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Do skis REALLY need wax ?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hey guys.

I'm starting my journey on the service-your-own-skis and after some study I came to a question: is it really necessary to wax your skis ?
I understand that if you want to go faster it will help you, but let's say you don't want to go faster, does waxing gives any advantage in your ski ? Does it really make your skis last longer Puzzled
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ermmm... yes, yes and yes.

I'm sure others will explain why.
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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?
Yes. They run smoother, the speed you go is determined by how much you turn.

If you ski in warm snow, cold snow or old snow the lack of wax is very noticeable.
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@AndreSilva, yes. As soon as you get off to the side of the piste you need wax. Otherwise snow sticks to the ski and then snow sticks to snow. Same was a winter tyre works. Then you just can't move. I made that mistake once. Happy
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
By off piste I mean just off to the side.
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Yes. I remember a cold day in Wagrain some years back. It had been a while since my skis were waxed and I could barely move even pointing my skis directly down the fall line. The snow sticks to the bases, you stop. Very frustrating. I was very glad of the 15 minutes service at the lift station.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
1. Wax makes ski bases hydrophobic - thus making turning easier and gliding smoother.

2. Wax stops the bases drying out - and thus help prevent the base pulling away from the edge.

3. Waxes are calibrated for different conditions:

Warm temperature ski wax is softer and adheres easily to the porous bases of your skis and snowboards. Because of this it lasts longer and is not easily worn away. This is good for dealing with wet granular snow in warmer conditions. But this would not be good for dealing with snow in cold and dry conditions.

As you ski or ride in warm temperatures the snow melts slightly from the friction of the base of your board sliding across the snow. This creates small amounts of water which creates a suction type friction slowing you down.

Warm temperature wax works by repelling the water much faster and easer than just your bare bases can. This reduces drag and increase their performance.

Cold temperature wax is harder and does not adhere as easily to the porous bases of your skis and snowboards. This means this wax will need to be applied more often as the dry sharp snowflakes scrape the bases it wears off faster.

In colder conditions the snowflakes are not wet or granular they are dry, pointed and jagged like a perfect looking snowflake. These sharp snowflakes would stick to this softer warm wax creating friction from drag and slow you down.

Cold temperature wax works by smoothing out the microscopic porous basses by filling in small gaps in allowing you to polish the surface smooth. This reduces drag and increase their performance.

As you ski or ride in cold temperatures the pointed and jagged powdery snow scrapes along your porous bases creating friction slowing you down.

All temperature wax has been designed to be the best of both worlds but that means it does not operate very well at either extreme. It has been blended to work best at temperatures between very very cold and very very warm.

Because of the way these waxes are blended they each perform optimally at different temperatures.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
You can comfortably ski for a lot longer without waxing than most people think - I've often gone 30-50 ski days between waxes on several pairs and the skis slide just fine. But there's no question that they do slide much better when freshly waxed.
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Wax makes a huge difference. If you give your skis a wax just before a week’s skiing, you’ll notice the amount of glide will reduce towards the end of the week. It becomes even more noticeable when trying to glide as far as possible onto a flatish section that requires polling.

You can top up your wax by using Zardoz. It doesn’t last very long, but is better than nothing. Most people who do the Pre Birthday Bash and Birthday Bash “double” get their skis waxed by a local guru at the end of the first week.
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@clarky999, v true. I think we waxed our skis once last season, after the pre-season wax, probs early March rolling eyes
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.. and a waxed ski resists damage much better than an unwaxed one.
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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.
Thanks a lot for all the info, fellow snowHeads helpful as always Very Happy
So I understood that waxing is a must, good!

Question: If I wax my skis today but only go for ski in December, do I need to re-wax or as long as I don't use them, the wax is good to go ?
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I`ve skied Lake Tahoe in mid November, they were still recruiting ski instructors for the season; it was that early!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The waxing evolution

- Do I need to wax?
- Better wax religiously at least twice a week.
- Oh I'll wax em when I get home
- hmm seem a bit dry oh crap forgot to wax
- still seem to work
- I really should wax
- I'll wax next season
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
The waxing evolution

- Do I need to wax?
- Better wax religiously at least twice a week.
- Oh I'll wax em when I get home
- hmm seem a bit dry oh crap forgot to wax
- still seem to work
- I really should wax
- I'll wax next season

Laughing Laughing Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead

http://youtube.com/v/fULNUr0rvEc
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
AndreSilva wrote:
Question: If I wax my skis today but only go for ski in December, do I need to re-wax or as long as I don't use them, the wax is good to go ?

Good to go. I think I did some of mine in March, shortly before the shutdown. I consider them ready for the next time. Skiing on them will readily reveal if that is in fact a lie and I actually forgot 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?
AndreSilva wrote:
Question: If I wax my skis today but only go for ski in December, do I need to re-wax or as long as I don't use them, the wax is good to go ?


Wax them now, but don't scrape them, just leave a nice thick layer of wax on. Scrape and brush just before you go skiing.
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Valkyrie wrote:
AndreSilva wrote:
Question: If I wax my skis today but only go for ski in December, do I need to re-wax or as long as I don't use them, the wax is good to go ?


Wax them now, but don't scrape them, just leave a nice thick layer of wax on. Scrape and brush just before you go skiing.


I get the skis waxed and edged after each trip ( usually more convenient to get them done overnight in resort on the last night we are there then to get them done in London later, then they are also nice and dry before they go into the bag for the trip home) and get them not to scrape but to leave a thick layer of wax on to store them until the next trip usually a year later. I don't even bother scraping before next use, just ski the excess off, they still seem to slide downhill.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@AndreSilva, a bit of a problem with asking questions on a ski forum is it’s full of enthusiasts that are obsessive about it Smile You’d believe that to even get started you need a quiver of at least three sets of skis, custom boot liners, custom insoles, full Gore-Tex shell clothing etc etc. Reality is plenty of people pootle around on skis that haven’t been sharpened or waxed for a decade.

