Waxing Your Skis – a Beginner’s Guide
Cross country skiing is such a joyful adventure, but it is not fun at all if your ski shows resistance towards the snow. You need to wax your skis to glide and get the most out of your skiing adventure. The layer protects your ski’s original coating. It is quite natural for this coating to start coming off due to the resistance and friction from the snow. Waxing your ski protects this coat and makes sure you glide through the snow-covered terrain like butter on a hot pan!
If you have a new ski, you can ski without waxing it. However, it is recommended that you do as waxing all kinds of skis only prolong their life and your thrill. After all, you don’t want to drag your way down while skiing when you can wax it regularly and see the difference it makes.
Best XC Ski Wax Kits in 2020
To avoid the friction and hence the resulting braking effect when you are cross country skiing, here are some of the best ski wax kits that we recommend for cross country ski waxing:
1. Demon Complete Basic Tune Kit with Wax
The new Demon Complete Basic Tune Kit is packed with 13 important items that are ideal for your cross-country skis and snowboards. This handy kit can be used at home or on the go and includes a 133gms of Demon’s white lightening wax, polish brush, 7.5 inches wax scraper, metal scrapper, shavings brush, flat file, edge tuner (88 and 90 degrees’ options), tuning stone, wire brush, wax iron, white and black P-Tex, and an instruction guide – all packed in a great quality carry case.
The custom-built iron is perfect for all kinds of skis and comes with a lifetime guarantee. It is easy to use and heats up quickly. It has a convenient turn dial temperature gauge that you can set between 110 to 220 degrees C (230 to 428 degrees F). If you want some good speed on the slopes, the Demon Tune Kit with Wax is what you need.
2. Swix North Kit
If you are a beginner who has no idea about waxing cross-country skis, the Swix North Kit is here to make things extremely easy for you. The kit comes in a good-sized bag that includes a wax iron, pocket edger, diamond disc sharpener, a multi-use brush, scrapper, natural cork, and the North Universal Speed Brick wax, along with an additional screwdriver tool.
The wax iron has a temperature range of 80 to 170 degrees C (176 to 338 degrees F). The diamond disc sharpener and the pocket edger keep the edges smooth and sharp for some great skiing performance. The wax for skis is made from eco-friendly components and is guaranteed to give your waxless cross-country skis the life they deserve.
3. RaceWax Complete Ski Snowboard Wax Tuning Kit
The RaceWax Complete Ski Snowboard Wax Tuning Kit is a waxing-store in itself! Loaded with all the important ski waxing equipment you will ever need, the kit comes with a super handy edge tool that determines the angles and works on 20 different angles for both the base as well as the sides. The wax iron has a temperature range of 80 to 170 degrees C (176 to 338 degrees F) and boasts a super thick textured baseplate that distributes the material perfectly. The kit also includes two bars of Swix wax (60 grams each), two wax scrapers (one for the ski and the other one for snowboard), and a metal scraper (with a vinyl storage case) along with a brush kit.
The brush kit has three types of brushes: nylon, brass, and horsehair. The brass brush is for brushing off stubborn pieces of wax and for renewing your XC ski base structure. The nylon brush removes wax easily, whereas the horsehair brush is great for polishing the base.
The RaceWax Complete Ski Snowboard Wax Kit also comes with a Swix Gummi stone (for removing rust), a 70 mm blue diamond stone (for maintaining and sharpening edges), two P-Tex (one clear and one black), and two large brake retainers. All of these come in a large storage bag which is nicely compartmentalized – so much so that you can fit in some more of your tools!
4. Winterial Snowboard and Ski Tuning Kit
Whether you are new to the concept of ski waxing or are a pro at it; there is one compact kit that you can keep in your garage or take along on your skiing adventures – the Winterial Snowboard and Ski Tuning Kit.
The kit includes a 4-ounce all-weather ski wax, a high-performance wax iron (with adjustable settings between 100 to 400 degrees F), wax apron with pockets, edge tuner, plastic scrapper, steel scraper, 200gms rubbing stone, hardened file, and two P-Tex rods (black and white). The edge turner provides a precise level of sharpening for 87, 88, 89, and 90 degrees. The Winterial Snowboard and Ski Tuning Kit come with an instruction manual with easy step-by-step instructions.
5. Demon Hyper Speed Ski & Snowboard Tune Kit
If you are looking for a great quality wax and ski repair kit, you must go for the best there is in the market – the Demon Hyper Speed Ski and Snowboard Tune Kit. It comes with 1lb of a waxblock, wax iron, and a base cleaner. The temperature of the Demon Iron can be adjusted from 65 to 230 degrees C (149 to 445 degrees F) and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Some other important tools include an edge turner (ideal for 88 and 90 degrees), shavings brush, a metal scraper, edge file, brass file brush, a 10 mm nylon brush, an 8mm horsehair brush, two P-Tex (clear and black), wax scraper, citrus base cleaner, two brake retainers, polish pad, and a handy instruction manual.
All these important elements come in a great quality bag with multiple pockets to conveniently organizing your tools. If you are looking for a super-fast glide, this could be the kit for you.
Grip Waxing Your Cross-Country Skis
Here is how you can grip wax your XC skis to make them look new and last for many years.
