How Ski Wax Works

You can learn how ski wax works. Knowing how it works can help you better wax your skis so that you can get the best results.

Ski wax can be used on alpine skis as well as on snowboards. There are a couple of types of wax, the most common is known as glide wax and is used to help decrease drag on snow equipment such as snowboards and skis. Reducing drag helps give your alpine skis, and snowboards more speed, agility, as well as it helps to give you better control of your ski equipment. glide wax is typically made of hydrocarbons. If you want a more expensive and even faster wax, you can use a wax that includes fluorocarbons.

It is not known exactly, but it is believed that the process of waxing the bottom of your skis or snowboard creates a water resilient coating that helps to make your snow equipment smoother by creating a water repellent base. By becoming water resistant, the equipment will glide on top of the snow, or surface of the snow much better. This water repellent surface makes a less friction base and you can glide much more freely. 

The other type of wax is known as kick wax. Kick wax is primarily used on cross country skis. There are two types of kick wax, one is "hard" wax and the other is known as "klister." Kick wax is known as a hard wax and is tar-like in its consistency. It comes in a small canister and is used primarily for snow that is new, fresh, or is considered "cold". Klister, on the other hand, is a partially liquid wax. It comes in a container that is similar to that of a tube of toothpaste. Klister is a sticky wax. Although it is considered harder to use and maneuver, it is also considered an excellent wax to use on snow that is warmer, slushy, or partially melted. 

Kick wax is applied to the area of the ski that extends out from the foot; the front portion of the ski. This is typically the area of the ski where the most pressure is put on it when skiing. Applying it to this area gives the skier greater grip in the snow as well as more control. It also allows you to propel yourself outward and forward with a lot more ease. 

Something to consider is that if you use a warm weather wax in cold conditions, such as snow, this can cause you to stick to the snow and create drag. Your skis or board will not grip the snow properly and all you will get is slippery skis. 

References:

Ski Wax

Types of Wax

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