Step by Step Waxing of Nordic Skis, everything you need to know!
Are you looking for information on waxing your Nordic skis? Here is Fast Wax's guide on how to do it; as you will soon see, it is pretty straightforward. A clean, open work environment with good ventilation is critical for enjoyment.
Mount your ski securely into a ski vice or use a waxing bench. It makes it so much easier if the ski is not moving around on you.
Locate a warm, clean place to do your work. Mounting the ski securely into a ski vice is one of the most important steps. It makes it so much easier if the ski is not moving around on you.
Clean your base.
Wipe down the base with a base cleaner and clean cloth. The base cleaner will sink into the base and loosen the wax contained within. Apply the cleaner to the rag and wipe down the base. Let the cleaner sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe it clean using another rag.
Now that the wax is loosened up grab your Fast Wax Super Fine Stainless Steel Brush and brush out the ski base. Starting from the tips and working your way to the tail using light to medium pressure, just enough to force the stainless steel bristles into the base to sweep the wax out of the ski base. Nordic ski bases are pretty tough, so do not worry about learning how much pressure it takes to remove wax. After a few passes, less and less wax should be pulled up from the base.
Now that the old wax has been removed, use a rag to wipe off the wax pulled out of the base.
Apply a new coat of wax.
The ski base is nice and clean now, ready for a coat and a new wax. We place the iron temperature on all Fast Wax waxes to use to melt the wax. Set your iron to this temperature and allow the iron to heat up. Once the iron is at temp, place the iron a couple of inches over the ski base and place the wax onto the iron. Starting at the tip, work your way down the ski. Attempting to place wax about every 1/2 inch or so; make sure you get enough onto the ski base. Nordic skis are pretty skinny; after a few times waxing them, you will develop your technique of dropping the wax from the iron right where you want it.
As you gain experience with waxing, you will be able to wax with less and less wax.
Once the wax drops are down the length of the ski, place the iron directly on the ski at the ski tip and slowly move the iron down the length of the ski. You will want to move the iron at a rate of 1 or 2 inches per second. As the iron hits the drops of wax, you may need to light the front of the iron slightly to allow it to slide over the top of the wax.
Keep the iron moving at all times; keep the iron from sitting in one spot too long; doing so may burn your ski base.
Unplug your iron and clean the wax off the sole with a rag. While the wax is still warm, use a groove scraper to clean out the ski's center groove and sidewalls. You can do this after the wax has hardened, but wax comes off cleaner if you do it while it is still warm.
Scraping the wax.
Allow the ski to cool for about 1/2 hour or until the ski is cool to the touch. Please do not shock cool your skis by placing them outside. Nordic skis are made up of many different materials that shed heat at different rates and shock cooling places undo stress on these components.
Here is the fun part! After the wax has had a chance to cool, it is time to start scraping it off with a plastic scraper and beginning with a sharp scraper, one with a perfect 90-degree angle. Start at the ski tip and, using firm forward pressure and light downward pressure, push the scraper down the length of the ski. Try to keep the scraper parallel with your ski base. You should see chips and sheets of wax start to fly off the forward edge of the scraper. Make a pass or two before your ski base looks clean and even. If you begin to see black chips or strings, you may be scraping too hard and removing parts of your base.
Brushing the base.
Remove the leftover loose wax by making a couple of passes down the ski using the Fast Wax Superfine Stainless Steel brush. Going from tip to tail again, make 1 or 2 light passes to pull any loose wax out of the ski base. Use a cloth to clean up the ski base.
Move to your Fast Wax Horsehair Brush now to start cleaning out the structure of your ski base. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, begin at the tip of your ski and make 3 to 4 passes down the length of your ski. You want to use some down pressure but not so much that you start to remove the wax. Start using light strokes, and after you get some experience, you will know your skis and how much pressure it takes to clean up the structure.
The last step is to use your Fast Wax Nylon brush to polish the ski base. This is the magic step; your skis will go from having a dull finish to a nice and bright finish. Guess what? We start the ski tips again and, with light pressure and long strokes, pull the Nylon brush down the ski base. A shiny Nordic ski means the wax is happy, and your skis will be fast.
Now that you have waxed your skis, let's protect your ski base by using ski retainers. Please do not just throw them loose into your ski bag. Use a ski retainer that securely holds your skis apart so they do not get scratched. If you are covered in wax chips, take a few minutes to clean up. A quick vacuum will make short work of cleaning up the bench and floor areas.
Congrats! You have taken the next step in your Nordic ski waxing journey. You will find that since you are now a wax pro, your skis will always have the right wax for the conditions, and you will be skiing faster than you have ever skied before.
As always, if you have questions, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
See ya on the trails, Be Fast or Be Last!