In May, the boys wanted to earn money for camp and I thought about paying them to wax our skis for summer.
In June, we went on vacation and I didn’t even think about waxing our skis for summer.
In July, the boys went to ski camp and we tuned and waxed their skis for skiing.
With only a few days left in August, our skis are finally waxed for summer, thanks to our younger son who was looking to make some money. $10 per pair suited him just fine and got one of my chores off of my list.
Waxing skis is a topic which some people “get” and some people do not. Those who don’t “get” it, pay to have their skis tuned and waxed professionally at a ski shop. This is an excellent approach in that you don’t have to invest in any waxing tools and equipment. Those who do “get” it, wax their skis in the garage while drinking beer (except for our son, who drinks water. One must ALWAYS have a beverage of some sort while waxing). This is an excellent approach in that once you have the equipment, you can sharpen edges and wax bases as often as you want to drink beer (or water) in the garage.
We started waxing our skis when our kids were involved in ski racing. We started waxing them for summer after reading a “how-to” article in SKI RACING magazine. I’ve since lost that article, but we keep summer waxing. And, if you care about your skis and you want to keep their bases from drying out, you may want to try it for yourself. By the way, the following instructions work for both alpine and nordic skis (but not the no-wax type of nordic skis).
1. Sharpen your edges and tune your skis (or get a tune at the ski shop). Prepping your skis for the upcoming season, before you store them for summer, means that when the snow flies, you scrape, and go.
2. Brush your bases thoroughly to remove any lingering debris and dirt. We don’t do this, but I have been told that bases can be cleaned with a citrus-based cleaner. We use Simple Green to clean our bikes. I am thinking that it might work on skis, too. Any one out there have an opinion?
3. If you did clean your bases with a liquid, let them dry thoroughly. If not, wipe them off with a clean cloth to remove any lingering wax you brushed up.
4. Wax your skis. We use an all-purpose wax for this, Holmenkol Beta. But there are lots of different brands of wax and types of wax. Beta is an all-temperature wax. Other waxes are temperature specific and if you have one of those, you want to use a “warm” wax.
Not sure how to wax your skis? It is easy. The trickiest part is pulling the binding brakes back with a big, thick rubber band. Once the brakes are out-of-the-way, hold a chunk of wax against the hot iron and let the wax drip onto the ski. Smooth the wax into an even layer, about 1/8 inch thick.
Regarding the iron, we started out looking for a used clothing iron and ended up with a Holmenkol ski waxing iron. Why? The ski waxing iron is smaller, lighter, has better temperature controls, has a base upon which to rest and most important, does not have pesky little holes on the bottom in which the wax can get stuck.
5. Store your skis without scraping. Scrape the night before the lifts open and you’re good to go.
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