Ski Waxing 101
Regular application of ski wax allows you to glide and turn easily as well as protects your base. Having a well waxed ski base is as important as oil in your car's engine. Bases soak up wax like a sponge. The action of gliding over snow slowly releases wax to give a lubricating layer between your base and the snow. Lubricant is needed for performance as well as protection from "base burn," which is a fuzzy base texture caused by abrasive snow.
Wax also protects from oxidation. Bases exposed to oxygen, oxidize and become rough similar to roughness created when steel oxidizes in the form of rust. Wax seals your base to prevent harmful oxidation that slows glide.
How To Wax
Waxing is easy and you need only a few basic supplies.
- CLEAN SKI BASE
Clean your ski base by scraping with a acrylic wax scraper to remove old wax and dirt from the surface. (Use base cleaners sparingly as they tend to dry out and deteriorate the base material.) Use a brass or bronze base brush aggressively from tip to tail to further clean the base and remove oxidized base material. Follow with a fiber pad to remove any base burn “fuzz" caused by abrasive snow.
- APPLY WAX
Liquid or paste waxes may increase glide for a short time, however they quickly wear off and don't protect your base. Hot waxing is best. Simply hold the bar of wax on the base of the iron allowing melted wax to drip onto your ski base. Set the iron temperature so wax flows easily, but doesn't "smoke" the wax. Iron the wax into the base for 30 - 45 seconds to spread the wax and allow it to penetrate into the base. NOTE: Keep the iron moving to prevent damage to the ski.
- COOL AND SCRAPE
Let wax cool to room temperature. Scrape off excess wax with an acrylic scraper leaving a very thin layer on the base. You want the wax IN the base and not ON the base.
- BRUSH AND POLISH FOR MAXIMUM GLIDE
The final step is to brush surface wax out of base structure/texture with a nylon, bronze or horsehair brush. This clears channels for moisture which help break snow surface suction and enhances glide. A final wipe down with fine fiber pad cleans the wax particles caused by brushing and polishes your base further enhancing glide.
This is a texture in the base with a pattern of channels to dissipate moisture between the base and snow to prevent "suction". A structure is best done in a competent ski shop with stone grinding.
BEAST Waxes have thermo-active ingredients added to automatically adjust the wax hardness to give top performance in a variety of snow temperatures and conditions.
Hydrocarbon is the basic bar wax for skis and boards. BEAST 1 is an everyday hydrocarbon glide wax covering a broad range of snow temperatures. It's an excellent lubricant, inexpensive and used at all levels of skiing from beginner to top levels of racing.
Ski bases need lubrication for protection against the abrasive qualities of snow and oxidizing properties of air. Base prep waxes deeply penetrate the ski base and are the starting point in lubricating your skis, especially if they are new. BEAST Zero and BEAST ZERO-G are base prep waxes that have a combination of ultra-soft wax to deeply penetrate the ski base and ultra-hard wax that stays close to the surface to protect against abrasion.
Graphite is added to hydrocarbon wax as an anti-static agent to improve glide in either dirty or dry snow. BEAST Zero-G and BEAST 1-G both contain graphite as a performance enhancing additive.
When humidity is above 50% or there is excess moisture in the snow, a fluorocarbon wax can increase glide. Fluorocarbon is a hydrophobic substance that's blended into hydrocarbon wax to help repel water. BEAST 2 is a low-fluoro wax for high performance in lower snow moisture conditions. Use BEAST 2+, which has a higher fluorocarbon content, in warmer and higher moisture conditions.
A wax overlay is the finishing touch on race skis that can be applied on the hill before a race start providing instant acceleration to reach top speed faster. BEAST 3 is a fluorinated, universal rub-on wax overlay with top performance in a wide variety of snow conditions.