Ski & Bike Tech Talk, Skiing/Rollerskiing

Changing Up Your Glide Waxing Routine—A Plan for Beginners and Experts Alike

waxing can be crazy

What should I do for waxing? It’s a question we get here at the shop everyday during ski season (let’s face it…it’s all year-long). Whether you are a newbie or a dyed-in-the-wool racer, changing up your wax routine can offer multiple benefits.

If you are a beginner, a quick and easy wax job can really add some zip to your skis. And, if you are a waxing expert, you’ve got a lot to gain and not a lot to lose by paring your routine down occasionally. What to gain? Time! Precious hours can be saved in your wax room by getting comfortable with simpler waxing methods.

liquid waxes can help speed up your waxing process

We are going to talk about a 3-step wax routine. Before you start, pick a wax brand—literally any brand—and choose 1 or 2 lower-cost liquid glide waxes for temperatures that you like to ski in. Find a well-ventilated space and at room temperature. You are ready.

  1. Apply a layer of wax to the glide surface of the ski. Time: 1 minute

Tip: Whether you are using an aerosol or wipe-on, be sure to shake up the wax to mix the ingredients.

Tip: If you have a wax bench, use it. If not, you can roll up 2 towels and place beneath the tips and tails of your skis to provide a stable work surface.

Liquid glide wax in an aerosol bottle

2. Walk away and let the wax dry. Time: 15 minutes or more (see tip below)

Tip: Ask your retailer what the recommended drying time is for your wax.

3. If you own a soft wax brush—nylon, horsehair, etc.—remove excess dried wax with a few brush strokes. If you don’t have a brush, use a wad of paper towels or cloth to “polish” the ski base. Either technique will leave the ski smooth and ready to ski. Time: 1 minute

Tip: Brushing or polishing can be optional if you don’t have the space or time. Excess wax will come off as you ski.

After waxing a ski is smooth and shiny.

This wax routine doesn’t mean that hot waxing isn’t important. In fact, hot waxing can still provide amazing results for certain needs and conditions. Many racers actually use a combination of older hot wax techniques alongside the new liquid waxes.

Similarly, the notion of complicated hot waxing has long been a turnoff for recreational skiers who have avoided waxing because of the amount of time required. Many don’t wax at all or have tried a simple wipe-on with little durability or performance. Good glide is important, but not if waxing becomes an impediment to getting on the trails.

Nordic waxers can be crazy.
Sometimes we spend a bit too much time in the wax room 😉

The whole point of this routine is to understand what a simple and easy wax application is capable of. It can make your first set of skis truly amazing, and it might be nearly as good as an expert racer’s secret prep.

If you are happy with your routine, the time you spend on your skis, and their performance, great! But if you’d like to change things up a bit, Try this 3-step process. Beginners will get increased performance without a ton of hassle, and expert waxers will gain time on the trails. It’s a win all-around!

To see a video of the process, check out this link!