But yes, I service my own skis. Mix of stuff bought from Jon at The Piste Office and locally here in Sweden Smile
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Quote:

You can comfortably ski for a lot longer without waxing than most people think - I've often gone 30-50 ski days between waxes on several pairs and the skis slide just fine. But there's no question that they do slide much better when freshly waxed.


The only maintenance you actually need to do is repair core shots and pay someone else to repair edges.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Themasterpiece, Spot on.
I showed my lads how to edge and wax their boards and do basic p-tex repairs.
They wax them in November, then again in Jan (when its cold) then again in late March.
They probably do 20-25 days between waxes, and for most people that's 4 ski trips worth.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Themasterpiece wrote:
@AndreSilva, a bit of a problem with asking questions on a ski forum is it’s full of enthusiasts that are obsessive about it Smile You’d believe that to even get started you need a quiver of at least three sets of skis, custom boot liners, custom insoles, full Gore-Tex shell clothing etc etc. Reality is plenty of people pootle around on skis that haven’t been sharpened or waxed for a decade.

FACTS Laughing
I really love everybody's enthusiasm though Very Happy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Do rentals ever get waxed?
I guess at the start and never again?
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harrim51 wrote:
Do rentals ever get waxed?
I guess at the start and never again?


To be fair lots of rental ops seem to run their stock over a belt waxer on receipt - not really a proper penetrating wax but it tarts them up for the next rental and takes about 30 secs to process a pair.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
harrim51 wrote:
Do rentals ever get waxed?
I guess at the start and never again?


To be fair lots of rental ops seem to run their stock over a belt waxer on receipt - not really a proper penetrating wax but it tarts them up for the next rental and takes about 30 secs to process a pair.


Ah thanks, I have seen people fiddling with wax and it looks like a long job hence the question.
I may well be making it up but I’m sure in Villars a million years ago there was some sort of machine at the top of the cable car, but it was so long ago and out first snow based adventure I could well have been mistaken.
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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.
I wax my skis before any trip, and on return, but while away, I use a spray or run on liquid wax from toko or swix . Simple job, takes 5 mins and makes a lot of difference on traverses, and run outs . Seems foolish to me not to wax after a long day.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
harrim51 wrote:
Do rentals ever get waxed?
I guess at the start and never again?
In BC I'd expect that they wax immediately you rent, if they're not already obviously already done.

Personally I notice lack of wax on piste after 3 or 4 days, depends on the snow and what I'm doing.
I never think about it until it's not right, which is how you know to fix it.

If you don't notice then obviously don't bother. Unless you're riding with me of course in which case you'd soon work it out.

For heli they will wax your gear every day.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
clarky999 wrote:
You can comfortably ski for a lot longer without waxing than most people think - I've often gone 30-50 ski days between waxes on several pairs and the skis slide just fine. But there's no question that they do slide much better when freshly waxed.
I don't wax very often, but there will be some conditions such as warm/wet snow, very cold snow, and sometimes old and/or artificial snow when having waxed skis, perhaps with a specific wax for those conditions, makes a world of differences. Late season skiing in warm, wet conditions can verge on unskiable without wax.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
rob@rar wrote:
Late season skiing in warm, wet conditions can verge on unskiable without wax.

Doesn’t even have to be that late in the season, and the wax may not even help. I went night skiing shortly before the shutdown. It was raining at my house, so I expected it to be snowing up the mountain especially as it had gone dark, and indeed it had snowed about 20cm that afternoon. But by the time we got there, the temperature had warmed up and the snow was now heavy rain, soaking in to the unskiied piste. It felt like soggy candy floss, and even my freshly waxed skies wouldn’t go! Nightmare. Only did two runs rolling eyes
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Scarlet, skiing in the rain should be made illegal.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
rob@rar wrote:
@Scarlet, skiing in the rain should be made illegal.

We got rained on, in Les Arcs. in the first week in Feb this year! As Victor Meldrew would say........ Sad
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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?
I think it depends on the snow. Mine get done once a year. Doesn't seem to make very much difference? I live in interior BC.
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All this waxing lyrical and no mentions of legs etc etc etc... Toofy Grin
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I am a bit more anal about this - comes from having racing kids... I wax mine after 2 or 3 days of skiing. Keep in mind, that the skis glide MUCH better over time if you wax reguarly
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I’m not really an anal waxer. Like to maintain a good structure if things are a bit moist, which is usually sufficient to ensure a good glide.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
hang11 wrote:
I’m not really an anal waxer. Like to maintain a good structure if things are a bit moist, which is usually sufficient to ensure a good glide.


This sounds all wrong!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

@Scarlet, skiing in the rain should be made illegal.


@rob@rar, You are obviously spending too much time in a fridge!
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@AndreSilva, Yes, learnt to wax them a few years back and now we have move to boards it is hugely noticeable on the flat when I have freshly waxed our boards. Edges I'm not so keen on doing, thats hard work, but waxing worth the effort.
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I'm quite a neglectful owner, I always end up putting them away thinking I might get one more spring ski before they need waxing for storage so best wait. Then suddenly it's winter again and I'm getting them out the day before we're due to leave and scraping off the rust.
I've used a heat gun, some machine-bed wax and a gummy stone for the edges before now as a last minute service at work. They seemed absolutely fine. I always enjoy doing the edge n wax it's a satisfying task and feels great when they're all fresh, sharp n slippy.
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