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3 easy steps to storage waxing

 

Alas, it’s approaching that very sad time of year again when we pack away our skiing gear – but what to do with that ski gear to be sure that it’ll be well looked after and ready to go next season? How you treat your cross-country (XC) and back-country (BC) skis when the season ends will make all the difference to how well they’ll treat you at the start of next year as well as the years to come.

What they need is an application of storage wax.

The goal of storage wax is essentially to limit contact between your ski’s base and oxygen, as all ski bases are susceptible to oxidation when exposed for long periods of time. While one summer without storage wax isn’t going to destroy your skis, it does start a slow process of base-degradation. Also, over time the skis’ core can potentially dry-out and lose flexibility. If the oxidation has been allowed to progress for too long, your skis will need a fresh base grind before fully accepting wax again, and you’ll start next season fighting the snow without as much kick or glide.

Correctly ‘storage waxing’ your skate, classic and BC skis (or downhill skis too) before you put them away for the summer is key, and it’s a quick and easy DIY task that can be done where you wax at home. Of course, if you don’t want to do the storage waxing yourself, you can drop them of with us and we will do the waxing service for you.

If you’re keen to do it yourself, you’ll need a few things to get set up. The ideal gear list for protecting your skis is below, but note that several items are interchangeable with items you may already have.

Type of skis Waxable skis Waxable skis Waxless/skin skis Waxless/skin skis
Home waxing setup Iron and form No specific equipment Iron and form No specific equipment
Supplies needed

- Base cleaner

- Fiberlene (or a non-fibrous cloth, don't use paper towel)

- Brass brush (or a nylon brush)

- Plastic kick-wax scraper

- Base prep hot wax (or a warm glide hot wax)

- Base cleaner

- Fiberlene (or a non-fibrous cloth, don't use paper towel)

- Brass brush (or a nylon brush)

- Plastic kick-wax scraper

- Base prep liquid wax (or a universal/warm rub-on or liquid glide wax)

- Base cleaner

- Fiberlene (or a non-fibrous cloth, don't use paper towel)

- Brass brush (or a nylon brush)

- Paste glide wax (for waxless skis) / Skin cleaner and skin care (for skin skis)

- Base prep hot wax (or a warm glide hot wax)

- Base cleaner

- Fiberlene (or a non-fibrous cloth, don't use paper towel)

- Brass brush (or a nylon brush)

- Paste glide wax (for waxless skis) / Skin cleaner and skin care (for skin skis)

- Base prep liquid wax (or a universal/warm rub-on or liquid glide wa

 

Now that you have everything on hand, the first thing to do is to thoroughly clean your skis. For this step, you’ll be removing as much old wax and dirt from your bases as possible. This is important as the storage wax will soak into the ski base over the summer and you don’t want the season’s dirt and debris to damage the bases.

1. Thoroughly scrape off all of the old surface kick wax (if you have waxable classic skis)

2. Use Base Cleaner and a Fiberlene cloth to completely clean off the old kick and glide wax

3. Brush the bases reasonably lightly to remove everything left on the base (5-6 passes with a Brass brush  or 9-10 passes with a Nylon brush). Ideally always brush in long strokes, ideally in the direction of travel (ie. tip to tail)

4. Wipe with a dry Fiberlene cloth

 

Once your bases are appropriately cleaned, you’re ready to apply your storage wax. Using a specific base prep wax will give you the best result, but a warmer glide wax (ie. red or yellow, or universal) will substitute if that’s all you have. If you have wax-less or skin-skis be very careful not to put wax onto the kick zones on these types of skis.

If you are not using an iron: Wax your skis with your rub-on or liquid glide wax. Your bases will absorb much of the wax over the course of the summer, so don’t skimp on the application. Multiple thin coats is easiest and will result in the best coverage. Between coats ensure you have covered both bases in entirety.

Using an iron: Making sure your waxing iron is clean, gently drip your storage wax onto the bases of your skis. Be sure to double check the recommended iron temperature for the specific wax you’ve chosen and set your iron appropriately. Most wax packaging will feature a small picture of an iron with the recommended temperature - more than likely, your waxing iron will display its temperature in °C. Remember to set the temperature as low as possible yet still melt the wax you’re using, as too high a temperature will burn out most of the better qualities of the wax. Your bases will absorb much of the wax over the course of the summer, so don’t skimp on the application.

After dripping on your wax, melt it in as evenly as possible by making 3-4 steady passes from tip to tail. It’s important to keep the iron moving at all times – too fast and the wax won’t disperse evenly, too slow and the bases can easily be damaged. A good indicator for proper iron speed is to keep a 3-4inch trail of wet wax behind the iron. If it looks like your bases have absorbed a large portion of the wax, repeat the hot wax process until you have a good amount of protective storage wax built up.

Let the wax cool, while inspecting your job to make sure that you have covered both bases in entirety. Don’t scrape them as you usually would at this point – just put them away.

 

When it comes to putting them away, selecting your ski storage place is the last step in the process and, arguably, the most important.

XC skis are reasonably resilient, but they’re not designed with highly fluctuating warm temperatures in mind. On top of that, they’re covered in wax, which is slightly sticky (particularly in summer heat) which attracts dust and dirt. The best place to store your skis is in a stable temperature environment (basement rather than garage for instance), and preferably sealed away in plastic or a ski bag. Avoid using blankets or throwing fabric over them as they will also drop fibers into the wax base. One of the purposes of applying storage wax is to protect your skis from the dust, dirt and other things that could damage the bases, so don’t undo all your good work.

 

Cleaned, waxed and stored correctly, your skis will need a minimum of effort to prepare them come the new season – so you can get right out there and enjoy that early season skiing.