How to Wax Skis
Learning how to wax skis can save you big bucks in you're a serious skier. Even if you're not hitting the slopes every week during the season, knowing how to wax skis will enable you to keep your gear in top shape. Doing the job right requires only a few simple tools and 45 minutes or so of free time. So crank up some tunes and assemble your gear. You're ready to learn how to wax skis.
To wax skis, you will need:
- Cleaning agent (a citrus-based cleaner works best)
- Rags (recycle some old sweat socks or T-shirts)
- All-purpose ski wax (the kind that comes in a small brick)
- An iron
- A plastic scraper (pick this up at the ski shop when you buy your wax)
- Paper towels
- Clean the skis. Wipe off any dust and dirt with a rag, then spray on the cleaner and let sit for five minutes. Wipe off the cleaner with a second rag. Let dry for fifteen minutes.
- Get ready to wax. Heat the iron to medium-high. While the iron's heating, slip a big rubber band around each ski binding to hold the ski brakes out of the way. Turn the skis bottom-side up across a pair or chairs or saw horses, or lay them out of the kitchen counter with the bindings in the sink. If you really want to get serious about this, invest in a ski vise to hold them in place.
- Wax the skis. Open the package of wax and press one end of the wax to the hot iron. Melt wax all over the bottom of the hot iron. When the iron is covered, tear off a sheet of paper towel and fold it in half. Lay the folded paper towel over the bottom of the ski at the tip end. Set the waxed iron on top of the paper towel. Draw the iron and the paper towel down the length of the ski, moving smoothly and slowly. It should take you about a minute to get from tip to tail of the ski. The iron transfers the wax to the skis, and the paper towel soaks up the excess wax. Waxing skis is as simple as that.
- Scrape the wax. Even with the paper towel trick, there will still be too much wax on your skis. Use the plastic scraper to remove the excess. Grasp the scraper in both hands and draw it down the ski, from tip to tail, applying steady pressure as you go. The idea is not to gouge your skis, but to scrape off a thin, even layer of wax.
- Finish the job. Polish up the ski with a clean rag. Take the rubber band off the bindings. Turn off the iron and you're ready to hit the slopes.
Now you know how to wax skis and you can impress your friends as they wait in line at the ski shop by telling them you don't trust anyone else to look after your gear—you do it yourself.