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Base Prep for Advanced Skiers

Applying glide wax by dripping on with iron

Scraping skis after storage

Base Prep
1. For new skis and for old skis that have absorbed a lot of impurities into the base, clean with a soft paraffin glide wax. Then scrape while the wax is still warm. Use a sharp plastic scraper and scrape lightly from tip to tail. With old skis you may rub down with wax remover to take away any remaining wax. For new skis with factory stone ground base, clean with hot wax three or four times.

2. Remove P-Tex hair with a metal scraper and polish the base with fibertex.
Note: The most under-rated and abused pieces of equipment in the average waxers box are the scrapers. Both plastic and metal.
Plastic -- keep them clean, always. Use wax remover and wipe off any risidue. Keep them sharp on one side and dulled (or detuned on the other).
Metal -- there is no way to avoid it. The most important tool for fast skis is a SHARP (really sharp) cabinet scraper kept sharp. The enemy of speed is polyethylene hair. If ou care about fast skis, get one and learn to use it.

(Optional) For old skis, surface treat the base with a brass bristle brush, taking long tip to tail strokes to give some structure and to open up the pores in the base material. Do not use brass brush on broken structure stone ground base. (It wrecks the structure.)

3. Iron in glide wax according to the track conditions using medium heat. For skating skis -- wax the entire base; for diagonal skis -- leave an unwaxed section running 20 to 25 cm behind the ski balance point and 35 to 40 cm forward. Remove excess wax after it has cooled to room temperature using a plastic scraper. Don't forget the tracking groove. Brush with nylon or horsehair brush, then brush some more. Repeat Step 3.

4. Rub down with a Scotch-brite or fibertex pad to smooth and remove minuscule streaks of wax. Inspect closely to make sure all excess wax has been removed. Notice that the emphasis of all the above is to create a flat and smooth running surface.

5. Structure the base according to conditions. Use short overlapping strokes with a few pounds of pressure. Structure need not be obvious in order to be effective. In the case of rilling, follow rilling device instructions.

Fine Tuning
1. Clean skis with hot wax method -- iron in a soft glider and scrape while still wet. Repeat three times.

2. Brush the kick zone of diagonal skis lightly with a medium (80-100) grit sandpaper for enhanced wax retention.

3. For storage and transportation, lash skis base to base with patches of lint-free paper between the points of contact at tip and tail to prevent dust and dirt from becoming embedded into the skis.

Selecting Glide Wax
1. Snow temperature and humidity. Increases in either tends to make the snow softer and more condensed, requiring softer wax.
2. Age of snow on the track. Newly fallen snow has generally good crystallinity, but degrades rapidly under sun, wind, temperature and humidity.
3. Extent and timing of trail grooming. Grooming and setting ages new-fallen snow rapidly by churning up and breaking down crystal structure. Conversely, it makes icy conditions less abrasive. Consistently groomed snow is therefore more predictable than snow in varying natural states.
4. Man made snow is very abrasive, consider this carefully when choosing glide waxes.

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