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Recreational Waxing Page2

Applying glide wax to the tips and tails of the ski

Applying grip wax to the kick zone

Waxing isn't difficult if you don't take it too seriously. First of all, on fiberglass skis only the center portion of the ski is waxed with grip wax — the wax for the temperature & conditions of the day. The tips and tails are waxed with glider wax. Glider wax is applied from the heel plate back (tail of ski) and from about 12-14 inches in front of the toe piece forward (tip of ski). The portion from the heel plate forward is where the grip wax goes.

To apply glider wax, use a calibrated iron. If you use an old iron, use plenty of wax and keep the temperature set low. You want the iron hot enough to melt the wax, but not so hot that the iron smokes. Hold the glider wax against the tip of the iron (with the tip of the iron pointing down toward the ski) and drip wax on the glider areas (tips and tails of skis). When you have dripped wax on, iron it — moving the iron from tip to tail in one direction. Don’t leave the iron in one spot too long, as excessive heat can bubble the base. Let the wax cool indoors for 45 minutes and use your scraper to scrape off the excess wax and make the bases smooth. The bases may be polished with a nylon stocking, or fibertex. If you are not concerned about your initial speed, you can ski on them, and the snow will abrade the excess wax, wearing it off. We glide wax our skis when the base looks “whitish” or gray and dry. Then apply more glider wax.

On the kick area (from the heel plate forward to about 12-14 inches in front of the toe piece) we initially put special green kick wax. We never put glide wax in this area, as it is difficult to get the grip wax to stick to glide wax. (Like putting crayon on wax paper.) We crayon the wax on and then use the iron to smooth it out. (Wipe your iron with a rag first so you don’t get glider wax on this area too.) Do this several times — this protects the base. Now you are ready to apply the wax of the day for your conditions. We generally iron on one layer of this, then put on a second layer and cork it in. Most people do not use enough wax on their skis. Apply 4-6 thinlayers, corking in each layer. Go skiing and have fun.

We do not clean the wax off our skis unless we use klister. We let the wax build up — seems like it improves with age.

Finally, these three grip waxes will cover most conditions throughout the year below 0°C or 32°F. Rode Special Green is used from temps 12°F and down (cold temp), Swix Blue Extra is good for temps from 12° to about 26°F, and Swix Red Special is used from 26° to 31°F. (Ignore the temps on the cans — the range of the wax is much wider than indicated.) Above freezing (thawing) you need to use klisters — a different topic. (Optional: Substitute Swix VR40 & VR50 for Extra Blue & Special Red.)

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