves.

So you are saying skiing manufacturers routinely ship there skis in a poor state of tune, that means the purchaser thinks a) they are carp and b) could mean they end up on a blood wagon?.....

Actually yes, that is the case. I wouldn't call it routinely but it happens way more often than it should. It only needs a relatively small hanging burr in the right place to make a ski unskiable on hardpack.

Fair enough. I trust your superior knowledge. I am still not prepping my sons new skis. For a start the workbench is constantly covered in his carp. And everybody elses is already done (cos they're not new...).
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Layne wrote:
As a manufacturer I would assume that the skis are going to hit the slope untouched aside from having bindings fitted.


We live in the age of out sourcing. Brands don't always do their own manufacture.
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spyderjon wrote:
Layne wrote:
AndAnotherThing.. wrote:
I'd do my own side angles. A lot of new skis seem to be coming out of the factories in a less than ideal state of tune.

I'm calling BS on this also.

No it's not BS at all. I handle numerous pairs of brand new skis every week and it's common to have hanging burrs left from the factory tune.

Apologies for the n00b question, but is there an easy way for someone without specialist equipment to check for this? I'll be getting my new skis waxed but was intending to leave it at that. I saw on your website that hanging burrs may snag some tissue rubbed down the edge - is it enough to do this to check?
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