Wax on, Wax off, Getting Ready to Shred…
Whelp, I’ve been learning a ton of stuff about how to maintain your skies and snowboard and I’d like to share them with you here. More recently I learned how to wax my snowboard and skies. I for whatever reason have always been intimidated by the process. I hope that I can break it down for you here so that you’ll feel more comfortable giving it a shot.
Here are a few tools you’ll need before you begin.
- Skies or Snowboard Vice
- Plastic Scraper
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Wax (note: depending on the conditions you’ll be in, there are temperature specific waxes that may suit your trip better than another)
- Waxing Iron
- Metal File
- Brass Brush
- Nylon Brush
Skies & Snowboards | 🎿 🏂
SETUP & PREP
First, for alpine skis, you’ll want to pull back the ski break by depressing the pedal. The break arms will pop out parallel with the ski. Use a string or a strong rubber band on one arm and wrap it around and hook it to the other arm. This will keep the breaks away from the base of the ski while you work on it. As for your snowboard, tape the inside of your bindings and write down the angle they are set at. It will be easier if you remove the bindings.
Second, turn the skies or snowboard with the base facing up. If you don’t have a vise, you can use some old phone books (Click here if you were born in the 2000’s and don’t know what a phone book is, jkjk, no but seriously) or books that might be lying around the house.
Next, you’ll use a clean cloth (preferably one that is lint free), saturate it with some alcohol to clean off any surface dirt, this will also help open the pores of the base. If you have some visible dirt you can use a wire brush to clean it, but don’t be to aggressive. Now give it 10–15 minutes to dry. You don’t want to touch the base with your fingers after you’ve cleaned it with the alcohol, as your skin has oils that will prevent the wax from securely adhering to the base.
So, while you’re waiting, grab a beer, glass of wine, or watch the alcohol dry on your skies or snowboard.
Alright, now that you’re warmed up it’s time to do the fun stuff. Pull out that ski-waxing iron. You’ll want to have a safe place to put the iron should you have to walk away. ⚠️ Do not, I repeat, do not leave the iron on the base of your skies or snowboard. It will destroy your base and will cost tons to fix.
First, jump-start the iron. You’ll want to set the temperature according to the type of wax that you’re using. If you’re using a softer/warmer wax, you’ll want to have the temperature lower. If the wax is harder/cold weather wax, turn that iron up. As always, read the directions on the packaging of the wax.
Second, hold the block of the wax against the base of the iron and let it drip on the base of the skies or snowboard as it melts. You’ll want to hold the iron about 2–4 inches from the skies or snowboard and move from tip to tail getting good coverage on the base.
Then you’ll place the iron on the ski or snowboard base and begin spreading the wax over the entire base until you have a nice uniform coat across the whole surface. ⚠️ Again, don’t hold the iron in a single place for to long or you may begin to blister the base of the skies or snowboard. Make sure that the wax melts all the way across the ski or snowboard, from tip to tail and edge to edge. If you notice that some areas are looking dry, go ahead and melt some more wax on that area.
This is the part where you get to step away, have another beer, glass of wine, or whatever tickles your fancy while you let the wax dry completely. This can take roughly 20–40 minutes.
SCRAPING AND BUFFING
Alright, we’re almost there. By now you’ve had a few drinks to cut the edge off, and are feeling real good.
First, using a plastic scraper, scrape the base from tip to tail, to remove all excess wax. Since you’re just starting out, use a plastic scraper, as you gain experience you can use a metal one. The advantage of the metal scraper is it bends and is more effective to scraping the wax off, but can cause damage to your base if you’re not paying attention. You’ll want to scrape in one direction. You’re almost there when the base is free of visible wax. As I mentioned earlier, the base is porous and will retain wax.
Second, you’ll want to make sure to scrape the metal edges to remove any wax that may have spilled over. Be careful to not dig into your base, some scrapers have a notch to scrape the metal edges.
Finally, brush the base to bring out the texture of the base, which increases your speed. Start with the brass brush across the entire base, then use the nylon brush. Lastly, use a buffing brush to give a nice finished base. Brushes vary based on size, stiffness and material. A stiff, nylon brush is a good all-purpose choice. Brush from tip to tail.
BOOM!! There you go, you’ve now successfully waxed your skies and/or snowboard. Now get out there and shred!!
Legal Notice: This blog is intended to provide the reader with tips to wax his/her skies and/or snowboard. The author of this blog bares no liability to the results the reader experiences while attempting to wax his/her skies and/or snowboard. By reading this blog, the reader releases the author of any and all claims. These steps are provided as a courtesy and he/she should follow the directions from the manufacture of the products they’ve purchased. If he/she does not understand the steps, he/she should consult with a local ski shop to obtain expert advise.