Tools and Supplies
For grip waxing, you will need the following items:
- Grip wax
- Waxing iron
- Base cleaner
- Plastic Scrapper
- Waxing cork
- Masking tape
Choose a Grip Wax
You can grip wax your XC skis in 2 ways:
- brands of hard wax that look like a thick crayon;
- go for klister waxes that have a gelatin-like consistency;
- spray waxes for a quick-fix.
The snow conditions of your skiing along with an approximate temperature will determine what type of this wax will work best for you.
Applying Kick Wax
The kick zone is the part that is under and ahead of the binding where you apply your new wax to. This way your cross-country ski grips the snow well and lets you move forwards. Here is how you will apply your kick wax to the kick zone:
- Using the masking tape, mark the front and back of the kick zone.
- With a plastic scraper, scrap the kick zone to get rid of the old wax. Using a soft cloth, rub a tiny amount of the ski base cleaner to remove dirt.
- Now take a sandpaper-wrapped cork and rub this area in both ways.
The Klister wax is quite sticky and sometimes harder to work with. It should ideally be used in conditions where the snow keeps on melting and freezing, as well as in relatively warmer weather. The Klister waxes are normally available in tubes.
To apply klister waxing, follow these steps:
- With the help of a sandpaper cork, rub the kick zone.
- Put ski base klister in the form of diagonal stripes.
- Heat the waxing iron to 110 degrees C (230 degrees F) and spread the klister smoothly. Once done, give it time to cool down and cork the area.
- Now in the same pattern apply a temperature-specific (or universal) klister and spread it out. The ski is waxed and is ready to be tested out.
About Glide Waxing
Glide waxing requires more time than waxing and is more expensive as it requires some additional tools.
Glide Waxing Tools and Supplies
The glide waxing tools include:
- Glide wax
- Wax iron
- Metal brush
- Groove pen
- Plexiglass scraper
Steps by Step: Glide Waxing Your Skis
Here is how you can easily glide wax your cross-country skis:
- Clean the ski and set the iron on the required temperature (look at the wax’s label for exact temperature).
- Melt the glide wax on your skis, evenly distribute it and let it cool off a bit.
- Scrape the groove as well as the edges of your ski.
- From the tip of your ski to its tail, scrape the skiing wax off the base.
- Brush with a metal brush until you get a shiny base (no patches).
- Finish it off by polishing with a gentle brush.
Three Reasons to Apply Glide Wax to Your Waxless Cross-Country Skis
There are many benefits of applying glide wax to your waxless cross country skis, some of the important ones are:
- To avoid them from constantly sticking to the snow and enabling them to glide their way through the snow.
- To prolong the life of your ski. The glide wax protects your ski’s base by keeping it nicely coated and dirt-free.
- For safety reasons as the snow can get stuck in the base preventing you from proper movement. You need to glide freely as you don’t want to be stuck and left in the middle of nowhere.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I Have to Wax New Cross-Country Skis?
You do not have to wax your new cross country skiing equipment, but it is recommended that you do. Although most of the cross-country skis come waxed, they could be lying in the factory or shop for a long time, and it is better to wax them before you take them out on their first adventure.
How Often Do I Have to Wax Cross-Country Skis?
It depends on how often you ski and the conditions you ski in. Ideally, as soon as you start feeling that the coating has become irregular, or when the graphite coating (which is black) starts turning grey, you should wax the skis.
Do I Need to Wax My Waxless Cross-Country Skis?
Yes. Although it may look like you don’t have to wax your waxless XC ski, yet, to increase their performance, protect their coating, and for your safety (in getting a proper grip and moving forward), you should wax your cross country skiing equipment.
How Do I Wax My Waxless Cross-Country Skis?
To wax your waxless cross country skis:
- Clean the ski base structure of your XC ski.
- Depending upon the snow conditions you will be skiing in, apply the glide wax to your ski base.
- Scrape and brush off the excessive wax.
You now have a perfectly waxed waxless ski.
Can I Use Liquid or Paste Waxes Instead of Hot Waxing?
Yes. The liquid or paste waxes are believed to be more long-lasting than the hot waxes. When liquid or paste ski waxes are applied to the ski, the liquid penetrates to the pores of the ski base, making your ski glide for a long time.
How Long Should it Take to Wax My Waxless Cross-Country Skis?
The time it takes for you to wax your waxless cross-country ski depends upon your choice, your expertise, as well as the time you have in hand (in case you are in a hurry). You can wax your waxless ski in 5 minutes if you just want to quickly head out. However, it is more like a quick-fix and not recommended for the long-term. In normal conditions, it may take you around 30 minutes to treat your waxless cross-country skis.
Should I Use a Summer or Storage Wax on My Waxless XC Skis?
Yes, you can. The summer or storage waxing can prevent the XC ski from drying out when they are not in use.
Can I Use Old Glide Wax on My Waxless Cross-Country Skis?
Yes, you can. Glide waxes don’t expire unless something goes wrong with them or some external factor affects them.
Applying wax for cross-country skis is very important not just for their maintenance, but also for getting the maximum fun out of your gliding adventures. If you think waxing is a tedious job, or your (waxless or otherwise) cross country skiing equipment does not need to be waxed, you need to introduce yourself to a great waxing kit and then see the difference. Happy gliding!